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beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphones


Pros: Very comfortable, non-harsh vocals, fun, soundstage, almost grain-free, excellent bass extension, value, build quality,

Cons: Needs a tube amp, slightly dipped mid range, very bright, cringeworthy treble before burn in, slightly thin upper bass (bottom heavy)

I bought the DT990s for use with bass music such as hip-hop, drum and bass and electronic dance music to compliment my AKG K702 65th Anniversies, which I have since sold. 


Build and comfort: the build on the DT990s is excellent like most Beyers, and is made in Heilbronn, Germany. It is made from high impact plastic for the cups and spring steel for the headband and bales (yolks), with replaceable velour ear pads and a replaceable vinyl headband pad. The headphones are very grippy and tight, so that may be an issue for you guys who are sensitive to caliper pressure. It is not an issue after about 5 minutes of wearing. The pads have plenty of space for your ears. I have a badly (seemly) disproportionate left ear, so the back of the left pad slightly touches the back of my left ear, so sometimes it is a little irritating if I pay attention to it. Otherwise I don't have a problem. The yolks are metal and the headband is made from spring steel, so don't feel afraid to bend the yolks and headband out slightly to loosen the grip. This will keep the ear pads from collapsing and causing the drivers to touch the ears. Headband comfort is not an issue whatsoever. Keep in mind that these have a non-field serviceable hard wired 3 meter coiled cable terminated to a 3.5 mm plug with a screw-on 6.3 mm adapter, which is a must to use since these need a desktop amplifier.


Treble: Bright? Yes. Grainy or overly metallic? No. The treble on the 990 Pros is strong and very present, yes. I would call it more revealing than colored overly bright. But at the same time it isn't what I would call overly harsh. It is only harsh when a song is sibilant or badly mastered, and that is noticeable in the 8-10,000 Hz range. Thankfully, the 990s are very responsive to EQing, so all you have to do is turn the treble on the 8 kHz range down a decibel or two below flat, and that will take the bite off the treble nicely. But what I like most about the treble is that it isn't crunchy, metallic or grainy. Grain is the number one cause of ear pain for me, and it is why I hated the way the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and the Beyerdynamic DT880s sounded in the treble region. I would say that the DT990 Pros have even less grain than the so-called laid back Sony MDR-MA900s.


Mids:  The midrange is much smoother and has a warmer, dynamic sound without being harsh. These are not the most mid centric headphone for the price, though (the AKG K612 Pros for 199 US dollars are better for mid centric music), as there is a u-shape to the sound signature. Mids are still natural sounding though. 


Bass: One word: Authoritative. The bass on the 990s hits hard, but it is not overly boomy so it doesn't give me an earache like on the DT770 Pro 80s. This is a great headphone for drum and bass, electronic dance music and hip-hop. The only downside I have is that the upper bass is a little thin, so bass signature is more of a rumbly, mid to sub-bass-centric sound. Unlike the AKG K240s or Sennheiser HD25s, which have more upper and mid bass than sub bass, and as a result, have a more punchy, visceral, warmer bass which is a little more suited for rock, some dance and jazz.


Source and burn in: When I first plugged them into my Maverick Audio A1 amplifier, I immediately had tinnitus from the ringing, overly splashy treble and boomy bass. After giving them about 20 hours of burn in, they settled down nicely and that harsh bite to the treble and overwhelming bass were taken off. These headphones still remain bright whether they are on a solid state or tube amplifier, but they are MUCH more dynamic on a tube amp. On a solid state, they will sound harsh and mechanical. Tube amps I recommend are the Maverick Audio Tubemagic A1, Little Dot amps, and the Woo Audio WA6 and WA7 are both supposed to be excellent matches for the 990 Pro. 


I think that for the price, these headphones are a steal considering what you get for your money. Just keep in mind that you need to get a desktop amplifier for these to sound their best, preferably tubes. You can get a Maverick Audio A1 or Little Dot MKII for around 200 dollars. So you can have a serious listening rig for under 400 dollars. Highly recommended.


Pros: Dynamics, Sound Stage Width, Bass, delicate mids, airy treble

Cons: 3D Imaging Not the best, Too much bass at times



Beyerdyanmic Dt 990 Pro 250 ohm [Price $190 New]


Source Win 7[Foobar2000 WASAPI] -> oDac -> MonoPrice Premium Coaxial Cables -> Matrix M Stage [0 /+18 db Gain Lme 49990 OpAmp]


The Beyer Can, having a higher impedance reaches it's optimal sound at 18 gain, volume is adjust accordingly


Compared against modified Audio Technica w1000x [Stock $350 Refurbished-After mods $500] 


8/9 Songs are without EQ, Benga-Invasion does feature an EQ by my self. This should demonstrate the ability of a headphone to handle EQ.


My second primary headphone. I've had it for around 6 months now, and shame on me for not posting a review sooner. It was so wonderful, I suppose it didn't need me to explain it self.  Non the less, it's time the silence be broken!


Build [5/5]


Like a tank, I've dropped them a few times sadly, sat on them once and lugged them around in a book bag for months. Unlike the fragile w1000x, the Beyer headphones are the most well built I've worn to date. Truly tough headphones!



Open Dynamic Operating Principle

250 Ohm Impedance

115db Sensitivity

5-35,000k response


Ease of Use [Comfort/Fit/Isolation] [4/5]

The comfort is amazing as well, the open dynamic driver and the velour pads are great together! The open back of the can let's any heat flow away from you, while the velour's make sure your ears aren't too cold! I wear them for hours daily! The clamp how ever may be to strong for some.. Still the fit is easy to master, and unlike the fickle angled drivers of the w1000x, these remain consistent!


Sound Signature and Character


            Sound Stage:  Wonderfully, wide. Instrument separation is flawless and sounds effortless on the part of the headphone. The width does take away from the depth of the sound stage however.


            Sound Signature-  There's actually feature a rather prominent mid bass hump, yet they remain fairly balanced. The mids are very real, sufficient warm and wonderful clarity and punch. A brighter, lighter and tighter sound signature. I find it suits Classical, Classical and Nu Jazz, and EDM. The bass is to much for rock, and the mids not intimate or lushly beautiful enough to all vocals.



Song by Song Break Down (Click to show)




1 - Lisa Ekdahl _ Of My Conceit


A vocal jazz piece, Lisa's voice is the main focus. Yet behind her is a lovely piano and a delicate guitar strumming! The piano provides a nice upper Mid and Treble balance, while the guitar provides lower mids and some bass. Both of these elements compliment Lisa's voice. A song best on a warm neutral can, a larger sound stage is excellent with this song as well!


            Treble- The highs of the guitar are very nice and airy. they extend well, as does the higher delicate notes in Lisa's voice. The cymbal  sparkle is magical as well!

            Mids- Lisa's voice has great upper mid presence, but the lower mids are a little overtaken by the lows in her voice. Still, the lush warmth in Lisa's voice is not 100%. The Beyers lack the sex appeal in her voice!

            Bass- A little too strong for this track, the vocals lose a little mid warmth in the bass, and low notes on the guitar have more body than I'd like.


                        Dynamics- Very nice, the left and right channels feature different instruments, and they flawlessly shift from louder to softer notes.

2-  Anne Gastinel & Francois-Frederic Guy Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5


Classical track features heavy focus on mids with sparkles of lower treble and the balance between the Cello and Piano!. Another song benefitting from a larger sound stage and a well balanced head phone. The bass of the cello accentuates nicely against the Piano.  Both having deep beautifully lush tones. Air and extension make this piece come alive and lack of it, can kill the mood entirely! Then entire audible spectrum is equally beautiful through the entire song!


