Beyer Dynamic DT 990 Premium 600 OHM Headphones

General Information

The 600 ohm version of the DT 990 Premium line. Excellent choice for high output usage and headphone amplifiers, e.g. beyerdynamic A1 (see LINKS). Handcrafted in Germany, the famous DT 990. The complete sound spectrum is reproduced in detail from the deepest sub bass to the highest highs. This fully open, dynamic headphone is also manufactured in Germany.

Also available as customized DT 990 MANUFAKTUR (see LINKS).

DT 990 600 ohm got the "Playback Recommended 2010" award:

Latest reviews

Pros: HiFi - Grain Free Treble, Under-Priced, Agreeable Design.
Cons: Hand Assembly Tolerances.

Beyerdynamic. A company that really "Invents" and "Innovates" unlike the other crap you see today that people here go mad for.
I won't take any names because you see, people here are sensitive. Anyway, to the point.
The DT990 is one of the oldest Dynamics still in production. The Legend had to retire.

If we know our history, which many here don't know.
Beyerdynamic didn't believe in Electrostatic Headphones. They did make a ET1000 due to demand but that was a very brief run. From 1937 Eugen Beyer was very keen on making Dynamics sound the best, of course there were no E-Stats in 1937 but the aim continued and I hope will be continued for years to come.
I think DT Beyers are probably the best Dynamics, technically speaking. Compared to the offering from the Japanese, Summit-Fi stuff, these DT Beyerdynamics blow all of them in terms of fidelity.
I'll give a brief comparison - DT990 VS HD800 VS T1.

Anyway, I'll talk about my ordeal first.

The first day I got my Edition 600Ohms, there was a very obvious rattling in both cups, It didn't sound like a "HAIR" in the driver. It sounded like improper gluing due to which it was hitting excursion at Low SPL, earlier than usual. Anyway, I opened up the driver to get answers. And, Indeed. I was right.


There was no hair, something might have gone wrong that day because this the Classic improper gluing mistake which is so common with Handmade Dynamics, except the DT48 due to the design.
Since it was hitting in the capsule, the vibration were transferred to the baffle hence it was all over the place.
Interestingly enough, pressure at specific points could solve that. It was quite a task but in the end it couldn't be fixed practically.

Since I had opened the housing, I thought it would be a good idea to go Mini-XLR baby!

So I did, this was my first revision. I had revised it thrice. Minuscule things.

The below one was the final.
I would talk about the mod here but I've done a video on it - 

Perfect, life was perfect until....I'll save that for later.

Sonically, how is the 600Ohm DT990?

Excellent, the treble is the best I've heard and I've heard HE-60 treble. The 600Ohm  has a extremely extended and grain-free treble. I would say the treble is better than the HD800 (In terms of grain) which is again due to the the stupid PET the HD800 uses.
I'll go over the technicalities for my inference about the superiority of the DT990 over the HD800 later.

The Mid-Range is distant, they lack the body. There's enough resolution to avoid missing out detail but again, in a distant presentation.
Presence region is marvellous on the 600Ohm, although uneven. There is no harshness or grain to the timbre. Its buttery and almost too good to be true. There is some missing information up top. It extends better than the DT880 600Ohm but not as extended as the HD800 or the T1. 
The bass is pretty interesting, I found the bass to be completely opposite to what idiots have been stating, Boomy? Accentuated?
What? That's not what's going on here, audibly it rolls off after 75Hz. There is a lot of energy at 100-120Hz. The Mid-Bass is very similar to the 6XX. The 600Ohm bass is very tight and textured but again my pair had excursion issues. Which ARE NOT apparent on good drivers. Those extend even better and hit very late.

Very good presentation in my book.
The imaging is pretty good, it may seem a bit wider than the DT800 because of the response. Fundamentally they are the same.
I don't think it has a 3D T1 type imaging due to the flat drivers.

Now, to my "I'll save that for later" 

Since I was sure I had a defective driver, it died due to over-excursion exposure. The Voice Coil wires snapped from the contacts due to fast and elevated movement (Over-Excursion). To fix that I needed to go to Germany. 
Anyway, my 30 days something old DT990 became nothing know.

Being a Beyerdynamic fan, I always wanted to know about the origin of the design which I will find out soon, An opportunity for me visiting the factory came up and I took it, I'll be visiting the Factory in April.
Anyway, since one of the driver died I took it apart completely to study the design.


A very wide 600Ohm Voice Coil, less windings. Low Mass to compensate diaphragm weight.
Purely resistive.

