The 600 ohm version of the DT 880 Premium line. Excellent choice for high output usage and...

Beyer Dynamic DT 880 Premium 600 OHM Headphones

Average User Rating:
4.38462/5,
  • The 600 ohm version of the DT 880 Premium line. Excellent choice for high output usage and headphone amplifiers, e.g. beyerdynamic A1 (see LINKS). Handcrafted in Germany, the legendary DT 880. The complete sound spectrum is reproduced in detail from the deepest sub bass to the highest highs. This semi-open, dynamic headphone is also manufactured in Germany. This top headphone combines the strengths of open and closed headphones.

    Also available as customized DT 880 MANUFAKTUR (see LINKS).

Recent User Reviews

  1. asymcon
    3.0/5,
    "Not my cup of tea - but likely perfect for most people"
    Pros - High sensitivity for such impedance, extended bass, undistorted treble
    Cons - Lacking frequency balance, V-shaped response (smiley face), soundstage too shallow & small
    I was quite disappointed with my DT880. I thought they'd make for excellent christmas present, but I was really wrong.
    First thing I noticed is very pronounced treble. While it might be OK for listening, e.g. after burn-in and "you'll get used to it", that was not why I got the headphones! I bought them for music production and that treble peak would push me towards equalization the wrong way, which is simply unacceptable for reference headphones.
    Reference means something that is uniquely and objectively transparent, from which can one "reference" sound. 
    Mid-range is severely attenuated, I didn't hear much of it so can't comment on this.
    Bass, that's probably the strongest point. Very deep, but feels detached from the rest of the spectrum. 
     
    It fell short on all of the vintage "truly reference pairs" I happen to have - AKG K240DF, K240 Monitor and K141 Monitor, all in 600Ohm.
    96dB/mW sensitivity is rather good, there were no problems with volume on all my devices, including portable players. Amplifier, while truly not necessary didn't improve the sound a bit (JDSLabs Objective2), that further proves it's transparency, but not headphones.
     
    I tried listening at low volumes close to 50dB, but the spectrum problems were there, clear as day. 
     
    As for soundstage, there are hints of 3D in it, but it's too narrow and shallow to precisely position instruments. K240DF is way more reliable in this regard, with clear distinction between front & back, which makes orchestra positioning in DAW much easier. That term Diffuse Field Equalized was not thrown there in vain. 
     
    Overall I cannot recommend this pair. Good for audiophiles, but not for producers & engineers. 
  2. poikkeus
    4.5/5,
    "Comfortable, attractive headphones that sound outstanding"
    Pros - Accurate, comfortable, attractive, airy - with a surprising richness
    Cons - Non-detachable cable, requires an amp
    There are two ways to listen to a DT880 - without an amp, or with one.
     
    Without an amp, the DT880 at 600 Ohms is pure and clean, and you're going to capture surprising highs backed with tasteful lows. The DT880 has never been a bass-monster; this headphone is not well suited for bass-heavy music like dub, hip-hop, and reggae. However, unamped, this headphone will satisfy only part of the time. Tunes that have louder volume will sound full and satisfying; laid-back tunes may seem that they need a little more punch. And volume means a lot for many tracks.
     
    Amped, the situation changes entirely. (By "amped," I mean it's connected to either good-sounding computer, or a suitable portable amp.) Formerly wan music has detail and punch. Unlike some headphones, which can be picky with source material, the DT880 sounds appealing with a symphony, or playing an old demo tape.
     
    But how does it compare to a world-class headphone like, say, Sennheiser's HD800? You might not be interested on putting down so much money for a pair of headphones, but the difference is obvious. There's more of a sense of space - thanks to the angled speaker design and bigger ear cups. There's more richness in the trebles, and more streamlined bass. Comparing the two headphones, you get a feeling for "the law of diminishing returns." At what point does a pair of headphones do the job well, and at a good price?
     
    At DT880 costs around $300 new, under $200 used and in good condition. That's less than a fifth of the price of the HD800. It's a solid value.
     
