The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are great, well-built critical listening headphones. They have the most premium look and feel of all the Beyerdynamic models that we've tested so far, and they're a durable, sturdy option that should last you a while. They're comfortable and deliver a well-balanced and open sound, but can be a bit tight on some heads and slightly sharp on already bright tracks. Also, like most open back headphones, they won't be a good option to use outdoors.
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.
Not designed for commuting. The open-back ear cups do not block any ambient noise and leak a lot. Also, they're not portable and do not have a control scheme for mobile devices.
Not meant for sports. The Beyerdynamic 1990 are decently tight on the head but a bit too bulky, unstable and require an amp, so they're not suitable for sports or to use outdoors.
Sub-par for office use. Unless you work alone or in an isolated office, the leakage level will be too bothersome for those around you. Also, the open back design does not block any noise so you will hear your environment fairly easily even when listening to music at higher-than-average volumes.
Mediocre for gaming. They're comfortable, they sound great and have a low latency wired design. However, they do not have a microphone for voice chat when gaming, and no customization options which are typical for most gaming headsets. Also, they do not have the convenience of wireless design or multiple connection options for an optimized experience on Xbox One or PS4.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 are one of the best sounding critical listening headphones we've tested but can be a bit too sharp on already bright tracks. They have an excellent and sturdy build quality that looks and feels premium enough to justify their price range. Unfortunately, their sound quality is fairly similar to the lower end DT 990 PRO and may not be worth the additional premium cost for some, especially, when compared to some of the models below. See our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones, the best studio headphones and the best headphones for music.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO and the Sennheiser HD 660 S are both very good open-back audiophile headphones, each with their own different sound signature. The Sennheiser have a warm, smooth sound, but lack body in the bass, and brightness in the treble. The Beyerdynamic have a fuller, brighter sound, but can also be rather piercing, and even a bit cluttered.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are a more premium model than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, but both headphones are fairly similar. The main differences are that the DT 1990 PRO come with an extra pair of ear pads and another audio cable. This also means that the DT 1990 PRO have detachable and replaceable cables, which makes them more durable. They also come with a hard, but very bulky, case to protect the headphones. The DT 1990 PRO also doesn’t have a bass roll-off like the DT 990 and will be able to reproduce deeper frequencies down to 10Hz.
The HiFiMan Sundara 2020 are better for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. The HiFiMan have a much more neutral treble response, which some listeners may prefer. They have a better passive soundstage performance and much better frequency response consistency. They're also more comfortable. On the other hand, while both pairs have an open-back design, the Beyerdynamic's sound profile has a much more accurate bass response, which some may prefer. They also trap less heat against your ears.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are slightly better headphones for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X. While both headphones are comfortable, the 1990 PRO are better-built and have a more immersive passive soundstage. Their bass response is also more neutral, and they can reproduce a bit more thumpy low-bass. They also come with a more sturdy hard case to help protect the headphones when you're not using them.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are slightly better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 650. They're noticeably better-built and feel premium. They have a better bass performance than the HD 650, although some people may feel like they sound overly bright and sharp.
Both Beyerdynamic models are great critical listening headphones, but are better used in different environments. If you’re looking for a bit more punch and bass, the closed-back design of the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO might be better suited for you. If you’re looking for headphones to listen to your favorite music at home, in a quiet environment, then the open-back Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO will give you better soundstage and a more speaker-like experience. For commutes and office use, the DT 1770 won’t leak as much as the DT 1990 by design.
The AKG K712 PRO and the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are both very good audiophile headphones, though they have fairly different sound profiles. The AKG have a very smooth, neutral sound, but lack quite a bit of bass, while the Beyerdynamic sound quite a bit more excited, with a lot more bass and a much brighter treble. They can sound quite sharp and piercing, though, so the AKG are a better option if you're sensitive to sounds in the higher frequencies.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are marginally better neutral sound listening headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO thanks to their open-back design that gives them a much better soundstage. That being said, the closed-back design of the 770 PRO means they block more sound and leak less audio, though they still are sub-par in both these regards. The 770 PRO also have a slightly more accurate sound profile, especially in the bass range. Other than that, both headphones are comfortable and feel very well-built.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better-performing audiophile headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. While the Beyerdynamics pack a bit more bass, the Sennheisers sound less sharp while still creating an immersive soundstage. The Sennheiser are also more comfortable to wear for longer listening sessions, although some may find their ear cups a bit large.
