This is Zombie_X chiming in here. I have started this large information thread to help those who want a beyerdynamic headphone, but do not know what they sound like and or trying to pick one to suit their set-up. Since I have heard all of the models from 32Ohm-600Ohm's in their current production line, I thought I'd make this thread.
I thought for once and for all I would do something about the abundance of threads regarding sonic differences between all the DT770, DT880, and DT990 models at all impedances. This thread will be the most comprehensive one ever to be around that will cover all the DT770-DT990 series in the 32Ohm-600Ohm range. I have heard every one currently in productions and will describe all their differences, strengths, weaknesses, and how they should be amped.
I also wanted to add in that the differences between them is not as huge as some members lead you to believe. As I stated in another thread, for example, the DT880 250Ohm and the 600Ohm versions still sound very similar. The 600Ohm DT880 has more bass, smoother highs, and more midrange. These differences are there but not huge. The DT880 600Ohm may have smoother highs, but they are still prominent and can be edgy to some. It may even have more midrange, but ti's still recessed to a point and lacks some body. I just wanted to throw this out there so you don't get confused and think the sound signature of these is different from other Ohm models.
The 600Ohm models still retain nearly all the sound signature of their 250Ohm versions, just improved upon and tend to have a more natural and balanced frequency response.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THEIR SOUND
DT770: Can be said to have stronger treble with weaker bass and a more hollow midrange with a closed in sound. Overall a nice balanced sound.
DT880: Has a very linear sound that is incredibly neutral. Still has the strong treble but also has more midrange and bass with an improved soundstage. The most neutral of the DT770-DT990 series line up.
DT990: Has a very strong treble emphasis with shallower sounding mids and more prominent bass. It could be said that this is the beyerdynamics' "fun" headphone. The soundstage is also the biggest of the DT770-DT990 series line up.
The DT770 is beyerdynamic’s answer to those who wanted a closed headphone with balanced sound with good isolation. It’s four versions are all good, but they have varying sound signatures. It has the most balanced sound amongst all three lines.
The 32Ohm model of the DT770 is closer sounding to the 250Ohm and 600Ohm models than it is to the 80Ohm model. The most striking difference is that they have far less bass than the 80Ohm model, but also are fuller sounding. The bass on the 32Ohm's is tight and controlled but rather light on impact. If I had to rate it's impact I would say it's like the DT880/250, but even less than those. The high while quite extended and detailed but has a slight edge to them, but not grating or strident sounding. All of the DT line (DT770-DT990) has a treble oriented sound, so the DT770 will emphasize this. Now the mids, while fuller than the 250Ohm and 80Ohm models, are there but still recessed to a degree. The mids are clear, detailed, and possess decent transparency. Now the soundstage is smaller than the 80Ohm and 250Ohm and has an "in your head" sound to it. The dynamics of this model seem slightly lower compared to the 250Ohm version, but it’s hard to tell.
This Ohm version is good improvement over the 320hm version. It has improved dynamics and transients are pretty good. The bass while, tight and controlled is kind of slow sounding. The bass seems to extend just as much as the 32Ohm model but has a little less weight to the bass. Now the mids are more recessed or shallow sounding on this model compared to the other two models, but are more detailed and transparent than the lower models. The treble though is rather strident sounding and this can has more treble than the lower two versions. The treble seems to take over the sound on modern mastered stuff. One thing to note is that the treble is more extended as well and even more detailed. Now the soundstage on this model is pretty good for a closed headphone, but still rather closed in.
- 80Ohm (PRO)
The 80Ohm model has the most bass out of all the DT770 models. The bass is nice and pronounced with having good impact and depth, though when under amped it can have a mind of it's own. When underamped the bass gets bloated and flabby. The mids are probably the fullest of the DT770 line up but still on the recessed side. The treble is presented nicely although it sounds like it slightly rolled off. The treble is also the smoothest of the DT770 line. The soundstage is smaller then the rest though and certainly smaller than the DT770/250Ohm, most likely due to the bass and treble. This ehadphone it really good for rock, rap, metal, and any other bassy music genre's.
The Pro version sounds almost the same but the thing that is most different is the clamping force of the headband. It clamps quite tight, while the other models have a looser fit. Also the soundstage on this model seems smaller cause of the clamp and the bass is also pronounced because of the clamp as well. Other than that it sounds the same.
