Compendium updated February 3rd, 2021
Analytical, neutral, detailed: these words may best describe the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, a pair of open-back studio headphones that have sent ripples across the audio world since their release.
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in.
From DMS's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on March 11th, 2018:
“I don’t think any cheap amp is going to do these justice.”
“I did try them on a big variety of things--all the way from my laptop’s headphone out to a Magni 3 to a Little Dot Mark 2--and they sounded great, but they definitely scaled.”
From Z Reviews' review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on March 4th, 2017:
“Whatever code needed to be cracked has been cracked. They’re not cheap...but for what they give you, for how they’re built, for what they sound like, it’s finally worthwhile to invest in some Beyerdynamics. Finally. I’d glady add them to my wall.”
From Tech Radar's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on November 8th, 2016:
“The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro feature stunning resolution, soundstage and build quality. Its sparkling highs, tight bass and detail retrieval make it great value for money for those looking for audiophile headphones that sound great with all types of music.”
From Sound Guys' review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on March 28th, 2018:
“The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones are made for professionals, but even though they have a fairly neutral response they're not boring in any way and are great to listen to.”
From Headfonics.com's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on January 25th, 2017:
“The bass performance is absolutely great for a dynamic driver. Beyerdynamic’s implementation of its Tesla design also shows technical prowess. The DT1990 PRO kick fast, woo with speed and attack and top it off with great separation and fine details.
“However, some recordings tend to sound thin and a little fatiguing due to the upper midrange. In that case, the user shall be advised to install the B pads.
“I have no doubt that when used in a professional environment for recording or mastering, the outcome will sound great too. No faults of the source audio will go unnoticed with the 1990 while still allowing a relatively neutral tuning. This is a solid studio recommendation.”
From Headphones.com's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on March 23rd, 2019:
“The DT-1990 Pro is a studio or ‘pro use’ headphone that is unfortunately best suited to that environment and to my ear it doesn’t lend itself as well to general music listening. It does just about everything right and then promptly ruins it all by turning up the sibilance at 8.5khz. To me this is another headphone that follows the trend of trying to fake detail, which is too bad because its performant qualities are all excellent. This just happens to be the sound that Beyerdynamic goes for, and if you have no qualms about adding a touch of EQ to the problem area, or you’re specifically looking for a studio use headphone, this gets my recommendation. Otherwise, the DT-1990 Pro hasn’t changed my mind from the same concerns I discovered with the DT-880. I’d love to see the company produce a more music-oriented option that doesn’t have this sibilance issue, because it feels like a missed opportunity for the amazing Tesla driver they’ve employed in their newer mid-tier headphones.”
From Headfonia's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on September 20th, 2016:
“Like I said I expected the DT1990PRO to be a lot more expensive. With a simple pad switch you can change the signature of the headphones noticeable and so you basically have 2 headphones for the price of one. Build quality and comfort is high as we’re used to with Beyerdynamic gear.
“The DT1990Pro in general needs an amplifier to sound its best although some portable sources might actually surprise you, especially the AK380. Even with the B-Pads, bass body isn’t the biggest and if you like bass a lot than you should look at the DT1770PRO or a headphone with even more bass. The DT1990Pro is spacious, fast, richly detailed, clean and precise. With the A-Pads it is a perfect studio headphone while the B-Pads make it sound a little bassier.
“The sound signature of the headphone does change based on the headphone amp you’re using it with. The OTL 339 in example gives it the biggest bass and body with the smoothest, richest sound and the Erzetich gives it good bass, excellent speed and good detail. On my solid state amps my favorite musical genres with the DT1990PRO are “metal” and “dance music”, on the Lafigaro 339 I simply love all genres. (That’s just my personal preference though).
“In short, the Beyerdynamic DT1990PRO is a great headphone and as this unit is going back to Germany, I’ve added it to my X-Mas buying list already.”
From RTINGS.com's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on June 12th, 2018:
“Great for neutral listening. The DT 1990 have a well-balanced reproduction of instruments and vocals in the mid-range, a deep and extended bass and a decent but slightly sharp treble. They will sound good with almost any tracks and music genre although the treble peak in the higher frequencies may be a bit bothersome on already bright tracks. On the upside, they have a comfortable design (that's a little tight on the head at first ) and a decently spacious soundstage. They're a good choice for casual and neutral listeners alike although more casual listeners may prefer the similar sounding DT 990 PRO at a cheaper price point.”
From PC Mag's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on July 31st, 2017:
“For $600, the DT 1990 Pro headphones don't disappoint, but it's worth doing research before plunking down the big bucks, as there are some worthy competitors that still offer a very accurate sound signature for engineers and musicians. From a purely sonic enjoyment standpoint, we prefer the Beyerdynamic Amiron Home, but those headphones are more for home listening, where the frequency response can be tinkered with slightly here and there. In the pro department, we're also fans of the less expensive Sennheiser HD6 Mix, the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro, and the in-ear Etymotic ER4 XR—all solid options that bring unique strengths to the table.”
From PC Perspective's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on December 26th, 2019:
“Yes, these headphones are built like tanks, and are just comfortable enough for long listening or gaming sessions, but that’s not their purpose. Their purpose is to provide the wearer with music that is accurate, detailed, and revealing, and when it comes to that purpose, there is no other way to say it; the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones are glorious and one of, if not the absolute best headphones you can buy for under $1000.”
From Headphone Guru's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on April 13th, 2019:
“Every now and then you come upon a product that captivates. Right product, right price and gloriously well engineered as the cherry on the sundae. The beyerdynamic DT 1990 PROs led me on a beautifully intimate journey filled with musical high notes all along the way...
“My notes and recollections tell a great story about the 1990 PROs. Glorious stage – incredibly deep presentation that constantly amazes – and a spectacular sonic signature that led me to write Best of Class. I absolutely stand by that as I pen this closing. At the retail price, I believe I’ve heard nothing that can compare. Strong words and stronger still – product.
“One must judge based upon a “compare and contrast” vis-à-vis other products in the price class and general genre. I have not spent any real time with the Mr. Speakers Aeon Flow (at a 3rd more), but I can tell you this much: If I had 500 to 600 dollars to spend, these beyerdynamic DT 1990 PROs would be first on my personal list, end of story.”
From Major HiFi's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on September 5th, 2016:
“This is a quality built headphone that is of true reference grade quality. The sound quality is solid and retaining a neutral and slight v shape with the right pads on. Their design and build is also quality in appearance and feel. With the removable ear-pads adjusting frequency response you get both work and pleasure out of the headphones.”
From Audio Media International's review of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, first published on October 20th, 2017:
“Having moved to the analytic ear pads I felt two aspects of the DT 1990s performance stood out a little more. First their dynamics – which are absolutely top notch, their is a crispness to the transients that is outstanding, if your recording has dynamic range then you’ll feel the benefit on the DT 1990s. And secondly a more exposed top end. Of course these two things are probably connected, but more noticeable with the analytic ear pads. The open backed DT 1990s spread a soundstage that makes isolating instruments and voices a morsel of madeira, they are a first rate studio mixing tool. With a finish and comfort fit that are absolutely top notch the DT 1990 PROs declare that Beyerdynamic have still got their mojo. You should hear them.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.