Note: You can also purchase the Beyerdynamic DT880 Premium 32 Ohm version. I was not able to include it in the chart. So basically, there are 3 versions of the Premium (32, 250, and 600), and 1 version of the Pro (250 Ohm). It’s very confusing, and took a while to find all the different versions!
The only real difference between the Pro and Premium versions is:
Premiums have less clamp pressure.
Better aesthetics (that’s subjective though).
A straight chord vs. coiled.
My personal opinion is that you should opt for whichever 250 Ohm version is cheaper depending on the time and season. Sometimes the Premium is more expensive. Sometimes the Pros are. It just depends. The 250 does sound better than the 32. It does need an amp but it’s not picky with which one you choose.
With that, I’ve highlighted the differences for you!
Some Power Required
Best With Mobile Devices
Most Power Needed
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones in black. Enclosed design, wired for professional recording and monitoring
beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 32 Ohm Studio Headphone, Grey (DT 770 Pro 32 Ohm Grey)
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones in Black. Closed Construction, Wired for Studio use, Ideal for Mixing in The Studio
Did you come for some information on the Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs. 880? Well, I’m glad you’re here because there’s a lot to cover today! By the end of this article, you will have a clear picture of both headphone’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the different models and impedance’s available. You will also have a good idea of which particular headphones may suit your taste best.
Before we get started, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
The first thing of note about these babies is that they are more of a “fun” listen and are recommended for critical listening situations in the 250 Ohm impedance. They aren’t a bass-heads can, but the bass is still full and has punch while remaining tight and controlled. It never feels out of place, boomy, muddy, or overblown. If you’re looking for a good pair of mixing headphones across the board, look elsewhere. While these can be used for mixing, they aren’t the most ideal choice.
Back to the 770s. The mid-range in these is lacking quite a bit, which will cause some female vocals to suffer. The treble will sound harsh and sibilant to a lot of people as well, especially in the female range.
Being strong like ox, these will more than impress in terms of build quality and longevity. A couple of reviewers have had them for 5 and 10 years. They can take a lot of abuse, but there are some things to note about the ear-cups specifically.
Some say they aren’t quite deep enough, and that your ear may touch the driver. People with smaller ears will be okay. Also of note regarding the driver is that you may get a slight buzzing/rattling, or vibrating sound due to it being prone to getting dirty. It kind of has a bad tendency to attract hair and other undesirables.
Versatile. Can handle a wide variety of genres.
Very comfortable. They engulf your ears and some say they feel like pillows.
Good isolation. While not noise-canceling, they do a phenomenal job of blocking out incoming sound as well as remaining quiet to those around you.
Strong like ox. They can take quite a bit of abuse.
Bass. It is punchy and has an impact, while still remaining tight and controlled. It never feels muddy or overblown.
Startling clarity with faithful sound reproduction. While not neutral, this headphone will reveal flaws in bad recordings and bit rates, so be mindful. The clarity is definitely there. You will hear things in songs that you previously thought absent.
Great sound-stage. You may be wondering 1) What is Sounstage? and 2) How can a closed-back set have this? A lot of people were amazed because it has very nice imaging and a wide, nuanced sound-stage. While this is somewhat uncommon for closed-back models, you will find some that excel in this department. The 770 is one.
The wire is long and durable.
Carrying case included.
The high end can become sibilant, leading to fatigue.
Sub-bass is lacking. While the bass is tight, the sub-bass leaves something to be desired.
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250 Ohm. For mixing applications in studio. This impedance rating will require a separate amp. There were a few people who said that they do fine without an amp at 250 Ohm, but the vast majority of people said otherwise.
80 Ohm. For recording applications in studio. It’s a bit difficult to say, but most people were saying at 80 Ohms they will do fine without an amp. If you’re thinking about getting the 770’s in this impedance, I would probably go ahead and plan on investing in something. It doesn’t have to be monumentally expensive. Also of note: The 80 Ohm has the most bass out of these 3 impedance ratings
32 Ohm. For mobile application. For 32 Ohm impedance, these don’t require an amp and will suffice with your mobile devices including iPods, mp3 players, tablets, etc.
For 250 Ohm and 96dB of Sensitivity, you will definitely need an amp. These do require a bit of power as well as a fair amount of current to reach optimal listening levels. Luckily most of your standard pairings will sound just fine.
Here are some of my recommendations:
FiiO K3 or E10K
The E10K is very highly regarded and has been around for a number of years.
