Home Headphone Comparisons Beyerdynamic T90 vs. T1 | A COMPARISON!!

Beyerdynamic T90 vs. T1 | A COMPARISON!!

by Stuart Charles Black

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Hi there friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Beyerdynamic T90 vs. T1, grab a snack, sit back and relax buster..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Specifications
  2. Summary
  3. Pros
  4. Cons
  5. Neutral
  6. Video Review
  7. Amp/DAC requirements
  8. Who these headphones benefit?
  9. Consensus/Conclusion
  10. Similarities/Differences
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Beyerdynamic T90

  • Price: check amazon! check eBay!
  • Type: open back
  • Fit: circumaural (over ear)
  • Impedance: 250 ohms.
  • Frequency response: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Material: velour ear pads, metal
  • Color: black, grey, silver, some magenta on the ear cups

Summary

This is a great set of natural sounding, uncolored open back cans that thrive in an isolated studio environment. They deliver sound-wise is a neutral, flat, and airy reproduction, with no extra emphasis on the bass frequency. The bass is tight and controlled, as well as clean and clear with no boom. They are perfect for mixing and mastering in studio, as they will give you an honest reproduction of your mix. They are open backed, meaning you get a wider Soundstage. Related: What is Soundstage? The music sounds as if it’s surrounding you. Potential buyers should also note that people will be able to hear your music at louder levels.

These are more of an enjoyable listen when compared to the Beyerdynamic DT 880’s, which are even better suited for critical listening in studio, but perhaps a bit too “clinical”.

Check out my article on the best headphones for mixing, which includes the DT880’s! Find out about my top recommendation for mixing at the bottom of this article!

Pros

  • Bass frequency is tight and controlled, with no distortion. It does not bleed into other frequencies.
  • Good bass and sub bass. There is thump to them right out of the box.
  • Balanced and neutral, but lively.
  • Head-band is made of spring steel.
  • Really really comfortable, which is a standard for Beyer products.
  • Extreme details/clarity felt; a singers breathing, previously unheard instruments.
  • Great sound-stage; you can discern easily where everything is. It has been compared to sitting in a theater in the middle section.
  • Good instrument separation. individual instruments come through clear.

Cons

  • Non-removable cable.
  • Mids are distant and may sound thin depending on the source. grills and dust magnets easy to scratch.

Neutral

  • An occasional over emphasis on treble, may be a bit harsh. This is kind of another standard with Beyerdynamic headphones. EQ does help these out quite a bit. They also calm down quite a bit after a significant burn in period.
  • Build quality for the price may be lacking somewhat. They should have more metal than plastic at this price point.
  • Bass response may be overwhelming in certain recordings.

Check out the video review!

Amp/DAC requirements

Some people claim that they need an amp to deliver the best sound, others say they do just fine without one. It’s your call. You can always add one later!

  • One reviewer recommended the FiiO E12.
  • The Bottlehead crack (DIY tube amp) may be the best pairing overall.
  • The Schiit Valhalla.

Who these headphones benefit?

  • People who want to enjoy their music, rather than be too critical of it.
  • They are precise. If you want subtle detail, these provide that.
  • Bass-heads will appreciate this sound. Just know that they aren’t purely a bass-heads can.
  • Very good for movies
  • Rap
  • Pop
  • EDM
  • Screamo (lol).
  • Rock
  • Funk

Consensus/Conclusion

An extremely accurate, amazing set of reference cans that reveal everything like a microscope, but are also really enjoyable to listen with. Know that a lot of people have complained about the tinny, kind of harsh quality in the treble range. Burn in time, the right headphone amp, as well as EQ all may help with the problem.

Onto…

Beyerdynamic T1

  • Price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  • Type: semi-open
  • Fit: circumaural (over ear)
  • Impedance: 600 ohms
  • Frequency response: 5 – 50,000 Hz
  • Material: velour ear pads, leather head band, metal cups
  • Color: silver, black

Summary

Some people consider these the finest dynamic headphones on the planet. They are very natural sounding, open, and airy. They are very neutral, and transparent, and only fall behind the HD 800’s in terms of Soundstage realism.