            T- The lower treble is beautiful, airy and well textured! With a excellent quick decay and smooth presentation.

            M- Phenomenal, the warmth the Cellos, upper and lower mids ever so gently tickle your ears, the piano as well retains great warmth. The energy and punch is ever present, as the notes quickly shift from higher to lower!  Again the w1000x, has a lush tightness to it, yet the lacks the delicate and polite nature of the Dt 990s Mids.

            B- Very tight and well placed, the bass never impedes on the delicate mids!

                        Dyna-Excellent, a flawless effort from high to HIGHER to HIGEST, the back to softer notes, the shifts from fast to slow, LOUD to quiet. Everything is accurate, smooth and effortless. The dynamics are lighting fast, magically effortless! The w1000x sounds very sluggish in this track, the immense width of the dt 990s sound stage is a true strength here.


3. Yoshida Brothers -Love


The two brothers are performers of the traditional Japanese music style of Tsugaru-jamisen which originated in northern Japan. They debuted in 1999 in Japan as a duo playing the shamisen, and it remains a main instrument. In addition to traditional Japanese percussion, this track features a very gusto male shout. What sounds like a verbal battle cry, is over top the delicate shamisen. The punchy yet warm mids of the male vocals pair well with the light upper mids and treble of the Shamisen.


            T- The high notes, retain a nice sharp twinge to them. Natural and very real. good extension and well textured. Still the mysticism of the woody highs is lost on the Dt 990, where as the wooden w1000x, captures the beauty of the wooden tones of the WOOD Shamisen!

            M- The mids of the Shamisens are, just as lovely and gentle as they should be. Quick on their feet, and with a deadly accurate attack. The mood of the song is capture nicely in the mids. Still though, the male vocals lack... GUSTO. They lack power behind them, so the song is a little lighter than I'd like. I miss the power in the vocals. In addition, the sharp wooden beauty of the percussion is lost a little on the dt 990. Again, though the natural beauty of the Shamisen is lost a little in the Dt 990, it lacks the mysticism of the woody mids!

            B- There isn't much bass to the song, that being said, what little bass that rings through the wooden percussion, is a little lost on the super tight Dt 990.

                        Dyna- both cans do a great job of  effortlessly shifting from the high to low energy parts of the song. Each one quick to adjust.


4 Kidnap Kid- Animaux


A nice Vocal DnB Tune. A really demanding tune, as the mids and bass over overly overtop another. The sound is very... wonderful! The beauty of the mids right atop deep tight bass, followed by drops of nice punchy vocals. Best of all, the pesky 150hrz makes a return in this tune for a lovely meaty support for those mids. The layering and texture of the bass is, something I'm still not used to! I feel a little spoiled each time I hear it!


            T- Very light and airy. A little better extended than the w1000x. Although the additional brightness of the DT 990, brings an almost fake sound to the well synthesized treble. Still  The treble details in this song are amazing.

            M- The seductive mids and bass combo on the w1000x is hard to beat... still the very real mids of the Dt 990, still pair beautifully with the deep bass.  Both cans, present this song a little differently, but do do them equally well. The added punch is the Dt 990, is equally as enjoyable as the ever so slightly thicker mids on the w1000x.

            B- A tough call, both cans are Mid bass oriented, the tighter bass and lower mids of the Dt 990, have an awesome dynamic impact, where as the slightly softer yet tight bass of the w1000x lingers just a few fractions of a second longer to bring a little more soul to this song. Dare I say the Dt 990 here is almost too aggressive...  Yet the bass still favors the Dt 990, as it digs deeper, and those DEEP notes really mellow the entire tune out more than the mids imo.

                        Dyna- a very dynamic Drum n Bass tune, again both handle seamless dynamic transitions.  How ever the highs, fade in out and much quicker and smoother on the dt 990.

5- Dai Qing Tana & HAYA Band- Missing You


Beautiful Mongolian vocals, and a world music sound that breaches more than just Asian styles. This track features a lovely guitar to your left, a cello to your right with Dai Qings delicate yet warm deep lyrics right in the middle. A perfect tonal balance is ideal for this track, as it's simplicity does not allow for any distraction from the overall mood of the song as a whole!


            T- Nice air, great brightness.

            M- Dai Quing's voice is equally as beautiful Airy, as it is lush, yet the bass notes from the guitar drown out her voice.

            B- Sadly, the bass on the dt 990 is to over powering for this song, While the cello remains beautiful, the guitar has much to much body and far too long of a decay, the note does how ever ring out, but the increased bass of the DT 990 really brings to much attention to it... The upper mids as well, are lost in those lingering bass notes, the slightly softer and less bassy w1000x, presents them with equal decay yet a much with a gentler punch.


                        Dyna- The effortless dynamics of the DT 990, do save the upper mids from some of that over powering bass.  


It should be noted how ever, on +10 gain the bass get's a little looser and is more enjoyable, but the beautiful air and gentle push of the cello and upper mids are lost in this gain decrease. Dynamics suffer a little as well from the gain adjustment.


6- 3nd_ Algorythm      


Great tune from a Japanese Rock band, wonderful energy and great layering. A nice high energy rock tune. The kick of the drums and the clash of the cymbals, combined with sweet guitar mids and a mellow bass line. The bass in particular shifts a lot, the skilled bassists really shows off from time to time, combined with dual guitar tracks. Balance is a great benefit, as is a good sound stage to this song.


            T- The cymbals have a good tone, good extension.

            M- Once again, I do enjoy the extra edge and energy in the mids on the guitar. Those upper mids especially have some awesome air to them! Still for this rock tune, a little less detail and a little more lush mids are preferred!

            B- Still the bass guitar is a little too strong again, not nearly as much as in the previous song [Electric bass, stays tighter than Acoustic] Still the kick drum has good impact.


                        Dyna- Both perform equally as well, this song does not feature too many dynamic shifts, but there are about 3 major ones. The Dt 990 is as usual a little faster, but not by enough to negate any significant advantage.


It should be noted... the Beyer Dt 990s, slightly shallow sound stage is brought out in Rock. For me, the w1000x, has a better 3D image in this rock track, than does the Beyer Dt 990.  


7-  Benga- Evolution  


A lovely mid intro, builds to a very aggressive and tight drop. While the mids are an excellent addition to this song, the cymbals and bass are the focus here! Aggression is key in this track, the tighter and deeper the better. The faster and punchier the more enjoyable!


I will admit, I do enjoy my Dub Step eq'd ever so slightly. That being said, I do use the same modest eq for both cans. A +1 boost at 55hrz leading to a +4 boost to 110hz, followed by a -6 decrease at 156hz following a slight incline to +2 at 1.2k hz then back to +-0 I prefer the mids boosted a pinch, and that pesky 156hrz when removed or eq'd out bring a VERY tight bass line to any track, As this frequency is a VERY meaty upper Bass... that said I remove it as it lacks deep impact or TIGHT punch imo.


            T- About the same, both have great treble detail, the Dt 990 has a little more air and extends nicer. Quicker on the decay as well.

            M-Mids are lusher on the w1000x, but a little too lush. On the Dt 990 the punchier nature of the mids cut's against that deep bass a little more pleasantly!  

            B- Sadly a slaughter, Dt 990 is Tigher, faster and more aggressive.


                        Dyna- What... Dub Step song with Dynamics... you mean other than... BASS no BASS... just kidding. Seriously though, the song has nice dynamic shifts, and the massive bass stays tight and decays faster through these shifts on the DT 990.


