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Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Review (headphone)

Xii-Nyth

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well I trust these measurements with my life, it seems very inconsitant wil other ones I've seen. Perhaps having few models for many years and internationally they used different stuff from one to another? either that or qc is bad but no one noticed bc the build quality is good. Certainly dont remember hearing any distortion on my tygr 300r but I also couldnt drive them too loud back when I had them
 

Judda

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I have just taken delivery of a pair of (used) DT990 250 Ohm Pro's.
Just done some comparisons with my Lawton modified Denon D2000's, let me say that the Denon's don't embarrass the DT 990's.
Yes the Denon's are better, certainly not a day and night difference. To my hearing only marginally better.
Yet another example of diminishing returns, the Denon's are worth several times what I paid for the DT990's, but are not several times better performance wise.
Bang for buck? No contest, the DT 990's win hands down. Now don't misunderstand me, i'm not saying the DT 990's are the best in their price range, but you don't need to spend a fortune to get reasonable sound quality.
A bit like the old Sennheiser HD 540's that leave a lot of today's cans wanting, and that can still be picked up fairly cheaply, but prices have risen sharply over the past couple of years.
So either my hearing is totally screwed or the snake oil salesmen are lying again........
For the record, measurement charts mean NOTHING to me, I solely rely on what I hear.
 

Dackel

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I have just taken delivery of a pair of (used) DT990 250 Ohm Pro's.
Just done some comparisons with my Lawton modified Denon D2000's, let me say that the Denon's don't embarrass the DT 990's.
Yes the Denon's are better, certainly not a day and night difference. To my hearing only marginally better.
Yet another example of diminishing returns, the Denon's are worth several times what I paid for the DT990's, but are not several times better performance wise.
Bang for buck? No contest, the DT 990's win hands down. Now don't misunderstand me, i'm not saying the DT 990's are the best in their price range, but you don't need to spend a fortune to get reasonable sound quality.
A bit like the old Sennheiser HD 540's that leave a lot of today's cans wanting, and that can still be picked up fairly cheaply, but prices have risen sharply over the past couple of years.
So either my hearing is totally screwed or the snake oil salesmen are lying again........
For the record, measurement charts mean NOTHING to me, I solely rely on what I hear.
you are in the wrong forum here. Only measurements above everything else count on this site. I drive my dt990s from a tube amp and the sound is nothing short of breathtaking. Odd that according to ASR I have 2 of the worst measuring pieces of equipment known to man which together manage to sound fantastic. I am forever in debt to asr though because many posts here have taught me to love music again and shown me that the blind obsession with measurements is just as incorrect as blind subjectivity which the audiophiles subscribe to.
 

Judda

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you are in the wrong forum here. Only measurements above everything else count on this site. I drive my dt990s from a tube amp and the sound is nothing short of breathtaking. Odd that according to ASR I have 2 of the worst measuring pieces of equipment known to man which together manage to sound fantastic. I am forever in debt to asr though because many posts here have taught me to love music again and shown me that the blind obsession with measurements is just as incorrect as blind subjectivity which the audiophiles subscribe to.
Been doing some more listening today, I read somewhere that the DT 990's ruin female vocals....Mine must be dud, female vocals are fine through them.
 

Dackel

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Been doing some more listening today, I read somewhere that the DT 990's ruin female vocals....Mine must be dud, female vocals are fine through them.
the dt990 is well know for the so called beyer peak which occurs at 11khz (or maybe higher). If you have sensitivity to these frequencies then the dt990 can sound bright. However when you consider that the highest note on a piano is something like 5khz (or a bit less) most musical energy is well below that and any sound energy above this are harmonics. Actually below 11khz and espescially in the midrange the dt990 measures extremely accurately. That is why the female vocals sound fine because voices in that range. The dt990 isnt the Nr1 studio headphone for nothing.
 

Sombreuil

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you are in the wrong forum here. Only measurements above everything else count on this site.
Don't spread your misunderstanding of this forum as if it were the truth. In case you didn't notice, the measurements are called "reviews" for a reason.
 

Dackel

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Don't spread your misunderstanding of this forum as if it were the truth. In case you didn't notice, the measurements are called "reviews" for a reason.
dont worry I wont and I didnt. My point is simply that only concentrating on how something measures is equally incorrect as only concentrating of the subjective sound which something emits. A balanced view is needed for sure. Whether you like it or not there are "believers" on both sides in this forum and over other less technically orientated sites...
 

raistlin65

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you are in the wrong forum here. Only measurements above everything else count on this site. I drive my dt990s from a tube amp and the sound is nothing short of breathtaking. Odd that according to ASR I have 2 of the worst measuring pieces of equipment known to man which together manage to sound fantastic.
That's not odd. One can personally like having their audio sprinkled with extra harmonics and whatever other distortion the tube amp adds. Afterall, any commercially released rock song will have saturation and distortion added to the signal at some stage of the recording/mixing/mastering process.
My point is simply that only concentrating on how something measures is equally incorrect as only concentrating of the subjective sound which something emits.
Not necessarily. Focusing on how something measures is important if one is after high fidelity sound reproduction. Given that personal testimonials of how highly accurate amps and dacs sound are unreliable. And even our own ears can deceive us.
 

