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DT 990 Pros 250ohm lacking bass?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've recently purchased the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro's 250 ohm version after doing a fair bit of research on what headphones would suit me best. The 990's were in my price range and from all the reviews about them, I've come to the conclusion that they would be the perfect fit for a basshead like me who listens to a lot of edm/pop. Out of the box they sound pretty amazing already compared to my previous closed headsets (steel series siberia V2/corsair vengeance 2000) but they're lacking the bass I've heard they're so famous for. My current setup is that I'm powering them straight from my laptop which doesn't really have an amazing sound card but the volumes loud enough for my liking. I am currently burning them in to see how much I like them unamped because I am a little hesitant about shelling about another $100 for an amp. I have tried tuning the EQ to increase bass to max levels but it seems like there should be more. My following questions regarding the bass are:

 

1) Could it just be me? I'm used to closed headphones where they are sealed and I could really feel the bass thump. Since these are my first real pair of "audiophile" grade headphones, I'm not sure if the bass is really already there and I'm just not used to it since they're open or if I should even be expecting more.

 

2) Would burning these headphones in for another couple hours really increase the bass? So far I've listened to them for 30 hours and I can say they sound somewhat better than they did right out of the box but I don't think listening to them for another 50+ would help with the bass.

 

3) Would an amp help tremendously? I've read mixed reviews on amps, some say they barely help at all while others have said that they make a day/night difference. In my case, would an amp significantly increase the
bass to where I want it?  

 

4) Could these headphones be defective? I think they sound fine just except for the lacking bass. Are there any tests to determine if this is how they are intended to sound?

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjBlingy View Post

...

3) Would an amp help tremendously?...

Yes!
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjBlingy View Post
 

I've recently purchased the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro's 250 ohm version after doing a fair bit of research on what headphones would suit me
bass to where I want it?  

 

4) Could these headphones be defective? I think they sound fine just except for the lacking bass. Are there any tests to determine if this is how they are intended to sound?

Do you have access to a receiver, there headphone jacks usually come with a decent amount of power for driving the headphones,

good way to see if the audio quality can be improved over the laptop.

post #4 of 10
Quote:

1) Could it just be me? I'm used to closed headphones where they are sealed and I could really feel the bass thump. Since these are my first real pair of "audiophile" grade headphones, I'm not sure if the bass is really already there and I'm just not used to it since they're open or if I should even be expecting more.

 

2) Would burning these headphones in for another couple hours really increase the bass? So far I've listened to them for 30 hours and I can say they sound somewhat better than they did right out of the box but I don't think listening to them for another 50+ would help with the bass.

 

3) Would an amp help tremendously? I've read mixed reviews on amps, some say they barely help at all while others have said that they make a day/night difference. In my case, would an amp significantly increase the
bass to where I want it?  

 

4) Could these headphones be defective? I think they sound fine just except for the lacking bass. Are there any tests to determine if this is how they are intended to sound?


1) I don't know what you're expecting, but the DT-990 Pro was also my first audiophile headphone. I had a closed Sony MDR-V6 before. I found the DT990 bass very impressive. 

2) Burning in the headphones will not make any large change to the bass. Some people argue about whether burning in can make a subtle difference, but it's nuts to hope that burning in will make it sound like you have a new headphone. If they sound better with more play time, it's most likely because your brain is getting used to the sound. 

3) An amp could make a difference. You don't need to spend $100. Buy a Cmoy from JDS Labs (this is the amp I used on my DT-990). It's very cheap. If jacking the bass up with EQ doesn't make much difference to the sound, it's very possible that the problem lies within your headphone jack. EQ won't do anything unless you have the power to back it up. That Cmoy also has a bass boost switch. 

4) I don't think there's any way people on the internet can tell you that for sure. Defective headphones usually exhibit crackling, buzzing, distortion, or different volume on each side. You could try playing some test tones. Here is one site, there are plenty of others. http://www.audiocheck.net/soundtestsaudiotesttones_index.php 

post #5 of 10

1: Definitely look into an amp. A >$75 am can make a world of difference. Most laptops can't push a lot of clean power at lower frequencies. The 250 ohm DTxx0 especially need more power as they're not particularly sensitive headphones. Just the power from my uDAC3 is enough to drive my 250ohm DT770s pretty well, but an extra powerful amp is never out of place with "studio" 250ohm headphones.

2: If your old headphones had massive bass boost (+20b etc) then the +6 to 8db of the DT990s may seem anemica at first.

3: The DT990s go right down to 20hz. A lot of cheap bass heavy headphones have lots of bass down to 100hz then they just drop like a stone. Look for music with lots of low end bass to show off the DT990s

4: The DT990s are fairly bright in the upper range. This may make the bass seem more subdued than it is.

5: Burn in, as mentioned, is largely a function of your brain. Give yourself some time to adjust to them. EQ some bass in if you need to.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sxooter View Post

 

3: The DT990s go right down to 20hz. A lot of cheap bass heavy headphones have lots of bass down to 100hz then they just drop like a stone. Look for music with lots of low end bass to show off the DT990s


+1 on this. Make sure that you know what deep bass really sounds like before you pass judgment. 

Try this

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


+1 on this. Make sure that you know what deep bass really sounds like before you pass judgment. 
 

Wow, that is a lot of low end bass. And my DT770s seem to love it. :)

 

For more bass / techno fun put in General Midi on pandora (plus is recommended you get better quality audio)

post #8 of 10

If you want more bass, I believe the 770s have more than the 990s, the 80 ohm version in particular. With the 250 ohm version, you will definitely want an amp to get great sound out of them and help with the bass. I wont be able to recommend one for you though.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

If you want more bass, I believe the 770s have more than the 990s, the 80 ohm version in particular. With the 250 ohm version, you will definitely want an amp to get great sound out of them and help with the bass. I wont be able to recommend one for you though.

I own the 250 ohm DT770s and they have to have an amp. But they don't need a monster amp. I use a uDAC3 straight and get very good sound, and have an MMP (both by NuForce) for when I need to make my fillings come loose. Most $50 to $100 amps work wonders on these headphones, but if I had to choose just one, DAC with low power amp and higher powered amp alone I'd pick the DAC and lower powered amp in my uDAC3. The sound is so amazingly clear with a good DAC.

post #10 of 10

I liked my DT-990 Pro without an amp at first. Once I got an amp, I heard the improvements and would have a hard time going back. I don't think an amp is always necessary to get enough bass, but it depends on the specific headphone jack. The OP might have a lousy headphone jack. IDK. 

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