This is the best model of this headphone available. It has very smooth treble in comparison to the other Ohm models and is even more extended and detailed. The treble also no longer seems to trample over the other frequencies, but is more integrated with them. The midrange on this headphone is far better than the other Ohm DT770 models. Because the treble has been smoothed out and toned down a little bit, the midrange has made a nice appearance and is also very transparent sounding with lots of detail. The mids are just right in my mind on this phone and the best of the DT770 line. Now the bass on these is full, has nice texture, and has more weight to it. It’s definitely more pronounced than its 250Ohm counterpart. Also the bass is much faster sounding on this model and is also deeper sounding as well. The soundstage is also bigger than the other three models and possesses nice depth, width, and height.
Also there seems to be another variation of the 600Ohm model floating around which has just as much bass as the 80Ohm model. I have heard the new 600Ohm model first hand and it sounds incredibly similar to the muddy sounding 80Ohm version. The new version is very tight in the bass and does not have that overly boomy sound to it's bass, well it does bu not as bad. The treble is no longer smeared and the mids don't sound as cluttered.
EDIT: The treble in comparison to the DT990 is nearly on the same level and is also not shrill or strident. Despite me saying the treble is smooth, it's still very prominent and pronounced.
The DT880 is a semi-open/semi-closed headphone that aims at combining the strengths of both designs into one headphone. It’s a very neutral headphone that does seem to emphasize any frequency. The treble is still more emphasized on this model compared to the DT770.
The 32Ohm model yet again, like the DT770, sounds more like the 600Ohm version rather than the 250Ohm model. It has nice treble that is extended nicely, but less detailed than the other models. The midrange is also fuller than the 250Ohm model, but still on the hollow side of things. Bass is nice and tight with good texturing and depth, but lacks in speed/dynamics.
This model tends to have a somewhat brittle sounding treble or otherwise known as thin. It is a pretty bright phone, but the treble is nicely detailed and extends more than the lower DT770 models. The midrange on this phone is a bit shallower sounding than the 600Ohm version, but is fuller than the 250Ohm DT770. It is still recessed sounding and also has more detail to it than the other versions, just not as much body. Bass on this model has great texture to it and is able to layer the instruments. So what I mean is that you can tell what bass is from what instrument. Does that even make sense? Oh but the soundstage on this model is exceptional and layers the instruments very nicely. The imaging also is better than the DT770’s non 600Ohm models and better than the lower DT880 models.
- 250Ohm (Pro)
Just like the Pro DT770, the same applies here. Less soundstage, more bass, and even more clamp. That’s about it. The drivers are the same as the normal 250Ohm model. Treble also seems to affected slightly and is a tad smoother.
Man the treble is good on this model! It has more sparkle than the 600Ohm DT770, but still remains smooth with awesome detail. Really the treble on this one surpasses all the DT770 models in terms of detail and extension. The bass on the 600Ohm DT880 is also really full in comparison to the lower models in the DT880 line up. In my opinion though the DT770 600Ohm still has a slightly fuller sound midrange. Now onto the bass one these headphones. One word can sum it up and it’s just AWESOME. It retains all the DT880 250Ohms detail, texture, and layering but improved on it and gives you more body and impact. It’s nice and full bass that is very fast and seems so natural. The soundstage has a great improvement on these phones as the other two lower models seemed confined sounding in comparison. It’s pretty wide with some nice depth to it. The layering and imaging of the sound is far better than the other models as well.
The DT990 is a fully open headphone with very impressive bass. Though the treble is more pronounced in the whole line up of headphones. I classify this headphone as their fun and bassy one. One thing to note that the DT990 has the most recessed midrange of all three lines.
The 32Ohm model for this headphone follows like the previous two lines. It sounds very much like the 600Ohm models, but has a far less refined tone to it. The bass in this model also seems a little sloppy compared to its other two incarnation and is slower sounding as well. The soundstage is still smaller like the other two lines, but bigger than the 32Ohm DT880. The midrange is fuller than the 250Ohm model, but is a lot more hollow sounding than the 32Ohm DT880. The soundstage is also wider than the 32Ohm DT880 with better imaging.
