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With a bit of getting used to, the DT990's offer detail, separation, and clarity.

A Review On: Beyerdynamic DT-990 Professional Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT-990 Professional Headphones

Rated # 71 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $130.00
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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.


The Beyer DT series is highly under-priced , its sad people overlook these classics , at least now they do 
no worries. my next can (or maybe the 880). all i need before that is a tube amp to pair these with.
Nice impressions!  I haven't heard these but sold a pair of 600 Ohm DT-880's.  They were my first 'serious' cans and good price/value but I just couldn't learn to appreciate the treble which was too strident for my tastes.  Have since found out that this appears to be more or less the Beyer house sound signature so I sold them to someone who hopefully appreciates them more and moved toward my present cans.
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