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Where'd my mids go?

A Review On: Beyerdynamic DT 880 - 32 Ohm

Beyerdynamic DT 880 - 32 Ohm

Rated # 1136 in Headphones
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Price paid: $150.00
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Pros: Quite detailed, great soundstage, tight bass

Cons: Lifeless, recessed mids and somewhat bass light. Bright and quite harsh sounding, as a result.

Just a note: The price paid is used, off of Craigslist.


I wanted to like these - the build quality is absolutely beautiful!  The aluminum forks, stainless cup backings, and luxurious headband exude quality, but I just couldn't get over the sound signature.


Yes, they're very detailed.  However, it seemed more as a result of the recessed mids and bass than sheer resolution.  Everything that lives and dies in the midrange - vocals, horns, saxes, guitars, and so on - sounded dull and lifeless.  Cymbals and snare hits sounded great, on the other hand - but the treble often sounds quite harsh to my ears.  The bass, while a little on the light side, is very tight and controlled (more so than the Sennheiser HD 600), with no hint of a "one note" sound.


The soundstage, perhaps accentuated by the prevalence of the highs, is great.  It's a little better than the HD 600, with more precise placement and a good perception of depth, but not quite up to the level of the AKG K701.


Don't let the 32 ohm rating fool you - these aren't particularly easy headphones to drive (they're quite inefficient).  The Clip+ has trouble driving them to anything above quiet room levels, although it does sound quite good in comparison to my uDAC.  The HD 600, on the other hand, seems to improve a bit more with the uDAC (at least my limited testing seemed to indicate this was the case - maybe it's just a placebo effect), despite being able to play louder on the Clip+.


So my conclusion?  Technically, very proficient headphones.  They just sounded too harsh in the treble and too lifeless in the mids to be anything I'd like to hang on to.  For some music, it was great - but in particular, electric guitars and brass just sounded so sterile and unrealistic.

1 Comment:

It could be a fake.
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