Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO - Beyer's open-back mastering headphone
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I currently have the DT990 and i'm thinking of buying the DT1990. Can anyone who has both give me a comparison between both as I can't really access the DT1990 atm to try it out myself.
Hi there,

I have both the 990 and 1990, I'm not very good at this sort of thing but I will give it a go. First thing to say is as you may know there are two sets of pads, I use the B pads (balanced), they come pre installed on the 1990. The 1990 is similar to the 990, maybe not surprisingly!, the 1990 has the Beyer "house sound", in essence it is a more refined version of the 990, the highs are on the sparkly side but to my ears a bit less so, smoother, just dialled back a notch, mids are very detailed, bass is deep, warmish and tight, soundstage is a bit narrower with the B pads than the 990 has a slightly more intimate and dynamic sound and gives great slam, also they are very transparent and holographic, with the A pads (analytical), the soundstage is widened bass is reduce a bit, unfortunately can't say much more than that for the A pads as I much prefer the sound with the B pads. Suffice to say I've had my 1990's for six months now and I've barely used my 990's in that time, I've had a few headphones in the past few years, Beyer 770, 880, 990, T90, Sennheiser HD 598, 600, 650, AKG K701 and 702 but the 1990 is the best I have heard and I've no intension of selling them any time soon. Hope this helps! :beyersmile:
 
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Nice, I almost went with the tried and true 650s but took the jump for these and I'm glad I did.
Good decision imo, there's nothing wrong with the 650's, but again imo, the 1990's are in another league.
 
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pietcux

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Got my replacement DT 1990 Pro today... and it rattles again. **** this. Left earpiece is fine but right is rattling. How unlucky can one get, seriously? So mad right now...
If you still have them, you might want to check the 4 Torx # 6 screws that hold the cups in the hanger. If they are loose or missing, that causes rattling or squeaking. I had one missing on my brand new 1990. Got a pack of 4 from Beyer to fix it. Mine is completely noiseless besides the music. I really like the build quality.
 
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I guess this the place to share experiences with the DT-1990. I've had these for over a month now, I'm running them from a modest FiiO X3 II + Fiio K5 combo. They sound really good, accurate, nice bass. I'm constantly switching back and forth with my DT-770 to see if 4 times the price is 4 times the sound. Aaaannnd, the DT-770 are no slouch, the DT-1990 wins on the clarity, they sound more natural compared to the DT-770, the DT-770 sounds...I don't know "metallic," really distinct differences on the the treble. The bass, on the DT-1990 extends really nice, with some sub bass; however, compared with the DT-770 the later has a really nice rumble, a subtle growl that it's really nice, the DT-1990 does not have that growl, but its bass is really good, articulate is the word they drop all the time when it comes to the DT-1990 and I'll just borrow that word. All these impressions come from using the balanced pads. I tried the analytical ones, and they're not my cup of coffee, I like some more bass on my cans.

Regarding that quest for clarity with great lows, I went ahead and bought three pair of pads:
- Dekoni Elite Fenestrated Sheepskin.
- Dekoni Elite Velour
- Brainwavz Velour pads.

So far only the Dekoni pads have arrived, so I'll share my experiences with them:

Fenestrated Sheepskin: The quality is nice, I would expect better stitching given what they cost, but it will do. Sound wise, these are weird, they do something odd to the sound signature. They give a wider sound stage, really noticeable, no golden ears needed to hear it. And really flatten out the headphone, everything is taken to almost the same level, lows, mids and highs, with a tiny emphasis on the mids, they do a nice job of taming some screeching highs on some songs. But it's really cool, the best way I can describe them is: they are a better pair of analytical pads. However the bass is also flattened out, but really nice quality, buttery smooth, punchy, fast. If people enjoy a flat signature you could try them out; and if you have some money to spare.

