DT770-Pro/80 can't keep up with DT990-Pro/250 - Why?
Mar 30, 2013 at 3:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


100+ Head-Fier
Oct 14, 2003
I have these two Beyer headphones and they give me vastly different listening experiences.

I always thought the DT770-Pro/80's were supposed to be the bass monsters of the series, but they simply are not able to perform at the level of the DT990 in my testing.

The DT770s seem to have more sub-bass than the DT990 as part of their stock sound signature. I don't personally find the bass to be too boomy, but I do find that the bass has a negative effect on the rest of the sound spectrum. When there is heavy bass, vocals begin to sound "fluttery", as if the singer was singing through a desk fan. This really seems to limit the DT770, as above a certain volume level on bass heavy tracks, everything just begins to sound like ass.

The D990s on the other hand have less sub-bass as part of their stock sound signature, but seem to have a bit more mid-bass punch. In addition, the bass on the DT990 does not appear to have much of a negative impact on the vocals and mid-range unlike the DT770. Because of that, it's possible to achieve an overall higher level of bass, simply by turning up the volume more and/or potentially using EQ. With the DT990's, they sail right past the point at which the DT770 bass would already be destroying the mids, but just keep on kicking to the point where my only real limitation is the bass being so strong that it starts to tickle my ears...

I've actually had both of these headphones for quite some time. I always thought the issues I was having with the DT770 were caused by me. I ran little-dot tube amps for a while, and figured they were simply supplying more power into my 250ohn DT990s than the 80ohm DT770s since the tube amps put out more power into high-impedance loads. When I got my Little-Dot I+ however I the situation didn't change at all, even though it instead puts out more power into low-impedance loads.

At one point I thought I had perhaps blown the drivers in the DT770, but after breaking the cable on accident, and buying another DT770, I found that the sound signature was the same between the two and thus nothing was wrong.

I now use a restored Yamaha C-80 Preamp which has considerably more power than any of my previous headphone amps when using any of my headphones, but the DT770 is still comparatively the same.

Have others had similar experiences? Would a 250ohm DT770 be any better in this regard?
Mar 30, 2013 at 4:23 PM Post #2 of 2


500+ Head-Fier
Aug 7, 2011
What you're seeing could be the weakness of closed headphones in general. I find most closed headphones to have excellent sub bass, but they have resonance issues with the upper mids and treble. They simply can't keep up the same pace without some smearing of details. Some manufacturers boost treble to compensate, but that causes sibilance and sounds unnatural.
I own a pair of the 32 ohm DT 770 Limited Edition and while they are a good closed headphone for the price (the W5000 was a complete disaster in my book), I think my HD 580 and DT 990 250 ohm are better across with board with the exception of sub bass.
If you want the sub bass of a closed headphone in a open model, you should probably look at an ortho of some sort. 

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