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Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 770 (2022): What’s the Difference?

Usually, you have to spend a pretty penny for a great-sounding pair of cans, but the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO prove that that isn’t always the case. Needless to say, they aren’t the same at all, and they can’t exactly be used in the same situations, though they do share a lot of similarities such as having the same price tag.

In this Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO vs 990 PRO comparison, we’re going to outline the main differences between these headphones. Hopefully, that can help you figure out which one to get.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 770 Comparison Chart

ModelBeyerdynamic DT 990 PROBeyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
 Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 770Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 770
PriceCheck Price at Beyerdynamic.comCheck Price at Beyerdynamic.com
Frequency Response5 Hz to 35 kHz5 Hz to 35 kHz
Nominal Impedance250 ohms32, 80 or 250 ohms
Headphone TypeOpenClosed
Noise Isolationn/a32 ohms: 20 dBA
80 ohms: 18 dBA
250 ohms: 18 dBA
Ear PadsVelour silver32 ohms: Forleader black
80 ohms: Velour silver
250 ohms: Velour silver
Cable3m, coiled32 ohms: 1.6m, straight
80 ohms: 3m, straight
250 ohms: 3m, coiled
Weight250g270g
ColorBlackBlack

Design and Build

Aside from their different enclosures, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO have a similar design.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 770 Design and Build
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO (left) and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO (right) would look the same if it weren’t for their enclosures.

First things first, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are open-back headphones, while the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are closed-back. For the uninitiated, that basically means the DT 990 PRO allows air and sound to pass through their ear cups both ways, and in contrast, the DT 770 PRO don’t, as they have hard covers instead. This has a huge impact on how they differ in sound (more on that in a bit).

From an aesthetic standpoint, the two look practically the same, save for their enclosures. In other words, the DT 990 PRO look like an open-back DT 770 PRO and the DT 770 PRO like a close-back DT 990 PRO. Both have the same steel headband with removable padding, and their velour ear cushions feel nice and comfortable, which is similar to velvet or fabric that has a suede-like quality to it. But take note that only the 80 ohms and 250 ohms variants of the DT 770 PRO come with velour ear pads, and not the 32 ohms version.

When it comes to durability, the DT 990 PRO is solid but fragile at the same time. As open-back headphones, their insides are technically more exposed and prone to moisture damage, but by the same token, they’re more breathable and comfortable to wear for long periods because they allow air to travel in and out. Also, they’re lighter at 250g than the 270g DT 770 PRO.

Sound Quality

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO sound more natural than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 770 Sound Quality
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO (in photo) sound more natural.

As noted, these headphones offer an excellent listening experience. They’re both neutral-sounding with a wide frequency response range of 5 Hz to 35 kHz, and they can reproduce lows and mids that don’t muddy other details such as vocals and instruments. The two slightly emphasize the treble range, though, so they have a tendency to sound a bit sharp at times.

Moreover, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO deliver high-fidelity audio across the board, from the lows and mids to the highs. They also have a wider soundstage than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, but their bass isn’t as punchy in comparison because they’re open-back.

All in all, the DT 990 PRO are better for critical listening since they sound clearer and more natural, and they don’t have issues with resonance and low frequencies building up. On the other hand, the DT 770 PRO are excellent for everyday listening because of their noise isolation, not to mention that their close-back design makes for an amplified bass.

Click here for our Audio-Technica ATH-M50X vs Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO comparison.

Usage

While the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO can be used anywhere, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO can’t because of their loud leakage.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 770 Usage
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO (in photo) have decent noise isolation.

The thing with open-back headphones is that they practically don’t block noise at all, and as is the case with the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, that means they leak sound a lot by design. That won’t be a problem if you use them at the comfort of your own home, but for folks who have an ounce of respect for other people around them, they’re virtually unusable anywhere else.

Picture this: You wear them at work and listen to some tunes. Everyone in the office will hear what you’re listening to, and it won’t be long until they start complaining. It’ll just be an unpleasant experience for everyone. The same goes when you’re commuting since you’ll be bothering other commuters in the train, bus or wherever.

When out and about, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are better. In particular, you likely won’t get your coworkers or other people around you shooting daggers at you when you use them outside your house. Besides not annoying others, they also do a better job at keeping outside noise out, so you can hear what’s playing better. It’s essentially a win-win situation.

Verdict

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are pretty much the same headphones, except that the former is open-back and the latter is close-back.

As our Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 990 comparison comes to a close, the main takeaways are that they’re similar in a lot of ways, from their frequency response range to their detachable parts. However, there are a few key differences between the two, namely their open- and close-back designs and how they’re used.

On that note, there’s no clear winner here since they’re suited for different purposes. For mixing and critical listening, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO have the edge, as they have a more natural sound with better clarity. However, they can only really be used in private because of their loud leakage. Meanwhile, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO can be used just about anywhere since they won’t bother others, and they provide a degree of noise isolation to boot.

FAQs

📌 Are the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO good for audiophiles?

Yes, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO have fantastic sound quality, reproducing plenty of details. They also have a strong bass, but not to the point that instruments and vocals get drowned out.

📌 Which is better, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO or the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO?

It depends on what you’re going to use them for. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are better for things like critical listening and mixing, while the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are perfect for everyday listening.

📌 Are the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO good for gaming?

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are okay for gaming, but they don’t have a microphone. On top of that, they’re open-back headphones, so they may disturb others around you if you use them to play.

📌 Is the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO noise canceling?

No, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO don’t have active noise cancellation.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.