The Sennheiser HD 6XX are a bit better open-back headphones for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. The Sennheiser have a more consistent audio delivery across listeners, and their sound profile is more balanced and neutral. However, the Beyerdynamic are better-built, more comfortable, and their soundstage is better. Also, they come with a case, unlike the Sennheiser.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are better headphones for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation 2016. They feel better built than the DT 1990 due to the high-end materials being used and replaceable parts. The cups feel denser than most Beyerdynamic headphones. They have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and they sound less sharp on already bright tracks.
The HiFiMan Ananda are better critical listening headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. They deliver a much more immersive soundstage thanks to their planar magnetic drivers. They're also slightly more comfortable than the Beyerdynamic and deliver a more balanced frequency response throughout, which will not sound as sharp on S and T sounds as the Beyerdynamic. On the upside, the Beyerdynamic have a better more durable build quality that feels premium and come with more extra accessories. They also have a bit more bass overall.
The Audeze LCD2-Classic/LC2C are better critical listening headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. The Audeze deliver a much more immersive soundstage thanks to their planar magnetic drivers. They also deliver a slightly more balanced frequency response throughout, which will not sound as sharp on S and T sounds as the Beyerdynamic. On the upside, the Beyerdynamic have a more compact and better-designed build quality that feels premium and come with more extra accessories. They also have a bit more bass overall and sound more neutral in the mid-range.
The Sennheiser HD 700 are slightly better critical listening headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. They are noticeably more comfortable, especially since they don’t clamp as hard as the Beyerdynamic. While both are open-back headphones, the Sennheiser are more open-sounding. However, they do lack a bit of sub-bass, which is normal for open-backs. However, the Beyerdynamic have pretty accurate bass, even if they are also open-back. The Beyerdynamic also feel sturdier than the Sennheiser, and they also come with a coiled cable, which is nice.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO and the Philips SHP9600 are both open-back headphones that are good for neutral sound and pack an extra punch in the bass range. The Beyerdynamic are better-built, more stable, and they come with a portable carrying case. Their bass also extends lower than the Philips' bass. That said, the Philips have a more comfortable fit, which some listeners may prefer.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are better for neutral sound than the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. The Beyerdynamic are wired open-back headphones with a well-balanced sound profile. Their soundstage is perceived as bigger and more spacious and they have a more comfortable fit. On the other hand, the Beats are wireless closed-back headphones that have a more versatile performance. Their ANC feature blocks out an impressive amount of ambient sound and they have an integrated mic and onboard controls.
The DT 1990 have a more polished and premium design compared to the other Beyerdynamic models. They look like the DT 990 PRO and DT 770 with slightly open back-plates and a lot of dense metal in their build that makes them feel high-end. The ear cup pads are coated in a soft microfiber fabric, and the matte dark gray color scheme looks great and will be suitable for most listeners. However, since they're not designed for outdoor use, they're a little bulky and cumbersome. However, the headband and ear cups keep a fairly low profile, which is nice.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO have about the same fit and comfort level as the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X. They're a bit heavier, but it's not really noticeable once on your head. They have the same, soft microfiber pads that feel great on the skin, and large ear cups that fit comfortably around most ears. Unfortunately, they're as tight on the head as most of the Beyerdynamic models, which may get a bit fatiguing during long critical listening sessions. The headband also doesn't extend as far as some of the other over-ears we've tested, so they might not fit as well on all head shapes and sizes but on average, they are comfortable enough for most listeners.
These headphones do not have a control scheme.
These headphones have an open back design and breathable ear cup pads that keep your ears fairly cool for an over-ear design. They won't be the most breathable headphones, but they won't warm up your ears to the point of making you sweat when listening for an hour or two. They're not the best option for more demanding activities like sports and working out but should be fine for casual use cases, listening and watching movies.
Like most of the Beyerdynamic lineup, the DT 1990 are not designed to be portable headphones you can easily carry around on your person. They're big and bulky and do not fold into a more compact format or have swiveling ear cups that lay flat to take up less space. They are on the larger side for over-ear headphones and would only fit in a bag.
Update 04/10/2019: We've updated the score of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO and 1770 PRO's cases to better reflect their durability compared to that of the T1 2nd Generation and other similar hard cases.
These headphones come with a big hard case that will easily protect them from scratches, drops, impacts and water damage. However, the bulky, cumbersome size of the case makes the already fairly large DT 1990 even less portable. You will have a tough time carrying them around in this case unlike some of the other hard cases that we've tested, but on the upside, they have more than enough room to carry all the accessories included in the box.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 feel like premium headphones with a sturdy, durable design. The Beyerdynamic lineup has always had some of the best-built headphones we've tested, but these headphones take it a step further with more high-end materials, replaceable audio cables and ear cup pads, as well as a great, leather-coated headband that's flexible yet sturdy enough to handle multiple drops without getting damaged. The ear cups are thicker and denser than most of the other Beyerdynamic models, and the whole design looks very high-end. Overall, they are one of the better-built headphones that we've tested and are easily on par with other high-end critical listening headphones like the HiFiman Sundara and the Sennheiser HD 800 S.
The DT 1990 are sufficiently tight on the head that they won't fall during casual listening sessions. They're too bulky to run with comfortably and the large ear cups will eventually slide off your ears if you wear them while running or working out. However, they fit more securely than the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless, even though they're wired.
The frequency response consistency is good. In the bass range, the maximum amount of deviation across our human subjects is about 4dB. This is subtle but noticeable and seem to be happening on our subject that wears glasses. That is, when the seal between the headphones and the ears are broken. In the treble range, there's very little deviation below 10KHz, which is good.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro have excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, and low-bass is within 1.5dB of our target. This suggests an extended and deep bass, with an adequate amount of thump and rumble. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of the bass guitars and punch of the kick drums, is within 0.5 of our neutral target. However, high-bass, responsible for warmth, is overemphasized by about 2dB. This adds a tad of boominess to the bass response.
The mid-range of the DT 1990 is great. The response is even and most flat throughout the range, suggesting a clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. Low-mid shows a little bit of the high-bass overemphasis, which can create a little bit of muddiness in the mid-range, especially since high-mid is a bit recessed too.
The treble performance is good. Low-treble is even and flat, suggesting a detailed and balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, the big 10dB bump in the sibilance range (6KHz-10KHz) makes these headphones noticeably sharp and even piercing on S and Ts, which will be most noticeable on vocals and cymbals. This is an issue that the DT 990 PRO also has, but unfortunately, it has become even more pronounced in DT 1990 Pro, but might be less noticeable than on the T1 2nd Generation.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 have excellent imaging. Weighted group delay is at 0.1, which is great. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response is entirely below the audibility threshold. This results in a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro have a decent soundstage. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of pinna activation, with a decent amount of accuracy. However, there is not a 10KHz notch present. This suggests a decently large soundstage that may be perceived to be located inside the listener's head as opposed to in-front. Also, due to the open-back design of these headphones, their soundstage may feel more open and spacious than that their closed-back counterparts like the DT 770 and the DT 1770.
The DT 1990 Pro have a poor isolation. These open-back headphones do not isolate well, which is expected of their design. In the bass range, they will let in all the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, the achieve only 1dB of isolation, which is barely noticeable. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by 17dB, which is mediocre.
The leakage performance is poor. The significant portion of their leakage is spread between 200Hz and 20KHz, which is a very broad range. This results in a relatively full-sounding leakage. The overall level of the leakage is quite loud too. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away, averages at 60dB SPL and peaks at 75dB SPL, which is a lot louder than the noise floor of most offices. If you don't really care about leakage and are getting an open headset so you can monitor your environment while listening to music then you might want to check out the Bose SoundWear.
These headphones do not have a microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.
The DT 1990 do not have a microphone so the noise handling has not been tested.
These headphones do not have any active components and do not require a battery.
These headphones do not come with an app or software for added customization options.
The DT 1990 are not Bluetooth compatible headphones. If you want a good-sounding wireless headset, then consider the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
The wired connection of these headphones has negligible latency which is suitable for gaming and home-theater use.
Update 09/16/2021: We incorrectly reported that these headphones had 'N/A' latency in our 'Analog/USB Audio Latency' test. This was a mistake as we always report that analog cable latency is '0 ms'. We have changed our results and updated our text.
The Beyerdynamic DT1990 PRO have a simple 1/8" TRS audio cable. However, it doesn't have an in-line remote/microphone, so the headphones can only receive audio when connected to your PC, PlayStation, or Xbox console.
The Beyerdynamic DT1990 do not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.