It should be noted, that both the T1 and T90 use what Beyerdynamic calls “Tesla drivers”. These drivers are extremely sensitive, meaning essentially that they have a lot of power, can respond to changes in sound accurately and quickly, and are very efficient in handling volume without requiring a lot of power. The 600 Ohm impedance would suggest a harder to drive headphone, but the T1 actually produces volumes comparable to say a 300-350 Ohm headphone. What is Headphone Impedance?

Other than that, these babies are so good that they may even reveal flaws in mastering that were previously unheard for years.

Pros

  • Tight, realistic sounding bass response. clean and punchy.
  • Really a joy to listen with, even being as neutral as it gets in regard to sound.
  • Really really comfortable, again a standard with beyer products.
  • Versatile with many genres of music.
  • Design is clean and functional, yet attractive.
  • Angled drivers (inside the headphones) make for a more natural presentation of sound, imaging, and staging.
  • Mid-range is smooth and clean with exceptional detail.
  • Soundstage is incredible. one reviewer noted that with some songs, as soon as he put his headphones on and pressed play, the sound seemed as though it was coming from his speakers. Even though he knew it wasn’t, he still had to take the cans off and check to make sure. It won’t happen with every recording, but it gives you a sense of how good the staging is.
  • Bass is similar to that of the HD 600, although it reaches more into the sub bass frequencies. The upper bass is also has a bit more energy. It’s overall warmer and more lush.
  • Build quality is phenomenal. Headband is made of real leather, and feels great.

Cons

  • Adjustment mechanism of the head-band is a bit imprecise.
  • Treble presentation has been called “debatable”. There is a bit of a spike at 8-9 KHz, resulting in sibilance. Some say this is the source of their magic. What does sibilant mean?
  • A bit heavy, with underwhelming cable that isn’t as nice as the rest of the headphone.
  • Needs pretty beefy amplification to power correctly.

Neutral

  • Bass is a bit confusing and strange, with a mind of it’s own. On some tracks it really lacks a certain impact.

Check out the video review!

Credit to my boy @Metal571. Check him out on Twitter!

Amp/DAC requirements

At 600 Ohms, I wouldn’t purchase these without some thought on proper amplification. How to choose a headphone amp! Regardless, the T1 is less amp picky than you would think.

Good amps to pair with these:

  1. Schiit Valhalla 2
  2. Woo Audio WA3.
  3. HIFI-M8

Who these headphones benefit?

  • They do extremely well in rendering the electric guitar in particular.
  • They have an amazing sound-stage. If you want to feel immersed in the music, there’s arguably no better option out there.
  • Pin point accuracy for gamers. There may not be a better headphone out there for FPS gaming.
  • Great for Classical, Jazz, and generally more toned down music. Will bite at you in higher volumes. Tube amp is recommended, as they kind of tend to warm up the sound.

Consensus/Conclusion

An amazing sounding can given proper amplification, and proves extremely versatile with a wide variety of musical genres. That said, the 9k peak will be off putting to the majority of people, though the overall sound is fairly balanced for the most part.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Both have spring steel head-band leatherette.
  • Both are open backed, conducive to listening in an isolated room away from distractions.
  • Both have those comfy velour ear pads.
  • Both are over ear (circumaural).
  • Both are a joy to listen to and have a great Soundstage, with similar clarity and detail retrieval.
  • Both have very neutral and uncolored sound presentations.
  • Both have cables that aren’t detachable.
  • Both require very good amplification to power correctly. Don’t expect the sound to be at it’s best without one.
  • Both do well with the JDS Labs O2 Amp.

