The Beyerdynamic T90 Premium Stereo Headphone is designed to provide a hi-end audiophile...

Beyerdynamic T90 Premium Stereo Headphone

Average User Rating:
  • The Beyerdynamic T90 Premium Stereo Headphone is designed to provide a hi-end audiophile listening experience while remaining comfortable during long-term listening. The T90 features an open circumaural design, coupled with Telsa transducers for rich detail and enveloping sound quality for a completely immersing listening experience. The T90's wide frequency response captures the most subtle detail with pristine accuracy. Its elegant appearance is also functional with velvet lined earpads and headband providing maximum comfort.

    Impressive sound experience from the start

    Tesla technology with highest efficiency

    Single-sided cable

    Ear pads made of microfibre

Recent User Reviews

  1. amartignano
    "One of the milestones in my headphone journey"
    Pros - dynamic contrasts and subtleties, airiness, detail, punch, euphony, comfort
    Cons - can be too much in the highs to someone, not replaceble cable (if you're interested in it)
    (sorry for my sometimes hesitant english...)
    The Beyerdynamic T90 is one of the milestones in my personal headphone journey. I’ve started with my father’s Sennheiser HD424x and a Sony MDR44, which generated my love for the on-ear open tipology, so I still adore my Grado Sr60e.
    Obviously I’ve had many over-ear and on-ear open headphones, the most important to my appreciation and formation were the Sennheiser HE60, the Beyer DT880, the AKG K501, the original Grado Rs1, the Grado Sr60e and my beloved personal  reference  the Sennheiser HD600.
    To fulfill the desire to improve a bit my musical enjoyment, I was flirting with the idea to buy again an electrostatic headphone. For the sake of ease of use, I’ve ended ordering the T90, without having ever heard it. The incautious purchase has proved to be almost exactly what I’ve looked for.
    The headphone
    Briefly: the little open Tesla sister of the Beyer’s interpretation of an über-kopfhörer, the T1.
    1. Design: typical Beyerdynamic, no news, still good news, as the ergonomics is top notch.
    2. Quality: sturdy and solid, grills maybe prone to scratch.
    3. Comfort: it’s subjective, but I find the T90 to be one of the most comfortable headphone I’ve ever listened to, it’s gentle on the temples, the ears don’t touch the foam and the headphone is light enough to be worn for hours without fatigue.
    Technical stuff
    The T90 has a declared 250 ohm impedance, 5-40000 Hz frequency response (no attenuation data given), a sensibility of 102 dB  @ 1 mW @ 500 Hz, max SPL of 125 dB with 200 mW.
    The frequency response curve is very extended, and shows an increase of 5-8 dB in the 7-10 kHz region. The bass response suggest a slight amount of musical “hump”.
    The impedance curve shows a pronounced but broad resonance peak, suggesting a sensible but not-too-rude behavior in matching amplifiers of different output impedance.
    Distortion is generally low, but above 100 Hz it’s slightly worse than the Dt880. Bass frequencies instead are less distorted than the Dt880.
    Sensibility: to play 90 dB the T90 wants 0.18 mW or 0.225 Vrms, while the Dt880 wants 0.38 mW or 0.299 Vrms. The increase of sensibility is clear and evident, and gives the T90 the possibility to be driven at decent sound pressures also from smartphones and tablets, although these are clearly not the best ways to drive a T90 (but I’ve never heard my smartphone sound so good).
    Sources: Marantz Cd5001, Thorens TD160 + Ortofon Om20 + Pro-Ject Cork It, Samsung A3 smartphone running Neutron, Samsung Galaxy Tab A running Neutron
    Amplification: Marantz Cd5001 headphone output, Marantz Pm6004 integrated amplifier headphone output, smartphone and tablet outputs, LittleDot MkIII dedicated tube amplifier
    Headphones compared: Sennheiser HD600, Beyerdynamic Dt880 Premium / 250 ohm
    The Beyer T90 is: comfort, dynamic contrasts and subtleties, airiness, detail, punch, euphony.
    The Beyer T90 is not: perfect correctness, softness, relax.
    If it were a VST plugin, it would be a gentle enhancer that preserves musicality and nuances. Compared to the Dt880 the sound is generally more “present”, focused and detailed; the general impression is of a slightly u-shaped response, but the mids to my ears are not recessed at all. The headstage, more intimate than the Dt880 one, retains spaces and proportions, and is quite tridimensional, scanning with ease the different depth plans, when present in the recording. The T90 are capable of revealing many details across all frequencies, also in that bass region which I think is one of the best bass in headphone I’ve heard. If compared to the Dt880, the latter seems a tad more “rounded”, but overall the Dt880 tends to sound somewhat lean on the bass, while the T90 remains always satisfactory, complete, very dynamic and impactful, although the T90 sure isn’t a “bass-head” object.
