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How does the bass of DT 880 and 990 compare to Grado's SR225?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure whether to get DT880 or DT990. Most comparisons between the two note the difference in the bass. The 990 has more bass than the 880. But Grado SR225 are the only headphones I've ever owned, so I'm hoping someone who has owned both Grados and a Beyerdynamic can tell me where the SR225 ranks in terms of bass compared to the 880 and 990? Grados are simply the only reference point I have. Thanks!

 

Also, with my Grados, I have my soundcard's equalizer set at a slight U shape, with the mids decreased and the lows and highs increased. If I don't have the equalizer set like that, everything just sounds horrible to me. It's hard to explain. It's more "airy"/"muddy" without the equalizer. Given that that's my preference, does that give any indication of whether the 880 would be better or the 990?


Edited by Aelius - 6/20/12 at 8:24pm
post #2 of 20

the dt 990s have a brilliant bass but still dont sacrifice on any detail whatsoever....they have a very realisitic sound which includes a piercing treble....

the dt 880s are very much more neutral and heavily detailed as well..

cheers

post #3 of 20

If anything I'd say the 225s have less bass than a well amped DT880, the DT990 just has quiter mids... or louder bass and treble, however you look at it.

post #4 of 20

Even a non-well amped DT880 will have more bass than the SR225i. All SR series Grados roll off the sub-bass pretty hard.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

All right, thanks for the replies! I find the Grados bass a little too lacking for my tastes. Also, while I don't own them, I've briefly listened to some Senn HD280 headphones, and I found the bass to be too theatre-like. So if I find the Grados too light on bass and the HD280 too heavy on bass, which of the Beyer DT do you think is most likely to please me with the bass?

post #6 of 20

I haven't heard the HD280s but a DT880 is considered neutral while a DT990 is often recommended to those looking for bass. Sennhesier HD600 is another decent neutral option.

post #7 of 20

Sounds like you'd want a DT990 if you find yourself EQ'ing bass and treble up.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Sounds like you'd want a DT990 if you find yourself EQ'ing bass and treble up.

 

So, when people describe sound as "neutral" (as many people describe the 880s as,) does that kind of refer to the EQ settings being level? Sorry, a very novice question for these forums, I'm sure!

post #9 of 20

No it means the headphones produce sound as true to the original recording as possible.

 

What's flat on speakers isn't necessarily flat for headphones, though.  Headphones need added bass to make up for lack of the omnipresent bass from speakers that would otherwise be absorbed through the rest of your body, and lower upper mids and treble that would otherwise be attenuated by the distance from your ears that speakers are.  This is why treble spikes are especially annoying in headphones and even bass that measures flat is really anemic sounding.


Edited by TMRaven - 6/20/12 at 9:31pm
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

No it means the headphones produce sound as true to the original recording as possible.

 

What's flat on speakers isn't necessarily flat for headphones, though.  Headphones need added bass to make up for lack of the omnipresent bass from speakers that would otherwise be absorbed through the rest of your body, and lower upper mids and treble that would otherwise be attenuated by the distance from your ears that speakers are.  This is why treble spikes are especially annoying in headphones and even bass that measures flat is really anemic sounding.

 

I see. Okay, so, you suspect I might like the 990 if I find myself using a U-shaped EQ curve with my Grados. I'm worried, though, that the 990 will overdo the bass and treble, even though I have them elevated with my Grados. I have the mids decreased by about 5 dB with my Grados and the bass and treble elevated by about 5 dB, though even then I find bass is still too lacking. So, do you think the 990s will hit the mark I'm looking for if my current EQ settings with the Grados are closer to my preferences? If you've heard the Senn HD280, it might be helpful to let you know that I found the bass too much with them. I hope that helps with zeroing in on what bass levels would sound best to me.

post #11 of 20

That's a good explanation but I suppose you could look at it like an EQ if that helps... a bass heavy headphone has louder bass volume.

 

Might also help to visualize it. The blue and red bars are considered close to neutral (flat EQ) while the green bar of the DT990 has elevated (louder) bass.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2751&graphID[]=863&graphID[]=2241

 

And with the Grado SR225 displayed as orange.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2751&graphID[]=863&graphID[]=2241&graphID[]=373

 

http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/build-a-graph.php


Edited by Graphicism - 6/20/12 at 9:52pm
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

That's a good explanation but I suppose you could look at it like an EQ if that helps... a bass heavy headphone has louder bass volume.