Should be noted, the Dt 990 struggles a little bit with deeper acoustic bass notes. The w1000x is a little more natural with wooden instrument bass, than is the Dt 990



8- Lenny White, Jamey Haddad, Mark Sherman -Seven [Binarual Recording] From _ (Explorations In Space and Time)


A percussion trio, this binarual recording has only one thing that makes it wonderful... imaging. The Width and depth of the recording is really wonderful, not to mention the dynamics of the track as a whole. A headphones Sound Stage, width and height are very important. However too wide a sound stage and the 3D imaging can get a little veiled.


            T- Cymbal are wonderfully airy, great energy and the linear space is good, the 3D position, imaging how ever is not as nice as the K550 and the w1000x

            M- Ahh Drums, have a good body to the, unlike the K550 which has rather thin lower mids, in this all percussion piece those lower mids are excellent on both the Dt 990 and the w1000x, with the Dt 990 having the best impact and clarity!   

            B- Nice and tight, very pleasant!


                        Dynamics- once again, pleasantly tight and quick.

9 The Modern Jazz Quartet- Reunion Blues


A lovely classic jazz piece, what makes this such a great tune is the  balance of each instrument, as well as the placement of each in the sound stage. This song... is spilt literally into left and right. A soft Piano and Percy Heath's Double Bass to your right, with the drums and cymbals to your left, Also in the left channel is a magically warm and lush Xylophone! Best of all despite extreme stereophonic sound, the track as a whole is very balanced and incredibly enjoyable! Here a wider sound stage takes heed over a tall one.


            T- Lovely, cymbals have good extension and fabulous air.

            M- the upper mids are excellent, as are the lower mids! The piano and Xylophone work together for a wonderful mid core! The 1000x, adding a nice richness to both, . Over all the combination of clarity and mid tonal impact make for a great jazz experience!

            B- Excellent, tight, yet again the 3D imaging shows to be a little weaker than w1000x respectively!


                        Dynamics- As always, fast and accurate. Great for this classical Jazz piece!




Sound [4.2/5]


Treble [5/5]- Airy, well extended and awesome details!


Mids [4/5]- A beautiful tone to mids, not lush enough for vocals but perfect for delicate upper and lower mid instruments!


Bass [3.5/5] - Excellent bass in some songs, in others it's so much it ruins them.                 


Conclusion- For $190 new and around $150, it's one of my favorite all time open cans! Great sound for almost all kinds of music and the bass lovers will enjoy it with everything! Good dynamics and fantastic build quality. A must have for any one getting into Audio Phila! 


Pros: Wide Sound Stage, Open Back Design, Up Front & Involving, Instrument Separation, Clarity, Bass, Imaging Placement

Cons: Slight Mids Recession, Slight Clamp, Fairly Shallow Ear Cup Depth, Fatigue Once Amped Over Extended Sittings

Okay I'll start by saying I'm a budding audiophile, only been in the scene for a couple of years and in that time made minimal purchases so my experience isn't ideal. Figured I'd mention that straight away, that being said I'm typing this review for and from the perspective of fellow budding audiophiles or even folks totally new who want to upgrade but don't know which way to turn....


So the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, is one of the best built headphones in the business at the price it sells for. The black arms that connect to the cups look plastic but they're of a metallic material, that same material goes under the fake leather headband (pin button topped) and criss-crosses at the top of the headphone to reinforce the durability. Even the plastic feels surprisingly quality to the touch - also where it says 'DT 990 Pro' on the ear cups from the pictures it looks like paint but it's not it's actually raised hard plastic! They have soft as silk velour ear cups too - even the  inner foam of the cups feels plush. In short they're built rugged like tanks but look and feel more like a 5 star hotel bed. They're a real treat.


As for how they sound, well, if you want a headphone that does extremely well for mainstream music that most people listen to (rnb, dub step, hip hop, rock, pop, dance/rave, d&b etc) but can also double up as a blu ray behemoth and gaming goliath all for little over 100 notes of your currency then these are the headphones to purchase honestly....they scream quality, they are quality. How exactly ? Read on....


First and foremost they get the bass right. It's definitely not lacking in any respect but it's also not overly dominant. If the song is supposed to be bassy (for example The Prodigy chart topping classic Breathe) then these headphones will outright refuse to be found wanting in that respect and really let you have it, but the cool thing is you will still get extreme clarity and fine details locked away within the song, why ? Because the treble is so good and the bass placement is perfect - because of the up front and involving nature of these headphones plus the wide sound stage and the excellent instrument separation basically the bass plays away throughout the song in the middle of the head while the rest of the song/spectrum plays their melodies and notes completely freely all around the bass.


Blu ray movies and these headphones together are simply a match made in heaven! It's got a theatre-like  presentation but super clear and enveloping sound. You will truly feel like you're in the movie when that T-Rex stomps the ground causing the water in the cups to vibrate and you can feel the thud and hear the drip of the vibrating water and as well at the same time also hear all the raindrops striking the glass sunroof as the characters are having a conversation it's simply amazing! 


Another great thing I noticed was speaking of blu ray movies I was watching Lethal Weapon on blu ray and in the funny scene where Riggs & Roger are at the shooting range dropping 1 liners on each other as they're firing at their targets down range - so good was the imaging and sound stage of these headphones that I'm wearing that without even trying or focusing (again was actually watching the movie :P) I could actually pinpoint the exact location width and depth of sound to where the bullet shell casings landed! 


For someone skittish about spending lots of money but who wants quality headphones that feel expensive & robust and also sound awesome from everyday equipment right out of the box and only sound better given time then I cannot recommend these highly enough for that person. I defy that person to honestly not think it was money well spent. They are the gift that keeps on giving. A true marvel. 


UPDATE 12/2014


I've had these headphones for apparently 3 and a half years (wow...) and not only do I stand by everything I said in this review that I wrote years ago, but the headphone is STILL my daily one and only! I don't care who you are if anyone keeps a headphone for over 3 years and uses it daily and still finds them as amazing as when originally heard them then there's a lot to be said for that and their quality. 

I can also confirm now that these scale excellently with upgrades in the chain and no you do not have to spend thousands, I personally wouldn't dream of that full stop as everyone has their limits on certain things, but yeah I can confirm these sound great from an iPad Mini or out of the box but when hooked up properly to respectable equipment it's downright jaw dropping! Every. Single. Time. 

These headphones ruined regular TV watching for me, but they gave me the ability to truly enjoy my own personal 'me time' TV viewing because of how involving and clear they are. Cannot say or recommend these enough even now.


Pros: Clarity, Soundstage, Details,. Price, Comfort, build quality, Design

Cons: Sibilant, A bit too much bass, Slightly recessed mids

Hey, this is my 1st review in head-fi forums & I am by no means a critic, so this will be a qualitative newbie review. 1st of all, I'll let you guys know that I've got them at an amazing price of just 144.99$ through a momentary sale going on for these cans. I previously had the Ultrasone HFI 580, so my review will be somewhat based on their comparison as well. I'll be breaking the review down to packaging & accessories, build, sound etc. 


Packaging & accessories-
The headphones come in a simple white box. One side is covered with transparent plastic through which you can see one side of the headphones with Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro 250ohm written on it. On the front of the box, there is a lid which is closed by a velcrow & after opening it provides some info about it's DT770/880/990 models. On the back there are information about the headphones.
Inside the box, the headphone lies with the left & right cans seperated by a thick cardboard divider, which is actually the box containing the coiled cable. The cable is 3m & a gold plated 3.5mm-6.3mm stereo adapter is attached at the end of it. the box also includes a manual & warranty information, but nothing more.Score- 8/10


Build quality-
These things are built to last. The headbands are metal & the backside grills are sturdy plastic. Everything has a smooth, clean finish & looks like a top notch product. The earpads are velour & the headband is covered with a really soft cushion. The cable is attached to the left can & there's a overhead cable connecting the right to the left. All the cables have stress relief at the entry/exit points. 10/10 for build.



