beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphones - Reviews
Pros: Lots of bass
Cons: Super fatiguing
there are only treble and bass and no mids
Can suck out the life of your music
Just recently purchased these babies having had the DT 880s for the longest time and loving them so I thought it might be fun to compare them

The build quality of the 990 Pro is somewhat improved over the 880s editions they are somewhat less flimsy but my biggest bugbear with Beyerdynamics headphones is still here.. The headband adjustment... It is really really awful

impossible to adjust it exactly the way you want and on my 880s it has worn out completely
Compare this to my sennhesier 598s which i have owned for years and the headphone adjustment is just as good as when I bought it that headphone is also a lot sexier than anything I seen from Beyerdynamics

Though the 990 pro is a good looking headphone in my opinion better looking than the 880s edition which is the version I got.. I have the 880s 600 ohm version

My dt 990 pro is the 250 ohm version

Comfort is an area were my 880s win they quite a lot less clamping force might it harder to have them stay on your head but they are more comfortable

pro 990s have quite a lot of clamping force this might lessen with more use though I will have to see overall though i feel i can almost forget im wearing headphones with the 880s with the 990s i can feel a good amount of pressure on the side and on the top of my head

My 598s wins even over the 880s they feel lighter on my head and overall they are the most comfortable headphones that i own and a lot better than the pro 990s

Okay so be careful with the headphone adjustment cause it is crap and will wear like crazy they are decent but not great when it comes to comfort you cannot disconnect the cable which is also true for the 880s this is just really dumb and i see no reason for this

but how do they sound!

its important to stress that fundamentally the 990s and the 880s are the same headphone i would not be at all surprised if they have the same driver this is not to say they don't sound different cause they do but its obvious that the 990s is just a spin off from the 880s

With this in mind the 880s is my favorite headphone i absolutely love my 880s so is there anything that the 990 has improved? No... it might in very specific genres be a bit better but overall it actually does the opposite and worsens the sound considerably

The 990s can make a recording that on the 880s were delivered with a lot of emotion and heart that gave you goosebumps it can turn this recording into an ugly mess you be amazed how a pair of headphones can butcher a song so badly

For music that relies mostly just on vocals the 990s is a bad idea bad bad idea it really does destroy the music in its entirety and makes it sound like total crap

For pop music it is a lot better suited and the genre it really likes is heavy rock type of music were you can even argue the 990 is a better fit than the 880s but then there are prob better headphones than the 990s that fit that type of music already

The 990s has a treble that is insane i have no idea what they were thinking the 880s already has a treble that is a bit accentuated and it works quite well i only noticed that they had a bit more treble when i compared them to my 598s

but the 990s has such an insane amount of treble it hurts the entire audio presentation its completely insane what were they thinking?!

I could only find one genre av music were this insane amount of treble actually benefits its really badly recorded material from like 70 80 years ago otherwise in every genre of music the treble of the 990s is just inane and i don't know what beyerdynamics were thinking

The bass of the 990s is more interesting in a way i never felt my 880s were bass shy but compared to the 990s they lack the same impact when it comes to bass that kick that feeling of power so in that case the 990 wins

sadly the 990s has way to much of it and it actually drowns out other parts of the music

For me the 990s bass aint quality its quantity over quality its sounds quite " dirty " its not particularly detailed and is somewhat muffled though again there is a lot of it impressive for an open pair of headphones? Maybe

The mids there aint any the 990s are treble and bass and that is it there is nothing holding it together there is no body to the sound its just treble and bass

Soundstage the 880s are overall somewhat bigger in soundstage which surprised me so the sound is more outside of your head

So let me go through a couple of recordings and describe what they sound on the 880s and 990s songs that stood out to me when i compared them

Bob Dylan - Girl from the North Country

On my 880s this song is gorgeous there is a feeling of space bob dylans voice has a body to it it sounds really really good
Hearing the 990s Bob dylans voice is disembodied its nasal it sounds tinny the sound is more in your head this song sounds like total crap on the 990s and it sounds amazing on the 880s

Chess anthem

this song dont sound bad on the 990s but with my 880s the voice is in the middle of a big space there is endless space the instruments and the voice exists within a real actual space when it gets loud the sounds opens up something fierce on the 880s it sounds like im listening on speakers its amazing

The 990s are much more inside your head and there is no sense of space it never takes off and when he sings real loud and the instruments go up and up the 880s just opens more and more and more while the 990s are just playing inside your head with no sense of space or air

This recording is out right amazing on the 880s and just very very meh on the 990s

Walter Wanderley - Summer Samba

There is a lot going on in this track.. okay decent amount of stuff going on... the 990s sounds less congested and the 880 sounds " busy " the treble boost aint as offensive in this track either amazingly enough

So for more congested pieces of music with a lot going on the 990s does a better job but i only noticed this when directly comparing them but hey it its a thing with the 990s

The 990s lays out everything clearly so you can hear everything the 880s make it sound a bit chaotic even though the presentation aint actually chaotic

Jussi Björling - Sverige
Old recording tons of tape hiss the voice is hiding in this tape hiss wanting to get out!

the 990s makes the imperfections the hiss more apparent but the voice is still center stage the 880s almost seems to forget there is any tape hiss the voice takes much bigger center stage though i think the treble of the 990s might benefit the song a little bit

So its a tie if i am feeling generous i might give the nod to the 990 this song makes me emotional when using both headphones which is a good thing the 990 dont butcher this beautiful song yay

Martin Solveig and Dragonette - Hello

The 990s has much more bass so much it starts eating up the vocals the portion of the song were multiple hellos are being said going from left to right quickly is closer to the ear cups on the 990s

The 880s dont sound anemic but something feels like its missing when going from the 990s at the same time the voice gets to be left alone and dont have to be worried about being eaten by the bass

but..but it dont have to be this way! the answer lies somewhere between the 990s and 880s the bass on the 990s is also quit fatiguing like having a subwoofer in your ears but there is def a lot more of it

Joss Stone-"The Chokin' Kind"
This is prob the example you should use if you want to know why the treble on the 990s is a bad idea its so sharp it makes my ear bleed whenever joss stone sings the letter S my ears hurts this is a song that on the 990s dont just sound bad it hurts your ears

on the 880s its a fantastic track a great song i love this track but not on the 990s

There are distortion inherent in this song so when she goes loud in one portion of the song it sounds bad no matter what but it sounds a lot worse on the 990

The way the 990s sounds when she sings the letter S shudders like seriously beyerdynamics!