    The sound can be described as clear and shiny, but the strong dynamics give the correct evidence and rhythm to the low frequencies. Almost physical is the impact of the drums, and I liked a lot the way the T90 manages the pipe organ pedals: the lowest pipes in the Carillon de Westminster by Vierne (Simon Preston, DG) suggest in an almost surprising way the real broad and deep effect you hear in the church. When listening to the bass of the T90, I automatically thought about ex-my mighty He60 electrostatic Senns; quite remarkable. The perspective is nearer to the instrument compared to the Dt880: the latter puts you in the middle of the church, while the T90 sits in the first pews. The timbres seems analyzed near the pipes, but the perspective of the instrument remains correct.
    The overall sound of the T90 shines with acoustic guitar and voice duets, like Suzanne Vega and her elegant Solitude Standing or Teresa Salgueiro in O Paraiso. Sounds are vivids, engaging, and still “natural”.
    There is a price to pay for all this entertainment: the timbres of some instruments (like violins or cymbals), are slightly modified by the mid-high enhancement in the frequency response, and sometimes the T90 can sound at the limit of accuracy. Human voices don’t seem to show this characteristic: they are present and timbrically evident but always correct. I understand if people will find the T90 too aggressive in the highs: we hear differently. But me? After being accustomed with the T90 sound, these colorations are not evident anymore to me, and they transformed themselves in the particular ability to enter the score and the space in which the performance happens.
    In this regard the reproduction of the part II of the 8[sup]th [/sup]Mahler Symphony (Abbado, Berliner, live DG) was astonishing: intimate in the more rarefied moments, powerful and tangible in the more frantic measures. I thought to know perfectly this recording, and I was wrong: there were more to discover. Other “drier” recordings like the Sibelius of Barbirolli (EMI Classics) sound maybe less engaging, but properly mastered ones (like Mahler 7[sup]th[/sup] directed by Boulez with the Wieners (DG), or Eric Whitacre's choral Cloudburst performed by Stephen Layton's Polyphony ) sound simply astonishing to me.
    All this energy is retained in reproducing rock programs: I’ve listened to Alan Parsons Project’s 1987 mix of the Tales of Mistery and Imagination, to Pink Floyd’s ’92 remaster of Dark Side Of the Moon and The Endless River and many others, and the almost explosive dynamics, the great extensions (particular in the lows, i.e. the 22 Hz impulses in The Endless River) and the “musically aggressive” colors of the T90 always made the listenings exciting and engaging. Combined with the tridimensional headstage, I think this is quite a remarkable performance.
    Brief comments:
    1. The T90 is sensible to output impedance, but not in a rude way: you can play with it to compromise between presence and tightness.
    2. The T90 has a peculiar sound signature… that suggests tubes? Maybe, it’s a matter of tubes, and a matter of tastes.
    3. Like always, subjectiveness rules, it’s up to you…
    I really liked the T90, it is on a higher class compared to the Dt880 or the Hd600, but I also think that they are not so linear and correct like these old masters. Nevertheless, the T90 are more extended, more detailed, more refined, more dynamic, more engaging and entertaining: I must say, nowadays my proper listening are with the T90.
    I had not the possibility to compare the T90 with the T1, the Hd800 ore the HiFiMan planars: nevertheless, I think I will not go wrong if I say that the T90 is a bargain in the today headphone’s market. The peculiar sound signature can be a love/hate affair, but if you like it, you will like it a lot. Recommended.
  2. glennkresge
    "Great cans"
    Pros - Everything is good. Some complain its too bright.
    Cons - Fixed cables
    I really like the t-90;  I have had them for about two months and really enjoy the brightness. I also have the T70p and the t-5p second gen. I like the t70p better than anything so far. The t 90 are fun to listen too-there's treble and brightness-but I like it. The sound stage is good-again, I like the t-70p.
  3. SoundShip
    "A wonder pair of headphones, criminally underrated, a true bargain at current prices "
    Pros - Soundstage, Imaging, Transparent Exciting Sound, Accurate bass representation, Detailed Treble
    Cons - Non-Detachable Cable
    Having spent a lot of listening time comparing Sennheiser HD650, Shure 1540 & 1840, Final Design Pandora VI, Grado PS-500 and the BeyerDynamic T90 I had no doubt in opting for the T90s.
