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Headphones item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - Clarity, Soundstage, Details,. Price, Comfort, build quality, Design
Cons - Sibilant, A bit too much bass, Slightly recessed mids
Hey, this is my 1st review in head-fi forums & I am by no means a critic, so this will be a qualitative newbie review. 1st of all, I'll let you guys know that I've got them at an amazing price of just 144.99$ through a momentary sale going on for these cans. I previously had the Ultrasone HFI 580, so my review will be somewhat based on their comparison as well. I'll be breaking the review down to packaging & accessories, build, sound etc.
Packaging & accessories-
The headphones come in a simple white box. One side is covered with transparent plastic through which you can see one side of the headphones with Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro 250ohm written on it. On the front of the box, there is a lid which is closed by a velcrow & after opening it provides some info about it's DT770/880/990 models. On the back there are information about the headphones.
Inside the box, the headphone lies with the left & right cans seperated by a thick cardboard divider, which is actually the box containing the coiled cable. The cable is 3m & a gold plated 3.5mm-6.3mm stereo adapter is attached at the end of it. the box also includes a manual & warranty information, but nothing more.Score- 8/10
These things are built to last. The headbands are metal & the backside grills are sturdy plastic. Everything has a smooth, clean finish & looks like a top notch product. The earpads are velour & the headband is covered with a really soft cushion. The cable is attached to the left can & there's a overhead cable connecting the right to the left. All the cables have stress relief at the entry/exit points. 10/10 for build.
The most comfortable headphones I've used till date. My older ones are Panasonic HTF600, Shure SRH440 with 840 pads, Ultrasone HFI 580 with DT250 pads. These are certainly the best. Only thing that bothered me initially was the clamping force, but after a few days use, I am ok with it. 9/10 for comfort.
Now comes the main part, the true purpose of the cans. 1st I should tell you guys that I don't have a very big setup & my sources are rather avg. I have used the following setups & played 320kbps mp3s or flacs.
Setup 1- PC>Foobar2000>Asus Xonar STX(high gain)>DT990
Setup 2- Sandisk Sansa Clip+>Fiio E11>DT990
Setup 3- Sansa Clip+>Sansui A505(old solid state amp from the 90s)>DT990
These are certainly bass heavy. The bass is really prominent, create a powerful impact & extension is really good. But sometimes I feel that I could have done with a bit less bass, specially coming from the ultrasone HFI 580 which has really good lows without ever overpowering. It also feels like getting the better of the mids. 8/10 from me.
Mids are the weakest point for the cans. It all feels a bit recessed, although much more detailed than the other cans I've used. In some songs it feels like I am hearing a lot of detail but most of it is coming from a bit far away than the highs & lows. But in other songs, all seem well. Love the details though. Clarity & seperation is amazing. 8/10 for the mids.
This is where almost everything sounds right. Initially it came to me as quite sibilant, even in some songs I had to remove them from my ears. But after a few hours of burn in, the trebles settle nicely into place. Still a bit sibilant, but the details & clarity clearly is great. 9/10.
Huge. Certainly the best I've heard. Bigger than the HTF600 even, which I loved for the reason. Positioning is accurate. Puts on a truly engaging listening experiance. 9/10
I've used these for FPS gaming(CoD4) which I really take seriously. & these have been really the best cans for gaming. Accurate footsteps, positioning, sound reproduction. again 9/10
These headphones have received a total of 70 out of 80 from me.That's almost 88%, But at the price which I've got them, I'll give them a 9.5/10. Definitely recommended. If you're looking for a bass heavy open headphones with amazing details & have enough power to drive these babies, get them. A gem for the price.
Pros - Plenty of bass, excellent clarity, wide soundstage, detailed and very affordable, awesome build quality
Cons - piercing treble and can sound thin in comparison to smoother cans, recessed midrange, non-detachable cable, clamp a little too tight
I got these on Amazon for just £68 (sterling). Ridiculous right?
Let's get the bad out of the way first.
