Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Anybody else has a love/hate relationship with Beyer 990
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anybody else has a love/hate relationship with Beyer 990

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Just yesterday, I was thinking that the 990 are really headphones that you should never sell because you'd eventually end up regretting it... On some albums they can sound extremely good. Great for classical, voices (ex; chorals), etc, can sound remarkably good, and many reviews are all positive.

Then I was also thinking how sometimes they could sound not so awesome too... Thinking I'd put on a great sounding track, I put on Pink Floyd's one slip, and turns out Gilmour's voice sounded just horrendous... :/ Listening now on V6s, better, but definitely not 'good' by any stretch. Even the turning away's voice sounds off...

So just curious if others have a similar experience? Imho, a quite inconsistent phone... From amazing to sometimes just plainly bad sounding... Not sure if I should be liking them, or not... tongue.gif Its weird! For instance, I'd say the AKG Q701 is just plain better, but, the 990s often just sounds better :P
Edited by GirgleMirt - 9/20/13 at 10:07am
post #2 of 42

The large slope from both sides of 200Hz shows that the headphone is uneven sounding.  I had it for a while and ended up selling it because compared to the LCD-3 and AH-D2000 the DT990 is one of the most colored $300 range headphones available.

 

Here are some charts comparing the headphones I mention:

 

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=2241&graphID[]=3431&graphID[]=4163&scale=30

 

See how the DT990 has a high peak at 200Hz and slopes off more drastically than the other headphones?  Throw in the extended trouble bump 5kHz to 10kHz and the treble is out of balance too.  It can be a fun sounding headphone, but neutral it is not.

post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 

Yeah I'm fully aware of this, that's the basis of he thread ;)  The weird sounding voice of DG on One slip does have a sort of weird peakiness to it, and it just happens to get made much worse by what I'd guess would be the ~8khz bump of the DT990s...  So in this instance, as I mentioned, it sounds way off, if I had listened to that track at a shop while trying out the 990s, I'd have thrown them aside and said what is this garbage...

 

BUT, as I mentioned, other songs, an orchestral piece with heavy drums http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJsEYwguuj8 sounds absolutely phenomenal, throws out a huge soundstage which is hard to believe for headphones, the voices are crisp, the music envelops you...  In comparison, the Q701 although it's more accurate/neutral, just sounds quite a bit bland in comparison, the soundstage is much smaller, you don't get the same sort of enveloping bass effect, imho, 990s does this piece quite a bit better!

 

So basically, for me the the 990s are almost like an effect/mod, in the same sense as say a tube amp.  A tube amp which adds warmth for instance might be great for some music, but when you've got a warm record, then it can become too much.  Same for 990, bass and treble, might sound fine often, but then you get to a record where it really sounds off...

 

So...  Haha, just wondering how most feel about the 990 in that sense.  I'm mixed.  For speaker amplification I've always been a proponent of fidelity and so solid state.  Yet, for the 990s, as I said, I'm quite sure I'd regret selling them because all too often I go: "I wonder how that would sound on the 990s.."

 

As I mentioned, some seem to see no downsides to the 990s, and I wonder a bit how that's possible.  Listen to what this guy says about the 990s;  http://youtu.be/RCgt5s4t8G0?t=4m10s

 

paraphrasing the above review:  "bass is impressive, go low, stay clean and accurate, don't struggle on any music, good for R&B, jazz, pop, everything.  Bass always spot on.  Extremely accurate, extremely detailed.  Star of the show is the midrange.  Buttery smooth, lots struggle there, not the 990s, midrange is really incredible!  never fatiguing, never harsh, always just perfect, beautiful sound.  X singer, on headphones which can reproduce headphones like these can, oh just wonderful experience!  Midrange, beautiful, wonderful, etc.   Treble, very good, detailed, accurate, never fatiguing, never harsh, never ear piercing, only knock, doesn't have that extra layer of detail, that gives you the airy sound.  These headphones, insanely good, just missing that last bit of airyness which would put them over the top.  Fell in love, one of my favorite headphones I've ever heard, beautiful midrange, vocals which is most difficult, you'll be in love, just beautiful!  Truly finely balanced from top to bottom!  Handle everything without a sweat".

