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beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 39 19.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 113 55.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 39 19.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 14 6.8%

  • Total voters
    205
I listened to these in the past. Have some DT880's which are pretty similar from what I remember. They are very comfortable, but also don't like to be pushed. When I acquired some AKG K371's the Beyers no longer get any use. I just wish the AKGs had as much comfort. They did convince me the Harman headphone curve was onto something.
 
These headphones come with two sets of stock pads in the box that the user can choose from, the ' Analytical' and the 'Balanced'. Do you know which ones are currently installed? The bass and treble performance are impacted based on this choice.
I did see them both but they looked the same as each other so went with what was on them. Once the owner sees the review, maybe he can comment on that.
 
I did see them both but they looked the same as each other so went with what was on them. Once the owner sees the review, maybe he can comment on that.
They look the same on the ear side (so can't tell from the OP pic), but different at the back of the pad;

1717397496628.png


Analytical left, balanced right above.

1717397641014.png



JSmith
 
Precisely what I was thinking as I was typing the review. :) What is the buzz around this headphone?
I have listened to these headphones twice and both times I had the impression that I didn't need them.
 
Oh wow, I wonder if their DT 900 PRO X Model performs better of worse. If I remember correctly it was released after this one and is listed as Topselling in their Store haha
 
Oh wow, I wonder if their DT 900 PRO X Model performs better of worse. If I remember correctly it was released after this one and is listed as Topselling in their Store haha
I didn't think the Tygr 300 R was bad at all, but it was only €120 on offer. Very clear, detailed and with a decent bass foundation.
 
I will say that they have a reputation for longevity, but so does Sennheiser. The HD 600/650 and the HD 560s are all much better tuned out of the box as well, while being less expensive.

I think beyerdynamic easily wins on build quality, at least in terms of physical ruggedness. I have several, and my HD 650 feels like a plastic toy in comparison (though I agree about the sound quality).
 
The "best" Beyerdyamic is the old DT150 with DT100 pads. It takes out the bump in the upper bass and smoothen the treble peaks as well.
 
I think beyerdynamic easily wins on build quality, at least in terms of physical ruggedness. I have several, and my HD 650 feels like a plastic toy in comparison (though I agree about the sound quality).
I haven't used the HD 650, but I just wanted to say that something feeling like a plastic toy doesn't say much about ruggedness. The HD25 is just cheap plastic and feels like shit, but its completely indestructible.
 
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Owned the DT880 250Ohms but sold them years ago. They LOOK impressive, and they are very comfortable, but the treble was punishing. Seems like just a Beyerdynamic thing.

I haven't used the HD 650, but I just wanted to say that something feeling like a plastic toy doesn't say much about ruggedness. The HD25 is just cheap plastic and feels like shit, but its completely indestructible.

The HD25-1 II is basically fully modular too. You could keep it alive indefinitely by just swapping out the broken parts. Mine's still alive and well after what.. 15 years? More? No idea.
 
Using Amir's EQ (which is surprisingly similar to the one that I made myself with a lot of graph research), I am yet to discover this plethora of distortion that is on the graphs and I don't only listen to bass-light music. So I am really interested what test track highlights this bass distortion that is so apparent and will even produce static.

I also got confused as to how they are listed as harder to drive than the HD650 but now I looked it up on diyaudioheaven and it seems that the manufacturer stated 102dB/mW rating is for balanced pads and the one not listed is 98dB/mW is for analytical which means that these measurements were probably done with the analytical pads (which I use). However, in practice I do not find the DT 1990 hard to drive or harder to drive than the HD650. I remember my friend's Zen Dac V2 needed a lot more volume attenuation with powermatch off and with powermatch on it was an easier job. HD 660S was similar to the DT 1990 in regards to how much volume attenuation you needed.

My C200 runs them in low or high gain with no issues. To me it seems that the midrange is the most important part of the spectrum, the rest can be easily EQ'd in most cases. Even the beyer peak can be tamed in multiple ways especially on this headphone (passive filter or EQ). The bass can be boosted through EQ and as I said I did not yet encounter any static or glaring distortion with this EQ or my EQ.

Thanks for the review amirm!
 
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Owned the DT880 250Ohms but sold them years ago. They LOOK impressive, and they are very comfortable, but the treble was punishing. Seems like just a Beyerdynamic thing.

I just added the cut out layer of soft TP to my Beyers between the driver and circular felt, per the DIY hack suggested on the diyaudioheaven web page
A very effective and easy mod to cut the treble peak down my several db’s
I had been using EQ but this works well
 
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Oh wow, I wonder if their DT 900 PRO X Model performs better of worse.

As @solderdude already explained, not to different when it comes to distortion:

Screenshot_20240603_123843.jpg

But luckily they got rid of the 9 kHz frequency response peak.
 
Oh wow, I wonder if their DT 900 PRO X Model performs better of worse. If I remember correctly it was released after this one and is listed as Topselling in their Store haha
I would say they have lower distortion. I have DT 700 Pro X and can push them VERY loud.

