Before we get into the DT770 80 Ohm vs. 250 Ohm comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this comparison
Today I will compare both by doing a run down of:
The build on both models is roughly the same.
Both terminate in a 3.5mm jack and come with a 1/4″ adapter. Both also do not come with detachable cables which may bother some.
They have a fairly utilitarian design which works really well. The plastic for the ear cups feels solid, and the aluminum headband is very rugged. The headband padding has always struck me as odd; it’s a button up faux leather band. If you unbutton it, all you’re left with is the thin aluminum band. that goes into each ear cup.
It’s kind of a strange design, but works because it keeps the headphone light and comfortable. Let’s talk about that!
Comfort on both is also the same.
The DT770 is is one of the most comfortable I have worn, and definitely in the Top 5 overall. It sits on your head with just the right amount of clamp force and the pads are velour.
This is definitely a headphone that’s never going to feel intrusive. It’s not going to dig into your ears or head, and the cups are quite large. Your ears aren’t going to be touching the pads nor will they be digging into the driver through the cloth. Related: What is a Headphone Driver?
I really haven’t had to adjust them at all. You’ll be able to wear them for long periods of time when mixing and mastering in studio, as they feel like pillows against your head and won’t ever fatigue you over an extended session.
How do they sound?
The bass on these is one of the differences between the 80 and 250 Ohm. With the 80 Ohm you’ll be getting a bit extra, and it’s probably going to appease the casual listener more so.
Both of these have a somewhat recessed mid-range, but it’s not extremely pushed back like so other V-shaped offerings. There’s still plenty of air and detail, but you may notice instruments and vocals sound a bit distant, similar to something like an M40x. Learn more:Audio Technica ATH M40x Review
With that, the mid-range on the 80 Ohm will be a bit more pushed back than that of the 250 Ohm. There is a slight bump around 2k on the 80 Ohm which may actually make vocals sound a bit too forward. Just something to keep in mind.
The treble on the 80 Ohm is a bit more subdued vs. the brighter sounding 250 Ohm. This is another main difference. With the 250 Ohm you’ll get more sparkle above 3kHz.
Because of this, the 250 Ohm will fare better in mixing/mastering/reference situations because it provides a bit more sparkle and detail. Brighter headphones do tend to work better in those situations because flaws are more easily pinpointed so: If you’re looking for a reference type headphone, the 250 Ohm is the solution here. The 80 Ohm would be better suited for more casual listening applications, and won’t do as well for reference type stuff. We’ll delve more into genre in a bit!
WINNER: 250 Ohm.
I say this because I prefer the more open and detailed sound of the 770. Some may prefer more bass and that’s okay!
Credit to @Metal571. Check him out on twitter and take a gander at some of his other content. Great reviewer!
The Imaging on the 250 Ohm is going to be better than that of the 80.
It’s more lifelike, with better spacing and separation, and a wider 3D image. With the 250 Ohm, I really got the sense that the music was surrounding me rather than just being fed into my ears. The DT770 really does mimic an open back quite well, with a fantastic Soundstage that rivals a lot of open headphones. Learn more:What is Soundstage?
The 80 Ohm feels more boxed in like a closed back tends to do. Isolation on both is good however.
That said, both of these will still do extremely well in this regard, it’s just the 250 does it better.
The 250 Ohm will need power from an amplifier whereas the 80 Ohm won’t.
Also, both the 250 Ohm and 80 Ohm DT770 have a Sensitivity of 96dB/mW. This simply means both aren’t that efficient, and will need more power from the amp to reach peak loudness. Learn more:What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
However, even with that Sensitivity rating, you can get away with not purchasing an amp for the 80 Ohm as it won’t resist the power supplied to it quite as much as the 250 Ohm. It will probably still not get quite as loud as you may prefer, so consider investing in something. You can always try them first and then get an amp later!
Both versions aren’t too picky so don’t go overboard in trying to find a perfect Amp/DAC. Related:What is a USB DAC?
Any of the following will be great solutions:
FiiO E10K. A great budget option under $100 that powers my 300 Ohm HD600’s with relative ease. Compact, lightweight, durable, and fairly powerful considering how cheap it is. Learn more:FiiO E10K Review!
Audioquest Dragonfly Red. My personal favorite due to it’s extreme portability and convenience. A step up from the E10K. This is going to make all of your headphones sound noticeably better. Perfect solution for the DT770, as you can take it anywhere, or just plug it right into your laptop. Learn more:Audioquest Dragonfly Red Review!
JDS Labs Objective 2 or Atom. Either of these are my go to desktop solutions as they provide a ton of power into all Impedance loads and have a super low output impedance. What is Output Impedance? This basically means they will deliver the same voltage into any load, and will be very consistent in powering various headphone Impedance ratings. The sound is super neutral, clean, and detailed. It will improve upon Soundstage a bit as well!
Atom vs. Objective 2 Comparison
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I wouldn’t really worry too much about amps outside of the ones listed above. They will be more than enough for both models, should you decide to purchase an amp for the 80 Ohm version.
As alluded to before, the 250 Ohm is going to do better in critical listening situations. It will fare better with stuff like Jazz and Classical as it’s extremely open and airy sounding. They also tend to do very well for Gaming. In fact, the 770 is one of my favorite options for Gaming because it sounds so open even despite being a closed back.
To the contrary, the 80 Ohm version does much better with bass heavier genres like Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, EDM, etc. There’s more thump to the bass, which is one of the biggest differences between these two.
There’s not much else to say about these puppies. If you are more interested in the bass heavier sound of the 80 Ohm, and don’t really want to purchase an amp, I would say it’s a great solution. This headphone will work better with your mobile device and is a bit more convenient overall. Interested in learning more?
If you are looking for more of that reference sound, with extra detail and sparkle from the treble, and a bit better Soundstage, the 250 Ohm version is the way to go. It will require an amp, but isn’t picky about your choice. It’s going to sound great with any of the above options listed.
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.