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Beyer Dynamic DT 990 Premium 600 OHM Headphones

Price: £299.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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  • Analytical and high-resolution audio reproduction^Strong bass and treble^Lightest headphone of its class^600 ohms- for audiophile use with high end amps like the beyerdynamic A1 headphone Amplifier and home audio.

Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.2 x 21.6 cm ; 499 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 748 g
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  • Item model number: DT990 Premium 600
  • ASIN: B0024NK34O
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 17 April 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

Product Description

The 600 ohm version of the DT 990 Premium line. Excellant choice for high output usage and headphone amplifiers. Handcrafted in Germany, the famous DT 990. The complete sound spectrum is reproduced in detail from the deepest sub bass to the highest highs. This fully open, dynamic headphone is also manufactured in Germany.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By boyyo on 17 July 2012
Jumping between the Sennheiser HD650 and the Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm version is a distiguishing difference, and a very refreshing leap. While the HD650 did have bass, a warm signature, and quite natural sound with a great soundstage, one of the first things that caught me when first trying out the DT990s was the increase of bass, which I favour a lot (and probably the most I've ever heard on open cans). Of course, as some of you may be aware of - probably from hearing yourself or reading elsewhere - there is also an increase of treble; some say polarizing treble. To me, the treble was obtrusive on some songs, but on some tracks the treble, with the company of the thumping bass, made the songs alot more lively while also offering great fluidity with the great soundstage of these phones. The 600ohm version did bring out the clear and detailed sound signature that these cans provide, and I have to say that being a big fan of open headphones, this is probably one of the greatest headphones out there. However, if you are solely after bass, then you should consider a pair of closed headphones such as the Ultrasone PRO series or the Sony XB series. While the Beyers provide great bass, with the sacrifice of acceptable mids, they are not bass cans as such as no open headphones will bring you that hard thumping bass which only closed phones can provide. Additionally, if you are after as neutral sound possible, then I should recommend you look toward the DT880 with 600ohm, or perhaps the HD650, though it does sound slightly more 'veiled' than the DT880s.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 340 reviews
150 of 158 people found the following review helpful
Unbelievable Sound, Comfortable 25 July 2011
By A. Luque - Published on Amazon.com
Before buying these headphones I compared them to offerings from Grado (the Sr325i) and Sennheiser (HD595). As soon as I heard music through the Beyerdynamic Dt990's the other headphones suddenly seemed like a distant afterthought.

There are two versions of this headphone. The "Pro" model which is obviously marketed toward studio use and the "premium" model which is a slightly different design marketed for consumer use. Assuming you compare similar impedence models (i.e the 250 ohm model in both cases) then they are exactly the same headphone except for the pro having a coiled cable and slightly higher clamping force (and cosmetic differences).

For over $100 less, I went with the "Pro" model and I am truly impressed. Let me break it down:

Build Quality: 9.5/10
Before I knew these were made in Germany I suspected it. Even though the cups are plastic, it's a VERY rigid plastic that's carefully cut and molded in shape. You could probably stomp on these and they'd survive. There's a very substantial aluminum "fork" that connects the cups to a steel headband structure that allows for quite a bit of articulation so that you can obtain a precise fit. My only complaint is that the coiled cable is... a little annoying sometimes. It can catch on basically any angled surface with ease. In studio use I can imagine a coiled cable would be invaluable in preventing accidentally ripping a piece of equipment off the shelf so I won't penalize it too much.

Comfort: 9.5/10
These headphones are like having stuffed animals cuddling with your ears. They feature these really nice velour earpads that make you feel like you're wearing earmuffs. The reason that I took .5 off is because the "Pro" version has a really high clamping force. That is, initially you feel like they squeeze your head too much. Thankfully, this is very easily remedied by stretching them slightly with some books. Since the headband is high quality spring steel you can adapt the headphones perfectly to your head using this method. Oh... I should mention that if you live in a tropical climate or anywhere warm those velour earpads will make you sweat a ton. For most people I envision this isn't really a problem.

