Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 32 Ohm Review — A more Portable-Friendly DT770?
Okay. Let’s do this!
I’m that internet guy you know who now owns three different versions of the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, the pair of headphones that became my favorite after years of trying different studio and consumer pairs.
If you need/want to catch up on past articles:
Right! Time to tackle the 32 ohm version. The differences here are not huge, but they’re prominent enough that you’ll want to know about them before picking a version. This particular model is the DT770 Pro that has leatherette pads, a shorter cable, and it’s the easiest to drive…
(unless you count the initially Guitar Center Exclusive 16 ohm DT770i version. Which I’m not).
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Originally released in 2012 as a special limited edition pair to celebrate Beyerdynamic’s 88th anniversary, the ~$175 DT770 Pro 32 Ohm version joined the permanent main lineup in 2015.
Beyerdynamic strives to tune each version of the DT770 Pro to have the same sound signature, in spite of the different impedences. That way, you can pick the version that matches the power output of your equipment, and still get the same sound, more or less.
They’re largely successful in this quest, more on that in the sound section below!
Indeed, the biggest differences in the versions are the types of cables and pads used.
This 32 Ohm model is designed for mobile listening, field monitoring, and general portable use. It has a shorter cord and “SoftTouch” leatherette pads.
Like the other DT770 Pro’s, it’s fantastic, and if you’re looking for something that’s a little more portable-friendly, and you don’t want to own three models like me, this is the model to get!
Beyerdynamic tunes the DT770 Pro’s to the Diffuse Field response curve.
“What the heck is that?,” I hear you ask through the screen.
Over the years, different engineers have created target frequency response graphs that try and standardize what headphones “should” sound like. Our ears don’t hear every frequency at the same level, and they work differently with headphones than they do listening to speakers in a room.
In other words, to make a pair of headphones sound like a pair of speakers, they have to play back the sound very differently than the speaker would.
That’s where tuning comes into play.
Every headphone is tuned differently, and different companies use different target response curves. Most consumer headphones are tuned warm/bass heavy, and most studio headphones are tuned more neutrally.
The diffuse field response curve aims to produce a flat, musical response out of headphones with a speaker-like quality.
Every DT770 Pro has more or less the same sound signature, and the 32 ohm version is no different.
The bass is slightly elevated, but very precise. If you’re used to the boomy sound of Beats, it’s going to sound bass-light, but that’s just because it doesn’t have as much boosting in the mid bass region. Once you get used to the low end here, it’s hard to shift to something else. The bass is well extended to well below human hearing levels, and it’s perfect. It’s velvety, it’s glorious, and it never bleeds into the upper ranges.
Mids are a little bit withdrawn, which means that lead vocals and instruments might seem a touch quieter than a more mid-focused headphone. However, they’re rendered with extreme detail and clarity, thanks to the lightning fast response of the DT770 Pro’s drivers. More on that in a minute.
Highs are bristling, crisp, and just shy of fatiguing. If you don’t like clean, resounding high notes, you might not love these. But at moderate levels they’re not going to blow out your ears or anything. They’re very pleasant, accurate, and free of grain, and great for pro monitoring tasks or critical listening.
My two favorite qualities of the DT770 Pro’s sound are still present in the 32 ohm version: speed and soundstage.
Speed is a measurment of how fast a speaker can play a sound and return to neutral. A good, fast speaker driver renders music with stunning precision. The DT770 Pro has one of the fastest dynamic drivers on the market for the lowest price. It’s just as speedy as far more expensive models.
The result? You’ll hear little details in the music you can’t hear on slower headphones. It’s particularly noticeable on acoustic stuff.
Soundstage is the width of the sound image around your head. The sound field in headphones is more or less along a straight line through the center your head and out towards your ears. Most closed-back headphones have a pretty narrow soundstage, meaning that the sound all seems like it’s coming from inside your head.
Not so on the DT770 Pro’s! As I’ve said in earlier reviews, they have the most soundstage of any closed-back headphone I’ve ever heard, and the 32 ohm version is no exception in spite of its different pads.
The soundstage is expansive, wide, and clean. It’s really easy to tell where different elements are placed in the mix.
All of my headphone test tracks are handled beautifully on these. I could listen to them all day, honestly.
So how does the 32 ohm version compare to the other models? All three do share the same overall sound signature, soundstage, and speed…but the 32 ohm is closer to the 250 ohm version. They’re both a little bit brighter and less bass-focused than the 80 ohm model. It’s very minor, and you’d have to hear them all back-to-back to really notice.
You can’t go wrong with any of the three sound-wise, so pick based on your amplifier, what cord you need, and what pads you want!
You won’t need a special amp for the 32 ohm version. They should be powered fine out of just about anything.
Note that ohm ratings don’t always equate to volume levels. All three models of the DT770 Pro’s have the same sensitivity rating of 96 dB, so although the 32 Ohm version does get louder out of my Macbook than the 250 Ohm and 80 Ohm versions, the difference is smaller than you might think.
