When I first tried these I was underwhelmed. I had a preconception that because the headphones were closed back that they would resemble the DT770 in a way and have that extra impact bass. These headphones are in fact so pronouncedly different from every other Beyer I've tried, that I wasn't sure what to make them at first. They are flat as my ears have ever heard!
As I began to try out different music with them, I was fascinated by the way they represented sound. The bass is there, but not ultra "impactful" and the midrange feels extremely revealing and the highs while present are not fatiguing. The soundstage depth is also very good here. Since trying these I have been more inclined to do some critical listening away from my Home Rig - something my girlfriend appreciates! :)
I was listening to Mahler's 5th Symphony conducted by Claudio Abbado with the Berlin Philharmonic and it occurred to me that more than any other headphone I've ever heard directly out of an iPod, the DT660 represented something very honest and accurate and made classical music sound alive in a way which I did not ever dream was possible with just an iPod. I plugged these into my TTVJ Millett 307a at home using an MSB Platinum DAC III and I was just stunned at the refinement. It sounded absolutely amazing with the Beyerdynamic A1 as well. For my enjoyment, these do classical better than DT770, DT880, DT990 and is on par with the T1 and T5P in classical. The T5P which I reviewed as a classical portable, I feel now is perhaps eclipsed by the DT660. I want to attempt to bring this headphone to the forefront for classical music lovers looking to have a portable option. I don't recommend this headphone for rock or pop and certainly not hip hop, but for classical music......I would recommend this headphone over many pricier headphones even when amped on the most glorious of systems.
I am posting my Headphones.com review below. I hope others who have the DT660s will comment below. This headphone certainly deserves much more attention.
CLASSICALLY GOOD SOUND
If you’re looking for a full-size headphone to listen to classical music right out of your portable player, then there is no better choice than the Beyerdynamic DT660. Not only is the sound perfectly suited for classical music, but the isolation provided by the closed back ear cups is perfect for office use.
THE FIT & FINISH
These, like other Beyerdynamic full-size headphones are extremely comfortable. The ear cups encapsulate the ear in soft black velour. I am able to sleep in these – and sure enough, I have! It’s easy to lie down with because of the one-sided cable. But perhaps the most impressive feat of this headphone’s design is the superb amount of isolation offered by the closed back design. While these do not have an active noise cancellation feature, they attenuate outside noise very well – the best I have heard for a headphone without an active noise canceling feature. The headphones also have a 90 degree swiveling ear cup feature, for easy storage and wearing when not in use. I would have preferred if the headphones swiveled so that if you are wearing them on your neck, the ear cups would rest on your collar bone rather than face outward leaving the metal back to sit against your collar bone. Even still, it is a nice feature to have for storage purposes.
WHAT ABOUT THE SOUND?
These headphones are a classical lover’s dream. Out of a portable player I find they offer a more realistic portrayal of orchestral, chamber and piano works than any other headphone I have encountered. The bass is not overwhelming here. Many headphones emphasize bass for the visceral effect it has. With many genres this coloration is a fantastic enhancement, but with classical music, this coloration can often detract from the listening experience. The DT660 are extremely EXTREMELY flat/neutral – to the point where some listeners may find that it lacks a bit of a “wow-factor”. The mid-range feels flat and the treble while nicely extended has some slight roll-off in the higher end of the region, presumably to reduce fatigue. Those who pair the DT660 with electric instrumentation (pop/rock) and/or heavy percussion (hip-hop/reggae) will probably perceive them as excessively bright and or lacking in weight and depth. But for classical music these headphones are a great success.
IN THE STUDIO
When recording orchestral musicians onto a prerecorded track, I often reach for these. The closed-back design prevents much sound from reaching the microphone. The headphones are tuned in a way which spotlights most acoustic instruments and therefore I don’t typically EQ the cue-mix.
Very rarely do I feel that headphone was tailored with a specific-type listener in mind. If you find that your iPod has been unable to satisfy your desire for realistic classical presentation, then the DT660 are the headphones you are looking for. They are tuned with the ear that prefers air over oomph.
FULL SIZE FOR PORTABLE USE RATING CHART
Sound Quality: 9.5 (tuned for neutrality – best with classical music)
Design & Features: 8.5