    What surprised me with this listening test just how much I disliked the Pandora VI, especially after all the praise they have been getting. I found them way too forward on the mid and highs. The bass extension was very good though, the build was lovely but the fit on the head and ears is flawed (too much movement and weight is an issue.)
    The HD650’s were a nice set but a tad underwhelming compared to the T90s, as too were the Shure – solid but lacked some magic in top end and soundstage. The Grado’s were the closest to the T90s but the build and comfort is quite frankly poor for such a product.
    I can understand why some have marked down the T90s for being too pushed at the treble end of the spectrum. For me this only became apparent on tracks that I know have been mastered at source too high in the top end in my option (I used spend a lot of time in pro studio in previous life and use tracks I am familiar with from the source recording to test these cans.)
    Bass is wonderful and accurate but in a bass mad world some might find these a little underwhelming but still engaging though. Comfort is fantastic – no complaints.
    But for me the soundstage and imaging was the standout of the listening tests – quite astonishing that this level of quality is on offer at this price and ultimately this is what clinched the deal for me. That and the fact that these headphones transfer the emotion of the music I’m listening to so well.
    I’m sure there are better cans out there (the P1 and LCD2s come to mind, perhaps) however, there simply isn’t a pair at a comparable price that comes close in my opinion. That said, the appreciation of sound, as we all know, is a truly subjective affair. 
  4. szoze
    "A bliss"
    Pros - high-end sound, imaging, balance, details, comfort,
    Cons - can be too bright (too good, too resolving?) for some people
    This headphone really has it all. It is easily comparable with other headphones costing twice it's price. Shame it doesn't get more love it really deserves here on head-fi. 
    A highly musical headphone with good bass, open mids and very detailed treble. It will probably earn a legendary status with time for it's unique sound and great comfort. Well done Beyer.
  5. bracko
    "Having an orchestra inside your head"
    Pros - Beautiful crisp loudspeaker-like sound, immersive soundstage, fantastic tonality, transparency, comfort, timeless design, price
    Cons - non-detachable cable, makes you want to go through your music collection once again, nothing else at this price
    These headphones are all about quality. Quality in workmanship and craftsmanship. Quality of sound. Quality of design. Quality of comfort. The moment you take them out of their box you can feel there is something special with them. Personally I have never been so impressed by a pair of headphones before. Maybe my HD650 come close. I really didn't expect anything near this magnificent performance for $600. I got them used (6 months old) for $220 and it is the best purchase I have ever done in hi-fi.
    Dare I say that these headphones are probably among top three headphones I've ever heard? Other two being HD800 and Stax SR-007. A bold statement I know. But I am impressed indeed.
    The sound of T90 is very unique and hard to describe. It is a headphone that disappears in its transparency, airiness and great tonality. Listening to classical orchestral pieces really feels like sitting there in the concert hall a couple of rows back. Having the orchestra inside your head. The soundstage is very coherent. Imaging pinpoint. Detailing is really fantastic. You can easily concentrate on any instrument in the orchestra and follow it, almost feel it. The tonality is natural and real, very expressive. Mids are really beautiful. Vocals for instance, are full of character. Bass is a little bit slim but very finely defined and textured. It goes very deep and has slam when needed. 
    The price/performance ratio of T90 is unbeatable. T90s are experience. They are highly recommended from me. In this case I don't have enough stars to award.
  6. motion2082
    "Good Overall Sounds Quality for the price"
    Pros - Sound Quality, Price
    Cons - Makes my ears warm, not as comfortable as I would like
    I have owned these headphones for about a week.
    The sounds quality is great but I'm not sure if I can wear these longer than 1 hour. My ears get way too warm. Would love a bit more airflow.
  7. xskugga
    "A soldier of a pair of headphones. "
    Pros - Bass, clarity, transparency, imaging, comfort
    Cons - Treble, build quality for the price, price
    Pros: Bass, clarity, transparency, imaging, comfort, 
    Cons: Treble, build quality for the price, price