They sound thin and a little shrill because they have prominent treble. While they sparkle and sound very exciting first, the piercing highs become irritating and if your volume is high enough, you start wincing in pain as those high frequencies wreak havoc on your poor eardrums.
The clamp is fairly tight and after a few hours, you'll start to feel it. The midrange is pushed back. Combined with the wide sound stage, vocals can sound distant. When listening to vocal dominant music like soul and r'n'b, this can really take away from the listening experience. A more forward sounding can would really wow you!
The cable is not detachable but it's built rather well. Aside from that, I think the headband is replaceable and so are the pads. If you take good care of it, it'll last for several years.
Now to the good.
The bright side (no pun intended) is that you catch a lot of detail, especially with the instrumental side of things. There's just so much sparkle - it's an exciting headphone.
The trump card is the bass. Most open cans don't reproduce a great amount of bass, but this is the exception. For comparison, I also have an XB700 which is about as much bass as you'll ever get out of a CLOSED headphone. While the DT990 PRO isn't a match for the ridiculous XB700, the bass rich, extends low and even packs some mild impact. Where the XB sounds muffled, like listening to music with a towel over your head, the DT990 PRO is clear and the bass is definitely powerful. Drums hit hard and possess a satisfying thump (I listen to hip hop mainly). It's a fantastic can.
Also, the expansive soundstage makes music so interesting. Instruments come from every direction where other headphones reproduce a more linear sound. These are far more dynamic.
I've since sidelined my DT990 PROs with Philips' Fidelio X1. A very similar sound signature with smoother treble and a more forward midrange. The perfect headphone in many ways, but for £68, the DT990 PRO is 80-90% as good as the X1 which cost £150. Then again, the X1 is one sexy looking can!!
Still, my DT990 PRO is a cherished can which has its place in my collection. It was my first fully open headphone and it introduced me to a new level of sound. Now I can barely stand my XB700s and my ZX700s due to their closed nature. I just don't enjoy that kind of sound anymore. I have been spoilt!
Pros - Very comfortable, non-harsh vocals, fun, soundstage, almost grain-free, excellent bass extension, value, build quality,
Cons - Needs a tube amp, slightly dipped mid range, very bright, cringeworthy treble before burn in, slightly thin upper bass (bottom heavy)
I bought the DT990s for use with bass music such as hip-hop, drum and bass and electronic dance music to compliment my AKG K702 65th Anniversies, which I have since sold.
Build and comfort: the build on the DT990s is excellent like most Beyers, and is made in Heilbronn, Germany. It is made from high impact plastic for the cups and spring steel for the headband and bales (yolks), with replaceable velour ear pads and a replaceable vinyl headband pad. The headphones are very grippy and tight, so that may be an issue for you guys who are sensitive to caliper pressure. It is not an issue after about 5 minutes of wearing. The pads have plenty of space for your ears. I have a badly (seemly) disproportionate left ear, so the back of the left pad slightly touches the back of my left ear, so sometimes it is a little irritating if I pay attention to it. Otherwise I don't have a problem. The yolks are metal and the headband is made from spring steel, so don't feel afraid to bend the yolks and headband out slightly to loosen the grip. This will keep the ear pads from collapsing and causing the drivers to touch the ears. Headband comfort is not an issue whatsoever. Keep in mind that these have a non-field serviceable hard wired 3 meter coiled cable terminated to a 3.5 mm plug with a screw-on 6.3 mm adapter, which is a must to use since these need a desktop amplifier.
Treble: Bright? Yes. Grainy or overly metallic? No. The treble on the 990 Pros is strong and very present, yes. I would call it more revealing than colored overly bright. But at the same time it isn't what I would call overly harsh. It is only harsh when a song is sibilant or badly mastered, and that is noticeable in the 8-10,000 Hz range. Thankfully, the 990s are very responsive to EQing, so all you have to do is turn the treble on the 8 kHz range down a decibel or two below flat, and that will take the bite off the treble nicely. But what I like most about the treble is that it isn't crunchy, metallic or grainy. Grain is the number one cause of ear pain for me, and it is why I hated the way the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and the Beyerdynamic DT880s sounded in the treble region. I would say that the DT990 Pros have even less grain than the so-called laid back Sony MDR-MA900s.
