Open Back Mi-Fi Perfection

A Review On: Beyer Dynamic DT 880 Premium 600 OHM Headphones

Beyer Dynamic DT 880 Premium 600 OHM Headphones

Rated # 71 in Headphones
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $235.00
Mshenay
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Pros: Airy sound, delicate mids, speed, sense of openness, sound stage and layering. Timbre

Cons: no isolation, bright [I like bright cans but some don’t] lacks intimacy, bass for some may not be heavy enough

 

 

Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 600ohm (With ZXAC Fully Balanced Recable) [$235 Used]

 

Personal Back-Story  

 

I recently re-purchased my Beyerydanmic Dt 880’s back! And this time I made the upgrade to the 600 ohm variant.

 

 

Pros: Airy sound, delicate mids, speed, sense of openness, sound stage and layering. Timbre

 

Cons : no isolation,  bright [I like bright cans but some don’t] lacks intimacy, bass for some may not be heavy enough

 

Build [5/5]

 

Classic Beyerdynamic Build quality, although these are a tad more fragile than my pro series headphones, the adjustment device is located outside of the head band, as opposed to the pro series which feature the extension mechanism within the head band. In addition the head band itself is not as well padded. The headphones are very well built and comfy like the pro series.

 

Very Sturdy

 

Specs

Semi-Open  Back Dynamic Operating Principle

600 Ohm Impedance

96 db Sensitivity

5 - 35,000k response

 

Ease of Use [Comfort/Fit/Isolation] [4.5/5]

Simple and to the point, extend the head band and slap em on! There is no isolation due to the semi open back design, and the fit is very simple and straight forward. Despite being the Premium Model, it’s almost as comfy at the Dt 990 Pro, yet the DT 990 Pro is still my most comfortable headphone!

 

Price to Performance : [5/5]

          Top notch, versatile enough to handle any genre, and tough as nails.


 

Sonic Test Process (Click to show)

Sonic Test Process

 

Source Win 7[Foobar2000 WASAPI] -> oDac -> MonoPrice Premium Coaxial Cables -> Matrix M Stage [Lme 49990 OpAmp]

 

Headphone reference notes- I like to demo all headphones against my Beyerdynamic Dt 880, as they are a well know reference can.  Reference notes will always be in italics, and are included in the Video Reviews and Head Fi review posts.

 

Reference points, will be in bold italics.  In each of the seven reference songs I will specify what parts of the song I am listening to, to evaluate the 3 parts of the spectrum.  In addition to other aspects of the overall sound presentation.

 

           In addition, I always like details  presented in all frequances

Highs- looking for and evaluating air, nice extension and good energy and placement within sound stage

Mids- looking for and considering weight, body and tone

Bass- listening for, control, texture and punch/impact

 

 

          Sound Stage- reported after listening to all tracks

          Imaging –Track #3 and #4 are well mastered for 2D and 3D imaging

          Instrument Layering-reported after listening to all tracks

          Timbre- realism of sound, fun versus real

          Speed- ability to retain mirco-details  in ultra fast tonal shifts

 

Music Auditioned [All Lossless quality, tracks vary from 16 to 24bit]

 

Lisa Ekdahl [Sings Salvadore Poe] Of My Conceit {16bit 44100hrz sample}

          Vocal Jazz track,

Highs-  The upper range of the vocals and guitar notes

Mids- Lisa’s vocals, along with the lower notes on the guitar and piano

Bass- a touch of bass in the vocals and the lowest guitar  notes.

 

Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile [The Goat Rodeo Sessions ] Where’s my Bow? {16bit 44100hrz sample rate}

          This song is a new age classical composition.

Highs- upper most range of the stringed instruments, primarily of the, Viola, Violin

Mids- presented by all the stringed wood instruments

Bass- focus primarily on the Cello 

 

David Chesky- [Jazz In The New Harmonic]-Transcendental Tripping 

          New Age Jazz, Binaural  

Imaging- a binaural recording, a wonderfully real 3D presentation

Overall Balanced Sound Response  {Percussion}- looking for balance

Highs-drums, cymbals,Brass horns

Mids-Brass Horns,  upper mids of Double BassPiano 

Bass-Double Bass

 

Kenji Yamamoto-[Metroid Prime Sountrack[-Chozo Ruins {16bit 44000hrz sample} 

              Ambient Orchestral Sound Track 

Sound Stage- a very high energy and multi layered track, with so many individual pieces working together a large sound stage is crucial. In addition the tracks features a lot of fading sounds  

Balanced Frequency- The mood of the track set by the balance of frequency, any coloration takes away from the collective beauty of the track as a whole.