The most comfortable headphones I've used till date. My older ones are Panasonic HTF600, Shure SRH440 with 840 pads, Ultrasone HFI 580 with DT250 pads. These are certainly the best. Only thing that bothered me initially was the clamping force, but after a few days use, I am ok with it. 9/10 for comfort.


Sound quality-
Now comes the main part, the true purpose of the cans. 1st I should tell you guys that I don't have a very big setup & my sources are rather avg. I have used the following setups & played 320kbps mp3s or flacs.

Setup 1- PC>Foobar2000>Asus Xonar STX(high gain)>DT990

Setup 2- Sandisk Sansa Clip+>Fiio E11>DT990
Setup 3- Sansa Clip+>Sansui A505(old solid state amp from the 90s)>DT990



These are certainly bass heavy. The bass is really prominent, create a powerful impact & extension is really good. But sometimes I feel that I could have done with a bit less bass, specially coming from the ultrasone HFI 580 which has really good lows without ever overpowering. It also feels like getting the better of the mids. 8/10 from me.



Mids are the weakest point for the cans. It all feels a bit recessed, although much more detailed than the other cans I've used. In some songs it feels like I am hearing a lot of detail but most of it is coming from a bit far away than the highs & lows. But in other songs, all seem well. Love the details though. Clarity & seperation is amazing. 8/10 for the mids.



This is where almost everything sounds right. Initially it came to me as quite sibilant, even in some songs I had to remove them from my ears. But after a few hours of burn in, the trebles settle nicely into place. Still a bit sibilant, but the details & clarity clearly is great. 9/10.



Huge. Certainly the best I've heard. Bigger than the HTF600 even, which I loved for the reason. Positioning is accurate. Puts on a truly engaging listening experiance. 9/10


For gaming-
I've used these for FPS gaming(CoD4) which I really take seriously. & these have been really the best cans for gaming. Accurate footsteps, positioning, sound reproduction. again 9/10


Overall conclusion- 

These headphones have received a total of 70 out of 80 from me.That's almost 88%, But at the price which I've got them, I'll give them a 9.5/10. Definitely recommended. If you're looking for a bass heavy open headphones with amazing details & have enough power to drive these babies, get them. A gem for the price.


Pros: comfort, immersive sound, quality , spacing , durability

Cons: cable could be detachable(nitpicking)


let me start with the common confusion of burning in cans!!

with a huge amount of forums that generally end in personal arguments, i am completely quizzed if im to believe in it or otherwise..

however, its not much of a loss to try it out as they can only bring out the true sonic characteristics of a headphone, if at all there are any..an example being my xb500s change in sound once burnt in, but it wasn't the same with the shure se 535(then again BAs need no burn in or so is the talk) ,

at the time of this writing i've given the dt 990 pros a 100 odd hours of white, pink,brown noise profiles and music .

they were pathetic straight out of my laptop...so i started to burn flac cds and play them through my onkyo sr 501 ...yes!!! they need a lot of power but that is very evident from the 250 ohm label.

the bass is really crazy and in fact its quality bass providing a lot of signature to the overall sound!! yes im talking about quality bass and not brain disorienting vibrations(xb 500basshead.gif)..

i wouldn't call the mids recessed at all, instead its just a bit overshadowed by the full bass and treble. when i heard some boney m tracks(flac), i found the vocals upfront, attention grabbing and good enough to prove wrong the rumor ....but the vocals don't stand out with respect to the instruments during chorus and the like even though there is no sacrifice on detail...which contributes to the so called 'recession' behaviour...yet again, this is partly subjective as im comparing them to my super-forward mid-centric se 535... i would still consider the mids to be clear with immense clarity and on its own league of sorts! 

however reminding myself of the se 535 signature, the dt 990 pros had a strengthened amount of texture in comparison to the shures, this might be part of the balanced armature sound vs dynamic sound debate.

another noteworthy point > these make a a stupendously brilliant movie headphone ...

let me make this point clear. movies like inception(yes!!hyped, overly so) and the general works of Nolan have a sense of eerie and this fear of sorts is very hard to come across while watching them on poor screens with poorer audio seperation.

and this eerie, which is part of his direction, became very evident once i watched it through these cans, i almost peed my pants when marrion cotillard looked onto the camera in dicaprio's dream basement in inception...and watching bourne ultimatum was a heavenly pleasure...very very realistic and detailed sound ... ...car tires screeching, gunshots, shell casings landing, glass breaking ,bombs going off and impacts are just absolutely mental!! 

i can only imagine what terminator 2 judgment day would sound like...apparently thats next on my listbiggrin.gif

and now for the treble.

treble is a bit piercing, especially if you listen to mainstream pop but for movie watching i find this brings out a lot of realism in the sound.  this would be my ideal sounding headphone if the treble is brought down by 4 decibels but then again a 300 ohm resistance adapter will do this faithfully.....

yes! i've found a true keeper in them and i suspect that for a real long time i will restrict my hi-fidelity search to iems alone! 

another common budget recommendation with these cans will be the cmoy bb amplifier as it also mellows the treble and brings more body to the mids! 

happy listening!! 



Pros: Powerful bass for an "open" design. Extremely durable and comfortable.

Cons: Treble can get harsh at high volume. Mids sound distant.

My Setup


Tested with my Dell XPS 8700 desktop going optical out to a Yamaha RX-V365 amp (1/4 inch headphone out). I played various files (FLAC, MP3, M4A) at different bit rates using the fubar2000 media player with all EQ off. I am borrowing this DT 990 from a friend who purchased it a few months ago. I will compare this headphone to my Sennheiser HD 600 throughout this review. Note the HD 600 is double the price but serves as a good benchmark.
Design/Comfort (8/10)


In terms of design this is nearly identical to the DT 770. Since I already went into detail on the design in my DT 770 review, I will only focus on the differences here. Instead of the tiny ported design on the side of the DT 770 ear cups, the DT 990 has a larger cutout on the rear grill. It's interesting to note that although the rear ear cups are fully grilled, the cutout for the driver to breathe is a small circle (1 inch diameter) in the center. If you look closely you can see this in the photo above. This design does impact how this headphone sounds in a significant way which I will cover in the next section.
In terms of comfort the 990 is more comfortable than the 770, but you will only notice this on much longer sessions. This is because the 990 is 20 grams lighter and more breathable. Compared to the HD 600 it's 10 grams lighter, but less breathable. There is even more room in the oval ear cup design of the HD 600, with better headband support. In order of most to least comfortable I would say HD 600, DT 990, and DT 770.


Being an open design sound leakage is obviously greater than the 770. However, leakage is not as significant as the HD 600. It actually does provide a little isolation in comparison. This might be in part to the small 1 inch cutout vs the completely open grill of the HD 600. Aesthetically the HD 600 with it's granite counter top like finish and metal grills looks the best of the three.
I much prefer the cable design on the HD 600. The coiled design of the 990/770 is convenient for transport but causes cable tension when in use. And lets be honest, none of these headphones are meant to be portable. Unfortunately the cable is not replaceable on the 990/770. However, in terms of durability and quality materials Beyerdynamic takes the cake for sure. The HD 600 does have issues with cracks appearing on the headband. Mine developed this within a couple months. For more on the superior durability of the 990/770 checkout my DT 770 review.



