Pros: Bass, Treble, Overall very balanced neutral
Cons: Non-removal cable
This was supposed to be an extremely short review of the Beyerdynamic T90 after owning them for several weeks. Didn’t really notice the sound changing (burn-in) as I’ve owned them. Setup is a custom built desktop running Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu Gnome 14.10. Music sources are FLAC files played through Foobar2K and streaming Google Play Music. I used ifi nano > ifi micro ican > T90.
Beyer as usual knocked the ball out of the park. I never thought something would be as comfortable as the DT990, but Beyer has outdone themselves. Clamping is light. Almost feels like you have nothing on your head allowing you to get lost in the music. The pads are microfiber. No itchiness or scratchiness I’ve experienced with velour or some other materials. Ears do not get hot after multiple hours of use.
The headphones themselves are beautiful to behold in person. They look good in pictures but even better when they’re in front of you. Everything about the headphone feels well crafted and you can tell time was put in to make an excellent product.
If I do have one complaints, it is the cable. Length is decent but at the price the headphones sell for, they should be removable.
Before getting these, I probably did too much research. I’ve been through a few headphones over the past few months (HD600 x2, HE400, Sound HP100, AKG Q701). While each of them had some great qualities, there was always something wrong like the comfort, mids, or soundstage. So I ended up selling them in the For Sale section or returning them. The T90 is the one that felt like the complete package.
Many reviews mentioned that this had a lot of treble and that almost stopped me from getting them. I’m glad I bought them because the treble is a non-issue for me at least. I haven’t heard any sibilance or any sharp or piercing highs. Maybe my ears have adjusted after having the Q701. The highs extend well and are very present but not overbearing.
Mids & Details
The details are incredible. You hear things you didn’t even know were there before. A singer’s breathing becomes clear. Instruments that you didn’t hear before are now there. I have gained a new appreciation for producers.
In Bel Biv Devoe’s poison, you can hear the bass line in other headphones. But it is more textured and detailed on the T90. To test the mid range of headphones, I like to listen Coexist by The xx. On the opening song, Romy’s voice is so clear and engulfing. You can hear her breath after singing a note.
Hearing the T90 is like going from SD to 1080p. The T90 do a great job of showing all the details but not throwing them in your face. You can get immersed in the music but the details still shine. It’s like sitting in the middle section at a theater.
There is a negative to the hearing the detail though. You hear all the details even the bad stuff. It is truly like putting a microscope on your music. As I found out, a lot of the music I listen is not mastered well. There is static and random pops and crackles. The mastering problem happens on more modern music especially pop. Most of the 80s music I listen to (pop, r&b) sounds incredible.
This may not be the basshead’s headphone of choice, but there is good bass here. There is quality and quantity. The bass does not bleed into the other parts of the music. Impact is solid and well textured with a quick decay. The bass depends on the song. If bass is present in the song, then it will be there in the T90. On Candy Girl by New Edition, there is very little bass. However on Disclosure’s Tenderly, the bass is very present and addictive. Because the bass doesn’t become overbearing, you can appreciate other parts of the songs but still bobb your head.
Soundstage (& Imaging)
One complaint I read about the Q701 is that the soundstage was too wide. I didn’t get what they meant till I got them. Basically the soundstage was wide all the time even if the music needed something more intimate. The T90 is soundstage done right.
The T90 has a decent sized soundstage. It is wide but there is also depth. While it’s not perfectly 3-d, you can easily discern where a sound is coming from. To recycle the theater analogy from earlier, it really is like sitting in the middle section at the movies. Instrument separation is top notch. Everything sounds like it’s in its own lane on the same road and they come together to make some sweet music.
This was supposed to be a micro review. Don’t know how I ended up rambling for so long and I almost thought about going further.
Anyways, the T90s are the most balanced sounding and best sounding Beyers I’ve heard. Whatever is in the Tesla technology is magic. I’ve never smiled and bobbed so much listening to music before. Simply put, these are the greatest sounding headphones I have heard so far. To be fair, these are the only $400 plus headphones I’ve heard as well :P.
Hierarchy of headphones I’ve owned so far
T90 > HD600 > HE400 > HP100 > DT990 >= Q701 > DT770 > M50
TL;DR… Comfortable and great sounding. Buy them especially if you can find it for around $400 on eBay like I did. Make sure the quality of your music is up to par (no 128kbps mp3s) and mastered well.