Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm Headphones | DO THEY NEED AN AMP??

Hi friend and Welcome!

Today I’m going to be smacking you in the melon with another sick ass review. This time I’ll be yapping about the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm headphones!

Wow that was quite a mouthful!! Before we get started, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Specifications
  2. A summary of these bad boys
  3. A run down of the following: Value, Sound (Bass, Mids & Highs), Build Quality/Comfort, Sound-stage, Amp requirements
  4. Who these benefit?
  5. Conclusion
  6. Pros and Cons will be at the bottom!

So without further ado, lets get into things!

beyerdynamic DT 990 premium 600 Ohm Headphones

beyerdynamic DT 990 premium 600 Ohm Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm


  • best price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  • type: open back
  • fit: circumaural (over ear)
  • impedance: 600 ohms
  • frequency response: 5 Hz – 35,000 Hz
  • material: velour ear pads, plastic
  • headband: steel spring leatherette
  • color: black, grey, silver
  • plug: screw-able 6.3 mm / 1/4″ adapter


This is a great sounding open back headphone that is very treble heavy and bright. Being a 6oo Ohm can, it needs a headphone amplifier to power correctly. Most folks have agreed on this. However, there are others out there who claim to get pretty decent sound without one. It’s really up to you. You could always upgrade later if need be.

These have a really nice sound-stage as well, and are a bit colored. The bass and treble especially have that extra bit of “umph” if you will. Many folks really love the bass response but are a bit turned off by the highs. They are a bit too in your face after long listening sessions. Still, the sound could be described as gorgeous and stunning, and the clarity is such that it will allow you to immerse yourself in the details of the song.

The bottom line is that it will either sound amazing or bad, depending on the source (a good or bad recording).


Being very versatile (good for gaming and movies), sporting a tight bass response as well as great treble makes them a good value in my book. Add the fact that they are extremely durable and comfortable, and you really have a match made in heaven given the right source & amplification.


The sound signature overall emphasizes bass and treble. Some people have said that the mid range becomes recessed because of this. These are good for mixing/reference, but they also happen to provide quite the pleasurable listening experience as well.

Be advised that these are open backed headphones, and therefore not suitable for listening in a noisy environment. You will be able to hear what’s around you, and people will be able to hear what you’re listening to at higher volumes. They do require a bit of a break-in period, so be prepared to give them 20-40 hours (and upwards of 100) before they truly shine.

They are also preferred in an isolated studio environment. Just YOU and your MUSIC BRO. 😛

Check out the video review!


There is a lot of added weight and impact when compared to the DT 880’s more textured approach. This is definitely what you would call a “bass heavy” can. Does that mean it’s a bit colored? Sure, but reviewers are saying it’s delightful 😛 It’s not fake or over-exaggerated though. It’s deep and punchy, and leaves folks feeling super satisfied.


The highs are so bright that they can become harsh at times. There is a lot of sibilance going on, which may lead to a disappointing listening experience after extended periods of time. However, the highs are very life-like and give a nice extra emphasis on drums especially. The sound has been described as “musical bliss”


I’ve heard people say they are slightly recessed because of the aforementioned bright sounding treble. Some say however that this could be due to an inadequate source, or the amp in question.

sweet headphone bag .. NERRRD!!!

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm headphones

Build Quality/Comfort

The ear pads are made of velour, so comfort is never a bore! Wow that was a really lame attempt at rhyming. The point is, these babies are super comfy. Thanks to Beyerdynamic using velour on like everything they’ve ever made ever, you can wear these without even knowing they’re on your melon! A lot of people say they are more comfortable than the DT880’s.

Check out my Beyerdynamic DT 880 Review, 250 Ohm!

The build quality is also sleek but rugged, with a nice padded head-band made of spring steel. It’s just an all around solid pair of headphones that remain light but durable. They fit great and the clamping force is just right around your dome piece.


An airy, open, and precise sound-stage. Described as one of the widest and most realistic around. Simple as that. There are countless reviews that talk about how great it is. What is Soundstage?

