Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro vs Beyerdynamic Amiron Home
In this review I am going to be comparing the DT 1990 vs Amiron and explain exactly these two headphones differ to help people decide which they should get due to their sound preferences as well as genre preferences. These two headphones do sound more different than one may think considering they sell for the same price and use very similar drivers. I am driving both headphones from the Sony UDA-1 via optical from my desktop computer which easily drives both headphones with authority and I feel is a good pairing for both. I'm using the stock cables on both for I plan on comparing them both in stock form. I've owned both headphones for over a month now and feel confident they are both fully broken in. I am comparing the DT 1990 with the Balanced pads mainly, I could never get into liking the Analytical pads on the DT 1990 much.
Note: The DT 1990 Pro on this review is on the Balanced pads. I will likely add the Analytical pads to the review in the future. The Analytical pads makes the bass even more linear and it does soften up the treble a bit on the DT 1990. The DT 1990 sounds slightly more liquid on the analytical pads and the sound is more expansive. It's somewhere between the Amiron and DT 1990 with Balanced pads sound wise.
This post may be edited a few times.
Build Quality & Accessories
In terms of build quality the two headphones are very well made, the DT 1990 does feel the more robust of the two due to a bit more metal in it's design and the sturdier feeling headband as well as it's much stronger clamping force. The Amiron has more plastic in it's build overall and a looser clamp which gives the impression it may be of lesser quality when in reality it really isn't. In terms of accessories, the DT 1990 wins hands down, it has two different sets of pads, two sets of cables, and a nicer carrying case. The Amiron just has one cable, one set of pads, and a lower quality carrying case. The Amiron does have the advantage of a dual-entry cable which allows for balanced without modding. The DT 1990 Pro uses the AKG mini-XLR 3 pin plug which is a bummer if one plans on going balanced. Both headphones are actually quite modular as both have modular drivers. Both use similar looking drivers but they are tuned differently so swapping them will also change the sound. The Amiron Home is a bit more open and does leak a bit more than the DT 1990.
Amiron Home Internals
DT 1990 Internals
ComfortThis is another area the headphones differ quite a bit is their comfort and fit. Which is more comfortable depends on the person. The DT 1990 has firmer pads, stronger clamp(think HD 6xx clamp), and the pads are a bit deeper. The Amiron has a much looser clamp(quite loose, like the T1 in clamp), the pads are soft and comfy but don't have the depth the DT 1990 so may pose a problem with those who have ears sticking out a lot. The pads can be swapped between the two.
SoundNow to the most important part of the review, the sound. How do these two headphones differ? I spent a month comparing the two headphones so I feel I have a very good grasp on their overall sound signature. A simple description of their sound will be that the DT 1990 has a drier more intimate presentation while the Amiron Home has a more liquid and softer presentation. It's a bit more complicated than that, especially when comparing the midrange and the treble where a lot people seem to differ most in their impressions. I will help explain why this is the case. Both headphones are very musical and euphoric sounding to my ears with excellent clarity and tonality and timbre. Both sound very organic and natural to my ears. Also listening fatigue on both is very low to my ears.
BassOkay first we are going to start with the bass and how they compare.
Amiron Home: The bass on the Amiron has a stronger mid-bass presence with a softer more expansive and laid-back texture to it. I personally find it quite fast and textured. It has quite a strong impact and is quite expansive. It extends well into the sub-bass and has pretty good control. It creates an expansive and enveloping feeling in the bass.
DT 1990 Pro: This is one of the DT 1990's strong points, the bass is more linear with better sub-bass extension. It's more aggressive and punchy in nature and has better control than the Amiron Home. At louder volumes the bass hits very hard and the bass is a bit quicker than that on the Amiron Homes. This makes the DT 1990 a better choice for EDM, etc.
MidrangeThis is an aspect where things start changing a bit more between the two headphones.