 

So... I'd qualify that review as over the top positive...  And it makes me a bit wonder if we have the same headphones  ;)   Like I said, me, I'd have trouble giving an exact figure, but I'd say they're often just hit or miss.  They can sound phenomenal, but at the same time, they can sound like downright garbage too.  I mean that song One Slip...  Gosh...  I was never expecting it to sound so damn bad.  Ok maybe they're not that bad, but if I had to rate them for that song, the drums would be probably 9/10, the sound effects (bright sounds) 8/10, the clocks ringing 5/10 (can hear some harshness), but the voice...  It has an edginess to it which is almost painful, 2/10.   So on these particular vocals, they're bad...   But other vocals, they can be great too!

 

So yeah...  I can see why some would not like them, but it's hard to not like them when they're playing a song they do a fantastic job on...  So for me, it's like they've got two faces, and you never know if you'll get this beautiful maiden or if it'll rear it's ugly head.  And so, I don't really know what to think or say about them.   LOL

 

If these were a speaker amp, I'd say lose it, it's not a very good amp, get a solid/neutral solid state.  But since it's headphones, and for instance I have Q701s which are neutral and I can use them whenever I like, or use the 990s whenever I like, I kinda like them, sometimes, and sometimes I almost hate them because they sound way off...   Anyhow, just wondering how others feel about them.  Reading the 990 appreciation thread, it seems to either be a hate them or love them.  Not many seem to be sitting between the two like me!


Edited by GirgleMirt - 9/20/13 at 3:59pm
post #4 of 42

I've never heard the 990; I have the 880 PRO, but it seems to me the FR tells the story:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=963&graphID[]=2141&scale=30    The 880 FR is not exemplary but even enough to give consistent results, especially if that HF peak is taken out of the equation, which is easy enough. This is why the 880 is used to monitor and the 990 not. People say, I want a 'fun' phone, I want a phone that's great with rap, or metal or whatever, and that's what they get. But unless you get a phone with a reasonably even frequency response it will never satisfy over more than one genre or even just a few particular recordings. Thus people end up with several phones, none of which are especially satisfying. Rather than trying to pick a phone to fit a particular genre, far better to train your ears to appreciate a reasonably flat response, even if at first it seems boring or clinical or dull. The ears can be trained surprisingly quickly, and once they are you're free to choose the most accurate phone you can find within your budget.

 

Now, none of this is aimed at you, GirgleMirt. It's just my regular rant that no one takes any notice of but which I inflict on the forum anyway, for no particular reason. I hope you enjoyed it. ;)

post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 

hehe certainly ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

Rather than trying to pick a phone to fit a particular genre, far better to train your ears to appreciate a reasonably flat response, even if at first it seems boring or clinical or dull. The ears can be trained surprisingly quickly, and once they are you're free to choose the most accurate phone you can find within your budget.

 

I don't think it even works by genre.  It really works by recording if anything.  Some recordings might be recorded hot (bright), some might already have excessive bass, some might be just right, so the correct headphone for song might vary.  I think that in the end, no one headphone fits the bill for everything.  Actually I take that back, a perfect headphone plus an EQ would be the way to go, but I don't think this headphone exists... 