Mids: The midrange is much smoother and has a warmer, dynamic sound without being harsh. These are not the most mid centric headphone for the price, though (the AKG K612 Pros for 199 US dollars are better for mid centric music), as there is a u-shape to the sound signature. Mids are still natural sounding though.
Bass: One word: Authoritative. The bass on the 990s hits hard, but it is not overly boomy so it doesn't give me an earache like on the DT770 Pro 80s. This is a great headphone for drum and bass, electronic dance music and hip-hop. The only downside I have is that the upper bass is a little thin, so bass signature is more of a rumbly, mid to sub-bass-centric sound. Unlike the AKG K240s or Sennheiser HD25s, which have more upper and mid bass than sub bass, and as a result, have a more punchy, visceral, warmer bass which is a little more suited for rock, some dance and jazz.
Source and burn in: When I first plugged them into my Maverick Audio A1 amplifier, I immediately had tinnitus from the ringing, overly splashy treble and boomy bass. After giving them about 20 hours of burn in, they settled down nicely and that harsh bite to the treble and overwhelming bass were taken off. These headphones still remain bright whether they are on a solid state or tube amplifier, but they are MUCH more dynamic on a tube amp. On a solid state, they will sound harsh and mechanical. Tube amps I recommend are the Maverick Audio Tubemagic A1, Little Dot amps, and the Woo Audio WA6 and WA7 are both supposed to be excellent matches for the 990 Pro.
I think that for the price, these headphones are a steal considering what you get for your money. Just keep in mind that you need to get a desktop amplifier for these to sound their best, preferably tubes. You can get a Maverick Audio A1 or Little Dot MKII for around 200 dollars. So you can have a serious listening rig for under 400 dollars. Highly recommended.
Pros - Audio is superb - Excellent differentiation of details, wide expansive glorius concert hall classical music; extremely comfortable.
Cons - Need headphone amplifiers to enjoy bass for rock music
I have the 600 ohm model. So a headphone amplifier is obligatory especially if you are hard of hearing from too much loud music. I reserve this for classical music and home use. Just pure indulgence to the ears for pure magnificent and expansive concert hall experience. Perfect companion to classical music.
Try it with Mikhail Pletnev – Swan Lake, Op. 20: Act II By a Lake: No. 13. Dances of the swans: VI. Tempo di valse or Mikhail Pletnev – Swan Lake, Op. 20: Act II By a Lake: No. 13. Dances of the swans: V. Andante - Allegro because the audio experience is simply magnificent.
Pros - Dynamics, Sound Stage Width, Bass, delicate mids, airy treble
Cons - 3D Imaging Not the best, Too much bass at times
Beyerdyanmic Dt 990 Pro 250 ohm [Price $190 New]
Source Win 7[Foobar2000 WASAPI] -> oDac -> MonoPrice Premium Coaxial Cables -> Matrix M Stage [0 /+18 db Gain Lme 49990 OpAmp]
The Beyer Can, having a higher impedance reaches it's optimal sound at 18 gain, volume is adjust accordingly
Compared against modified Audio Technica w1000x [Stock $350 Refurbished-After mods $500]
8/9 Songs are without EQ, Benga-Invasion does feature an EQ by my self. This should demonstrate the ability of a headphone to handle EQ.
My second primary headphone. I've had it for around 6 months now, and shame on me for not posting a review sooner. It was so wonderful, I suppose it didn't need me to explain it self. Non the less, it's time the silence be broken!
Like a tank, I've dropped them a few times sadly, sat on them once and lugged them around in a book bag for months. Unlike the fragile w1000x, the Beyer headphones are the most well built I've worn to date. Truly tough headphones!
