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Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO - Beyer's open-back mastering headphone

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by xero1, Jul 19, 2016.
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  1. Fetou
    This will probably change over time, as I find mental burn-in to be a very real phenomenon. My very early impressions of the LCD-X are as follows. For your reference, I have been listening almost exclusively to the Focal Elex for over a week:

    1) Hello sub-bass. Welcome to headphones. These things handle low frequencies very well, without being muddy/sloppy with it. Attack/decay is still pretty good. The DT1990 has a great textured thumpy bass, but with less extension and more mid-bass emphasis.

    2) Vocals sound odd. Non-electronic genres sound kind of wrong in timbre. I hate spiky treble, and had to EQ the 1990's down between 7-8k in order to tolerate them. But the LCD-X seems a bit to the opposite extreme, in that they sound veiled. The whole sound feels lacking in air/presence. Based on my reading, this must be even more pronounced on the LCD-2's vs. the more neutral LCD-X.

    3) Dynamics are impressive compared to the majority of the headphones I have owned. However, there is a notable step down from the Focals on this front. On a few recordings, that actually makes the LCD-X sound better, as the Focals expose oddities in the macro-dynamics of recordings. On something like Daft Punk's album Homework, the Focal's really shine in comparison, with the exception of low bass.

    4) LCD-X handles louder volumes better than the DT1990 and especially better than the Elex. With the DT1990, the brightness limits enjoyment with increasing volume. With the Elex, there is just something unrefined about the sound that comes out with increasing volume, and it becomes too aggressive of a sound. Maybe it is the relative darkness of the sound signature with the LCD-X that makes it seem like more volume is needed to enjoy fully. Will experiment.

    I need a more time to come up with anything of value. I want to experiment with Sonarworks, as I have heard good things about use with the LCD-X. The Elex sounds like garbage with Sonarworks IMO, so will have to see if it helps with these.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    gtdaqua likes this.
  2. natalieann
    8B6CDBC6-D23D-4C12-9847-50A8209F3F8A.jpeg Oh how I love you
  3. Darksoul
    Aw...I knew planar deliver more bass. But I love well delivered treble, there's a lot of detail up there, I want to keep nice detailed highs and jaw dislodging bass, I will continue to do my homework on the LCD-X. I love the bass on the DT-1990 detailed and deep, but my jaw is at no risk.

    For the time being my DT-1990 sit at the top of my collection. Maybe electrostatics have maddening details and thick all the boxes on the bass department. I know firsthand the Sennheiser HE1 fulfill all of that in ways I didn't know were possible, but I'm at peace knowing that I may never aford those.

    Moving on...
    cardeli22 likes this.
  4. Scutey
    You're not the only one! :beyersmile:
    cardeli22, Armando Cruz and gtdaqua like this.
  5. ferraro25
    Just got them, very early impressions.

    Don't like the balanced pads - it makes the bass too wide and uncontrolled (at least with my FiiO E10K), and overall it doesn't seem to have the clear (treble-prominent) sound I want (if the treble is tamed, it doesn't sound "real" to me unless the recording is extremely good). I literally only listened with those pads for less than 10 minutes, so I could be off about the lack of clarity (I'm not off about the bass, though [to my ears]).

    Switched to analytical (pretty easy to do once you read the instructions and just trust that the notch will work as you turn the pads), and this is more like what I expected.
    There is definitely something like a hard edge in the treble. Sibilance is exaggerated, yes, not neutral - usually it is merely noticeable, instead of irritating, and most of the music I like doesn't have vocals, anyway.
    Bass is significantly more focused than with the balanced pads, but there is (usually) enough bass for me, and it still goes into sub-bass territory that many other open headphones don't reach.
    These headphones do texture, timbre, and detail very well. Obvious improvement over the ATH-M50x and DT-770 80 Ohm, and perhaps over everything else I own (see my first post in this thread for a list of most of my other headphones).
    Instrument separation during busy passages (lack of congestion) is definitely an improvement over the DT-770.
    Impact is good - drums kick when they should, etc.
    With many recordings, there does seem to be a weird gap somewhere in the treble that reminds me of the AKG K701. Looking at graphs where the two headphones match up a bit, it may be in the 4-5.x KHz range? Maybe it sounds "missing" due to both headphones' uptick from ~6-10 KHz, since the DT-1990 doesn't share the K701's 2-3 KHz peak, but they both have this obvious (to my ears) hole in their response?
    After a bit more listening, the treble can be a bit too harsh. Will try the balanced pads again. I've written enough, I think.
    edit: nah, sluggish garbage with the balanced pads.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  6. audiobomber
    IME, the Analytical pads have smoother highs, and sibilance can be reduced and even eliminated with careful choice of source, DAC, cables, and amp
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  7. Sekka
    If you notice sibilance with the DT1990, in order to eliminate it your amp/dac would need some SERIOUS rolloff in the highs, and cables aren't going to do anything for it.
  8. audiobomber
    I've used Meitner Cryogenic interconnects and Cardas 300B Microtwin in my headphone system. They are polar opposites in tonality, but I doubt this would show up in a frequency response measurement.
  9. ferraro25
    I prefer the DT-1990 directly out of my Samsung S8 to being powered by the FiiO E10K, as the treble peak/sibilance is quite a bit stronger on the E10K. Same story with the FiiO K5 amp, even with the S8 as the source. Unsurprisingly, though, directly out of the S8, bass extension suffers. I'll probably just install Equalizer APO on my PC and lower the peak that way instead of buying a new amp and DAC.

    Besides worse bass extension, I really like how it sounds out of my Samsung S8. Pretty close to what I wanted from this headphone. No reason to go back to the DT-770 or ATH-M50x.
    George Taylor likes this.
  10. WildStyle-R11
    If you underpower these headphones the sibilance does go away, but at a cost of great detail. Albeit I have enjoyed them in such matter as well. Good when you want to relax.
  11. Darksoul
    OK these headphones are excellent. I recently got into Fleetwood Mac (REALLY late into the party) and man these things just sound amazing, Dreams sounds like nothing I've heard before. That wonderful rise and decay of the first cymbal crash, the meaty bass line along with the amazing voice of Stevie Nicks just nail down everything I like in a song. This is going to be my main headphone for a while.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  12. Scutey
    You're right Fleetwood Mac does sound very good with the 1990's, especially Rumours and Tango in the Night :beyersmile:.
  13. Hanga
    I have ordered the DT1990 - cant wait to try them :L3000:
    But I wanna order one more can so that I can compare two against each other. I am unsure what to go for.

    I have had the DT990 for many years so thats my starting point. I mostly listen to EDM (example below). What I like about the DT990 is the detailed airy sound. I sometime wish that they could be a bit more "impactful", a bit more presence in the deep bass.
    I have considered the DT1770 but would prefer an open headphone.

    What would you chose to compare the DT1990 with?

    Budget: I would prefer below 600 dollars.
    Location: EU (Denmark)
    Amp/dac: Firestone Fubar III

    Thanks and have a great weekend :)

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  14. Me x3
    Check the Hifiman Sundara and Focal Elear (if you can find a good price)
    cardeli22 likes this.
  15. Scutey
    A cheaper option worth thinking about would be the Philips Fidelio X2.
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