Dt990 pro

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Review (headphone)

This is a review and detailed measurements of the Beyerdynamic DT990 (250 ohm) open back headphone. A member was kind enough to purchase one new and drop ship it to me due to request from membership! The DT990 costs about $160 and has been around for many years.

I like the look of the DT 990:

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review open back headphone.jpg

The pads felt hard at first but after just a couple of hours of use, they became more comfortable. Combined with light weight of the unit, they are nice to wear.

I did not care as much for the plastic cups, nor the sharp edges of meta pieces:
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review open back headphone pad dimensions.jpg

The cups are round and large making for easy fit not only around your ears but also the measurement gear. I have never had a headphone so easy to mount on my fixture to measure.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are preformed using standardized GRAS 45CA headphone measurement fixture. Headphone measurements require more interpretation than speaker tests and have more of a requirement for subjective testing as a result. In addition, comparison of measurements between different people performing it using different configurations requires fair bit of skill. So don't look for matching results. Focus on high level picture. Listening tests are performed using RME ADI-2 DACand its headphone output.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurements
Let's start with frequency response of DT 990 and comparison to our preference target:
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurement 250 ohm headphone frequency response.png

We have some serious issues here. The headphone is tuned to produce its max bass output at around 150 Hz below which it drops rapidly. Inverse is in play above 2 kHz where we way overshoot. Predicted response then would be a bit boomy and very sharp and bright. Here is the same as relative measure:
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurement 250 ohm headphone relative frequency response.png

Bad news doesn't stop there. Distortion is quite high:
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurement 250 ohm headphone distortion relative.png

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurement 250 ohm headphone distortion.png

The DT990 is also extremely insensitive:
Most efficient headphone review 2021.png

You better have a very high performance headphone amplifier that can drive its high impedance and provide the required power:

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurement 250 ohm headphone Impedance.png

Notice how 250 ohm is the minimum impedance. Close to tuning frequency of the headphone, it shoots up to 350 ohm so your headphone amp needs to also have a very low output impedance as to not impact the frequency response of this headphone. Heaven knows you don't want to mess up the response of this headphone any more than it already is!

Group delay response shows some areas you don't want to eq as usual (shown as dip in frequency response) and some fuzziness that I rather not see:
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurement 250 ohm headphone Group Delay.png

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphone Listening Tests and EQ
It took all of a few seconds to want to rip the DT 990 off my head as I always start with female vocals and this headphone shred the vocals to pieces. And proceeded to drill into your head with those shards! This thing is so bright that it brought high frequencies resonances that I did not even think were in the music! This stood out even more because there is little sub-bass energy. The peaking around 150 Hz provides a bit of help there but also can sound a bit boomy on some content.

Distortion was a serious problem. At moderately high level it would add this warbling sound to many tones from vocals and some lower notes. At higher levels bass notes would start to create ticking sounds. You wouldn't normally listen that this level though so it is an engineering failure more than audible one (without EQ).

I am always hopeful that I can fix headphones with EQ but my first two tries last night were met with failure. This headphone's main saving grace is its rather good spatial qualities. Alas, fixing the high frequency peaks and levels by eye killed that aspect and still left the nastiness that was in there at times. Any attempt to boost the bass frequencies resulted in nasty bass distortion and worse warbling sound per above.

Right when I was going to give up, I decided to use an assisted method to develop the EQ. I swept the headphone and manually dialed in EQ settings and iterated to get rid of the peaking in three high frequency bands. This was the result:
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Measurement 250 ohm headphone with and without EQ.png

Focusing on the left, I had dialed in some 6 dB yet the effect was minimal in response. I pushed that up to eve 10 dB and the graph simply did not change indicating the driver is out of gas. Audible effect of that bass boost was horrible with distortion galore. So I took that out. I then found the sound to be rather dull and spatial effects compromised. So I dialed in a shelving filter that boosted the entire range. This was the final result:
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro equalization eq.png

You can mess with that shelfing filter (Band 5) to your taste. On some content I wanted it higher, on some others, less. The latter is what I am showing here.

I must say, I was surprised how this finally salvaged the headphone sound. I am listening to it as I type this and it almost sounds "normal" in a good way! :)Mind you, if you turn up the level too much, the warbling sound comes to haunt you but that is likely not your everyday level.

While the DT 990 Pro is a comfortable headphone to wear, it has a seriously flawed design with poor frequency response which exaggerates the heck out of highs and dumps a bunch of distortion in there for good measure. It also lacks deep bass reproduction. Careful equalization did manage to salvage it at the end but took a lot of doing.

I am not going to recommend the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro.It is just too broken. Even though EQ helped a lot, it is still an inefficient headphone with high distortion. If you have one, use my EQ and comment on how you like it. Otherwise it is a pass with or without EQ. Let's hope we can find a headphone as comfortable as this but with much better engineering.

