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Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium 250 Ohm


Pros: Detail, Bass body, Treble, PRaT, Soundstage, Dynamic

Cons: Needs right setup, Somewhat recessed mids, Fatigue

The DT990 is my first HiFi headphone after the AKG K181DJ and also my ticket into the world of Head-Fi. First off, I have to say that my impressions are pretty consistent with what seems to be the mean impression out here on the web; I tried out al sorts of headphones that were comparable in price before deciding on the DT990. And I know now what it was that made me do it: the amount of detail and air between the different instruments. I tried the higher Sennheisers (HD6X0's, 5X8's) before I tried the Beyers and thought they were nice, smooth, definitely more refined and clear than my K181's. But when I put on the DT990 for the first time I was vortexed into another plane; I heard things in the music that I never heard before, even on my HiFi setup and even in songs that I (thought I) knew back to front. I was looking for a different sensation when listening to my music and there and then I found it. There was just so much air between the instruments, such darkness in the background and so much detail! These cans simply break the music down and make it possible to analyze every single part of it. 

In the recent years, though, it became clear to me that the things I love most about music are smooth, dynamic bass- and midsections. However, while the bass is very dynamic in it's stock form, it's not always smooth, Jamiroquai is one of my all time fav bands and a great deal of their repertoire fell prey to the DT990's overpowering and boomy bass. The mids, which indeed are a bit recessed compared to the rest, weren't as smooth either. When I became aware of this flaw I decided to see whether I could find a pair of phones I'd like better in this regard. But the Senn's were much to slow and 'veiled' they felt too congested overall; the Grado's practically threw me on stage (talk a bout a shortage in subtlety), didn't wow me in any way and the AKG's I found lacking too much in Bass and mid's altogether. I decided to take a different approach to the whole DT990 issue and started looking at the dac's and amplifiers available nearby. After many hours auditioning I came up with this setup: MacBook > HRT Microstreamer > QED > Musical Fidelity X-Can V8P > Beyerdynamic DT990 250Ω. First the V8P it smoothens out the mid and high frequencies while defining the bass a bit better and creating a bit of warmer ambiance. Soundstage is deeper and a bit wider as well. The HRT completely tames the bass and high treble, which decreases fatigue to a minimum, and actually boosts a good chunk of the mid's while defining everything just a bit tighter. Now this is NOT to say that the bass and high's are muted or something like that, they are just refined by the Microstreamer. Neither does it detract any of the ambiance created by the V8P. 
Noticed how all the "cons" i wrote down are practically nullified in my review? Out of the box these sound pretty good, albeit a bit fatiguing... get the right setup though and watch them truly live up to their potential!


Pros: Soundstage - amazing. Good bass, great separation of instruments, and beautiful albeit recessed mids. Comfort!

Cons: trebles, build could be better

It's been a long time coming this headphone, and I've finally pulled the trigger on this pair.


I'm in Australia - where the retail prices of these cans were ludacris (AUD$347) - and they were on 'sale' for AUD$249 when I got them. Still daylight robbery, but I thought for the comfort and convenience of local warranty...


Having previously owned a number of headphones / in ears (mostly for mixing as opposed to pure music / movie enjoyment), I thought I'd pamper myself with one for the aurals.


This is fresh out of the box - probably an hour + of listening, and I'm sure it'll get better once it's burned in.

The reviews are in comparison to an ATH-m50, Shure SRH840 and were done through either Apple lossless, FLAC, or ACC files through my FIIO desktop combo (E09K + E07K).


Songs :
So What (Miles Davis)
Blue in Green (Miles Davis)
Blue Train (Coltrane)
Time (Pink Floyd)

In Due Time (KSE)
Forgotten One (Times of Grace)
Welcome to the Jungle (GnR)
Make a Move (icon for hire)



Nothing too fancy, and this is from a newbie to anything audiophile...




Like most of the reviews - the soundstage. It's nothing that I've heard from a headphone before, just the depth and width of the soundstage is staggering. There's a general feel of elegance to these cans that I can't really find words to describe.

Good bass that doesn't overpower, and mid-bass grooves comes through quite brilliantly. These are not flat-frequency headphones though, as the bass is boosted a tad bit.


Mids - low mids are just sultry. It's 'scooped' a tad bit, and this works in the rock / heavier music settings. The trumpet parts in 'So What' were brilliant on these cans I must say.

