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

Beyerdynamic T90 Premium Stereo Headphone

Average User Rating:
4.61364/5,
  • 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
    4.5/5,
    "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.
     
     
    1.jpg
     
     
     
    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).
     
     
    Setup
     
    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
     
     
    Listening
     
    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”.
     
    2.jpg
     
     
    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.
     
    3.jpg
     
     
    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.
     
    4.jpg
     
     
     
    Amplification
     
    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…
     
     
    IMG_4263R.jpg
     
     
    Conclusions
     
    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
    5.0/5,
    "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
    5.0/5,
    "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. 

User Comments

To view comments, simply sign up and become a member!