So would i recommend the 990s?

Not really no the 880s are much much better headphones if you love bass though you might want to look for another headphone though i still dont think the 990s should be your first or second choice if that is what you want the shure 840s have much better quality bass for example and still has more of it than the 880s


the 880s are amazing headphones having heard the 990s im now even more convinced of the fact
Chess anthem on the 880s sounds so freaking good oh my god

check it out on youtube! when it goes loud it becomes eargasmic the 598s cannot do what the 880s do here either so i think what the 880s do here is something special on the 990s its just meh to be fair the 598 was also meh on this track only the 880s could make it truly shine

That is what has impressed me the most how the 990s can make a surprising amount of songs either unlistenable or just completely lose all of their emotional impact as if someone took all the heart all the life in the recording and sucked it out its quite depressing actually the 990 vampire!

I dont know if the 990s editions sound better i only have the 250 ohm version my 880s are the 600s which i heard is the best sounding version of the 880s

Best way i can describe it is this take the 880s sound but put it inside a small box increase the treble and bass 10 fold that is the 990s

I use an aune x7s as my headphone amp and the x1s dac from the same company plugged into my computer with usb with my aune x7s im using the external linear power supply they sell as a separate
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Pros: Adds sizzle and pop to older recordings; might be the best bargain in headphones on the planet
Cons: coiled cord on Pro version is too short for home use; needs a good amp
There are several versions of this headphone.  I am reviewing the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, 250 ohm version.  This is one of 3 headphones I currently own.  I also have the Sennheiser HD700 and Sennheiser HD600.  My HD600 is 20 years old and might sound different from more recently manufactured units.  I listen exclusively to classical music and opera, so my opinions should be taken in that context. 
 
I have to say I originally purchased the DT 990 because it was selling at a discount from a marketplace reseller (not an authorized reseller) for a very low price.  Right out the box it sounded good and I enjoyed the sound for almost a year before I bought the HD700.  At the time I was just using the headphone output on my Onkyo C-7030 CD player and I stopped using the HD600 and the DT 990 and I was using the HD700 exclusively.  
 
I decided the upgrade my system by purchasing a Marantz 6005 CD player.  There was a slight improvement, but it was minimal.  Then I bought a Schiit Asgard 2 headphone amp so I could listen to opera on Blu-ray while watching it on television.  There was hardly any noticeable improvement in the sound quality on the HD700 but there was a huge improvement in the sound quality on the HD600 and DT 990.  Since I added the amp, I probably use the DT900 more than either of the Sennheiser headphones.
 
While some people seem to be pursuing a quest for the holy grail of headphones, I do not believe such a thing exists.  I use all 3 of my headphones and choose which one to use based on the quality of the recording.  
 
The HD700 is my choice for top quality recordings which have little or no flaws.  They have the extended bass and treble and amazing imaging that can only be reproduced from the best modern recordings.  On lower quality recordings or older recordings, they do not hide compression or rough treble or overzealous remastering.  These are my first choice when I watch opera on Blu-ray or listen to modern recordings of Handel opera.
 
The HD600 is good for recordings that have a harsh treble or a loose, warm bass.  The HD600 is known to sound good with a tube amp but even using a solid state amp like the Asgard 2, it makes recordings made on tube equipment sound lush.  My old recordings of George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra sound especially good with these phones.
 
The DT 990 is good for older recordings that have the highs rolled off due to aggressive noise reduction (used to remove tape hiss) and for compressed recordings that lack punch.  This makes up the majority of my orchestral recordings.  Mahler's Resurrection Symphony conducted by Otto Klemperer and the Verdi Requiem conducted by Fritz Reiner are examples of recordings that sound magnificent on the DT 990's.
 
Overall Signature:  The DT 990's have a classic V signature with a significant dip in the lower midrange and upper bass.
 
The highs:  Some people say the DT 990's are too aggressive in the treble but for me it depends on the recording.  On the right recordings, the highs are clear, extended and detailed without any grain.
 
The midrange:  Some people say the DT 990's have a shallow midrange.  I used to hear a depressed midrange on some recordings when I was using the headphone jack on my CD player but ever since I switched to the Asgard 2, the midrange is clear and transparent.
 
The bass:  I have read mixed things about the bass on the DT 990's.  Some say there is too much and others say there is too little.  It really depends on what is on the recording.  The DT 990 has a fully extended bass so if there is lower bass frequencies, it will reproduce them.  This is something that many headphones will not do.
 
Dynamic Range:  Dynamic range is the difference between soft and loud and it is very important in Classical Music and opera.  Something like the Mahler First Symphony of Beethoven Ninth has parts that are whisper quiet and then get extremely loud.  Some headphones cannot reproduce the quiet parts accurately and others start to distort when they get loud.  The DT 990's have excellent dynamic range and sound great at both extremes.  Many headphones only sound good at loud volume.  The DT 990 can be played at moderate volume and it still sounds good.
 
Imaging:  Imaging and soundstage are very good but do not match the HD700.  On the HD700 you can locate every instrument and singer.
 
Comfort:  The DT 990's are the most comfortable of all the headphones I own.  They are lightweight and the earpads are soft and plush.  I have a bald head and and glasses and some headphones tend to slide around when I move.  I wish all my headphones were as comfortable as the DT 990's.  My only complaint is that the coiled cord is too short and it is not replaceable.  Beyerdynamic makes a "premium" version of the DT990 with a longer cable at a slightly higher price.
 
Build quality is excellent.  I am not the most gentle person in the world with my headphones and I use the DT990's almost everyday.  They seem very rugged.
 
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm is the least expensive headphone I own by a significant margin but I use it more than my other 2 headphones.  When used with a high source input and a good headphone amp, they can make some flawed recordings sound amazing.  I don't believe a headphone exists that can make all recordings sound equally good but the DT 990 has a synergy with older recordings that really bring out the best.  
 
