on 14 January 2012
Silver, machined aluminum, comfy and and very responsive. I like these, they sum up all your stereotypes about German engineering. They are built very well with nice touches and are the most comfortable phones I have worn. I drive them with a Project Head Box II or a FiiO E9 both of which have plenty of power to enjoy. I also play with Grado SR60 and Sennheiser HD 25 II both of which are fine cans but these have a bit more to offer in terms of bass delivery (tight clear bass) and clarity, they are dangerously comfy too. Don't buy these for using with your ipod/mp3 player unless you have or plan to get extra amplification as you'll not get the best out of them.
on 11 March 2014
I bought these as an alternative to my Sennheiser HD598 headphones that I have been using for classical listening up until now. I felt the Sennheisers were lacking a little clarity at the high end for my taste, so I thought I would try the DT880 as an alternative. Well, they are certainly a brighter sounding headphone than the HD598, and there is noticeably more clarity in the presentation. I would say these are on the bright side of neutral; not as bright as the Grado SR80i, but they nevertheless emphasise high frequencies (cymbals and brass instruments for example). I have not yet had any problems with sibilance (unlike the Grados), but they are slightly more fatiguing to listen to than the very laid-back Sennheisers. However, the Beyerdynamic sound is indisputably more exciting to listen to. As well as classical, I find these headphones amazing for rock, especially progressive rock such as "Permanent Waves" by Rush. The bright presentation and fast response make the drums sound superb. They do not emphasise the bass, so bear this in mind if you prefer a bass-heavy sound. Build quality is excellent, thanks to lots of metal components. Personally I don't like the coiled lead supplied with the DT880 PRO, because I tend to sit some distance from my HiFi and dislike having the lead stretched out across the room, so I bought an extension. The more expensive Premium version has a straight lead, but I didn't think it worth the extra money. Overall, I find the DT880 superior to the HD598 in detail, clarity and overall listening enjoyment. However, if you're keen on long, relaxed listening sessions you might prefer the more laid-back (but less detailed) sounding HD598.
The only disappointment was that my DT880 Pro (bought in March 2014) was supplied with a cheap nylon carrying bag, rather than the padded case that used to be supplied with the headphones.
on 29 December 2014
I had not realised how different headphones can sound with the same input until I started searching for a pair to upgrade my old Beyerdynamic DT550 pair. These had lasted for more than 30 years and were very satisfactory. I listen mainly to classical music, from chamber music to opera. What I wanted was something clear that did not introduce any effects of its own. What I found on listening to many varieties of headphone is that they introduced a sort of echo effect, as if the orchestra is in a large bathroom!. The DT880 produces a crystal clear sound without any of those effects. The effects in other headphones must be deliberately introduced by the manufacturer and are not in the original recording.
I use the headphones with Audiolab 8200 CD player and an Arcam 28 amplifier. My speakers are Acoustic Engineers stand speakers, with which I am delighted. So I am comparing the headphone output with a good set of speakers whose sound I like. It is noticeable that the sound from the speakers varies considerably as you place them differently within a room. These ambience effects are analogous to the different types of sound from different makes of headphone. Obviously this is a matter of user preference. What I note with the DT880 is that the sound is effortless under all conditions with enormous clarity over the whole frequency and volume range. If you wish to listen to music analytically these are the headphones for you. If you prefer more ambience these may be too clinical for you.
on 4 December 2013
These headphones sound very nice.
I find a lot of headphones can be overly generous in the low-end department. These headphones are natural sounding with a very nice, accurate sound stage. Build quality is good also.
These headphones have been in use for a few months now and defiantly sound better after a few hours of listening so don't panic if they sound overly bright when you first put them on. I have found they mellow out a little.
on 4 June 2012
I have the 250 ohm version of this product.
First things first, these headphones really open up nicely after 50-100hours, so much so that they sound like a different pair to the ones that arrived. Ideally they need to be amped, using a Fiio E10 is great for a very nice cheap solution. The E5 I use for my phone can drive them but not comfortably, so something with a bit of power is needed which means a dedicated amping solution. But unamped you will not hear these as they could sound.
Build: As you'd expect from Beyerdynamic the build quality is brilliant, these wont fall apart in 5 minutes like some cheaper sets. Nearly all metal no plastic. They come with a case to protect them which is a nice touch. The look is stunning, they have wow factor for sure.
