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Very crisp sound with a touch of GreyPosted by GN3RAL KARL from Colorado Springs on 2011-05-09
Posted on Beyerdynamic DT 990 - 32 Ohm
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: The bassiest open-headphone period, Ultra-comfortable, Great detail throughout all ranges.
Cons: May require slight EQ'ing for some individuals, but will bring out incredibly satisfying results
This DT990 32ohm in my opinion is Beyer's most versatile and dynamic headphone they have ever produced. It can be used as a portable phone if you wish, with it's low impedance design and super-comfortable structure. My source is a T-Mobile G2 (Android 2.2) running Poweramp as my music software, without an amp at the moment. It is the best software on the market for the Android and it sports a 10-band parametric equalizer with additional bass and treble controls, so users can dial in a precise sound according to their tastes to any headphone.
The high-end of the audio spectrum on the DT990 32ohm is definitely bright, but in a very crisp and resolving manner. There's plenty of detail that sparkles up here, in fact I believe it is the brightest out of all the DT series headphones. This may scare some, however, I do EQ the 8K range down a bit. This brings an extra layer of smoothness to the highs that in my opinion puts it near the class of the DT880 600ohm - and yet you don't need a brute amp to drive this one, however it would sound better with one.
The mids are very present if a touch less prominent that the heightened bass and treble that this can produces stock. This may make it seem as if the headphone has a recessed midrange, nevertheless this can be fixed by raising the 2K and 4K marks on your EQ, bringing out a more lush and forward midrange that is, in my ears, much more involving.
The bass notes are the most incredible that I've ever experienced in a open headphone. There is plenty of it from the deepest lows (31Hz), to the thick mid-bass (62Hz), to the upper crust (125Hz). If left untouched, the bass notes can seem to overpower the bottom mids and overall the bass may seem a little too much and not as tight as desired. If you crave or need slimmer bass just EQ as well the ranges. Mainly the 62Hz and 125Hz ranges can be brought down a couple decibels or more and this can easily bring out a more controlled bass line, yet doesn't lose the incredible authority that the 990's produce.
The soundstage is very large and 3D-like. It is a touch smaller than the AD700's or the K701-702's. Yet, the bass response from the DT990's stock DESTROY the AD700's and the AKG series when it comes to movies and games. Hear every blast, gunshot, and earthquake with such immense presence that it will for sure drop your jaw. No other open-headphone that I've had can comes close (unless it was modded :). The soundstage however lacks a little of the incredible imaging and depth of field that the DT880 600ohm has and seems a little unfocused with instruments, them being not as carefully placed as the DT880 variants. Not that this detracts from the overall sound, because the 990's soundstage more surrounds you than the 880's being more focused and tighter, yet the 880's don't surround enough for movies and games, leading to a slightly more 2D backdrop, and you getting killed in FPS's :) The preference is up to the user. This DT990 32ohm headphone has replaced ALL of my previous Beyer headphones due to it's versatility in sound and application.
Detail retrieval is abundant, so classical, jazz, and other genres with plenty of notes will come through effortlessly. They are also very comfortable; no need for elaboration. There seems to be a lot of love and hate for this particular series of the Beyer line. I honestly cannot see why when things can be slightly tweaked with the use of an EQ. Therefore, if the bare sound doesn't appeal, use the EQ to dial in certain ranges. You might find it very enjoyable!
DT990 32ohm = Jack of all trades - without the Jill. LOL!
Max Sound Level before distorting - 107db
UPDATE - The Fiio E5 provides a perfect match for power and sound for the 990 32ohm. It takes the edge off the highs and tightens up the bass to a sublime degree. The sound is ridiculously butter smooth, it didn't even sound this fantastic out of my now gone Starving Student Millet Tube amp or JDS Labs Cmoy! Synergy is definitely real, unbelievable sound from just a $20 amp. Particularly, when paired with the 990 32ohm, it is amazing even with the bass boost on.
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