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Beyerdynamic DT-990 Professional Headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #70 in Over-Ear


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: 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: 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: 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  


Pros: Clarity, soundstage, detail, treble, bass, COMFORT, build quality

Cons: May be too bright for some

Please note that all are opinions from a fairly inexperienced head-fi’er (see below for what I have to compare to). I am sixteen, and for the entire review, I am listening to rock. See below for a full list of the albums/artists that were used most for this review. So, all in all, this is a review of the DT990’s and how well they play with rock to my young ears. Still with me? Great, then lets get into it.



My other headphones: ATH-M50’s, Grado SR80i’s, and a short stint with Sennheiser Momentum On-Ears. I am amping with a PA2v2 through a FiiO LOD that connects to my 32GB iPhone 4s.

I bought the DT990’s on eBay with 25 hours of use for $130.



     Music used (my music is about 50/50 between Apple Lossless and AAC): Jimmy Eat World, The Gaslight Anthem, Yellowcard, Rise Against, They Might Be Giants, Taking Back Sunday, Paramore, Billy Joel, Kittyhawk, Mayday Parade, U2, and various Disney and Broadway soundtracks.

     Albums used much more than others: Clarity, Bleed American, Ocean Avenue, The ’59 Sound, Flood, Louder Now, The Final Roit!, Kittyhawk EP


            Build Quality


     The Beyers are no slackers here. The cable is thick enough and feels sturdy, and the coil is convenient. I usually use the amp, but the jack is built so that I can actually plug it straight into the phone without needed to take off the case. The headphones include a screw-on 1/8in adaptor, as is to be expected. The bit connecting the cups to the headband is metal, and the rest is plastic that feels fine and sturdy. The velour is wonderful. The headphones can be bent in several directions to more-than-satisfactory levels. I haven’t been brave enough to do anything stupid with them, but they will bend plenty, unless you happen to need to wear them like a pterodactyl. The build quality, overall, is very solid. I expect that these will be able to take a beating and keep on playing.




     Like I mentioned, I bought these almost new for $130 on eBay. They currently go new on Amazon for around $160. For such a study build, brand, and sound, I would say that this price is very fair.




     The velour is fantastic. These headphones are simply floating on my head. The only problem I have for comfort is when I wear glasses while listening to them for more than an hour. The pads will press the glasses against my head, which gets uncomfortable. This is no real problem for me, though, as I usually sit down and listen to music without the glasses. Overall, fabulously comfortable.




     I have had these for a few months now. For the first week or so of using them, I was really shocked. Going from Grados as my main headphone previously, the DT990’s seemed to come from another planet. The treble was too much and the whole thing seemed a bit empty. After a while of using them and adjusting to the huge change in sound signature from my SR80i’s (which, I loved, by the way), I grew to appreciate the sound signature more and more. The headphones are heavy on the treble, no doubts there. But the treble is very detailed, letting you imagine that you can see the artist hitting those cymbals on their drums. The bass isn’t extremely powerful, but definitely has a presence. It sounds accurate, fairly tight and punchy. Accurate and aural are the words that come to mind when describing the bass of these cans. It is very surrounding, and it is certainly not muddy. Lots of people complain about the midrange of these, but I had no qualms with it. The midrange is detailed and sufficient. The soundstage is large, larger than any other headphone I’ve owned. The presentation lends itself to a very detailed presentation, which I came to really appreciate. All in all, the Beyers have a detailed sound with a lot of very detailed treble, and very satisfying amounts of equally detailed bass and mids. The presentation and clarity is wonderful and conducive to my music tastes.


What I liked:

-Detail, detail, detail. Open soundstage with great instrumental separation

-Comfort. These are the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn (either at home or at a head-fi meet)

-Sparkle in the treble

-Solid build quality

-Good value

What I didn’t like:

-Took a while to get into

-Treble may be a bit too much for some




     Give these headphones at least a week of listening before you pass judgement. For the music that I listen to, I love the overall presentation that the DT990’s have to offer. I very much enjoy using them as my main set of cans right now. They don’t have the forward aggression of the SR80i’s, nor the neutrality of the ATH-M50’s, but they are strong in every place where the other two are not. For my price of $130, I am very satisfied with it.


Pros: Audio is superb - Excellent differentiation of details, wide expansive glorius concert hall classical music; extremely comfortable.

Cons: Need headphone amplifiers to enjoy bass for rock music

I have the 600 ohm model. So a headphone amplifier is obligatory especially if you are hard of hearing from too much loud music. I reserve this for classical music and home use. Just pure indulgence to the ears for pure magnificent and expansive concert hall experience. Perfect companion to classical music. 


Try it with Mikhail Pletnev – Swan Lake, Op. 20: Act II By a Lake: No. 13. Dances of the swans: VI. Tempo di valse or Mikhail Pletnev – Swan Lake, Op. 20: Act II By a Lake: No. 13. Dances of the swans: V. Andante - Allegro because the audio experience is simply magnificent. :atsmile::atsmile::atsmile::atsmile::atsmile: 


Pros: very confortable, very open, good build quality

Cons: need and expensive amp to show its real potential

I use this one a lot and like it for its clarity and specialy on acoustic and classic genre it have a very good potential.


The sound improve a lot with a high end amplifier and for example the issue for people who find it too shy on bass comes often from their source.


I found the mids a little bit recessed on this one but with a decent amp it's something not to bad. 


Good overall I think its one of the most confortable headphone I tried except the HD800 that do better but very good for long listening sessions.


You can see an other review here:


Beyerdynamic DT-990 Professional Headphones

The DT 990 PRO is an open dynamic headphone of exceptional quality suitable for the most demanding professional and audiophile applications. The reduced weight of the diaphragm and moving coil result in a similar pulse characteristic as electrostatic headphones, and in combination with a carefully tailored frequency response offer a natural and balanced sound. Soft ear pads and adjustable, sliding, earpieces together with a very flexible coiled cable ensure listening comfort during extended periods of use.

FeatureIncludes Gold plated jack plug (3.5 mm) & 1/4 adapter (6.35 mm)
Height8.66 inches
Length9.06 inches
Weight2 pounds
Width4.72 inches
List Price$299.00
ModelDT990 Pro Headphones
MPNDT990 Pro Headphones
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleBeyerdynamic DT-990 Professional Headphones
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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