Sound Quality: 10/10
Let me start by saying that these are not really suited for "monitor" headphones. They do not have a perfectly flat response curve and do colour the sound a little bit. That said, for mastering headphones in a studio or for listening to music this "colour" lends music a wonderful vibrance that other headphones just don't do. They do have quite a bit of EXTREMELY detailed trebble and deliver a wonderful detailed but voluminous bass. With these every cymbal sounds crystalline, I can hear the rosin of a violin bow when it's playing, and every electronic synth is delivered with detail that not even the recording engineer thought was there.

This headphone NEEDS an amp to perform properly. They sell portable battery powered amps that drive them well, but in all honesty you want to listen to these in a quiet room for them to truly shine. Paired with a good amp you will be very pleasantly surprised.

Another note: Since these are open air headphones sound DOES leak out (and in). If you work in a cubicle/library or plan to use them outdoors you should instead look at closed-back headphones. If not, the open-air design allows for a very spacious soundstage that you'll grow to appreciate.

Review Update (2.5 years later):
I still love these headphones quite a bit. They're still in incredible shape (I've replaced the velour earpads, however) and sound even better than when I first got them. Having now sampled many different headphones in that time-span I'd like to add some new notes that I think will be helpful to potential buyers.

If you're a die-hard 'audiophile' that cares about 'reference quality' sound then stay away from these cans. If you prefer a 'softer' sound then stay away from these cans. These headphones exaggerate every detail (or lack thereof)... but in a good way. In a euphoric way. If you really want a more laid-back and 'realistic' sound then try out the Beyerdynamic DT880's.
131 of 139 people found the following review helpful
Incredible Headphones At A Modest Price 16 Oct 2012
By Steve Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
This is my video review on the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (250 ohm) headphones. Although it is not conclusive in itself, it should help you to understand a little bit more about this model of headset. Personally I do not believe there is a better headphone on the market anywhere near this price range. I have worked in broadcasting for 30 years and have been using and have owned many pairs over the years so I would say I have a fairly good background for giving an honest opinion. I did not mention any other manufacturer's models because there are a lot of very good headphones on the market and comparing them is personal to how you like to listen to music and what sounds best to you. I chose not to downgrade another manufacturer just because I like these more.

To the best of my knowledge the DT990 Premium is the same headset except for the all aluminum body, straight cable and contoured foam case. There are some audio engineers that claim they have a different sound but without the electronic equipment to test them I do not think you will know the difference. If the extra money is not an issue with your budget I also recommend those. The brushed aluminum looks very sharp and a padded case would be a nice to have, especially if you travel with them.

If you have any questions please post them and I will reply. Comments are welcomed too. There is a slight chance I misspoke or said something wrong so if I did please let me know. I will add corrections in this space.


DT990 Pro
Transducer type: dynamic
Operating principle: open
Nominal frequency response: 5 - 35,000 Hz
Nominal impedance: 250 ohms
Nominal SPL: 96 db SPL
Nominal THD: < 0.2%
Weight without cable" 250g
Cable: 5ft - 10ft / coiled cable
Connections: gold plated stereo mini jack 1/8" & 1/4" adapter
Replaceable cable (with soldering iron)
Replaceable ear pads
Replaceable headband

2 Year Limited Warranty
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Great Headphone, Great Bass Response 3 Jan 2011
By Austin Wunschel - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Hi all, Zombie_X from Head-Fi here with another review! This won't be as in depth as the T1's review but I will give you all the needed info.

The Beyerdynamic DT990 sound can be classified as being very treble oriented with slightly recessed mids (will get to that later) and having throbbing bass.


- Source: PC via Pop-Pulse SPDIF-II (to Optical), Marantz VC6001 CD Player
- Amp: Woo Audio WA3+, Audio-GD ROC
- DAC: Music Hall DAC25.2 (with NOS Mullard E88CC tube)
- IC's : ZXAC custom made RCA and XLR cables


I find the treble on the DT990/600Ohm to be slightly smoother than the 250Ohm model. In comparison the 250Ohm models treble is quite prominent with more of an edge to it. It's very extended and crystalline in it's presentation while also being for in your face than the DT880. Because of the enhanced treble response, songs may have a harsher sounding treble with emphasis on the S and T sounds. It is still quite extended like the previous model.