 

Might also help to visualize it. The blue and red bars are considered close to neutral (flat EQ) while the green bar of the DT990 has elevated (louder) bass.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2751&graphID[]=863&graphID[]=2241

 

And with the Grado SR225 displayed as orange.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2751&graphID[]=863&graphID[]=2241&graphID[]=373

 

http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/build-a-graph.php

 

Oh wow! Those are excellent graphs, thank you! So, if I understand it correctly, wherever I see an elevation in a certain frequency (for instance, the Grado in the 1500-6000 Hz range), that range will be more pronounced relative to the other headphones? Also, when people say the 990 is more bass heavy, they're referring mostly to the 100-400 Hz range, given the graph? If so, then I think I much prefer the 880, because I have my 100-400 Hz values slightly decreased in my EQ settings. When I said I found the Grados lacking in bass, I was referring to, like, the <80 range. I see the 990s don't have that much of an edge in treble compared to their edge in the bass. The more I look at the graphs, the more the 880s seem to appeal to me, hmm... that is, if I understand the graphs correctly.

post #13 of 20

Well, no.  You can't follow the graphs that closely.  For one, headroom just aligns every graph around 1khz, but a headphone's overall volume will vary from song to song, so it's very hard to compare overall volume through frequency of each headphone to pin point accuracy.

 

The DT990 decays real fast so the bump in 100-400hz range won't be that troublesome, and in fact you probably might not hear it at all compared to your grados-- the mid-bass bump for the DT990s is hugely exaggerated in the graph.  Another instance is the DT880's treble vs DT990's treble.  According to the graphs they both have the same amount, but in reality the DT990s are infamous for their treble spike.  Bass below 80hz will most likely be more audible on the DT990s comparedo the Grados, although I have not heard the Grados in person.  However, the DT990s being an open headphone will roll-off on the bass the lower down it gets, because it's unable to keep adequate pressure since it's open backed.  Its drivers aren't the biggest so it can't move as much air to produce those lowest frequencies with authority, either.  If you want real strong sub-bass out of an open headphone you need to start venturing into planar magnetics.  With that said, I found the DT990s to be pretty strong down to 50-40hz, and I think that should be good enough for you coming from the Grados.  Just make sure you have an amp with enough voltage swing, because the DT990s have a large impedance spike centered around 100hz, and an amplifier that can't provide enough juice there will not give the adequate amount of bass for that region.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelius View Post

Oh wow! Those are excellent graphs, thank you! So, if I understand it correctly, wherever I see an elevation in a certain frequency (for instance, the Grado in the 1500-6000 Hz range), that range will be more pronounced relative to the other headphones? Also, when people say the 990 is more bass heavy, they're referring mostly to the 100-400 Hz range, given the graph? If so, then I think I much prefer the 880, because I have my 100-400 Hz values slightly decreased in my EQ settings. When I said I found the Grados lacking in bass, I was referring to, like, the <80 range. I see the 990s don't have that much of an edge in treble compared to their edge in the bass. The more I look at the graphs, the more the 880s seem to appeal to me, hmm... that is, if I understand the graphs correctly.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Well, no.  You can't follow the graphs that closely.  For one, headroom just aligns every graph around 1khz, but a headphone's overall volume will vary from song to song, so it's very hard to compare overall volume through frequency of each headphone to pin point accuracy.

 

The DT990 decays real fast so the bump in 100-400hz range won't be that troublesome, and in fact you probably might not hear it at all compared to your grados-- the mid-bass bump for the DT990s is hugely exaggerated in the graph.  Another instance is the DT880's treble vs DT990's treble.  According to the graphs they both have the same amount, but in reality the DT990s are infamous for their treble spike

 

Frequency graphs won't tell you everything but you can get a pretty good idea, no need to over complicate things.

 

Aelius, as the graphs show the Grados have much more forward (louder) mids and Grados are well known for this, allows for greater detail in faster music. Correct the 990s boost is more of a mid-bass thing than sub-bass, unfortunately you can't find an open phone with really good sub-bass. 

 

TMRaven, the only reason the DT990s are notoriously shrill is because of the U-curve, as a result you turn them up to hear the mid-range as a result you not only get elevated bass but an elevated treble.

post #15 of 20
Everything I've ever thrown at my 990s sounds amazing except for maybe really really poor recordings. I've listened to everything from rap/pop to metal/rock to soft rock to jazz and orchestra. These things are killer headphones to me and have caused my 770s to be stuck in their box. I've never heard the Grados but have heard the 880s and felt they were a bit too dull for my tastes. The detail was amazing but they didn't sound as fun as my 990s. Also both my 990s and 770s are 250ohm and do well through an e10 Amp/Dac combo.

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