Elite velour: from the get go, this is not velour, or at least not the same as the stock pads velour or the velour on my Hybrid Brainwavz pads. I can't describe it quite well, it has ridges all over. I'll post some pictures if anyone grows interested enough, or check them out at Amazon. Getting over that...surprise, I find the build quality better than the one on the Fenestrated sheepskin. Now, these pads give that extra bass I wanted, not jaw braking but it's very noticeable over the stock balanced pads, it doesn't quite give me that "DT-770 rumble" but it certainly takes the bass up a few notches. The clarity does not suffer...much, it lowers the highs a bit, at first I thought it muffled them, I gently turned the volume up a bit and the highs are felt to what I was hearing on the stock balanced pads, with the added bass that I was looking for. I don't know if that's a good thing, having to listen to a higher volume with these pads, switching back and forth with the balanced pads, I'm not getting that extra bass with the stock balanced pads at higher volume, so I achieved what I wanted.

TLDR: Elite velour pads, "better" stock balanced pads, although I'm having to listen at a slightly higher volume.

I'll use the Elite Velour pads for a couple of days, then switch over to the stock balanced pads and the Fenestrated Sheepskin and feel how that goes.

Confort wise, over the stock pads, both of the Dekoni pads are softer, that's a given. The hole on the Dekoni pads is narrower compared with the stock pads, luckily I have small ears so that doesn't bother me. One other reason I felt compelled to change the stock pads, is that one the balanced pads had flattened out just after a month of use and my ear was touching the inside of the headphone, I find that...odd, but I'm not about to claim the warranty over that.

One last, irrelevant thing: It's been years since the last time I used a material other than velour on the earpads, so when I put on the sheepskin ear pads, they were cold. Silly thing I know, but that caught me off guard, they quickly warm up and become tacky against my skin, but I only notice it when I moved them. No, I don't hear any sound change after the sheepskin warms up.
 
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pietcux

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I guess this the place to share experiences with the DT-1990. I've had these for over a month now, I'm running them from a modest FiiO X3 II + Fiio K5 combo. They sound really good, accurate, nice bass. I'm constantly switching back and forth with my DT-770 to see if 4 times the price is 4 times the sound. Aaaannnd, the DT-770 are no slouch, the DT-1990 wins on the clarity, they sound more natural compared to the DT-770, the DT-770 sounds...I don't know "metallic," really distinct differences on the the treble. The bass, on the DT-1990 extends really nice, with some sub bass; however, compared with the DT-770 the later has a really nice rumble, a subtle growl that it's really nice, the DT-1990 does not have that growl, but its bass is really good, articulate is the word they drop all the time when it comes to the DT-1990 and I'll just borrow that word. All these impressions come from using the balanced pads. I tried the analytical ones, and they're not my cup of coffee, I like some more bass on my cans.

Regarding that quest for clarity with great lows, I went ahead and bought three pair of pads:
- Dekoni Elite Fenestrated Sheepskin.
- Dekoni Elite Velour
- Brainwavz Velour pads.

So far only the Dekoni pads have arrived, so I'll share my experiences with them:

Fenestrated Sheepskin: The quality is nice, I would expect better stitching given what they cost, but it will do. Sound wise, these are weird, they do something odd to the sound signature. They give a wider sound stage, really noticeable, no golden ears needed to hear it. And really flatten out the headphone, everything is taken to almost the same level, lows, mids and highs, with a tiny emphasis on the mids, they do a nice job of taming some screeching highs on some songs. But it's really cool, the best way I can describe them is: they are a better pair of analytical pads. However the bass is also flattened out, but really nice quality, buttery smooth, punchy, fast. If people enjoy a flat signature you could try them out; and if you have some money to spare.

Elite velour: from the get go, this is not velour, or at least not the same as the stock pads velour or the velour on my Hybrid Brainwavz pads. I can't describe it quite well, it has ridges all over. I'll post some pictures if anyone grows interested enough, or check them out at Amazon. Getting over that...surprise, I find the build quality better than the one on the Fenestrated sheepskin. Now, these pads give that extra bass I wanted, not jaw braking but it's very noticeable over the stock balanced pads, it doesn't quite give me that "DT-770 rumble" but it certainly takes the bass up a few notches. The clarity does not suffer...much, it lowers the highs a bit, at first I thought it muffled them, I gently turned the volume up a bit and the highs are felt to what I was hearing on the stock balanced pads, with the added bass that I was looking for. I don't know if that's a good thing, having to listen to a higher volume with these pads, switching back and forth with the balanced pads, I'm not getting that extra bass with the stock balanced pads at higher volume, so I achieved what I wanted.

