Disclaimer: The review sample of the Beyerdynamic DT1990PRO was sent to us by Beyerdynamic on loan for one month. It’s going back to Germany right after this review. Beyerdynamic isn’t a Headfonia advertiser. Unless differently mentioned the pictures are property of Beyerdynamic.
The German Beyerdynamic recently has been renewing their existing line-up with a rev 2 of their existing best-sellers like the T1.2. Most of these “new” headphones feature a removable cable and that makes me and a whole lot of other “audiophiles” very happy.
A couple of weeks ago the PRO branch of Beyerdynamic released a new PRO headphone with the DT1770PRO, a closed reference studio monitoring headphones for mixing, mastering, monitoring and recording. Everyone of course knows the classic DT770PRO which has been around like forever and so Beyerdynamic decided it was time to let the DT770Pro evolve. The DT1770PRO is the first PROfessional closed headphone using the Beyerdynamic Tesla technology. A few weeks later at IFA 2016, Beyerdynamic launched the open version of this headphone, called the DT1990PRO. I knew this headphone was coming even before I received the DT1770Pro and I’ve been lucky to have spent several weeks with both units already.
The DT1990PRO is handcrafted in Germany and it is Beyer’s first open-back studio reference headphones for mixing and mastering. Its impedance is 250 ohms and on the inside you’ll find a 45-mm dynamic Tesla neodymium driver. The DT1990Pro is single-sided and has a detachable cable with a mini-XLR connector. It comes delivered in an improved carrying hard case with two sets of velour pads, a straight 3m cable and a coiled cable. The two pairs of velour ear pads have different sound characteristics (analytical and balanced) but we’ll get to that later in this section and in the part on “Sound”.
The headband compared to the “old” DT990 has improved a lot. The leather material used just looks and feels nicer providing even better comfort, the stitching on top is simply beautiful. Beyerdynamic of course keeps using the typical Beyer suspension system with the typical anodized aluminum yokes holding the drivers/ear cups. As the DT1990PRO is an open design the ear cups are partially open. They don’t have a full grill like you see in the T1 but it actually is mostly plastic with a whole bunch of vertical see-through grill parts. A lot of people I spoke to in Berlin love the design but I personally don’t especially think the sides of the cups look stunning. The design however doesn’t bother either.
As we’re used to from Beyerdynamic and all the other German headphone companies, the build quality of these headphones is topnotch. All components in fact are replaceable and ensure a long lifetime of the headphone. I’m a big fan of velour pads and all my Beyerdynamic headphones (T70, T90, COP, DT770PRO, DT1770PRO) in fact are equipped with velour pads. Sure your ears might get a little warmer when using the headphone for longer periods but comfort wise these simply are the best. The DT1990PRO comes with two sets of velour pads that each have their own sound signature: The EDT 1990 A pads for a neutral sound (included in the delivery, light grey color) and the EDT 1990 B pads for a sound with a slight bass boost (included in the delivery, dark grey color). The B pads are the ones the DT1990PRO came delivered with. Comfort wise however these pads are exactly the same. Changing the pads is quite easy once you know how to do it, and it only takes like a minute to switch the pads. It’s not fun doing it but it’s quick and easy.
The DT1990PRO, like every other Beyerdynamic headphone, is very comfortable. The clamping force on your head is just right but that of course depends on your head. The DT1990PRO weighs a perfectly normal 370 grams which is not heavy at all for a full sized headphone. The left side cable entry is easy and perfectly fine yet I still prefer a double Left and Right entry. The Beyerdynamic headphones have always easy to adjust and it’s no different with their latest creation. Comfort is guaranteed.
Personally I wouldn’t take the DT1990PRO outside of the house but I’ve actually seen people using it a as a portable headphone. It’s a proof though that it’s a very comfy unit even though the sound quality can’t be optimal as sound will leak out and in. The DT1990PRO officially costs $/€599 in the Beyerdynamic web shop but I’ve seen it go for $568.80 and €590 on Amazon. I expected the DT1990PRO to be a lot more expensive and closer to the 1K mark but the Beyerdynamic price for this unit is incredibly sharp.
Headphone frequency response
Nominal sound pressure level
Nominal handling capacity
Nominal headband Pressure
Weight (without cable)
102 dBSPL (1mW/500Hz)
102 dB SPL (1 mW / 500 Hz)
< 0,05% (1mW / 500 Hz)
Approx. 6.6 N
A lot of people immediately think every single Beyerdynamic unit has a V-shaped sound curve but that isn’t always the case. Beyerdynamic describes the DT1990PRO as follows: Brilliant highs, a richly detailed midrange and precise bass with a wide, dynamic and extremely natural stereo image. Beyerdynamic is pretty right.
The overall Character of the headphone changes depending on the type of ear pads you use. With the B-type pads – where B stands for Balanced – the DT1990PRO illogically has added bass presence. With the A Pads – where A stands for Analytical – you get a more balanced and linear sound where there is no added anything. I don’t find the pads to impact the midrange and treble too much although the mids might seem different (thicker) because of the added bass body. For “fun” listening my preference goes to the B pads but the A pads make out of the DT1990PRO what it is supposed to be: a more neutral and analytical precise headphone for studio monitoring. Do note that there are two version of the pads already, this review sample seems to be equipped with the older pads as shown in user kman1211’s post on Head-fi.
Sound continues on Page two, right after the Click here or the jump below