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Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro 250 OHM Semi-open reference headphone

  1. DigitalGrounder
    Wow, just Wow.....
    Written by DigitalGrounder
    Published Mar 20, 2014
    Pros - Great vocals, Good bass, clear treble, AMAZING COMFORT, can be listened to most genres
    Cons - non-detachable cable, comes with non-protective carrying pouch, not portable
    No Complaint at all, very very very very very very comfortable.
    Build Quality/Design
    The build quality on this headphone is very well built. Its mostly built out of steel, the only plastic parts on this headphone would be the housing around the earcups, and the hinges above the arms connected to the ear cups. But build quality wise i have no complaint in this department.
    Audio Quality
    So this headphone is 250 ohms, which means that these cans cannot be driven by a regular mp3 device. The output impediance an ipod could handle is about 32 ohms. But since the beyerdynamic dt 880 are 250 ohms you will need a headphone amplifier to power them to their full potential.
    Bass- The bass on the dt880's is very tight its not boomy what so ever, but he bass is well defined and very pleasing.
    Mids- The mids on this headphone is very smooth, i've never heard vocals produced out of a headphone like this one. The clarity is very sublime, its very calm and soothing.
    Treble- The treble is almost if not perfect, the treble is not harsh, there a good amount of treble in these cans.
    I got these headphones off of amazon for $184.99, its a steal. The price from beyerdynamics website is $349.99-$400. At this price range, it can't be beat, GET THESE HEADPHONES.
      trellus likes this.
    1. DigitalGrounder
      DigitalGrounder, Mar 20, 2014
    2. MrTechAgent
      Beyers and Senns present that quality which is still unmatched IMO , I imagine them showing the bird to the newcomers .......every single time LOL , "classics" is the word
      MrTechAgent, Mar 22, 2014
  2. jshaffe
    880s are one of the best at the price point
    Written by jshaffe
    Published Dec 6, 2013
    Pros - comfort, clear, flat,
    Cons - light bass, sometimes sibilant
    The 880s don't have a lot of color to themselves. They're light comfortable cans that get the job done.  They are a well rounded headphone good for someone who can't quite figure out what kind of music they like best.
    1. Mshenay
      welp plain and simple! not a bad review at all! 
      Mshenay, Dec 7, 2013
  3. thelostMIDrange
    Fantastic product. Supurb value
    Written by thelostMIDrange
    Published Aug 9, 2013
    Pros - Comfort, value, sound
    Cons - Treble and bass
    These really should be tried by everyone imo. They are not too expensive and work well for many genres of tunage. Ultimately they didn't work fo rme but I am very particular about the reproduction of traditional instruments ala strings, percussion, horns etc. The treble on these just did not work for me. Perhaps I didn't pair it up with the right amp. I can imagine a perfect marriage there may solve the problems in both the top and bottom end. The top sounded 'cotton candy'ish' to my ears and unnatural and the bass was too loose for my tastes. But not bad. Again this is the type of problem proper amplification has historically been known to address. The midrange, while a little distant for my tastes, is done real nicely and is pleasant to listen to. Overall though the listening experience is not visceral or real enough for me but it doesn't stop from high praise and encouragement to 'give 'em a try' especially if you have lots of time, energy and $ to play around with amp pairings.
      ernzo likes this.
  4. bpandbass
    A good headphone for the right person, but not me
    Written by bpandbass
    Published Jun 27, 2013
    Pros - Built well, high quality materials, soft earpads and headband, analytical, quick, drum-tight sub bass
    Cons - picky with amps and mastering, heavy cable, drivers press against ears, sibilant, metallic highs, bland mid range, uninvolving, not much musicality
    I purchased the DT880 Pros as my first open/semi open headphones, after returning the DT770 Pro 80s due to earaches from the excessive bass. I am a bit of an analytical headphone person with certain genres I listen to. When I first tried the DT880s, I was impressed, but after listening for a while, the shortcomings became more apparent. 
    For sub bass, these are probably the most sub-bassy analytical heaphones I have owned. There are more bassy analytical cans, however. The problem I had with the DT880s were the earpads. It's not that they aren't soft, because they are. They are just not large enough, so the drivers ended up touching my ears. Anything touching my ears is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, as it makes my ears itchy and red from irritation. But the biggest problem I found about the DT880s was the treble. It has some of the worst treble of any headphone I have listened to. It's sharp, unrefined, and metallic. It has the finesse of someone banging on a dumpster with a hammer, giving me an earache, and strangely, a taste of metal in my mouth. I like treble, but not like this. The bottom and top sound heaviness to the DT880 gives it a rather bland and uninvolving mid and vocal section with not enough mid bass to my ears.