As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/


Sours: https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/beyerdynamic-dt990-pro-review-headphone.19975/

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Open Studio Headphones

I would easily place this pair of headphones at no.1 out of every pair of headphones I have ever tried, or ever will try. The DT 990 Pro's offer an excellent frequency response and accuracy (though the high ends are quite sharp, for users who are constantly switching between headphones). The comfort factor of these headphones is second to none, it is incredibly comfortable on the ears which is vital if you're working on / listening to stuff for pretty much the entire day. One observation on the DT 990's for me is that you could leave them on and not even realise they are there: being open back headphones, you can hear your surroundings much clearer and louder than closed back headphones.

I wouldn't recommend using these headphones in a busy and loud environment (i.e in public, a studio where musicians are practicing and such) as you may not be able to pick up on every detail on whatever it is you're listening to and monitoring- which is exactly what these headphones are designed to do and do so quite incredibly. For someone who is always on the road producing (which is a great idea, if it works for you), this may not be the best for you for the fact that these headphones pick up a lot more surroundings and noise than others.

I very strongly recommend these headphones if you are a bedroom producer, a mixing engineer or whatever the sort for all round studio work, but especially for mixing and mastering to pick up on every detail in the mix. As someone who works in a bedroom and a quiet household, these headphones suit me perfectly and honestly? I would be willing to pay a higher price for these amazing quality headphones from Beyerdynamic.

Sours: https://equipboard.com/items/beyerdynamic-dt-990-pro-open-studio-headphones
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Beyerdynamic’s classic DT lineup, featuring the 770, 880, and 990s, is a trusted range of studio reference headphones. Each pair offers a unique monitoring experience for music production or hi-fi listening. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are an open-back set intended for mixing and mastering.

Open vs. Closed Headphones (DT 990 vs. DT 770)

Open and closed headphones provide two very different listening experiences. In the case of Beyerdynamic, the 770s in the DT series are closed, while the DT 990 Pro headphones are open. Finally, the 880s are somewhere in between as semi-open headphones.

These terms refer to the ear cup design and whether airflow in and around the driver is restricted or not. Closed headphones create an isolated listening environment best suited to tracking, where headphone bleed into the microphone can be kept to a minimum, or in any situation where privacy is desired. The biggest tradeoff for isolation is that low frequencies tend to build up inside the cans, so closed-back headphones usually aren’t recommended for mixing or critical listening.

On the other hand, open headphones have vented ear cups. Air and sub/low-end can freely radiate from them. While not a substitute for studio monitors, the experience is about as close as you can get with them. Generally, the soundstage feels more spacious and natural because open headphones are not isolating. Of course, the tradeoff here is that headphone bleed can be an issue if you plan to track with them. They’re also not great for use in public, as the outside is let in and vice versa.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Open-Back Reference Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review_2

By and large, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are an affordable, no-frills pair of workhorse studio cans. The practically all-plastic construction is spartan, and the only thing ‘luxury’ about these headphones is the memory foam ear pads covered in soft velour.

That said, they’re very comfortable, and durable enough for average use. Beyerdynamic touts their headphones as being handmade in Germany with the highest quality components, which appears fair to say. These headphones aren’t really the kind you’d throw into a backpack anyway since they don’t fold up, though they do come with a soft carrying bag.

As far as tech specs go, the 990’s frequency response extends far beyond the limits of human hearing to the tune of 5 to 35,000 Hz. Anyone without bionic ears will still happily take in the full frequency range represented in these headphones. 250-ohm impedance requires more juice to get loud, but any interface headphone amplifier should do just fine.

Sound quality should be top priority here, and the 990s skew a bit more towards ‘fun’ listening than critical monitoring. The frequency response, gratefully charted by Sonarworks below, shows a bit of low- and high-end excitement—not necessarily the flattest and most accurate representation of source material.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review_3

The high-end spikes up as much as 9 dB, which could be useful for spotting mix irregularities, but should be treated with caution. It’s hard to imagine the 990s being suitable for such critical listening as mastering, for instance. Still, many users will enjoy the overall sound quality these provide. As a budget headphone under $200, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pros will serve most folks well.


The German-engineered Beyerdynamic 990s are a great pair of open-back headphones in their price bracket. They may not win any beauty contests, but they’re comfortable, and above all, functional. For other choices, check out our top headphone picks for producing music in 2021.

Sours: https://producelikeapro.com/blog/beyerdynamic-dt-990-pro-review/

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review

Good sound quality usually means you’re going to be spending a little more than you want. Just take a look at the Focal Clear headphones we recently reviewed that will run you $1,499. But every now and then you find something that doesn’t cost too much and sounds great. This is one of those times. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones might not be the prettiest of cans, but if you can look passed that your ears will be treated to a spa day every time you put these on.

