Pros: Comfy, very good sound, not pricey
Cons: A bit sharp treble cause fatigue for me, had to use EQ (maybe I'm just over-sensitive)
Let me first say that I'm absolutely a newbie when it comes to headphones, having only had one proper pair previously. I ended up buying these and thought I would share my experience as it only had one review.
I previously had a pair of Koss Pro 4AAT that I was using at work with a PC. I had been using them for a few years, and was pretty happy with them, but they were so damn uncomfortable, so I decided I had to get some new ones.
My requirements were:
- Closed (I share an office)
- Clean sound, but bass is also important to me
- Music: I listen to lots of different stuff, but not so much jazz, country or classical. Mostly electronica and alternative rock.
After a lot of research I decided for the DT770 Pro's. I ordered the 80 ohm, but the Ebay seller got the order mixed up and actually sent me the 250 ohm instead. I had also bought an amp (Fiio E7) anyway, so I thought what the heck, I won't bother returning them.
- DT 770 Pro 250 ohm
- Fiio E7 DAC & Amp
- Software EQ: Virtual Audio Cable + SAVIHost with Marvel GEQ (I'll explain below)
- Source: Spotify normal quality: 160 kbps Ogg Vorbis
- Source: Wimp (similar streaming service) high quality: 256 kbps AAC
When I first tried the 80 ohm version in the shop, it sounded great except for the treble being very sharp. I figured that was because of the source (iPhone with medium bit-rate mp3s) and the fact that I didn't use an amp (which people here on Head-Fi said was needed). When I got the 250 ohms and connected them to the PC via the DAC/Amp, the treble was still very sharp. My ears would get tired after a few minutes of listening. I had not had this problem with the Koss cans, but I've always had a problem with a few albums (eg. PJ Harvey - "Dry" and Kelis - "Tasty") that I can't listen to with any headphones. So I figured maybe I'm a bit sensitive to treble. I started fiddling with the EQ in VLC which I was using for the testing, and soon found that if I turned down the 6 kHz band a bit, my fatigue problem disappeared! I also found the frequency response graph you can see in the review above by helluvapixel that they actually have a spike from 6 kHz to 10 kHz (maybe this is high mids?).
I wanted to use Wimp (a Norwegian alternative to Spotify) to listen to music, but it does not have an EQ, so I had to install a system-wide EQ in Windows. This was not easy, but I've ended up with a setup that works well (see below). On this EQ, I've reduced 8 kHz by 2 dB and pushed 3 and 5 kHz up a bit (this seems to bring the vocals forward a bit, which I feel improve the sound somewhat).
So I finally have a setup that I'm happy with and I have to say that the sound is absolutely fantastic! I don't know the audiophile terminology too well, but I guess you guys would call it "big sound stage"? The sound is clean and nice all over. The bass is a bit louder than neutral, but I like that even though I'm not a "basshead". It's not overpowering at all. The bass is so deep, though, that I can feel my ears vibrating sometimes (no, I don't play very loud). I think that is so cool, that I'll often listen to the same song one more time just to feel it again.
As for the comfort, these are a lot better than the Koss Pro 4AATs. The DT770s are half the weight and the headband is softer. I would actually hurt on top of my head from the Koss, but these I only feel are there. People say the pro version of DT770 is clamping a bit hard around the ears, and I can understand what they mean, but it is not a problem for me at all. Compared to the Koss, the DT770 have maybe half the pressure. Mr Helluvapixel in the review above said his big ears was a problem, but I have big ears too and they fit nicely inside the cans. His ears must be huge!
As for the need of an amp for these, I did try to compare them on my iPhone with and without the Fiio E7. On the iPhone there's no graphic EQ to adjust, so it was a bit hard to compare for me because of the fatigue. People on the forum say you need an amp for them, but I can't say I could hear much difference. At least the volume was not a problem for me - I could play louder than I usually do. So do you need an amp? I don't know - I use it with an amp and it sounds great.
Great sound (if you pull down the treble a little bit), comfy and not too pricey.
I had to do a lot of research to get this working, so I thought I would share it with you guys.
If you are using a sound card for output, the driver may have a built-in EQ and you can just use that. If it does not, or you are using a DAC like me, check if the software you are using to play your music has an EQ or someone has made an EQ plugin for it. If not, you can install a system-wide EQ like I did. It's a bit complicated to set up, but it works pretty good. The only thing is, you will get a sound delay, so watching videos or playing games may be annoying.
- Download and install "Virtual Audio Cable" (they have a trial version with an annoying voice-over).
- Set it as the default playback device in Windows.
- Download SAVIHost. This can hosts a VST plugin, in my case the "Voxengo Marvel GEQ". The SAVIHost website describes what you need to do to use it with your VST plugin. You can also use VSTHost from the same website if you want to route the sound through more than one VST at the same time.
- In Savihost, click Devices/Wave and select "MME: Line 1 (Virtual Audio Cable)" as the input port and your soundcard or DAC as output port (the MME variant works better than the DS variant in my experience).
- Set sample rate to 44100. I guess higher sample rate may give you higher quality, but I can't hear the difference and I have to increase the buffer size when I increase the sample rate, so I go with the lowest.
- Experiment with the buffer size - set it as small as you can without getting distorted sound. This is affected by your how much work your PC is doing at the moment, so you can for example use a youtube video for this as it CPU intensive. The lowest I could get was 630 samples. The lower you get, the smaller delay you get. 630 samples means I get a delay of 630/44100 = 0.014 secs.