The treble us a bit far too pronounced and covers the midrange, though it has better detail and extension over the other DT770 and DT880 models. It’s somewhat strident and can cause ear fatigue quite quickly for those who are sensitive to treble. The midrange, as stated above, is very shallow to almost nonexistent. Maybe that’s overstating it, but it’s very shallow sounding, but what can be heard is very detailed and transparent. The 250Ohm DT880 has a much fuller midrange, but the DT990’s has more detail and transparency to it. The bass is very prominent and takes over the sound. It makes the headphone sound darker. The impact on the bass is very impressive for an open headphone and it has more extension than the 250Ohm DT880, but lacks it’s texturing and layering. The soundstage easily beats the 250Ohm DT880 as this ohm rating of the DT990 is much wider and deeper sounding.
- 250Ohm (PRO)
The pro version follows the trend of the other two lines pro variants with a smaller soundstage, more bass, and more clamp. The treble seems smoother also because of the increased clamping force and aids the mids in coming forward. Bass seems to have gained impact but now there’s slightly more bass. Even more bass than the 600Ohm model, but not as controlled. The treble is smoother now from the added bass as it gets masked a tiny bit. The mids gain some body and the lower mids are more audible.
The 600Ohm model is the definitive version of the DT990 and has the smoothest treble of the DT990 line. It’s also the most detailed treble of all three lines and offers the most extension. The midrange of this model is close to the 250Ohm DT880 and is rather shallow, but far more improved over the 250Ohm DT990. The DT990 600Ohm’s mids are a little bit more transparent and detailed over its 250Ohm counterpart, but not nearly as full sounding as the 600Ohm DT880. The DT990 still has a slightly more detailed midrange over the 600Ohm DT880. Bass on this model is just insane. It has so much impact and is so tight and controlled sounding it makes you question that’s it’s an open headphone. Also the bass is very snappy and fast, far faster sounding than the other DT990 variants. Really just the most impactfull and controlled bass I’ve heard from an open headphone. The soundstage also beats all the DT770 and DT880 models and is pretty wide and deep. The imaging though is just a bit better than the 600Ohm DT880, but not by much.
The Revox 3100 is an OEM version of the DT880 600Ohms and sound nearly the same as the current models but has some noticeable differences.
Side by side you can tell they are a DT880 just from their sound signature but they do have differences. The first difference is that they have a smoother and slightly softer treble. This may be because of their age but I doubt it. Also the next difference is that they have more midrange body. It add a nice body to the sound. It's not as detailed/resolving of a midrange as the current 600Ohm model, but still good. Also the bass is different. The bass has less body and weight to it, but it's also tighter and more realistic, but lacks some of the layering of the current model. The soundstage on the 3100 is also very slightly smaller than the current model. It's still airy but not as wide sounding. Next is the speed of the headphone and I must say it's faster sounding than the current model. Decay is faster and transient speeds is quite obvious between the models. The newer model seems a touch slower in comparison.
So IMO the Revox 3100 is superior to the current DT880/600Ohm. It has more speed, better transients, smoother treble, tighter bass, and more midrange. Clearly I believe it's superior to the current line.
The T50P is a closed back portable headphone from beyerdynamic that sports their new tesla technology.
Well I usually don't expect much from portable headphones other than them usually being overpriced. I'm happy to say that the T50P is not over priced sounding at all! It has a rich and smooth sound with nice bass impact. Talking about the bass, it has nice impact and is very tight and controlled, easily the best bass I've heard out of any portable headphone. I would say the bass is similar to the DT880 600Ohm's bass, but less impact and body. Next about the treble, it's just absolutely grainless and offers great extension and is very detailed. The treble is also very airy. The midrange is something special my friends. It's a fleshed out midrange that is on the warm side of things. It's very transparent and resolving, especially for a portable headphone. I'd say it's as fleshed out as the T1's midrange, but not nearly as refined, but nonetheless it's something special. The soundstage is about the same as that of the DT770, meaning it's a little closed in sounding. I foudn that there weren't any odd resonances at all. This is great considering it's a closed headphone.
Oh and a word on the fitting for these. I find the best result when you rest them towards the back of your ears so the pads slightly overlap the back of your ears. This way you get a much fuller sound.
T70 / T70P
The T70/T70P are newly modified drivers now with the Tesla driver technology from beyerdynamic.