Comfort: These are the most comfortable headphones ever made. They are light so you have no strain on your head, the headband is firm but not intrusive with pressure. The pads are so soft it's like cotton wool - lovely! The pads are replaceable too, as you'd expect on a phone in this price bracket. Oh they dont make your ears hot either, have worn these for 7 hours straight and had absolutely no comfort issues.
Sound: Why do you buy headphones this expensive, it's the sound isn't it? These are very nice with the highs, the bass isn't overstated but its very nice and punchy, mids are nice. The soundstage is fantastic, everything sounds exactly where it should. Best way to describe these is that they are revealing and very neutral - Acoustic music of any kind can sound like a much more expensive pair of headphones. You could take these and engineer in a studio, which is why they are used as studio phones. Beware though - if your music is recorded on poor quality/equipment these will show the flaws - if your paying this much though you would expect to be using a nice source and lossless etc. You get something really neutral this headphone doesn't add anything of its own which is lovely if you want transparency in your listening.
Pros: All in these are really great value for the price - you get something that sounds amazing and at their best are better than any headphone in this price range, is built to last and looks great.
Cons: Nothing, but you need to invest in a halfway decent amp to sound at their best.
on 27 July 2015
This is a long term use review. I've owned a pair of DT880's for over seven years now.
I've worked in recording studios and was a broadcast engineer for a trio of regional radio stations. I've worked on location setting up audio for outside broadcasts. I've set up broadcasts for gigs, concerts and public events. In my job I was used to purchasing and maintaining Bayerdynamic DT100 and DT150 cans. Those things are work horses and got a right hammering. However the DT series are designed to be serviced, and that company philosophy is not lost on the DT880's, the spares are readily available from all pro audio retailers. Above all that's why I bought a pair for myself.
I recently serviced mine with a new driver, cushions and a lead. I'd been using the cans solidly for several years. The serviceable parts wore out, not because they're rubbish, but because I used the product properly good. They're a tool for me, a piece of equipment.
So instead of throwing away the product and buying a new one, I was able to refurbish it to a brand new state again. Everything is held together with screws, nuts and bolts. The whole thing can be completely dismantled and refurbished. That's what I love about these and I sincerely hope that Bayerdynamic continue to provide spares for many years to come. I'd like to add that the spares are generally backwards compatible. And if there's a unique part then they tend to stock both variants. So what you're paying for here is an investment in years of guaranteed listening experience. I'm not sure whether consumers relate to that because everything it seems today is forced upon us to be throw-a-way. But if you're a company, self employed, budding artist, anyone who relies on their tools, you won't go wrong with these as an asset to your business.
I'm not going to say much about their listening experience, I mean everyone else has said it all. But what I'd like to say is I've used the cans in a 96KHz audio development environment with Sonar, VST's, samplers etc, basically a pro studio set up and there isn't anything that comes close to getting a spacial rendition with accurate flat response for a headphone style mix. They're also good in a/v production, editing voice overs, creating youtube videos, and so on. They are so comfortable to wear all day long.
on 14 April 2015
For many years I have listened to music, thanks to these headphones, i'm now hearing music, the detail is stunning, the build quality is typically Germanic, solid and impressive, the lead is coiled as well which gives extra flexibility when listening , I'm assured that the sound quality gets even better as the headphones bed in after about 50 hours listening, they sound great now, what they will be like in about 30 hours...
The soundstage that you are presented with is wide and luxurious..
These are my first excursion into the world of high end audio and I put a lot of research into them before buying. I have a iPhone that has all my music on and my concern was would the 250 ohm be too powerful for the iPhone, and as an alternative I looked at the 32 ohm but was put off by the fact that the music sounds less impressive through the 32ohms, apparently.. The 600ohms were the best of the lot but I knew the iPhone wouldn't handle it..
Running the 250ohm DT880's through the iPhone you do get sound but it is very quiet, you most certainly need an amp to power them and the Fiio E07K Andes powers the iPhone up a treat and gives very detailed music through the headphones.
Whilst they are described as semi-closed they are more open with the noise leakage that takes place..