 

Benga [Invasion EP] Evolution {16bit 441000 hrz sample}

          Good ole Dub Step, -Will be Eq’d to determine how headphones handle eq

Highs- all about the cymbals,

Mids- Playful Brass horn like intro and outro, only notable mids

Bass- the Bass Wobble is the focus here


Metallica [Master Of Puppets] Welcome Home (Sanitarium) {16bit 44100hrz sample}

        Metal

Speed- this track features a very simple layering of instruments, but the mirco details in the guitar solo's make or break the track. 

Highs- guitar, cymbals classic metal tune, smooth sweet highs in the guitar

Mids- guitars, vocals, also looking for speed in the quick tactile hits of the guitar riffs

Bass-Bass Guitar R.I.P Cliff, only the best quality for his bass lines!

 

Matisyahu- [Live At Stubb’s]- Exaltation

          Live Reggae –listening for the little bits of extra noise that are often present in live music [detail retention]

Highs- Upper range of the guitar and the cymbals

Mids- Vocalsguitar and upper range of the Bass Guitar also taking note of the drums

Bass- all about that bass guitar and Kick Drum

 

 

Sound

           

          Sound Signature- Very clean, a slight tilt towards the upper mids and treble, although the headphone features a lower mid resonance which adds a nice touch of body to the lower mids and upper bass.  The headphone is also very quick, and light on its’ feet.  Over all an incredibly balanced and airy sound, filled with many details and excellent 2D and 3D sound stage.  Brighter than neutral

 

Dynamics- quick and effortless

Timbre- very real,  mids are life like, treble how ever may be slightly brighter than natural but is not fake or exaggerated

Speed- very quick, shows quickness with all genres

 

          Sound Stage:  A  wide sound stage, great instrument separation, and good 3D  and 2D placement of instruments.

 

Amplification Need or Suggested –for the Beyerdynamic Dt 880 Premium an amp is required, as a 600 ohm headphone it requires an amp with a large voltage swing, OTL tubes pair nicely with the  Dt 880 600 Ohm 

 

 

 Highs- airy with a touch of bright sweetness, great energy. Brighter than neutral

 

Mids- very real, a delicate sense of weight, good timbre tone and body. Not intimate 

 

Bass- VERY deep and tight, great impact and solidity. Too lean for EDM without eq 

 

 

 

Recommend Genre ; Jazz 

 

 

Song By Song Break Down (Click to show)

Songs

 

Lisa Ekdahl _ Of My Conceit

          Vocal Jazz

 

          Highs-  The airy nature of Lisa’s voice is well maintained, the extra touch of treble and air from the Beyer adds a nice intimacy to her voice, almost as if she’s whispering in your ear  

          Mids- Very airy, tone is nice good body, very delicate weight as well.  While the airy treble is intimate, the mids are very neutral and linear. Not extra weight or body at all.

          Bass- Perfect, wonderful timbre, good tactile nature.  

 

Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile [The Goat Rodeo Sessions ] Where’s my Bow? {16bit 44100hrz sample rate}

New age classical composition.

 

Highs- The violins are very playful, there is a lovely bright and airy nature to the Dt 880,  detail retention is top notch. I can hear the separate notes of the two violins. One to my right the other to my left.

 

Mids- Very lovely, the timbre is excellent, just the right amounts of body and weight, the tone is nice as well very natural. The upper mids have a nice sweetness to them as well, very lovely!

 

Bass- Bass is wonderful; the Cello has an excellent and very solid weight to it, a nice delicate impact on every low note. Once again good timbre.   

 

 

David Chesky- [Jazz In The New Harmonic]-Transcendental Tripping 

          New Age Jazz, Binaural  

 

Highs-Excellent, airy and the upper most notes of the Trumpet are well detailed, maintain a nice edge, yet are not metallic or sibilant. In addition the sound stage is perfect, the drums are audibly behind and to the right in the sound stage. The imaging is top notch! The Drums have a nice snap, to them. Again, airy, crisp neither recessed nor overly forward.

 

Mids-Just plain sexy, the mids are excellent, the Tenor sax just has a fantastic timbre to it, very real. Perfect balanced and weight, in addition it’s easily located to the slight right of center, with the Trumpet on the slight left of center. David Chesky him self is on Piano located a tad behind the Tenor Sax, and again the tone of the piano is great.  The individual strings that compose the unified sound are easily identified singularly, yet enjoyed just as easily as a whole.

