Open-back headphones offer an engaging and precise listening experience. Perfect for serious studio work but equally awesome for casual listening. In this review, we check out the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. A premium pair of headphones that gets a lot right.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro are some of the best producer headphones out there. While they are near-perfect, there are a few issues worth highlighting. Check out the quick hits below before we take a detailed look at these stunning cans.
Beyerdynamic rarely disappoints when it comes to headphones. They offer plenty of high-quality choices, and the DT 1990 Pro might be the best. Let’s take a closer look.
If you spend this much on a pair of headphones, you should expect exceptional sound quality. And that is precisely what the DT 1990 Pro delivers. Stunning sound that is accurate and engaging. Something that few studio headphones achieve.
The frequency range of 5Hz – 40kHz instantly highlights that these can hit high and low in good measure. But more importantly, they do this with precision. Minimal peaks and dips for a neutral and accurate response. Ideal for serious studio work but also fantastic for hearing new details in the music you love.
The DT 1990 Pro features a wide frequency range.
The bass response is rich, complete, and rather punchy for a pair of open-back headphones. It’s not boomy or muddy either. Just pure grunt that is true to the source material. If you work or listen to bass-heavy music, these will not disappoint.
Moving into the mid-range, you’ll be presented with a warm and generous sound profile. But the mids are a little recessed compared to the other frequencies. It’s not bad by any means but noticeable to a trained ear.
The top-end is super crisp and clear. If anything, it might be a little too bright for some. I’m sensitive to excessive highs, so I did feel some ear fatigue after a long session. But how sensitive you are will determine if this will be an issue for you.
It is also worth noting that these headphones come with two sets of ear pads. And it’s not just a comfort choice. They do change the dynamics of the sound profile. The set fitted is the “balanced” pair and the basis of the sound review above. The second set is the “analytical” pair. This does help diffuse the bass a bit and allow the mids to come more forward. The differences are minimal but noticeable.
The soundstage is roomy and spacious, as you would expect from an open set of cans. Spatial positioning is good and well-balanced in the field. No complaints here. Total Harmonic Distortion is super low at under 0.05%. These are clear and precise headphones without a hint of issues in sound delivery.
These are also exceptionally loud at a Max SPL of 125dB and a nominal SPL of 102dB. Ample headroom, and as long as you run these through an amp, you won’t need to push them to their limits.
There is little to complain about when it comes to these headphones. Simply put, they are a joy to listen to. Highly capable of detailed studio work but not overly lifeless or bland in the profile. A fantastic balance that ensures everyone will enjoy these.
Another hallmark of Beyerdynamic headphones is the excellent level of comfort across their full range of studio headphones. Having experienced several Beyerdynamic headphones, I knew what to expect, and these were up to those expectations.
The clamping force does lean a little tight, but this will only be noticeable if you have a larger than average head. Even with the increased pressure, at no point does it feel like you are getting sandwiched. It’s secure, stable, and reliable.
The ear cup padding is soft and comfortable.
One of the reasons that the clamping force doesn’t cause issues is due to the superb ear padding. These memory foam ear pads are super plush and inviting. The coating is soft and doesn’t lead to any discomfort. Some of the best ear padding you’ll come across. Heat build-up is present but still miles ahead of closed-back cans. But there are more breathable open-back options out there.
The padding on the headband is equally fantastic. It’s thick, and there is enough to ensure no part of the headband digs into your head. The weight distribution is also perfectly executed.
These are super comfortable headphones that you can wear for hours on end. Not as floaty as some, but I’m happy to accept heavier headphones when the quality and execution are this good.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro offers a sophisticated and modern design that is perfect for a studio setting.
The dark grey finish is a nice change of pace from the abundance of black options out there. It’s close to black but different enough to give it a unique character when lined up against other headphones.
The subtle and restricted use of logos is also a pleasant alternative to some of the more in-your-face designs on other headphones. Likewise, the open-back grille design is unique and eye-catching.
Premium quality and attractive styling.
These are bulky headphones and certainly not discreet, but there is a particular element of style and class that these headphones exude. Excellent execution.
Beyond appearance, there are some other design elements worth highlighting. The first is the cable connection. These headphones feature a mini-XLR connection point, which locks into place and offers a secure connection. It would have been great to see both ear cups provide a connection point, but that is the tiniest possible gripe I can find.
The impedance is also worth mentioning. Coming in at 250 ohms, these ideally want to partner up with a quality headphone amp. You can still drive these with a laptop or smartphone, but you’ll experience a noticeable drop in volume and quality.