Sound (6/10)
Because the ear cups are not completely open like the HD 600, the 990 has less leakage and superior isolation. This explains why bass response is superior with the 990, on par with the 770. Response range is equally great and honest on both the DT 990 and HD 600. But when the song calls for it you feel the bass impact more and for longer with the 990. However, the 990 doesn't get it all right when it comes to mids or treble. Treble is bright with sibilance in the upper (9k+) range. This can become harsh at high volumes over extended periods. Particularly in songs with instruments like violin or saxophone.


Mid range is recessed or distant compared to the "in your face" mids of the HD 600. It's as if I put some sort of padded covering over the drivers in comparison. Soundstage and separation for me is on par with the DT 770. It's good, but I was expecting better considering the open design. Again, this could be due to the partially closed ear cup design of the 990. The HD 600 has the best soundstage and separation of the three, hands down. The 990's harshness in treble and recessed mids can be remedied somewhat with an equalizer. However, even EQ'ed to my liking the DT 990 just doesn't sound as revealing or natural as the HD 600. I give it 6/10 mostly due to the harshness which caused ear fatigue.
Verdict (6/10)


Coming from my positive review of the 770 I was expecting more from the 990. Especially considering an open design is easier to make from an engineering standpoint. To be fair it's not a bad sounding headphone in it's own right, especially when EQ'ed. It's just facing fierce competition in this price range. The HD 558, HD 598, DT 880, and AKG Q701 are all viable open back contenders. The DT 770 sounds better and offers a better value in the Beyerdynamic lineup if you need isolation. The DT 770 is also available in various impedances while the 990 is not. The HD 558/598 have better mids and treble but lack in bass. If budget permits upgrading to the HD 600 is worth every penny. In the future I hope to get my hands on the DT 880 and AKG Q701 to see how they compare.


Pros: Spacious and airy soundstage, Treble and bass quantity, Somewhat warm and clear mids, god-like for movies, Made in Germany, bang for the buck.

Cons: Treble and bass quantity, Thin and recessed mids, V shaped sound.

                            These are my third set of quality headphones. I own the Sennheiser HD 598, Grado 60i and Denon D340. I love all of them. I listen to rock and trance music quite often. Hence, I have quite a collection of bright headphones. Though, none of my headphones are bass heavy. They are good for rock music, but trance?they somewhat fail in that category.


                    So I was looking for some bass heavy cans with extended treble to satisfy my trance needs. I looked at many cans which are considered to be good with trance. But after reading about them , I didn't quite like them as they didn't match all my expectations. My friend suggested me to get the DT 150's or the DT 990's and that I wouldn't go wrong with Beyerdynamic. I was almost dead set on buying the DT 150's, but then somewhat I felt that they don't have the treble and the soundstage I was looking for. So I started collecting information on the DT 990's. After reading about them, I was quite convinced and bought them.


                     Let's talk about my other cans first. Grado SR 60i's were my first set of quality headphones and my gateway drug into audiophilia. I was quite shocked when I first heard them. They sounded superb with rock music with their in your face mids and bright treble. I used them for almost a year untill I bought the HD 598's. I really liked the HD 598 for it's smooth mids, treble and an airy soundstage, but somewhat loose bass. When I tried them for the first time, I was completely floored. They just sounded perfect to me. I thought - that's it, nothing can get better past this point in mid-fi headphones. At that time, I wasn't interested in the HD 6xx series and didn't know much about Beyerdynamic headphones. Also, I bought the HD 518 and sold them because I didn't like the sound. And my d340's that I got for $80 in India, I consider it quite a steal. They have a neutral sound with no treble -bass boost and a forward midrange. Really good for the price. Anyway, I used my 598 and 60i mostly untill I bought the dt 990's.


                      Coming back to the DT 990's. I will try my best to describe them. When I first tried them , I noticed fine detailing that I had never experienced with my other cans. The detailing was just supreme, revealing everything in the music.  Another thing that suprised me was the soundstage - it was the beautiful , wide and airy soundstage that I wanted. The imaging was very accurate. The treble was quite bright... brighter than my other cans and the extension was infinite. They sounded pretty bright and overly sparkly out of the box, but after burn in, the treble became smoother ( still bright but no harshness) yet airy and the sound opened up. It was a really good sound. Almost perfect.


                      The first song I played was an acoustic song , and I really liked the acoustic quality of the cans. Airy soundstage, somewhat warm mids and extended treble. It was amazing. I decided to play trance next. I might sound a bit cheesy here, but boy ! could they sound any good ! Uplifting trance sounds surreal on them. The bass was tight and extended well into sub bass , though, mostly it was mid bassy. The bass was high quality and it hit me pretty hard without leaking into the mids. The treble sounded beautifully airy without being harsh. And the soundstage had so much air that the sound just sizzled. The mids were quite behind and that's where I want them to be in trance. Perfect ! The experience was quite euphoric. I watched some movies with them and was astonished by their theatre - like sound. The explosions sounded real and scary. I felt like I was actually in a theatre .


                     They sound awesome with rock and trance. Also, they do pretty good with acoustic and classical music. I got them for around $230 here which is quite cheap compared to other high end headphones. Their service in India is pretty amazing as well. They gave the DT 48 pads free to my friend due to shipment delay( they considered it as their fault). Also, they replaced my first faulty pair without asking too many questions. The fault was subtle( minor harshness in the upper treble (8 khz-10khz)). Also they mentioned how much they value and love their customers (they really do!) and are replacing them to keep me happy. It's sad that Indians don't know about this company and their superb VFM products. For example - their DTX 102e is such a great product at 5k. They are listed among top IEM's under 100 euros on What Hi-fi.

Anyway, I'm really satisfied with the DT 990's . I'm not going to buy a new pair of headphones anytime soon. If I do, it's going to be the DT 150. People say that Beyerdynamic is a self respecting honest company known for it's value for money products. And I couldn't agree more.


Pros: Extreme comfort, powerful bass, nice soundstage

Cons: Treble sparkle can be overpowering, no removable cable

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

If you’re in the market for audiophile-grade headphones, you’ve probably heard of Germany’s professional audio electronics manufacturer Beyerdynamic. In the business of handcrafting premium headphones since 1924, Beyerdynamic is synonymous with hi-fi audio and head-fi enthusiasts worldwide. It’s no surprise then, that when setting out to find a headphone that would deliver high-end performance free from the esoteric claims and sticker shock that have become commonplace in the world of audiophilia, Beyerdynamic’s offerings come highly recommended.

Sitting back to enjoy a great stereo system is my preferred listening experience, but due to the fact that I spend more time in a cube farm on a regular basis, headphones have become a must-have for me. The warm sonic signature and reasonable comforts of the closed-back Shure SRH840 professional monitoring headphones that I previously reviewed fill my at-work listening needs perfectly. But, that first step into “premium” headphone sound piqued my interest in acquiring a nice pair of cans for my late-night listening sessions at home.

What I wanted: Crisp, detailed highs; moody, full-bodied mids; punchy bass; a wide, airy soundstage, and comfort to boot. As usual, I started scouring the Internet in search of the perfect headphone that would deliver exceptional sound quality, comfort, value and performance. Thankfully, I found a pair to try before paralysis from analysis set in.

Enter the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO 250-ohm monitoring headphone.

TSA_DT990PRO_0003.JPGWith an MSRP of $300 but often on sale for a mere $150, this headphone straddles the line of diminishing returns by delivering excellent performance at a reasonable price. While several versions of the DT 990 exist, minor changes to the headband, driver housing, cable and packaging allow the same critical internals of the higher priced DT 990 versions (MRSP $430) to be used in the DT 990 PRO application at a lower price point, making it economically feasible for pro audio business purposes while giving consumers an affordable option for those that care less about aesthetics and more about getting the best sound per dollar.

