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DT880 vs DT990 for rock/metal?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Due to my current situation, I am in need of a second headphone because of a couple of issues I am having. I currently own an ultrasone signature pro which is closed, so I want this one to be open since I've never really owned an open headphone before. I did a bunch of tests with EQ to see what type of sound I liked, so I compared different types of sound signatures to see which one I preferred. In the end, I ended up preferring a bright sound. In one of my tests, I compared a neutral midrange with an elevated treble vs a more upforont midrange with a more toned down treble (in other words, bright vs dark), and I preferred the neutral midrange and elevated treble. The dark frequency response just sounded a bit blurred, it just sounded a bit weird to me. This is how I would describe my preferences:

 

Bass: I don't mind how the bass is as long as 1) it isn't too light to the point where the sound is thin, and 2) it isn't too much to the point where it sounds bloated. A neutral bass would be great, or even an impactful bass response as long as it isn't bloated.

 

Mids: As I said, I don't want the mids to be too upfront, it just sounds weird and blurred to me. However, I don't want it to be too recessed to the point where it sounds veiled or distant, I absolutely hate that. I prefer a neutral midrange; either way, not too recessed but not too upfront, I just want them to be "there".

 

Highs: I'm a treblehead and I prefer an elevated treble response. I want snare drums and cymbals to have a lot of impact, and I often boost up the treble when using other headphones so I'm not sensitive to treble at all. I want a lot of treble :)

 

The genres I mostly listen to are rock and metal, and most peolple would recommend grado's bit there are two things which make me dislike them (I tried them out once).

 

1) They sound too thin for me. Since the mids are so upfront, the bass gets overshadowed which just made it sound thin and weird for me. I prefer a headphone that sounds thicker and has more weight/body to it. I disliked grado's, even for rock/metal.

 

2) They sound bad for other genres. Although I mostly listen to rock/metal, I listen to some other genres as well such as soundtrack and alternative.

 

 

After some research, there are two headphones which caught my attention the most:

 

DT880: Neutral bass, neutral mids, and a biting treble. This seems like exactly what I'm looking for, however, I kept reading that these sounded too boring and lacked musicalty, and that it was too polite for rock/metal which is why I'm a bit in doubt.

 

DT990: This seems to be the headphone with the amount of treble I'm looking for, and people say this one sounds really fun. On the other hand, I have mixed impressions about the midrange. Some people say that the midrange isn't as recessed as it's claimed to be, and that although it's pulled back, it's not too distant. On the other hand, people say it sounds hollow and that the midrangw is veiled and distant, so I don't have a clear idea of what the midrange is like. I read somewhere that I won't really notice the midrange is recessed until I listen to something mid-forward, so if that's true, the mids would be just fine for me.

 

which one do you guys think would fit me better? I forgot to mention, my budget is 400 dollars, and of course, I'm open to other suggestions if there is a headphone that fits my tastes better.

post #2 of 26

I think you are pretty much on track so far. I can understand the grado feelings for your tastes and music, and also your ideas regarding the beyers are pretty true as well. They can be heard as polite. Maybe why classical folks like them. It's too bad because they do fit your other qualifications - although i'd add a concern that treble, while being to the level you may want, is not quite realistic. it's a bit odd sounding and soft which may tie in with the polite quality.....I'm sure others will offer other solutions for $400.......

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange View Post

I think you are pretty much on track so far. I can understand the grado feelings for your tastes and music, and also your ideas regarding the beyers are pretty true as well. They can be heard as polite. Maybe why classical folks like them. It's too bad because they do fit your other qualifications - although i'd add a concern that treble, while being to the level you may want, is not quite realistic. it's a bit odd sounding and soft which may tie in with the polite quality.....I'm sure others will offer other solutions for $400.......

Yeah, I heard a lot about them sounding artificial and such, that may be a problem, though if there's no other solution or option I'm able to get past that.

post #4 of 26
I have listened to both the DT 990 pro 250Ohm and the DT 880 premium 250Ohm. I have to say they are similar but different beasts.