    I should start off by describing myself, experiences, among other things. The term "audiophile basshead" fits me well. I like bass, but also appreciate great sound quality. Give me bass and a good soundstage and I will be a happy camper. With that being said, I tend to look for open headphones that have good bass...which this definitely fits. I have only had/tried three other headphones. Those being M-Audio Q40s, Numark Electrowaves, and Beyerdynamic DT990 pros. The Q40s where my first "real" headphones other than gaming headsets that I have used for music and gaming. They were quite nice, but died within months, which lead to the Numark Electrowaves which were a replacement to the Q40s as InMusic (the parent company) didn't have any replacements for the Q40s. The Electrowaves were the same thing as the Q40s basically, except for more quality oriented which leads me to wanting quality over quantity...thus leading me to the DT990s. I had the DT990s in February ´15, but returned them within a month as they couldn't handle much bass. They did have quite a bit of bass...but a boost was out of the question which limited the bass I could get form them. After months of researching, this leads me to today and to the T90s. 
    Burn-in so far: about 50 hours.
    Equipment: FiiO E6 + Behringer UCA222 cheap, but will edit once I get a better amp or amp/DAC.
    These are basically the same as the DT line, except with a different design. Not much to add here other than they are stylish, yet simple. 10/10
    Build Quality
    I would say this is a significant con. For $650 (I paid $549) these have okay build quality. They have the same generic build quality as the DT line which makes no sense. For $650 I would expect more metal, but instead...there is plastic. Had the mesh been metal, I wouldn't be writing this, but it's plastic. I certainly don't think this will be falling apart or breaking any time soon, but I expected more. I could just be picky here, but I really do expect a premium feel for a premium price. 8/10
    These are quite comfortable, the earpads are valour and are plush as well as soft. The clamp is a little more than I like, but it's acceptable. I do find the DT990s to triumph in comfort though, the earpads on those were softer and plushier, perhaps it is because these weight a little more, but it's not a major difference. I do find that these can get a little warm though and airing out the ears every once and a while is necessary, but not a big problem. 9/10
    Overall, this is a quality oriented pair of cans. These are not neutral by any means. They are hot, and they can be sibilant to some. The treble on the DT990s only bothered me slightly on some tracks. For these, they tend to bother me a bit more in general, but it's nothing to complain about. The biggest thing about these cans are what you put into them is what you get. They are extremely transparent, and will give you what you want, this is a massive pro as you can do what you want with the sound to make it sound a certain way. 
    As previously stated...these are hot. The treble can be harsh to those who are sensitive to it. With a little EQ drop in the treble, this potential issue is fixed. Upon being fixed, the treble is airy, and crisp. It does exactly what it should. I cannot really go much into it as I really don't pay attention to the treble, but I would say it does treble well and that listening to it without an amp/DAC or whatever else, the treble is going to be the most present. 8.5/10
    Mids & Details
    Mids...I really don't pay much attention to these, nor am I familiar with many terms, but from what I can hear these are very present. No matter what situation I have put these cans in, the mids were definitely there, which I assume would make them "forward". As far as vocals go, this pair doesn't do as well as the DT990s, but vocals are still done very well. I think the 990s had an artificial boost to the mids that gave vocals a better sound, but I am unsure. The vocals seem very natural and as they should with the T90s. The mids are just behind the treble when just listening to them and nothing else. 9/10
    The reason why I love these is that they can take a massive boost to bass. If you don't want a whole lot, they can do that, if you want a lot, they can do that. They can't go to an XB1000 level, but they can definitely do bass. Out of the box, they have some thump, but it depends on the song. As I said before, what you put in is what you get out, and that is definitely true for the bass. Compared to the DT990s, they have less bass overall, but can handle a lot more. There really isn't much to say here other than it can handle a lot. It really depends on what the song has in it and what you want out of them. I can say these are not basshead cans out of the box, but can be if you amplify and EQ them to act like basshead cans. Although, don't expect anywhere near the same bass levels as heavier basshead cans. Inn regards to the three bass regions, I find that sub-bass is slightly lacking, while upper bass is present and mid bass is very present accounting for most of the bass. 9/10
    Soundstage (& Imaging)
    This is where I was a little disappointed. The DT990s has a wider soundstage, but these have a deeper soundstage. Personally...I prefer a wider soundstage. That being said, these do not lack soundstage at all. They are wide to the point where they need to be, but sadly, not any more than that. There's really not much more to say in regards to soundstage. As for imaging, I am not familiar with imaging, but I can say it definitely is there. I personally think the DT990s did a better job of this, but you can definitely tell where things are with these, that's really all there is to it. 8/10
    Open headphones leak...that is fact. In comparison to the DT990s, they leak more. I could put a more dark EQ on the 990s and put them on 50% volume and have them not leak much at all. These won't do that, but it will help. I wouldn't advise listening to these in public since they leak quite a bit, especially considering the treble is higher on these. These are definitely more open than the 990s, that is apparent. At 25% volume with just my DAC, I could hear the music from about 1 meter away. Where as, with DT990s I kind of could, but not as much. They aren't really loud and obnoxious, but people could hear and maybe make out what you're listening to. 8/10
    Again, these are open, so isolation won't be great on these. With my DAC, amp, and EQ on 25% volume, I could hear my TV and make out what what being said when set to a volume of 10. That is slightly louder on my TV, so the isolation is definitely not great. With that being said, don't expect isolation from these unless at volume where leak is an issue. 7/10
    These are rated at 250 ohm, so that means they're harder to drive...right? Not these babies. My Note 3 was able to drive them with more than enough volume very easily. The Note 3 may have an amplifer (not sure) but they can be driven with a cheap amplifier such as an E6 like I am using. 10710
    Final Thoughts
    Overall, I greatly enjoy these headphones. There really isn't much else to add that I haven't already said. These headphones are like a little soldier. They do what they're told to do, and I think that's how the Tesla driver is designed. Beyer says they're "precision" magnets, and I definitely agree with that. They deliver the music how it's meant to be heard by default, but are more than open minded as to EQ and amplification. They lean heavily towards enjoyable rather than analytical. From metal to rap to pop to EDM to screamo there wasn't anything they couldn't make sound amazing, I am impressed. 
    I would highly recommend giving these a try. While they are expensive and not everyone will have the pleasure of trying them (which is why I listed price as a con) they are worth every single penny I paid for them. I am extremely happy with these, and am excited to see what else Beyer can do with the Tesla drivers. 
    Overall rating: 9.5/10
    TL;DR - These are a very transparent pair of cans that can make anything sound amazing. They do what is asked of them without compromise. They may be expensive, but they take music to the next level.
    Update: After about 20 hours burn-in, they seem to be getting warmer in the sub-bass and mid bass region. I'm listening to them more naturally just from a headphone jack and they sound amazing. What I liked about the DT990s was they sounded great any way you listened to them, these do take that to a new level. They are still hot, but not as much as they were. Will update again at 50 hours. I have to say though...I think I have fallen in love with Tesla drivers, the precision and efficiency is amazing. 