Anyone who listens to older Classical and opera recordings should add the DT 990 to their headphone collection.  We live in a world where Bose and Beats outsell all other headphone manufacturers combined and we should feel very fortunate that we have so many fine headphones to choose from.
Chuck Canada
Chuck Canada
I own a pair of DT 990- 600 ohm ''not pro'' headphones and I love them. I too listen to a lot of classical and opera both modern and classic-classical, I really like the open sound stage on my headphones. They have great build quality like you mentioned and only after three years of almost daily use has anything gone wrong and it was a simple fix, I just had to put on a new cord. I ordered the cord right from Beyerdynamics website and it shipped out quick. I also got a new pair of ear pads just because ''why not'' although it wasn't needed it is nice to have new ones.
 
You did a very nice review thanks and well done. 
Pros: Open, airy, uncongested sound; fantastic detail; controlled bass; superb build quality; comfortable velour pads and tall ear cups
Cons: treble can get a bit harsh depending on the song
A truly fantastic headphone, especially at its price point. The sound is very airy and open while providing superb, detailed imaging (jazz and blues really shine on these). It's really amazing how easy it is to pick out individual instruments. Bass, mids and treble are well behaved, although the treble can get borderline harsh depending on the song you're listening to. 
 
Build quality is also fantastic on these. While they are plastic, it's a high quality, durable plastic that is built to last. Metal headband is a very welcome feature (especially coming from the SRH940 which is notorious for its cracking headband). Velour pads are soft and comfy with sizeable cups to fit medium-large ears. 
 
Overall, a top recommendation. 
Pros: Great detail in the highs and the mids. Deep bass. Outstanding build quality and comfort.
Cons: Lack of replaceable cable. Coiled cable is a bit ugly.
I have those paired with Creative Zxr and I am impressed with the quality of the sound. Some are saying the Zxr overwhelms with bass but I don't feel this. The bass is enough, it can be definitely felt but its absolutely not leaking into the mids. Those mids on the other hand... detailed, crisp full of dynamics and precision. And the hights - oh..  Listening to piano and violin concertos is so pleasant. Soundstage is wide and with the Zxr channel separation is very pronounced. The packaging is simple, there is nothing special there, Beyerdynamic could have included more "premium" carying bad/box but hey, for below 200$ this is what you get. The build quality on the other hand is very good. It feels sturdy and very solid. I am yet to see how this holds agains time. Comfort is remarkable, I nearly cannot feel them on my head. There is no discomfort both on the ears and the top of the head. The earpads are soft, almost velure like. It would look better with leather pads but comfort would likely suffer. Beyer could have included a leather kit in the box similarly to their 1770pro set. The only real downside of the headphones is the lack of replaceable cable. I would have really liked 1.2m straight cable for outdoor use. 
Pros: Powerful bass for an "open" design. Extremely durable and comfortable.
Cons: Treble can get harsh at high volume. Mids sound distant. Bass can get boomy/loose.
My Setup
 
25-10.49.36.jpg
 

Tested with my Dell XPS 8700 desktop going optical out to a Yamaha RX-V365 amp (1/4 inch headphone out). I played various files (FLAC, MP3, M4A) at different bit rates using the fubar2000 media player with all EQ off. I am borrowing this DT 990 from a friend who purchased it a few months ago. I will compare this headphone to my Sennheiser HD 600 throughout this review. Note the HD 600 is double the price but serves as a good benchmark.
 
 
Design/Comfort (8/10)
 
25-10.43.46.jpg
 

In terms of design this is nearly identical to the DT 770. Since I already went into detail on the design in my DT 770 review, I will only focus on the differences here. Instead of the tiny ported design on the side of the DT 770 ear cups, the DT 990 has a larger cutout on the rear grill. It's interesting to note that although the rear ear cups are fully grilled, the cutout for the driver to breathe is a small circle (1 inch diameter) in the center. If you look closely you can see this in the photo above. This design does impact how this headphone sounds in a significant way which I will cover in the next section.
 
In terms of comfort the 990 is more comfortable than the 770, but you will only notice this on much longer sessions. This is because the 990 is 20 grams lighter and more breathable. Compared to the HD 600 it's 10 grams lighter, but less breathable. There is even more room in the oval ear cup design of the HD 600, with better headband support. In order of most to least comfortable I would say HD 600, DT 990, and DT 770.
 
25-10.57.18.jpg
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Being an open design sound leakage is obviously greater than the 770. However, leakage is not as significant as the HD 600. It actually does provide a little isolation in comparison. This might be in part to the small 1 inch cutout vs the completely open grill of the HD 600. Aesthetically the HD 600 with it's granite counter top like finish and metal grills looks the best of the three.
 
I much prefer the cable design on the HD 600. The coiled design of the 990/770 is convenient for transport but causes cable tension when in use. And lets be honest, none of these headphones are meant to be portable. Unfortunately the cable is not replaceable on the 990/770. However, in terms of durability and quality materials Beyerdynamic takes the cake for sure. The HD 600 does have issues with cracks appearing on the headband. Mine developed this within a couple months. For more on the superior durability of the 990/770 checkout my DT 770 review.
 
25-13.34.14.jpg
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Sound (6/10)
 
Because the ear cups are not completely open like the HD 600, the 990 has less leakage and superior isolation. This explains why bass response is superior with the 990, on par with the 770. Response range is equally great and honest on both the DT 990 and HD 600. But when the song calls for it you feel the bass impact more and for longer with the 990. However, the 990 doesn't get it all right when it comes to mids or treble. Treble is bright with sibilance in the upper (9k+) range. This can become harsh at high volumes over extended periods. Particularly in songs with instruments like violin or saxophone.
 
25-10.54.14.jpg
 

Mid range is recessed or distant compared to the "in your face" mids of the HD 600. It's as if I put some sort of padded covering over the drivers in comparison. Soundstage and separation for me is on par with the DT 770. It's good, but I was expecting better considering the open design. Again, this could be due to the partially closed ear cup design of the 990. The HD 600 has the best soundstage and separation of the three, hands down. The 990's harshness in treble and recessed mids can be remedied somewhat with an equalizer. However, even EQ'ed to my liking the DT 990 just doesn't sound as revealing or natural as the HD 600. I give it 6/10 mostly due to the harshness which caused ear fatigue.
 