The DT990 has a more shallow sounding midrange in comparison to the DT880, but in fact the elevated treble/bass makes it sound thinner. It's still the great midrange that the DT880 had though it's a bit more detailed and perhaps a tiny bit more resolving. Because of the added treble it does indeed make the mids seem pulled back. In my eyes the DT880's sound more forward and more lifelike.

The bass is almost like that of the DT880 but it looses it's texture and gains more impact and weight. The added impact is not great but it's enough to give a satisfying thump. I also found it's bass to extend deeper than that of the previous model and it's more controlled. The bass is a tiny tiny bit slower, but barely noticeable.

The soundstage is is wider than the DT880's and offers more layering and separation. It's still a very precise sounding soundstage that is still airy and open. It's a definite improvement in my opinion.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
They Just Didn't Do It For Me. 17 Jun 2014
By BKarno - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I would like to preface my review of these headphones with the following: Everybody hears differently, and everyone "listens" differently. We don't all enjoy the same types of music, and similarly, every set of headphones is not necessarily suited for every genre of music. We all own different source components, and most of us have a limit as to what we are willing to spend on our gear. I believe every headphone review should include a brief summary of the reviewer's musical tastes, sources, and gear and should always including references to other sets of cans they own, have auditioned, liked, or disliked. With so many variables affecting peoples like or dislike of any pair of phones it is my goal to help those with similar musical tastes and similar gear to determine whether or not these headphones will be a good investment for them personally.

To that end; I listen to music in practically every genre. I tend to go through different phases, but I enjoy Mozart as much as Metallica, 80's one hit wonders and New Orleans Jazz, Lady Antebellum or Lady Gaga, Eminem to Zedd. Music has so much to offer in all genres that one could spend a lifetime discovering new things they like. I use my computer to play all the usual manner of digital files, and an Onkyo C-7030 CD player to handle disk duty. Both feed into my Nuforce Icon DAC/Headphone Amp. The digital files via USB and the CDs via analog RCA (the Onkyo has excellent onboard D/A conversion). I use no equalizer to modify the sound. My headphones include Sony MDR-V6s and MDR-7506s, V-Moda Crossfade LPs and M-100s, Audio Technica ATH-M50s, Sennheiser HD 598s and HD 600s (my personal favorite) as well as my 4th pair of Koss Porta-Pros (easy to exchange when you live in Milwaukee) . I've tried Grado SR 80s and SR 225s (just too darn uncomfortable), and my son even owns a pair of Beats Solo phones (Yuk). The other day I threw away some Denon's (no clue what model, but circa 1990) and a set of MDR V600s that were both totally worn out. I also own lots of buds as well (my Klipsh X10s being my favorite).

So what do I think of these DT 990 Pro 250s? In short, and for my personal tastes , I think they're just okay. Let me put it another way. When I got my Sennheiser HD 600s I plugged them in, fired up Chris Isaac's "Wicked Game" and in less than 30 seconds had a chill running up my spine. I spent many, many hours with those 600s over the next couple days tearing through my music collection like a kid in a candy store who'd just gotten his first taste of sugar. With the 990's I spent a lot of hours listening and a lot of hours feeding white, pink, brown, etc. noise in hopes that the middle range would open up and the dynamics would improve, but any change was negligible. Do I think the 990's are bad headphones with terrible sound? Not at all. I spent many years listening to music with my EQ looking like a couple of deep V's, making for accentuated treble and bass and a subdued midrange. But as I stated earlier, I now use no equalization in my system and have really come to appreciate a more flat and balanced presentation. I've also come to prefer the sound of open phones to closed cans. For $140 these are an excellent way to get into a pair of high quality open phones, especially if you're looking for those boosted lows and highs. They clamped a little tight and the pads were a bit stiff when I first put them on, but they have become very comfortable over the past week and a half. They are made very well and being able to replace any broken or worn part is a big benefit. I like the coiled cable and the plug with the screw-on ¼" adapter (though I wish it was detachable), and I think the phones are nicely styled. I wish the midrange had a bit more presence and that the phones had better dynamics (difficult with the subdued middle). The soundstage is very good, though it doesn't feel quite as wide as my HD 598s or 600's (at least to my ears). All in all the DT 990's are very good cans; they just aren't for me. Still I debated for quite a while as to whether or not I would keep them. But, in the end I decided I would send them back.

