You came 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 headphones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the different models and impedance’s available. You will also have a good idea of which particular headphone 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 770’s. 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 as well.
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 genre.
Very comfortable. They engulf your ears and some say they feel like pillows.
Good isolation. While not noise cancelling, 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 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 Sound-stage? 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.
Wire is long and durable.
Carrying case included.
High end can become very harsh and sibilant, leading to fatigue.
Mid-range is virtually non-existent. Many call it recessed. Because of this, female vocals and vocals in general may suffer quite a bit.
Sub-bass is lacking. While the bass is tight, the sub-bass leaves something to be desired.
Bulky. Some reviewers complained that they are a bit too bulky, especially for on the go situations.
Ear-cups prone to getting very warm. Frequent adjustments are needed in this regard.
Wire, while durable isn’t detachable or replaceable.
Burn in time. A lot of people were saying they require a lot of it, so be weary of this.
Check out the video review!
By nearly all accounts, this impedance rating will require a separate amp. Some that I came across that do well with the 770 include:
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.
For mixing 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, you could always add one later if need be! Also of note: The 80 Ohm has the most bass out of these 3 impedance ratings
For recording applications in studio
For 32 Ohm impedance, these don’t require an amp, and will suffice with your mobile devices including iPods, mp3 players, tablets, etc.
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. Sound-stage 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 ear pads, 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 a 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:
Definitely needs amplification.
Benefits greatly from amplification. Highly recommended.
Can be used with your mobile devices without an amp.
More on amps later!
Extremely Accurate, “Surgical”
One of the best investments you’ll make regarding flagship audiophile headphones. 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 ear muffs, as some reviewers like to call them :D)
while the sound-stage is wide, it lacks somewhat in the imaging dept. Basically this means that some clarity and detail is lost.
Credit to my boy @Metal571. Check him out on Twitter!
It is important to know that for 250 Ohm and up, an amp is highly recommended. You may be able to get away with not using one for 250 Ohm impedance, but then again you’d be doing yourself a disservice by purchasing a headphone of this caliber.
That said, there are some good options out there that won’t break the bank, and the DT 880’s are relatively easy to drive. Keep in mind, if it’s not an amp/DAC combo (all in one), then your set up would look something like:
Computer/laptop —> DAC —> Amp —> Headphone.
This is a relatively simple way of illustrating it. Most amps need a digital to analog converter so that your brain can make sense out of the numbers. It functions much like an audio interface. The sound is a jumbled mess until it is converted to a signal that we can process. This signal is meant to be of a much higher quality than your standard built in DAC that comes with your laptop or CPU.
As for amps, a great affordable combo would be the Schiit Magni + Modi, as well as:
Schiit Vali (entry level, but amazing) + Modi
Schiit Asgard 2 + Modi
Schiit Modi (entry level, affordable)
Schiit Bifrost (a bit more expensive) and can also be paired with the amp of your choosing.
O2 DAC: (a great option that sounds pretty amazing)
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 mix down.
people who need an open and airy sound, and don’t want to be fatigued wearing headphones for long periods of time.
Metal head bros
Pop Pamelas (lol)
Hip Hop Henry
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 awhile.
Both have great sound-stage, but the DT 880’s may lack some clarity and detail. The 770’s 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 have 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 770’s is deep and has impact, while the DT 880’s is more subdued. It’s there, but you will hear it rather than feel it. The 770’s are more of a bass heads 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 it’s strong suits. Why? Because the bass isn’t as pronounced.
As good as the 880’s 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 sound-stage 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 provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.