The ohm rating determines how much power the headphones are going to require out of your device in order to replicate their best response curve. I’m really over-simplifying this here.
But this 32 Ohm version lives up to its low rating and it’s not hard to power.
The 32 ohm DT770 Pro’s use Beyerdynamic’s “SoftTouch” leatherette pads instead of their trademark velour pads.
The pads seem ever so slightly thinner than the classic velour pads on the other models. I was worried that this, combined with the sometimes-sticky nature of leatherette, would mean that the 32 ohm model suffered in the comfort department. Fortunately, they still feel great!
These headphones are light, well-balanced, and easy on the ears. The ear pad openings are just as wide and deep as on the other models, and the foam inside is the same soft foam.
The inner edge of the pads uses the same venting that the velour pads use, which means they don’t get quite as stuffy as the average leatherette pair.
The headband is soft and spreads contact across your entire head.
I feel these more on my face/head than the other models thanks to the closer feel of the leatherette material on my skin. But they’re still plenty comfy for long listening sessions. You will get a little more sweaty and sticky here than you would with the other pads.
If you want to, you can order replacement velour pads and use those on this headphone. But I still think the leatherette ones are good in spite of their slightly sweaty nature.
And they offer isolation benefits!
The other DT770 Pro’s have great isolation, and these isolate a little bit better! Woo! That seems to be the one major effect of their leatherette pads. The slight losses in comfort and ear sweatiness are made up for with a couple more decibels of isolation.
These isolate in the upper tier of headphones, as far as passive models go.
If you want to get real nuts, Beyerdynamic also offers the DT770 M, a special high-isolation model for drummers and front-of-house concert/theatre monitoring. But they add clamping force and sacrifice comfort and sound quality to get there. Allegedly. I haven’t tried them myself!
If you don’t like old-school designs, you may not love the DT770 Pros.
But I love them.
If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll no doubt have noticed how excited I am about the textured plastic used on the backs of the ear cups on these headphones.
Why do I like this plastic so much?
It reminds me of the 80’s and 90’s. It’s like instrument case or bowling seat plastic. It’s like the plastic the top of the Panasonic 3DO game console was made out of.
I still have a 3DO in my living room.
I sometimes just sit and touch the plastic of these headphones. I’m not lying. It takes me right back to my childhood. And it’s more solid-feeling than the plastic in any other headphone I’ve ever used.
Beyerdynamic makes a lot of other models of headphones that I’m curious about buying...but then I’m always let down that they don’t feature the same textured thick plastic ear cups of the DT770 Pro’s.
The retro design still works surprisingly well in today’s world. The perfectly curved headband keeps things close to your head, so you can wear these outside without looking daft.
The build is truly industrial, and every part is user-replaceable. The headband is metal. The ear cup forks are metal. The ear cups are made out of that wonderful plastic. And it’s all assembled by hand by real humans in Germany.
It feels like it’ll be around longer than any other headphone I’ve ever touched, and I’m never the slightest bit concerned about breaking them.
Unlike the other DT770 Pros, the 32 ohm model features a shorter cable that makes it great for portable/walking around use. The cable isn’t detachable, and that’s literally the only complaint I could possibly lob at these.
But it doesn’t really bother me.
The cable is solid and flexible. It’s the perfect length for pocket cell-phone use, at about 1.6m.
The only two extras included in the box are a 6.3mm adapter and the wonderful, hilariously daft Beyerdynamic bag. It’s made of a weird vinyl material, it’s thin, it’s stupid…and I’d be so mad if they ever changed it out because I love it.
So basically, this is a DT770 Pro with a shorter cable, an easier to power set of drivers, and leatherette ear pads that isolate a little bit better. The ear pads are just a bit sweatier and more noticeable than the velour ones.
But the leatherette is also easier to wipe off after use.
If you need a DT770 Pro that’ll work best for mobile use, field monitoring, or walking around listening to stuff, here you go! Otherwise, you’re probably better off with one of the other two versions.
The cynical among you might say “why should I have to buy different versions of a headphone to have different cable lengths? Why couldn’t it just be detachable?”
I don’t have an amazing answer for you.
But I know that I have zero regrets buying all three. And Beyerdynamic didn’t even pay me to say any of this! They’re just that good, and now I’ve got three amazing pairs to reach for depending on my usage scenario.
While other headphones may come and go across my review desk, the DT770 Pro’s are always going to be the cornerstone of my collection. They’re my personal endgame. They have a sound signature I love, a build quality that’s unmatched, and comfort for days.
Pick the one that best fits your equipment and your needs, and enjoy!
Since I’ve bought all the DT770 Pro models now, this will be the last DT770 Pro love- fest that I write.
I mean, there’s no way I would ever buy the DT770 M. That would just be silly. I’m not a drummer and I don’t front-of-house monitor. Well, that is to say, I haven’t done that kind of monitoring for a few years and I’ll probably never do it again right? Right?
I’m also interested in the 1770's but not sure I’d ever pay that much for headphones. Plus they don’t have the textured plastic. Guys why am I still writing this review goodbye!