UPDATE: I didn't want to give up on Beyerdynamics, so the day after I returned these 990s I ordered a set of DT-880 Premiums. I'm hoping that the sound will be more what I like, and based on most of the professional reviews I have read I think they may be. I admit I was being cheap when I chose the 990 Pros over the 880s. Not that the 990s are cheap in any way other than price, or that they aren't an excellent value (probably one of the best in the world of headphones). I will add to this update when I've had a chance to audition the 880s, and I will be sure to review those as well.

FINAL UPDATE: So I got the DT 880s (250 ohm Premium) today, and I knew right away that I liked them. Much more in line with my personal preferences. Still a tiny bit of sizzle on the top, but the mids are much more "up-front". The bass is very detailed, but also less pronounced than the 990s. The 880 Premiums clamp A LOT lighter than the 990 Pros as well (super comfortable, though I could probably sneeze them off). In the end, I was glad I auditioned both sets, and even though the 880s are almost double what I got the 990's for I will be keeping them. I can see the appeal of the 990s, but still, for me they were just okay (and I'm talking sound wise only). Beyerdynamics makes some really nice cans, but a person needs to do their research to figure out which model will suit them best.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro: Nearly Reference 2 July 2013
By SSD - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This was, most certainly, not an impulse buy on my part but rather the result of a very long search for a good all-around open-back headphone, light and comfortable, with near reference sound quality (yet not overly analytical) and a reasonable price. Was that too much to ask for? Apparently not, since that search led me here: to the Beyerdynamic DT990-Pro-250. Now, for those who are curious (as I was) about that extra "AMS" label as seen here on this Amazon listing: the AMS stands for "American Music and Sound" - this is the US pro-audio distributor of Beyerdynamic. So the AMS is just an unnecessary marketing label - there is just one type of DT990-Pro, which is this one, regardless whether you buy it in North-America, Europe, Asia, etc.

That aside, let me start off with the build quality: The DT990-Pro is made entirely of ABS plastic, save for the headband and the forks holding the cans, which are made of metal (aluminum, I'd say, from the weight of it). The head-band is covered with a soft black plastic material held in place by four small clasp-buttons. The DT990-Pro is surprisingly light and extremely comfortable (in this it rivals the other "most-comfortable" headphones I have here, the Sennheiser HD-598). Overall I'd rate the build quality as top-notch, save for the somewhat under-designed cable strain relief (located on the left can). The cable is about 3m log, it is coiled and it ends with a 1/8in jack. A screw-on 1/4in jack is also provided. The strain-relief of the cable at the can attachment point seems (to me) a little too small because the coiled cable is very heavy and with use (given sufficient time) I can see it failing and leading to cable/connectivity issues. Also (this is just a minor personal quibble) the silver velour pads may seem dirty depending on how the light hits them (but again, no big deal, especially since black-velour or leather pads for it are available on Amazon or elsewhere).