    Update2: After about 50 hours burn-in, there isn't too much difference other than them being significantly less hot. The bass does seem to have tightened up a bit more too as well as is more pronounced. Listening them through my headphone jack with no EQ or anything of the sort, the treble has really tamed down. Using a vocal and treble enhancing EQ the treble still isn't bad, it was hot at first...but it's definitely more mellow now. Still enjoy them, and enjoy them much more in a natural state than I did before. 
    Update3: I got a Samsung Galaxy S6 (early, thanks T-Mobile) and it is said to have a Wolfson WM1840 DAC chip. I was using a Behringer UCA222 before, so this is a definite upgrade...and I could see that right away. The soundstage opened up a bit and the sound got more airy. Will update when I try high quality files and with the E6. 
    * Copied from T90 thread. 
    Mkoll likes this.
  8. cs098
    "Sub 1k Ushaped king"
    Pros - Extended tight bass, good amount of sub bass, clear detailed highs, netural mids, good soundstage and imaging
    Cons - Mids are distant and may sound thin then depending on source, grills are dust magnets and are easy to scratch. Bass boost may cause rattling
    Some say the t90 is 95% of a t1. And while the t1 is easily the better can and the t90 does fall short of being a totl headphone. It’s pretty close, and definitely has the potential to be your end game headphone.
    Pros: Simple minimal packaging, comes with a carry case, no annoying plastic to throw out
    Cons: Lack of accessories, said case isn’t portable
    While it lacks a lot of accessories,  the fact  it comes with a useful carrying case is a plus that many other headphones don't even have. Other than that easy to unbox and no fussy plastic to throw out.
    Burn in
    I bought a year old demo with 10 hours of burn in, so I don’t think I can give my impression for this category.
    Pros: Classic beyer looks with more premium materials
    Cons: none
    It’s a beyer, so the t90 has that base look from any beyer you can get. Just with nice metals and cloth.
    Pros: Tough steel, inspires rigidity
    Cons: Hinges don’t inspire confidence, non removable cable, dust and scratch magnet
    It’s quite the tank, despite its refined looks. However the hinges do feel a bit wobbly. And even worse the grills are scratch magnets with a scratch and a few scuffs appearing on both sides with prolonged usage. Still said scratches very light and needs close attention to see. But it’s still there.  It also collects dust and dandruff like there’s no tomorrow. Not good for those who like visual perfection. But despite my worries of the hinges, even rough use of the headphones did nothing to damage them significantly. Hence why I think it’s quite a tank.
    Pro: Classic beyer comfort
    Cons: Moves a bit when moving around
    (Again) It’s a beyer, and like all beyers, comfort is near perfection. Though the headphone does move a bit when I turn my head. Which is a tad annoying. No big deal though.
    Pros: Plenty of sub bass and bass impact, clean highs without any sibilance, solid imaging and detail. Engaging detailed bass.
    Cons: Mids a tad thin and lacks a bit of engagement. Bass boost and poor amping can cause rattling at loud volumes, soundstage while decently sized and encompassing is a bit compressed to the top.
    First of all this is a U shaped can. This means while the mids are not recessed whatsoever, it’s also not enhanced in any way unlike the bass and highs.  And the bass and highs are great.
    While bass boosting and poor amping can cause rattling a loud volumes, even at decent volume you will get great bass impact and subbass. Plus it’s still pretty tight and detailed when it needs to be. Great for bass heavy songs, movies and games.