Comfort wise, i read they were described as having a soft sofa on your ears, that I can't disagree with they are very comfortable, and the longest I have worn them for so far is 3 hours and had to adjust them once..no heat build up due to the material of the headphone cover..
If your after a great headphone, and can afford a portable amp..i highly reccommend these
on 17 March 2014
Compared to my budget AKG K141s these DT880 headphones (which are far more expensive so the comparison is unfair) are like precision surgery. They reveal the detail very well. When I first heard them they seemed overly-bright - but I've burnt them in now for 30 hours and so that isn't an issue.
I tried a mixing a rock-track with the DT880's only (not recommended normally for any headphone) just to see what it came out like when played over my reference monitors. The result was very good - I particularly liked that it helped reign in any tendency to increase mid-frequencies and go over-board on the high frequency "air". It easily tells you when you've overdone the loudness maximiser plug-in! It really brings out bad mixing where tiny-noises, boxy vocals, over-bright guitars/drums, boosted bass have not been corrected.
This should be in your toolkit, but I would say it's not for those looking for simple listening pleasure. I gave it 4 rather than 5 as it's not as comfortable on my ears/skull as my K141s for anything over an hour. But perhaps that will improve with age as well.
Update: I was asked if the "average" listener would like these headphones. Well given the so called "average" listener is using cheap ear-buds or paying for hyped Beats/Bose phones then its no contest. The "average" listener would notice a massive difference in clarity between DT880 and average ear-buds (unfair comparison as price difference is large), but also against Beats/Bose costing the same or more. In fact I have Beats Solo's and a pair of noise-cancelling Bose. Those phones add an EQ contour based on what they believe the listener should be hearing (with Bose its seems like recessed "mids" for relaxed (perhaps bland) listening and with Beats its massive bass-boost). Don't get me wrong those phones are fun in the right context (and terrible in others eg Beats with Classical music is euuugh, I mean weird, but not really good) but they aren't really any competition for the DT880 when it comes to clarity. The DT880s reveal better what the track really sounds like. In conclusion: the better produced a track teh better the DT880 - the worse produced a track the more the DT880 will highlight why the track is poor! Hope that helps.
on 7 August 2013
I treated myself to this these headphones as an alternative to my Grado SR80i. I adore the sound of the Grados -- transparent, very up-front, exciting to listen to. But over recent months I have struggled more and more with their comfort. They're on-ear headphones and need to be positioned exactly right in order to shine. The sound is a delight -- but i am never unaware of them; and I notice that I wear them for relatively short periods.
I wanted something extremely comfortable to use and with very neutral sound -- I hate over-pumped bass, and I hate headphones (or in-ear monitors) that fatigue the wearer.
Well, I think I have found the ideal alternative. I haven't yet tried these Beyerdynamics with my turntable/amp at home but the performance from my Mac is certainly very promising. They already feel like an old high-quality glove (not that that would be all that comfortable on one's head, of course, but you know what I mean) and things sound 'right' -- pitched right, in the right place, no undue emphasis anywhere across the tonal range.
And better still, they don't -- unlike many headphones, including the Grados -- press down on the earpieces of my spectacles and cause discomfort.
In a crowded (and ultimately subjective and highly opinionated) marketplace, I think I may after much searching have found the ideal headphones. A session with proper records tonight will reveal what they are really capable of.
on 22 December 2012
After a month of reading reviews, getting recommendations from colleagues and tutors and trying various sets of monitoring headphones I decided to settle on these.
I tried a few other sets of headphones, albeit some of a higher and lower price bracket and for what you pay for these there is very little difference, also after researching on the internet and looking at frequency response graphs these are the flattest I could find within my budget. I would like to mention though if you're after a set of headphones with a particularly bright high end and a deep low end then these aren't for you, these offer a solid high and low end but nothing more - making these particularly good for reference headphones.
Although I understand a set of headphones can never replace a good set of reference monitors these are great for when you want to double check either on location or if you're mixing in a non-ideal room which you have no control over.
They are of a solid build quality as you'd expect for the price from Beyerdynamic and come with their own case meaning you can safely transport them without having to worry about them being bashed around.
The only downside I can think of, which you have to be careful of when purchasing, is that these are open back and therefore wouldn't be ideal if you wish to use them for monitoring whilst recording due to the bleed.