My experience with a pair of DT990 Premium (250) vs. AD700
Jul 20, 2010 at 9:06 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

The_Red

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A week or so ago my pair of DT990 (250)s arrived and I was happy because they had amazing reviews all over the place (Amazon, Head-Fi, ++) putting them on, they immediately felt tight, but that's expected from new cans, right?  I let them sit on my head for this past week and when I went to bed around my chair headrest.  When i got up in the mornings, they felt looser, but after leaving them on my head they slowly felt like they were getting tighter and tighter.  I confirmed this by trying to place them on the headrest again, to find them just as tight.
 
 
In conclusion:  It is very tight, and in addition, the contact surface on the cups used in DT990 is smaller than other, larger cups, like the AD700, which spreads pressure along a larger surface area.  Thus, I cannot recommend them for larger craniums. 
 
 
In addition, barring the eventual pain from the pressure, the brightness of the headphones is INTENSE, especially if you're not use to it (like me). 
 
Does it make Furnace Room Lullaby by Neko Case sound amazing? YES.
 
Will your ears stand up to 2 hours of listening to tracks that have their brightness exaggerated? NO.
 
It was painful and grew in a way that felt like pressure, like the kind when you have a storm front coming, dive too deep into a pool, or right before your ears click during rapid elevation changes.
 
Sound quality: Better than AD700 (Marginally, since it sacrifices clarity in pursuit of Treble and Brightness)
 
Sound stage: Better than AD700 (Able to tell direction of voice / instruments)
 
Comfort: One of the worst for large craniums, the clenching pressure is dispersed on too small of a clamping area around the ear muscles.
 
Clarity: Worse than AD700 (what the ear hears)
 
Warmth: Worse an AD700 (neither can is warm by nature, but the AD700 have what feels like a more neutral sound, without artificial emphasis on Bass and Treble ala DT990)
 
Bass:  Better than the fish.
 
 
 
Conclusion:  Being returned to Amazon, as I begin my hunt for AD900s to satiate the appreciation for good sound stage the DT990 did let me hear.
 
 
PS:  It should be noted that I bought the DT990s when the AD700s broke, which I was able to repair with some solder and a new speaker sent via Dave at Audio Technica parts dept, free of charge. (cuz he's cool like that)
 
Jul 20, 2010 at 10:27 PM Post #2 of 5

joelpearce

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It's true, they really are bright.  I love my DT990/600s out of a warm source, but found them a bit too harsh from a couple of my amps.
 
Keep looking, though--your headphones are out there somewhere.
 
Sounds like you might enjoy some German Maestros, though.
 
Jul 20, 2010 at 10:33 PM Post #3 of 5

NapalmK

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Yep my DT990/250 is almost unbearably bright. I found them to have great detail retrieval, bass, soundstage, and speed. I really like them but again the treble is mighty nasty. It's really a shame otherwise they fit me very nicely. I haven't had the chance to try the AD700s yet though. Thanks for the writeup!
 
Jul 21, 2010 at 7:26 PM Post #4 of 5

The_Red

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My pleasure @NapalmK.
 
@joelpearce : My experience so far has been with the Sennheisers, Audio Technicas, and now a Bayer.. I've seen the German Maestro's on Amazon, but have not tried one, or seen one in a store.
 
How do they compare?
 
Jul 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM Post #5 of 5

joelpearce

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They vary quite a bit from model to model, but the overall sound signature is quite balanced, with a very clear, accurate midrange.  They tend to be a bit bass light, though I believe most have more bass than the 450 that I had.  The upper range is crisp and clear, without having that Beyer sparkle that you weren't a fan of.
 
They probably sit somewhere between the Senns and Beyers, in that they are bright and lack the Sennheiser warmth, while still avoiding the Beyer brightness.
 
There are quite a few threads with more thorough descriptions than that.  The suspension ones are ridiculously comfortable, though.
 

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