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Would This Be Crazy?

  1. Skycyclepilot
    Can't seem to find those perfect headphones. Can you relate...

    Love the extended sub-bass of my PM-3 headphones. Love the openness of my HE400i headphones. Thinking about selling/trading one or both for Beyer DT-1990 Pro headphones.

    Am I losing my mind?
  2. CT007
    Why not just buy a 1990, and return it if it sucks? Sell the junk, keep the gold.
  3. Skycyclepilot
    Well, I'm not sure I'd have any luck selling the HE400i or PM-3 headphones, and I'd have to return the 1990s if I couldn't, even if I liked them. $600 is a lot of money for me right now.
  4. megabigeye
    I can't speak to the HE400i, but the DT 1990 and PM-3 are pretty dissimilar, to my ear.
    Oddly, even though I own both, I've never really compared them. They just kind of fill different roles in my mind.

    The PM-3 has a more emphasized bass/mid-bass than the DT 1990, but I think the DT 1990 reaches lower with more strength. I think of the DT 1990 as having very dynamic bass and the PM-3 seems more subtle and relaxed. Maybe? The bass on the PM-3 feels warmer, I think. I kind of assume that this comes of their being closed.
    Other than that, the mids aren't too different. The PM-3 has a little dip in the 250-500Hz region that makes them sound a little cold to my ear. The DT 1990 don't suffer from that problem, but they are slightly behind the rest of the mix in comparison to the HD 650, but I think the HD 650 are a bit forward in the mids. I think the mids on both the DT 1990 and PM-3 are more or less in the same place in the mix, it's just different parts that are forward or recessed.
    Treble is where the PM-3 and DT 1990 really differ in sound, though. I know a lot of people hear the PM-3 as being very neutral, but to me they've always sounded dark, with a downward sloping sound: emphasized bass, slightly withdrawn mids, and very rolled off treble. The rolled off nature of the treble hides a little bit of unevenness. To my ear, the DT 1990 is linear from sub-bass to below 6kHz, and then there's a strong peak at 8kHz, though to my ear there's no harshness (there was a discussion in the DT 1990 thread about whether or not the treble is sibilant; I say no, others say yes). If you like the treble presentation of the PM-3, there's a chance the DT 1990 might be too much for you.

    As far as sounding open... The DT 1990 certainly sound more open than the PM-3, but I don't find the soundstage to be very large. I would say it's comparable to the HD 650, if you're familiar with that. If you're looking for a really open sound, you might not be satisfied.

    All that being said, I think the DT 1990 and PM-3 are a good complement to each other: one is open, one closed; one is neutral-to-bright, the other is neutral-to-dark; one is kind of in your face with detail, the other more relaxed. Like I said, they fulfill different roles.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  5. megabigeye
    Gah! So I just realized that I was listening to my PM-3 with glasses on, which definitely affects the sound. What a dope!
    Taking my glasses off makes the bass more elevated than it is otherwise, definitely making them sound darker than the DT 1990, though I might also see how some would say it makes them warmer.
    I still think I'll stick by what I said earlier, though. The PM-3 have a thicker, warmer, bigger bass, but the DT 1990 are more linear and reach lower.
  6. Skycyclepilot
    Thanks for your observations. I found a good buy on the 1990s, so ordered them. I find the PM-3s to be neutral across the board, with extended sub-bass. The treble is a bit soft to my ears. The HE400is are much brighter. Interestingly, the FR graphs on RTings show the PM-3s, HE400is, and 1990s all to have peaks at about 8 KHz, and all within a couple of decibels of each other. One thing is consistent in reviews, though - the 1990s peak is too much. I'll decide once mine are here. If it find them too sharp, I'll notch filter them just a little.

    Why can't someone make a perfect set of headphones for $500... And why can't I afford the Focal Clears, which seem to come close... This is frustrating...

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