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Ultrasone Pro 900 vs. Beyerdynamic DT770 (80 Ohm) *Updated Review

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

A few people have asked me to post a comparison between these two headphones once I got the Pro 900's, so here goes. Keep in mind, I just got the Pro 900's delivered not even an hour ago, so these are only initial impressions and the heaphones have not had a chance to burn in. I'll post updated impressions once they have. The DT770's have been burned in. Both headphones are being tested on a Zune HD > Oyaide HPC-LL > Fiio E12 setup with no bass boost or equalization.

 

 

 

Initial Build Quality/Packaging Impressions:

 

The Pro 900's clearly come with better packaging. They arrive in a nice semi-soft zippered case with spare earpads, two cables, and instructions with a CD. Contrary to what they've written in some places, there is no 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter; rather, the coiled cable terminates in a quarter inch plug and the straight cable terminates in a mini plug. The DT770's just come in a cardboard box with a screw on adapter. The Pro 900's have a removable cable that screws in, which I really like. The provided mini cable is also much shorter than the DT770's cable, which is a little unwieldy for portable use.

 

Note the deeper earcups on the DT770's.

 

The headband and cups on the Pro 900's are made of rubberized plastic that feels good to the touch, but I'm not sure about its longevity compared to harder plastics. The yokes are made of a semi matte hard plastic that looks and feels kind of cheap. The DT770's yokes make an annoying popping sound every once in a while if they move while they're on your head; the Pro 900 doesn't do this, but the plastic creaks a little. The metal plates on the Pro 900's look much better in person than they do in the photos. The raised logo has some lines on it that look horizontal, but are actually gently curved (made using some kind of rotary tool, which would be easier). The clicks on the headband adjustment are more secure on the DT770's; the ones on the Pro 900's move around pretty easily. The DT770's are much more comfortable; the cups are bigger, the headband is padded over the whole thing instead of just a little part on the top, and the clamp is lower. The Pro 900's fold into a ball, but it's not as tight in real life as they show in the promo pics. Fortunately, it does not seem like the metal plates can scratch each other when folded like this. The DT770's are made in Germany, whereas the Pro 900's are made in Taiwan. Overall, I'd say that the Pro 900's have a build that suggests a more premium headphone, but I think the DT770's would be more durable, and I really like their utilitarian functionalism.

 

The Pro 900's have cups that fold up.

 

 

Sound Initial Impressions:

The Pro 900's have quite a bit more bass than the DT770's, both mid-bass and sub-bass. I'm actually not a bass head; I just like to have a variety of sound signatures to suit my mood. The Pro 900's would be much more satisfying to a bass head, I think. And as far as bass heavy headphones go, I think they do an excellent job at being both bassy and sounding good. The bass is very engaging and has nice texture, but doesn't completely ruin the rest of the spectrum. If I want to hear accurate, though, I'll turn to a different headphone in my stable. The 900's also sound quite a bit more forward compared to the more laid back DT770's. The DT770's also have a larger and more natural soundstage. The soundstage on the Pro 900's puts the bassy instruments right next to your ear, but the higher pitched instruments like drums sound like they're further away. I don't think this is just because the bass is emphasized; I think the soundstage is just oddly imaged. I don't think the Pro 900's are extremely sibilant (at least they aren't the worst I've heard). I do find their treble to be a little unrefined and artificial, however. Cymbals are present, but don't sound realistic. Rock recordings sound slightly distorted, but electronic recordings are more engaging than on the DT770's. The Pro 900's are at least as resolving and detailed as the DT770's. I'll have to compare the two after the 900's have burned in, though, since the treble does improve with burn in according to other users.

 

The 770's have a durable sheet metal headband and user replaceable padding.

 

Overall, I'm enjoying the Pro 900's. I believe part of the reason why they have been so hit and miss for many people is due to the price. Until very recently, the street price for these was not that much lower than the list price. At that price I don't feel they are worth it; the Sennheiser HD650's are better in that price bracket (very different headphones, I know, but it's hard to deny that they're better). Recently, though, they have been available at Amazon for under $300, and I got mine for under $220 with tax from one of their lightning deals. At those prices, the Pro 900's are much more competitive and stand a good chance at gaining a new following. As for how they stack up against the DT770's, I like both headphones. I think the DT770's would be more appealing to an audiophile looking for accuracy and realism, whereas the Pro 900's are better for a bass head or someone looking for a more fun sound signature.

 

Earcup size comparison.


Edited by Tsujigiri - 3/8/13 at 8:30pm
post #2 of 41
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I've had the Pro 900's for a little while now, and have some updated impressions on the two headphones in general (plus more photos). Let's start with a song by song comparison:

 

 

Deadmau5 – One Trick Pony: The 900’s seem to have been made for this song. The heavy electronic bass is much more impactful than on the 770’s. The 900’s also sound much more detailed and lively than the more laid back 770’s.

 

 

Garbage – The Trick is to Keep Breathing: I use this song to test the sub-bass on my headphones. The chorus has a very deep bass line that helps to separate headphones that have good bass from ones that just have mid-bass. The 900’s certainly have more sub-bass than the dt770’s. However, there is a more pronounced roll-off at the deepest notes, so I would say that the dt770’s stay more linear at the low end.