Open Dynamic Operating Principle
250 Ohm Impedance
Ease of Use [Comfort/Fit/Isolation] [4/5]
The comfort is amazing as well, the open dynamic driver and the velour pads are great together! The open back of the can let's any heat flow away from you, while the velour's make sure your ears aren't too cold! I wear them for hours daily! The clamp how ever may be to strong for some.. Still the fit is easy to master, and unlike the fickle angled drivers of the w1000x, these remain consistent!
Sound Signature and Character
Sound Stage: Wonderfully, wide. Instrument separation is flawless and sounds effortless on the part of the headphone. The width does take away from the depth of the sound stage however.
Sound Signature- There's actually feature a rather prominent mid bass hump, yet they remain fairly balanced. The mids are very real, sufficient warm and wonderful clarity and punch. A brighter, lighter and tighter sound signature. I find it suits Classical, Classical and Nu Jazz, and EDM. The bass is to much for rock, and the mids not intimate or lushly beautiful enough to all vocals.
1 - Lisa Ekdahl _ Of My Conceit
A vocal jazz piece, Lisa's voice is the main focus. Yet behind her is a lovely piano and a delicate guitar strumming! The piano provides a nice upper Mid and Treble balance, while the guitar provides lower mids and some bass. Both of these elements compliment Lisa's voice. A song best on a warm neutral can, a larger sound stage is excellent with this song as well!
Treble- The highs of the guitar are very nice and airy. they extend well, as does the higher delicate notes in Lisa's voice. The cymbal sparkle is magical as well!
Mids- Lisa's voice has great upper mid presence, but the lower mids are a little overtaken by the lows in her voice. Still, the lush warmth in Lisa's voice is not 100%. The Beyers lack the sex appeal in her voice!
Bass- A little too strong for this track, the vocals lose a little mid warmth in the bass, and low notes on the guitar have more body than I'd like.
Dynamics- Very nice, the left and right channels feature different instruments, and they flawlessly shift from louder to softer notes.
2- Anne Gastinel & Francois-Frederic Guy Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5
Classical track features heavy focus on mids with sparkles of lower treble and the balance between the Cello and Piano!. Another song benefitting from a larger sound stage and a well balanced head phone. The bass of the cello accentuates nicely against the Piano. Both having deep beautifully lush tones. Air and extension make this piece come alive and lack of it, can kill the mood entirely! Then entire audible spectrum is equally beautiful through the entire song!
T- The lower treble is beautiful, airy and well textured! With a excellent quick decay and smooth presentation.
M- Phenomenal, the warmth the Cellos, upper and lower mids ever so gently tickle your ears, the piano as well retains great warmth. The energy and punch is ever present, as the notes quickly shift from higher to lower! Again the w1000x, has a lush tightness to it, yet the lacks the delicate and polite nature of the Dt 990s Mids.
B- Very tight and well placed, the bass never impedes on the delicate mids!
Dyna-Excellent, a flawless effort from high to HIGHER to HIGEST, the back to softer notes, the shifts from fast to slow, LOUD to quiet. Everything is accurate, smooth and effortless. The dynamics are lighting fast, magically effortless! The w1000x sounds very sluggish in this track, the immense width of the dt 990s sound stage is a true strength here.
3. Yoshida Brothers -Love
The two brothers are performers of the traditional Japanese music style of Tsugaru-jamisen which originated in northern Japan. They debuted in 1999 in Japan as a duo playing the shamisen, and it remains a main instrument. In addition to traditional Japanese percussion, this track features a very gusto male shout. What sounds like a verbal battle cry, is over top the delicate shamisen. The punchy yet warm mids of the male vocals pair well with the light upper mids and treble of the Shamisen.
T- The high notes, retain a nice sharp twinge to them. Natural and very real. good extension and well textured. Still the mysticism of the woody highs is lost on the Dt 990, where as the wooden w1000x, captures the beauty of the wooden tones of the WOOD Shamisen!
