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Beyer DT 880 vs Ultrasone Pro 900 (need help - close to purchase)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

First I would like to say hi as this is my first post and since I am asking for help it is kind of impolite to at least not introduce myself.

 

I'm a gamer and I really love music.  I listen to most things but I really love rock (most forms - not too crazy on the scream stuff tho), electronica (progressive, dnb, chill, lounge, liquid and some good 'ol fashioned trance as well).  I been scouring your forums trying to find the answer on my own but when it comes down to actually making a choice.

 

Guess I'm not so independant after all.  beyersmile.png

 

 

You can tell bass is important to me.  I also want comfort as when I listen to my headphones it is usually for long periods of time.  I am no audiophile and I really don't know the lingo though I will try.  I am thinking I need something with low impedance since most of the time I will probably be listening to them on the road.  I will entertain thoughts of a portable amp but they may down the road since I am considering extremely expensive cans.  I was originally budgeting around $150 but the more I read the more I don't think the cans in that range will satisfy me.  My neighbor has the DT 880s (250ohm) and the sound was so exquisite that everything else I tried sounds like crap.  I should note those are the only "expensive" set of phones I have tried, but this was at least a couple years ago.  I currently have some Sennheisers and I hate them.  They retail $150 ...I got them below $50 yet I feel I got ripped off.  They're comfortable ...but when it comes to the sound, they are beyond terrible.  So Senns are out.  I know there are a ton out there and I'm sure the HD 650s are absolute gold.  Though I'm not ponying up the $$$ till I hear them myself.

 

 

TLDR

I am thinking Beyer Dynamics DT 880 (32ohm).  Though I can't help but wonder if it is worth it to go with the 600ohm version and invest in some amps down the line.  I mean $300 is a LOT of money so am I wasting it by going 32ohm?  To make it more interesting I am also considering using the 15% Holiday Deal and getting some personalized cans.  That would bring the total to... $340ish - MEEP!  But they would look tiiiiiiiiiight!  So would it be a waste getting personalized 32 ohm cans?

 

Though I keep seeing people moving on from the 880s to the Ultrasone Pro 900s.  So I can't help but wonder if Beyer is the old and Ultrasone is the new and better.  I will consider other headphones you think would fit my tastes.  I really want to purchase soon and any help would be appreciated.  biggrin.gif

post #2 of 13

The DT880 and the Pro 900 have quite different sound. I only heard the former, but the latter is well known to be bass heavy (~10 dB bass boost according to frequency response graphs), and the treble is quite present as well (not as much as the bass), so it is a kind of V-shaped response. The Pro 900 is also closed, but, like other Ultrasone headphones, uses S-logic (whatever that is in practice) to enhance the spatial imaging. By contrast, the DT880 is more focused on accurate and balanced sound reproduction, with a close to neutral frequency response (it does have slightly recessed mids and emphasized lower treble), lower distortion, and a sound stage that is not very large, but positions the instruments accurately. In the technical sense, it is "better" than the Pro 900, but does not have as much immediate "wow" factor, especially for bass heads. The DT990 is actually more comparable to the Pro 900 than the DT880.

 

The higher impedance DTxx0 are generally slightly better (faster transient response, more extended and detailed treble, lower distortion - but these are smallish differences, the 32 Ohm versions are still not bad). If you know that you do not plan buying an amplifier in the near future, and want compatibility with battery powered devices, then 32 Ohm may be preferred. Note however, that even the low impedance version is not as easy to drive as some may think, since it has somewhat mediocre efficiency at 96 dB/mW. But the Pro 900 is not much better in this aspect either, if the measurements I have seen are correct. In any case, it may be worth investing in a good source, since even though the low impedance headphones can easily be made loud, they can still improve in terms of sound quality. If you do buy an amplifier eventually, and choose the DT880 or DT990, you might just as well go with the higher impedance versions that cost the same.

 

post #3 of 13

 

 

 Nope, nothing about new versus old, just the wrong headphone for your genres.

 

 DT880, especially the 600ohm is for discerning classical, vocals, jazz and some rock.

 

 Certainly not electronica ~ they're fairly neutral to slightly bright, your recordings will

 shred away your earlobes. Pro 900 can be a little sibilant too but the big end bass

 is what you're after. You will need at least a portable amp to get them sounding

 nice, straight out of a phone or basic i-device they sound flat and lifeless.