Amiron Home: The midrange on the Amiron is actually similar to the DT 1990 until you start getting to the upper midrange around the 1-2khz region. The Amiron Home has around 2-3 decibels less presence in this region due to this the midrange takes a softer more expansive sound. To put it simply the Amiron Home has a more recessed midrange than the DT 1990, but this isn't always a bad thing especially for those who like a large soundstage and a less intimate sound. The Amiron's midrange does sound a bit darker and more liquid than what is found in the DT 1990.
DT 1990 Pro: The midrange on the DT 1990 is dry and intimate largely due to more presence in the 1-2khz region. Like in the bass, the DT 1990 is also more linear in the midrange. This stronger upper midrange I found makes the DT 1990 really shine in terms of strings and percussion and it has a snappier more impactful nature to it's midrange. The midrange has a brighter, fuller, and drier tone to it.
TrebleThe treble is another point of contention between these two headphones, but which one is actually brighter? While I found both headphones to have fairly strong treble energy the treble is quite refined and not what I consider fatiguing personally.
Amiron Home: To put it simply, the Amiron Home has a brighter treble than the DT 1990 but the treble is a bit softer due to a broader raise in the treble. While having maybe a couple decibels less in the 9-10khz region, the Amiron has a lot more energy in the 7-8khz, so for those sensitive to that region may actually find the Amiron too bright especially at louder volumes. Overall the Amiron has a more delicate, softer, and brighter treble texture to it.
DT 1990 Pro: Overall the DT 1990 Pro is darker than the Amiron Home in terms of treble, but the treble can be a bit spicier and more bitey as the treble is more of a peak in the 9-10khz region than the broader raise found in the Amiron.
Conclusion on SoundOverall I find the sound on the Amiron Home to be softer more relaxed and more of a headphone one will listen to at moderate listening levels. It's also better suited for more relaxed genres such as classical, softer rock, many instrumental songs, softer EDM, etc. The Amiron Homes also really shine for movies, shows, and video games due to it's more expansive soundstage and softer texture to the sound. I found I tend to listen to the Amiron Home at a lower volume naturally than the DT 1990. The Amiron Home can handle more energetic genres, but it may not have the force and aggression one desires for those genres.
The DT 1990 is a headphone I consider to be more neutral, robust, and energetic. It sounds good with all genres and is what I consider a genre-master as it handles all genres and uses well. While not as good for softer genres and movies/games as the Amiron it's not bad at all in those aspects. But where I feel the DT 1990 shines is more energetic genres and the headphone is probably the best EDM open-back I've heard anywhere near it's price. It's also very good for metal, hard rock, etc.
In conclusion if you want a gaming headphone and/or relaxed listening headphone get the Amiron Home. If you want jack of all trades and energetic genre master get the DT 1990. Also if you listen louder, the DT 1990 may be better suited. The Amiron in my experience is better suited for moderate listening volumes. The Amiron has a darker midrange yet brighter treble while the DT 1990 has a brighter midrange yet darker treble. The Amiron is more liquid sounding while the DT 1990 is drier.
Both have very good dynamics, but honestly I have to give dynamics to the DT 1990, it's so tactile when well driven. It does have very good treble and midrange as well as bass dynamics which may be a bit off-putting for some as some people don't seem to understand it and may mistake it for brightness. Many headphones I find actually suffer in terms of midrange and treble dynamics and body.
In terms of scalability, I get the impression the Amiron may scale up a bit higher on gear, but that may not actually be the case as I haven't directly compared them on higher-end gear. Also due to it's more open nature, the Amiron does sound more open than the DT 1990. I actually consider the DT 1990 semi-open while the Amiron fully open.
I personally like both headphones around the same, which I like better will change depending on my mood. If I want a liquid and relaxed sound I listen to the Amiron Homes. If I want a dry and more robust sound I listen to the DT 1990. I'm keeping both headphones personally, which wasn't actually what I intended but just turned out that way.
Another way to describe their sound is similar to how they look and feel. The DT 1990 is more masculine and robust and the Amiron is more feminine and delicate. How dry or liquid both headphones sound heavily depends on the system.