• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 Ohm Review (Headphone)

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
34,925
Likes
129,531
Location
Seattle Area
This is a review and detailed measurements of the 600 ohm version of the Beyerdynamic DT 880 "semi-open" headphone. It was kindly sent to me by a member and costs US $198 on Amazon including Prime shipping.

I am not a fan of the silver color on the pads but otherwise, this is a good looking headphone:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm review headphone.jpg


The sample I have has been modified to have independent 3.5mm mono jacks and was supplied with a balanced XLR cord. The original has non-removable cord.

The cups are round and have inside diameter of 65mm and rather shallow 15 mm depth.

These are light headphones considering their size:
Lighest headphone review.png


So overall comfort is very good although I found the fabric a bit scratchy.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. Headphone measurements by definition are approximate and variable so don't be surprised if other measurements even if performed with the same fixtures as mine, differ in end results. Protocols vary such as headband pressure and averaging (which I don't do). As you will see, I confirm the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers mostly in bass and above a few kilohertz so keep that in mind as you read these tests. If you think you have an exact idea of a headphone performance, you are likely wrong!

The large cups made an easy job of mounting them on my fixture and getting good measurements.

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm Frequency Response measurements.png


I was impressed by how closely the response hugs the preference curve from 500 Hz to 3 kHz. You can even extend that to 100 Hz as deviation is not large there. In my opinion, this is a very important region to get right as so much of music spectrum is concentrated there. Levels in music drop off rapidly outside of this region. Here is our relative measurements of the same:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm relative Frequency Response measurements.png


These headphones definitely need bass boost but unfortunately we have a brick wall in front of us in fixing that:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm relative distortion vs  Frequency Response measurements.png


We can see how the distortion is off the charts by 104 dBSPL. In absolute levels, we reach nearly 60 dBSPL at 20 Hz which is speaker level distortion, not headphone:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm distortion vs  Frequency Response measurements.png


Group delay is not revealing of any problems:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm Group Delay vs Frequency Response measurements.png


Stated impedance is 600 ohm but in reality, response is even higher than that:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm impedance measurements.png


Bass is where we need power and here, we are above 720 ohm so you best have a headphone amplifier with very high output voltage. Forget about any portable device driving them especially when you include its low sensitivity:

Most efficient headphone review.png


Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 Ohm Listening Tests and Equalization
A casual look at the frequency response would say these are going to be "bright" but they don't come across too much in that regard. The reason is that we only have a couple of peaks in treble region before the response settles back down. The extra energy there accentuates spatial qualities which is very good out of the box. I would give it B+/A- in that regard. Bass response is poor as expected so I tried to fix that with EQ. While on bass light tracks I could get away with right amount of boost per frequency response measurements, with anything that had deep bass I was greeted with static in one or both cups.

Not only was distortion a problem, so was low sensitivity and high impedance. To avoid digital clipping, I had to pull levels down. This in turn put my RME ADI-2 DAC out of business as far as achieving proper loudness. I switched to Topping A9 and even there, I was almost at max volume in high gain. I reduced headroom but then that caused severe distortion. At the end, I had to pull out much of the bass EQ and wind up with this:

Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm impedance equalization eq.png


As you see I had to shut off Band 1. I also dropped Band 2 and still I could hear distortion at elevated levels with anything bass heavy.

Pulling down the upper bass/mid-range has a good but small effect in making the headphone "lighter on its feet" (less boomy) and the couple of high frequency fixes brought down the sharpness that was highlighting background hiss in the track. To give back some spatial qualities, I boosted the one dip.

Once there, with lighter music such as classical, orchestral, jazz and vocals, this was one good sounding headphone., The spatial qualities continued to jump out at me in a good way putting a smile on my face when they did.

Conclusions
I didn't think I would ever see a genre specific headphone or speaker but here we are. Due to low efficiency, high distortion and lack of bass, you need to limit your listening enjoyment to music that doesn't have much low frequency demands. Shame that we have to change our music listening to adapt to limitations of a design. But such is the story of this headphone. Feed it what it likes and with a bit of EQ and you have a very enjoyable headphone. Do otherwise and it produces garbage. And oh, you best have a super high output headphone amplifier. And drive it differentially as I did with this modded version.

Overall, I can't recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm but if you choose to like it with the right music consumption, I won't be there to hound you. :)

-----------
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/
 

Attachments

  • Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm Frequency Response measurements.zip
    24.2 KB · Views: 51

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
1,853
Likes
4,399
Location
BC, Canada
To import this PEQ profile into 'Equalizer APO', use:
Preamp: -4.3 dB
Filter 1: ON LS Fc 60 Hz Gain 4.0 dB Q 1.0
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 210 Hz Gain -2.0 dB Q 2.0
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 4300 Hz Gain 4.0 dB Q 4.0
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 5700 Hz Gain -6.0 dB Q 5.0
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 8300 Hz Gain -7.0 dB Q 5.0
To import into your favorite PEQ app, enter it manually.
Otherwise, see my PEQ guide.
..................................................................................................................
For those who don't have PEQ-capable app, and want to use GEQs instead.

