Confused and disappointed by DT770

  1. davebruno
    Firstly I'm mostly a gamer, I play FPS competitively and have been using AD700x's for a couple years now these are the only decent headphones I've had (also have but dont rate my astro A40's).

    I recently became a father and so I decided to look for some good closed cans, so I bought the dt770 after some looking into it a lot of people saying soundstage is wide etc. But when I got them (only yesterday) I feel like everything sounds muffled, I hear very little detail like some audio is missing and all sounds seem a bit off. I got 250 ohms and running them through the soundblaster x7.

    Do these need burn in or do my ears need to adjust or something? I thought that was a myth but after hearing how different music sounds there is a huge amount of detail missed compaired to the ad700x so maybe not?

    If not then are the a700 maybe a better choice? I want as big of a soundstage and good directional/seperation as possible with closed cans but I need the detail I feel like I'm only getting half of the music so likely missing important game cues too...


    Looking for recommendations for FPS gaming cans, must be very articulate/detailed mids/highs and wide soundstage plus seperation but in closed cans. - I like Ad700x but would like even more detail if possible also now I hear how much can be missed! Budget 150-200 (can go more if really worth it)

  2. Hey23
    That soundblaster x7 is a lot of snake oil ( they dont specify the technical). Go for the o2/odac combo ( if you want to fully power 250 ohms).
    ostewart likes this.
  3. davebruno
    It has a 600 ohms setting so im pretty sure it's not power as it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference turning this on except louder..?

    I got the x7 for the surround decoding and ability to have custom EQ and alter the way it decides the DD signal, I'm assuming the O2/odac combo wouldn't let me do any/all of this?

    I also have a Yamaha dac/amp combo surround receiver that I will try the headphones in but either I'm understanding wrong or the problem with clarity is not the x7 since I hear everything with the ad700x
  4. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Lower freq response of the DT770 is high enough that it obscures most of the other frequencies. By contrast the low freq of the AD700X rolls off earlier and doesn't have a tall, wide bump, ie, the complete opposite.

    The best you can get with "burn in" is not that the sound gets better as the driver suspension "breaks in" but your brain gets accustomed to hearing the finer midrange and treble details through, instead of focusing on, the loud low end.

    If you need to get a fix for both the response and the soundstage, your best bet for that kind of money would be the AKG K55x series.

    Alternately you can just try to live with that now and save up for a Beyer T5P or Audeze LCD-XC.

    Just because signal purist audiophiles think that EQ is sacrilege (though some of them think using tubes as equalizers is a great idea) does not mean that the X7 has no uses for the market it's aimed at - gamers. Yes, there is a lot of marketing bull like how such products use fancy meaningless babble such as "Extreme Pro Gamer Mode" when what they're really referring to is "High Gain," but if a gamer prefers using virtual surround then a product like the X7 is necessary. I wouldn't buy it either but if I was recommending anything for gaming use it'd be the AE-5 - cheaper, has low output impedance, etc. The only thing the X7 has over it is miniITX (ie a gamer wouldn't have any more PCI slots for the AE-5 since they're guaranteed to have a graphics card).

    If his priority is gaming there's no way around that, at least not until all games have built in virtual surround or Razer Surround works with games a little bit closer to how well its built in test works. In my case I just used a soundcard on my gaming rig and kept my listening system with a pure Class A amp and fanless source separate, since to begin with even fans at idle are audible at night when the ambient noise is lower (effectively making for no overall impact on ambient noise if I use my computer).

    That's actually just the gain setting, which is deceptive any way sound card manufacturers write them down since calling High Gain "Extreme Pro Gamer Mode >100ohms" or "600ohms" doesn't convey the reality that high gain can be used on a low impedance, low sensitivity headphone.

    In any case, your real problem is the respoonse, not the amplification quality. Even if you hook up the DT770 to a discrete, pure Class A amp, ie on paper it would be a much better amp than the X7's amp circuit, it's not like the X7 is distorting so badly that the cleaner amp will sound like something totally different. Your problem is the DT770's response. Some like that sound because it can make explosions rumble on more clearly, ie, they do it more for immersion in games and movies than pinpoint accuracy, with any of the latter coming more from the soundcard virtual surround.

    Did you try the EQ? If it's a graphic EQ with preset bands put a -3dB cut on everything below 200hz except if there's one at 80hz.

    There's Razer Surround which is the best bang for the buck. Doesn't work as well as hardware DSP especially with movies but people recommend it since it's cheap to use. You already have the X7 though so use the X7's line out to the O2 if you really want to, but again the X7 isn't your problem, the DT770 is.
  5. Dulalala
    The 600 ohm isn’t snake oil, it’s just them not being very specific. Plenty of "audiophile" companies do this too. Snake oil is stuff that does absolutely nothing yet claiming to do so.
    Too OP, I’m pretty sure the X7 can power the DT770, I doubt that’s the issue here.

    I don't believe in burn in, but I'm not against it. It's not like burn in can hurt people's wallet so its a harmless ritual if you ask me. I think the issue is probably that your ears need to adjust. The DT770 are the literally opposites of the AD700X, with the former having recessed mids and latter having forward mids. I would give it a week to see whether you can adapt to it or not. You may just not like the sound signature of the DT770.
  6. davebruno
    Hi ProtegeManiac thanks for your extremely detailed response its very helpful in and of itself! Just want to pick your brain a touch further

    So I'm pretty sure I'm going to return them, after adjusting to them to an extent I think they have clarity in the lows but are just missing a lot of finer detail in the mids and highs which for competitive FPS is important and I have grown accustomed to hearing this detail (from the AD700's) even in music not intended for this type of headphone I like hearing this fine detail that is litterally not there in the DT700's, although I can hear more detail in the bass which is good for music but not worth the trade off for me.

