Compared, DT990 fresh out of box with DT990 2 week break in.
Feb 27, 2013 at 1:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

Kodhifi

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My replacement DT990 pro's arrived today and although I think I sorted out the shorting driver in the other pair, they're still going back because I don't trust headphones that have problems like that so soon. I got burned on Grado's once for not returning/exchanging early enough and got stuck with a defective product.
 
 
So, how do the two 990's stack up to each other?
 
For this test I used an Audioengine D1 USB DAC into a FiiO E9 desktop amplifier on high gain setting. Listening levels were 1/3 volume which was quite loud.
 
 
My initial assessment a few weeks ago about the burn in seems to be correct. Fresh out of the box they are on the bright side but only in the 10khz and up range, the mids don't sound loud and scratchy or fatiguing. They are definitely brighter. The burned in 990's by comparison are a few db quieter in the higher frequencies and there is less artificial grain and sibilance. Out of the box the 990's sound a bit like a DT880 with an equalizer that somebody turned 10 and 16khz up to +6db, chiefly very bright but artificially so.
 
I did some hot swap back and forth listening to Dave Matthews and Yo-Yo Ma and I could clearly hear the difference in the highs, with the new headphones having a slightly artificial timbre about them, like a television where the sharpness control is set too high only with audio.
 
The burned in 990's remained bright but sounded more natural and where there were challenges like a squeaky violin, or sibilant close micing, the 2 week old pair handled them more gracefully and the new pair revealed those flaws in a spotlight.
 
 
The difference in sound after break in is far less than an AKG 701. It's not a night and day difference which is a very good thing because out of the box they sound superb, and after 20 hours of playing they are superb with a cherry on top. The differences are subtle but easily observable with critical listening.
 
Feb 27, 2013 at 4:06 AM Post #2 of 4

davidsh

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Nice! We need more thread like that.
 
Feb 27, 2013 at 4:42 AM Post #3 of 4

blacknile

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OP, I'm considering both the DT990 and the K701 for jazz, acoustic and classical. Sounds like you know both very well, which one would you pick? Amplification is not a problem.
 
Feb 27, 2013 at 11:48 AM Post #4 of 4

Kodhifi

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Quote:
OP, I'm considering both the DT990 and the K701 for jazz, acoustic and classical. Sounds like you know both very well, which one would you pick? Amplification is not a problem.


I've never heard the K701, I own the Q701 which has a slightly different sound signature. The Q701 is the king of classical and Jazz imho. The DT990 is fun on a bun but the midrange on the Q701 makes it a serious contender for jazzy, classical, vocalist top honors.
 
In the same price range as the 990's though are the 880 which over all are an improvement over the Q701 for jazz, classical, and acoustic. I say overall because while the 701 may have a few rough spots and colors the music a little, it has an excellent midrange which lends itself well to these styles of music.
 

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