Dackel

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That's not odd. One can personally like having their audio sprinkled with extra harmonics and whatever other distortion the tube amp adds. Afterall, any commercially released rock song will have saturation and distortion added to the signal at some stage of the recording/mixing/mastering process.

Not necessarily. Focusing on how something measures is important if one is after high fidelity sound reproduction. Given that personal testimonials of how highly accurate amps and dacs sound are unreliable. And even our own ears can deceive us.
I am not talking about harmonics which a tube amp creates but the natural harmonics and musical instrument posseses but I agree that some artificial harmonics can be eurphoric. Harmonics are in the end what actually what gives each instrument such as a violin it character. ps. Not all music is rock music :) and not all recordings are so highly processed.

While measurements are important there comes a time when it actually becomes pointless. Yes our ears can deceive us for sure and I agree with that. Equally so it is impossible to hear the difference between 0,0001 distortion and 0,01 distortion even though that would be a factor or 10x more. You can also apply the same logic to SNR. If you could tell the difference between 100dB and 110DdB then be my guest :) ps.. on a side note what boring world it would be if everything had a flat frequency response. If these cases, with vanishing distortion levels, I can just go out and buy acme brand DAC, Headphone or Amplifier with complete confidence that it will sound just like everything else. Namely boring
 

Judda

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. ....That is why the female vocals sound fine because voices in that range. The dt990 isnt the Nr1 studio headphone for nothing.
Indeed. And this illustrates the problem with SUBJECTIVE opinions.
Reviews are very good at providing the reader with a general observation as to performance of a piece of equipment.
There is no substitute for one's own ears. Technical measurements and charts are fine, and i respect those who wish to use them as a guideline.

However, my ears can't read, I can only judge what i hear, and my hearing tells me that the pair of DT 990's I have are pretty good.
They are not quite as transparent as the Denon's, and might not slam quite as hard in the bass region, but at approximately a FIFTH of what i paid for the Denon's they represent superb value for money. They may even be end game headphones for some owners.
 

Dackel

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Indeed. And this illustrates the problem with SUBJECTIVE opinions.
Reviews are very good at providing the reader with a general observation as to performance of a piece of equipment.
There is no substitute for one's own ears. Technical measurements and charts are fine, and i respect those who wish to use them as a guideline.

However, my ears can't read, I can only judge what i hear, and my hearing tells me that the pair of DT 990's I have are pretty good.
They are not quite as transparent as the Denon's, and might not slam quite as hard in the bass region, but at approximately a FIFTH of what i paid for the Denon's they represent superb value for money. They may even be end game headphones for some owners.
when it comes down to frequency responce on headphones there is no one size fits all measurement which can be made. The reason is because of how our ears percieve different frequencies due to physilogical reasons. What suits you or me (for that matter) isnt what works for someone else. That makes many frequency measurements only a very rough guide at best.

That said many people buy a brand new set of dt990s, use poor (weak voltage) amplification and then wonder why they sound bright. To get the best sound out of these they need to be used properly for about a month each day until the pads compress slightly. They dont need to be fully worn just a small amount makes a big difference.
 

Judda

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when it comes down to frequency responce on headphones there is no one size fits all measurement which can be made. The reason is because of how our ears percieve different frequencies due to physilogical reasons. What suits you or me (for that matter) isnt what works for someone else. That makes many frequency measurements only a very rough guide at best.

That said many people buy a brand new set of dt990s, use poor (weak voltage) amplification and then wonder why they sound bright. To get the best sound out of these they need to be used properly for about a month each day until the pads compress slightly. They dont need to be fully worn just a small amount makes a big difference.
I'm running the DT990's with a Singxer SDA-2 and a Little Dot MK iii. Sound good with both, the Little Dot is a little more holographic, adds a little weight to the bottom end and slightly more forward treble.
 

