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Full Review : Beyerdynamic DT770-250

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Amp : Creek OBH-11

Sources : Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, mp3's encoded at --alt-preset extreme VBR, Rio Volt SP250 PMP3CDP for mp3-cd's or audio cd's.

Cabling : Radio Shack (not Gold Series) Mini-RCA 6FT

Experience: Sony MDR700DJ, Grado SR80 (with SR60 comfy pads and standard issue bowl pads), Koss KSC-35 (earlier version with gold connector and last version), Klipsch Pro Media 2-400 with CP-1 control pod upgrade

This is going to be long and drawn out, the kind of review I would have liked to read if I was about to purchase something, and would bore the **** out of anyone who wasn’t interested. Apologies in advance.

My first foray into quality headphones was with the Grado SR80's. While at the time it represented a huge jump forward for me in this affliction we all share, of late I had not been feeling as though I got out of them what I wanted. The spaciousness and detail are nice, but despite claims regarding their competence with bass, I felt the SR80's were not giving what I wanted to hear. I wanted an experience closer to listening to music on my Klipsch's : powerful, fun, physical, all encompassing, but "balanced" and detailed enough such that one element didn't overshadow everything else and cheapen the sound.

My readings here lead me to the Beyerdynamic DT770, which I ordered from Meier-Audio. When I got the package I of course had the kid before christmas syndrome and wanted to put the can through its paces before giving it a chance to burn in. I gave into this initial impulse (see my user name), but initially found the sound a bit harsh/unrefined to continue listening. So I burned the cans in for the minimum of 24 hours that I was supposed to.

The result tightened up the sound considerably. The edginess was subdued acceptably. One problem that I had with the Grado's was that their trademark brightness made it so that I couldn't listen for very long. I seem to be somewhat sensitive to higher frequencies than I suppose others are – H.F. have a quickly realized detrimental impact on my hearing (i.e. tinnitus following exposure at modest volumes). Thankfully, the Beyer's have addressed this concern. While they are crisp, they are not excessively so. High hats and other crashing sounds still have some bite to them, but not anywhere close to the extent of discomfort that I experience with the Grado's.

So onto the rest of it. What can I say, what good people are saying about these cans is true. They feel literally like you have subwoofers strapped to your ears. Bass stops being something you have to “listen for”, it’s a physical and visceral experience. If you’re like me, this is a good thing. Bass guitars in songs growl and slither like some kind of bastard child of a bear and a python. Overall, there is a whole new dimension of “oomph” that I felt was nonexistent with my Grado’s. If you like techno you will love these cans. To draw a metaphor, it’s like the difference in getting a roundhouse from a welterweight and a heavyweight.

Although some people fear the bass in these cans overshadow the rest of the sound, I can’t say that I’ve felt this is the case. Vocals seem infinitely smoother than the SR80’s, hearing a sultry female voice sounds like audio velvet. Which brings me to a bit of a tangent on the ear cushions. When I owned a pair of Sony MDR700DJ’s, I couldn’t keep them on for very long because the leather got so uncomfortably hot. The ear cushions on these feel like a blanket on the ears. Of course Tyler Durden would frown on me for such an affinity to comfort but it’s definitely something that adds to the experience.

Many people complain that the headband exerts clamping pressure on their head, but I cannot say that this applies to me. For my particular head size and shape (symmetrical, 7.5 inches measured across my face) it almost seems as though the DT770’s were designed exactly with me in mind! The clamping pressure is just perfect – they stay put and can't be inadvertantly knocked out of place, and even after hours of listening it never felt as though I owed a mobster money (i.e. that my head was being crushed in a vise). However, it does bear mentioning that I have to extend the ear cups as far down as they will go. For people with heads of larger diameter and height these cans will probably be highly uncomfortable. The ear cup holes are also ample, unlike the MDR700’s it never feels as though the outer ridges of the ear cups are pushing down on my ears. Fits like the proverbial glove. The headband on top is not uncomfortable, I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for that since one of the things I liked best about the Grado SR80’s was feeling as though you weren’t even wearing headphones. I can’t say that even after hours of listening that I needed to take these off. I like the styling as well, I tend to go for things that look like they’d survive a bomb that you personally wouldn’t. The screw on adaptor for the plug is nice, as well as the coiled cord. If you're like me and have your amp close by it tames the cord. I had my reservations since I liked the "free" feeling of an uncoiled cord, but this one on the Beyers gives easily.