Due to Technology limitation, Beyer couldn't use Ultra-Thin diaphragms. They instead wanted to cut the weight elsewhere. Hence we have the 600Ohm VC.
Original concept dates back to the Legend, the DT48 with the 200Ohm VC.

Best Dynamic Diaphragm, dating back to the development in 1965.
This Diaphragm was specially invented, maybe Semi-Synthetic from a Plant secretion mixed with something. Not really sure if its SS or Natural.
I will find that out in April.

No High Frequency break-up at High SPL due to the tensile strength superiority over PET. The HD800 due to the ring radiator type gets away with most of the centre dome break-up transmission but it can't touch Beyerdynamics.
In fact, your R10. BioCellulose is 1965 Beyerdynamic Membrane Technology wannabe, same concept applied 20 years later.

Normal Neo here, nothing special like the DT48 or T1.
As you can see they wanted to eliminate the fat as much as possible without loosing structural integrity. That's the reasons for the holes.

After my 600Ohm died, I bought the PRO next day.

The 600Ohms are just higher fidelity in general. My PROs have no rattling issues. Resolution and overall fidelity is much better on the 600Ohm.
The PRO is much rougher and crude in a way. Not bad, to be honest.


So, where's my Edition?
Well, its still with me, I transplanted DTX710 Drivers to it.

The DT Beyers are some of the best Dynamics in the world, not understood by many but so be it.
Next time, when you are listening to your cans. Just thank Beyerdynamic, if it wasn't for the development of the DT48 in 1936. None of this would be happening.
Eugen Beyer is and will always be the "Father Of Headphones".

My Video Review - 


The MT220 is not available in my country. There's a person on this very site who has a DT150 and MT220, you can find him on the DT150 Bloody Brilliant thread, he goes by Lor or lordspeaker. If you see someone with a profile picture of a Asian girl, its him :p 
thanks :)
16 Bit Bowser
16 Bit Bowser
The HD598 are not bad. I got the HD598-SE for $120USD a year ago and could not be more happy. I know these (DT-990) may be better in some aspects but in no way is the HD598 "BAD". Maybe its just not your thing.
Pros: Prominent and detailed highs, very engaging, extremely comfortable, very open with wide soundstage and a fast-paced bass
Cons: Harsh treble (to some ears), slightly recessed mids, and rustling drivers when combined with heavy bass tracks on high volume
I picked up the Beyerdynamics as my second real hi-fi phones to replace my Sennheisers HD598 in order to get something bassy, yet with an open construction. While they were a huge improvement to my previous phones, they did not reach my expectation in the bass department, and I will explain why later on.