Dackel

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I'm running the DT990's with a Singxer SDA-2 and a Little Dot MK iii. Sound good with both, the Little Dot is a little more holographic, adds a little weight to the bottom end and slightly more forward treble.
Those are 2 amplifiers at opposite ends of the spectrum. Cooincidentally I have a LD3 as well and actually suits the high ohm Beyers very well. Gotta love the glow of those tubes :) I also use a Rupert Neve amplfier and an Audio Technica ha5000. All of those work really well. I also have a Topping E30. That is also ok too and looks pretty but it isnt anything to rave on about soundwise.
 

raistlin65

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I am not talking about harmonics which a tube amp creates but the natural harmonics and musical instrument posseses but I agree that some artificial harmonics can be eurphoric. Harmonics are in the end what actually what gives each instrument such as a violin it character. ps. Not all music is rock music :) and not all recordings are so highly processed.

While measurements are important there comes a time when it actually becomes pointless. Yes our ears can deceive us for sure and I agree with that. Equally so it is impossible to hear the difference between 0,0001 distortion and 0,01 distortion even though that would be a factor or 10x more. You can also apply the same logic to SNR. If you could tell the difference between 100dB and 110DdB then be my guest :) ps.. on a side note what boring world it would be if everything had a flat frequency response. If these cases, with vanishing distortion levels, I can just go out and buy acme brand DAC, Headphone or Amplifier with complete confidence that it will sound just like everything else. Namely boring

Well, I just used rock as an example because most people would get that. But other genres commonly use saturation in mixing and mastering as well.

But yes. The added distortion of a tube amp might not be audible, with some tube amps. In which case, there's no sense in buying expensive tube amps where that is the case, when there are solid state amps that cost much less. Unless one just likes the pretty lights and a higher electrical bill. lol
 

Dackel

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Well, I just used rock as an example because most people would get that. But other genres commonly use saturation in mixing and mastering as well.

But yes. The added distortion of a tube amp might not be audible, with some tube amps. In which case, there's no sense in buying expensive tube amps where that is the case, when there are solid state amps that cost much less. Unless one just likes the pretty lights and a higher electrical bill. lol
Got to say (an on a side note) the experience late at night with the lights dimmed watching the tubes glow is something which I wouldnt want to miss. Whether they sound better (or worse) they sure look good lol. As you noted earlier the ear can actually be fooled quite easily and you can actually beleive yourself into thinking something sounds better. Some things do tend to synergise though and dt990s + tubes do go together like wine and cheese (the mids get filled out and the treble a tamed a little whilst retaining a certain sparkle + the things are driven properly which helps too).
 

raistlin65

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Got to say (an on a side note) the experience late at night with the lights dimmed watching the tubes glow is something which I wouldnt want to miss. Whether they sound better (or worse) they sure look good lol. As you noted earlier the ear can actually be fooled quite easily and you can actually beleive yourself into thinking something sounds better. Some things do tend to synergise though and dt990s + tubes do go together like wine and cheese (the mids get filled out and the treble a tamed a little whilst retaining a certain sparkle + the things are driven properly which helps too).

I wish that equalizer APO would offer VST effects plug-in support. Then people could buy a solid state amp, and a saturation plug in commonly used in music production, and dial in the level and/or the kind of harmonic distortion they want. So it could be like switching between different tube amps, by changing a preset on the saturation plugin. Or turning it off when one doesn't want the added distortion.

Plus, one could also purchase other effects plugins such as delay or reverb and have a lot of fun with the sound.
 

Dackel

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I wish that equalizer APO would offer VST effects plug-in support. Then people could buy a solid state amp, and a saturation plug in commonly used in music production, and dial in the level and/or the kind of harmonic distortion they want. So it could be like switching between different tube amps, by changing a preset on the saturation plugin. Or turning it off when one doesn't want the added distortion.

Plus, one could also purchase other effects plugins such as delay or reverb and have a lot of fun with the sound.
I think that the smsl su-8 can do something like that. It adds 2nd harmonic or something. Also I have a program on my phone called wavelet where you can add reverb. My Rupert Nene has a quite a bit of 2nd too (naturally). Maybe that is why I like it so much :)
 

raistlin65

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I think that the smsl su-8 can do something like that. It adds 2nd harmonic or something. Also I have a program on my phone called wavelet where you can add reverb. My Rupert Nene has a quite a bit of 2nd too (naturally). Maybe that is why I like it so much :)

I'm not familiar with the SU-8. But I doubt it's anywhere close to what professional plugins can do.

But yeah. Rupert Nene products are well known in the music production industry for adding a little color.

My Fabfilter Saturn 2 will even allow you to separate the audio signal into frequency bands, and use a different instance of itself on each band. Giving you total control over where, how much, and what kind of saturation/distortion is dialed in. Although I think many non-techie audiophiles would enjoy something more like the SSL X-Saturator or the Softube Harmonics Analog Saturation Processor

 
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