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Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250ohm Review (Rock music, teenage perspective, budget gear)

Poll Results: How did I do on my review?

 
  • 5% (3)
    Poorly; I never want to read a review of yours again!
  • 5% (3)
    Not bad, but not great either.
  • 23% (12)
    Well, for a novice.
  • 65% (34)
    Pretty freakin' fine. Keep it up.
52 Total Votes  
post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Review of the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (250ohm)    

 

     

 

     This is my first review, and so I hope that I do well. Please note that all are opinions from a fairly inexperienced head-fi’er (see below for what I have to compare to). I am sixteen, and for the entire review, I am listening to rock. See below for a full list of the albums/artists that were used most for this review. So, all in all, this is a review of the DT990’s and how well they play with rock to my young ears. Still with me? Great, then lets get into it.

 

My other headphones: ATH-M50’s, Grado SR80i’s, and a short stint with Sennheiser Momentum On-Ears. I am amping with a PA2v2 through a FiiO LOD that connects to my 32GB iPhone 4s.

I bought the DT990’s on eBay with 25 hours of use for $130.

 

 

     Music used (my music is about 50/50 between Apple Lossless and AAC): Jimmy Eat World, The Gaslight Anthem, Yellowcard, Rise Against, They Might Be Giants, Taking Back Sunday, Paramore, Billy Joel, Kittyhawk, Mayday Parade, U2, and various Disney and Broadway soundtracks.

     Albums used much more than others: Clarity, Bleed American, Ocean Avenue, The ’59 Sound, Flood, Louder Now, The Final Roit!, Kittyhawk EP

 

            Build Quality

 

     The Beyers are no slackers here. The cable is thick enough and feels sturdy, and the coil is convenient. I usually use the amp, but the jack is built so that I can actually plug it straight into the phone without needed to take off the case. The headphones include a screw-on 1/8in adaptor, as is to be expected. The bit connecting the cups to the headband is metal, and the rest is plastic that feels fine and sturdy. The velour is wonderful. The headphones can be bent in several directions to more-than-satisfactory levels. I haven’t been brave enough to do anything stupid with them, but they will bend plenty, unless you happen to need to wear them like a pterodactyl. The build quality, overall, is very solid. I expect that these will be able to take a beating and keep on playing.

 

            Pricing

 

     Like I mentioned, I bought these almost new for $130 on eBay. They currently go new on Amazon for around $160. For such a study build, brand, and sound, I would say that this price is very fair.

 

            Comfort

 

     The velour is fantastic. These headphones are simply floating on my head. The only problem I have for comfort is when I wear glasses while listening to them for more than an hour. The pads will press the glasses against my head, which gets uncomfortable. This is no real problem for me, though, as I usually sit down and listen to music without the glasses. Overall, fabulously comfortable.

 

 

            Sound

 

     I have had these for a few months now. For the first week or so of using them, I was really shocked. Going from Grados as my main headphone previously, the DT990’s seemed to come from another planet. The treble was too much and the whole thing seemed a bit empty. After a while of using them and adjusting to the huge change in sound signature from my SR80i’s (which, I loved, by the way), I grew to appreciate the sound signature more and more. The headphones are heavy on the treble, no doubts there. But the treble is very detailed, letting you imagine that you can see the artist hitting those cymbals on their drums. The bass is powerful, but definitely not overwhelming. It sounds accurate, fairly tight, and punchy. Accurate and aural are the words that come to mind when describing the bass of these cans. It is very surrounding, and it is certainly not muddy. Lots of people complain about the midrange of these, but I had no qualms with it. The midrange is detailed and sufficient. The soundstage is large, larger than any other headphone I’ve owned. The presentation lends itself to a very detailed presentation, which I came to really appreciate. All in all, the Beyers have a detailed sound with a lot of very detailed treble, and very satisfying amounts of equally detailed bass and mids. The presentation and clarity is wonderful and conducive to my music tastes.

 

What I liked:

-Detail, detail, detail. Open soundstage with great instrumental separation

-Comfort. These are the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn (either at home or at a head-fi meet)

-Sparkle in the treble

-Solid build quality

-Good value

What I didn’t like:

-Took a while to get into

-Treble may be a bit too much for some

 

           Conclusion

 

     Give these headphones at least a week of listening before you pass judgement. For the music that I listen to, I love the overall presentation that the DT990’s have to offer. I very much enjoy using them as my main set of cans right now. They don’t have the forward aggression of the SR80i’s, nor the neutrality of the ATH-M50’s, but they are strong in every place where the other two are not. For my price of $130, I am very satisfied with it.

 

 

This is my first review, so cut me some slack. Please leave comments or suggestions!