Preamp: -5.5db
32 5.0
64 1.6
125 0.1
250 -1.1
500 0.8
1000 0.5
2000 0.3
4000 2.3
8000 -4.9
16000 1.5
Preamp: -5.0db
20 2.7
25 5.1
32 3.5
40 2.9
50 2.2
63 1.7
80 1.1
100 0.7
125 0.5
160 0.1
200 -1.3
250 -0.6
315 0.3
400 0.4
500 0.4
630 0.5
800 0.5
1000 0.4
1250 0.5
1600 0.5
2000 0.5
2500 0.6
3150 0.2
4000 4.2
5000 -1.3
6300 -2.9
8000 -5.7
10000 -0.6
12500 0.7
16000 0.9
20000 2.8
If you want to import into "Wavelet" (Android App):
GraphicEQ: 20 -0.2; 21 -0.2; 22 -0.2; 23 -0.3; 24 -0.3; 26 -0.3; 27 -0.4; 29 -0.4; 30 -0.4; 32 -0.5; 34 -0.6; 36 -0.7; 38 -0.8; 40 -0.9; 43 -1.1; 45 -1.2; 48 -1.4; 50 -1.5; 53 -1.7; 56 -1.9; 59 -2.1; 63 -2.3; 66 -2.5; 70 -2.7; 74 -2.9; 78 -3.1; 83 -3.2; 87 -3.4; 92 -3.5; 97 -3.6; 103 -3.8; 109 -3.9; 115 -4.0; 121 -4.1; 128 -4.2; 136 -4.4; 143 -4.5; 151 -4.7; 160 -4.9; 169 -5.1; 178 -5.4; 188 -5.7; 199 -5.9; 210 -6.0; 222 -6.0; 235 -5.7; 248 -5.5; 262 -5.2; 277 -5.0; 292 -4.8; 309 -4.7; 326 -4.6; 345 -4.5; 364 -4.4; 385 -4.4; 406 -4.3; 429 -4.3; 453 -4.3; 479 -4.2; 506 -4.2; 534 -4.2; 565 -4.2; 596 -4.2; 630 -4.2; 665 -4.2; 703 -4.2; 743 -4.2; 784 -4.1; 829 -4.1; 875 -4.1; 924 -4.1; 977 -4.1; 1032 -4.1; 1090 -4.1; 1151 -4.1; 1216 -4.1; 1284 -4.1; 1357 -4.1; 1433 -4.1; 1514 -4.1; 1599 -4.1; 1689 -4.1; 1784 -4.1; 1885 -4.1; 1991 -4.1; 2103 -4.1; 2221 -4.1; 2347 -4.1; 2479 -4.0; 2618 -4.0; 2766 -4.0; 2921 -3.9; 3086 -3.8; 3260 -3.7; 3443 -3.5; 3637 -3.1; 3842 -2.4; 4058 -1.4; 4287 -1.3; 4528 -2.7; 4783 -4.2; 5052 -5.6; 5337 -7.6; 5637 -9.7; 5955 -9.2; 6290 -7.5; 6644 -6.7; 7018 -6.8; 7414 -7.7; 7831 -9.6; 8272 -11.2; 8738 -9.7; 9230 -7.4; 9749 -6.1; 10298 -5.4; 10878 -5.0; 11490 -4.7; 12137 -4.6; 12821 -4.5; 13543 -4.4; 14305 -4.3; 15110 -4.3; 15961 -4.3; 16860 -4.2; 17809 -4.2; 18812 -3.9; 19871 -3.0
Otherwise, see my GEQ guide.
 
Last edited:

stevenswall

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
940
Likes
706
Location
Orem, UT
Makes me think of a Grado high end headphone from the same era. Treble torture devices. Glad these peaks aren't as noticeable in listening a the seem like they would be.
 

GWolfman

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
336
Likes
390
Thanks. Wondering if having such high impedance really brings anything to the table...
 

markanini

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
313
Likes
296
Too bad about the bass distortion. I don't know about the 600Ohm version but the 250Ohm version I've heard has smooth mids and light and airy highs. I wonder if it's possible to address the bass issues in a revamped DT880 without messing up the desirable aspects of the mids and treble.


The family resemblance with the DT990 is clear.

Deisgn wise for sure. The sound signature is pretty far apart though. I compared a brand new DT990 pro and DT880 pro.
 

Luke Lemke

Active Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
102
Likes
65
It seems the last hope for Beyerdynamic in terms of measurements is the DT1990. As far as I can tell, Amir hasn't reviewed the 1990's yet, am I right?
 

Lero

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
79
Likes
76
Location
Italy
Eq and listen them at low levels and dt880s are perfect all day headphones. I Use them for general porpouse and gaming ( very good for gaming). When i want to listen music at proper level i grab my sundara ! They have super deep bass at low output but they like to distort very very easly when you crank em up. Pretty good detail retrival in my opinion tho.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
34,925
Likes
129,531
Location
Seattle Area

Luke Lemke

Active Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
102
Likes
65
Last edited:

SDX-LV

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
108
Likes
118
Location
Sweden
Nice to see the reviews of both DT880 and DT990 :)

I own and regularly use Beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R which is very much a re-tuned 32 ohm DT990 (less treble?).
Tygr300R is so much nicer looking than DT-something and supposedly better tuned as well. I assume that Tygr is about as bad or worse in terms of bass distortion as DT990, but in practice I am happy with it without EQ, despite lack of the very lowest bass :)
 

Racheski

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
1,116
Likes
1,647
Location
Chicago

Fregly

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
197
Likes
120
I had these for a while and enjoyed them. Treble peaks will usually bother me yet not so with the Beyers (yes they are brightish).The bass really is not bad with them, for me anyway; most people seem to like jacked lows to my ears.
 
Top Bottom