 
Verdict (6/10)
 
25-10.45.26.jpg
 

Coming from my positive review of the 770 I was expecting more from the 990. Especially considering an open design is easier to make from an engineering standpoint. To be fair it's not a bad sounding headphone in it's own right, especially when EQ'ed. It's just facing fierce competition in this price range. The HD 558, HD 598, DT 880, and AKG Q701 are all viable open back contenders. The DT 770 sounds better and offers a better value in the Beyerdynamic lineup if you need isolation. The DT 770 is also available in various impedances while the 990 is not. The HD 558/598 have better mids and treble but lack in bass. If budget permits upgrading to the HD 600 is worth every penny. In the future I hope to get my hands on the DT 880 and AKG Q701 to see how they compare.

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Shaffer
Shaffer
Let's get one thing straight; headphones don't have a soundstage. They can, however, project a large and enveloping soundfield.

Out of all of my cans, which are listed in my profile, the HD600 projects the most confined soundfield of all, while the DT990's soundfield is one of the widest, deepest and most enveloping. I believe that your impressions are colored by the associated equipment and the source material, and, most likely, relatively limited experience. After all, you don't own these headphones. How that's appropriate for a review is beyond me.
rigodeni
rigodeni
I own the 770 and 600. The 990 I had for over a month on loan from a friend. I'm sorry if this isn't long enough for you. I did not own my TEAC UD-H01 when I reviewed this, but my source and setup was clearly stated. Maybe my system did not synergise well with this headphone. But that in no way makes my review less legitimate. It's based on what I had which I stated. If I get the chance to borrow them again I will re-test them with my upgraded source. That being said the HD 600's soundfield never sounded confided then or now with my TEAC. I respectfully disagree with you on all points. You come off as being one of those self-righteous people so a review will never be legitimate for you unless you agree with it on all points.
ianeith
ianeith
I found that these DT990s sound good out of a tube amp; namely the ATH HA55TUBE.
Pros: Spacious and airy soundstage, Treble and bass quantity, Somewhat warm and clear mids, god-like for movies, Made in Germany, bang for the buck.
Cons: Treble and bass quantity, Thin and recessed mids, V shaped sound.
                          
MrTechAgent
MrTechAgent
Good job Saurabh!
ayaflo
ayaflo
Nice review ..
rajeevrn
rajeevrn
great review!
Pros: Extreme comfort, powerful bass, nice soundstage
Cons: Treble sparkle can be overpowering, no removable cable

If you’re in the market for audiophile-grade headphones, you’ve probably heard of Germany’s professional audio electronics manufacturer Beyerdynamic. In the business of handcrafting premium headphones since 1924, Beyerdynamic is synonymous with hi-fi audio and head-fi enthusiasts worldwide. It’s no surprise then, that when setting out to find a headphone that would deliver high-end performance free from the esoteric claims and sticker shock that have become commonplace in the world of audiophilia, Beyerdynamic’s offerings come highly recommended.

Sitting back to enjoy a great stereo system is my preferred listening experience, but due to the fact that I spend more time in a cube farm on a regular basis, headphones have become a must-have for me. The warm sonic signature and reasonable comforts of the closed-back Shure SRH840 professional monitoring headphones that I previously reviewed fill my at-work listening needs perfectly. But, that first step into “premium” headphone sound piqued my interest in acquiring a nice pair of cans for my late-night listening sessions at home.

What I wanted: Crisp, detailed highs; moody, full-bodied mids; punchy bass; a wide, airy soundstage, and comfort to boot. As usual, I started scouring the Internet in search of the perfect headphone that would deliver exceptional sound quality, comfort, value and performance. Thankfully, I found a pair to try before paralysis from analysis set in.

Enter the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO 250-ohm monitoring headphone.

With an MSRP of $300 but often on sale for a mere $150, this headphone straddles the line of diminishing returns by delivering excellent performance at a reasonable price. While several versions of the DT 990 exist, minor changes to the headband, driver housing, cable and packaging allow the same critical internals of the higher priced DT 990 versions (MRSP $430) to be used in the DT 990 PRO application at a lower price point, making it economically feasible for pro audio business purposes while giving consumers an affordable option for those that care less about aesthetics and more about getting the best sound per dollar.
 

“Sound You Can Rely On”

As described by Beyerdynamic, the DT 990 PRO is their “Professional acoustically open headphone for monitoring and studio applications.” And while the box claims these cans offer an “analytical sound,” I would argue that the frequency response provides just enough sizzle in the highs and a slight boost in the bass to make it a dynamic and enjoyable headphone to listen to. In short, the DT 990 PRO uses hand-made neodymium drivers nestled inside composite open-back driver housings that help these cans deliver a quick, transparent and surprisingly wide and airy soundstage.

For those of you that know me or have been following this blog, you know that I listen to a wide variety of music that includes jazz, blues, electronica, folk, hard rock/metal, reggae and more. Well, I’ve been nothing but surprised by how well the DT 990 PRO performs. Instruments have excellent separation; vocals are crisp and clean; cymbals and horns shimmer with a nice sense of realism; bass notes are consistently tight, fast and punchy without ever being “boomy” or bloated; and the mids, albeit slightly recessed sometimes due to the bass hump around 100 Hz, refrain from being muddied or dull. Overall, the DT 990 PRO presents a rich, full-bodied, engaging sound that centers the mind’s eye well.

A word of caution, however: As you’d expect with a headphone designed for studio monitoring and mastering, these cans are revealing—bad recordings and low bit-rate digital files will likely sound bright, edgy, unrefined and unpleasant, but pair them with good recordings and a nice source and these babies sing.

Do these need an amp? Not necessarily; the DT 990 PRO can get plenty loud on mobile devices and still sound good, but if you want the best performance with the lowest noise floor and greatest dynamics, a headphone amp is recommended.

=2141&graphID[]=963&graphID[]=713&scale=30]Are they boomy? No. The bass does have some added emphasis compared to the DT 880 PRO, but it is still tight and accurate.

Are they bright? They’re crisp and detailed, and if you’re sensitive to high frequencies they may come off as bright, but overall I’d say they manage to stay away from being harsh.

=2141&graphID[]=963&graphID[]=713&scale=30]Should I get the DT 990, DT 880 or DT 770?That’s really up to you and your needs. The DT 990 is an open-back headphone—sound will leak, but you’ll have a wider soundstage and the presentation is dynamic. The DT 880 is a semi-open headphone specifically for reference monitoring—it has a more linear response that is very analytical compared to the DT 990 or DT 770. The DT 770 is a closed-back headphone that is pitchier than both the DT 990 and DT 770; the bass has greater emphasis, the mids are more recessed, and the highs jump more. The DT 990 PRO basically puts you between these “fun” and “analytical” headphones, leaving you with a dynamic compromise that seemingly performs well across all music genres.
 