Trebles - as with most of the other reviewers - it's quite treble-heavy. I'm very sensitive to the higher frequencies (due to hearing damage suffered through hours of heavy metal jamming as a teenager), and with some songs the treble does stand out a lot (i.e. Ariel's vocals in some of the Icon for Hire songs, as well as old school Axl).

Overall verdict: Loving it, apart from the trebles.WIth some treble cut on the Fiio I can live with the shrills. I wonder what it would be like once the cans are properly 'burned in'. Soundstage and the overall response from these headphones are pretty amazing.


Standout track for me was Killswitch Engage's In Due Time, where the guitars just sit nicely behind the vocals. Some frequencies aren't reproduced well with the other cans that I've got.

Build Quality

I dislike the fact that cables are hardwired into the cans. I think this is "old school" design that should probably be rectified in this day and age.

The cables that run out of the headband to the cans are also quite flimsy, and I fear for them.


Definitely the  most comfortable of all the headphones that I've owned.

My ears tend to sweat quite easily, even with say the M50. This was a class of its own. The velour cups do help a lot, and they are so light... and has minimal pressure on the ears / head.




I'm keeping them, and overall I'm quite satisfied. We will see down the track (a month or so) if my feelings have changed once they burn in properly.




Pros: High and detailed sound quality, Large soundstage, Good bass, Comfortable open headphones

Cons: Quite strong treble for some people, slight issues with build

I have only just started using the headphones a few days ago but I really recommend them. The sound quality has been excellent out of the box, as I am still wearing them in, but so far very impressive.

The sound stage is considerably wider and easier to distinguish different instruments or 'layers' to the music. They are also great for gaming, detailing the exact locations of enemies and allowing me to hear echoes and high pitched sounds that i never heard before.

I have two slight issues with the build...One is where the cables come out of each side into the headband. The cable comes out of the speaker and if you rotate the cups to far the metal hooks press into the soft rubber part of the cable where it comes out..if these accidently rotate too far they would snap the rubber cabling...The cable ends could have easily had a small plastic stopper beside them to prevent this issue..I am been very careful as to not snag these cables when removing or placing the phones on my head.

The cable that comes out the bottom is also solid attached, so if this detiorates over time it isnt easy to replace, and it has no quick release if i snag it. Those are my only two concerns about build...the cables should have been better protected and easier to user replace..though they do stress that every part of these headphones is replaceable..that would inevitably mean a 4 week wait and expensive charges IF anything did go wrong.

Comfort wise..these things excel. I wanted something open i could wear for hours gaming and they are not letting me down. The pads are soft and open, and the clamping force is quite low overall. The headband has soft memory foam covered in faux leather and feels very nice.

After several hours wearing I had slight pressure on one side of my jaw but much less than any other headphones I've tried.


Pros: Bass, clarity, soundstage, comfort, build quality

Cons: Sibilant, mids

Build quality is very good, they do feel "premium". The finish doesn't attract fingerprints which is nice.


Comfort is good, you do feel the headband putting a slight pressure the head after a longer session, but it's not bothersome. The velour pads are nice and the ears do not get warm.


The sound signature is very V-shaped. They have a lot of bass especially for an open headphone. It's a quite weird experience at first to get this much bass and have the quite large soundstage and bright treble, all at the same time. At first I really liked the sound, but after a longer listening session problems start to become more obvious. The bass does overshadow the quite weak midrange, it's not that apparent with all songs but quite so with others. The treble, while being really crisp and clear, can get quite fatiguing after some time especially if you want to crank the volume up. The sound is also very sibilant, any existing sibilance in the material will be reproduced and probably even a bit amplified. Some like this, others can't stand it.


If you don't mind bright treble and sibilance, and want a quite unique and "fun" sound with lots of bass, yet airy and open, then these are a great option. If you want a balanced soundsignature that performs well with everything, you probably want to reconsider. I'd consider them working well with pop, electronics, metal.


Pros: Accurate Bass, Lush Midrange, Comfort, Build Quality, Nice Soundstage

Cons: Treble Lacks Some Detail

I reviewed the 32 ohm version of the DT990 Premium Open headphones and I have to tell you it was a joy.  

I'll touch on the major points here but if you want to see my full video review or read my written review, you can head over to the link below....