 

Bass-Lovely tone, great solidity and impact on the Double Bass notes, and the placement is slightly behind the Trumpet and adjacent to the piano, again the imaging is excellent. The details and texture in the bass are nice as well, you can hear the string vibrating against the wood as the Bassist changes notes.

 

 Kenji Yamamoto-[Metroid Prime Sountrack[-Chozo Ruins {16bit 44000hrz sample} 

              Ambient Orchestral Sound Track 

Going to only speak of Sound Stage and Balance for this track

 

Sound Stage- The sound stage and frequency response work well together, the layering is lovely. There are sounds every where, front and center, left of center, slightly behind center, to the rear and right of center, and to the left rear of center. There are also well placed and airy… echoing high and low notes. The track is for  valley, the echo noises add depth to the sound, in addition at the top of the sound stage is… what sounds like wind. Again the layering of this track on the Beyer Dt 880 is perfect… the highs are slightly placed behind everything in the track, and despite being a “bright” can the treble do not lose there place in the sound stage. In addition… the Dt 880 maintains a nice air in between all the instruments, separation is good. Although the track is also recorded a little narrowly… while the narrow sound of the valley is maintained, the Dt 880 never create a cramp or overly busy sonic presentation; everything is placed just right within the sound stage. 

 

Balanced Frequency- Just right for my tastes, the balance has a gentle tilt to lower treble, which for this track is mainly percussion, which is sonically behind the other sounds, there are also some echoing high notes, the air of the DT 880  gives them such a realistic timbre and presentation.  There are echoing low notes throughout the track, they are easily followed without being presented in a forward manner, adding to the ambiance of the track, lastly the mids are front and center. A gentle piano plays keeps a steady tune  in the mid center, a top of it a stringed instrument that shifts from left to right of center. Again the balance is perfect. Every individual piece works together.

                   Using an eq, really messes this track up, the bass is too forward, removing depth from the track. The gentle piano is lost, and the vocal sweeps are over powering.  [Eq setting explained in another article found here]

 

 

Benga [Invasion EP] Evolution {16bit 441000 hrz sample}

          Good ole Dub Step, -Will be Eq’d to determine how headphones handle eq

Highs- Cymbals have good air, the mids and bass tend to over power them in this track… thankfully The slightly bright Dt 880 prevents that! Nice energy on the highs

Mids- Nice tone to the mids, the E Piano maintains a playful weight and a nice body, In addition the crunch of the mids in the Wobble has a nice tactility and weight

Bass- DEEP and TIGHT, I do recommend you eq a little sub bass into the Dt 880 to enjoy Dub Step, as it helps bring a little more aggression and fun into the bass. But Either way it remains well textured with nice deep tight impact.

 

Metallica [Master Of Puppets] Welcome Home (Sanitarium) {16bit 44100hrz sample}

        Metal

Speed- this track features a very simple layering of instruments, but the mirco details in the guitar solo's make or break the track. 

Highs- Nice, great sense of air in the highs. In addition a sweet notes with the upper guitar riffs,. The cymbals also have a nice sense of energy to them, very crisp.

Mids- Electric Guitars since nicely, delicate nature of the mids retains all the speed of the guitar solos.  The vocals are also very nice, James voice has a good balance of warm tone, and crunch in it. The distorted guitar riffs as well have a good balance of crunch and mid weight to them.

Bass- Nice bass, I miss the Bass Guitar a little, but it’s weight is always there. In addition the Kick Drum has a nice impact to it!

 

Matisyahu- [Live At Stubb’s]- Exaltation

          Live Reggae –listening for the little bits of extra noise that are often present in live music [detail retention]

 

To start, all the little extra bits of noise are there. Faint voices chime in every few seconds, and when the crowd cheers it’s nice and crisp, giving the live performance a nice LIVE feel to it! Feels like I’m in the front row!

 

Highs- Good energy and air in the cymbals, loving the crisp snap to them, sweet notes of extension on them as well.  Upper range of the guitar is also excellent. Good balance of energy and sweet tone.

Mids- … Vocals are great, Matisyahu has a nice warmth to his voice, that paired over top the attack of the guitar make for a great mid presentation. The Dt 880 retains all the weight and body of both the voice and guitar.  Additionally, when the crowd sings, there’s no congestion in the multitude of voices.

Bass- Ahh, here the bass comes alive. Punchy and yet laid back.  Good texture, the bass is right where it needs to be. At the back of the sound stage, yet it’s got body and weight that Reggaes bass lines are known for.

 

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