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DT860 - totally forgotten?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by gilly87, Dec 8, 2014.
  1. Gilly87
    Just got a pair of these on Amazon for $150 ((http://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-DT-860-Premium-Headphones/dp/B000Y0IPF8) as a substitute for my T90 that I can leave at work while the T90s stay home, and I have to say, I'm damn impressed. Soundstage is proportional but not enormous, but it's a very dynamic headphone with decent extension on both ends (though this is probably where it falls short of my T90 most clearly), a fairly full midrange for a Beyer (not unlike the T90), a nice quantity of bass that slots in somewhere between my T90 and DT770 LE...honestly I find myself enjoying it almost as much as my friends DT880 Pros. I don't think they're on that par technically, but I would say they make great competition for other headphones in that price range - HD598, for example, has a bigger soundstage, but is technically inferior in all other ways. Of the similarly priced headphones I've heard, I would say the AD900x comes the closest to matching the DT860's total package, and is more detailed with a bigger soundstage, if memory serves, but in my estimation, the DT860 still wins this battle overall due to more realistic bass presentation, which IMO is so key for overall realism; the AD900x has a decent punch to it, but it's pretty darn lean on the whole and doesn't have very realistic timbre IMO; it's awesome for acoustic music and some rock and chamber ensembles, but to my ears, full-on orchestral classical just doesn't sound right without a solid, echoing timpani impact and good body to cello and bass, and most rock music really needs more presence for kick drums and bass guitar to shine IMO. The DT860 shines with classic rock, EDM, and classical, which comprises most of my listening.
    So yeah...very happy with these @$150, they are definitely serving as an adequate backup to my T90s. Definitely a purchase I don't regret.
  2. Head1
    It's been on my radar, simply for being the open version of the DT660. Your post really makes me want to try them.
    What about the treble, does the DT860 have less/more than the T90?
  3. Gilly87
    Definitely less in quantity than the T90, it's a very balanced, slightly warm sound. It has the same slightly "etched" lower treble/upper mids as the DT660, which I'm a fan of, cymbals sound very nice (might be a touch forward for some), but it is noticeably bassier IMO, a bit of a pleasant surprise for me considering it's open. I'd put it on the same shelf as the HD598 in terms of overall quality/detail, although it has better extension on both ends, noticeably less colored, and sounds more "real" to me on the whole, personally; the bass is tighter and deeper, which lends to the perception of a blacker background, and the timbre is much more realistic than the more romantic-sounding Senns.
    If I had never heard the T90, I would totally be happy with these. The only open cans I prefer to it are a very well-driven DT880 Pro or HD650, and my T90.
  4. Head1
    I'm pleased to hear the DT860 has less treble than the T90, which might be too much for me. I liked the vocals on the T90 but with stuff recorded on the bright side you do hear lots of "sssssss" sounds after each phrase.
    The HD598, I could only listened for 20 secs and it seemed to have a lot of midbass, more than the HD600 I think. I guess the DT860 would probably have tighter bass, more PRaT but not be warm in the way the Senns can be.
  5. Hifihedgehog
    By the way, Beyerdynamic is discontinuing it. :frowning2: The DT860 is no longer available for sale on Beyerdynamic USA's web store or directly from Amazon themselves. What a pity, too. It was the first pair of headphones after going through about a dozen or so that didn't give me the urge to flip through tracks. Surprisingly, I prefer its midrange to the DT880 and DT990 by leaps and bounds, both of which were either soulless or wooly due to their -3 to -4 dB shelf in the upper midrange and lowest treble (2 to 5 KHz). I am seriously considering repurchasing it before they are gone forever because, at the moment, I have no portable or secondary pair on hand like I normally do. Doing this, however, will undoubtedly mean I will have to postpone my T90 until this next Christmas but the DT860 is THAT good and I've extensively listened to some Summit-Fi stuff (HD800, K812) in my time, even.
  6. Gilly87
    Damn, that's a shame. Its right there with the AD900x and HD598 in the best mid-fi value group, and its more durable and I'd say better balanced than either. Sure the other two are more spacious sounding, but neither has the bass of the DT860, and therefore neither sounds as unbiased in displaying all frequency ranges evenly. But maybe that's just me; I do love the Beyer house sound.

    I will say that, with a proper source, the 860 can't hold a candle to the T90. Its like high school football vs college.
  7. Gilly87
    DT860 treble isn't as smooth as the Senns, but it does have punchier bass and a more dynamic sound overall. Much less lush than the 598. But still a little warm, with sparkly treble, and very nice, just north of neutral bass.
  8. Head1
    They were £49.99 a couple of months ago. I would have bought them blind if I didn''t have headphones.

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