“Superior Build Quality”

For those of you that are accident-prone, nearly all parts on the DT 990 PRO are replaceable, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it—these things are built for use.

Unboxing the DT 990 PRO, you’ll likely be struck with how light these cans are; including the 3-meter coiled cable (not detachable), these weigh in at 378 grams or 13.3 ounces on my scale. I’m not sure how that stacks up with other popular options on the market, but in relation to my Shure SRH840s, these sit significantly easier on my head… in fact, they’re hardly noticeable.

Beyerdynamic actually claims the weight reduction achieved in the composite driver housing lends a hand in creating the DT 990 PRO’s excellent sound quality. And while some may be struck by the light weight and composite driver housing as showing signs of weakness or lesser quality, the DT 990 PRO headphone simply saves much of its weight through its minimalist design and materials choices. The headphone is constructed from a spring steel headband wrapped in a slim, removable padding; the anodized aluminum forks are slim but decidedly solid; the composite driver housings, albeit flexy across the open back, are robust around the perimeter; and the velour ear cup pads are of good quality, free from loose seams, and the semi-soft pad conforms effortlessly to the head.
 

The Fit

Despite being a full-size circumaural (around-the-ear) headphone constructed of composite plastics, aluminum and steel, these cans are anything but bulky or heavy. In fact, the combination of their light weight, soft headband and cushy ear pads makes these an incredibly comfortable headphone to wear for hours at a time—I’ve even fallen asleep with them on several times.

While I have a relatively small oval head (21” circumference), I found the clamping tension to be just about right, maybe even a tiny touch loose for me. Still, the headphones manage to stay securely in place while moving/tilting the head and laying down, and I never experienced any fatigue or hotspots due to excessive pressure on the ears or head. Aside from the sensation of having two velour donuts circling my ears, it’s hard to tell that these are even being worn. My ears found plenty of room inside of the cups, and while the velour ear pads do absorb body heat quickly, the open-back design lets the headphone “breathe” just enough to keep the sweat at bay.

Overall, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO headphone is a price-to-performance champ, delivering comfort, quality, and audiophile-grade sound at a price nearly every hi-fi enthusiast can afford. 

Technical Specs 
Headphone design: Open-back, circumaural (around-the-ear)
Headphone impedance: 250 ohms
Headphone frequency response: 5 - 35,000 Hz
Nominal SPL: 96 dB
Nominal THD: < 0.2%
Power handling: 100 mW
Cable & Plug: Coiled cable with gold-plated mini-jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter
Net weight: 378 grams, w/ cable

Listening Setup
Amp: NAD C 326BEE
Source: Sony DVP-S9000ES SACD/DVD player
Interconnects: DH Labs Air Matrix
Power Cords: DH Labs Power Plus Reference AC (DIY)
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Pros: Meaty and detailed in lows and mids with very good bass quality, good highs for acoustic music, and some EDM
Cons: Requires better equipment than you would think from the going retail price of under $200. Gets annoying with pop, rock, distorted guitar, cymbals...
Background: I've had these for over five months and put at least 200 hours on them.  They still have a lot of energy in the highs, yes, and taming them is an essential part in enjoying them. They are super comfy and super well-built, with lots of real metal. 
 
Important Note of Preference Regarding Gear: All parts of the chain matter here: dac, amp, interconnects and the recording itself. Sibilance appears in vocals on MP3 tracks, but not with WAV files and above usually, especially of your DAC can use an ASIO filter. (I know it's controversial scientifically, but these phones seem to highlight the harshness of other output modes to my ears).  They can sound great out of good CD player's headphone jack, as in the old Denon and Marantz ones especially. They are also good with integrated receivers, which have analogue EQing possibilities.
 
Strengths: These are very rhythmic headphones with raised lows and highs that can be too much for many genres but means they shine on nearly all good acoustic recordings, including choral music and, up-tempo classical, bluegrass, and world or folk music that is very acoustic oriented.
 
They do amazingly well on orchestral works, and can make sense of very complex music.
 
With the right amp and source, the mids are very good, in my opinion.
 
Highs might be seen as a strength to some, because they give some air and realism to violins, female voices, and this is a plus on good recordings in my opinion.
 
In addition, solo music that is meant to represent real instruments like classical guitar, piano, harp, cello and other instruments that need a bit of beef in the lower section sound more realistic than any other headphones I've tried. They also add clarity to spoken or sung lyrics, but the mix doesn't bring vocals to the front like some phones. 
 
They are fantastic for movies and gaming, especially if you watch actual DVDs.
 
Weaknesses: The problem is that the highs are truly exaggerated right at the point that is generally higher than the human voice and most acoustic instruments. So in most systems, you may have trouble with many rock, pop, and electronic genres. Even hip-hop can be annoying because of sibilant vocals, making guys sound like they have a lisp, particularly on less than amazing recordings, which is 90% of all hip-hop, anyway. I have listened to Green Day, Neil Young, Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, and some others (not a huge rock collector, actually), and while I particularly like what these phones do to punk rock, ska, and complex songs, they generally get fatiguing very fast. Most of these genres boost the treble anyway to compensate for the poor systems found in cars and the average home stereo or stock IEMs. 
 
I found that even with higher resolution tracks, such as Peter Tosh's "Equal Rights" 24/96, by HDTracks, the cymbals really get on my nerves very quickly. Strangely, Wav files from 16/44 Reggae recordings typically bother me less. It could be with certain mainstream "remasterings" of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, they really cook the treble to sound better on inferior speakers. Lesser known albums such as Culture's "Harder than the Rest" sound great with lots of layers of percussion, but still grate after a while. 
 
I personally do not find them perfect for EDM. The highs get annoying very quickly with this genre, even though the spacing, imaging, layering, and bass is very good. Probably you would want to go with one of the Hifiman orthos if this is your gig. I liked Daft Punk's Random Access Memories album almost better with my Sure 425s, due to their speed, flat bass, smooth mids, and rolled off highs.
 