    The highs sparkles and is quite clean, and unlike many others reviewers, I didn't get the much feared sibilance. Lucky me ^.^
    The mids to me are the worst part of the sound. Though by worst I just mean it’s just good, quite good in fact. Just not as good as the bass and highs. Nicely detailed, but to me it’s a bit too thin and a tad distant for my tastes. But otherwise done very well.
    The soundstage is decently wide and deep, but it isn’t huge. A good part of the sound is still “inside my head”, and I also feel the soundstage is a bit compressed to the top. But imaging is great. It was the first headphone that made me realize that in one of my favorite jazz songs, the piano moves from left to right and back to left. Never noticed that on my older headphones.
    Mids are a tad distant, but the highs are right between forward and distant, and the bass is quite forward and engaging.
    Short of TOTL status, but it’s not slow either.
    If you skipped everything and just went to the conclusion, let me tell that this is probably the best u shaped can under 1K. I hadn't tried any other u shaped at at below the price point that did the sound sig as much justice as the t90s.  But the mids didn’t sound as enjoyable as some mid heavy and neutral headphones I tried and there was a rattling issue with bass boost at loud volumes. Nor will it beat flagship 1k+ headphones in any way. Still the aspects that fall short of totl headphones are still stellar even at it's mrsp price point. If you take the t90s for what it is, a pre summit fi u shaped headphone, you’ll be treated to engaging visceral bass with clean detailed highs.
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  9. SoundApprentice
    "One step closer to Audio Nirvana?"
    Pros - Detailed, Exciting, Has Soul
    Cons - Very System Dependent, Sibilant