“Sound You Can Rely On”

As described by Beyerdynamic, the DT 990 PRO is their “Professional acoustically open headphone for monitoring and studio applications.” And while the box claims these cans offer an “analytical sound,” I would argue that the frequency response provides just enough sizzle in the highs and a slight boost in the bass to make it a dynamic and enjoyable headphone to listen to. In short, the DT 990 PRO uses hand-made neodymium drivers nestled inside composite open-back driver housings that help these cans deliver a quick, transparent and surprisingly wide and airy soundstage.

For those of you that know me or have been following this blog, you know that I listen to a wide variety of music that includes jazz, blues, electronica, folk, hard rock/metal, reggae and more. Well, I’ve been nothing but surprised by how well the DT 990 PRO performs. Instruments have excellent separation; vocals are crisp and clean; cymbals and horns shimmer with a nice sense of realism; bass notes are consistently tight, fast and punchy without ever being “boomy” or bloated; and the mids, albeit slightly recessed sometimes due to the bass hump around 100 Hz, refrain from being muddied or dull. Overall, the DT 990 PRO presents a rich, full-bodied, engaging sound that centers the mind’s eye well.

A word of caution, however: As you’d expect with a headphone designed for studio monitoring and mastering, these cans are revealing—bad recordings and low bit-rate digital files will likely sound bright, edgy, unrefined and unpleasant, but pair them with good recordings and a nice source and these babies sing.

Do these need an amp? Not necessarily; the DT 990 PRO can get plenty loud on mobile devices and still sound good, but if you want the best performance with the lowest noise floor and greatest dynamics, a headphone amp is recommended.

graphCompare.php?graphType=-2&graphID[]=2141&graphID[]=963&graphID[]=713&scale=30Are they boomy? No. The bass does have some added emphasis compared to the DT 880 PRO, but it is still tight and accurate.

Are they bright? They’re crisp and detailed, and if you’re sensitive to high frequencies they may come off as bright, but overall I’d say they manage to stay away from being harsh.

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2141&graphID[]=963&graphID[]=713&scale=30Should I get the DT 990, DT 880 or DT 770?That’s really up to you and your needs. The DT 990 is an open-back headphone—sound will leak, but you’ll have a wider soundstage and the presentation is dynamic. The DT 880 is a semi-open headphone specifically for reference monitoring—it has a more linear response that is very analytical compared to the DT 990 or DT 770. The DT 770 is a closed-back headphone that is pitchier than both the DT 990 and DT 770; the bass has greater emphasis, the mids are more recessed, and the highs jump more. The DT 990 PRO basically puts you between these “fun” and “analytical” headphones, leaving you with a dynamic compromise that seemingly performs well across all music genres.

“Superior Build Quality”

For those of you that are accident-prone, nearly all parts on the DT 990 PRO are replaceable, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it—these things are built for use.

Unboxing the DT 990 PRO, you’ll likely be struck with how light these cans are; including the 3-meter coiled cable (not detachable), these weigh in at 378 grams or 13.3 ounces on my scale. I’m not sure how that stacks up with other popular options on the market, but in relation to my Shure SRH840s, these sit significantly easier on my head… in fact, they’re hardly noticeable.

Beyerdynamic actually claims the weight reduction achieved in the composite driver housing lends a hand in creating the DT 990 PRO’s excellent sound quality. And while some may be struck by the light weight and composite driver housing as showing signs of weakness or lesser quality, the DT 990 PRO headphone simply saves much of its weight through its minimalist design and materials choices. The headphone is constructed from a spring steel headband wrapped in a slim, removable padding; the anodized aluminum forks are slim but decidedly solid; the composite driver housings, albeit flexy across the open back, are robust around the perimeter; and the velour ear cup pads are of good quality, free from loose seams, and the semi-soft pad conforms effortlessly to the head.

The Fit

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRODespite being a full-size circumaural (around-the-ear) headphone constructed of composite plastics, aluminum and steel, these cans are anything but bulky or heavy. In fact, the combination of their light weight, soft headband and cushy ear pads makes these an incredibly comfortable headphone to wear for hours at a time—I’ve even fallen asleep with them on several times.

While I have a relatively small oval head (21” circumference), I found the clamping tension to be just about right, maybe even a tiny touch loose for me. Still, the headphones manage to stay securely in place while moving/tilting the head and laying down, and I never experienced any fatigue or hotspots due to excessive pressure on the ears or head. Aside from the sensation of having two velour donuts circling my ears, it’s hard to tell that these are even being worn. My ears found plenty of room inside of the cups, and while the velour ear pads do absorb body heat quickly, the open-back design lets the headphone “breathe” just enough to keep the sweat at bay.

Overall, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO headphone is a price-to-performance champ, delivering comfort, quality, and audiophile-grade sound at a price nearly every hi-fi enthusiast can afford. 

Technical Specs 
Headphone design: Open-back, circumaural (around-the-ear)
Headphone impedance: 250 ohms
Headphone frequency response: 5 - 35,000 Hz
Nominal SPL: 96 dB
Nominal THD: < 0.2%
Power handling: 100 mW
Cable & Plug: Coiled cable with gold-plated mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter
Net weight: 378 grams, w/ cable

Listening Setup
Amp: NAD C 326BEE
Source: Sony DVP-S9000ES SACD/DVD player
Interconnects: DH Labs Air Matrix
Power Cords: DH Labs Power Plus Reference AC (DIY)


Pros: Meaty and detailed in lows and mids with very good bass quality, good highs for acoustic music, and some EDM

Cons: Requires better equipment than you would think from the going retail price of under $200. Gets annoying with pop, rock, distorted guitar, cymbals...

Background: I've had these for over five months and put at least 200 hours on them.  They still have a lot of energy in the highs, yes, and taming them is an essential part in enjoying them. They are super comfy and super well-built, with lots of real metal. 


Important Note of Preference Regarding Gear: All parts of the chain matter here: dac, amp, interconnects and the recording itself. Sibilance appears in vocals on MP3 tracks, but not with WAV files and above usually, especially of your DAC can use an ASIO filter. (I know it's controversial scientifically, but these phones seem to highlight the harshness of other output modes to my ears).  They can sound great out of good CD player's headphone jack, as in the old Denon and Marantz ones especially. They are also good with integrated receivers, which have analogue EQing possibilities.


Strengths: These are very rhythmic headphones with raised lows and highs that can be too much for many genres but means they shine on nearly all good acoustic recordings, including choral music and, up-tempo classical, bluegrass, and world or folk music that is very acoustic oriented.


They do amazingly well on orchestral works, and can make sense of very complex music.


With the right amp and source, the mids are very good, in my opinion.


Highs might be seen as a strength to some, because they give some air and realism to violins, female voices, and this is a plus on good recordings in my opinion.


In addition, solo music that is meant to represent real instruments like classical guitar, piano, harp, cello and other instruments that need a bit of beef in the lower section sound more realistic than any other headphones I've tried. They also add clarity to spoken or sung lyrics, but the mix doesn't bring vocals to the front like some phones. 


They are fantastic for movies and gaming, especially if you watch actual DVDs.