 

 Alternative would be the DT990 250ohm. Tipped up bass and extended treble,

 you will need some sort of desktop amp to power them correctly or at the very

 least ~ a good soundcard. 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

You know, this may sound stupid but I went to bed after making that post and I only slept 3hrs and all I could think about was making this stupid purchase lol.  I am getting tired of doing research.

 

I like bass but I am not exactly sure I would call myself a bass head.  I want some good thump but not too much that it drowns everything else out.  I didn't know the 880s were better suited to Jazz/Classical though that would make sense since that is what my neighbor listened to when he let me try them.   Sounds like I need to focus on the 990s vs the 900.

 

 

The more I read the more it is becomming apparent I need something to drive whatever I select - even if i go 32 ohm.  It seems like the bottom end is the E7/E9 combo I keep seeing.  I also keep seeing people recommend tube amps but that is either all they say, or give a partial name (like C2.1) that is useless for google searching or suggest something that I cannot find (at least easily) where it is being sold.  I seriously doubt I need to spend $1-2k to drive $300 headphones properly, that just seems silly to me.

 

Just how bad will the 990/32, 990/600 or Pro 900 sound without anything to drive them, till I find the amp I need?  And how bad will they sound with just a headphone amp when I am out and about and away from a desktop amp?  I will probably buy both but I seriously need help with an amp solution ...preferably one I can buy from a reputable dealer like Amazon.  If I have to go thru ebay, I suppose I can get my friend to buy them for me if I pay him ahead of time.  Not sure I want to spend more than what the actual headphones are going to cost me, but I might go a bit above that - so $300ish.  In the US - btw.

 

And what really drives me nuts, especially when I was trying to sleep and couldn't, is why in the hell does the 600 ohm version cost the same as the 32 ohm version?  While I been researching I even saw the 600 ohm versions (both 880 and 990) dip to $242 (one time I saw $219) which I would have purchased immediately but this need to drive them properly has me so completely confused I was too scared to buy them ...but damn $219 was soo freaking tempting.  Currently the 880s and 990s are around $250 on Amazon on the 250 - 600 ohm sets, yet the 32 ohm set is still $310!!  Where is the pulling hair out smiley?! 

post #5 of 13
Quote:

Originally Posted by Niteblooded View Post

 

Just how bad will the 990/32, 990/600 or Pro 900 sound without anything to drive them, till I find the amp I need? And how bad will they sound with just a headphone amp when I am out and about and away from a desktop amp?

 

None of these would be unlistenable without any amplification, although the 990/600 would obviously be quiet and lacking power. With a decent portable amplifier, the 990/32 and Pro 900 would be fine, but getting the maximum out of the 990/600 might still be problematic (perhaps OK if your main focus is the desktop usage anyway). As a compromise, instead of the 990/600, you could also get the 990/250, this may be more usable with portable amplifiers, but sacrifices some of the quality available with a good desktop source (it is said to have slightly more recessed mids and harsher treble).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Niteblooded View Post


why in the hell does the 600 ohm version cost the same as the 32 ohm version?


The only difference is the 32, 250, or 600 Ohm driver, other than that, all are identical (apart from minor aesthetical differences), and cost the same to manufacture. Each of these have advantages and disadvantages. The 32 Ohm version may be more expensive at Amazon due to many reasons, like different demand, availability, etc.

 


Edited by stv014 - 12/29/11 at 9:45am
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I want to say I really appreciate the help so far.

 

What portable/desktop amps would be good for the headphones I have narrowed it down to - DT 990/32, 990/250, 990/600 or Pro 900?

 

So far I seen the E7/E9 combo, seen NFB-12 mentioned, and Shiit Valhaala.  Well I seen bunch others but I am so noob to all of this it is totally over my head and I'm so lost.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have read so many threads (L-A-A-RGE ones) and I feel I have made absolutely no progress what so ever in picking a good amp/dac solution.  I am thinking I should just buy the 32 ohm set and go with a E7 because I am getting tired of this round and round research ...or wait for the E17 I read about in another thread that is supposedly coming out this Feb. confused.gif

post #8 of 13

Hello and welcome to the evil head-fi addiction! very_evil_smiley.gif

 

The Pro 900 is supposed to run great from the E7/E9 combo, don't know how good the DT990's (250/600 ohms) would run from a similar setup. As far as how easy it is to run Pro 900 they are fairly easy to drive. They do sound pretty boring without a better Dac and Amp. But when I try them from my sound card (Xonar ST) they sound very good, nearly as good as from a dedicated desktop amplifier. You can't go wrong with E7/E9 combo.