 

Quote:

 I've never heard the 990; I have the 880 PRO, but it seems to me the FR tells the story

The FR doesn't tell the entire story though, but since we're talking 880 & 990, probably truer than in general.  ;)   But even in this case, from http://www.head-fi.org/t/513393/guide-sonic-differences-between-dt770-dt990-models-more 

Quote:
- 600Ohm

The 600Ohm model is the definitive version of the DT990 and has the smoothest treble of the DT990 line. It’s also the most detailed treble of all three lines and offers the most extension. The midrange of this model is close to the 250Ohm DT880 and is rather shallow, but far more improved over the 250Ohm DT990. The DT990 600Ohm’s mids are a little bit more transparent and detailed over its 250Ohm counterpart, but not nearly as full sounding as the 600Ohm DT880. The DT990 still has a slightly more detailed midrange over the 600Ohm DT880. Bass on this model is just insane. It has so much impact and is so tight and controlled sounding it makes you question that’s it’s an open headphone. Also the bass is very snappy and fast, far faster sounding than the other DT990 variants. Really just the most impactfull and controlled bass I’ve heard from an open headphone. The soundstage also beats all the DT770 and DT880 models and is pretty wide and deep. The imaging though is just a bit better than the 600Ohm DT880, but not by much.

So it's not just the FR, definitely other aspects in play here (even if you could EQ the 880 to 990, it would probably sound significantly different).   So to go back:

 

Quote:
 Rather than trying to pick a phone to fit a particular genre, far better to train your ears to appreciate a reasonably flat response, even if at first it seems boring or clinical or dull. The ears can be trained surprisingly quickly, and once they are you're free to choose the most accurate phone you can find within your budget.

I think that just like headphones, music/songs all have their own sound signature if you will.  A record might just plainly sound bland and dull, and the result playing it through accurate/neutral headphones would be a bland and dull sound, and that would be the record's fault.  But if a headphone can bring some life out of that record, (by having huge soundstage, emphasized bass, sizzling highs, etc.), I say it's a plus for that headphone in this instance...   Problem is when the headphone's attributes plays against itself, in for instance a recording which already has sizzling highs, emphasized bass, huge soundstage, then it might very well just become a mess.

 

I guess for me the 990s are more complimentary headphones, maybe not one to use as a reference or one which will generally work with everything, but sort of more of an addition to a solid pair of accurate/neutral headphones which will be more reliable in achieving good sounds out of pretty much all recordings.  I guess the garbage in garbage out applies here for the accurate/neutral headphone, and the 990s make the garbage in a bit more pleasing on its way out, but sometimes also make something good going in come out a bit worse...


Edited by GirgleMirt - 9/21/13 at 8:30am
post #6 of 42

Honestly I'm a... genre headphone kind of guy, who owns a fully balanced DT 880 600 ohm running out of my New Audio GD10ES2, that said I'm selling my DT 990 for an HE 400, as the HE 400 will have that ortho sub bass I am missing with the DT 990

 

THAT said... it was an amazing can for me! For about 5 months [after I was forced to sell my DT 880 Pro 250 ohm] it was my ONLY can... and I loved it then ^^

 

Still the Pro Dt 990 is an EPIC bargin, $150 bucks for literally the best fun headphone in that price range IMO, Hard to beat that sound stage and clairty, although the coloration isn't for every one xD 

post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

... But unless you get a phone with a reasonably even frequency response it will never satisfy over more than [a handful of genres]... Rather than trying to pick a phone to fit a particular genre, far better to train your ears to appreciate a reasonably flat response, even if at first it seems boring or clinical or dull. The ears can be trained surprisingly quickly, and once they are you're free to choose the most accurate phone you can find within your budget...

 

Or you can just learn to appreciate both a "colored" sound and an accurate/flat sound, it's not difficult or conflicting.

 

 

Quote:
 Thus people end up with several phones, none of which are especially satisfying.

 

The exact opposite is why a number of us have too many 'phones.  That's what they're even posting around here.

post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
 

 

Or you can just learn to appreciate both a "colored" sound and an accurate/flat sound, it's not difficult or conflicting.

 

 

 

The exact opposite is why a number of us have too many 'phones.  That's what they're even posting around here.

 

Yea I've got like uhh  5 with my now, one is still shipping so 6? I will end up with 4 though 

 
and I love colored and neutral for different songs
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

... But unless you get a phone with a reasonably even frequency response it will never satisfy over more than [a handful of genres]... Rather than trying to pick a phone to fit a particular genre, far better to train your ears to appreciate a reasonably flat response, even if at first it seems boring or clinical or dull. The ears can be trained surprisingly quickly, and once they are you're free to choose the most accurate phone you can find within your budget...

