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beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO open Studio Headphone
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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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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Focus Camera||Amazon.com||Amazing Dealzzz||PHOTOTECH||ProjectorSupercenter!|
|Item Dimensions||4.7 x 8.7 x 9.1 in||6.1 x 8.27 x 4.13 in||8 x 8 x 4.8 in||9.2 x 6 x 6 in||9.4 x 11.5 x 6.5 in||8.5 x 7 x 4 in|
|Item Weight||0.84 lb||0.77 lb||1.05 lbs||0.53 lb||0.52 lb||1.7 lbs|
|Additional Features||lightweight||stereo, lightweight||volume-control||Dj-Style||lightweight||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!
-Excellent sound reproduction
-Sound frequencies are balanced throughout (bass is punchy and dynamic, mids are smooth, not distorted, and the highs are at the right amount of sharpness)
-Highest level of durability I've ever seen on headphones
-Gold plated 3.5mm jack
-Comfortable to wear
-Full open-back design
-A little clamping on the sides of the head
-Headband foam lacking
-Twisted design of the cord is good for adaptive stretching, but from my experience, it does pull more than I would want it too
Durability is of the highest quality, sound is clear, bass is punchy and dynamic, highs aren't overwhelming or piercing, and mids are balanced with clarity.
Beyerdynamic doesn't market their headphones as much as other companies do; consequently, they put handmade quality into their products. Seriously, even the plastic on these doesn't feel weak or flimsy, it feels extremely rugged and high-quality.
Cons: Being a fully open and high impendence headphone it is not meant for public use and the occasionally unwieldy cable may cause concern for some.
Overall: Despite a few minor design concerns the Beyerynamic DT-990 Pro offers exceptional price to performance ratio and would make a great addition to any music library
Sound Quality: 9/10
The DT 990 Pro's come with a 1/4 inch adapter the screws on ensuring a nice secure fit and a rather simple carrying pouch and that is it, nothing fancy. I have primarily compared them to my Fidelio L1's which I love and adore, but these headphones do offer a nice new feel. This is due to their open-back design. This allows more airflow to enter the headphones which help them gain a more spacious sound and tend to make it feel like a speaker more then the "inside your head" feel that is common on closed headphones and IEM's. This openness does have advantages, but it does have one major downside, noise leakage. In my experience these headphones leak minimally at low to medium volumes, but once you reach higher levels the noise leakage is almost exponential. These are definitely designed for indoor listening with few neighbors, or at least few that mind hearing you jam out.
Additionally these headphones do benefit from amping, as they have a higher impendence rating of 250 Ohms. Despite this I did find I was able to get to adequate volumes off both my PC (XPS 15) and my phone (HTC One M7), However I found the sound quality itself to be shallow. The highs and upper-mids were almost strained sounding. and the bass was looose and not controlled. Once I amped them using the fiio E09k These problems were fixed and the sound became much more supple and the higher frequencies were less harsh and tinny sounding. So yes you can listen to them without an amp, but don't be surprised if you feel something is lacking in the music.
Now I love these headphones, but there are a few changes I would make. Both of these changes concern the cable. For starters it is not user replaceable. This is a bit annoying because everything else about this headphones is, even the headband. Although the one bright spot is beyerdynamic warranties them for 2 years (if purchased from authorized seller is, which amazon is). If yours is damaged outside of warranty the can fix it for 50-80 dollars. I believe the cable is 50 and if it is a driver it is 80. Is this the best? no but at least there is options. Additionally I have seen mods on these which create a removable cable (BTG audio is supposed to be pretty good, does the mod for you!). The other annoyance I have with the cable is that it is heavy. It is certainly heavy duty, which is part of the problem, it weighs a lot. This is a minor concern but you can notice the weight a bit on the left side, however you do get used to it fast.
The DT-990 is a solid headphone that I find pleasant with any genre, but it excels at electric, classical, acoustic, and score music. It allows you to hear the full frequency spectrum well and with proper amping the bloated bass and shrill highs are reigned in giving it a smooth sound with a bit of edge for excitement. For the price it is an excellent buy, well below price point of the other DT models. I recommend a decent amp, nothing fancy, but something that can allow you to fully appreciate these headphones. If you have an questions about my review or the headphones feel free to ask/comment I will do my best to answer!
Most recent customer reviews
There is a tad too much bass though. When you get them, there is exceptionally too much bass.Read more