Weaknesses: The problem is that the highs are truly exaggerated right at the point that is generally higher than the human voice and most acoustic instruments. So in most systems, you may have trouble with many rock, pop, and electronic genres. Even hip-hop can be annoying because of sibilant vocals, making guys sound like they have a lisp, particularly on less than amazing recordings, which is 90% of all hip-hop, anyway. I have listened to Green Day, Neil Young, Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, and some others (not a huge rock collector, actually), and while I particularly like what these phones do to punk rock, ska, and complex songs, they generally get fatiguing very fast. Most of these genres boost the treble anyway to compensate for the poor systems found in cars and the average home stereo or stock IEMs. 


I found that even with higher resolution tracks, such as Peter Tosh's "Equal Rights" 24/96, by HDTracks, the cymbals really get on my nerves very quickly. Strangely, Wav files from 16/44 Reggae recordings typically bother me less. It could be with certain mainstream "remasterings" of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, they really cook the treble to sound better on inferior speakers. Lesser known albums such as Culture's "Harder than the Rest" sound great with lots of layers of percussion, but still grate after a while. 


I personally do not find them perfect for EDM. The highs get annoying very quickly with this genre, even though the spacing, imaging, layering, and bass is very good. Probably you would want to go with one of the Hifiman orthos if this is your gig. I liked Daft Punk's Random Access Memories album almost better with my Sure 425s, due to their speed, flat bass, smooth mids, and rolled off highs.


Older jazz recordings can also come up short under the microscope of these cans, even if the overall enjoyment might be there. They are just too unforgiving of the slightest distortion (at least when heard through my solid state Lehmann Rhinelander, or the Schiit Magni (major earache)).  Newer jazz recordings are generally good with these phones, but it depends on how many electronic instruments are being used, and how they mix the percussion. If it's too hot, you're probably going to find these a bit tiring for some jazz recordings as well.


I find myself having to adjust the volume sometimes, even for acoustic music, due to the imbalance of the highs. For this, as the 6moons review noted with the DT880 600ohm (which they also recommend for jazz and classical), you need a good volume pot that can be adjusted ever-so-slightly within tracks, between tracks, and certainly between recordings.


They also don't do justice to many older recordings, due to the exaggeration of flaws, pops, clicks, and tape hiss. This is very unfortunate for me, and one of the reasons I'm thinking of moving on to a more forgiving headphone.


***Some say you can EQ these phones to have smoother highs, but my experience is that EQing doesn't help much. I don't think I'm the majority opinion here, but I feel that the acoustic features of this phone are hard to override without getting negative side effects such as distortion.


Comparisons and a note on Value:


The absolutely crazy thing is that I bought them for $150, and I bought my Fiio E10 for around $60 a couple of years ago.  With literally nothing else, you have leapfrogged over the vast majority of low-fi and low-mid-fi set-ups costing three times this much. Not only that, you would have to spend many times as much to get a full room set up that sounds even close to as good. No I use the HRT HD and the Lehmann Rhinelander with Chord interconnects. It sounds very, very good, but a bit too much energy in the highs for most non-acoustic music. The good thing is that I'm not worried that I'm missing any details. I'm sure some very pricey cans, such as the T1 or HD800 can pull up more micro-details, but honestly, more detail is not the problem here, but rather the slightly less-than-smooth sound that results from the extended highs.


Nothing else that I know of in the $150-250 range will clearly beat these in terms of accuracy, meat in the low-mids, and ability to scale up to a very serious mid-fi sound system.


Pros: Comfort, Sound stage, details, unlimited amounts of bass (a debatable "pro" though), sturdy construction, PRICE, loudness, sturdy telephone cord....

Cons: ... and weak cord attachement to a headphones themselves, VERY fragile membranes, bass dominance.

Hello ladies and gentlemen, today i will describe my third pair of DT-990 Pro by Beyerdynamic!


     Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro 250 Ohm for their price of 140 dollars able to outperform every other headphones on the market with the same price tag.  Without further delay i must notify you that those headphones are not the very first ones in my posession (i owned three DT-990), but will be reviewed from this point of view because many professionals already own better pieces of "tech" and know everything i have to say.

     These headphones (i bought three pieces just because i was addicted to their sound) are used by me  for my personal projects alongside with Sennheiser HD-600,  projects involve creation of various sounds and short pieces of ambient music for my CG animations and they performed very well in those conditions but right now, let me expain the pros and the cons for those who "can`t decide", "this is my first high-end/good headphone", "bass is too much" and others who seems to like them but wait for that one final voice to add to overall balance.




      1) Comfort:  Yes, you are right, this is their first and strongest advantage if you spend long time in front of your PC recording/listening/playing/doing nothing. Very soft and ear-friendly velour pads on the durable plastic case that is surprisingly not so heavy as many tend to fear (i don`t notice them on my head like Koss Porta Pro, they are that soft and stealthy, only small weight reminds me that my head has something on it) and they supprassing HD-598 in this hands down. Also, if you are training your neck in gym or at home, you are even less likely to notice them.


      2) Sound Stage - It is wide, better than expected, i can almost feel the wide space inside the theatre or concert hall but this also means you need to have good, very good hardware  as well as high quality music or video stream or you will be disappointed, because DT-990s tend to show a ton of "cuts", "downsides" and "trash" in low quality recordings or videos that most likely, with time (especially if you never had a headphone better than this before) make you delete/close the thing you watching and/or listening and wait for HQ release. You can say that sound stage isn`t the best and you will be right and wrong because there is a better stage, but it has a higher price point (and we aren`t talking about anything more expensive than 140 dollars today).


      3) Details - You will hear far more than you expect, in fact, you will be even amazed and want to listen every album you have!  But there is also a tricky part, you have to take into account one thing - warm up.  Exactly! You need to listen to these headphones for X time so they actually reveal their own sound, in my case it was 2 months or a tad less, after that my piece of headphones cleared itself up  and revealed a detailed, "flexible" sound.


       4) Bass - Bass is the selling point, advantage and disadvantage of these headphones. You can listen every bassy track once again and wonder why all your previous headphones had no bass and this piece seems to shine through and through! But there is also a tricky part, you can`t exactly rely on them to record/polish your tracks (working with sounds like explosions and weapons is fine to a degree, but you can`t rely on them without listening end result on neutral headphones) because DT-990 may fill everything with bass even where it is not needed at all, so you need to find more neutral pieces of headphones (like i said before, sennheisers were used with Beyers to watch out for the second ones in order to deliver "intended sound").


       5) Sturdy Construction - Any other cheap headphone posess a cheap pieces of thin plastic that will break if you drop them,  but that is not the case with our piece of headphones. DT-990 have a solid, sturdy construction that allows it to survive accidental drops and not crack in half from it, but that doesn`t mean you should "tease a bull with red cloth" and start throwing them around, test them with a hammer, screwdriver or a rocket launcher. They will survive fall from table or accidental drops from a height of your shoulder and as i will mention in the downsides, they are still better to be treated like expensive, "decorated with golden writings and covered with thin layer of pure platinum" type of thing. Overall, the latest model survived over 8 months, used daily and was dropped 4 times from a table height and 3 times from my head.