The 990's don't have very recessed mids, to me, at all. A tad bit maybe, but very good to my ears. A little sharp in the highs but that is made worse depending on your source, and I find it just right on my setup, good for rock too! Bass wise, they have plenty to spare, but is plenty tight for rock/metal. These are my main can right now!

The 880's are neutral. And great across the board. As for rock, they would most likely do fine, maybe not as good as the 990's though.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerdpower View Post

I have listened to both the DT 990 pro 250Ohm and the DT 880 premium 250Ohm. I have to say they are similar but different beasts.
The 990's don't have very recessed mids, to me, at all. A tad bit maybe, but very good to my ears. A little sharp in the highs but that is made worse depending on your source, and I find it just right on my setup, good for rock too! Bass wise, they have plenty to spare, but is plenty tight for rock/metal. These are my main can right now!
The 880's are neutral. And great across the board. As for rock, they would most likely do fine, maybe not as good as the 990's though.

I think most people which complain about the midrange must have a midcentric taste, I don't care much for mids as some other people so I think the mids will be fine for me.

post #6 of 26
I think they will be fine for you too! Haha

But on a serious note, I love my 990's, and I think most people agree that for the money there isn't very many better headphones.

One thing you have to decide now is if you want the pro or premium model. They use the same driver and the only difference is the clamping force and aesthetics. The DT990 pro clamps a bit harder, but not that much harder , and you can always stretch the headband. The difference in sound is little to none. So if you would like to spend a bit less money, get the pro model. Maybe spend the extra on a good DAC or amp?
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerdpower View Post

I think they will be fine for you too! Haha
But on a serious note, I love my 990's, and I think most people agree that for the money there isn't very many better headphones.
One thing you have to decide now is if you want the pro or premium model. They use the same driver and the only difference is the clamping force and aesthetics. The DT990 pro clamps a bit harder, but not that much harder , and you can always stretch the headband. The difference in sound is little to none. So if you would like to spend a bit less money, get the pro model. Maybe spend the extra on a good DAC or amp?

About both models, the pro version is said to have more bass than the premium, which is already said to be really bass heavy. I'm afraid it will sound bloated so I think I will stick with the premium (I don't think stretching works with beyers from what I've read). I also plan on amping them properly with tube amps if I end up getting it.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

 

I think most people which complain about the midrange must have a midcentric taste, I don't care much for mids as some other people so I think the mids will be fine for me.

I found the 990 600 ohm to have too much bass, it had sub-bass but the mid-bass made it too bassy for me.  880 600 ohm was better in that regard.

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

I found the 990 600 ohm to have too much bass, it had sub-bass but the mid-bass made it too bassy for me.  880 600 ohm was better in that regard.

Seriously dude, in every headphone there's always ONE little thing that I dislike lol. Hopefully that could be fixed with EQ if it ends up being too much for me. There's also one thing I wanted to know, do you think the midrange is more resolving and has better resolution in the DT990 despite being more recessed?

post #10 of 26

I'm in the minority here, but I actually really like the AKG Q701 for rock and metal. 

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

I found the 990 600 ohm to have too much bass, it had sub-bass but the mid-bass made it too bassy for me.  880 600 ohm was better in that regard.

Seriously dude, in every headphone there's always ONE little thing that I dislike lol. Hopefully that could be fixed with EQ if it ends up being too much for me. There's also one thing I wanted to know, do you think the midrange is more resolving and has better resolution in the DT990 despite being more recessed?

Not if you're fixated on the too much bass, dood.  So, fix it with EQ.  Go ahead.

post #12 of 26

I've tried both DT880 (600ohm) and DT990 (250ohm) and while I ended up preferring the 880s, I was quite disappointed with them at first. The 990s were a lot more fun and were very easy to get used to, while the 880s felt too thin and bright at first. But after a while the 990s began to start sounding a bit too bass heavy (although quite well controlled) which seemed to be masking the mids a bit, and as time passed, I found them to be less and less exciting. The 880s on the other hand began to sound more appealing the more I compared it to the 990s, with a more balanced sound across the board, although I still do wish it had a tad stronger bass. Both have large (but kind of weird to my ears) soundstages and are quite detailed.