 

Or you can just learn to appreciate both a "colored" sound and an accurate/flat sound, it's not difficult or conflicting.

 

 

 

 

Hmm, I'm not sure I understand that. Why would you want to appreciate a coloured sound? Isn't that the opposite of hi-fi? Maybe we'll have to re-title this forum Head-not-Fi.

 

BTW, I must apologise for a grammatical error in my sentence. It should have been "none of which is especially satisfying." Quite unforgivable really.

post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post


Hmm, I'm not sure I understand that. Why would you want to appreciate a coloured sound? Isn't that the opposite of hi-fi? Maybe we'll have to re-title this forum Head-not-Fi.

BTW, I must apologise for a grammatical error in mysentence. It should have been "none of which is especially satisfying." Quite unforgivable really.

wow nice post ;3 b careful gettin ur foot out of ur mouth with that one
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post


Hmm, I'm not sure I understand that. Why would you want to appreciate a coloured sound? Isn't that the opposite of hi-fi? Maybe we'll have to re-title this forum Head-not-Fi.

BTW, I must apologise for a grammatical error in my sentence. It should have been "none of which is especially satisfying." Quite unforgivable really.
"colored" & "apologize" tongue.gif (no need to apologize wink.gif)

lol I can definitely understand the sentiment when it comes to speakers and amps, but I think its quite different for phones, as its really quick and easy to switch phones, but not speakers and amps! If you could only have 1 pair of phones, you'd have a point, but since you can many enjoy many phones, some of which may very well be more enjoyable than a neutral headphone on certain music, why would u want to force yourself to use the less enjoyable headphone? Ex: Bland sounding album, fun headphone makes it more enjoyable, you're saying it's better to force yourself to listen to the less enjoyable headphone? Makes no sense...

It's like wine, food, women, etc. Unless you've found the perfect one; the one that makes all others irrelevant, why would you limit yourself to one? wink.gif
Edited by GirgleMirt - 9/22/13 at 6:23am
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirgleMirt View Post

It's like wine, food, women, etc. Unless you've found the perfect one; the one that makes all others irrelevant, why would you limit yourself to one? wink.gif

Well I am a one women kinda of guy...... you sick pigs :3

 

Not headphones are like spices, use the right ones with the right music. Because spice enhances food, ofc to much color is bad, hence low fi can's sound... like... 2 year old coloring books, where as hi fi can's are like the Mona Lisa the color is masterfully placed and excellent 

post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

 

Hmm, I'm not sure I understand that. Why would you want to appreciate a coloured sound? Isn't that the opposite of hi-fi? Maybe we'll have to re-title this forum Head-not-Fi.

 

BTW, I must apologise for a grammatical error in my sentence. It should have been "none of which is especially satisfying." Quite unforgivable really.

 

You can always try asking the rest of the community as we all have many different points of view on the matter (pretty sure there are a few threads on this if you take the time to search, possibly annual).  If many of us didn't appreciate "colored" sound of some sort, Grados, Ultrasones, tube amps, and more wouldn't be so popular, duh.

 

I like how GirgleMirt and Mshenay put it.  :D

post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirgleMirt View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post


Hmm, I'm not sure I understand that. Why would you want to appreciate a coloured sound? Isn't that the opposite of hi-fi? Maybe we'll have to re-title this forum Head-not-Fi.

BTW, I must apologise for a grammatical error in my sentence. It should have been "none of which is especially satisfying." Quite unforgivable really.
"colored" & "apologize" tongue.gif (no need to apologize wink.gif)

lol I can definitely understand the sentiment when it comes to speakers and amps, but I think its quite different for phones, as its really quick and easy to switch phones, but not speakers and amps! If you could only have 1 pair of phones, you'd have a point, but since you can many enjoy many phones, some of which may very well be more enjoyable than a neutral headphone on certain music, why would u want to force yourself to use the less enjoyable headphone? Ex: Bland sounding album, fun headphone makes it more enjoyable, you're saying it's better to force yourself to listen to the less enjoyable headphone? Makes no sense...