    Compared to the AKG Quincy Jones Q701, the DT880 has a more comfortable headband, is a little bit more durable feeling, has a faster decay of notes, and more sub bass. But other than that, it's an inferior headphone in every other way. The soundstage is MUCH wider on the Q701s, notes hang in the air more, and the treble, while bright, is more like a plateau, and not a mountain range of spikes. There is also more 10 kHz roll off than the DT880s, which I prefer. The mid range and the mid bass on the Q701s is MUCH better than the DT880. And there actually IS a mid range, as well as a more rhythmic sound overall. The DT880s will be better for electronic music than the Q701s when amplified properly, but as an analytical headphone with still some musicality goes, the Q701 is hands down better. 
      abm0 likes this.
    1. pp312
      Interesting comments here, as I had exactly the opposite experience re 702 vs. 880: I found the 702 treble metallic and piercing, and the 880 very smooth and neutral. In fact the 880 is now my favourite headphone and I have no thought of changing. My preferred genre is classical, and any phone that can please me on classical has to be worth its salt. Strange we should hear things so differently.
      pp312, Feb 20, 2014
  5. McNikovich
    Very nice mid-priced headphones
    Written by McNikovich
    Published Jun 25, 2013
    Pros - Very open sound, analytical, wide soundstage, clarity & detail
    Cons - No detachable cable.
    After a friend lend me his Sennheiser HD25 II's, i was impressed with the amount of detail and clarity they gave.
    However, after just half an hour, they were already hurting my ears (i have quite large ears).
    Having a pair of HD202's i decided to buy a pair of decent headphones in the 200€ range with the same amount of detail as the HD25's but with an over-ear design for comfort.  
    I would be mainly using the cans to:
    1. Mix my own music 
    2. Listen to a variety of music (jazz, classical, classic rock,'70s r&b = Bill Evans, Andreas Scholl, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder)
    3. Do some tracking (although this was less important to me, having a couple of other cans laying around in the studio)
    Points of focus when buying the headphones:
    1. 3D imaging 
    2. 'Flat' or linear sound
    3. Comfort
    So i went to my local musicstore and asked for three headphones to try out next to eachother:
    The Beyerdynamics DT 770 Pro (250 ohm) Closed - €149,- 
    The Beyerdynamics DT 880 Pro (250 ohm) Semi-open €229,-
    and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (38 ohm) Closed €159,-
    I also asked for the Sennheiser HD25 II's (70 ohm, closed, €199,-) as a reference.
    As a note: i now own the DT880's. Obviously, because i picked them i will be biased towards them, but i'm trying to pass on what my findings were in the musicstore.
    I listened to the headphones using my MacBookPro and my Edirol UA-25 soundcard.
    The Beyers were most comfortable to me, in fact, they were some of the most comfortable headphones i've ever tried on.
    The Audio Technica's were OK, but nowhere near the comfort of the Beyers.
    The HD25's were still hurting my ears. Not surprisingly, as they are the only on-ear headphones in my test. The others are all over-ear.
    As for the 'flatness' of the sound, i could go on about the airy highs and pronounced midrange etc. etc. but that has been spoken about quite extensively on this forum.
    So i would like to keep it simple by saying:
    The 770's were a bit boomy on the bass side of things, nice for electronic music and some rock but not the overall analytical sound i was looking for.
    The 880's have a great linear sound, very well balanced, perhaps lacking just a bit on bass.
    The ATH-M50's mids and bass were too pronounced i think. The least analytical of all of them.
    The HD25's were still very nice sounding, very clean, i think they convey what's really there nicely. 
    The 880's are being marketed as being "Semi-open", in my opinion you should think of them as being 'open' but with a bit of isolation.
    3D imaging, detail, soundstage:
    DT 770's have a nice soundstage, the 3D imaging is ok. The pronounced bass and, to a lesser extent, the mids do obscure the detail a bit.
    DT 880's have an outstanding soundstage, the 3D imaging surpasses the others in my test, width and depth and even height is revealed in a very pleasing mannor. I heard details i didn't know were there.
