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Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Studio Headphones
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- Open over-ear headphones, ideal for professional mixing, mastering and editing
- Perfect for studio applications thanks to their transparent, spacious, strong bass and treble sound
- The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
- Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship - Made in Germany
- Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable)
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From the manufacturer
The Studio Classic
Proven quality over many years - not just the popular choice among professionals
For years now, professional users all over the world have placed their trust in our classic range: DT 770/880/990 PRO. The studio reference headphone boasts extremely detailed resolution and very transparent sound.
The DT 990 PRO is the open studio headphones that boasts impressive spaciousness.
The reference for the studio
The wide stereo image and three-dimensional sound reproduction make the DT 990 PRO a reliable reference headphone for the studio and a loyal companion for producers in the studio.
The DT 990 PRO is a reliable tool for every sound enthusiast, since even the smallest changes in the positioning of the acoustic source can be perceived in the stereo image and in the graduated tonal depth for everyday studio mixing.
Thanks to its open design, the DT 990 PRO offers exceptional spaciousness and finely graduated tonal depth. It's mild bass and treble boost ensures a top-class sound experience. The bass is not overstated, rather precise and powerful. The treble boost is powerfully present without sounding sharp.
High wearing comfort - single sided cable
The robust spring steel headband ensures a comfortable and secure fit for the wearer. Soft, adjustable ear cups provide for added comfort when wearing for long periods. The single-sided cable allows the DT 990 PRO to be put on and taken off frequently without cables getting in the way.
Compared to the DT 990 Premium Edition
The DT 990 Premium edition headset for us at home and the DT 990 PRO studio headset; both are identical when it comes to sound. Identically designed acoustic transducers are used. However, the Premium edition models have a somewhat softer headband for enjoying music at home while the PRO headset has a slightly tighter fit on the head so that it doesn't move even in case of faster movements in everyday studio use. Moreover, the PRO version is supplied with a coiled cable and the Premium edition version with a straight cable.
|DT 770 PRO||DT 880 PRO||DT 990 PRO|
|Design||Closed (powerful isolation of ambient noises)||Semi-open (low attenuation of ambient noise)||Open (ambient noise penetrates freely in and out)|
|Sound Quality||Very spacious, transparent, detailed||Neutral, relatxed, relatively spacious, deep but clean bass, transparent||Strong bass and treble, analytical, very spacious, voluminous bass, transparent|
|Cable (length and type)||1.6 m / straight cable (32 ohm version), 3 m / straight cable (80 ohm version), 3 m / coiled cable (250 ohm version)||3 m / coiled cable||3 m / coiled cable|
|All parts replaceable||✓||✓||✓|
|Accessories||Stereo 6.35mm jack adapter, drawstring bag, operating instructions, warranty booklet||Stereo 6.35 mm jack adapter, drawstring bag, operating instructions, warranty booklet||Stereo 6.35mm jack adapter, drawstring bag, operating instructions, warranty booklet|
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LCD-2 Over ear | Open back | Bamboo Wood Ring Headphone | Leather
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 ohm - All Black Manufaktur Edition Over-ear Headphones
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Electronics Expo||Amazon.com||Electronics Expo||Tom's Camera Store||GRAMOPHONE||ProjectorSupercenter!|
|Color||Grey||!other||Gray||White||Bamboo wood Black||Black|
|Item Dimensions||4.7 x 8.7 x 9.1 in||8 x 8 x 4.8 in||5 x 10 x 8 in||9.4 x 11.5 x 6.5 in||—||8.5 x 7 x 4 in|
|Item Weight||1.1 lbs||1.05 lbs||1 lb||1.54 lbs||6.37 lbs||1.7 lbs|
|Additional Features||lightweight||volume-control||noise-isolation||lightweight||foldable||Single-sided cable, Gold-plated 1/8" mini stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)|
The DT 990 PRO (250 ohms) is an open dynamic headphone that is ideal for professional use in studios.
Top customer reviews
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That aside, let me start off with the build quality: The DT990-Pro is made entirely of ABS plastic, save for the headband and the forks holding the cans, which are made of metal (aluminum, I'd say, from the weight of it). The head-band is covered with a soft black plastic material held in place by four small clasp-buttons. The DT990-Pro is surprisingly light and extremely comfortable (in this it rivals the other "most-comfortable" headphones I have here, the Sennheiser HD-598). Overall I'd rate the build quality as top-notch, save for the somewhat under-designed cable strain relief (located on the left can). The cable is about 3m log, it is coiled and it ends with a 1/8in jack. A screw-on 1/4in jack is also provided. The strain-relief of the cable at the can attachment point seems (to me) a little too small because the coiled cable is very heavy and with use (given sufficient time) I can see it failing and leading to cable/connectivity issues. Also (this is just a minor personal quibble) the silver velour pads may seem dirty depending on how the light hits them (but again, no big deal, especially since black-velour or leather pads for it are available on Amazon or elsewhere).