 

I found both to be excellent for rock and metal, although in very different ways (I tend to prefer 880s for metal more often). I don't think that either is better, just different - i.e. I like the 990s on some days while on others, I prefer the 880s, same for most other genres I've tried (I do prefer the 990s slightly more for soundtracks and K-pop). I also found the 990s to sound better at lower levels while the 880s sounded better at high levels. Being a mid-centric guy, I obviously am more drawn to the 880s, but I didn't find the 990s to be mid recessed.

 

Overall, if you're looking for a fuller sounding, larger impact and fun headphone, the 990s are better. If you're looking for a more balanced ss, then the 880s are for you. Very hard to recommend one over the other, although it would seem that the 880s might sound a bit to thin and mid-centric for you.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Averruncus View Post

I've tried both DT880 (600ohm) and DT990 (250ohm) and while I ended up preferring the 880s, I was quite disappointed with them at first. The 990s were a lot more fun and were very easy to get used to, while the 880s felt too thin and bright at first. But after a while the 990s began to start sounding a bit too bass heavy (although quite well controlled) which seemed to be masking the mids a bit, and as time passed, I found them to be less and less exciting. The 880s on the other hand began to sound more appealing the more I compared it to the 990s, with a more balanced sound across the board, although I still do wish it had a tad stronger bass. Both have large (but kind of weird to my ears) soundstages and are quite detailed.

 

I found both to be excellent for rock and metal, although in very different ways (I tend to prefer 880s for metal more often). I don't think that either is better, just different - i.e. I like the 990s on some days while on others, I prefer the 880s, same for most other genres I've tried (I do prefer the 990s slightly more for soundtracks and K-pop). I also found the 990s to sound better at lower levels while the 880s sounded better at high levels. Being a mid-centric guy, I obviously am more drawn to the 880s, but I didn't find the 990s to be mid recessed.

 

Overall, if you're looking for a fuller sounding, larger impact and fun headphone, the 990s are better. If you're looking for a more balanced ss, then the 880s are for you. Very hard to recommend one over the other, although it would seem that the 880s might sound a bit to thin and mid-centric for you.

Here's the thing, I tend to listen at higher levels, not deafening levels, but I like to listen at louder volumes. Considering this, I think the DT880's treble might be the perfect amount for me. As for the mids, I don't mind them being full and present as long as they don't make the headphone sound dark, so mids being present is always a plus as long as that doesn't happen. As for the bass, all I want is for there to be enough bass so that the sound isn't thin, and I think the DT880 does that. The DT880 sounds like the perfect headphone for me, but I keep reading how the DT990 is a lot more fun and better for rock/metal while the DT880 is said to be boring due to its neutral presentation. Thanks for the help, I that either way I'll end up enjoying either one.

post #14 of 26
I think you would be happy with either of them IMHO.

Personally, I'm a bit of a bass head, so understandably I like the 990 better. BUT, as other people on this thread have said, the 880 is a VERY good can, and I can't recommend it enough. But for my personal taste in music, 990 suits me, and I still stand by the fact that they are great for rock/metal (although 880 is a bit faster, if you are listening to really grinding hardcore metal, then 880 all the way!)
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerdpower View Post

I think you would be happy with either of them IMHO.
Personally, I'm a bit of a bass head, so understandably I like the 990 better. BUT, as other people on this thread have said, the 880 is a VERY good can, and I can't recommend it enough. But for my personal taste in music, 990 suits me, and I still stand by the fact that they are great for rock/metal (although 880 is a bit faster, if you are listening to really grinding hardcore metal, then 880 all the way!)

Metallica is the main thing I listen to, do you think one of them perform better particularly with metallica? It's so hard to choose one over the other lol, they both seem so good!

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