Treble: First off I should mention the initial sound signature of these headphones. They're very bright! You might have read about its treble, and it is true, they are truly trebly phones. But the treble is not at all what some people exaggerate it to be. Yes, the treble is noticable, and is perhaps the first thing that will strike you when you first listen to them. But the treble is detailed and deep and not sibilant, and it serves really well with some pop tracks and electronic music. The treble is also very engaging, it brings life into the highs and brings out the cymbals, but they also made female voices stand out before the instruments, as well, which is a positive thing when listening to pop.
Soundstage: It's wide, and great! As these phones are open, you might expect them to perform well in the soundstage department. With the wide soundstage of the DT990s the treble does not strike too close and too engaing to your ears. They're at a distance, but well detailed and refined. Making them even more ideal for electronic music. For electronic music I chose Susumu Hirasawa, where soundstage can make an impactful role. On some tracks the voice is supposed to go as an echo among the instruments in a distance. Though it is a male voice it becomes slightly more apparent than the high tone instrumental tunes, and it creates a life-like sound stage with a good separation of instruments on some of the tracks from Fleetwood Mac - which in comparison does a better job on the DT990 than the HD650, which is more close-sounding than the Beyers, but with less prominent highs. But again, sometimes the male vocals are less prominent and less refined, making it sometimes overwhelmed by the other instruments. Of course, this was quite rare with Susumu Hirasawa as his voice is generally fairly bright on most tracks. But it did not work well for me on male vocals in operas and some orchestral music.
Bass: Yes, they have bass, which many other head-fiers and pointed out. But some may exaggerate a bit here as well as with the treble. For an open construction these cans have some bass that amounts for quite a bit, but it is also detailed and far from muddy or overwhelming. It's fast-paced and you will notice some punch to it on some tracks, especially to some dupstep tracks--but know that these cans are not exactly ideal for Dupstep or Hip Hop. They are generally bright cans, and while they do have a fast and detailed bass, it is not in the spectrum of being plentiful enough to be considered "Bassphones." However, to some tracks the bass is quite noticable and manages well with emphasizing the lower frequencies: such as the beginning of Massive Attack - Angel, as well as the punchiness of Morgan Page - In the Air.
More importantly: If you listen to some bass-heavy tracks, such as the start of Morgans Page "In the Air" (especially if you are using any equalizer to enhance the lower frequencies) then at a certain volume level one or both of the drivers will rustle. At first I thought I had a faulty product, but investigating on the forums led me to several other cases where people suffered from rustle on bassy tracks with high volume. Amplification might help in this case, and you might be able to raise the bar of the volume level before reaching the rustle, but only slightly if so.
Comfort and Design: This, alongside the soundstage, is my favorite thing about these cans. When I first took them out they looked really robust and uncomfortable. But as soon as I took them up I realized how light they were and how extremely soft and comfortable the earpads on the thing were. Taking them on was a breeze, and the headband padding was also very comfortable - it felt as if you weren't wearing anything on your head! Again, the design, as mentioned before, looks very robust and industrial; especially how the cables go slightly bent/rounded above the earpads - and this sort of design does signify just what type of sound signature you might expect: bright and detailed with a wide soundstage (the width of the earpads). To me, the design does not necessarily strike as a pair of bassy headphones, and to some extent that is true, but it still does have a slightly more impactful bass compared to the HD598 and the HD650; but it is often associated with the treble, making drumkicks and such sound brisk and bright but still quite punchy.
Comparison: I'm not even going to compare it to the HD598, the bass, detail and comfort is far more superior on the DT990s. But I could compare it to other phones in proximity of its price-range and sound signature; and of course, with headphones that I have tested out and own(ed). To the HD650, I prefer the DT990 on most electronic music without vocals (or female vocals if included), for the electronic music I prefer to listen to the male vocal is slightly brighter than most other male vocals, making this artist more ideal for the Beyers. The DT990 was also way more engaging and more open than the HD650. I love the HD650s equally as much, but for electronic music, pop, and some classical music I preferred the DT990 where the soundstage made more impact in addition to the well prominent and detailed highs, making electronic music feel electronic. The Sennheisers are more musical/warm, and are less engaging and bear less emphasis on the highs than the Beyers, but I did feel more bass quantity on the HD650 on some tracks. However, I did feel slightly more detail on the DT990, while the HD650 were a little bit more muddy in comparison to dupstep and songs like Massive Attack - Angel and Morgan Page - In the Air.
As for the Ultrasone Pro 900, the DT990 600Ohm is quite similar in terms of sound, but some areas should be considered to be very differentiating. For example the bass on the Ultrasones is ALOT better in both quantity and quality - but the highs are far too bright on the Ultrasones and softer on the DT990s. Also the soundstage felt more natural on the DT990s - most likely cause the Beyers are open, and the Ultrasones are closed. To my ears, the Ultrasones had wider soundstage but it was unnatural in comparison to the Beyers - this could be due to the holographic S-Logic of the Ultrasones.
Conclusion: For the price range, the DT990 600Ohm comes with a lot of value - especially for movies and games. But the rustling drivers, the slightly recessed mids, and the high amount of treble are things to consider before purchasing these cans. In all honesty, despite its cons, these are really quite pleasent headphones to have - if you can get them cheaply. And they work even better with OTL tube amps. When I paired them to the LDMKIII with the Voshkod tubes, some of the 'harshness' was reduced. Or rather, the treble felt less protruding, but the clearness and the detail of the highs was still intact. If you're listening to electronic music and pop, then I can warmly recommend these headphones.
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Hi, thanks. Unfortunately I'll be stuck on the $500 price range for a while longer. I've been interested in trying and eventually buying either the T1 or HD800 in the future. But it will be many years from now, I bet. Mostly cause of budget reasons, but also because I would feel safer trying them on with a different amp...with WA2 being the primary candidate.
Lord Soth
Lord Soth
Reading the thread: It feels very odd and uncomfortable to be beating your own headphones! :D Though there were times on some tracks when I would probably be willing to do this. Unfortunately, I won't be trying it out since the headphones are now sold to make room for a new DAC.
Pros: Amazing soundstage and handling of pans and treble
Cons: The low end while surprisingly strong for a open can is "all around you" and a tad reserved rather than impactful and strong.
I have a feeling these are pretty amazing headphones, but they tell me the open design isn't for me, or at least not in that form (denons).


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