Beyer's "other" headphones

A Review On: Beyer Dynamic DT 990 Premium 600 OHM Headphones

Beyer Dynamic DT 990 Premium 600 OHM Headphones

Rated # 281 in Headphones
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Price paid: $234.00
TheWuss
Posted · 8731 Views · 9 Comments

Pros: stunning bass response, fabulous soundstage

Cons: somewhat recessed mids, slightly aggressive treble

Beyerdynamic's headphones, in order of popularity, probably goes something like this: 

T1, DT880/600 ohm, and maybe then DT990/600 ohm.  Heck, some would put DT48, T50p, or others ahead of the DT990...

 

So the DT990 is somewhat under-appreciated.  However, a recent surge of interest at Head-Fi, possibly the result of outstanding prices at several vendors, led me to purchase these.  And boy am I ever glad I did.

 

So, this is my first review of any product at Head-Fi, and what better headphones to review for me than the DT990?

Of all the cans i own or have owned, these are my most favorite.  I find myself listening to them more than any other headphones in my stable (that includes DT880, K702, HD595, M50, and others).

 

So, what do the Beyer DT990/600 sound like?  Well, they have mondo bass.  So if you want a dead neutral set of cans, look elsewhere.  And they are a little brighter than neutral as well, to my ears.  So if you're very sensitive to that, look elsewhere.  And they have slightly recessed mids, so if you hate that, look elsewhere.  i know, it almost sounds like I'm bashing them.  I'm not, i just wanted to lay out the problems that listeners may perceive with these cans.

 

And now that those are out of the way, what's good about them?  Well, they have amazing imaging.  And they throw a more realistic soundstage, in my opinion, than any other headphones I've heard, and that also includes the K702.  And, the bass, if you can take it, will leave you slack-jawed.  It goes down deep, and will give you that near-subwoofer presentation, much like a denon and ultrasone.

 

The cans mate particularly well with music that isn't already bass strong, of course.  To my ears, they seem to pair excellently with classic rock.  Especially vocal -centric rock like The Beatles, for example.  Music like this allows their weaknesses to be waxed over and their strengths to shine.  For example, the bass guitar in early Beatles albums is low in the mix (to my taste), and the DT990s brings that out to a very satisfying degree.  Also, because the vocals are mixed high in these songs, the recessed mid is barely noticeable, if at all.

 

These cans are also the best built cans i've owned (along with the DT880s), and are supremely comfortable.  I can see where someone who has larger ears may have a problem with the depth of the ear cups, and their ears may touch the cushion at the back of the cup, but I personally don't experience this problem.

 

Also, to briefly compare these to the DT880s.  I will admit the DT880 is a more balanced can overall.  But, if you really like your bass, the DT880 will not provide the quantity or quality, much less the depth of bass that the DT990 does.  However, the DT880's mids are more in line with the rest of the frequency spectrum, and the highs are slightly less aggressive (and i do mean slightly). 

 

So, I can see where most would recommend the DT880 first and foremost.  But, if you're a closet basshead, these just may be your end-all open headphones...  If you're not a closet basshead, these just might turn you into one. 

 

9 Comments:

Thanks for the nice little review. I am getting a pair in the mail in a few days.. last part gave me a grin for sure. Did you use an amp with them?
yes. if you purchased the 250 ohm or 600 ohm version, then an amp will be pretty much a necessity.
none of the portable electronics (ipods, discman, etc.) will be able to give these headphones what they are asking for.
Thanks. I do have a JDS Labs Cmoy amp (latest version if that matters with this setup) I am sure it can give it some good juice. Seems to be fairly powerful.

Pro Version 250 Ohm btw.
I Have been listening to these headphones ( DT 990 600 ohms) for about a year now. They are remarkable . Even Mono recodrdings such as Beethovens 3 Symphony by Klemperrer recorded in 1955 sound excellent and full. I have not had the pleasure of exposure to many other headphones , but for classical music I find I can listen to the dt 990's for hours and feel fully engaged with the music.
I am confused by consumers saying this dt 990 pro is the best headphones they ever own but the mids are recessed,piercing highs not accurate,mudded and narrow sounding.
I personally wasn't impressed, but thought they were comfy at least lol.
The Pro version comes across as being a clear step behind the 600 ohm Premium.  Its bass emanates a wooly, sluggish quality as does the entire sound spectrum as a whole. The idea of placing the Pros under the same name as the Premium is in my humble opinion a tactical mistake because they are a half a league below them. Someone else also shared the same sentiments as me, not in the most descriptive or eloquent of ways:
 
"after two minutes of repeating "wow," i forced myself to stop saying that to make sure I uttered somewhere along the lines: "I took this long to get the dt 990(premium, and perhaps the 600 ohm makes a diff too eheh)?" I cannot believe I even got a dt 990 premium about 1.5 years for someone other than mySELF before I even got the dt 990 pro's. And trust me, these premium's straight-out-of-the-box, in Quake 4(a favorite video game of mine), made me go wow. No, the pro's did not. hehe. wow!'
Hmm. I've had the Dt990 pro 250 Ohm for about six months now, and I'm pretty sure they're broken in. These reviews of the 600 ohm Premium is making me think I may have to step it up. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't in love with these phones, but my biggest problem is the bass now that I've tried them with a good amp and realize it wasn't the fault of the amp alone--the pros just don't have the same kind of audiophile bass I'm looking for. My only question is whether to go with the 880/600 ohms. I listen to a lot of classical, acoustic blues, jazz, and vocal music--very little electronic.