Amp requirements

This is perhaps the most important section of this review. Please do not just buy these headphones expecting them to sound amazing without proper amplification. You WILL BE DISAPPOINTED. What I can recommend is a couple of great options that have come up numerous times in my search:

Both FiiO’s are great portable amps, and also happen to be very affordable. Do yourself a favor and don’t attempt to buy these headphones if you aren’t willing to spend the money on a suitable amp. The Woo Audio amps are more expensive but worth it if you’re really looking to invest.

  1. How to choose a headphone amp!
  2. Tube amp vs. solid state

Who do these benefit?

I’ve read all of the following

  • People who play video games (FPS)
  • movie watchers
  • listeners of classic rock
  • classical listeners
  • jazz listeners
  • electronic music
  • people who are looking for a purely enjoyable listening experience, rather than a critical one based around reference/mixing
  • bass-heads (HIP-HOP ANYONE?!?!) and treble lovers


A great and versatile set of headphones, especially if you love bass and appreciate the high end (treble). The mids have been called a bit “recessed” (still detailed), but you will appreciate this phones comfort, durability, and overall sound. It also sports a really wide and accurate sound-stage with great instrument separation. If you enjoy hearing the finer nuances and subtle details in a song, these are the cans for you!! If you’re a bass head…


Are you looking for the absolute best in mixing/reference? Look no further than the HD 600. It’s been called the Gold standard, a genre master, and just may be the best price to performance ratio headphone out there. It’s been around since 1997, and is about as flat and neutral as it gets.


Well that about does it for today my friend! I hope you enjoyed my Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm Headphone Review!!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Advice? Did I leave something out?  Let me know below or Contact me! I very much look forward to hearing from you..

All the best and God Bless,

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Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!


Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm Headphones












            • tight, punchy bass
            • exciting, fun sound
            • crisp highs
            • extremely comfortable
            • very durable


            • treble can be a bit harsh
            • somewhat recessed mids


            1. Hello again Stu!

              Been going through your site, its just amazing. I’m hooked Haha. Beyerdynamic is awesome, you’ve got many reviews and all of them are really cool. Bass and treble are my thing… wait are those fluffy ear cushions i see? Amazing! might just buy myself the DT990! Bookmarked your site man, will drop by from time to time. Do keep those fresh reviews coming ;D

              • Hey broham!

                Thanks for stopping by! Yeah I get really excited about headphones. I’ve been scouting a few for some time. For mixing, I was considering 3 flagship models.

                But researching The DT990’s and seeing how tight and punchy the bass is has made me want to pick up a pair!! It’s gonna be a tough call..

                Hope to hear from you soon!! And I will def keep the articles a flowing..


            2. I was checking these same headphones out the other day. I wasn’t sure how much of a difference the amp would make with it, but you have proved it to me! You really explained these headphones to a T. It’s clear you really know your stuff. Do you currently use a headphone + amplifier combo?

              • Hey Bea SAHDiva!

                Currently I do not. I am planning on upgrading pretty soon however. I was thinking about the HD600’s or Beyerdynamic DT880’s, or the AKG K701s/702’s. The DT880’s are very comparable to this headphone, but they are more suited for mixing/reference.. and are more analytical than the DT990. It’s what I’m looking for, but upon researching the DT990 I am actually tempted to give these a go!!

                Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to hear from you again!

                Are you looking for a headphone/amp combo ONLY?


            3. Hi Stu!

              Thanks for this very thorough and informative review. I am currently looking for some headphones for my home studio, so this was a timely article for me!

              One question for you: What is the price range I should expect to pay and where do you suggest I buy. I am in Dubai, and there are stores everywhere, but most just do not sell quality stuff.

              I also am looking for other components, so will return here to see what else you recommend based on the job you did for this product! I need to find something special for each piece – somethiong I can tell a story about lol! Well done!

              • Hey Dave!

                Um, the price is in the article from the amazon link! Where should you buy them? Uhhhh.. from amazon? Hope that wasn’t a serious question.. Lol. I don’t really buy audio gear anywhere but online. I bought the MPD 18 at guitar center on a whim because I needed something in a pinch, but that was a couple of years ago

                Thanks for stopping by though man! Hope to hear from you again!


            4. Oooh, velour ear pads, reminds me of Zapp Branigan on futurama lol

              It’s real velour… just let yourself go!

              I’ve never seen earphones that need a preamp before, so is that just like another little box that you plug between your headphones and your output? Would the preamp need its own power source and are these usually battery powered or plug in? I saw you mentioned a few models, but how much would one of those typically cost?