Older jazz recordings can also come up short under the microscope of these cans, even if the overall enjoyment might be there. They are just too unforgiving of the slightest distortion (at least when heard through my solid state Lehmann Rhinelander, or the Schiit Magni (major earache)).  Newer jazz recordings are generally good with these phones, but it depends on how many electronic instruments are being used, and how they mix the percussion. If it's too hot, you're probably going to find these a bit tiring for some jazz recordings as well.
 
I find myself having to adjust the volume sometimes, even for acoustic music, due to the imbalance of the highs. For this, as the 6moons review noted with the DT880 600ohm (which they also recommend for jazz and classical), you need a good volume pot that can be adjusted ever-so-slightly within tracks, between tracks, and certainly between recordings.
 
They also don't do justice to many older recordings, due to the exaggeration of flaws, pops, clicks, and tape hiss. This is very unfortunate for me, and one of the reasons I'm thinking of moving on to a more forgiving headphone.
 
***Some say you can EQ these phones to have smoother highs, but my experience is that EQing doesn't help much. I don't think I'm the majority opinion here, but I feel that the acoustic features of this phone are hard to override without getting negative side effects such as distortion.
 
Comparisons and a note on Value:
 
The absolutely crazy thing is that I bought them for $150, and I bought my Fiio E10 for around $60 a couple of years ago.  With literally nothing else, you have leapfrogged over the vast majority of low-fi and low-mid-fi set-ups costing three times this much. Not only that, you would have to spend many times as much to get a full room set up that sounds even close to as good. No I use the HRT HD and the Lehmann Rhinelander with Chord interconnects. It sounds very, very good, but a bit too much energy in the highs for most non-acoustic music. The good thing is that I'm not worried that I'm missing any details. I'm sure some very pricey cans, such as the T1 or HD800 can pull up more micro-details, but honestly, more detail is not the problem here, but rather the slightly less-than-smooth sound that results from the extended highs.
 
Nothing else that I know of in the $150-250 range will clearly beat these in terms of accuracy, meat in the low-mids, and ability to scale up to a very serious mid-fi sound system.
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fokta
fokta
Nice Review, I personally looking for that unusual sound, when u mention about the weakness, I noticed it after sound of treble when listening to Acoustic, especially Cymbal. I dint find this on my other Can... now I know it is the Character of DT990 Pro..

Thank you
Pros: Comfort, Sound stage, details, unlimited amounts of bass (a debatable "pro" though), sturdy construction, PRICE, loudness, sturdy telephone cord....
Cons: ... and weak cord attachement to a headphones themselves, VERY fragile membranes, bass dominance.
Hello ladies and gentlemen, today i will describe my third pair of DT-990 Pro by Beyerdynamic!
 
     Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro 250 Ohm for their price of 140 dollars able to outperform every other headphones on the market with the same price tag.  Without further delay i must notify you that those headphones are not the very first ones in my posession (i owned three DT-990), but will be reviewed from this point of view because many professionals already own better pieces of "tech" and know everything i have to say.
     These headphones (i bought three pieces just because i was addicted to their sound) are used by me  for my personal projects alongside with Sennheiser HD-600,  projects involve creation of various sounds and short pieces of ambient music for my CG animations and they performed very well in those conditions but right now, let me expain the pros and the cons for those who "can`t decide", "this is my first high-end/good headphone", "bass is too much" and others who seems to like them but wait for that one final voice to add to overall balance.
 
PROS:
 
      1) Comfort:  Yes, you are right, this is their first and strongest advantage if you spend long time in front of your PC recording/listening/playing/doing nothing. Very soft and ear-friendly velour pads on the durable plastic case that is surprisingly not so heavy as many tend to fear (i don`t notice them on my head like Koss Porta Pro, they are that soft and stealthy, only small weight reminds me that my head has something on it) and they supprassing HD-598 in this hands down. Also, if you are training your neck in gym or at home, you are even less likely to notice them.
 
      2) Sound Stage - It is wide, better than expected, i can almost feel the wide space inside the theatre or concert hall but this also means you need to have good, very good hardware  as well as high quality music or video stream or you will be disappointed, because DT-990s tend to show a ton of "cuts", "downsides" and "trash" in low quality recordings or videos that most likely, with time (especially if you never had a headphone better than this before) make you delete/close the thing you watching and/or listening and wait for HQ release. You can say that sound stage isn`t the best and you will be right and wrong because there is a better stage, but it has a higher price point (and we aren`t talking about anything more expensive than 140 dollars today).
 
      3) Details - You will hear far more than you expect, in fact, you will be even amazed and want to listen every album you have!  But there is also a tricky part, you have to take into account one thing - warm up.  Exactly! You need to listen to these headphones for X time so they actually reveal their own sound, in my case it was 2 months or a tad less, after that my piece of headphones cleared itself up  and revealed a detailed, "flexible" sound.
   
       4) Bass - Bass is the selling point, advantage and disadvantage of these headphones. You can listen every bassy track once again and wonder why all your previous headphones had no bass and this piece seems to shine through and through! But there is also a tricky part, you can`t exactly rely on them to record/polish your tracks (working with sounds like explosions and weapons is fine to a degree, but you can`t rely on them without listening end result on neutral headphones) because DT-990 may fill everything with bass even where it is not needed at all, so you need to find more neutral pieces of headphones (like i said before, sennheisers were used with Beyers to watch out for the second ones in order to deliver "intended sound").
 
       5) Sturdy Construction - Any other cheap headphone posess a cheap pieces of thin plastic that will break if you drop them,  but that is not the case with our piece of headphones. DT-990 have a solid, sturdy construction that allows it to survive accidental drops and not crack in half from it, but that doesn`t mean you should "tease a bull with red cloth" and start throwing them around, test them with a hammer, screwdriver or a rocket launcher. They will survive fall from table or accidental drops from a height of your shoulder and as i will mention in the downsides, they are still better to be treated like expensive, "decorated with golden writings and covered with thin layer of pure platinum" type of thing. Overall, the latest model survived over 8 months, used daily and was dropped 4 times from a table height and 3 times from my head.
       