The sound very similar to the 600Ohm DT770, but much more refined and resolving. They seem to have a fuller sounding signature and tighter bass. The treble is smoother and more detailed. In comparison to the DT770/600Ohm they are warmer sounding, more detailed, resolving, and have faster dynamics. They are a great improvement over the DT770/600Ohm and worth the money in every way. The dynamics are much improved and the bass is much quicker souding
Since these now use the new Tesla tech from beyerdynamic they are now much easier to drive and have better dynamics. They get louder than either the DT770 250Ohm and 600Ohm much quicker and can get much louder than either of those as they have a higher power handling now. This also gives you more flexibility amp wise. From my SPL Auditor they are super loud right at 1/8 the way up the volume. With the 250Ohm DT770 the volume had the be a bit more than 1/4 of the max volume. The 600Ohm DT770 is loud at a bit more than 1/4 and between that and 1/2 of the total volume.
The T70p seems to have sharper/harsher treble than the T70 and also has a smaller soundstage. Everything else seems to be similar. Overal the T70 is smoother than it's portable brother.
The Tesla T1 is beyerdynamic's flagship open headphone and clearly it's sound quality is there to show that off! (if that makes any sense ) I will be comparing the HD800 and T1 in this section as it's the only way I thought I could describe it for those who have heard this headphone.
Man oh man is this one awesome headphone. The way I could sum it up is a less analytical, and warmer version of the HD800. You heard me right! This headphone is very much like the HD800 in many ways, though the HD800 excels at imaging, bass texture/depth, and soundstage. But the T1 in my eye's (or ears) is much more natural sounding. Now it's less analytical sounding and offer's a smoother sound. The treble is not rolled off but softer you could say. That is it's not as pronounced as the HD800's treble (which I found to make somethings sound fake). The T1's treble is well extended and integrated into the sound. There is not one hint of harshness and these headphones have some of the best treble I have heard. The midrange is a wonder as well. The mids are on the warm side of neutral, but this aids in how natural music can sound. I found the mids to be even more transparent and resolving than the HD800. I listen to mostly metal and the HD800's mids were to sterile for that genre, while the T1's give the guitars the added body. Vocals sound so realistic on these headphones it gives me shivers. Now the bass, while not as deep or tight sounding as the HD800's is still one of the best out there. It extends deep and has more impact than the HD800. I found the impact on the HD800's really good, but I kind of wanted more "oomf" to the sound. The bass is very integrated as well and blends into the other frequencies very nicely. I think it has enough body and heft that it will please everyone. Now the soundstage on the T1 is very 3D and projects stuff out right in front of you. While the T1's soundstage is smaller than the HD800's I believe it's more speaker like.
DT1350 - NEW
The treble on the T1 is really great for many reasons. It extends just as high as the HD800, but unlike that headphone it is not as in your face. To me the T1's treble is very smooth without a hint of stridence or harshness. It also sound more natural to me. The treble is also very airy, not as airy as the HD800's, but very close. I also found the treble to be very detailed.
The T1 has the best midrange I have ever heard. It has exceptional resolving capabilities as well as being more transparent than the HD800 in my mind. I also found the midrange to be more fleshed out than the HD800's, and though the T1 has neutral mids they are very slightly warmer. This warmness makes music sound more natural and lifelike. To me the HD800's mids were really good, but a little thin and could be somewhat lifeless on certain recordings.
The T1 definitely has more bass then the HD800 and this means more body and impact. I also found that the T1's lower most regions are a little rolled off, but not by that much. In fact I think the rolled off bass can make music sound more natural. The T1's bass still extends nearly as deep as the HD800's, but has more body and impact without sacrificing control or tightness. The bass of the T1 is more impactful than the DT770/DT880 but less than that of the DT990. The bass to me is perfect in it tonality and texturing capabilities which are really exceptional.
The soundstage is clearly much bigger than any of the DT770-DT990 variants and is also airy. I found it to be almost as big as the K702's soundstage, but has more depth and height to it. It's a really big stage that is nearly as big as the HD800's, but to me the HD800's is a little too big. The T1's is very spacious and provides great reproductions of spatial nuances and separation of instruments as well as providing a more accurate stereo image. Speaking of imaging, it's nothing short of incredible. You can place musicians on the stage really well and little nuances can be picked out really easily.
LINKS TO OTHER REVIEWS/COMPARSIONS:
Edited by Zombie_X - 9/29/12 at 7:54am