    ATH-M50's soundstage was too small for my taste. Because of the bass and mids the details (especially in the highs) were not as present as with the other headphones.
    The HD25's have good detail, a nice soundstage but being closed backs, i think the 3D imaging is less well done than with the Beyerdynamics.
    DT 770's: Open, a bit boomy on bass, not very 'trebly', but, hey, they're closed headphones.
    DT 880's: Open, more treble, wide, less bass (but still enough for my taste),balanced and realistic.
    ATH-M50's: Closed sound, less highs, more bass and mids, too cluttered for my taste.
    HD25 II's: Open, a lot of treble, balanced, though less wide than the 880's.
    Final notes:
    As the DT 880 Pro's are the only (Semi-)open headphones in my test, it might not have been a very fair comparison.
    Still, these are the headphones i was looking at, at around the 200€ pricerange and i think more people will be choosing from these cans.
    If you are looking for great sounding headphones that are a pleasure to listen to, and want to get the level of detail and clarity of the HD25's but in an open, over-ear model:
    look no further. These cans have an incredibly wide soundstage and are very comfortable to listen to for prolonged periods of time.
    Also, i think its comforting to know these headphones are made in Germany (Deutsche gründlichkeit!) and the build seems to be very good. (They feel very sturdy and luxurious)
    All in all, the 880 Pro's might not be great for tracking (too much leakage) but for monitoring/mixing and just rediscovering your music collection, they're great. 
    1. XxDobermanxX
      ath m50 " more bass and mids"
      "mids and bass were too pronounced i think"
      nice review btw
      XxDobermanxX, Jun 25, 2013
    2. AmberOzL
      One of the few nice reviews in here. It was nice to hear. I don't own DT880 but on DT770, M50 and HD25 I completely agree.
      AmberOzL, Jun 26, 2013
  6. LordOctron
    Very nice "multi purpose" cans
    Written by LordOctron
    Published Mar 31, 2013
    Pros - Very comfy / Overall good sound quality
    Cons - Rendition of the low-lows
    To sum it up... They sound great over almost the full frequency range and with almost all music genres imo, just the very low frequencies are a bit lacking imo, and unfortunately EQ'ing doesn't help much here (it seems they are simply not capable to output em properly, perhaps because of the open design, closed ones do usually better in the low-lows). So, for everything besides very bass-heavy music (and here we have enough alternatives) this headphones are great. Since my Denon AH-D2000 died (broken driver) the DT880 became my new primary cans (tho I still prefer the sound of the Denons... dat smooth extending lows *love*).
    The DT770/880/990 Pro are the most comfortable cans i tried so far, very nice!
    If you are looking for a good "prime" can that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, give em a try.
  7. Brooko
    Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro - Balance & Versatility
    Written by Brooko
    Published Sep 2, 2011
    Pros - Well balanced, good for most genres, extremely comfortable, well built, good clarity and detail
    Cons - No detachable cable
    The DT880 Pro 250 ohm is a semi-open circumaural head-phone which Beyerdynamic market for monitoring.
    Packaging and Accessories
    My DT880's (although purchased new) were actually sent as a demo unit - so I did not get the retail box.  They do some with a very nice padded canvas case which offers reasonable protection, and also a 3.5-6.3mm adaptor plug (screw on).
    Technical Specifications
    From the Beyerdynamic website :
    Transmission type   Wired
    Headphone design (operating principle)   Semi-open
    Impedance   250 ohms
    Frequency Response   5 - 35.000 Hz
    Nominal SPL   96 dB
    Pad Type   Circumaural (around the ear)
    Cable & plug   Coiled connecting cable with mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) & ¼“ adapter (6.35 mm)
    Net weight without packaging   295 g

    Build / Comfort / Isolation
    The build on the DT880 Pro is extremely solid.  These look and feel like they were built to last.  There is a lot of metal in the cups and headband - but everything is excellently padded.
    The DT880 Pro do have quite a bit of clamp force - the Pro version were specifically designed for studio work, and as such do have a tighter clam than the Premium version.  This also is supposed to provide a more "powerful" sound (whatever that means) - but I suspect it may have more to do with bass presence and tighter soundstage.
    Despite the clamp force, the DT880 are immensely comfortable and I could wear them for hours.  The velour pads are very soft, and completely enclose your ears.  The head band is well padded, and is also replaceable.  It is definitely one of the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn.
