My Beyerdynamic DT990 Edition/Premium Headphones showed up damaged. Here is a “review.”

Ugh.

So I really wanted to review and own the Beyerdynamic DT990s. I bought the “Edition” version from Amazon recently, which is often called the “Premium” version even though that’s not what it’s really called.

Beyerdynamic makes both Pro and “Edition” versions of several of their headphones. The Pro versions have replaceable headbands, different cables, a tighter clamping force, and a dust cover bag. The Edition/Premium versions have longer home-use cables, less clamping force, and a big ol’ leatherette box case thing.

That case turned out to be the bane of my DT990's.

Unlike the Pro headphones, which are packaged around a cardboard pillar that protects their pads, the Edition version is just shoved into this case inside a headphone-shaped piece of foam. That would be fine, except my pair was a little crooked, and the left ear cup and cable were shunted into the bottom of the right ear pad. Over time, both of the pads became damaged by this placement. The left pad was a little distorted, but the right pad was damaged almost beyond use, with a big area squished totally flat and misshapen.

I gave them some time to spring back into life and re-shape…but alas. Too much damage was done. It would be flat forever. Royalty- free picture of pancakes.

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So, I could have bought new pads…but that would have defeated the good price I got in the first place. So I sent them back.

But not before I tragically listened to a few songs through their broken pads.

Here now is a little mini-review inside this not-review.

Sound

The 990’s sound very good, like the 770’s but more. And more airy. It was heartbreaking. Soundstage was not much wider than the 770’s, and bass impact in the sub-bass region is less…but everything else is very good. Mid-bass is shockingly clean for an open-back headphone. Mids are detailed and fast. Highs are just south of strident. I loved the sound. I imagine they sound even better if the pads aren’t busted.

Build/Comfort/Design

I don’t like the design of the 990 Edition as much as the 770 Pro…mostly because it doesn’t use the same fun plastic ear cups. And also it has these weird metal forks at the sides of the headband that seem a little sharp.

Build quality is very good, and the case is very nice…I only wish they had been packaged more carefully. The pads on the 880’s and 990’s are softer because, unlike the closed 770’s, the open models don’t have to isolate the user from outside sound. So they can have softer pads that are even more comfy.

But it means they’re less durable to packaging flaws.

Comfort is top-tier…I think. My pads were broken so I can’t say with total authority. But boy they still felt very nice for the thirty minutes I dejectedly used them.

Final Thoughts

If you’re trying to decide between an 880/990 Pro or Premium/Edition, get the Pro version every time. Sure, you have to deal with tighter clamp, a different cable, and a lack of a leatherette case…but the packaging of the pro version will probably prevent you from having the same problem I did. I will eventually revisit the 990 and order a Pro version, but for now, it’s onward and upward.

Please click the heart button if you made it this far, just so you have proof to show your friends when they doubt you!

Written by

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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