              • Hahah.. I need to watch that show. I started it and didn’t think I would like it.. but it kept getting better and better. Really intelligent stuff.. not like what you see literally everywhere else you go. 🙂

                Anywho, yeah basically for higher impedance headphones say, 250 Ohm and up.. you want to have proper amplification because on their own the volume ends up being way too low. That’s why if you read some reviews you’ll see people say that the volume on their iPod wasn’t loud enough.

                These were made for the studio, and being 600 Ohm, are clearly made to be paired with a proper amp.

                As for the power source, it depends on the type of amp.. The portable ones like the FiiO E12 have rechargeable batteries..

                Models like the Woo Audio WA7 andBottle head crack, (which i’m considering getting) come with their own power chord.. and are meant to power higher impedance phones such as The HD600.

                As for the price, thank you for bringing that to my attention. I did not give a link. Here is The FiiO E17, and FiiO E12.
                Thanks so much for stopping by! Let me know if that answered your questions!


            5. Hi! Looks like you got a lot of information here and you really know what you’re talking about. I have no experience with head phones so a lot of this information is going over the top of my head. Do you have a section for beginners to explain the terminology to them? I will have to look around your website and see what you got. Thanks for the informative article!

            6. Hi Stu, I think I have to get one of these when my current one spoils. Mine feels painful sometimes on my ears and I just take them off to ease the pain on my earlobes.

              What did you call them beyerdynamic what? It really is a mouthful. But if the product is as good as you rate it I don’t mind the price.

              • Haha Hi Emmanuel!!

                Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 Ohm Headphones. Say that 5 times fast!

                Lol, it is a good product. Not for everyone.. but if you love bass and like those sparkling highs, it’s a must!!

                Thanks for dropping by!


            7. Hi Stu,

              You did an absolutely awesome review of these headphones. Admittedly for the price, they are not cheap. But if you want to really HEAR something, those earbuds, (valued at a few dollars) that come with the purchase of a smart phone simply do not do the trick!

              Through your concisely worded presentation you laid out all of the technical facts involved with this piece of equipment. A reader would certainly be left with all of the knowledge that he/she would need in order to make a decision as to whether or not to make a purchase of these headphones. Frankly I have not seen any other site that presented the well-articulated and high quality review that you posted for a product of this type.

              My only question is that you graded it out as being close to perfect, 9.9 out of a scale of 10 yet you listed two particular cons. #1 – the headphones do not yield the best treble effect as possible. Then #2 – there is a slight issue with the midlevel range being a little recessed. Wouldn’t these two factors have lowered your final grade just a tad – still around a 9.0 perhaps? To me a 9.9, a fraction away from a perfect 10 indicates really no issues at all with a product, (and I think really that nothing is absolutely perfect)!

              Still I come away from this review with the belief that these particular headphones are in the top end in terms of quality for a person in the market for a new pair.

              Great job, Stu!

              • Thanks Jeff for the thoughtful response!!

                You are so right though. In some of my older reviews the rating scale was a bit off. Thanks for reminding me! I went back and edited a few, realizing that I kind of scored it a bit high given some of the gripes. I did not get around to the 990 premium though.

                I really appreciate your constructive feedback. Please continue that in the future if you drop back in again!! I do think the 990’s represent a great open back option for the consumer looking for that wow factor. 🙂 So yeah I agree with you.. But I would definitely go for the DT 990 Pro version. They are more affordable and there really isn’t much of a difference between the premium model. Anyone reading this that wants to know those subtle differences? Check out my Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro vs. Premium comparison!!



            8. Hey Stu,

              I just read your review on the beyerdynamic headphones and I got to say it was remarkable. I just like how you structured the whole review it was really professional. I’m getting ideas for my website reading this review, and want my posts structured like this in a way. It was filled with content with nice structure. Keep up the good work Stu you have a solid website also.

              • Hey man!

                Thanks a lot for the kind remarks! I really do try to simplify things here at much as possible because 1) When I research I want less distractions and more organization and 2) I want others to feel that same way when they read my articles!

                I really appreciate you stopping by, and I’m glad to have inspired you in some way. Please come back and visit soon..



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