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Beyerdynamic DT990 first impressions (at least mines)

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

This is my first, "important" post in the forum, I've being reading a lot of reviews and posts to decide which headphones I should by for upgrading from my HD515, unfortunately I bought them in BestBuy and WAY overpriced because I live in Mexico and is very hard to get good headphones, the stores are filled with Bose and low range Sony, Panasonic and so...


I decided to go for the Beyerdynamic DT990, I bought them on line and ship them to a friend in US. I just got them 5 hours ago. All I can say at this moment is that I found them great, I'm ambivalent about the burn-in process, I've being running them for about 4 straight hours with a new FiiO e7 and a MacBook Pro as source, with FLAC and MP3 files. The respose so far is great, the MOST notorious thing about them is the detailed they are, I'm hearing things and nuances that were not perceived with any of my old headphones.


I know there are reviews and more experienced users who have commented on the DT990, I'll be posting my main comments on this cans while I run them. Besides what I already said something that caught my attention from the first moment is the weight and comfort of them. The velour is soft and the padding is firm and adapts very well to my head. My right ear touch the internal cover of the driver, it is not a big issue and I notice it only if I pay attention to that.


At the moment the change is huge compared to the HD515 and a couple Bose's that some co-workers use in the office. I'll let them burn all night and see if I detect any changes.



post #2 of 40

Congrats on your purchase! Glad you're enjoying them. What version do you have?

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

Since I run mostly on mp3 and laptop, I went for the 32ohms version.

post #4 of 40



I don't want to thread-jack, but my 600 ohm 990's just arrived today, and I am also using a computer as my source. If you have no complaints, can I post some of my first impressions here well? Maybe comparing your experience with mine will be interesting in comparing the 32 and 600 ohm models, as well as providing some insight on system building around these cool headphones.


Right now I am running straight from the headphone jack on my computer (WMA-lossless and MP3 files played from the Zune software) and the cans arrived 30 minutes ago, so they have only 29.5 minutes of burn-in so far. I have a Woo 3+ amp being shipped that I purchased from a fellow head-fier, but it hasn't arrived yet. Also, I want to start using Foobar2000, and possibly re-rip my CDs to FLAC using EAC (more on this below). Lastly, there is a DAC in my future at some point, but I don't want to race into things too fast. Anyway, my setup as of this moment is far from optimal, but here are my initial impressions:


The soundstage is awesome -- not too huge, but separation between instruments is very precise. I have listened to K701's, SR325's, and HD595's on occasion, but these are the first decent cans I have owned so I don't have a great point of reference. The bass is great compared to my ear-buds, deep and punchy enough, though I think being properly powered could help them even more. Mids are a bit recessed but richly textured. The highs are a shade tinny or even sibilant really, though they are exceptionally airy and detailed compared to anything I am used to. I will definitely withhold judgment there until the cans have broken in and they are paired with a nice tube amp. I am hearing tons of detail in the music that I wasn't hearing before (on Ravi Shankar's Carnegie Hall 2000 performance, both the high pitched squeak of his hands sliding across strings and the occasional cough from an audience member are clearly audible). Sadly I am hearing flaws in the source as well -- most alarmingly, I am hearing occasional digital clicks in lossless files made from my own CDs. I am afraid some of the older ones have minor scratches that may be to blame, but I am really hoping that re-ripping them using better software may help the problem at least somewhat.


Lastly, they look and feel great. I am very happy and eager to see how they do once they are well burned-in and powered. OP, how are yours after some burn-in? How would you describe the sound and what kind of things are you listening to? I'm sticking with acoustic and classical for the moment because the detail is so amazing, but I'm gonna throw some hard rock at them after a while and see how they keep up. Anyway, I'd love to hear how you like yours now that a few days have passed.

post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thanks for adding up your comments, I'm still burning this babes now... and one very interesting thing that has happened is that I have 3 versions of Eq, each time getting flatter and flatter, thing that could be part of the burn-in process (if we consider is that noticeable) or by myself getting used to the sound print of the headphones.


I'll try to post later a better explanation.

post #6 of 40

I did 8 hours of burn-in (not on my head) last night before shutting things down for the night. Picking up and listening fresh this morning the harshness of the highs is basically gone, though there is still a slight touch of sibilance, and the mids don't feel nearly as recessed to me as they did out of the box. I've been reading people say that they hear their cans evolving dramatically in the early hours of burn-in, but I assumed it was all a matter of getting used to them. Well, I didn't have them on my head long enough for that to be the case. They are unambiguously better after 8 hours. Lots more to go...