TLDR: Elite velour pads, "better" stock balanced pads, although I'm having to listen at a slightly higher volume.

I'll use the Elite Velour pads for a couple of days, then switch over to the stock balanced pads and the Fenestrated Sheepskin and feel how that goes.

Confort wise, over the stock pads, both of the Dekoni pads are softer, that's a given. The hole on the Dekoni pads is narrower compared with the stock pads, luckily I have small ears so that doesn't bother me. One other reason I felt compelled to change the stock pads, is that one the balanced pads had flattened out just after a month of use and my ear was touching the inside of the headphone, I find that...odd, but I'm not about to claim the warranty over that.

One last, irrelevant thing: It's been years since the last time I used a material other than velour on the earpads, so when I put on the sheepskin ear pads, they were cold. Silly thing I know, but that caught me off guard, they quickly warm up and become tacky against my skin, but I only notice it when I moved them. No, I don't hear any sound change after the sheepskin warms up.
You could also try all DT pads which Beyer offers, plus the pads for the T series and the Amiron home pads. All will fit on the DT1990. All will alter the sound. As I like the sound as is, I will stick to the balanced pads though. The designers of the DT1990 put a lot of effort in finding the final tuning by designing the supplied pads and I must say they did a great job in my opinion.
 
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Scutey

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I guess this the place to share experiences with the DT-1990. I've had these for over a month now, I'm running them from a modest FiiO X3 II + Fiio K5 combo. They sound really good, accurate, nice bass. I'm constantly switching back and forth with my DT-770 to see if 4 times the price is 4 times the sound. Aaaannnd, the DT-770 are no slouch, the DT-1990 wins on the clarity, they sound more natural compared to the DT-770, the DT-770 sounds...I don't know "metallic," really distinct differences on the the treble. The bass, on the DT-1990 extends really nice, with some sub bass; however, compared with the DT-770 the later has a really nice rumble, a subtle growl that it's really nice, the DT-1990 does not have that growl, but its bass is really good, articulate is the word they drop all the time when it comes to the DT-1990 and I'll just borrow that word. All these impressions come from using the balanced pads. I tried the analytical ones, and they're not my cup of coffee, I like some more bass on my cans.

Regarding that quest for clarity with great lows, I went ahead and bought three pair of pads:
- Dekoni Elite Fenestrated Sheepskin.
- Dekoni Elite Velour
- Brainwavz Velour pads.

So far only the Dekoni pads have arrived, so I'll share my experiences with them:

Fenestrated Sheepskin: The quality is nice, I would expect better stitching given what they cost, but it will do. Sound wise, these are weird, they do something odd to the sound signature. They give a wider sound stage, really noticeable, no golden ears needed to hear it. And really flatten out the headphone, everything is taken to almost the same level, lows, mids and highs, with a tiny emphasis on the mids, they do a nice job of taming some screeching highs on some songs. But it's really cool, the best way I can describe them is: they are a better pair of analytical pads. However the bass is also flattened out, but really nice quality, buttery smooth, punchy, fast. If people enjoy a flat signature you could try them out; and if you have some money to spare.

Elite velour: from the get go, this is not velour, or at least not the same as the stock pads velour or the velour on my Hybrid Brainwavz pads. I can't describe it quite well, it has ridges all over. I'll post some pictures if anyone grows interested enough, or check them out at Amazon. Getting over that...surprise, I find the build quality better than the one on the Fenestrated sheepskin. Now, these pads give that extra bass I wanted, not jaw braking but it's very noticeable over the stock balanced pads, it doesn't quite give me that "DT-770 rumble" but it certainly takes the bass up a few notches. The clarity does not suffer...much, it lowers the highs a bit, at first I thought it muffled them, I gently turned the volume up a bit and the highs are felt to what I was hearing on the stock balanced pads, with the added bass that I was looking for. I don't know if that's a good thing, having to listen to a higher volume with these pads, switching back and forth with the balanced pads, I'm not getting that extra bass with the stock balanced pads at higher volume, so I achieved what I wanted.