Back to the sound. One thing I’ve noticed is how discretely sounds are positioned across the various psychoacoustic fields. It’s accurate yet not overly so. Meaning that when a sound is supposed to be someplace, you know exactly where it is. But when a sound moves from channel to channel, it doesn’t sound like disjointed steps, but fluid. Although there are a lot of electronic music aficionados here, I don’t understand why ALL headphone enthusiasts aren’t fans of the genre and its subtypes. The composition of the music seems designed for headphones (and drugs, and large parties, but that’s a different story). Atmospheric effects, reverb, bass, mids, beautiful melodies, delicate highs, unique sounds, distortion, blips, weird noises, complex layering, all of these things take on a new beauty with these headphones. We’re all familiar with how when you land a really sweet pair of cans, you go through all your favourite music and feel like you’re hearing them for the first time. The Beyer’s bring out details I had never heard before, even on the detailed SR80. It reinterprets everything I already love in ways that renew and intensify that love. If only something existed to do the same for girlfriends. The presentation is perfect for the types of music I listen to (which is quite diverse, but mostly hard techno, progressive house, downtempo/trip hop). These cans have performed brilliantly with everything I’ve thrown at it – “O Fortuna” is a carnal, pagan ride. Again, an overwhelmingly joyful experience. The kind where you have a stupid grin on your face, and since no one can hear what you are, makes you look kinda silly.

Bass carries a big stick and isn’t afraid to use it, mid and high range feels balanced, smooth yet detailed. If I could draw a comparison, I’d say the presentation of the DT770’s is like the Koss KSC-35’s with the bass jacked on steroids, like the Grado SR80’s in terms of soundstage, and in a class all its own with regard to detail and positioning. Synths and other non-bass sounds are gorgeous. Delicate yet warm like heated glass. As aforementioned there is still a bit of bite to crashing type sounds – but given that I’m not using an audiophile quality RCA to Mini cable, I’m going to reserve judgment on that part until I upgrade that cable. The important point is that whatever “edge” there is, isn’t anywhere near the discomfort I felt with the Grado’s.

Soundstaging is gorgeous – I can’t say that I’ve felt as though they pale in any way to the spaciousness of the SR80’s. In fact I’d have to say that I prefer the sound of the Beyer’s more. While they’re atmospheric, it doesn’t feel as though you’re hearing things in the next room. In other words the sound envelops you more like a hug to the head. Given the nature of the music I listen to, atmospheric sound and sound placement/spacing is a definitive element of a track. I can remember one instance where I was listening to a track and it felt like the sound was flying about me like a mosquito, except that it was so accurate that if I wanted to crush that pesky bugger I could do it ninja styles with my eyes closed.

Gaming wise I’ve played a bit of my favourite Soldier of Fortune 2 – while the multiplayer sound engine isn't as good as its single player sound, or as games like System Shock 2 / Counterstrike, gaming was much more enjoyable than on my SR80’s. Reloading a rifle didn’t make me wince, a grenade going off actually felt like one, the closed nature of the cans made footsteps easier to locate. Which should make me say something about the seal – it feels quite good without feeling like I’m wearing air traffic controller muffs. People have to grab my attention physically and can’t just shout their way over the cans. People often recommend the Beyerdynamic DT250-80/250-250 for computer gaming / listening to bassy electronic music, but I can’t say that I’m feeling like I ever wished I gave those a chance. Or anything else for that matter.

So let me sum up all this crap this way. These cans have delivered on everything I’ve wanted and more. Left me with the feeling that there is nothing more I want beyond this. I’m the type of person who prefers to have the ‘universally best’ rather than an assortment of “good in their own way” things. So suffice it to say the Grado’s will be sent off to open someone else’s eyes (ears?) the way they once did mine. I’m someone else bitch now.

Questions or criticism welcome.
post #2 of 28
poorimpulsectrl,

that's a highly entertaining review that offers a whole new dimension of oomph, so to speak. I loved it.

And congrats on your purchase!
post #3 of 28
Nicely said

You've embraced the Beyer sound as much as it's embraced you by the sounds of it, it's often hard to get across exactly how enjoyable they sound.
Clear, yet not distractingly so. Exciting, but not fatiguing etc.

You've got a nice setup there, may you enjoy many years of aural pleasure
post #4 of 28
Awsome review. You hit on every reason I just recently bought the DT 770s. The fact that you confirmed they are good for gaming makes me even happier.
post #5 of 28
Really nice job, poorimpulsectrl. A very pleasant diversion during my workday. Appreciate the humor interjected throughout.

I expect my 770's later this week. Hopefully I will have a similiar experience, especially since I have the same amp.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks for the positive feedback everyone. I'm quite surprised that given my sleep deprived and caffeine tweaked state when writing that it didn't end up an overly lengthy jargon and jibberish laced jaunt.

Wait a second...

post #7 of 28

well spank me silly

Good review...perhaps too good, bastard, because I was thinking about getting the V6, but now I might have to try these...or both.

I also suffer from poor impulse control from time to time.

Like, right now, I want to shout weird things like: FREAK MONKEY BURN!

But, I won't.

So, regarding the bass, have _any_ complaints at all? Or is it flawless? I'm looking at anything that can do bass ranging from powerful/visceral/deep to tight/smooth/sweet/detailed. The only reservation I'd have about the 770s is that I doubt my pcdp (btw, anyone know if the D-25s will do ok with the 770s?) could do justice to them. But, if I get an amp like the meta42...hmmm...

Happy day on your new purchase.

ps I'd love hear some JB on those 'phones, and have myself a funkin' good time

piece,
rp:AUM
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Jackangel : Give me some examples of tracks that you'd like to analyze for the properties you discuss and I'll give them a listen / post my thoughts.