 

 

 

Queens of the Stone Age – In My Head: I find this song tests the mids pretty well. The DT770’s fared better than the Pro 900’s. The guitar work is in the mids to upper bass range. While the 770’s presented them pretty naturally, the 900’s exhibited a big volume change as the guitar work went up and down the spectrum, making the instruments sound odd. The vocals are also recorded with a kind of distant, echoed effect. This sounded good on the 770’s, but the 900’s made them sound a little too distant and recessed.

 

They fold this way, too.

 

Queens of the Stone Age – First it Giveth: This is a much different recording from the other QOTSA song; it’s more sibilant and has a stronger bass line. This time, the Pro 900’s had the upper hand. While the 770’s are still more accurate, the 900’s presented a much more fun and engaging sound. The low pitched guitars sounded tighter and more detailed, and the percussion was sharper.

 

The Pro 900 pads come off with a twist and reveal the off center driver positioning used for the "S-Logic."

 

Kreva – Oh Yeah: The 900’s really showcase the thumping bass in this hip hop track, while maintaining an impressive amount of detail and not losing sight of everything else that makes up this song. The 770’s, while they sound good, did not have the “wow” factor like the 900’s did for this song.

 

 

Digitalism – Blitz: Again, the 900’s have more impactful and detailed bass (plus quantity). However, they do sound more closed in, and the 770’s do better at representing some of the airy sounds in this electronic track without losing the deep bass.

 

 

 

Silbermond – Unter der Oberfläche: The sharper dip in the mids showed with the 900’s here. While both the low pitched and high pitched percussion elements sounded sharp, some of the rest of the instrumentation was a little too recessed, making the song sound hollow and unnatural. Some of Kloß’s vocals also got lost in the mix.


Edited by Tsujigiri - 3/8/13 at 8:11pm
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 

Final Thoughts:

 

 

Both headphones are quite impressive at their price points. Although they are both bass-boosted closed cans, they differ significantly in their presentation. The DT770-80's are more natural-sounding, with a wider soundstage and a laid back presentation. The Pro 900's have more bass, better texturing and detail, and a more forward presentation. For hip hop and electronia, the Pro 900's offer a more exciting, fulfilling experience. They can do well outside of those genres as well, but they sometimes distort rock tracks that require more finesse, making them sound odd. I've heard the Pro 900's criticized for fatiguing treble, but the DT770's have more treble just because the Pro 900's are so overwhelmed by bass. I think many audiophiles will prefer the more natural, laid-back, and spacious sound of the the DT770's, but if you're a basshead or you're looking for pure fun, the Pro 900's are the way to go.

 

The Pro 900's come with a lot of extra accessories, and look better in person. This makes for a more appealing total package, but it's important to keep in mind that you're paying for these accessories whether you asked for them or not. Beyerdynamic offers cases for their headphones and extra earpads, but they've given you the option to not buy them if you don't want them. The DT770's have a more spartan, utilitarian construction and packaging. They're more comfortable and feel sturdier. There's something to be said for the surefire simplicity of the DT770's and their very sensible product design. Ultimately, I would say that the Pro 900's appeal to the heart, while the DT770's appeal to the brain. I would say that the Pro 900's justify a higher price than the DT770's, but make sure they're what you want before you buy them. And I still stand by my earlier statement that the Pro 900's are not worth anywhere near the $600 MSRP, but are quite nice for their new, lower price.

 

Ultimately, both headphones are great choices at their respective price points if you like a little more bass than is neutral. It's just a matter of which type of sound you prefer, and how much you're willing to pay.


Edited by Tsujigiri - 3/8/13 at 8:30pm
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 

Or I guess there's no interest?

post #5 of 41

Your nice comparison will probably be burried under loads of other threads.. You should consider posting it as a review of the dt-770 and pro900 under the product page.

post #6 of 41

love it <3 nice review almost making me buy both! i like laid back sound and accurate but also fun bassy sound.. why dont they mix them and make a baby called ultra-beyer dt90-80 pro!! with a small switch switching sound signatures :(

post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsujigiri View Post

Or I guess there's no interest?

hahaha awww... I read it & it was interesting!!! :)

 

Add pictures & test tracks!!!!

post #8 of 41

Please add some pictures.

post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 

Alright, here's the updated review.

post #10 of 41

Nice

post #11 of 41

hey, could you add actual measurements of the earcup depth & dimensions for both headphones, so we can see how significant change in comfort there is.

 

also, the fact that the Ultrasone Pro 900 is down to $300 from $600 should make it appeal to the brain just a bit too right? ;)

post #12 of 41
Great review, I really like the layout! My new Pro 900 should be coming in soon next week. I'll be comparing it to my DT770/80 as well, which I really enjoy as a closed headphone.
post #13 of 41

ive owned both these headphones as well.

 

the dt 770s are pretty good for the money, but i found them muddy when i had them, the pro 900 where nicer, both headphones where a little too bright for me

 

good review, explains them pretty well

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

ive owned both these headphones as well.

 

the dt 770s are pretty good for the money, but i found them muddy when i had them, the pro 900 where nicer, both headphones where a little too bright for me

 

good review, explains them pretty well

what headphone would you recommend????

 

I really like dupstep as well, but also like other non-primarily bass songs. Have you ever gotten to chance to try the M100?

post #15 of 41

nope, not the M100, i've only heard the original crossfade, which was pretty good, the m100 is probably better.

 

for bass songs, especially electronic, the pro 900s are great, but they can sound a little odd with other types of music, cause of their metallic treble and recessed mids, however, its pretty good for most pop/dance. i don't recommend it for anything else though. just bass heavy music.

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