       6) PRICE - C`mon, this is 140 dollars and unless you are poor and 140$ is half/entirety of your monthly income then it is great bang for your buck!  Price drives people better than technical specifications (sometimes people will buy a cheap underperforming thing  in order to "fit in the budget" yet they aware that more expensive one is better and they start to claim that the cheaper thing is better then its pricey competitor and you will be evil unless you believe them. But as someone said, they do this to preserve themselves from psychological trauma of having inferior thing while realizing they could`ve got superior one.) and here we have a rare match of price and performance, so don`t let others cloud your vision :)
 
        7) Loudness - They will sound as loud as your sound card can make it, you can be DEAFENED by it! This piece of headphones has 250 Ohm impendance that is an "entry barrier" for the hardware you are going to plug your headphones to. In order for them to sound good (especially if you don`t have a sound card) you need a very decent sound card and sometimes even an amplifier that capable of driving 250 Ohm headphones. So, in case if you are "just born audiophile" you need to know that 250 and 600 Ohm headphones require a serious amplifier (some external sound cards have one) or you won`t hear the headphone sound as it was intended by manufacturer and inventor, you will get a quiet, dirty sound with absolutely wrong details and stage (Please, don`t even mention integrated Realtek or smartphones... unless smartphone is not one of those new Meizu Mx3 with Wolfson DAC that actually MAY produce a decent-ish sound... *cough* for a smartphone *cough*) that will make you hate yourself, your source of sound and your tiny budget.
 
        8) Sturdy cord - telephone-ish cord that is strong (albeit a little bit short) and capable of withstanding punishment of accidents and user stupidity (unless you try to cut it with knife to test it...) to a certain degree, all three pieces of DT-990s that i owned have their cord intact. 
         
   
Now, i will describe disadvantages (as good as they are, they aren`t perfect), hovewer most of them is a result of me trying to find ones.
 
CONS:
 
     1) Cord attachement to a headphones - seriously, this is where you will most likely find yourself with soldering-iron, because in the case of last two pieces of headphones one of them was switching off unless you will "push the wire" towards the connection point of cord to a headphone or slightly bend it so sound appears again in both drivers and not just one of them. This problem will appear very soon if you forget about your headphones and suddenly run to switch off something in the kitchen (two pairs of koss Porta Pros were not just broken but utterly destroyed by this, one DT-990 also didn`t survived the experience but was reanimated by miniature electric soldering iron and a ton of sweat...)
 
     2)  Weak Membranes - Thin white membranes that located under the thing that looks like foam-rubber, the evil very core. The very first pair had one of the membranes punctured and i had to take them to warranty repairs and when i asked "What caused the damage?" i got  a strange answer - "Someone`s hair". I guess i should`ve guessed that Beyers make this foam-rubber thing too weak for my hair. That means clean it from hair on daily basis (especially if you have a lot of them) and this makes them look not as sturdy as i told (and warned) 
 
     3) Bass dominance - It is a good thing when you listen to a music, play videogames (like Starcraft 2 or World Of Tanks where explosions and cannon fire is all around the place), watch movies and videos on youtube but it is not the case when you edit recorded sounds or composed piece of music. You need a more balanced, neutral headphones if you are going to actually work with a music and there are a ton of them to do just that (i used sennheisers and clients weren`t complaining about sound, but hey, there is always a pair of "cans" that does it better, so it is all about a length of a dollar that you are ready to spend)
 
 
Score:  9 out of 10. 
Why: Price`n`Performance. For their price of 141$ on amazon right now (06.16.2014) they compete with weaker headphones and they destroy the challengers (even HD-598 that seems to have a higher price on amazon than they are) while striving, but failing to match their more expensive competitors like Sennheiser HD-600. However if their price was 300$ (according to one and only Amazon) it would`ve been 7 or even 6 out of 10 because you can add a little more and get HD 600 or even HD-650 that will be better and more neutral (however, some prefer non-neutral headphones to enjoy the music only)
 
What you as reader get out from this score:  If you want to buy your first GOOD headphones and looking at beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro then look no further!  Their sound will pleasantly surprise you (especially after you will "warm them up" for a seven days or so, but my pair was warmed up after ~20 days with 5 hours of non-stop listening) and their sturdiness will forgive you accidental drops and other types of damage you can inflict on headphone. Also, you may look "professional" in them because those headphones have minimalistic, sturdy design (not to mention that they are german, some people think all the best stuff manufactured only in germany :D) that is not bristling with rainbow of colors, drawn kittens and cheap thin plastic that easily breaks. 
            Hovewer, if you are experienced or even profesional you may want to look at pricier solutions (because you most likely have something that costs ~350-550 $ and a similar priced sound card to power them) and not stop on beyers...
 
"Maybes": . Anyway you will hear these headphones differently (well, human ear is extremely delicate "piece" of our body, younglings tend to hear much wider frequency range than 60 year olds, besides we have our own tastes and preferences...) , so it is useless to describe something you can`t describe with words but something you will hear and understand - like bass, mids, highs, lows and so on.  The only way to find out is to go out and find decent audio "shop" and kindly ask to listen to this headphone with expensive sound card (yes, expensive, even if you are not going to buy one, listening to them will allow you to get that "ah, i like the bass, but mids could be better" or vice versa, and when you will go out to buy your own cheaper sound card you will understand is it worth your money or not) and do the "final evaluation" yourself.
 
My hardware
Powerful Workstation: Core i7 3960x OCd, 32GB DDR-3 Ram, GTX 780, SSD Vertex-4.
Recording, editing and polishing: Roland Octa Capture (Sound quality is the same as in RME Fireface UCX, high quality drivers for the card, ASIO drivers and good preamps)
Listening/Gaming/Watching/Light recording:  Roland Quad Capture (24/192khz, DAC from Octa-Capture, ASIO v2.0 and great drivers!) 
Audio Format: .flac
Headphones: Koss Porta Pro (Barely alive, third pair of these headphones started my quest for the better sound ^_^), Beyerdynamic DT-990, DT-1350, Sennheiser HD-598, Sennheiser HD-600, HiFiMaN HE-4 (waiting for better sound card, Burson Audio Conductor looking good).
 
If you are going to buy Roland UA-55 quad capture for DT-990 Pro then i recommend that you get something even more powerful or buy a preamp with it,  because during the last three months i have noticed that volume knob on my Roland UA-55 is always set on 60%. It may be not that bad, but i feel that headphones lack amplification from the sound card, because turning knob up from 75 to 100% does close to zero amplification (it just stays on the same volume).  Also, don`t even try to connect them to a phone, my Xperia Z shown me (yes, 250 Ohm headphones without amplification to a phone... stupid, maybe even dumb, but i had to try) that it is useless to use it to listen music on go (for that i have DT-1350) and if you want to listen music that bad on smartphone with these headphones, buy Meizu Mx3 (Wolfson WM5102 DAC) or Vivo X3S with ESS Technology ES9018 DAC and Texas Instruments OPA2604 amplifier  should sound decent too... but never as good as full size external sound card.
 