Briefly, here's what I loved about the DT990 Premiums.  First, they might be the most comfortable set of headphones I've ever put on my head - yes, even better than the T1's or Beyerdynamic's other high end sets! The build quality is incredible and the midrange is probably the best you can get on a set of headphones in the $300's.  The prices seem to be all over the board when you look around on Amazon - the best deals seem to be on the 250 ohm versions and that's probably what I'd go for anyways considering even the 32 ohm version really needs an amp to bring out its full potential.  The bass is detailed and slightly boosted over normal, and really the only weak spot is the treble - it's good, but it doesn't have the ability to reproduce the finest levels of detail that I've grown accustomed to (even in cheaper headphones such as the ATH-M50's).  


Definitely stop by and check out my full review at:




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I've started a Facebook page and a Twitter account that I'm considering ramping up on, so if you'd like me to post my initial thoughts on equipment I've bought or am reviewing and you don't want to wait for the full review to come out, swing by and like me on Facebook at:




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Pros: sound, design, (unique)

Last year I bought Beyerdynamics DT990 Premium with 250 Ohm in a custom design:




I really love their design (Of cause, I also designed them in some way :p)!
The opportunity to create your own, unique style for these high end cans is pretty cool.
You can do this on beyerdynamic's website, but it's probably a bit more expensive than in other shops.
(besides the cost for your design).

The sound:
I love the not-so-neutral sound, with slightly more highs and bass.
The bass isn't boomy at all, it's very precise.
I wasn't sure about that before my order, but know I'm satisfied.
Normaly I'm listening rock or techno.

These were my first high end cans, so I can't really compare.

If you're considering to buy new hifi headphones, you should definetly keep them in mind!


Pros: Vibrant, Deep clear bass, sound stage is huge and very accurate, precise no wasted enegry.

Cons: Some sweat and slight ear fatigue (room is hot). Highs can be too high for some.

These are my first audiophile grade headphones so forgive my vocabulary.


I use them primarily to listen to Trance.


I have no other headphones to compare.


They are paired with a Millet Hybrid MiniMax Amp.


I will just say that for my listening choice these headphones feel perfect.  The bass is mostly clear and precise and goes as deep as necessary.  They bass isn't too much where it hides the rest of the music.  It feels natural and just a part of the flow.


It really makes me ... to listen to my system in my car sometimes because the quality of these headphones make me want more out of car audio.


Some people point out about the recessed mids and over the top highs.  I can understand how sometimes the mids may be not as good as they should be.  I can feel that way sometimes, but I am not sure if that is just peoples comments getting into my head.  As far as the highs, I just get used to it.  Also I use the noise sharpener for foobar to correct it as necessary.


Overall as my first step into head fi I am very very pleased with the combination I have now.

You can't go wrong with these.


Pros: Total clraity tone、ultra transient, froward,focus,but relex present

Cons: Very pickly (about amps), Headband permeant sweat,sensitive about environment humidity

I would make it short.


1.This headphone has strong resonance in 80~100Hz, you would need a very strong amp to overcome the emf, or would got a notable unnatural bump in upper-bass.


2.About the infamous recessed mid- I guess it's a slight,but critical QC fault:

Inside  leather bag, the humidity is been lower than normal condition by desiccant,makes the damping coating on the diaphragm lose it's function, just need sometime to got proper work.


3. Compare DT880, what you can got extra from DT990 : Highs with natural brilliance , richness low-mid and bass. not "flat" as DT880, but makes everything more believable and vivid , a step up transparency,and the most important thing is :a unusual believable holographic field. 



4.Tone character is close the "Yin" side, upper mid and lower highs has the typical Germany-sound feature,as Burmester,Lindemann and ASR, in short, it's a kind of engry of highs, Sweet, clarity, but need proper tune to avoid overly bright or "hot". Especially the upper mid ,this band is always the Achilles' heel of full-range driver.


5.In some best conditions, DT990 would got a unique perspective:It's a head stage no stage, a sound field  really a field in front of, Kind hard to describe, a feeling of realism,not only "disappear", but has a stunned ability of rebuild whole scene, A Stage of The Arts class performance.


Some of best headphone can rebuild the scene as well. But really different thing is: The scene  DT990 rebuild  didn't has a notable "Vanishing point". 


Headphone's "King of the Bokeh" ? Maybe, really stunned beautiful sound-scape.


6.Finally summary : One of the best/underrate headphone under $500.

Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium 250 Ohm

Open headphone, 250 ohm version. Issued in 2005. Also available as customized DT 990 MANUFAKTUR (see LINKS).

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