TLDR: Elite velour pads, "better" stock balanced pads, although I'm having to listen at a slightly higher volume.

I'll use the Elite Velour pads for a couple of days, then switch over to the stock balanced pads and the Fenestrated Sheepskin and feel how that goes.

Confort wise, over the stock pads, both of the Dekoni pads are softer, that's a given. The hole on the Dekoni pads is narrower compared with the stock pads, luckily I have small ears so that doesn't bother me. One other reason I felt compelled to change the stock pads, is that one the balanced pads had flattened out just after a month of use and my ear was touching the inside of the headphone, I find that...odd, but I'm not about to claim the warranty over that.

One last, irrelevant thing: It's been years since the last time I used a material other than velour on the earpads, so when I put on the sheepskin ear pads, they were cold. Silly thing I know, but that caught me off guard, they quickly warm up and become tacky against my skin, but I only notice it when I moved them. No, I don't hear any sound change after the sheepskin warms up.
Excellent review Darksoul, I agree with your thoughts on the dt 770 1990, the 770's have great low end, love the rumble you get, but having owned my 1990 for six months I have to say, as much as I love the 770, and I do!, the 1990 is very much, imo, the superior sounding of the two.

I once tried a pair of Brainwavz on my Audio Technica m50x's and like you I found it flattened out the bass too much so I've been reluctant to try others, however another pad worth trying, although it will probably sound better on your 770's, is the Beyer Custom One Pro pleather pads, I've found they are the most comfortable of all the Beyer pads I've tried, and I've used a few!.
 
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Excellent review Darksoul, I agree with your thoughts on the dt 770 1990, the 770's have great low end, love the rumble you get, but having owned my 1990 for six months I have to say, as much as I love the 770, and I do!, the 1990 is very much, imo, the superior sounding of the two.

I once tried a pair of Brainwavz on my Audio Technica m50x's and like you I found it flattened out the bass too much so I've been reluctant to try others, however another pad worth trying, although it will probably sound better on your 770's, is the Beyer Custom One Pro pleather pads, I've found they are the most comfortable of all the Beyer pads I've tried, and I've used a few!.
Yes, totally agree there. The DT-770 are remarkable headphones on their own right, and I really love them, they were my first pair of head phones where I felt I heard true high quality audio, coming from ATH-M50s to DT-770 the Audio Technicas don't deserve all the praise they get. But, the DT-1990 is indeed the superior product, sound and quality wise, I see my self growing old with them *sniff*.

My DT-770 were sporting a pair of Hybrid BrainWavz pads, the sound was really nice. But I had to put new stock pads on them, the plastic pieces (sliders) where the yokes connected were strained by the oversized pads and broke, the headphone didn't fall apart. But I had to replace those plastic sliders, the local Beyerdynamic retailer changed them for me and I just went ahead and got stock pads, no regrets there. All in all, I've spent close to 110 dollars on pads alone and that comes dangerously close to a new pair of DT-770s. So for the time being I'm freezing the budget on new pads for a while.

What DAC/AMP are you feeding the DT-1990 with? I'm thinking of getting the Aune X1S, and farther down the line add the Aune X7S. Or maybe Audio GD NFB-11 or R2R.
 
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With the Analytical pads I personally could describe DT 1990 as lean and natural. So natural it kinda sounds real. Sticks rubbing over the drums, Sheng, Sitar, piano, harmonium, bass guitar, whatever it be sounds very realistic.

