If you are looking for a pair of studio headphones that give you a range of versatility at a reasonable price, the 770, 880, and 990 from the DT Series from Beyerdynamic are worth taking a look at. Before you read further, though, you should know that these are primarily studio headphones and not really aimed at consumer use for portable devices. For more portable and convenient alternatives to use with your devices, check out the Bose 700 or Bose Soundlink instead.
In summary, The DT 770 headphones are the earliest of the three models. They're closed-back and with sound isolation and ample bass. The DT 880 is an improved version with semi-open earcups offering the most versatility. The DT 990 is the most updated version offering open-back ear-cups and minimal ambient noise reduction. The DT 880 is the most expensive, and the DT 770 is the cheapest.
Let’s have a closer look at these gadgets.
The DT series actually come with slightly different types of designs on each of its models.
The DT 770 has a closed-back design, the DT 880 is semi-open, and lastly, DT 990, with an open-back design.
Let’s briefly delve deeper into details regarding these.
Possibly the best of the three. The closed-back design on the DT 770 makes for exceptionally good bass response. This owes to the noise isolation, which is a natural result of the same, even without an active noise-canceling mechanism. Especially useful for those less-than-optimal environments for critical listening.
These, on the other hand, come with semi-closed design earcups, which strike a great balance between the open and closed back cups. On the flips side, some of the cons of each also make themselves apparent.
There is considerably less bass response, and the noise-isolation is not as effective either.
They are, however, effective enough to block out most ambient noise around you. Additionally, you could get away with using them on a commute since the minimal sound they project on the outside is unlikely to disturb those around you.
This model is the one out of the three which come with open-back cans. They don’t have enclosed ear cups either, hence giving you a much cooler, ventilated fit. The 'breathability' also facilitates a more seamless signal flow, resulting in a more relaxed audio experience.
The flip side to this design is the inherent need for a calm and optimized listening environment for its functionality. These headphones won't work well with loud noise levels around you.
All three models also come with a 9.8-feet coiled cable.
Before you buy, make sure to check out the catalogue for Professional Headphones and Headsets.
All three of these headphones are actually really comfortable to wear. Primarily due to the thick, luxurious ear muffs signature to the series. That being said, some factors like weight and build do make a difference.
The DT 770 headphones are not exactly lightweight, weighing in at about a pound. They're still compact and easy on the shoulders and neck, though. The closed-back design does make them tight, so you will need your rests in between listening sessions.
These are considerably lighter (Approx 0.63 lbs). They feature the same comfortable earmuffs, hence retaining that luxury feel. Moreover, the semi-open design helps with comfort levels.
These are probably your best bet amongst the three, as far as comfort is concerned. They marginally more (0.1 ounce), also come with the same muffs but with an open-back design. And that is what makes the biggest difference.
This is where we get to the nitty-gritty of it all. At the end of the day, it really boils down to how good your headphones sound.
The DT 990 offers the most immersive listening experience of the three. This owes to the open-back earcup design. The DT 880 follows a close second leaving the DT 770 at a third place worthy of a lot of respect. In comparison to many other brands, it's still top-notch.
The DT 770 and DT 880 are equally responsive in the lows. It's a close call.
This doesn’t, however, imply poor performance from the DT 990’s low-end. Its character here, though, is just more subtle and somewhat subdued. A possible trade-off for the added comfort it offers over the other two. It's important to note that 'more' bass is not better bass. The quality of the signal in the lows on all three is very good too. The response just differs a little.
In this spectrum, it's the DT 880 and DT 990 which win. Easy to attribute to thanks to the semi-open and open-back earcup designs they come with. The detail offered in the mid-range frequency on DT 770 is still decent, though. Just not its strongest point.
The DT 990 is the clear winner here. By a somewhat surprising extent, too, at that.
The DT 770 and DT 880 don't keep up with their crystal clear response and detail. It hits the sweet spot between clarity and brilliance without getting harsh, as many other headphones do.
That being said, some would prefer the more restrained, sober output of the DT 770 and DT 880.
You might also want to check out Beyerdynamic's Online Studio Guide to find the perfect studio headphones for you.
All three headphones come with cables that plug into your audio system via a standard 3.5 mm stereo jack connector. As with most headphones in this price range, this transforms to 6.3 mm with the included adapter. None of the three offer any form of wireless connectivity.
Beyerdynamic’s official website cites the DT 770 and DT 990 as the cheapest at $149. The DT 880 is priced identically at $219.
That being said, please remember that street prices can often differ vastly. So make sure you take a close look at your local dealer’s offers.
In conclusion, here is how the Beyerdynamic DT 770, DT 880, and DT 990 stack up against each other:
- Design and Comfort: The DT 990 wins. Followed by DT 880.
- Sound: The DT 990 is the most overall immersive experience.
- Connectivity: Tie.
- Price: DT 770 is officially the most economical of all