It’s the one Amp/DAC that you can’t go wrong with, similar to something like an HD650 on the headphone side of things.
In addition to being highly versatile, it’s also extremely portable.
In fact, I carry this thing around in my laptop bag without a second thought; it’s lightweight, durable, and extremely compact. I never have to worry about having enough room.
Heck, I could even put it in my pocket if I needed to. It fits in the palm of your hand!
Keep in mind it does run off of bus power and does NOT have an internal battery. Technically you can use it with your phone, but you’ll need some sort of adapter and it tends to draw power from your phone’s battery fairly quickly.
That said, I love this thing on the go because I can quickly and easily get set up with my laptop pretty much anywhere. It comes with adhesive rubber feet as well, so I never have to worry about it moving around when it’s on my desk.
The K3 is similar but it’s more elegant this time around. Instead of the industrial-looking shape of the E10K, we have a beautifully rounded off modern-looking Amp/DAC that looks a lot more attractive on all fronts.
The K3 is still highly portable, but weighs a tad more and seems more durable in your hand.
Like the E10K, it’s got a bass boost and gain switch, but this time both are on the front. The K3 also supports Optical output, balanced input as well as DSD, and lights up different colors according to the source file.
If you’d like a complete rundown of these 2, check out my FiiO K3 vs. E10K comparison. The differences, while interesting, are beyond the scope of this article 🙂
For now, just know that both of these will sound fantastic with your headphones, but the K3 gets my vote. It’s a tremendous value and true upgrade from the E10K cannot be overstated.
This little crumb sized wonder would make an amazing pair with both the 880 and 770, and is a great solution for people who need an amp for both their phone/mobile device and PC. You’ll simply need this adapter for the phone which is very cheap and gets great reviews.You really wouldn’t think it, but this tiny device makes all of your music sound a heck of a lot better than you would ever imagine.
My Video Shootout/Comparison
Here we take a look at a few different Amps and DACs. Don’t forget to leave me some love! <3
The tried and true solid-state amp from NwAvGuy, providing a clean, neutral, and transparent sound for the 600 and 650. Recommended the world over. I absolutely adore this amp paired with a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic 100 with these RCA to 3.5mm cables. Those are fairly expensive though. Use these if you want to save some money, but the combo? It’s simply sublime.
You could also opt for the updated Atom here (pictured above). The Atom is also a preamp, so you could pair it with studio monitors via its RCA Analog outputs + it has RCA inputs as well. A very versatile unit!
Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel. Any support is much appreciated! 🙂
Aside from these, don’t get too carried away in trying to choose an Amp. The differences between amps are very subtle a lot of the time, and any of these pairings will work wonderfully well with the 990. How to choose a headphone amp!
Who these headphones benefit?
Bass lovers. They aren’t a bass heads can, but the bass has been described as “fun”. Again, tight and controlled rather than bloated and cheap.
People who need a closed back set of headphones with good sound isolation
People who appreciate good sound-stage
They have been known to do well with:
A fun headphone that utilizes a tight and impactful bass response. Soundstage is particularly impressive for a closed-back model, and they are about as comfy as 2 pillows resting against your ears. Major gripes include harsh upper treble range, and a recessed, almost non-existent mid-range. What is there has clarity, but there’s just not enough.
They will bleed sound and people will be able to hear what you’re listening to. Ideal for isolated studio sessions. They aren’t particularly exciting, but rather honest. They are flat and neutral and aren’t really for “enjoying” music so much as critiquing it. These would do extremely well as your primary mixing headphone. Don’t expect to be blown away by the low end, but the high end has a bit of extra sparkle. Coming from Beyer, you know you will get crazy comfort with those velour earpads, and extreme durability. They sometimes lack a deep bass extension, but with a proper amp the bass signature overall really shines. This model also does well with all genres of music.
For clarity’s sake, these come in 4 different models:
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 32 Ohm
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 250 Ohm
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro 250 Ohm
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 600 Ohm
A lot has been said about the price difference between the Premiums and the Pros. The only real differences in the headphones themselves are as follows:
Premiums have slightly less headband clamp pressure.
Premiums have somewhat better “aesthetics” (It’s ridiculous I know).
Premiums come with a long straight chord rather than a coiled one.
Premiums may come with a different carrying case. Vinyl instead of Nylon.
As for Sound:
The 600 Ohm premiums may have a slightly smoother top end (subjective).