It doesn't give you a very full bodied presentation of instruments. What it gives you is a presentation like as if you're listening to them in an opera hall from the first row.
Once you get used to of this kind of presentation everything else feels off. Once in a while when I listen to other headphones like HE-X V2 I love them but I still keep coming back to the lean acoustic presentation of DT 1990(A)
 
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With the Analytical pads I personally could describe DT 1990 as lean and natural. So natural it kinda sounds real. Sticks rubbing over the drums, Sheng, Sitar, piano, harmonium, bass guitar, whatever it be sounds very realistic.

It doesn't give you a very full bodied presentation of instruments. What it gives you is a presentation like as if you're listening to them in an opera hall from the first row.
Once you get used to of this kind of presentation everything else feels off. Once in a while when I listen to other headphones like HE-X V2 I love them but I still keep coming back to the lean acoustic presentation of DT 1990(A)
I find the balanced pads give certain mixes and instruments a more full-bodied feel. Also, boosting the recessed mids a bit helps fill-out the sound as well.
 
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Yes, totally agree there. The DT-770 are remarkable headphones on their own right, and I really love them, they were my first pair of head phones where I felt I heard true high quality audio, coming from ATH-M50s to DT-770 the Audio Technicas don't deserve all the praise they get. But, the DT-1990 is indeed the superior product, sound and quality wise, I see my self growing old with them *sniff*.

My DT-770 were sporting a pair of Hybrid BrainWavz pads, the sound was really nice. But I had to put new stock pads on them, the plastic pieces (sliders) where the yokes connected were strained by the oversized pads and broke, the headphone didn't fall apart. But I had to replace those plastic sliders, the local Beyerdynamic retailer changed them for me and I just went ahead and got stock pads, no regrets there. All in all, I've spent close to 110 dollars on pads alone and that comes dangerously close to a new pair of DT-770s. So for the time being I'm freezing the budget on new pads for a while.

What DAC/AMP are you feeding the DT-1990 with? I'm thinking of getting the Aune X1S, and farther down the line add the Aune X7S. Or maybe Audio GD NFB-11 or R2R.
Hi Darksoul,

For DAC I use Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, now discontinued, I have three amps, Schiit Magni 2, a clean neutral sounding amp with the 1990's, can sound a tad dry on some recordings, also have DarkVoice 336 se, great low end and warm, 1990's pair really well with this amp, and also another tube amp, the Feliks Elise, this one is the most refined and transparent of the lot, a bit less low end than the DV, but the transparency, warmth and detail really make the 1990's sing.
 
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Do the dt1990's leak much sound?
Being an open back they do leak sound. But not as much as other open cans like say LCD series.

In fact comparatively the leak is less enough that some people call it semi-open. At moderate volumes you won't disturb someone sitting a metre apart
 
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Wondering if anyone here had a chance to compare the DT 1990 to the HD 660 S since these have been released relatively recently.

From what I've gathered (I'm no expert by any chance) the Beyers should have more detail, tighter bass and wider soundstage, while the Senns should be a bit less harsh for treble-sensitive ears and be easier to use with a balanced signal. Are the 1990s a worthy step up from the 660S for around 100€ more?
 
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Wondering if anyone here had a chance to compare the DT 1990 to the HD 660 S since these have been released relatively recently.

From what I've gathered (I'm no expert by any chance) the Beyers should have more detail, tighter bass and wider soundstage, while the Senns should be a bit less harsh for treble-sensitive ears and be easier to use with a balanced signal. Are the 1990s a worthy step up from the 660S for around 100€ more?
Worth a lot more.

DT 1990(A) are a league or two above HD660S. I tried all 3 of them HD600, HD650 and HD660S.
I personally like HD650 the most. HD660S feels a bit lifeless. The instrument presentation is nowhere as natural and realistic as DT 1990(A).
Also, bass depth and treble extension should be taken for granted as better on the DT 1990(A).
Imaging too is more precise with a better depth on 1990(A).

Only thing is, I think HD660S has better layering a.k.a. better resolution of imaging in vertical direction. Different sounds/instruments/vocals flow on top of each other.
 
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