I like bass too, and I'm not a big basshead either. But I like a lot of bass and Pro 900 has that, but it is of quality that doesn't drown out the mids or highs. All I can say is I love these headphones for rock, metal, electronica and acoustic too!

Edit: Forgot to mention that they're awesome with games too. S-Logic seem to shine there, as it smokes my D5000's in Battlefield.


Edited by JackeShan - 12/29/11 at 7:16pm
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the welcome

beerchug.gif

 

I did a lot of reading but it appears one of the most important things is picking a good amp/dac and I simply didn't couldn't find the information I needed on my own.  I narrowed it down to a Woo Audio 3 (which i am guessing is a WA3) and the Shiit Valhaala ...but it appears I would also need to purchase additional gear in order to get it all to work.  AndI just cannot justify throwing down that much money with zero intel.

 

So I went with what I do know ...money.  The Ultrasone Pro 900 was my top contender.  I was also interested in making some custom Black & Red DT 990s ...because damn they looked awesome.  But then I saw the DT 990s/250 on Amazon for $250 ...which is roughly $60 less than the Ultrasones, if you could buy the Ultrasones for $306 (right now they are $400).  I saw the Fiio E11 for $70 with backup battery and charger so I bought that.  Not sure how good of a pairing that is and what exactly I will be missing out on not going with something like a WA3 but money speaks louder than ignorance lol.  

 

Not sure I belong here but at least we all share one thing in common - give us music the way it deserves to be heard. L3000.gif

 

PS:  I'm also a martial arts fan, so there is another commonality very_evil_smiley.gif

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

So they came in 22-23hrs after purchase.  YAY!!! L3000.gif  

 

Though as stupid as it sounds, how do you know if you got the right Ohm?   All I have is the receipt to tell me but nothing on the box or headphones.  Hell I would take a handwritten note inside the box.  I could have the 32ohm or the 600ohm and I'm not sure I'd ever know.

 

The do sound awesome!!  They make me want to throw those Sennheisers HD 438s up against a brick wall just to make sure no one has to put up with them.  Though I am starting to get the idea on why people say these to be driven - the bass, while good, is a bit.. muddy ...if thats the proper term.  I have an E11 coming in, so it should be interesting to see what they sound like when that comes in.  Shame my audiophile friend moved away as I'm sure he would have let me try them with his home built AMP/DAC.

 

Though already the songs I am used to sound way different.  Right now I am listening to this ...and Mmm: gs1000.gif

 

 

 


Edited by Niteblooded - 12/31/11 at 12:17pm
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niteblooded View Post

So they came in 22-23hrs after purchase.  YAY!!! L3000.gif  

 

Though as stupid as it sounds, how do you know if you got the right Ohm?   All I have is the receipt to tell me but nothing on the box or headphones.  Hell I would take a handwritten note inside the box.  I could have the 32ohm or the 600ohm and I'm not sure I'd ever know.

 

The do sound awesome!!  They make me want to throw those Sennheisers HD 438s up against a brick wall just to make sure no one has to put up with them.  Though I am starting to get the idea on why people say these to be driven - the bass, while good, is a bit.. muddy ...if thats the proper term.  I have an E11 coming in, so it should be interesting to see what they sound like when that comes in.  Shame my audiophile friend moved away as I'm sure he would have let me try them with his home built AMP/DAC.

 

Though already the songs I am used to sound way different.  Right now I am listening to this ...and Mmm: gs1000.gif

 

 

 

Check the jack plug, usually they're marked for 600 ohms and blank for 250/32. They might not do that anymore though in which case you'd have to peel over the headphones themselves to find a color label on the driver and if it's yellow it's 600 ohms. Although you don't have to worry, Beyerdynamic is pretty solid with the products, if you ordered the 600 ohm version, you can be pretty confident that you have the right version.
 

 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

I ordered the 250ohm since I wasn't sure I would drop the necessary bones for a quality amp.  So that makes sense on why I don't see any markings.  Thanks for responding, really had me kinda curious lol.  I'm afraid once I get the E11 I'll get the Tim Taylor bug of MORE POWER and wish I had gone 600ohm so I could buy a Valhaala or something.

post #13 of 13

pro 900'S have by far, more sound quality. but its 300$ more . ><

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