On to sound quality: Computer/audio gear used during my listening tests:
MacBook-Pro w/ Mac OS X 10.6.8
XMOS USB 2.0 Audio Reference Design Asynchronous DAC (44.1-192kHz/24bit),
HiFiMeDIY Sabre USB DAC (32-96kHz/24bit),
Matrix M-Stage Headphone Amp,
FiiO E12-Mont Blanc Headphone Amp
Beyerdynamic DT990-Pro Open Headphones (250 ohm, 96dB/mW)
Audio-Technica ATH-A900 closed-back headphones (40 ohm, 101dB/mW),
Superlux HD-681 semi-open headphones (32 ohm, 98dB/mW), and
Sennheiser HD-598 open headphones (50 ohm, 100dB/mW).
Playback software: Audacity, iTunes, VLC
Source quality: standard CD 44.1kHz/16bit, and native HD 88.2-96kHz/24bit
Audio cables: 3.5mm to RCA (3ft), and RCA-to-RCA (3ft), AUVIO and Monoprice brands

The Sound (overall conclusion both DACs/HP-Amps): Good dynamics, detail and clarity, well staged and with good imaging. In terms of frequency response these headphones are tuned such as to emphasize/boost the low and high ends. Perhaps the best way to summarize the DT990-Pro sound by comparison with the other three headphones I have here would be this: The DT990-Pro nearly matches the Superlux HD681 in bass impact without sacrificing dynamics, it easily matches the Sennheiser HD598 in mid-range sparkle, staging, and imaging, and gives the Audio-Technica ATH-A900 a good run for the money in terms of highs extension.

The closest of my other headphones in terms of overall SQ would be the Sennheiser HD598. However, despite the slightly more neutral presentation of the Sennheiser's, I find the DT990-Pro sound far more preferable. The DT990-Pro has a much better low end, and has smoother, more extended highs without that slight veil characteristic to Sennheiser headphones (clearly the Sennheiser HD-598 are decent cans but somehow I could never get too excited about their sound, hence my search for a different pair of open-back headphones). Also, the DT990-Pro manages to present the high end with what I'd call more "precision" than the ATH-A900 without sounding as grainy, and with just as much aplomb as the Superlux without sounding as (excessively) bright. Note: The DT990-Pro are both high impedance (250ohm) and relatively less efficient than the other cans I mentioned here (they only manage 96dB/mW) and thus amping is a must for anyone wishing to get the most out of them. For instance, my iPod Shuffle 1-st Gen (max output: 0.57Vrms) cannot drive them to any reasonable listening level (without severe clipping) and only manages a lifeless, distorted, garbled presentation, while the MacBook-Pro sound card (1.4Vrms) drives them to sufficiently loud levels but with pretty obvious distortions (for an overall harsh, fatiguing presentation.) Based on my experience with such sources I would not recommend these cans for use with portable devices without a proper amp. Also to note: the DT990-Pro do require at least 8-10hr of initial break-in to start sounding right (before that the sound is overly bassy, and somewhat unfocused/cloudy). As of this writing I have 30-35hrs on it and for sound quality I'd break things out like this:

Bass Extension: 6/10
Bass Impact: 7/10
Bass Texture: 7/10 (solid)
Mids Quality: 7.5/10
Highs Extension: 8.5/10
Highs Quality: 8/10 (vivid)
Highs Texture: 7.5/10 (soft)
Detail/Transparency: 8/10 (clear)
Dynamics: 8.5/10 (natural)
Soundstage: 8/10
Imaging: 7/10

Isolation: 2/10 (open design)
Comfort: 9/10
Design/Aesthetics: 9/10 (classic Beyerdynamic design)
Build quality: 9/10
Portability: 5/10 (fairly large size)
Improvement w/ Amplification: 8.5/10 (Note: Amping is recommended!)
Value at MSRP: (9/10) [I gave it a 9/10 here only because, by comparison, the $30 Superlux HD681 is still a better bang for the buck!]

To conclude, the Beyerdynamic DT990-Pro are near reference headphones which sacrifice some neutrality for the sake of a more natural sounding, or rather, a more fleshed-out acoustic presentation. As far as I'm concerned, it suffices to say that the DT990-Pro is the only headphone I have here that I can listen to (with any kind of music) without EQ and not feel that I might be missing something (and that, I think, says a lot). All in all, a remarkable offering from Beyerdynamic, highly recommended!
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