Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro vs. Premium | END ALL CONFUSION!!
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Let’s start with a quick rundown! Keep in mind that these two headphones are basically identical with some small differences (noted towards the end). I kind of spoiled the surprise but check out the Pro version:
beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones in black. Open construction, wired
The bass isn’t so pronounced that it drowns out the other frequencies, but it also isn’t shy in the least. This is a hip-hop lovers headphone. The highs are crisp and clear without being harsh or sibilant, but if you’re listening to a badly mastered recording you will know. What does Sibilant mean? The Soundstage is also exceptional, and being an open backed can, you feel as if the music is playing in the room rather than in your ears. The build quality is solid as well, and these things are built like a tank. All in all, if you prefer your listening experience to be more fun rather than overly analytical, then you may want to check these out..
Be aware that they require a certain amount of burn in time. They will likely sound a bit harsh and muddy at first. Give them time, MAN. 😀
Exceptional Soundstage (feels like the sound is in the room with you rather than in your ears)What is Soundstage?
Crystal clear clarity.
Excellent bass extension.
Amazing build quality (this has been really common among-st reviewers)
Flawless instrument separation.
Hard hitting bass.
Non-detachable cable feels a bit cheap and “oldschool”.
Clamping force is intense at first.
Slightly recessed (but detailed) mid-range due to the V (or U) shaped curve.
People who enjoy watching movies with their headphones (due to the Soundstage and it’s “theater like” presentation). More on this in a bit!
Bluegrass and Folk Listeners.
I would say at 250 Ohm and 96 dB Sensitivity, you’ll want to pair these with an Amp of some sort, whether that be a combo Amp/DAC, Desktop, or something portable. Here are my recommendations! Learn more about this in depth:How to Choose a Headphone Amp!
This is my absolute go to portable Amp/DAC, as it’s the size of a thumb drive yet has no problem driving my HD600’s. If you’re new to the hobby, you likely won’t upgrade from this for quite awhile. A reviewer on amazon even said it powered his HD800’s phenomenally well too! What I love most about this little homie is how portable it truly is. If you’re on the go a lot like me, you’ll find it incredibly easy to throw into a laptop bag or even your pocket! Once you reach your destination, whip it out and stick it in the hole! It’s really that simple. If you desire to pair it with your phone, that’s cool too. You’ll simply need this adapter which is very cheap and gets glowing reviews. If you’re interested in learning about the Black vs. Red: Audioquest Dragonfly Black vs. Red.
The Oppo HA2 could be your end game combo Amp/DAC, as it’s the best I’ve personally heard. Even though Oppo has since stopped making products, I still recommend this Amp if you can get it at a good price because it sounds absolutely fantastic and provides an all in one solution for your desktop or on the go! Everything on it feels solid to the touch, including it’s overall build, volume knob, bass boost and gain switch. I love the gain for more power hungry headphones, and the bass boost is done in a tasteful way as well. To sum it up, after you purchase this beast you’ll likely be set for life!
This is the absolute best combo Amp/DAC solution for those with under $100 to spend. It has no trouble driving headphones like the HD600, 650, and Aeon Flow, which is pretty amazing considering it’s roughly $75. With an output impedance of less than 1.04, it will handle most anything you throw at it. I would steer clear of trying to use it with 600 Ohm headphones, as well as power hungry planar magnetics with their weird drivers. 😛 What is a headphone driver? I love the crisp and neutral sound these provide. Comes with coaxial out, line out, and USB. Very clean signal, lots of detail. You’re going to be completely amazed with what this little box is capable of. It’s good! You like!
Legend has it that if you ask nicely, the Audioengine D1 will brew you a warm cup of Joe. Lol.
For less than $200, you can power your studio monitors, use it as a headphone amp, or even hook it up to a PS4! It improves the sound of the gaming environment so well that I was simply dumbfounded. Like I didn’t want to leave my couch dumbfounded.
Go ahead, fire up that Fallout 4 and be amazed at the cinematic like presentation of every little sound and nuance. Connections include RCA/Analog outs, Optical input, as well as USB input. What’s even cooler is that you can also use it to power your studio monitors. What are studio monitors? I personally use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 in conjunction with my LSR 305’s because I tend to do some rapping from time to time.
But let’s say you don’t have any use for a microphone and just want to listen to music. The D1 is perfect for such an affair, and leaves a minuscule footprint on your desk! Let’s not forget how high quality this beast is. Build is top notch, and the volume knob feels rugged and durable. Don’t forget to press that power button homie!
Great sounding headphone, with booming lows and sparkling highs, and a somewhat recessed mid range. The accentuation of the bass may lead to the treble being a bit “harsh” and too sibilant for some people.
How the Pro version compares with the Premium
They are almost identical in every aspect, except for a few things:
They each have a slightly different design and aesthetic.
The pro version has a slightly higher clamping force.
The Pro version has a coiled cable, while the Premiums have a straight cable.
The Premium is marketed more toward consumer use, while the pro version is marketed towards studio use. As far as sound goes, they are identical in every way, and even use the same drivers. The difference in price that you pay more for in the premiums is basically in aesthetic, feel, and looks. It has been said that the premiums have a nicer build. That’s it!
The sound for both of these is somewhat colored, but in a very natural way. The highs are sparkling and crisp, although they may become sibilant at times due to variances in recordings, or just a bad master. They definitely lean towards the bass head side of things, but also work well as an open, airy, and detailed headphone that works for other genres too!
It has been said that out of the 770, 880, and 990 lines, the 990’s are the “fun” headphone out of the bunch. The 770’s and 880’s come in second and third respectively in this regard. The 880’s are the most neutral of the bunch, and are meant strictly for mixing/mastering.
If you want tight, authoritative, punchy lows that don’t get muddy, and enjoy listening to a wide variety of music, these are the cans for you. They excel in many other applications as well including video games and movies. The clarity and crispness of the highs really lends itself well to cinema. You will be able to hear things in movies that were previously lost in consumer grade cans. The same goes for music. Think you know a record like the back of your hand? THINK AGAIN BRO!! Haha. But for real, you will start to hear things in recordings that you never dreamed were there..
Which of these you go with just really depends on the price at any given time. I would suggest going with whichever is cheaper (usually the 990 PRO). It just depends!
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.