Oratory measured the distortion:
1717411512026.png
 
Using Amir's EQ (which is surprisingly similar to the one that I made myself with a lot of graph research), I am yet to discover this plethora of distortion that is on the graphs and I don't only listen to bass-light music. So I am really interested what test track highlights this bass distortion that is so apparent and will even produce static.

I also got confused as to how they are listed as harder to drive than the HD650 but now I looked it up on diyaudioheaven and it seems that the manufacturer stated 102dB/mW rating is for balanced pads and the one not listed is 98dB/mW is for analytical which means that these measurements were probably done with the analytical pads (which I use). However, in practice I do not find the DT 1990 hard to drive or harder to drive than the HD650. I remember my friend's Zen Dac V2 needed a lot more volume attenuation with powermatch off and with powermatch on it was an easier job. HD 660S was similar to the DT 1990 in regards to how much volume attenuation you needed.

The DT1990 with Analytic pads = 104dB/V which is the same as the HD650.
The HD660S = 109dB/V so similar to the DT1990 with Balanced pads.

My C200 runs them in low or high gain with no issues. To me it seems that the midrange is the most important part of the spectrum, the rest can be easily EQ'd in most cases. Even the beyer peak can be tamed in multiple ways especially on this headphone (passive filter or EQ). The bass can be boosted through EQ and as I said I did not yet encounter any static or glaring distortion with this EQ or my EQ.

The distortion seems horrific at 114db (and even at 104dB) above 1kHz. One thing one should realize is that no matter how loud one plays the 1.5kHz and certainly the 6kHz range will never play that loud using music. Bass... sure, with a lot of EQ and impressive levels. That will become audible (and cause LF modulations near peaks resulting in coarser mids).
There still is a good reason to test above 1kHz at these levels. The reason is that it can show problem areas.
Bass distortion, often, is not such a huge problem when listening at 'responsible' levels.
That's why this (and many other headphones) don't sound distorted. Usually 'roughness' and 'shrill' sound is associated with distortion.
This won't happen at normal to somewhat loud levels (when the absurd treble peak is lowered).

So ... it is not strange that you do not hear distortion. The thing sounds fine with the treble peak removed at normal listening levels.

For pro use (as monitor) the elevated treble is even desirable as it (over) accentuates 'details'. Most find it way too much for enjoying music... and it is.
 
Had them and sold them due to the piercing treble. Aside from that build quality and comfort were great, the bass was really good for an open back headphone. Nevertheless, I like their sealed counterpart DT 1770 pro (with velour pads) more. It sounds less spacious but has a much lower treble peak. Upper midrange is a bit recessed but can be fixed with a bit of EQ.

I don't like the pleather pads that much. They isolate a bit better, but the midrange is recessed even further and the sound becomes somewhat hollow/boxy.
 
The DT1990 with Analytic pads = 104dB/V which is the same as the HD650.
The HD660S = 109dB/V so similar to the DT1990 with Balanced pads.

Yeah I'm aware of that, I was just saying in practice it seemed that both pads act as 102dB/mW rating as I found them easier to drive to satisfactory volume on a lower powered device (such as a Zen Dac V2) than the HD650. However the measurements are here for a reason.

The distortion seems horrific at 114db (and even at 104dB) above 1kHz. One thing one should realize is that no matter how loud one plays the 1.5kHz and certainly the 6kHz range will never play that loud using music. Bass... sure, with a lot of EQ and impressive levels. That will become audible (and cause LF modulations near peaks resulting in coarser mids).
There still is a good reason to test above 1kHz at these levels. The reason is that it can show problem areas.

Yeah compared to other models Amir reviewed, I was a bit surprised with the bad distortion performance (seems even worse than Amiron Home which uses the same driver afaik). Also, I am not refuting the distortion measurements - of course I agree that it should be measured and why it is important to measure. I was mostly referring to Amir's comment in the subjective listening part of the review about his EQ settings causing static and apparent distortion. If pushing the driver's limits based on measurements - I believe that it can happen. However the way it was worded (I know he said loud playback but that is not an exact measure of "How loud?") might lure some people into thinking that even at louder than "normal" listening volumes you're going to run into static and have horrible sound which is not the case (at least for myself).

So ... it is not strange that you do not hear distortion. The thing sounds fine with the treble peak removed at normal listening levels.

For pro use (as monitor) the elevated treble is even desirable as it (over) accentuates 'details'. Most find it way too much for enjoying music... and it is.

I'm a big fan of your work btw, so the rest was a nice explanation I appreaciate it. I can enjoy some tracks even with the treble peak present, but some tracks just have a lot of hi-hat aftershocks (which is how I perceive that 8kHz peak) so yes, a passive filter or EQ is preferred for sure over the stock tuning. However due to the nicely tuned midrange it can be enjoyed with some music genres (sort of a similar story with the DT 880, however personally and subjectively I found the DT 1990 (A pads) slightly better and way easier to run than the 600Ohm version of DT880).
 
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Hmm, if this is the most compliant from this brand, makes me wonder what everyone else claims to like about them…
 
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