These headphones also don’t collapse. You’ll need to look elsewhere if you need a portable set of cans. These belong in a studio setting or at home for casual listening.
Of course, these are open-back cans, so sound will leak; likewise, sound will find its way in. If you need isolation, you’ll need to look at closed-back headphones.
Most of what I’ve mentioned is inherent to open-back headphones. There is very little to fault when it comes to these headphones. Excellent execution across the board with a slick aesthetic.
Another fantastic feature of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is how robust and durable these open-back headphones are.
The frame features plenty of metal which lends both heft and dependability. They do come in at 0.81 lbs. (367 grams). But they are also not excessively heavy. Just the right amount to feel premium without causing issues with comfort.
Excellent construction and component quality.
Component quality is also superb. The ear padding is among the best in the business. But switching between the two sets does take some getting used to. Within the cups, the high-quality 45mm Tesla Neodymium drivers are equally fantastic.
Nothing is sub-par. Nothing creaks, everything features a clean finish, and the execution is precise. This is German engineering at its finest.
These are premium headphones. And with that comes a premium price. If you are a budget-conscious buyer, you’ll need to consider alternatives. But when you compare it to other headphones in this price range, they present good value.
The DT 1990 Pro comes with a large number of accessories.
You’ll have two cables. One straight and one coiled. Both are long and high-quality. They also both come with an adapter. Usually, you’d only find one adapter.
The package also includes a chunky and dependable hard case. This thing is tough and will help protect your headphones between sessions. Mind you, it isn’t the most ergonomic case and not exactly ideal for travel.
While these headphones are expensive, it is hard to find fault in them. If you have the money to spend, these are a great addition to your studio or for casual listening.
It is rare to see a pair of headphones that is as universally loved as the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones. A staggering amount of positive reviews from both industry professionals and customers. A testament to the consistent build quality and the sublime sound profile.
It is essential to have different reference points when you are creating music. Most creators will rely on their studio monitors to do most of the heavy lifting when working on their creations.
In most cases, studio monitors are an excellent starting point. But elements like room dynamics and the quality of your monitors can cause issues. You may make decisions without an accurate representation of what is happening.
Studio headphones are an excellent alternate reference point.
This is where external reference options are critical. An excellent set of studio headphones is the ideal counterbalance. Jumping between the two will ensure you can pick out all the details and adjust accordingly.
It is also worth checking your creations in other environments. This could be through your car stereo system, PA speakers, or consumer-grade headphones. It also doesn’t hurt to check how your creation will sound when compressed for streaming.
Multiple vantage points will ensure you are doing your best work. And a pair of high-quality studio headphones is one of the best ways to get a fresh perspective on your work.
It is hard to look past the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones. But there are enticing alternatives that can go toe to toe with these great cans. Below is a snapshot of some other options worth considering.
AKG K712 Pro Review
If your focus is on music production, the AKG K712 is worth exploring. These super-neutral headphones are ideal for precision work in the studio.
- Exceptionally well-balanced headphones that offer a detailed and revealing sound profile.
- These are lightweight and very comfortable. Perfect for long stints in the studio.
- The highly analytical sound isn’t as engaging for casual listening.
AKG K712 Pro
Sennheiser HD 660S Review
The HD 660S from Sennheiser is an excellent all-rounder that will satisfy your needs in the studio while also providing an engaging casual listening experience.
- Detailed mid-range with restrained highs provides a fatigue-free sound profile.
- The earcups feature a good amount of padding and high breathability.
- The sub-bass is lackluster. If you like boomy bass you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Sennheiser HD 660S
ADAM Audio SP5 Review
Another excellent choice is the SP5 from legendary studio monitor maker ADAM Audio. It features an engaging sound profile that is perfect for studio work.
- Excellent clarity and precision across the frequency range, along with a generous soundstage.
- Lightweight design that is comfortable for long sessions in the studio.
- These don’t have the best level of isolation due to the relaxed fit.
ADAM Audio SP5
Should You Buy?
I’ve given a lot of praise to the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro in this review, and rightfully so. These are sensational headphones that deliver in so many areas.
They feature outstanding comfort, exquisite sound, and precise construction. There is little to fault here besides small nitpicks. Superb headphones for a studio environment and an engaging choice for enjoying your favorite music.
If you want one of the best headphones you can buy today, you’ve come to the right place. A stellar pair of headphones that are worth every dollar.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro