Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 880 vs DT 990: In-Depth Comparison

When it comes to choosing the right pair of headphones, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and preferences. Among the top contenders in the audiophile world are the Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 880 vs DT 990.

Each of these headphones offers a unique listening experience, with varying levels of comfort and sound quality. In this article, we’ll dive into the key differences between the three models, helping you make an informed decision on which one is the best fit for you.

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 is known for its closed-back design, offering impressive sound isolation for studio recording or simply enjoying your favorite tunes without disturbing those around you.

On the other hand, the DT 880 combines the benefits of both closed and open-back designs to create a semi-open headphone with a more balanced and natural soundstage. Lastly, the DT 990 features an open-back design, giving it a spacious and airy sound that’s perfect for critical listening and mixing.

Each of the three models comes in different impedance levels, which is crucial to match your audio source. While the lower impedance versions are tailored for portable devices, the higher impedance options are ideal for professional studio setups.

As we delve deeper into the characteristics of the Beyerdynamic DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990, you’ll discover the pros and cons of each, ultimately determining which of these exceptional headphones will satisfy your audio needs the most.

Beyerdynamic DT 770: Closed-Back Design

When considering the Beyerdynamic DT 770, its closed-back design is a standout feature that sets it apart from the DT 880 and DT 990. On my first listen, I noticed that this design offers several advantages, making it perfect for certain use cases. Let me share some insights on these advantages with you.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 880 vs DT 990

First and foremost, the closed-back design provides superior noise isolation. This means that the headphones prevent sound leakage and block out external noise, making them ideal for use in noisy environments. I found it great for commuting or working in shared spaces, where background noise can be a distraction.

Another big advantage is the enhanced bass response. The sealed construction of the DT 770 allows for a more pronounced, punchy bass compared to open-back or semi-open designs like the DT 880 and DT 990.

As a bass lover myself, I must admit this made a noticeable difference in my listening experience, especially when consuming bass-heavy music genres like electronic dance, hip-hop, and R&B.

However, it’s essential to consider that closed-back headphones, in general, have a narrower soundstage compared to open-back alternatives. That said, the DT 770 pleasantly surprised me with its ability to provide an immersive and spacious listening experience, despite its closed-back construction.

While discussing the DT 770’s closed-back design, it’s worth noting several key features that contribute to the overall comfort and build quality:

  • Padded ear cups: The headphones boast velour padding, offering comfort for extended listening sessions.
  • Durable headband: Its sturdy metal headband is built to last while ensuring a secure fit.
  • Swappable parts: Many of its components, including ear pads and headband padding, can be easily replaced, extending the product’s lifespan.

Overall, the DT 770 is an excellent choice for those who desire a closed-back headphone with premium sound quality, comfort, and durability. Its design is perfect for bass enthusiasts, people working in noisy environments, or anybody looking for a headphone that isolates sound without sacrificing sonic performance.

Also Read: Beosound Explore vs A1: The Ultimate Comparison

DT 880: The Semi-Open Option

Now that we’ve discussed the Beyerdynamic DT 770, let’s dive into the DT 880, another fantastic choice for those seeking a balance between the closed-back design of the DT 770 and the open-back design of the DT 990. As a semi-open headphone, the DT 880 offers a unique listening experience, perfect for audiophiles and professionals alike.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 880 vs DT 990

The semi-open design of the DT 880 strikes a balance between sound isolation and an open, spacious soundstage. This design choice allows for moderate isolation while still providing a more natural, spacious sound. The DT 880 truly shines when it comes to sound quality, with a neutral and balanced sound signature that remains consistent across different listening environments.

Some features of the DT 880 include:

  • Comfortable earcups and headband: The DT 880 has soft, velour earcups that provide excellent comfort, even during long listening sessions. The adjustable headband ensures a snug fit for all head sizes.
  • Durability: Beyerdynamic is known for its high-quality materials and construction, which makes the DT 880 a long-lasting, reliable option for users.
  • Wide range of impedance options: With options ranging from 32Ω to 600Ω, the DT 880 can satisfy the needs of various users and devices, a testament to its versatility.

There are, however, a couple of potential drawbacks to consider when choosing the DT 880:

  • Not ideal for noisy environments: While the semi-open design provides some level of noise isolation, it’s not as effective as the closed-back DT 770 when dealing with loud surroundings.
  • Coiled cable: The DT 880 comes with a coiled cable, which some users find less convenient than a straight cable. Personal preferences play a big role here.

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 is an impressive semi-open option for those seeking a headphone with a neutral sound profile and an excellent balance between open and closed-back designs. Its sound quality and comfort make it a popular choice among audiophiles and professionals seeking versatile headphones for various applications.

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DT 990: Open-Back Performance

Now, I’ll dive into the DT 990 and its distinct open-back design. Known for its impressive audio performance, this headphone offers a beautifully balanced sound signature, providing an immersive audio experience that audio enthusiasts love. But what exactly sets the DT 990 apart from its siblings?

Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 880 vs DT 990

A key feature of the DT 990 is its open-back design, which allows for a more natural and expansive soundstage. It offers an airy feeling as the sound is able to flow freely, giving the music a spacious quality that I find quite enjoyable. This makes the DT 990 especially suitable for genres where instrument separation and position are important, such as classical, jazz, and acoustic.

When it comes to frequency response, the DT 990 offers a well-balanced and detailed sound across the entire spectrum. The bass is tight and controlled, while the mids are clear and present without being overly aggressive. Take a look at the following frequency response breakdown:

FrequencyDT 990
BassTight, controlled, and accurate
MidrangeClear and present, without aggressiveness
TrebleSparkling, bright, and detailed

The DT 990 headphones are known for their impressive treble response. Although the high frequencies might be a bit too pronounced for some listeners, it’s this brightness and shimmer that gives the DT 990 its unique character. The sparkling treble is excellent for reproducing vocals and acoustic instruments, providing lifelike detail and clarity.

The overall construction of the DT 990 is quite similar to the other models in the Beyerdynamic lineup. They feature the same sturdy build and comfortable earcups, ensuring long listening sessions are enjoyable.

However, it’s important to note that open-back headphones, like the DT 990, inherently leak sound and offer less isolation than their closed-back counterparts.
This means they’re not the best choice for use in noisy environments, as they will not block out external noise and may disturb others around you.

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 delivers top-notch open-back performance, providing a wide soundstage and intricate details for a highly immersive listening experience. Just be aware of its sound leakage and limited isolation, as these factors may make it unsuitable for certain situations.

Sound Quality Comparison: Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 880 vs DT 990

When it comes to sound quality, Beyerdynamic DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990 each have their unique strengths and characteristics. Let’s dive into the details of the sound quality for each model.

DT 770: As a closed-back headphone, the DT 770 delivers impressive sound isolation – perfect for those who want to block out ambient noise. The bass response is powerful yet controlled, ensuring that low frequencies don’t dominate the mix.

In terms of midrange, I find it to be clean and detailed, allowing vocals and guitars to shine. The treble is bright but not overly aggressive. Overall, the sound signature of the DT 770 can be described as V-shaped, emphasizing bass and treble while slightly recessing the mids.

  • Bass: pronounced and controlled
  • Mids: clean and detailed
  • Treble: bright

DT 880: The semi-open design of the DT 880 offers a more spacious and airy soundstage compared to the closed-back DT 770. Bass’s response is accurate and tight, providing an excellent foundation for the mix without overshadowing other elements.

The mids are more prominent and transparent, lending a natural and refined quality to the sound. Treble in the DT 880 is clear and extended, offering a satisfying amount of detail. The DT 880’s overall sound signature can be considered neutral, with a well-balanced presentation across the frequency spectrum.

  • Bass: accurate and tight
  • Mids: prominent and transparent
  • Treble: clear and extended

DT 990: The DT 990, with its fully open-back design, has the most expansive soundstage among the three headphones. Bass reproduction is slightly more impactful than the DT 880 but with a similar level of control and accuracy.

Mids are again detailed and realistic, ensuring instruments and vocals sound lifelike. Treble, however, is the most pronounced in the DT 990, giving the sound a bright and airy quality. This can be enjoyable for some listeners but might be fatiguing for others sensitive to treble. The sound signature of DT 990 is a mix of V-shaped and neutral characteristics.

  • Bass: impactful and controlled
  • Mids: detailed and realistic
  • Treble: pronounced and airy

Ultimately, your choice between the Beyerdynamic DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990 should be influenced by your personal preferences, listening environment, and how you prioritize different aspects of sound quality.

Comfort and Fit for Each Model

Comfort and fit are essential when choosing headphones, and Beyerdynamic’s DT series has a lot going for it in this regard. In this section, I’ll highlight the comfort and fit elements of the DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990 models.

DT 770 is a closed-back headphone designed to provide a snug fit and excellent isolation from outside noise. Featuring soft, plush earpads, they’re designed for extended listening sessions without causing discomfort. Many users find the adjustable headband and sturdy build quality comfortable for extended periods of use. Key features that contribute to the comfort and fit of the DT 770 include:

  • Soft earpads
  • Adjustable headband
  • Sturdy build quality

The DT 880, a semi-open back headphone, strikes a balance between open and closed headphones’ sound and performance. As a result, it’s tailored for both private and professional use.
The ear cup design allows for some airflow, which can make them more comfortable over time compared to closed-back headphones.

The DT 880 delivers a comfortable fit, with ample cushioning and support, making them suitable for extended use. Here are some noteworthy features that contribute to the DT 880’s comfort and fit:

  • Semi-open back design for increased airflow
  • Comfortable ear padding
  • Secure yet gentle clamping force

Lastly, there’s the DT 990, an open-back headphone renowned for its comfort and sound quality. Its design allows for maximum breathability, allowing your ears to stay cool during long listening sessions.

The lightweight construction, combined with velour earpads and an adjustable headband, makes it one of the most comfortable options in the DT series. Some of the main features that make the DT 990 a comfortable choice are:

  • Open-back design for breathability
  • Lightweight construction
  • Velour earpads for added comfort

All three models in Beyerdynamic’s DT series offer varying levels of comfort and fit. The DT 770’s closed-back design provides excellent noise isolation, while the DT 880 and DT 990’s semi-open and open-back designs allow for better airflow and breathability. Each model comes with its set of unique features that cater to different preferences when it comes to long-term use and overall comfort.