Differences

  • The T90 comes with a nylon carrying bag, the T1 comes with an aluminum storage box.
  • The T90’s have a lower impedance at 250 ohms, vs. the 600 ohm of the T1.
  • The T90 is more of a fun sounding headphone, while the T1 is better suited for critical listening/reference purposes.
  • The T90’s cable comes out of only the right side, while the T1’s cables come out of both ear-cups.
  • Bass. The T1’s bass is tighter and less in your face, while the T90’s is more present. You’re more aware of it.
  • Treble. The T90 is a bit more treble happy than the T1. This basically means that it’s high end can be overly bright at times, leading to some harshness. They are incredibly detailed and extend beautifully though. The small details are really heard and felt. By contrast, the T1’s aren’t treble happy, but just right. Their highs also extend beautifully, but aren’t too fatiguing. The detail is there, but it’s not seemingly thrown at you/in yo face.
  • Overall Application. The T90’s are more of a fun sounding headphone, while the T1’s would be better suited in a critical listening/mixing environment.

Final Word

If you prefer to be a little more critical of your music, and need a great mixing/reference can, the T1’s are great, but the HD 600 is the best. You don’t get that harshness in the treble range, and they aren’t as amp picky as the T1. They have also been given so many accolades that it’s hard not to call them the best. “Gold standard”, “Genre master”, “Best price to performance ratio.” All of these adjectives and more describe this wonderful set of headphones.

CHECK OUT MY SENNHEISER HD 600 REVIEW!!

Well that’s about it for today folks! I hope you enjoyed my comparison review of the Beyerdynamic T1 vs. T90!

Which of these headphones sounds more your style?? Let me know!!

If you have any other questions for me, leave them down below or contact me as well. I would love to hear from you!!

All the best and God Bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

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

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26 comments

Riaz Shah August 5, 2015 - 2:40 am

Great comparison Stu,
I’ve been looking for good headphones but i’m not very good at looking at the details. I’m not too picky on the type of sound whether its critical or not so the T90 is perfect for me. It looks pretty cool too with the brown cover thing, very stylish! Might just get myself one soon on my next payday ;D

Reply
Stu August 6, 2015 - 2:35 am

Hey again dude!

That’s really cool that you’re thinking about a pair of T90’s! I am too actually. Sometimes a critcal/analytical sound can be a bit boring. I definitely agree on that. It’s been hard for me to decide whether I want a true mixing can, or a headphone that’s fun to listen to. I do think the Beyerdynamic DT 990’s give the best of both worlds. That’s why I’m heavily considering them.

Hope all is well and come back anytime!
-Stu

Reply
Tiffany August 5, 2015 - 2:56 am

Wow. I really thought the your review regarding the beyerdynamic t90 vs. the t1 was really thorough. I am thinking about converting a closet into a small studio and really had no idea that there were headphones beyond the garden variety of beats etc. These two really are the best of the best. Its hard for me to decide however which ones I like better.

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Stu August 6, 2015 - 2:31 am

Hey Tiffany!

Sounds like you know what you’re doing in regards to the booth. It’s good to be in an enclosed space. Have you thought about egg crate foam or old comforters to line the walls?

Yeah, the T90 and T1 are pretty high up there. Just for reference, the T1 is a bit more analytical of a headphone, while the T90 is a bit more of a joy to listen to. For your studio, if you were to purchase one of these, I may go with the T1.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to hear from you again soon..

-Stu

Reply
Lok.w August 5, 2015 - 3:11 am

I like your review! I would like to compare with other brands before I purchase. Thank you for sharing these informative reviews…

I like sports, would you mind suggesting me some sports headphones. I would like to purchase a pair so that I can exercise with them.

Thanks a lot.

P.S. sorry about that, my question may not relevant to your niche topic on your website.

Good Day!

Reply
Stu August 6, 2015 - 2:22 am

Hey man!

Yeah it’s not relevant to my niche at all. Lol. But I did find something for you. A quick Google search was all it took.. Check this out!!