       6) PRICE - C`mon, this is 140 dollars and unless you are poor and 140$ is half/entirety of your monthly income then it is great bang for your buck!  Price drives people better than technical specifications (sometimes people will buy a cheap underperforming thing  in order to "fit in the budget" yet they aware that more expensive one is better and they start to claim that the cheaper thing is better then its pricey competitor and you will be evil unless you believe them. But as someone said, they do this to preserve themselves from psychological trauma of having inferior thing while realizing they could`ve got superior one.) and here we have a rare match of price and performance, so don`t let others cloud your vision :)


        7) Loudness - They will sound as loud as your sound card can make it, you can be DEAFENED by it! This piece of headphones has 250 Ohm impendance that is an "entry barrier" for the hardware you are going to plug your headphones to. In order for them to sound good (especially if you don`t have a sound card) you need a very decent sound card and sometimes even an amplifier that capable of driving 250 Ohm headphones. So, in case if you are "just born audiophile" you need to know that 250 and 600 Ohm headphones require a serious amplifier (some external sound cards have one) or you won`t hear the headphone sound as it was intended by manufacturer and inventor, you will get a quiet, dirty sound with absolutely wrong details and stage (Please, don`t even mention integrated Realtek or smartphones... unless smartphone is not one of those new Meizu Mx3 with Wolfson DAC that actually MAY produce a decent-ish sound... *cough* for a smartphone *cough*) that will make you hate yourself, your source of sound and your tiny budget.


        8) Sturdy cord - telephone-ish cord that is strong (albeit a little bit short) and capable of withstanding punishment of accidents and user stupidity (unless you try to cut it with knife to test it...) to a certain degree, all three pieces of DT-990s that i owned have their cord intact. 



Now, i will describe disadvantages (as good as they are, they aren`t perfect), hovewer most of them is a result of me trying to find ones.




     1) Cord attachement to a headphones - seriously, this is where you will most likely find yourself with soldering-iron, because in the case of last two pieces of headphones one of them was switching off unless you will "push the wire" towards the connection point of cord to a headphone or slightly bend it so sound appears again in both drivers and not just one of them. This problem will appear very soon if you forget about your headphones and suddenly run to switch off something in the kitchen (two pairs of koss Porta Pros were not just broken but utterly destroyed by this, one DT-990 also didn`t survived the experience but was reanimated by miniature electric soldering iron and a ton of sweat...)


     2)  Weak Membranes - Thin white membranes that located under the thing that looks like foam-rubber, the evil very core. The very first pair had one of the membranes punctured and i had to take them to warranty repairs and when i asked "What caused the damage?" i got  a strange answer - "Someone`s hair". I guess i should`ve guessed that Beyers make this foam-rubber thing too weak for my hair. That means clean it from hair on daily basis (especially if you have a lot of them) and this makes them look not as sturdy as i told (and warned) 


     3) Bass dominance - It is a good thing when you listen to a music, play videogames (like Starcraft 2 or World Of Tanks where explosions and cannon fire is all around the place), watch movies and videos on youtube but it is not the case when you edit recorded sounds or composed piece of music. You need a more balanced, neutral headphones if you are going to actually work with a music and there are a ton of them to do just that (i used sennheisers and clients weren`t complaining about sound, but hey, there is always a pair of "cans" that does it better, so it is all about a length of a dollar that you are ready to spend)



Score:  9 out of 10. 

Why: Price`n`Performance. For their price of 141$ on amazon right now (06.16.2014) they compete with weaker headphones and they destroy the challengers (even HD-598 that seems to have a higher price on amazon than they are) while striving, but failing to match their more expensive competitors like Sennheiser HD-600. However if their price was 300$ (according to one and only Amazon) it would`ve been 7 or even 6 out of 10 because you can add a little more and get HD 600 or even HD-650 that will be better and more neutral (however, some prefer non-neutral headphones to enjoy the music only)


What you as reader get out from this score:  If you want to buy your first GOOD headphones and looking at beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro then look no further!  Their sound will pleasantly surprise you (especially after you will "warm them up" for a seven days or so, but my pair was warmed up after ~20 days with 5 hours of non-stop listening) and their sturdiness will forgive you accidental drops and other types of damage you can inflict on headphone. Also, you may look "professional" in them because those headphones have minimalistic, sturdy design (not to mention that they are german, some people think all the best stuff manufactured only in germany :D) that is not bristling with rainbow of colors, drawn kittens and cheap thin plastic that easily breaks. 

            Hovewer, if you are experienced or even profesional you may want to look at pricier solutions (because you most likely have something that costs ~350-550 $ and a similar priced sound card to power them) and not stop on beyers...


"Maybes": . Anyway you will hear these headphones differently (well, human ear is extremely delicate "piece" of our body, younglings tend to hear much wider frequency range than 60 year olds, besides we have our own tastes and preferences...) , so it is useless to describe something you can`t describe with words but something you will hear and understand - like bass, mids, highs, lows and so on.  The only way to find out is to go out and find decent audio "shop" and kindly ask to listen to this headphone with expensive sound card (yes, expensive, even if you are not going to buy one, listening to them will allow you to get that "ah, i like the bass, but mids could be better" or vice versa, and when you will go out to buy your own cheaper sound card you will understand is it worth your money or not) and do the "final evaluation" yourself.


My hardware

Powerful Workstation: Core i7 3960x OCd, 32GB DDR-3 Ram, GTX 780, SSD Vertex-4.

Recording, editing and polishing: Roland Octa Capture (Sound quality is the same as in RME Fireface UCX, high quality drivers for the card, ASIO drivers and good preamps)

Listening/Gaming/Watching/Light recording:  Roland Quad Capture (24/192khz, DAC from Octa-Capture, ASIO v2.0 and great drivers!) 

Audio Format: .flac

Headphones: Koss Porta Pro (Barely alive, third pair of these headphones started my quest for the better sound ^_^), Beyerdynamic DT-990, DT-1350, Sennheiser HD-598, Sennheiser HD-600, HiFiMaN HE-4 (waiting for better sound card, Burson Audio Conductor looking good).


If you are going to buy Roland UA-55 quad capture for DT-990 Pro then i recommend that you get something even more powerful or buy a preamp with it,  because during the last three months i have noticed that volume knob on my Roland UA-55 is always set on 60%. It may be not that bad, but i feel that headphones lack amplification from the sound card, because turning knob up from 75 to 100% does close to zero amplification (it just stays on the same volume).  Also, don`t even try to connect them to a phone, my Xperia Z shown me (yes, 250 Ohm headphones without amplification to a phone... stupid, maybe even retarded, but i had to try) that it is useless to use it to listen music on go (for that i have DT-1350) and if you want to listen music that bad on smartphone with these headphones, buy Meizu Mx3 (Wolfson WM5102 DAC) or Vivo X3S with ESS Technology ES9018 DAC and Texas Instruments OPA2604 amplifier  should sound decent too... but never as good as full size external sound card.


Thank you for reading and wish you to find the best headphones for your ears! d(^_^)b  

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphones

Beyerdynamic once again sets the standard for reference headphones with the DT 990, an open headphone that captures the dynamism and excitement of an audio signal like no other. The 250 ohm DT 990 makes high frequencies sound analytical, clear, and distinctive, while reproducing deep frequencies with a powerful resonance. As a result, everything from classical music to hip-hop to big-budget movie soundtracks sound rich and immersive, with three-dimensional acoustics that overwhelm even the most discerning audiophile. The phones also offer an eye-catching aesthetic, with lamella optics that are sure to appeal to fans of sophisticated design. And thanks to the padded headband and soft removable ear pads, listeners can wear the headphones in all-day comfort. Other features include a modular construction that makes it easy to replace all serviceable parts, a gold-vaporized 1/8-inch mini stereo jack plug, a 1/4-inch adapter, and a high-quality carrying case. The DT 990 headphones, which weigh 10.22 ounces, carry a two-year warranty on parts and labor.

FeatureGolf-vaporized 1/8-inch mini stereo jack plug; weighs 10.22 ounces; 2-year warranty
Height8.5 inches
Length7 inches
Weight0.11 pounds
Width4 inches
List Price$389.00
Material TypePlastic
Material Type Set ElementPlastic
ModelDT 990
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
Titlebeyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphones
Batteries Included0
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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