    A lot has been written about Beyerdynamic’s T90 Tesla headphone. It’s easily one of those headphones that falls in the “love it or hate it” category. The sound signature is interesting, it’s involving, but it’s definitely not for every ear.

    The T90 is often referred to as the DT990’s big brother. In a sense that is true and in many ways it is so much more. Having had both, I feel confident saying that you will love the T90 if you like the DT990. While the frequency responses are relatively similar, the T90 is a truer reference level headphone. It takes everything good about the DT990 and makes it better: Smoother treble, wider soundstage, tighter bass, more space and depth, and, of course, better build quality (particularly when compared to the DT990 PRO). 

    In all, the T90 is much more refined, and it should be when you consider the price difference. Compared to its higher priced sibling, the T1, I truly believe you are getting probably 80-90% of the performance for a fraction of the cost. My particular gripe with the T1 is the angled driver that makes performance very dependent on the cup placement on your head. The T1 will sound very different depending on how the driver is lined up with your ear, and this is something I personally can’t stand. Otherwise, I’d say the T1 is simply a touch more refined across the frequency range, but this is a classic case of diminishing returns as prices rise.

    Anyway, all that said, I find the T90 to be one of the pickiest headphones I have ever used. I’ve gone from absolutely loving it... can’t stop listening, “Just one more song,” to “Get these things off now.” So I guess I have a love/hate relationship with it. The T90 is quite sensitive, it gets loud very easily, it’s incredibly revealing, the treble can get peaky easily and what all of that means is that without a high quality source with the power to get the drivers really moving and recordings that match the T90’s characteristics, they can be incredibly unpleasant to listen to. 

    For example, mated with my Ray Samuels Audio “The Raptor” tube headphone amp, the T90 performs admirably. Despite some background gain hiss, the T90 balances out the Raptor’s warm, lush tube sound to create a dynamic, full-bodied atmosphere that engulfs your ears and transports you into the concert hall. This combination always has my toes tapping and head bopping across all of my preferred genres. It’s easily one of my favorite headphones with that amp. The T90s driven by my Woo Audio WA6-SE on the other hand is absolutely underwhelming at best, and this saddens me. I can’t technically explain why, but the sound is thin, the treble is incredibly sibilant, and they lose all of the gusto that they had with the Raptor or the solid state Grace Model 901. With the terrific little ALO Audio Pan Am I use on my PC, the T90 performs somewhere between the Raptor and WA6-SE, regaining some warmth and a mellowed out high end with nice treble extension. But my point here is that the T90 is very amp dependent and it will likely take some trial and error to get the T90 performing to its full capabilities, and this is why I believe it is often loved or hated. 

    I’ve owned a lot of headphones: AKG K701, Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO (review), Beyerdynamic T90, Brainwavz HM5, Grado GS-1000i (review), HiFiMan HE-500, Sennheiser HD650 and Shure SRH840 (review). Each of these is unique in its sound signature, but the T90 is one that I think can really excel at everything and every genre, but it’s all about getting the synergy right with your amp/DAC. Get it wrong and you’ll likely hate every second of your listening session. But when you get the match right, the T90 absolutely sings. It shimmers; it has soul. It’s engaging for all of the right reasons and it will take you another step closer to Audio Nirvana.



    Hachiroku likes this.
  10. DangerToast
    "Exciting, Natural, Detailed cans "
    Pros - Natural and smooth sound, exciting treble, bass texture, comfort
    Cons - On the brighter side, lower bass impact and quantity, the cable might be an issue
    After owning the Beyerdynamic T90 for more than a year, I'm finally ready to post a review. Since I purchased these wonderful headphones, I've had the chance to test out many fantastic offerings from more brands than I can remember, but I keep coming back to the T90. It's the mainstay of my collection. The T90 has outlasted headphones from Fostex, Hifiman, and AKG. Even when compared to cans that cost a great deal more, the T90 offers a unique and addictive sound that can't be found elsewhere - certainly not at its price.
    In terms of sound, these remind me of the new Grado "e" series headphones in that they're a tad on the bright side, but have a very natural presentation. The treble is certainly lively and exciting, but not shrill or etched. In fact, this is one of the most natural sounding headphones I've ever heard, and not just in the higher registers. There is very little coloration, allowing each instrument to stand apart. The result is a dynamic, engaging sound signature that works well across genres.
    The T90 also excels when it comes to bass texture. Bass takes on a life of its own with these headphones. I've never heard so much detail, nuance, and complexity in bass notes as I have with the T90. That being said, this is not a bass-lover's headphone. Especially when used with cheaper gear, bass impact is middling at best. However, if you crave more flavor at the lower end, as opposed to more bass quantity, you won't be disappointed.
    Another reason I reach for the T90 more frequently than any other headphone in my roster is the unparalleled level of comfort it offers. It's light, clamps just the right amount, and doesn't move around once you've put it on. The T90 is an exceedingly well-designed headphone with the exception of the cable, which is not user-replaceable and a too long for my tastes.
    If you love hearing the details and dynamic changes in your music the Beyerdynamic T90 is a must-hear, especially at its price.

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