Thank you for reading and wish you to find the best headphones for your ears! d(^_^)b  
Mshenay
Mshenay
heh it's funny that you like the DT 990 so much, I' had a DT 990 and DT 880 back in teh day, I'd like to think my HE 4 brings the best of what both headphones do to the table ;3
Pros: Clarity, soundstage, detail, treble, bass, COMFORT, build quality
Cons: May be too bright for some
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 isn’t extremely powerful, but definitely has a presence. 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.
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MrTechAgent
MrTechAgent
The Beyer DT series is highly under-priced , its sad people overlook these classics , at least now they do 
vaibhavp
vaibhavp
no worries. my next can (or maybe the 880). all i need before that is a tube amp to pair these with.
Xenophon
Xenophon
Nice impressions!  I haven't heard these but sold a pair of 600 Ohm DT-880's.  They were my first 'serious' cans and good price/value but I just couldn't learn to appreciate the treble which was too strident for my tastes.  Have since found out that this appears to be more or less the Beyer house sound signature so I sold them to someone who hopefully appreciates them more and moved toward my present cans.
Pros: over all sound quality and signature
Cons: put my more expensive headphones to shame, coiled cord(not a big deal)
A great can, esp considering the price.
 
Fit, and comfort. these things IMO cannot get more comfortable. it's like your head is being hugged by the softest stuffed animals in the world. yes literally, after about a minute you dont feel them at all. A firm not tight clamp keeps them in place. The headband nestles the crown of the head nicely.
 
Build quality. These things are built solid. Plastic, but the durable kind, with a metal headband, and yoke.
 
Sound quality. These sound great, with deep lows, engaging mids ( I dont know where people are getting this recessed mids thing) highs that sparkle, but not screech. They do need amping to make them shine, however I find them being powered ok directly from iphone 4s ( wouldnt recommend doing it for long) they excel at female vocals. I;ve honestly have not yet heard headphones this good yet.
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
 
Build quality-
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.
 
Comfort- 
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.
 
Sound quality-
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
 
Lows-
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- 
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.
 
Highs-
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.
 
Soundstage-
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
 
For gaming-
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
 
Overall conclusion- 
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.
robertkstephen
robertkstephen
it sounds like they sound like their compatriot mercedes-benz amg 65 engines - very heavy teutonic ******* bass growl no-compromise-screw-ambient-noise-emission, screw diplomacy :)
 
good for me !
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!
iambrian81
iambrian81
Dt990 is awesome!!! Listening to music with it right now as we speak!
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.
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bpandbass
bpandbass
For tubes I can definitely recommend the Raytheon 6AK5s.
WhiskeyJacks
WhiskeyJacks
So I am hopefully going to be getting these headphones, but the problem is I do not have the money for a tube amp, and am newer to the world of audiophile quality and sound. I am currently looking into buying my first decent pair of headphones in a long long time. I am currently look at several different items from lowest budget factor to more midrange prices. I currently am up in between the Takstar 671, the hifi 2050, the Sennheiser hd 558, potentially the 598 if on sale, the DT 990 pro 250ohms(would have to be able to power it to my creative recon sound blaster card which supposedly ahas the built in amp which can power headphones up to 600ohms, have not tried this yet.), and basically open to suggestions with a budget of 140$ if anything is on sale and is more comfortable and better sq then the ones I have listed please let me know.
Frederose
Frederose
Sounds amazing with the Valhalla 2, when tube rolled with some Amperex or Mullard for warmer sound. 
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. 
 
Mshenay
Mshenay
Too weak bass for rock xD, either way great review I to enjoy mine immensely!
Pros: Dynamics, Sound Stage Width, Bass, delicate mids, airy treble
Cons: 3D Imaging Not the best, Too much bass at times
20130816_093851.jpg
 
 
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!
 
Build [5/5]
 
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!
 
Specs
Open Dynamic Operating Principle
250 Ohm Impedance
115db Sensitivity
5-35,000k response
 
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.
 
 
 
Songs
 
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!
 
 
 
Sound [4.2/5]
 
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.                 
 
[size=11.5pt]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! [/size]
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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:
http://ftwaudio.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/beyerdinamic-dt-990-pro-review/
XxDobermanxX
XxDobermanxX
you got them for a good price
bracko
bracko
Isn't that an ordinary price for these? In Sweden they cost exactly 200 dollars.
Pros: comfort, immersive sound, quality , spacing , durability
Cons: cable could be detachable(nitpicking)
View attachment View attachment
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! 
happy listening!! 
 
nollstyle
nollstyle
Thanks Great Review
rslomkow
rslomkow
Dead on comment about the fantastic movie headphones! I got a pair for watching movies in the evening when my kids are trying to go to sleep and my better-side is trying to sleep. Fantastic detail but still very engaging. I actually find them to be good "spectacle" headphones. Great for movies, for music give more a "concert" kind of experience with some pronounced tight bass, but still clear in the mids, I drive mine with a Yamaha Video Reciever or a NAD Amp for music
WhiskeyJacks
WhiskeyJacks
I wanted to ask if I was to be using these headphones with the computer I currently have would the Creative Sound blaster 5.1 recon3d card be enought to power these? where I would be able to use them adequately? I am new to the world of quality headphones and Just want something that is overall quality. If anyone coulod get back to me I would really appreicate it.
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
Slipee
Slipee
Man, these are open headphones. Of course there will be sound leakage.
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 :p) 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. 
 
UPDATE 12/2014
 
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.
 
phileguy
phileguy
When reviewing headphones you cannot say one is the best or vice versa it is an acquired taste. You really have to listen to all of them then compare and write reviews.All highend headphones requires significant playing time before you can get there full potential.
Thommohawk
Thommohawk
Hang on when did I say it is THE best? I'm pretty sure I said the Beyer DT 990 Pro is one of the best in it's price range. Not THE best. There's a big difference. But obviously it's an opinion at that.
Thommohawk
Thommohawk
In fact I said it's one of the best BUILT in it's price range is what I actually said. But again not THE best.
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