M- The mids of the Shamisens are, just as lovely and gentle as they should be. Quick on their feet, and with a deadly accurate attack. The mood of the song is capture nicely in the mids. Still though, the male vocals lack... GUSTO. They lack power behind them, so the song is a little lighter than I'd like. I miss the power in the vocals. In addition, the sharp wooden beauty of the percussion is lost a little on the dt 990. Again, though the natural beauty of the Shamisen is lost a little in the Dt 990, it lacks the mysticism of the woody mids!
B- There isn't much bass to the song, that being said, what little bass that rings through the wooden percussion, is a little lost on the super tight Dt 990.
Dyna- both cans do a great job of effortlessly shifting from the high to low energy parts of the song. Each one quick to adjust.
4 Kidnap Kid- Animaux
A nice Vocal DnB Tune. A really demanding tune, as the mids and bass over overly overtop another. The sound is very... wonderful! The beauty of the mids right atop deep tight bass, followed by drops of nice punchy vocals. Best of all, the pesky 150hrz makes a return in this tune for a lovely meaty support for those mids. The layering and texture of the bass is, something I'm still not used to! I feel a little spoiled each time I hear it!
T- Very light and airy. A little better extended than the w1000x. Although the additional brightness of the DT 990, brings an almost fake sound to the well synthesized treble. Still The treble details in this song are amazing.
M- The seductive mids and bass combo on the w1000x is hard to beat... still the very real mids of the Dt 990, still pair beautifully with the deep bass. Both cans, present this song a little differently, but do do them equally well. The added punch is the Dt 990, is equally as enjoyable as the ever so slightly thicker mids on the w1000x.
B- A tough call, both cans are Mid bass oriented, the tighter bass and lower mids of the Dt 990, have an awesome dynamic impact, where as the slightly softer yet tight bass of the w1000x lingers just a few fractions of a second longer to bring a little more soul to this song. Dare I say the Dt 990 here is almost too aggressive... Yet the bass still favors the Dt 990, as it digs deeper, and those DEEP notes really mellow the entire tune out more than the mids imo.
Dyna- a very dynamic Drum n Bass tune, again both handle seamless dynamic transitions. How ever the highs, fade in out and much quicker and smoother on the dt 990.
5- Dai Qing Tana & HAYA Band- Missing You
Beautiful Mongolian vocals, and a world music sound that breaches more than just Asian styles. This track features a lovely guitar to your left, a cello to your right with Dai Qings delicate yet warm deep lyrics right in the middle. A perfect tonal balance is ideal for this track, as it's simplicity does not allow for any distraction from the overall mood of the song as a whole!
T- Nice air, great brightness.
M- Dai Quing's voice is equally as beautiful Airy, as it is lush, yet the bass notes from the guitar drown out her voice.
B- Sadly, the bass on the dt 990 is to over powering for this song, While the cello remains beautiful, the guitar has much to much body and far too long of a decay, the note does how ever ring out, but the increased bass of the DT 990 really brings to much attention to it... The upper mids as well, are lost in those lingering bass notes, the slightly softer and less bassy w1000x, presents them with equal decay yet a much with a gentler punch.
Dyna- The effortless dynamics of the DT 990, do save the upper mids from some of that over powering bass.
It should be noted how ever, on +10 gain the bass get's a little looser and is more enjoyable, but the beautiful air and gentle push of the cello and upper mids are lost in this gain decrease. Dynamics suffer a little as well from the gain adjustment.
6- 3nd_ Algorythm
Great tune from a Japanese Rock band, wonderful energy and great layering. A nice high energy rock tune. The kick of the drums and the clash of the cymbals, combined with sweet guitar mids and a mellow bass line. The bass in particular shifts a lot, the skilled bassists really shows off from time to time, combined with dual guitar tracks. Balance is a great benefit, as is a good sound stage to this song.
T- The cymbals have a good tone, good extension.
M- Once again, I do enjoy the extra edge and energy in the mids on the guitar. Those upper mids especially have some awesome air to them! Still for this rock tune, a little less detail and a little more lush mids are preferred!