    Although the DT880 is semi-open, and clamps well, it does leak sound, and allow ambient noise in (like all open headphones).  It is nowhere near as open as other headphones I've had though (Alessandro, AD700).  I would not use it for outside, or in an environment demanding quiet - but for normal use around the home so far it has been excellent.
    Sound Quality
    I was looking for a well balanced headphone when I demoed the DT880, and that really is it's strong-point.  IMO the DT880 is really a jack-of-all-trades, and can handle most genres really well.
    Detail - The DT880 has decent clarity, but does not approach the detail level of cans like the SRH940.  Everything is very clear to me though.  It has a very slight U shaped frequency with a slightly more prominent mid-bass and treble.
    Soundstage - IMO the stgae is not overly large for an open can - and is probably deeper than it is wide. I did find them reasonable for positional gaming, and they do not feel overly cramped - but they definitely are not airy or expansive either.
    Highs - I found the highs on the DT880 to be almost perfect.  There is enough sparkle to keep things lively, without becoming sibilant.  Extension seems good - and the nice thing is that the highs are not overdone.
    Mids - The mids are good, but do sit ever so slightly in the background - especially in the first 50 hours or so of listening.  They also have a tendency to be a little dry rather than warm and engaging.  My one regret with the DT880 is that the mids are not a little more to the front of the spectrum, and I would love to see them a little warmer.  However, if you add a tube amp to the mix, this has the ability to add the missing warmth.  I've never been a proponent of burning -in headphones.  But I have been quietly amazed over the last few days as the mids have opened up a little for me.  Could be placebo - but these are becoming more enjoyable as time goes on.
    Bass - The bass is punchy, and reasonably well defined.  It extends well - but doesn't seem to quite get right down to the sub-bass.  There is a slight emphasis on the mid-bass which contributes to the U frequency, but overall the bass is well presented as long as it is driven properly.
    DT880 Pro with my PortaTube - a magic combination.
    Power Requirements - my DT880 Pro are 250ohm, and although they can be driven straight from my iPhone4 / iPod Touch 4 - they need volume at 90% to be listenable, and they are not really being driven to their potential.  These cans really do need amping.  They respond well to my E11, but really start to shine with the E9 (about 10 o'clock on the pot) and absolutely shine on the PortaTube.
    Summary / Conclusion
    The DT880 Pro are the first Beyers I've tried, and I have to say that I am impressed.  They are supremely comfortable, and for me present a level of comfort that all manufacturers should strive for.
    They are extremely well balanced, and lend well to all the genres I listen to - especially female vocals, modern jazz, and both progressive and classic rock.  They also do classical surprisingly well.  They do have a tendency to be a little dry and unexciting at first - IMO due to the lack of colouration - but with tubes, or a warm amp, they do come alive and are really very pleasant.  Well worth the price I paid for them - they simply do most things very well.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Mshenay
      WOW, I reaed this review over 5 months ago and now I'm writing to say OMG I ORDED them, they should be coming in soon! I'm going to pair them with a Hifiman Hm 601 [with that nice WARM dac] and a cMoy 2x9V BB amp so it should have plenty of power coming from that Amp :D so excited!
      Mshenay, Sep 28, 2012
    3. McNikovich
      Nice review! Well written and very informative. I read your review before purchasing my own set of 880's, and i'm very happy with them.
      greetings, Nikolai
      McNikovich, Jun 27, 2013
    4. Brooko
      Thanks Nikolai - I just reread it, and I still agree with most of what I wrote (even back then). Funnily enough - even though I sold the Pros - I ended up repurchasing a pair of 600 ohm DT880 Premiums. Still one of my favourite cans - and very good value. Having the DT880, the HD600 and K701 are the mid-fi trifecta as far as I'm concerned :)
      Brooko, Jun 27, 2013
  8. icemanmusic
    DT880 Pro
    Written by icemanmusic
    Published Apr 19, 2011
    Pros - Beautiful clarity and balance, Defined but controlled bass, extremely comfortable.
    Cons - Bass can be slightly lacking for some genres.
    What can i really say about these astonishing headphones? I bought them after a very long audition session where even against much more expensive competition i kept coming back to these beautiful cans.
    First things first, If you are looking for cans which add something to an album the DT880's probably aren't for you. They add little in terms of energy or warmth. They are clinical in their sound. What you get on the CD/FLAC/MP3 is what you hear. To me this is no bad thing, in fact it is the reason I chose these over the other options presented to me. That isn't to say they aren't fun to listen to, they have excellent balance and dynamics, as well as having great timing and control. But the energy and excitement comes from the music. If the music is dull and lifeless the headphones sound that way too, but if the music is energetic and powerful and exciting the headphones are as well.
