Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (250 ohm) - Sometimes Things are NOT Like What Everyone Told You!
Updated: Aug 12, 2021
In the audiophile community there are a lot of opinions and impressions. Too often, those opinions and impressions can impact purchase decisions or give a piece of gear an undeserved rap. Other times, those opinions and impressions are correct and well deserved. The Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro is one of those pieces of gear that has a rap for piercing treble; do I agree or is this an undeserving rap?
Disclaimer: A friend and subscriber, Jesse, provided the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro for review. I have not been paid, pressured or otherwise influenced to spin this review one way or the other. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Impedance: 250 ohms
Sensitivity: 96 dB
Frequency Response: 5 - 35.000 Hz
Weight: 290 g
One thing that Beyerdynamic has nailed consistently with their headphones is build quality. There is a polite, no frills, durable design to the DT990 Pro. I have no complaints about it at all. It has a little weight and doesn't get fatiguing at all. The pads are like pillows on the ears and the comfort pad on the headband is plenty. There is nothing that for me to gripe about.
Ohh wait, the stock cable, yeah that is attached and if I had been sent the stock version then I would be complaining. But this DT990 has been modded with a mini XLR connection.
(All impressions and comparisons were done with the Mytek Liberty DAC)
The Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro have a plump, detailed bass. They have a slight emphasis in the mid bass that adds body and impact. Sub bass is well extended and has good impact as well. The upper bass is slightly less then the mid and sub regions. There is a lot of details presented throughout the bass. The tone and timbre of instruments is fantastic. There is excellent resolution of the details. Overall the bass is present but never domineering. The bass is like that loud talking but respectful friend that we all have and love and have to constantly remind to use their inside voice.
The mids on the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro are a breath of fresh, warm air. There is a natural and realistic presentation about the DT990 Pro. Close to neutral are the DT990 Pro mids. Note weight and fullness is on full display. Clarity and separation are very evident. The tone and timbre is life like and accurate. Resolution of the details is really good, especially for the price. The lift in the 3k-6k region is just enough to keep accuracy without going into the artificial boosted levels that a lot of headphones fall into, looking at you Sennheiser HD560s and Hifiman Sundara.
Do you love quality treble? Well then, the DT990 Pro is a headphone for you to consider. The treble of the DT990 Pro is well extended. It has control and doesn't go into harshness mode even though it is elevated. Yes, there is a lot of treble with the DT990 Pro but it isn't dominant or forced. The DT990 Pro is one of the more pleasing, bright headphones I have heard. But it does have a touch too much at times and can be fatiguing.
This actually surprised me a bit; the DT990 Pro is as wide as they come. There is nothing holding these in or out, wide open spaces. Depth and layering is fantastic. You can easily diagnose a stage with the DT990 Pro. Gaming, movies, critical listening; you name it the DT990 Pro is up to the task. If you need to pin point a particular sound, the DT990 Pro makes it easy to determine. One of the most accurate soundstages I have heard.
A strong point of the DT990 Pro is the detail retrieval and resolution. For the price point, the amount of detail received and resolved is crazy. I do not feel like I am missing any details and it is all done with an accurate presentation.
Similar but not similar. The Sundara is boosted in the upper mids region that brings in a lot of brightness and air but it doesn't sound as natural and accurate. The Sundara has less bass impact but is more linear in it's bass presentation. Tone and timbre is not as accurate and true on the Sundara. Detail retrieval and resolution is better on the Sundara. Soundstage is wider by a huge margin on the DT990 Pro. The imaging, depth and layering is similar and hard to declare a winner. Overall, I like both but the DT990 Pro is the more natural and realistic sounding of the two and is a more pleasing listen.
This is a very strange comparison if you only go by the graph. Bass is clearly won by the DT990 Pro when it comes to impact but the 660s holds its own with detail retrieval and resolution. Mids are similar but I have to give the edge to the 660s for technical prowess and the DT990 Pro for enjoyment. Treble is where the differences are massive; DT990 are way more elevated and prominent and the 660s have a natural approach. Soundstage is wider on the DT990 Pro but the 660s is better with imaging, depth and layering. Tone and timbre is excellent on both but the edge goes to the 660s by a smidge. Overall, I like both and highly recommend both.
Wow, the Beyerdynamic DT990 (250ohm) really took me by surprise. All of the criticism that I heard about the DT990, especially the treble, didn't bother me. The soundstage and imaging capabilities are impressive and I love them for gaming. I highly recommend the Beyerdynamic DT990 for an all-around headphone, good for all usages.
YouTube reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgMj7xJ1SDxGqqxZ5l3g_jg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TalkDbs @TalkDbs
DBS Tech Talk research and review process: https://youtu.be/UkSnoZZNyYc
Audio Terms and Definitions: https://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html
Meze Empyrean: https://mezeaudio.com/products/meze-empyrean
Hifiman Ananda: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/290
Sennheiser HD660s: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/hd-660-s
MrSpeakers Ether C (non flow version) https://danclarkaudio.com/
Meze Rai Penta: https://mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/rai-penta
Meze Rai Solo: https://mezeaudio.com/products/rai-solo
Moondrop SSR: https://www.moondroplab.com/ssr
Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
Mytek Liberty: https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/liberty-dac/
Soekris DAC1421: https://soekris.modhouseaudio.com/soekris-audiophile-line/dac-1421
Tor Audio Roger: https://toraudio.com/main.html#
Massdrop THX AAA 789:
Grace Design SDAC-B: https://drop.com/buy/drop-grace-design-standard-dac-balanced?utm_source=linkshare&referer=FTSS2S
Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/enog2-pro-dac-metal-case
Geshelli Labs J2: https://geshelli.com/jnog
Geshelli Labs Erish: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/erish-balanced
https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/5bbf80ce-33f3-4222-a1fc-6539a95415d6 (in order of playlist)
Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids
Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer :2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: Believe - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - Passenger 57 main title - percussion, bass, seperation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - The Pine of the Appian Way - soundstage, imaging and seperation
Houston Person - You are my Sunshine - tone and timbre
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