Thanks for stopping by.. hope to hear from you soon..

-Stu

Reply
David November 13, 2015 - 11:19 am

Very useful article to me, who is also a musician and home studio addict. I was looking for good headphones to do some mixing. What would you suggest? Very good idea also to suggest some amps to go with these headphones and to have put a video in your article. Makes me want to buy both!

Reply
Stu November 14, 2015 - 2:44 am

Hey David!

I’ll link you to an article that I wrote about the best studio headphones for mixing.. Out of those 3 however… my best recommendation would be the Sennheiser HD 600. It is the best pair of mixing headphones as far as price vs. performance ratio, and has been around for a long time. It really set the standard for open back studio headphones, and still remains to many, the best investment that you could make for the long term.

Thanks for stopping by brother, if you have any other questions let me know..

-Stu

Reply
TruthTeller June 5, 2017 - 4:05 pm

The HD 600 are very muffled and lack sufficient bass and treble extension by most modern standards. I suppose if you enjoy the more bland, midrange-centric sound of older floorstanding speakers from the pre-1990s, the HD 600 is a good fit. But that is the ONLY case.

Reply
Stu June 10, 2017 - 8:15 pm

Muffled? Bland? Are you listening with aluminum foil over your ears? The HD600 is just about the best headphone you can buy when evaluating the entire package. It’s price to performance ratio is unrivaled. And no, I prefer clarity, precision, and detail, all of which the 600’s provide in spades.

“By most modern standards” Please extrapolate on that, because I think you’re just throwing words around.

Reply
TruthTeller February 9, 2019 - 7:14 am

“Clarity, precision, detail.” That’s a funny one. Most experienced users would tell you the HD 600’s are notorious for their treble shelving downward. The HD 600’s are muffled, plain and simple. I am not talking about the midrange, which is sublime. The treble range is muffled compared to reality or properly EQ’ed and conditioned high-end speakers. They simply do not translate properly. There is a reason why many recording studios use Beyers over Sennheiser, and it is not mind share or tradition. They simply translate better to reality. Interestingly enough, that correlates with what Reference Audio has found:
https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/sennheiser-hd-600.php
What you might be mistaking for detail is the characteristic upper midrange and lower treble boost. This is what gives Sennheiser’s their signature sweet midrange. The drop-off, however, cuts off air, crispness and zap in the 7 KHz+ region. Some years ago, I noted this consistently when switching between the HD 600 and several flagship reference speaker system at Sweetwater.

Stuart Charles Black February 9, 2019 - 5:03 pm

It still does have good clarity and detail and the instrument separation (precision) is good. Not sure why that was funny? But:

After a couple of years with the 600’s I can see what you’re saying to an extent. In fact I’ve gotten into it with a couple guys on YouTube (which prompted this Sennheiser HD600 vs. Philips SHP9500 article) over their love affair with a headphone that, while I still enjoy, does have issues. Most claim “you have to use the right amp” when that maybe makes up like a very small percentage of it + the fact that I’ve used a ton of amps and the differences between them are fairly subtle. I still wouldn’t really reduce it down to a “dark” or “muffled” treble. I still think the supposed “veil” is kind of overblown, and I still don’t think it sounds like you’re describing, so we’ll have to agree to disagree.

I think it’s really difficult to get the treble right on any headphone, and unfortunately most get it wrong with an over emphasis. This is why I appreciate headphones like the Audeze LCD line and Sennheiser because they get it mostly right. Detailed but still not harsh or grating. That also comes down to preference.

Now, you are right in that compared to something like a 9500 which does represent the spectrum better, the 600 sounds kind of dull. So I agree in that sense. I actually do prefer the 9500 over the 600 nowadays, but there’s another reason why and that comes in the form of the mids.

You call the mids sublime on the 600 but they just aren’t. In my last reply you talked about how the HD600 had a just as tonally inaccurate and obtrusive area in the mids as the large peak in the T1 around 8-9k. I don’t know if you changed your stance or you were just using that as a barometer to make a point about the T1.