What’s Inside

There isn’t much that comes with these headphones. In the box you’ll get the headphones with a soft carrying case and a ¼” adapter. That’s it unless you count the box itself (which I don’t).

Build & Design

Deep velour ear pads make for extremely comfortable wear.

You know how everyone who wears Crocs swear by them? This is a similar situation, although I admit not as hideous. The build of these headphones is almost entirely plastic save for the metal band that suspends the ear cups. But man, are these comfortable. Thanks to memory foam padding wrapped in velour, slipping these over your ears removes them from your head and places them into an alternate reality where everything is fluffy and plush. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. It’s more like slipping your feet into Crocs (or so I’m told I refuse to wear them). Whatever Beyerdynamic did to these, I love wearing them.

Everything has a downside, and luckily there are only a few here worth noting. The main one, which I already mentioned, is the build quality. As these are mainly plastic they’re not the most durable of cans. Sure they’re fairly flexible and I had no problem flexing them to relatively regular angles, but if you throw these in your bag and sit on them the wrong way I wouldn’t bet that they’d come out fine. There’s no hinges to be found here so you won’t be able to fold them down for easy transport, and the thin steel headband doesn’t feel too durable either. It’s only reinforcement is the thin pleather wrapping that doesn’t exactly scream quality. So even though I love the build in terms of comfort, I almost feel like I should baby them at times. They seem to be best for leaving on my desk which to be fair, as a pair of open-back headphones, is basically where they were made for.

Open-backs typically mean you’ll get more spatial cues in your music.

My other biggest concern when it comes to build quality is the audio cable. It’s a 1m coiled cable that can stretch to longer if necessary, but it’s also pretty heavy. More than once the weight of it almost pulled my phone clean off my desk just because I moved the wrong way. Not a problem if you’re plugging into an interface or computer, but not good news for smartphones or portable players. The attachment point at the bottom of the left earcup also doesn’t woo me, and because the cable isn’t interchangeable if it frays or breaks you’re going to have to cough up the cash for a whole new pair.

Whether you’re a professional or a secret goth, black just looks cool

But let’s end this section on another positive because toughness aside, I love how these were designed. They’re all-black which is already a plus in my book because whether you’re a professional or a secret goth, black just looks cool. The only accent of color is the name of the headphones (which I can do without but isn’t a deal breaker) and the gray memory foam ear pads which you can see from the outside of their open back design. Again, adding the perfect bit of flashiness to the minimal design.


The cable is non-removable, coiled, and doesn’t seem to have the most durable connection point.

As far as connection goes there really isn’t anything too crazy worth mentioning here. The coiled cable ends in a 3.5mm and you can screw on the included ¼” adapter if you’re plugging into higher end gear. Of course it’s worth mentioning the cable on this model has an impedance of 250 ohms so even though I was able to listen to music on my Pixel 2XL (#donglelife) without an amp, having one to drive these a little more definitely helps since you won’t have to max out the volume on your phone.

Sound Quality

If we were fairly mediocre about these headphones, it ends here. Sound quality is where these headphones shine and although they won’t blow you away, we were really impressed when we remembered their price tag.

These headphones are ridiculously comfortable.

When it comes to the low end these are right up my alley. They’re not overblown and super powerful, but they definitely bump and give the right amount of attention to the bass hits 0:39 seconds into “Phone Calls” by Jessie Reyez. The low sub-bass immediately following the chorus normally has enough power to make your eyes shake, but that isn’t the case here. You still get some of the punch with none of the bruising afterwards to ruin the experience.

Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you, but I prefer it this way. That lack of depth doesn’t the case when it comes to mids, with instruments and vocals sounding perfectly emphasized regardless of the genre. This was very apparent to me while listening to “Vanish In Our Sleep” by Rob Roy which has such a powerful bass that it usually disturbs the vocals, but not here. The bass was kept in check letting the vocals really flourish on their own. The highs were also great with no distortion to speak of any levels. The cymbal hits and hi-hats in “You Only Live Once” by The Strokes had a good amount of detail and the perfect amount of presence.


Though these won’t give your music the Beats treatment, these are still an enjoyable pair of headphones to listen to. They don’t particularly emphasize any one area of sound (and even de-emphasize the sub-bass to be honest) but I still had no problem jamming out to these at my desk or walking around my apartment.

As open-back headphones these aren’t meant for commuters, but if you like a higher amount of detail in your music and don’t mind sacrificing some range to get it these will do you justice. Not to mention that they’re next level comfortable. It’s worth mentioning again that these do have an impedance of 250 ohms so if you really want to push them a decent amp wouldn’t be a bad idea, unless you have a phone like the LG V30 that can handle it already. Overall, it’s hard not to recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones to anyone looking for headphones that prioritize a clean and precise sound.

Sours: https://www.soundguys.com/beyerdynamic-dt-990-pro-review-15223/

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