I’ve tested numerous Beyerdynamic headphones on TechWalls but all of them were closed-back headphones. The DT 1990 Pro is my first open-back headphones from Beyerdynamic and they have a lot of promising features. Let’s check out my full review.
Design & Features
The DT 1990 Pro was announced at IFA last year and that was among the first Beyerdynamic headphones in the Pro branch coming with Tesla neodymium drivers. The DT 1770 Pro is the closed-back version while the DT 1990 Pro is the open-back one. Both of them are reference studio monitoring headphones built for mixing, mastering, and monitoring.
Once opening the box, you can see only a hard carrying case since Beyerdynamic keeps the headphones and all accessories inside. There are an extra set of velour pads that could alter the sound (we will talk about them later in the review) and two cables, including a 3-meter cable and a 5-meter coiled cable. Notably, both of the cables have a 3.5mm connector with a screw-on 6.35mm adapter and the mini-XLR connector on the other end.
The DT 1990 Pro couldn’t be considered stylish headphones but they have a very solid build and the driver grills make the design less boring. They look exactly like the headphones for studio uses.
The earpads are quite soft and comfortable but the velour covering doesn’t feel as smooth on my skin as leather ones. Besides, your ears can feel the heat very soon, so the headphones are not ideal for wearing on summer days.
The headphones are not something lightweight but I have no problem wearing them for long-term listening sessions. The clamping force is not too strong while padding on the earpads and headband is adequate.
The DT 1990 Pro is single-sided with a mini-XLR port, so you won’t be able to have a balanced cable setup here.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones still have the same sound signature as found on other headphones from the manufacturer.
They have a very high impedance of 250 ohms but still can plug them directly to my smartphone or laptop to listen to music. However, the sound from the devices have some differences. I tested the headphones with my Samsung smartphone, an Astell & Kern digital audio player, and my MSI laptop. Overall, the A&K DAP has the best audio quality while my laptop is the worst of them all. Notably, my Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone could drive the headphones pretty well, although I often have to crank up the volume to nearly maximum.
If you plan to use the DT 1990 Pro with your PC or laptop, I’d recommend you to use a dedicated DAC/Amp to get the most out of the headphones.
Notably, there are two sets of earpads included in the box to tailor the sound. The EDT 1990 A pads would deliver a neutral sound while the B pads would have a slight bass boost. I use the B pads for my test since the sound is a lot more entertaining then. You might want to use A pads for studio monitoring.
The bass is boosted but it’s a very punchy, fast and deep bass, not something muddy that you hear on cheap headphones.
As compared to my Beyerdynamic T5p 2nd-generation headphones, the DT 1990 Pro sounds sharper and more aggressive. The treble on the T5p is better tamed and I hardly can hear any treble spikes. On the other hand, the treble on the DT 1990 Pro is too bright and could be fatiguing if you listen to electronic music or tracks with very high notes. I guess many people will hate the bright sound but it can be fixed with some EQ tuning. Besides, you can also benefit from the highs when you listen to calmer genres like classical, country, or jazz. You will be impressed with the excellent resolution and brightness that you won’t be able to experience on most other headphones. Having said that, I still prefer the T5p because of more present mids and the closed-back design doesn’t leak sound to the outside world. The DT 1990 Pro has a brilliant sound separation in the mids and the soundstage is pretty wide but the mids are still slightly recessed.
- Sturdy build
- 2 earpads for different sounds
- Amazing resolution, bass depth, and details
- It might require an Amp to drive
- Highs could be fatiguing for some
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is high-quality headphones that could meet requirements of most musicians and audiophiles. It retains the clear and bright sound signature as found on other Beyerdynamic headphones while the price tag is still reasonable.