At that time I didn’t think it was a big deal, but after more time with them I totally agree about that 3k area and do not like it at all. In fact it’s the one thing that holds the 600’s back from being a great headphone (although it still is an above average “good” headphone).

I did a measurement of the 600 and 650 with the MiniDSP Ears and you can clearly see the difference in the mids + why I prefer the 650 over the 600 after a couple of years. It’s just too in your face at times, and I feel like the vocalists are constantly shouting at me. This prompts me to have to take the headphone off for a rest. With the 650 as you can see, they tamed that area down considerably and I don’t get those same feelings.

You’re also spot on with that 7k comment (although it looks to be around 6). The sweep shows a strong dip around that area which will contribute to some of the muffle that you point out. I don’t hear it as muffled, but I can understand where you’re coming from. It still sounds clear to me, but perhaps just “darker.” I don’t really know how to describe it but “muffled” is a word I would never personally use to describe either headphone.

As for your other comment, I went ahead and deleted it. No need for it. I’ve demoed nearly 100 at the time of this comment, including most of the Grado e line, HIFIMAN’s, Senn’s, Focal, Audeze, and many others here. So it’s just like, whatever man. This site is not what you described it as, not even close. Take a look at the front page for all of the people I’ve helped. Those are just the ones displayed. The very thing you accused my content of being (insincere) is actually the exact opposite what people who frequent my site and channel thank me for. So: not sure what you’re talking about. Every websites goal is to get traffic, and eyes reading their content brah. That’s nothing new. I don’t run ads on this site either, so again, not sure what you’re talking about.

Perhaps you were referring to this article specifically, and if so, fine. You’re right. It’s not one of my better ones (though the information is still relevant) and is one of the first ones ever written on here. It is also now approaching 4 years old. It needs an update. But please don’t cherry pick one piece of content out of countless others as the basis for your flawed viewpoint. It’s just silly. That said..

Thanks for stopping by anyhow. Perhaps we can get a better dialogue going.

Regards,
-Stu

arcadiaecho January 5, 2016 - 3:45 pm

This is wonderful. Very clear and well explained in each step. Thank you! Me and boyfriend have had a home office for a long time and we never knew how to set it up for great cinema audio. We need it for our job while we create video games and movies.

Reply
Stu January 7, 2016 - 11:02 pm

No problem arcadia!

If you have any questions or need some help, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Wishing you the best,

-Stu

Reply
Siika January 1, 2017 - 7:56 pm

I am a little disappointed that you do not compare the two headphones despite the article being labeled as such. I can’t find any tangible comparison.

“T 90 is more fun and laid back.” And? What does that mean? Everything is really vague and does not give away the characteristics of the headphones in question.

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Stu January 2, 2017 - 8:18 pm

Good catch, my apologies for the fuzzy and unclear differences. I revised the Differences section. Should be more apparent now. Hope it helps. If not please let me know or Contact me.

Thanks for dropping by!
-Stu

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Beau February 3, 2017 - 9:30 pm

Hello, great comparison.
I recently upgraded from my Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro’s to the T90 black chrome edition. I find there are almost zero areas in which the DT990 excels compared to the T90.
Mind you, there is a bit more sound isolation with the DT990’s than I get with my T90’s. Oddly enough…despite both headphones being 250ohms, I find the T90 are easier to drive with mobile devices. But this comes at a cost, as poor quality recordings are much worse sounding on the T90, and higher volumes without a proper amplifier sound much worse and lose the body present beforehand.

Both great, but if you have the money the T90’s have no contest with the DT990s.

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Stu February 3, 2017 - 11:20 pm

Nice man, thanks for the valuable info! Do you have an Amp setup?