It's like wine, food, women, etc. Unless you've found the perfect one; the one that makes all others irrelevant, why would you limit yourself to one? wink.gif

 

 

Er, note that I'm in Australia and using English spelling. Don't be like the guy who complained loudly, "Hey, why are people on this forum putting extra vowels in their words?"

 

Our being at odds over whether to go for the most neutral phone or several coloured (note, "coloured") phones probably stems from the fact that I listen to classical exclusively and you probably don't. The point with classical is to reproduce the original recording as accurately as possible. It's not a "fun" thing. You're not trying to get an effect other than the "concert hall" effect, which invariably comes with the more accurate reproducer. Popular music is obviously less about accuracy and more about generating excitement, sometimes a thumping bass. Also it's about mixing genres, whereas with classical accurate will do for everything--baroque, opera, symphonic. On this kind of material, anything coloured shows up like a rocket fired at midnight, and is just about as welcome.

 

BTW, how did women get into this discussion?


Edited by pp312 - 9/22/13 at 6:27pm
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

 

Er, note that I'm in Australia and using English spelling. Don't be like the guy who complained loudly, "Hey, why are people on this forum putting extra vowels in their words?"

 

Our being at odds over whether to go for the most neutral phone or several coloured (note, "coloured") phones probably stems from the fact that I listen to classical exclusively and you probably don't. The point with classical is to reproduce the original recording as accurately as possible. It's not a "fun" thing. You're not trying to get an effect other than the "concert hall" effect, which invariably comes with the more accurate reproducer. Popular music is obviously less about accuracy and more about generating excitement, sometimes a thumping bass. Also it's about mixing genres, whereas with classical accurate will do for everything--baroque, opera, symphonic. On this kind of material, anything coloured shows up like a rocket fired at midnight, and is just about as welcome.

 

BTW, how did women get into this discussion?

 

what's better than good music, a good women and some good food! Man, one of those three end up in every thread.

 
Since we have not mentioned food let's put it like this
 
Classical is like a Tenderloin steak, VERY tender and VERY mild in flavor. The Tenderloin is the KING of steaks but it actually does not have a lot of "Flavor" it has however an extrodinary texture and smell, so Classical like that tenderloin is a PERFECT balance of elements, the individual parts are pointless. It's the combination of elements that makes it divine! So you want as PURE a sound as possible, or going back to that tenderloin, you want the PERFECT cook and season on it! 
 
Now music like... Techno is like a good HamBurger! Your going to start with a nice Angus Patty [93/7 meat to fat ratio] cook it nicely then LOAD it with some TOPPING, onions, mushrooms, swiss cheese ect... ect... that burger CAN be enjoyed as the Sum of Parts or individually, when a little piece of satueed mushroom falls off... you EAT it and it's EPIC. So that music sounds nice in a more colored can, like the burger which is a BOLD mix of elements, for me Techno is enjoyable "all in one bite" and "as pieces of the whole" so the extra bit of color let's me really Focus in on one or two elements, Like getting a nice bit of burger with a little extra swiss cheese, or getting a mouth full of cheese shrooms and onions *mouth waters*
 
So like food can be enjoyed with a variety of prepation from "pure" to a sloppier "funner" form. Music is the same
 
and for the record I like my Dt 990 [fun] I like my w1000x [like a good Garlic Top Sirloin [a mix of balanced and fun]] and my Balanced Dt 880 [the "pure" can]
 
As far as women go though... I'd want a women like my Dt 880 :D nice sweet top end, and a GREAT Tight.... well if you've listened to the DT 880 you get what I'm saying 
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Anybody else has a love/hate relationship with Beyer 990