    My main question is do you still recommend the k550's given I cant get hold of the original ones? After some research it seems people say the MK2 and MK3 versions have a bassier sound, will this have the same problem as DT770's or is this just comparatively with the original K550?

    Thanks, I just don't want to keep buying and returning as its bad for companies and not their fault.

    I would be keen to improve the DAC/AMP quality too as there is some slight yet perceivable hiss, particularly since I EQ boost the mids/highs (yes its a graphical EQ), however, I also game a lot on console so I need a DAC/AMP that takes optical in, I don't know if its possible to have optical go into an internal card then run software based DAC? I'd be interested if so..

    Creative sell a power adapter upgrade (didn't bother since it sounds like buying a wire for ~£49) - but it does say it reduces the headphone impedance to 1 ohms from 2.2 ohms, would this be worthwhile? - I really want perfect detail but not sure exactly what this even means.

    So would double amping from the X7 improve sound quality? What would the best way to do this be and would it still improve sound quality even if I go buy something like the K550's which are only 32ohms I believe?

    Thanks for any further help you can give, I feel I learned a lot already from this!


    TLDR: Best recommendation for improving my setups mid and low's clarity/detail with closed cans that have great positional accuracy/soundstage and not bassy.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  7. ScareDe2
    I was not pleased at first by the DT770. They definitely benefit from burn in 150 hours I would say. The sound was extremely tight and bright and compressed the first couple of days. It will expand and be more relaxed and just perfect after some period of time. At least that is my experience with it. Now they are my main goto headphone. It's my good old pair of shoes :)

    They are simply the best in that price range and extremely reliable. The soundstage is bigger than open back planar I have tried so far. Indeed you will have a problem of transparency and resolution compared to hifi headphones. The DT770 is in the midfi category and do not compete in terms of richness of sound with the top tier headphones. But it is very neutral with a slight euphonic bass boost. They are perfect for rock and metal.
  8. ScareDe2
    Then the DT770 might not be for you. The details is their number one Achilles heel. Second is there is some grain they are not very transparent.
  9. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    K55x just has more bass than the K550. More bass than the AD700X but it will still be barely halfway up from the AD700X to the DT770's bass output.

    Focal Spirit Pro would tonally fit the bill but I'd wager it doesn't image as wide+deep as the AKG; plus it costs more. If your priority is gaming the K55x series is the most likely bet, unless you spend more and go with the Beyer T5P.

    A Digital to Analogue Converter isn't software-based and it can't be.

    And the hiss could be coming from anywhere other than just the X7 hardware. If it's coming from the computer and then through the USB or SPDIF cable then it will still be there regardless of what you replace the X7 with. Unfortunately there's really no other way to find out but to try something else, but just be aware that when you do there's no 101% guarantee it will solve the issue.

    As for a DAC-HPamp with optical in, a plain DAC-HPamp htat isn't technically an external soundcard will not have a DSP, which if it has virtual surround can take a 5.1 audio signal from whatever game you're playing and then convert it to 2ch with reverb and crossfeed added so it doesn't hard-pan on two drivers that are only heard by one ear each. If you can do without virtual surround on the console then you can get a DAC-HPamp and then run an SPDIF cable from the X7 (or sell it and get an internal soundcard) to the DAC-HPamp.

    Alternately you can sell the X7 and on top of an internal card for the PC you can get the Sound Blaster G5 for the console. It's basically the E5 less some features, but otherwise has software optimized for consoles.

    It's not just a wire, it's a better PSU. The cheap bundled PSU might be the cause of the hissing, but it's hard to know for sure if it is, and either way it won't be due to a 2.2ohm output impedance on the X7 but some other properties on the PSU.

    That said, the other hardware on the X7 particularly the amp circuit are just as likely the source of the noise if not more.

    Double amping from teh X7 is not going to solve the problem. If you're hearing it plugging a headphone into the X7 then hooking up the X7's headphone output that has noise into another amplifier will just amplify the noise along with the signal.

    You can try hooking up just an amp to the X7 through its FL/FR RCA output on the rear, but if the noise isn't all coming from the amplifier circuit of the X7, thenthe noise will just go to the amp.

    If you use the SPDIF output on the back of the X7 to feed a DAC-HPamp, on the off chance it's coming from the computer, that noise will still go through.

    Or you can sell the X7, then try an internal soundcard like the SBX AE-5 or Strix Soar and then the SB G5 on the console. If there's noise on both then maybe invest in a DAC-HPamp with SPDIF input to get a signal out of both.
  10. ScareDe2
    Check the Brainwavz HM5 they are closed back, neutral and recommended for FPS gaming.
  11. calvinus
    All sub $200 headphones are suspect imo, even Grado. I'd look for something in the $300 range.
  12. ScareDe2
    Brainwavz HM5
    BeyerDynamic DT770
    AKG k550
    ATH M50

    Those mentionned perform way above their price. And because of that I think there is not much closed back hp left to discussed in the sub $500 range. I am not sure but there is a big empty space in the $200-$500 category and you will likely need to jump to $500+ to find something significantly better.

    At $300 I see a pre-owned Shure SHR1540. That's about it for now.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018

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