Not sure if you're into the same kinda stuff I am but these cans have not half stepped on a single thing I've thrown at them so far. I have a bunch of favourites that I listen to repeatedly to assess the presentation of the DT770's, I can list the names of the tracks and my thoughts on them if you'd like.

BURN FREAK MONKEY BURN!!!
post #9 of 28
Tracks? Definitely some James Brown...throw some funky **** at it, specifically songs like "I feel good", "hot pants", "get on the goodfoot", "the big payback", "funky president", and on and on...

Play whatever RnB/Soul you have, if any...perhaps some Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Al green, Otis Redding.

As for rock, perhaps some Yes (anything), AC/DC (something from Back in Black, QueensRyche (Operation: Mindcrime).

Toss on some Stevie Ray if you've got it (anything is fine).

Hip Hop? The Roots, Gang Starr, etc...

Jazz...Duke Ellington (Four Duke), Miles Davis (Kind of Blue), John Coltrane (Blue Train).

Obviously I don't expect you to play all of this, assuming you have it...but pick and choose as you like.

Sorry for not giving more specifics as per what tracks, but that should do...just mention which tracks stand out in your mind and what you liked about them.

Or, you could just comment on the tracks you've already heard/loved.

thanks
post #10 of 28
very nice review. much more eloquently put than i ever could (I also recently got myself the 770's + obh11)

took me a while to get used the things though coz of the size of my head

And yes electronic music sounds very nice on these. though i have come across a track or two that can be a bit hard to listen to on these 'phones (that bass can bite a bit too hard sometimes)
post #11 of 28

Re: well spank me silly

Quote:
Originally posted by Jackangel

So, regarding the bass, have _any_ complaints at all? Or is it flawless? I'm looking at anything that can do bass ranging from powerful/visceral/deep to tight/smooth/sweet/detailed. The only reservation I'd have about the 770s is that I doubt my pcdp (btw, anyone know if the D-25s will do ok with the 770s?) could do justice to them. But, if I get an amp like the meta42...hmmm...
Regarding the bass, just make sure the amp is up to the task. A few that I've heard, mainly ones integrated into a home stereo amp, do a poor job of controlling the bass, turning it into a huge wall of bass. Out of the headphone jack of my CT570, the bass is surprisingly good, but you still need an amp for all the usual reasons. I'm not sure how your D-25 will fare. As for the META42, well, that's what I use. In fact, if you're interested I'm probably going to have an extra one up for sale in the next week or so.
post #12 of 28
Nice review poorimpulsectrl.
The sr80 pale in comparison. Thanks to you that I can save my money on em(planning to get em actually) hehe...
Actually for gaming I still prefer the Dt250-80 becoz they are less fatiquing and not as hot as dt770 when worn for a long time
But noone can argue the bomb explodes just like Alteclansing speakers on the dt770pro

For those who got problem with the tigtness and uncomfiness, you might wannna try the new dt770. supposedly more comfortable?

I'm also interested to the fact that many dt770pro owner pair em with the creek obh-11 .I think the end result is very nice..
I want to see if someone can come up with a review to compare em with different amps to see which is the one give the most musical enjoyment.

Lastly, I think that poorimplsectrl has done a very nice job in reviewing(considering not many dt770pro review had been done), with his metaphor and stuff makes it even more exciting to read.
post #13 of 28
Nice review poor. Next time I am in Waterloo I will be sure to steal your cans.

Biggie.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Jackangel,

On second thought it seems that it would be somewhat pointless for me to try and assess the songs you've requested. Partially because the overlap of our interests is maybe 1/4, but more because I feel as though (right now) the Beyerdynamic's are slanted towards the powerful/visceral/deep variety of bass. A large part of why I feel this way is because that is exactly the same kind of bass I like, and am therefore focused on hearing.

I can't say that it's ever seemed uncontrolled or blatant, but the fundamental differences in listening priorities between you and I would affect my interpretation. As such it seems to make sense that ultimately you should listen to see if you hear what you want out of the cans. I found what I was looking for but that may not be the case with you.

Edit : Listening to Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" and the bass can certainly be controlled, detailed and smooth, atleast to my ears. YMMV
post #15 of 28

Re: Re: well spank me silly

Quote:
Originally posted by Toe
Regarding the bass, just make sure the amp is up to the task. A few that I've heard, mainly ones integrated into a home stereo amp, do a poor job of controlling the bass, turning it into a huge wall of bass. Out of the headphone jack of my CT570, the bass is surprisingly good, but you still need an amp for all the usual reasons. I'm not sure how your D-25 will fare. As for the META42, well, that's what I use. In fact, if you're interested I'm probably going to have an extra one up for sale in the next week or so.
That's very odd...the bass on my Yamaha receiver definitely outperforms any pcdp i own. I tried the Beyer's with a Mg head and was blown away, the bass was amazing (with the right tubes of course). Although, i've it to be quite extended without becoming flabby directly out of the jack on my Yamaha receiver.
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