B- Still the bass guitar is a little too strong again, not nearly as much as in the previous song [Electric bass, stays tighter than Acoustic] Still the kick drum has good impact.
Dyna- Both perform equally as well, this song does not feature too many dynamic shifts, but there are about 3 major ones. The Dt 990 is as usual a little faster, but not by enough to negate any significant advantage.
It should be noted... the Beyer Dt 990s, slightly shallow sound stage is brought out in Rock. For me, the w1000x, has a better 3D image in this rock track, than does the Beyer Dt 990.
7- Benga- Evolution
A lovely mid intro, builds to a very aggressive and tight drop. While the mids are an excellent addition to this song, the cymbals and bass are the focus here! Aggression is key in this track, the tighter and deeper the better. The faster and punchier the more enjoyable!
I will admit, I do enjoy my Dub Step eq'd ever so slightly. That being said, I do use the same modest eq for both cans. A +1 boost at 55hrz leading to a +4 boost to 110hz, followed by a -6 decrease at 156hz following a slight incline to +2 at 1.2k hz then back to +-0 I prefer the mids boosted a pinch, and that pesky 156hrz when removed or eq'd out bring a VERY tight bass line to any track, As this frequency is a VERY meaty upper Bass... that said I remove it as it lacks deep impact or TIGHT punch imo.
T- About the same, both have great treble detail, the Dt 990 has a little more air and extends nicer. Quicker on the decay as well.
M-Mids are lusher on the w1000x, but a little too lush. On the Dt 990 the punchier nature of the mids cut's against that deep bass a little more pleasantly!
B- Sadly a slaughter, Dt 990 is Tigher, faster and more aggressive.
Dyna- What... Dub Step song with Dynamics... you mean other than... BASS no BASS... just kidding. Seriously though, the song has nice dynamic shifts, and the massive bass stays tight and decays faster through these shifts on the DT 990.
Should be noted, the Dt 990 struggles a little bit with deeper acoustic bass notes. The w1000x is a little more natural with wooden instrument bass, than is the Dt 990
8- Lenny White, Jamey Haddad, Mark Sherman -Seven [Binarual Recording] From _ (Explorations In Space and Time)
A percussion trio, this binarual recording has only one thing that makes it wonderful... imaging. The Width and depth of the recording is really wonderful, not to mention the dynamics of the track as a whole. A headphones Sound Stage, width and height are very important. However too wide a sound stage and the 3D imaging can get a little veiled.
T- Cymbal are wonderfully airy, great energy and the linear space is good, the 3D position, imaging how ever is not as nice as the K550 and the w1000x
M- Ahh Drums, have a good body to the, unlike the K550 which has rather thin lower mids, in this all percussion piece those lower mids are excellent on both the Dt 990 and the w1000x, with the Dt 990 having the best impact and clarity!
B- Nice and tight, very pleasant!
Dynamics- once again, pleasantly tight and quick.
9 The Modern Jazz Quartet- Reunion Blues
A lovely classic jazz piece, what makes this such a great tune is the balance of each instrument, as well as the placement of each in the sound stage. This song... is spilt literally into left and right. A soft Piano and Percy Heath's Double Bass to your right, with the drums and cymbals to your left, Also in the left channel is a magically warm and lush Xylophone! Best of all despite extreme stereophonic sound, the track as a whole is very balanced and incredibly enjoyable! Here a wider sound stage takes heed over a tall one.
T- Lovely, cymbals have good extension and fabulous air.
M- the upper mids are excellent, as are the lower mids! The piano and Xylophone work together for a wonderful mid core! The 1000x, adding a nice richness to both, . Over all the combination of clarity and mid tonal impact make for a great jazz experience!
B- Excellent, tight, yet again the 3D imaging shows to be a little weaker than w1000x respectively!
Dynamics- As always, fast and accurate. Great for this classical Jazz piece!
Treble [5/5]- Airy, well extended and awesome details!