The aforementioned clamping force may make the Pro have slightly better bass and a more forward mid-range. The differences are however subtle and should be taken with a grain of salt. Pink Himalayan is preferred. 🙂
As for impedance:
600 Ohm. Definitely needs amplification.
250 Ohm. Definitely needs amplification.
32 Ohm. Can be used with your mobile devices without an amp.
Extremely Accurate, “Surgical”
One of the best investments you’ll make regarding flagship audiophile headphones. The price to performance ratio is through the roof.
Phenomenal for mixing/reference
Clear mid-range, bass response enhanced with a good amp
casual listeners and producers alike will enjoy and appreciate the sound
superb build quality (standard for the DT line)
replaceable ear-pads (or earmuffs, as some reviewers like to call them :D)
The high end may be a bit exaggerated to some. It has been called too shrill and harsh/sibilant. What does Sibilant mean?
Credit to Lachlan!
The same standards apply here as with the 770! 🙂
Who this Headphone benefits?
I’ve heard from a very reliable source that it fares strong with nearly every genre of music, and is 1 out of only 4 other headphones (out of the 58 on his site) that received an A+ price to performance rating. Amazon reviewers have noted these qualities as well. For a list:
classical listeners (nice wide sound-stage)
audio engineers and producers who need a great mixdown.
people who need an open and airy sound, and don’t want to be fatigued wearing headphones for long periods of time.
Pop Pamelas (lol)
Hip Hop Henrys
Am I going overboard?
An extremely accurate, neutral set of mixing cans that gives a slight nudge in the treble department. At first, they may sound a bit harsh if you’re coming from bass-heavy cans. Over time, they develop beautifully, going from “bright” to lively. Be aware that it does take some burn-in time for these to settle in nicely. Around 200 hours is the benchmark. As for the sound-stage, it is wide, but some detail may be lost. The low end is clean, but lacking to some. This is not a bass-heads can by any means.
Both have a very similar build just off of first glance. Note: The premiums have a bit of a different look.
Both have that comfy velour padding, but the DT 770’s were known to get hot after a while.
Both have great sound-stage, but the DT 880’s may lack some clarity and detail. The 770s surprisingly have a very good sound-stage for a closed-back model.
Both have superb build quality, which has become a standard for Beyerdynamic products.
Neither has a detachable cable, but both have a replaceable headband and ear-cups.
Both are pretty versatile and do well with a wide variety of genres.
Both have similar Amp/DAC requirements and aren’t all that hard to drive.
Both the 770 and 880 suffer from a particularly bright and annoying top end. This is kind of a standard for Beyer as well. Detailed yes, but also harsh.
Sound. Probably the biggest difference here. The DT 770 has more of a fun sound and is less ideal for mixing. The DT 880 by contrast is mostly for mixing and reference applications. It’s remarkably flat and neutral but does kind of suffer from that harsh treble range as discussed earlier. While both do well with a lot of genres, the DT 770’s are more for enjoyment.
Bass. The bass on the 770s is deep and has an impact, while the DT 880’s is more subdued. It’s there, but you will hear it rather than feeling it. The 770s are more of a bass head can.
Type. The DT 880 is an open back headphone that will leak sound, while the 770 is a closed-back model that keeps sound in.
Mid-range. Because The 770 has a V-shaped curve (deep bass, accentuated highs), it’s mid-range suffers. It’s been called recessed and is virtually non-existent. By contrast, the 880’s mid-range is one of its strong suits. Why? Because the bass isn’t as pronounced.
As good as the 880s are for mixing, my top recommendation goes to the Sennheiser HD 600. It’s a pretty close call, but the 600’s get the nod because of a huge difference in the high end. While the 880 can be too harsh, the 600 is very laid back while still being incredibly detailed. Some call it “veiled.” What is the Sennheiser veil? The Soundstage is also better on the 600, and overall it’s probably as close to flat and neutral as you will find in this price range or otherwise. Called the Gold Standard, and a Genre master with an A+ Price to performance ratio, it’s the headphone that all others should be first compared to. Think of it as a benchmark. It’s become a mixing/reference staple over the years and should be heavily considered in pretty much any purchasing decision.
If you’re looking for a fun closed-back model, the DT 770’s do fit the bill quite nicely. No, they aren’t perfect headphones, but they get the job done, and have been praised for that nice hard-hitting bass. It doesn’t become bloated, and many will appreciate the V shape curve. Just be aware that the treble may become fatiguing, and of course, the mid-range is a bit recessed. These are definitely not an analytical headphone overall. They are more for just having fun!
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.