I am really loving hearing so many new details in the music. One of the most striking improvements over my old earbuds independent of song/genre is percussion. The ability to tell exactly what the drummer is up to instead of it just being a nebulous beat in the background is awesome. And having a decent sized sound stage instead of it just being in the center of my skull is a delight. I am extremely happy with them so far!

Wikipedia: Donald Lewes Hings, C.M., M.B.E., P.Eng. »

Edited by jac3atx - 10/21/10 at 7:32am
post #7 of 40

They are nice phones...,congrats!

post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 

I'm starting the 5th day with the DT990 and I've noticed a very interesting evolution, mostly on the Equalization settings. I run them both with or without Eq, and I'm trying to use more less the same songs I know very well, the thing is that the equalization has become closer to flat each day, but with a little drop between 315Hz and 1kHz mark, the high frecs are very flat as well as the low range, but with about +2dB in the low range (I'm loving the deepness you get with them and the punch in the mid bass is awesome)


I'm using both FLAC and MP3 (some are very low quality) and the details revealed are very noticeable, the back vocals and guitars are perfectly separated from the heavy drums in heavy metal and electronic music. One of the instruments that really shine with this HP is the acoustic bass, the sound is very natural and detailed, you can distinguish the sound of the string hitting the fretboard.


On the other hand the voices of certain singers (like Dave Gahan) can have a little recessed but in female voices I haven't noticed it.


This cans are just great I really like them so much, I think they might be a bit heavy on the bass for classical, but with a bit equalization you can have a very well balanced HP, with VERY good separation, amazing soundstage and enough range to shoot them any music style. Another advantage is that you can plug'em in your cellphone and get very nice sound, not as good as with an amp but enough to get some goosebumps.


Finally the BEST indicator that this are great HP is that I want to use them all day, very "magnetic" pair of cans...

post #9 of 40

Despite having a nice pair of recabled D7000s, I still reach for my DT990s pretty frequently. The detail can be a little bit difficult for sensitive ears, but I've found with a tube amp and a Cardas recable, they are perfectly balanced for my own personal listening preferences. They have tons of bass, a decent soundstage, and the perfect amount of detail.


Also remember that a good tweak to try with Beyers is the earpads. I personally didn't care for the leather pads with the 990s as it tends to add what I would consider unnecessary reverberations. The gel pads were a better compromise, although I ultimately settled with the original pads for day to day use. They make a huge difference though, so depending on your preferences, they may be very worthwhile.

post #10 of 40

i used to wince during the first few days of using the dt990 because of the sibilance on certain portions of my favorite music, and i had to eq them to make them enjoyable. but now i leave the eq flat and the sound is as good if not better than before. these headphones are really heavy on the detail, and their clear sound, comfort, great bass (being open cans) make them keepers in my book smily_headphones1.gif


i think i adjusted to them smily_headphones1.gif

post #11 of 40

Would these be a nice 'upgrade' from the HD-595's?

post #12 of 40

definitely, in my opinion! 


the hd595 is a great bang-for-buck headphone, but compared to the dt990 600 ohms, it would sound flat and lifeless. the bass, clarity, detail, and comfort of the dt990 is a notch above what the hd595 can offer, and the sound is much more enjoyable and livelier to my ears...


YMMV of course! 



Originally Posted by Slides View Post

Would these be a nice 'upgrade' from the HD-595's?

post #13 of 40

I'm really considering either these headphones or Ultrasone's Pro 900.  Can anyone share any comparisons between the two?



post #14 of 40



I'm a little confused what you mean. Are you actually measuring anything, or are you just saying that as time goes by the EQ settings that sound right to your ears are getting flatter? Either way, it's an interesting observation that the headphones are getting more neutral with burn-in. This echos my experience with the mids (which have come up) and the highs (which have come down), both of which have smoothed out a bit too. The bass hasn't evolved much, but as I have said, I am assuming that the amp will help with that when it arrives.

post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 

@ jac3atx, I'm not measuring, yes its what you say, what I do is to hear the same songs more less at the same time at home (after running them all day) and most of the songs get bassier and the highs brighter so I drop down a bit the eq to match what I like, those are songs I know very well, like depeche mode, metallica, megadeath, phoenix, steve ray vaughn, songs that I've listened for years or songs I play on guitar.  And now that your experience is more less the same I think the HP actually is evolving day after day...

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