    But no matter the price, the DT880 (600 Ohms) demands some kind of amp to fully flesh out the sound. 
    Music Alchemist likes this.
  3. HeretixAevum
    4.0/5,
    "I can see why it's considered a classic, but not quite what I'm after"
    Pros - Quality Bass, Neutral mids, Articulate and extended treble, Solid build quality, All day comfort, Serviceable, Fairly priced
    Cons - Bass and treble quantities not optimal, Lack of warmth / Analytical, Earpad wearing, Headband adjustment very prone to wearing out
    Build Quality and Design
     
    Beyerdynamic headphones are often touted as being built like tanks, and I have to agree that they are very solid indeed, but not without their flaws. The main body of the DT880 is a combination of plastic and what I assume is aluminium. The grille and forks are very solid aluminium, with the latter having a subtle brush effect which adds a nice feeling of quality. The premium version which I have has some aluminium wings (also brushed) on the headband which I really like, and the "DT880" badge on the grille is another nice addition which justifies the 'premium' name. The remainder of the cups and headband assembly is a solid, dark grey plastic which gives no impression of flimsiness or cheapness. The earpads are a silver-grey velour and the headband padding is a black pleather, both of which are high quality. The cable is single entry, 3 metres long with a solid rubber coating and terminated in a 1/8 inch jack with a 1/4 inch screw-on adapter. The DT880 feels substantial and well put together, with no hint of it falling apart. It's just a good demonstration of German build quality and sensibility. 
     
    Good quality materials typically lend themselves to looking at least decent, and I think that's the case with the DT880. 
     
    Sound Quality
    There are a few negative conceptions floating around about the DT880s and their sound signature. The most common is that it’s an analytical headphone, which was the most interesting aspect for me as I’d never heard a headphone that had earned that moniker before. Generally this is said to mean that the headphone does not have a ‘musical’ tone and that it sounds cold, clinical and dry.  Other items of discussion about the DT880 is that they are too bright, recessed in the mids, and weak (and even muddy!) in the bass. Here is what I found:
     
    Bass is the thing I think is most disagreed upon with headphones, since it seems to be what  most people out there notice immediately (Show a good headphone to a friend and they’ll almost certainly comment about it). There are wildly differing expectations for bass quantity. One man’s “Noticeably boosted” is another man’s “Under-represented”. In my personal opinion, I have to say the DT880 does have less bass than I would consider optimal for listening pleasure, as well as too little to be truly neutral. Don’t get me wrong, the DT880 does not have what I would consider “weak” bass, I would say it’s “moderate” in level. It’s not totally and utterly underwhelming and lacking in presence to these ears, but more would be better, most notably in the sub-bass region. Of course, that’s the area that open back dynamic headphones historically struggle with, so I didn’t exactly expect a stellar sub-bass response.  What is there, though, is of great quality. It’s tight, quick, textured; a quite articulate bass response. This is definitely a bass response that earns the right to be differentiated from “one note” bass. Quite good in quality, but lacking in quantity for me.
     
    I think the midrange on the DT880 is dead neutral. I’ve owned headphones that have been forward and recessed in the mids, and I really can’t say that either of those terms really describes the DT880. I know that many say that this headphone does have a recessed midrange, but if it is then it’s very, very mild. The midrange sounds very flat and even handed (which is supported by measurements). It's also very clear and revealing, with great separation. 
     
    *Rest To Come*

    Update 17/11/2016

    I will unfortunately have to abandon this review for the foreseeable future. I no longer own the headphones and I really can't be bothered finishing this review off memory. I stand by the scoring, and my comments in the summary, pros and cons concisely sum up my thoughts on the DT880. It's a good headphone, it really is. It's the most satisfied I've been with a full sized can since starting my headphone journey in 2010, resulting in me keeping them for a good 2 and a half years. But, in the long run, I decided that the sound was a bit too cold and analytical, and maybe slightly too bright and lacking a little bit of body for me to enjoy anymore. By no means bad, but I prefer something a little warmer and musical sounding.

    The next headphone I'll be giving a shot will be either the HD650 or 600 in an attempt on really finding my end-game headphone for home use. Whichever I end up with I shall review next. 
     

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