Pros: Well balanced, good for most genres, extremely comfortable, well built, good clarity and detail
Cons: No detachable cable
The DT880 Pro 250 ohm is a semi-open circumaural head-phone which Beyerdynamic market for monitoring.
Packaging and Accessories
My DT880's (although purchased new) were actually sent as a demo unit - so I did not get the retail box. They do some with a very nice padded canvas case which offers reasonable protection, and also a 3.5-6.3mm adaptor plug (screw on).
From the Beyerdynamic website :
|Headphone design (operating principle)||Semi-open|
|Frequency Response||5 - 35.000 Hz|
|Nominal SPL||96 dB|
|Pad Type||Circumaural (around the ear)|
|Cable & plug||Coiled connecting cable with mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) & ¼“ adapter (6.35 mm)|
|Net weight without packaging||295 g|
Build / Comfort / Isolation
The build on the DT880 Pro is extremely solid. These look and feel like they were built to last. There is a lot of metal in the cups and headband - but everything is excellently padded.
The DT880 Pro do have quite a bit of clamp force - the Pro version were specifically designed for studio work, and as such do have a tighter clam than the Premium version. This also is supposed to provide a more "powerful" sound (whatever that means) - but I suspect it may have more to do with bass presence and tighter soundstage.
Despite the clamp force, the DT880 are immensely comfortable and I could wear them for hours. The velour pads are very soft, and completely enclose your ears. The head band is well padded, and is also replaceable. It is definitely one of the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn.
Although the DT880 is semi-open, and clamps well, it does leak sound, and allow ambient noise in (like all open headphones). It is nowhere near as open as other headphones I've had though (Alessandro, AD700). I would not use it for outside, or in an environment demanding quiet - but for normal use around the home so far it has been excellent.
I was looking for a well balanced headphone when I demoed the DT880, and that really is it's strong-point. IMO the DT880 is really a jack-of-all-trades, and can handle most genres really well.
Detail - The DT880 has decent clarity, but does not approach the detail level of cans like the SRH940. Everything is very clear to me though. It has a very slight U shaped frequency with a slightly more prominent mid-bass and treble.
Soundstage - IMO the stgae is not overly large for an open can - and is probably deeper than it is wide. I did find them reasonable for positional gaming, and they do not feel overly cramped - but they definitely are not airy or expansive either.
Highs - I found the highs on the DT880 to be almost perfect. There is enough sparkle to keep things lively, without becoming sibilant. Extension seems good - and the nice thing is that the highs are not overdone.
Mids - The mids are good, but do sit ever so slightly in the background - especially in the first 50 hours or so of listening. They also have a tendency to be a little dry rather than warm and engaging. My one regret with the DT880 is that the mids are not a little more to the front of the spectrum, and I would love to see them a little warmer. However, if you add a tube amp to the mix, this has the ability to add the missing warmth. I've never been a proponent of burning -in headphones. But I have been quietly amazed over the last few days as the mids have opened up a little for me. Could be placebo - but these are becoming more enjoyable as time goes on.
Bass - The bass is punchy, and reasonably well defined. It extends well - but doesn't seem to quite get right down to the sub-bass. There is a slight emphasis on the mid-bass which contributes to the U frequency, but overall the bass is well presented as long as it is driven properly.
DT880 Pro with my PortaTube - a magic combination.
Power Requirements - my DT880 Pro are 250ohm, and although they can be driven straight from my iPhone4 / iPod Touch 4 - they need volume at 90% to be listenable, and they are not really being driven to their potential. These cans really do need amping. They respond well to my E11, but really start to shine with the E9 (about 10 o'clock on the pot) and absolutely shine on the PortaTube.
Summary / Conclusion
The DT880 Pro are the first Beyers I've tried, and I have to say that I am impressed. They are supremely comfortable, and for me present a level of comfort that all manufacturers should strive for.
They are extremely well balanced, and lend well to all the genres I listen to - especially female vocals, modern jazz, and both progressive and classic rock. They also do classical surprisingly well. They do have a tendency to be a little dry and unexciting at first - IMO due to the lack of colouration - but with tubes, or a warm amp, they do come alive and are really very pleasant. Well worth the price I paid for them - they simply do most things very well.