On to sound quality: Computer/audio gear used during my listening tests:
MacBook-Pro w/ Mac OS X 10.6.8
XMOS USB 2.0 Audio Reference Design Asynchronous DAC (44.1-192kHz/24bit),
HiFiMeDIY Sabre USB DAC (32-96kHz/24bit),
Matrix M-Stage Headphone Amp,
FiiO E12-Mont Blanc Headphone Amp
Beyerdynamic DT990-Pro Open Headphones (250 ohm, 96dB/mW)
Audio-Technica ATH-A900 closed-back headphones (40 ohm, 101dB/mW),
Superlux HD-681 semi-open headphones (32 ohm, 98dB/mW), and
Sennheiser HD-598 open headphones (50 ohm, 100dB/mW).
Playback software: Audacity, iTunes, VLC
Source quality: standard CD 44.1kHz/16bit, and native HD 88.2-96kHz/24bit
Audio cables: 3.5mm to RCA (3ft), and RCA-to-RCA (3ft), AUVIO and Monoprice brands
The Sound (overall conclusion both DACs/HP-Amps): Good dynamics, detail and clarity, well staged and with good imaging. In terms of frequency response these headphones are tuned such as to emphasize/boost the low and high ends. Perhaps the best way to summarize the DT990-Pro sound by comparison with the other three headphones I have here would be this: The DT990-Pro nearly matches the Superlux HD681 in bass impact without sacrificing dynamics, it easily matches the Sennheiser HD598 in mid-range sparkle, staging, and imaging, and gives the Audio-Technica ATH-A900 a good run for the money in terms of highs extension.
The closest of my other headphones in terms of overall SQ would be the Sennheiser HD598. However, despite the slightly more neutral presentation of the Sennheiser's, I find the DT990-Pro sound far more preferable. The DT990-Pro has a much better low end, and has smoother, more extended highs without that slight veil characteristic to Sennheiser headphones (clearly the Sennheiser HD-598 are decent cans but somehow I could never get too excited about their sound, hence my search for a different pair of open-back headphones). Also, the DT990-Pro manages to present the high end with what I'd call more "precision" than the ATH-A900 without sounding as grainy, and with just as much aplomb as the Superlux without sounding as (excessively) bright. Note: The DT990-Pro are both high impedance (250ohm) and relatively less efficient than the other cans I mentioned here (they only manage 96dB/mW) and thus amping is a must for anyone wishing to get the most out of them. For instance, my iPod Shuffle 1-st Gen (max output: 0.57Vrms) cannot drive them to any reasonable listening level (without severe clipping) and only manages a lifeless, distorted, garbled presentation, while the MacBook-Pro sound card (1.4Vrms) drives them to sufficiently loud levels but with pretty obvious distortions (for an overall harsh, fatiguing presentation.) Based on my experience with such sources I would not recommend these cans for use with portable devices without a proper amp. Also to note: the DT990-Pro do require at least 8-10hr of initial break-in to start sounding right (before that the sound is overly bassy, and somewhat unfocused/cloudy). As of this writing I have 30-35hrs on it and for sound quality I'd break things out like this:
Bass Extension: 6/10
Bass Impact: 7/10
Bass Texture: 7/10 (solid)
Mids Quality: 7.5/10
Highs Extension: 8.5/10
Highs Quality: 8/10 (vivid)
Highs Texture: 7.5/10 (soft)
Detail/Transparency: 8/10 (clear)
Dynamics: 8.5/10 (natural)
Isolation: 2/10 (open design)
Design/Aesthetics: 9/10 (classic Beyerdynamic design)
Build quality: 9/10
Portability: 5/10 (fairly large size)
Improvement w/ Amplification: 8.5/10 (Note: Amping is recommended!)
Value at MSRP: (9/10) [I gave it a 9/10 here only because, by comparison, the $30 Superlux HD681 is still a better bang for the buck!]