Mids [4/5]- A beautiful tone to mids, not lush enough for vocals but perfect for delicate upper and lower mid instruments!
Bass [3.5/5] - Excellent bass in some songs, in others it's so much it ruins them.
Conclusion- For $190 new and around $150, it's one of my favorite all time open cans! Great sound for almost all kinds of music and the bass lovers will enjoy it with everything! Good dynamics and fantastic build quality. A must have for any one getting into Audio Phila!
Pros - very confortable, very open, good build quality
Cons - need and expensive amp to show its real potential
I use this one a lot and like it for its clarity and specialy on acoustic and classic genre it have a very good potential.
The sound improve a lot with a high end amplifier and for example the issue for people who find it too shy on bass comes often from their source.
I found the mids a little bit recessed on this one but with a decent amp it's something not to bad.
Good overall I think its one of the most confortable headphone I tried except the HD800 that do better but very good for long listening sessions.
You can see an other review here:
Pros - comfort, immersive sound, quality , spacing , durability
Cons - cable could be detachable(nitpicking)
let me start with the common confusion of burning in cans!!
with a huge amount of forums that generally end in personal arguments, i am completely quizzed if im to believe in it or otherwise..
however, its not much of a loss to try it out as they can only bring out the true sonic characteristics of a headphone, if at all there are any..an example being my xb500s change in sound once burnt in, but it wasn't the same with the shure se 535(then again BAs need no burn in or so is the talk) ,
at the time of this writing i've given the dt 990 pros a 100 odd hours of white, pink,brown noise profiles and music .
they were pathetic straight out of my laptop...so i started to burn flac cds and play them through my onkyo sr 501 ...yes!!! they need a lot of power but that is very evident from the 250 ohm label.
the bass is really crazy and in fact its quality bass providing a lot of signature to the overall sound!! yes im talking about quality bass and not brain disorienting vibrations(xb 500)..
i wouldn't call the mids recessed at all, instead its just a bit overshadowed by the full bass and treble. when i heard some boney m tracks(flac), i found the vocals upfront, attention grabbing and good enough to prove wrong the rumor ....but the vocals don't stand out with respect to the instruments during chorus and the like even though there is no sacrifice on detail...which contributes to the so called 'recession' behaviour...yet again, this is partly subjective as im comparing them to my super-forward mid-centric se 535... i would still consider the mids to be clear with immense clarity and on its own league of sorts!
however reminding myself of the se 535 signature, the dt 990 pros had a strengthened amount of texture in comparison to the shures, this might be part of the balanced armature sound vs dynamic sound debate.
another noteworthy point > these make a a stupendously brilliant movie headphone ...
let me make this point clear. movies like inception(yes!!hyped, overly so) and the general works of Nolan have a sense of eerie and this fear of sorts is very hard to come across while watching them on poor screens with poorer audio seperation.
and this eerie, which is part of his direction, became very evident once i watched it through these cans, i almost peed my pants when marrion cotillard looked onto the camera in dicaprio's dream basement in inception...and watching bourne ultimatum was a heavenly pleasure...very very realistic and detailed sound ... ...car tires screeching, gunshots, shell casings landing, glass breaking ,bombs going off and impacts are just absolutely mental!!
i can only imagine what terminator 2 judgment day would sound like...apparently thats next on my list
and now for the treble.
treble is a bit piercing, especially if you listen to mainstream pop but for movie watching i find this brings out a lot of realism in the sound. this would be my ideal sounding headphone if the treble is brought down by 4 decibels but then again a 300 ohm resistance adapter will do this faithfully.....
yes! i've found a true keeper in them and i suspect that for a real long time i will restrict my hi-fidelity search to iems alone!
another common budget recommendation with these cans will be the cmoy bb amplifier as it also mellows the treble and brings more body to the mids!