Edited by tanner116 - 9/21/14 at 6:23pm
post #2 of 43

Tanner,

You did a great job. Could not tell you were only 16 if you hadn't said so. I too have the 990s and they are the best of 22 phones I have. Don't ever loose your love of electronics/music. I just turned 60, am fully disabled and built my first amp from a kit when I was 12. My love of this hobby is getting me through some tough times. I also am a bit of an expert when it comes to sourcing the best deals in the country on audio gear, so if you are ever looking for something, don't hesitate to contact me. Also, note that with the sound you are getting from the 990s, you would have to upgrade substantially, in my opinion, to get a noticeable difference. Probably to the $500-$800 range. As an example, I have the AKG 702s that are more than twice what you paid for the 990s and they don't sound as good as the 990s.

post #3 of 43

Great review. I couldn't agree more with you. I recently got into this hobby and i have already bought 3 pairs of headphones in 8 months lol. Nontheless, i really enjoy my gears, especially the DT990 for its detail capabilities.

post #4 of 43
I'm thinking about buying these. I'm coming from sennheiser ie80's... So I don't know what to expect.
post #5 of 43

DEAD on!!! Tanner these were my exact thoughts!  

 

Mascok don't discredit the ie80 already. I loved sennhesier for the longest time and I am sure the IE80's are great. 

post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folex View Post

DEAD on!!! Tanner these were my exact thoughts!  

Mascok don't discredit the ie80 already. I loved sennhesier for the longest time and I am sure the IE80's are great. 

Oh don't worry, I love my ie80's... Nice to see you again Folex.
post #7 of 43

It's so rare seeing a guy your age write so well, good job.

post #8 of 43
Thread Starter 

I just ordered Hifiman HE-400 on eBay for $220. Looking to review those in the coming weeks. Thanks for all the feedback, guys!

post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanner116 View Post
 

I just ordered Hifiman HE-400 on eBay for $220. Looking to review those in the coming weeks. Thanks for all the feedback, guys!

xD, I found the HE 400 to be a very direct upgrade to the DT 990, assuming you've got a some what decent amp [like the O2 or something]

 

With your Bravo I'm not sure how the HE 400 is going to sound q.q 

post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

xD, I found the HE 400 to be a very direct upgrade to the DT 990, assuming you've got a some what decent amp [like the O2 or something]

 

With your Bravo I'm not sure how the HE 400 is going to sound q.q 

 

I dunno about that, a big part of headphones is how comfortable they are.  HE 400 = 14.5 Oz, 990's = 8.8oz which is over 60% heavier. Anything Hifiman is like wearing 2 bricks on each ear. 

post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
I'm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

xD, I found the HE 400 to be a very direct upgrade to the DT 990, assuming you've got a some what decent amp [like the O2 or something]

With your Bravo I'm not sure how the HE 400 is going to sound q.q 
I am actually planning on upgrading to the O2 in the weeks following the arrival of my HE-400. I've been told that they sound good with my PA2v2, but that they would shine much farther with something better. I'll definitely take that into consideration.
post #12 of 43
DT990's are really underrated on this site I find. There are all kinds myths about them like being overly bright, having a muddy bass or having weak mids. None of them true, unless you use them with an inferior setup. These are headphones in the same league as the K701 or HD650 and above DT880 in some ways (talking from experience of owning them all). With a great amp and source these can be some of the most natural and realistic sounding headphones out there. They actually surpass my T1 in terms of how realistically they reproduce certain instruments, especially the acoustic guitar and drums, they just have that combination of gentle sparkle and pleasant warmth and fullness to the sound, never going over the top in either area. IMHO, they are technically the best headphones out there under 250-300€ mark and definitely far and beyond anything else that sell for around $160. They just require the same treatment as other headphones in their league, and people in most cases just dont provide that because they look at the price of the headphone and assume they'l work great with cheap gear. One more interesting thing is that they sound very similar to K701s, literally the same apart from having a tiny bit more bass, and having none of that plastic tonality in the mids. Its weird how similar they are in A B testing. So if you've heard K701s, imagine them with slightly more bass and slightly better (more real tonality, not as forward) mids and there you have the DT990 Pros.
post #13 of 43

Quite good review! It is a big jump I think going from a pretty rock-tastic sound in the Grados and the M50 to a beyer sound, especially the open ones from what I have listened to and own.

 

I think you did a swell job expressing your opinion in the review and you should be commended. It was very direct which is appreciated and descriptive.

 

I would be interested to see what you think of something bassier but still quite spacious sounding, such as the A900x which you can sometimes get in the same price range on here.

I know that that sort of thing is a difficult request or expectation, so I don't expect you to take me seriously. :)

 

Keep on writing!

post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folex View Post
 

 

I dunno about that, a big part of headphones is how comfortable they are.  HE 400 = 14.5 Oz, 990's = 8.8oz which is over 60% heavier. Anything Hifiman is like wearing 2 bricks on each ear. 

I was talking purely sonics, but I'm wearing the LCD 2 Fazor atm, and for me... I can't tell when I'm wearing my HE 4 or the LCD 2 weight wise, they feel about teh same :/

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

I was talking purely sonics, but I'm wearing the LCD 2 Fazor atm, and for me... I can't tell when I'm wearing my HE 4 or the LCD 2 weight wise, they feel about teh same :/

 

Most likely you're listening to music for 20-30 minutes at a time. 21oz is insane for a pair of headphones. For me anything over 10oz after 2-3h begins to fatigue. 

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