To conclude, the Beyerdynamic DT990-Pro are near reference headphones which sacrifice some neutrality for the sake of a more natural sounding, or rather, a more fleshed-out acoustic presentation. As far as I'm concerned, it suffices to say that the DT990-Pro is the only headphone I have here that I can listen to (with any kind of music) without EQ and not feel that I might be missing something (and that, I think, says a lot). All in all, a remarkable offering from Beyerdynamic, highly recommended!
For cable, it is hard wired to the body itself, so you cannot simply swap 3.5mm cable when the original cable is broken. Second, the highs, it can really cause fatigue in your ear (around 10kHz, there is a Huge peak in relative frequency response) it is Piercing high. Some people may like it because boost at 10kHz gives clear and accurate sounding highs without distorting music too much. But people like me, who is more used to Sennheiser's famous signature sound, may feel too piercing to ears.
Conclusion: Everything is near-perfect except for hard wired cables and piercing highs (depend on your taste whether it is pro or con) potentially causing ear fatigue relatively fast.
If you want analytical sound, avoid this headphone.
If you want laid back sound, avoid this headphone.
If you want clear, beautifully piercing highs and decent lows, Get this headphone!
Overall, I would rate this 5. Some people may say: I can always EQ stuff out. But for me, I buy different headphones because I want to listen to their original, signature sound. I like it.
At first glance, you wouldn’t expect it to be a premium headphone due to the fact that it’s made almost entirely out of plastic except for the headband and the arms connecting it to the ear cups. The headband is wrapped with a soft layer of fake leather, which can attach and detach with a few clasp buttons. Don’t let the nearly plastic design fool you because it’s pretty high-quality polymer plastic and the build itself is solid. In most cases, it’s actually a good thing because it makes for a lighter headphone, perfect for long uses. The adjustments aren’t as smooth as an all-metal design, but it works fine and can extend to fit almost any head. The cable is coiled and runs around 3 meters ending in a gold-plated 3.5 mm jack. It also comes with a screw on 1/4 inch adapter, which is also gold-plated. Beyerdynamic is known for their velour ear pads and they’re probably the best part aside from the sound. It has a plush and smooth feeling unlike any other. The clamping force is somewhat tight, but I got used to it pretty fast. Some people might be concerned about the whole velour vs pleather thing and based on the performance and comfort I wouldn’t worry about that. Just to clarify, velour is known to be more open with less isolation compared to pleather. It’s also known to be harder to keep clean (can get dusty) simply due to the nature of the material itself. In terms of sound, I actually prefer the more open soundstage, which makes sense since it’s already an open-backed design. If you’re worried about cleanliness just make sure you wipe it often and try not to use it if you’re super sweaty from the gym or anything like that. Judgement on looks is subjective, but the comfort is out of the question. Given the light-weight form factor and velour pads, I found the DT 990 pros to be cloud-like even after hours of usage.
Now for the good part, the sound quality. As previously stated, I’m no audiophile, but I have to say that these headphones are no joke. I’m pretty basic so I listen to most mainstream music (EDM, Hip-Hop, Chillstep, etc.) on Spotify, I watch plenty of YouTube, and I also watch a bunch of TV shows and movies on Netflix on my MacBook Pro. I also use these when I game on my PS4 Pro. With these factors for reference, I found these headphones to be my best audio investment yet. The bass is definitely prominent especially for an open back design without being too overpowering. It’s actually the biggest factor as to why I decided on buying these because I was looking for an open back headphone with good bass, which led me to the DT 990’s in the first place because they’re known to be great with both features. Between the Pros and the Premiums, a bit of research led me to conclude that the Pros had slightly more bass, which I prefer. The mids have a lot of detail but don’t shine as much. The highs are incredibly clear but can get a bit too bright for my taste. Sometimes it’ll result in a slight ear piercing sensation depending on what I’m listening too, but your mileage may vary. The soundstage is wide and gives a great representation of spatial cues resulting in an accurate listening experience. The 250 Ohm model is the sweet spot out of the three, but make sure you have a good amp to power them. Personally, I use the Behringer AMP800 Four Channel Headphone Amp and it works great. I tried connecting it to my iPhone for comparison and it’s still listenable, but you’ll have to max out the volume.
I’ve had my DT 990’s for over two years now and it definitely stands the test of time. Unless you have a bunch of money to spend on something like a pair of Sennheiser HD800’s, there’s really no need to look any further when presented with great value. The price is just right even for the average consumer and offers professional grade quality. Having crystal clear audio isn’t hard to get, but when making an investment it’s important to read the fine print and research all the opinions. With the DT 990’s I can truly enjoy all digital content and I’m confident that you will too.