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DT 990 --> HE-400/T90

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 


I would like to upgrade my DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm into either Beyer's T90 or Hifiman's He-400.

Of course I already read through the forums but I still can't decide between those.

Firstly I really love the DT 990's sound and I want lively, fun headphones with great atmosphere.

I dislike headphones like AKG's K701, because they are lacking of bass and are just boring.

I mostly listen to Hardock, Clasic Rock, Metall and Classical/Soundtracks (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Beatles, Metallica, Vivaldi, Bach, Nightwish, Rammstein...).

Furthermore my problem is, I can't hear any of the headphone where I'm living so I have to buy blindly.


What would you guys buy (299$ - 460$) ?


Thanks for reading,


post #2 of 3



If you love your DT990, my suggestion is: keep them.


Some people may find that those headphones you've listed are solid upgrades (coming from DT990) and some other people may find that those headphones are downgrades to their ears. Even if you decide to pick Beyerdynamic T1 (DT880 logical upgrade), you can still like more your DT990 due to their bass presentation.


If you don't like something about DT990 then it's easier to help you to find an upgrade (for your ears).


Otherwise, (if you don't have one) I would pick a pair of closed back headphones like Focal Spirit Professional, Shure SRH-1540 or Yamaha HPH-Pro500, to complement you beloved DT990.



Quote: Tyll Hertsens (from innerfidelity):
 (...) After hearing quite a few good sealed headphones lately (NAD VISO HP50, Focal Spirit Professional, Sennheiser Momentum), I'm beginning to think it just might be possible to make a sealed headphone that is world class.
(...) Here again is the statement that open headphones are inherently superior. One thing that's fairly easy to see is that sealed headphones are better able to control what's going on in the bass. It seems to me that open cans have a harder time keeping the air compressed around the ear for the long bass excursions, and as a result, sealed headphones often outperform open headphones in bass distortion. I've also heard some sealed cans lately that are particularly good at treble resolution (HP50, B&W P7). These cans do deliver a sense of space similar to that of an open can.



Best Luck!

post #3 of 3

I owned the DT-990 Pro for a while, and now I own the HE-400. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the HE-400 flavor is similar to the DT-990, but the HE-400 does everything better. Literally everything. That's not to say that the HE-400 is going to totally blow your mind, but giving them both a fair consideration, I cannot think of a single area where I prefer the DT-990. Maybe value because it's so much cheaper, but that doesn't really count. I'm talking about sound. 

The HE-400 and DT-990 both have a V-shaped signature, with more emphasis on the bass and treble than the midrange. Both are somewhat dry and aggressive sounding. 

The HE-400 bass just destroys the DT-990 bass. It goes deeper, and it's more impactful in the midbass region while also being tighter and cleaner. Like I said, completely better in every way.

The HE-400 is not a headphone that you buy for the midrange alone, but the mids still good. It carries more detail and texture than the DT-990. Electric guitars have a visceral, buzzing sense of crunch that you don't get with the DT-990. 

Both the HE-400 and the DT-990 have a treble that's on the shrill side. The HE-400 treble is probably even more fatiguing, but I don't hold this against the HE-400 because it's not a problem when you use EQ. EQ is mandatory by the way. 

The HE-400 and DT-990 have a similar size soundstage, large but not huge. However, the HE-400 has better 3D imaging. Layering is clearer and more precise. This is something the HE-400 really excels at. I wouldn't say the "atmosphere" of the HE-400 is much larger than the DT-990, just sharper and more defined. 

The HE-400 will reveal more low-level and textural details than the DT-990, but this can be a mixed blessing because the HE-400 is going to identify poor quality recordings more bluntly than the DT-990. 

I have not heard the T90 so I can't comment there. 

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