Pros - Exceptional sound quality, wide frequency range with full details, extreemly low distortion levels, velour pading for confort
Cons - sound leakage, no sound isolation, look bulky, non detachable cable
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
Pros - Wide Sound Stage, Open Back Design, Up Front & Involving, Instrument Separation, Clarity, Bass, Imaging Placement
Cons - Slight Mids Recession, Slight Clamp, Fairly Shallow Ear Cup Depth, Fatigue Once Amped Over Extended Sittings
Okay I'll start by saying I'm a budding audiophile, only been in the scene for a couple of years and in that time made minimal purchases so my experience isn't ideal. Figured I'd mention that straight away, that being said I'm typing this review for and from the perspective of fellow budding audiophiles or even folks totally new who want to upgrade but don't know which way to turn....
So the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, is one of the best built headphones in the business at the price it sells for. The black arms that connect to the cups look plastic but they're of a metallic material, that same material goes under the fake leather headband (pin button topped) and criss-crosses at the top of the headphone to reinforce the durability. Even the plastic feels surprisingly quality to the touch - also where it says 'DT 990 Pro' on the ear cups from the pictures it looks like paint but it's not it's actually raised hard plastic! They have soft as silk velour ear cups too - even the inner foam of the cups feels plush. In short they're built rugged like tanks but look and feel more like a 5 star hotel bed. They're a real treat.
As for how they sound, well, if you want a headphone that does extremely well for mainstream music that most people listen to (rnb, dub step, hip hop, rock, pop, dance/rave, d&b etc) but can also double up as a blu ray behemoth and gaming goliath all for little over 100 notes of your currency then these are the headphones to purchase honestly....they scream quality, they are quality. How exactly ? Read on....
First and foremost they get the bass right. It's definitely not lacking in any respect but it's also not overly dominant. If the song is supposed to be bassy (for example The Prodigy chart topping classic Breathe) then these headphones will outright refuse to be found wanting in that respect and really let you have it, but the cool thing is you will still get extreme clarity and fine details locked away within the song, why ? Because the treble is so good and the bass placement is perfect - because of the up front and involving nature of these headphones plus the wide sound stage and the excellent instrument separation basically the bass plays away throughout the song in the middle of the head while the rest of the song/spectrum plays their melodies and notes completely freely all around the bass.
Blu ray movies and these headphones together are simply a match made in heaven! It's got a theatre-like presentation but super clear and enveloping sound. You will truly feel like you're in the movie when that T-Rex stomps the ground causing the water in the cups to vibrate and you can feel the thud and hear the drip of the vibrating water and as well at the same time also hear all the raindrops striking the glass sunroof as the characters are having a conversation it's simply amazing!
Another great thing I noticed was speaking of blu ray movies I was watching Lethal Weapon on blu ray and in the funny scene where Riggs & Roger are at the shooting range dropping 1 liners on each other as they're firing at their targets down range - so good was the imaging and sound stage of these headphones that I'm wearing that without even trying or focusing (again was actually watching the movie ) I could actually pinpoint the exact location width and depth of sound to where the bullet shell casings landed!
For someone skittish about spending lots of money but who wants quality headphones that feel expensive & robust and also sound awesome from everyday equipment right out of the box and only sound better given time then I cannot recommend these highly enough for that person. I defy that person to honestly not think it was money well spent. They are the gift that keeps on giving. A true marvel.
I've had these headphones for apparently 3 and a half years (wow...) and not only do I stand by everything I said in this review that I wrote years ago, but the headphone is STILL my daily one and only! I don't care who you are if anyone keeps a headphone for over 3 years and uses it daily and still finds them as amazing as when originally heard them then there's a lot to be said for that and their quality.
I can also confirm now that these scale excellently with upgrades in the chain and no you do not have to spend thousands, I personally wouldn't dream of that full stop as everyone has their limits on certain things, but yeah I can confirm these sound great from an iPad Mini or out of the box but when hooked up properly to respectable equipment it's downright jaw dropping! Every. Single. Time.
These headphones ruined regular TV watching for me, but they gave me the ability to truly enjoy my own personal 'me time' TV viewing because of how involving and clear they are. Cannot say or recommend these enough even now.