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beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO open Studio Headphone
- 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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This item beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO open Studio Headphone
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Loop Savings||sound systems||Amazon.com||AUDIO FANATIC||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||4.7 x 8.7 x 9.1 in||8 x 8 x 4.8 in||9.2 x 6 x 6 in||5 x 10 x 8 in||9.4 x 11.5 x 6.5 in||4 x 7 x 8.5 in|
|Item Weight||0.84 lb||1.05 lbs||2 lbs||1 lb||518.09 lbs||1.76 ounces|
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!
- FiiO E12 amplifier
- Behringer UCA222 DAC
- ViPER4Windows audio software
Comfort: You'll have to try them on to really appreciate their comfort. The revviews say there is a heavy clamping force but I beg to differ...it's quite low and enough to the point where it stays on your head and is hardly noticeable. The earpads are very soft and have a ridonkulous amount of cushion to them, they're like pillows and they engulf my ears which is nice. 11/10, far more comfortable than my electrowaves with DT770EVB earpads.
Bass - Not as strong as open cans, and not nearly as strong as all of the reviews claim...but still strong for open cans. These do have bass, don't get me wrong...but not basshead pleasing without EQing and adjusting other bass related settings. Once everything is adjusted properly, it can provide some nice bass, but it still lacks a bit in quantity. The quality is quite good though, although like one review I came across said, it does sacrifice quantity for quality. It was a bit difficult finding the right settings, but I will definitely post a picture of those below for insight. I also did find the right driver to rattle, it is probably a hair, but it has not gone away yet...will have to figure out how to fix that. 9/10
Mids - I am not too concerned about the mids, and haven't had cans that are good with mids...so I cannot say much here. I will say, and take this with a grain of salt considering my situation, that the vocals of songs were stunning. I haven't heard vocals like that from anything and am very impressed. Some said that the mids were a bit recessed...I would agree if the bass is set high enough, it can definitely overpower the mids if that is the case. I would disagree when it comes to the vocals though, they were right up front regardless of the bass. 9/10
Highs - The supposed killing factor for most...I say that's pure bollocks. I am treble sensitive, I don't like piercing notes as they give me a headache. When I first put these on, I did so with an amp and that's it. I can see why people say it can be a bit much, but it's nothing to be concerned about. I did get a little bit of fatigue from the treble, but people are over exaggerating. I found the treble to ever so slightly sibilant, but nothing major. 8.5/10
Leak - These are open cans, expect them to let in sound, and let out sound. I can hear my TV quite well, with these on as I type. While it is a tiny bit muffled, it's still very much audible and it's of acceptable volume. As for sound going out, these do leak more than you would expect, so be prepared for that. If you have your EQ/software settings set to a more dark sound it will not leak as much, but them mids and highs are going to be heard loud and clear. 6/10
Imaging - Not quite sure what this is, but following the definition I would say these do that quite well. Cannot say much else, but reproduction does seem to be good. I don't know if this fits here or not, but poorly recorded songs or songs with poor quality will definitely suffer in all sections. I won't rate this.
Soundstage - This is what impressed me the most. I was frequently surprised at hearing an instrument or sound I never knew was there in quite a few songs. The soundstage is much wider than I expected, and throughly impressed me. 10/10
Build quality: I would tent to agree with the others on this. Everything is good...it's German made, so it not a surprise. I really don't need to add to this as others have already said what I'd say. 9/10
Design: I'll keep it short and sweet since this isn't really relevant. It's nice, but I definitely prefer the premium look. Plastic doesn't appeal to me, but it is designed well. I won't rate this.
Overall I'd say this would earn an 8.5/10. It could do better in aspects, but it is quite well. If "audiophile basshead" fits you, then this will likely appeal to you, if you lean more towards a heavier basshead it likely won't. I for one am happy with it...can't wait to hear how it sounds at 100 hours. It could use a bit more bass though.
I will update when the 100 hour burn in is complete. I have about 4-5 hours under the belt, but due to the rattling issue I am likely going to RMA so I will have to start over again.
-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.
Most recent customer reviews
I didn't give it 5 stars because they broke after a year without any...Read more