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Accessories and Cable Options

When it comes to accessories and cable options, the Beyerdynamic DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990 offer some similarities and differences worth considering. Let’s dive into the details.

The DT 770 is designed with a non-detachable cable, which makes it less versatile than the DT 880 and DT 990. Here are the cable options for DT 770:

  • 3.0m straight cable for the 32-ohm version
  • 1.6m straight cable for the 80-ohm version
  • 3.0m coiled cable for the 250-ohm version

The DT 880 and DT 990 both come with a single detachable cable. Though this improves versatility, it also means you’ll need to purchase additional cables separately if you want different lengths or connectors. The included cable options are:

  • 3.0m coiled cable for the 32-ohm version (DT 880 only)
  • 3.0m straight cable for the 250-ohm and 600-ohm versions

A bonus the DT 880 and DT 990 have over the DT 770 is the availability of balanced cables. These versions are called the Beyerdynamic DT 880/990 Edition and come with a 3.0m detachable cable terminated in a 4-pin XLR connector.

As for accessories, all three models include the following:

  • Soft storage bag: A convenient bag to protect and transport your headphones.
  • 1/4-inch adapter: With a screw-on design, this adapter allows quick connection to devices with a larger headphone port.

The DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990 also have the advantage of replaceable parts. This means you can easily order and replace worn-out earpads, headbands, and other components as needed.

While the DT 770 features a permanently attached cable limiting its flexibility, the DT 880 and DT 990 offer detachable cables with various lengths and connector options, including balanced cables. And while all three headphone models include a soft storage bag and 1/4-inch adapter, their replaceable parts make them a more long-lasting option for users.

Which One is Right for You?

The Beyerdynamic DT series has three incredibly popular models: the DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990. But how do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s dive in and discuss the key differences between these models.

Comfort and style play a crucial role in your decision-making process. All three models offer excellent comfort, with adjustable headbands and plush velour earpads. They all come with a distinguished, professional look, but with slight differences:

  • DT 770: These are closed-back headphones, meaning they have solid cups that isolate sound, blocking out external noise. This can be ideal for those who prefer greater privacy or a focused listening experience.
  • DT 880: These semi-open headphones fall right in the middle, providing a perfect balance between an open and closed design. A good choice if you want a mix of sound isolation and soundstage.
  • DT 990: These are open-back headphones that allow for air to pass through their open cups. They provide an expansive soundstage, making them perfect for sound enthusiasts who prefer an immersive, spacious listening experience.

Next, let’s talk about sound quality. All three models offer a phenomenal listening experience, but there are subtle differences in their sound signatures that can affect your choice.

DT 770EnhancedNeutralDetailed
DT 880BalancedSmoothAccurate
DT 990StrongBrightCrystal-clear
  • DT 770: These headphones have a solid bass response and detailed treble, making them great for genres like EDM or hip-hop. If you’re a bass enthusiast, these could be the headphones for you.
  • DT 880: With their balanced bass and smooth mids, these headphones provide natural sound reproduction. They’re ideal if you enjoy a neutral, precise, and true-to-life sound signature.
  • DT 990: These boast a sparkling treble and strong bass, which can be a great fit for users who prefer bright highs, such as in metal or rock genres. The open-back design contributes to an airy and enveloping soundstage, perfect for critical listening or gaming.

Lastly, it’s important to consider the impedance of the headphones. The lower the impedance, the easier they are to drive with your devices:

  • DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990: All models are available in 32 ohms, 80 ohms (DT 770 only), and 250 ohms. The 32-ohm variant can be used with most portable devices, while the 250-ohm versions require a dedicated headphone amplifier or audio interface for optimum performance.

Keeping these factors in mind, assess your preferences and prioritize what’s essential to you when deciding between the DT 770, DT 880, or DT 990. Whether it’s sound isolation, a balanced sound signature, or an open soundstage, Beyerdynamic offers a model that caters to your specific needs.

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Final Thoughts

After extensively testing and comparing the Beyerdynamic DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990, I’ve come to some conclusions that will help you decide which pair of headphones is the best fit for you. The DT 770 is an outstanding pick if you’re looking for closed-back headphones with strong bass and excellent isolation. It’s ideal for use in noisy environments or when you need privacy.

On the other hand, the DT 880 is a versatile choice, offering a balanced sound signature and the benefits of both open-back and closed-back models. These semi-open headphones are well-suited for critical listening, mixing, and mastering.

Lastly, if you’re after immersive listening experiences or are a true audiophile, the open-back design of the DT 990 is the way to go. These headphones deliver an expansive soundstage, well-controlled bass, and clear treble.

Whichever model you decide on, you’re getting a durable and comfortable piece of audio gear, crafted with Beyerdynamic’s signature quality. The DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990 won’t disappoint with their performance and sound characteristics, ensuring a top-notch listening experience for years to come.

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