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beau Wille February 10, 2017 - 7:41 pm

Yes, I have a JDS Labs Objective 2. It makes such a profound difference with both headphones. Granted, poorer quality recordings and weaker amplification are more profound in their detriment to the listening experience for the T90. I really want to try the T1’s now, but I was fortunate to find my T90’s for $276 usd and T1’s are nearly $800. At that difference, if I bought the T1’s I don’t think I would be anything but disappointed.

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Stu February 15, 2017 - 3:54 am

Yeah. The T1’s are still a great headphone but that treble range can be pretty harsh.
Thanks for stopping by Beau! Let me know what your impressions of the T90 are overall.

Reply
Beau February 23, 2017 - 7:03 pm

For me the T90’s are great headphones for the cost, excellent if you can find them on sale (buydig seller on ebay has great deals on Beyerdynamics).
It is a fun headphone that can be mildly fatiguing on hot tracks or lower quality recordings, but the more you put into it, the more it gives you. Definitely recommend, same old comfortable and high quality build from Beyerdynamic in a new headphone.

Stu February 25, 2017 - 1:31 pm

Thanks much Beau! I appreciate you responding back. If you ever need anything just Contact me

TruthTeller June 5, 2017 - 4:20 pm

“But that treble range can be pretty harsh.”
This is absolutely incorrect. If anything, the upper midrange peak in the HD 600 is just as obtrusive and tonally inaccurate. How about actually obtaining a pair and demoing it in real life instead of “reviewing” by guessing how things will sound using one touchy audiophile’s review as the basis of your knowledge? The Beyerdynamic T1 is far from peaky compared to the DT 990 or Grados, which are far more abrasive and grainy.

Stu June 10, 2017 - 8:37 pm

That’s your opinion. I don’t find it obtrusive, and to be honest it’s not even that large of a peak. Tonally inaccurate? Maybe, but I can forgive that small bump when looking at the entirety of the sound signature.. It’s called clarity. Most people already know that the mids are forward, so what you’re saying isn’t revolutionary or new. It’s what makes the 600 a great headphone. Why is it that 99% of people have no issues with fatigue? I’ve yet to come across a person who said they had to take them off because of the supposed obtrusive mid-range. It also depends on your source files. If you’re listening to crap, they’ll absolutely let you know. Maybe you should evaluate your music. I’m not going to listen to anything less than FLAC or the highest quality WAV when I plug mine in.

As far as your other comments, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. If I don’t demo or own a headphone personally, I research as much as I can, it comes from many sources and reviews, and it’s based off of a clear consensus. I’m not just saying things just to be saying them. You do realize that because I can’t demo everything, I base my buying decisions off of what others say? It has never failed me. For instance, there’s an entire thread on Head-Fi dedicated to “dampening the T1’s.” The consensus around the internet is that the T1’s have a hot, somewhat harsh treble at times. That’s undisputed and one look at a graph makes it painfully obvious. Also, we’re not comparing them to the Grado’s or 990’s. People should automatically take that into account before buying, since Grado’s being harsh is no news flash at all.

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous December 9, 2017 - 8:32 am

That is not the consensus. You are reading the forums as you go as you obviously don’t have a full stock of headphones or even listen to them to begin with. This site is a joke.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black December 9, 2017 - 4:27 pm

Actually, that is the consensus. The T1 has a harsh 9k treble peak. One look at a graph would confirm that quite easily. Sorry if the truth hurts. The T90 has a similar sound signature with less of a peak at 9k, but it’s still there. Both are fairly balanced and neutral, and share a similar sound. It’s not rocket science. I have about 10 pairs of headphones on hand friend, and I’m constantly demoing/buying/and borrowing as many as I can. You obviously like to jump to conclusions about things you know nothing of. As far as the site being a joke, well, that’s just like, your opinion, man. You’re the second person who’s said that in 3 years. Congrats. If you actually browsed my site and read all of the comments from people thanking me for helping them, you wouldn’t make such rash statements. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day.

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