In this review we take a look at some amazing ‘phone from Beyerdynamic – the DT 1990 Pro’s might rank among the best headphones we’ve ever reviewed…
We looked at Beyerdynamic’s DT 1770s in MT164 – an update of a favourite in studio headphones – and concluded that they offer “a great mix of sound and comfort… the studio legend lives on… damn fine headphones”.
The 1990 Pros are new this year: essentially, they’re the open-back version of the Pro range and have the same price, impedance and frequency response of the 1770. If nothing else, then, because the 1770s were so good, we can now compare both models to try and answer the age-old question: closed or open headphones? Until now, we’ve yet to be convinced by either argument.
Closed-back headphones give you more isolation and need less level, so are thought to be good for mixing, but our recent tests on our reference Audio Technicas has left us using the open-back R70s as a reference – they just offer a wider and more natural experience.
The Beyerdynamic test should offer more answers, then, but first up, let’s look at the 1990s in isolation. They are very comfortable, probably right up there in the top levels of headphone comfort that we’ve experienced.
The sound is glorious; uncoloured and spacious, as you’d expect from open-backed ’phones (their main advantage over closed headphones).
Compared to the 1770s, there are surprises. First up, the 1990s didn’t need to be driven any more, which we expected might need doing. Secondly, their isolation is pretty good. Thirdly,
we even noticed the extra 18g on the slightly heavier 1770s – yes, we really did! So the 1990s edge it, comfort-wise.
As far as sonic comparisons go, we love the 1770s but there’s something we can’t describe with the 1990s. It might be a more natural, wider sound, or less pronounced bass because of the more open construction. Either way, we’re going to use these for mixing on from now on.
When we put them on after the 1770s, we instantly gave out a comforting ‘yes’ and didn’t want to take them off again. Truly outstanding ’phones – it’s 2-0 to open back.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro Key Features
● Open-back studio reference headphones
● 45mm Tesla neodymium driver
● Impedance: 250 ohms
● Frequency response: 5Hz to 40kHz
● SPL: 102 dBSPL (1mW/500Hz)
● Weight: 370g