    I purchased new headphones due to an operation which left my on ear headphones uncomfortable for long use. I have no such comfort issues here, in fact i believe these are the most comfortable headphones i've ever used. 4/5 hour listening sessions at night and i don't even know they're on my head. The pro's clamp harder than the premium line DT880's due to the intended use in studios where a lot of movement is expected, but i find the strong clamp to be reassuring.
    The sound that comes from these headphones is breathtaking though, in clarity and sound stage they are superb, you can hear where everything is positioned and every tap of the cymbal and strum of the guitar it is incredible, like the band is in your room. 
    The only negative, and for me it is a very small one, these cans are not for extreme bassheads. There is plenty of bass for me, it's controlled and tight and well defined, but it doesn't go to th extremely low powerful frequencies other can's manage. So maybe Techno/trance/dance/hip hop fans should consider other alternatives.
    In my opinion these should be on anyones audition list. stunning detail and clarity make these cans a winner in my book.
      trellus and cpauya like this.
  9. Spiceman
    Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250 ohm
    Written by Spiceman
    Published Sep 4, 2010
    Pros - Crisp, analytical, comfortable
    Cons - Low end extension
    My first HiFi headphones not being on a tight budget. After having used them mostly for listening to CDs, streamed audio and my own WAV ripped CDs I dare to say that they are natural, analytical and very comfortable. If I feel I need to rest and take them off it's because they have a relatively high clamping force.
    I think they have pronounced higher mid/treble. I use a Little ot MKIII tube amp and after tube swapping with some slight difference in sound reproduction the high frequencies are still strong. Not a problem most of the time, very crisp and clear.
    1. Murloc007
      How much did they cost you? 
      Murloc007, Feb 26, 2014
  10. kool bubba ice
    One of Beyers best
    Written by kool bubba ice
    Published Jul 30, 2010
    Pros - Great, great comfort. Very smooth treble. Great out of head experience. Convincing 3D imaging. Authoritive bass with great punch. Clarity. Detail.
    Cons - Bass takes away from the balance & cohesiveness of the music. Dry & sterile with SS amping. Highs can appear to be a bit sharp & piercing.
    I'm very fond of the DT880, but oddly enough, not when it comes to music. I find music with them dry & a bit sterile.. The DT880 demands tubes for musicality, Although, they are hard to fault in terms of technical merit. They offer excellent resolve, detail, & separation of the instruments.. The resolve is a bit superficial & docile compared to the DT48, but is still stellar in their own right, & what you would expect from a hi quality headphone worthy of it's 489.00 MSRP.
    Unlike the SA5000, the detail isn't in the spotlight, getting in the way of the music.. You get just about the same amount of detail, but it doesn't take away your focus from the music. Detail isn't pushed in your like like the SA5000.
    I find the DT880 to be the smoothest dynamic headphone I ever owned. Just butter smooth, only my Ortho's are smoother.. The treble high octane, plentiful, smoother & better extended then my DT48, which IMO, lacks the overall smoothness & treble energy that I really enjoy with the DT880.
    The Sound stage has more depth then width from my experience, & has a un canny ability to project sound in front of you, while at the same time projecting a very convincing out of 3D imaging that can actually cover my room.. But not in the 4 corner sense, but in the triangle sense. I never had this experience with a headphone before.
    The DT880's bass is the most pleasurable I have heard SE.. It just has a mind of it's own mentality with authoritative drive & impact.. Under amped the bass can sound a bit loose, flabby, plodding. Well driven, it's truly as pleasure to listen too.. Full, textured, & well extended.
    The most glaring flaw is the DT880 Mid range.. I find it a bit recessed, brittle, lean, & dry... Tube amps help, but still is not the headphones strong suit.
    The highs are sweet with some bloom & sparkle.. But treble sensitive listeners will find the highs more harsh & sharp.. This is a area, where most problems occur with the majority of DT880 owners.
    In general.. The DT880 are linear & neutral sounding compared to the majority of other popular hi fi headphones under 500.. For gaming & movies the DT880 are A number 1 in my book.. But for music, with the gear I used them with, they didn't do much for me.. Still highly recommended.
      DVDIT likes this.