Reviewed on May 02, 2017

Beyerdynamic DT 880 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
5.8
Mixed Usage
7.7
Critical Listening
4.8
Commute/Travel
5.2
Sports/Fitness
5.3
Office
5.9
TV
5.9
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Semi-Open
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The DT 880 are good critical listening headphones with a well-balanced and open sound. They have a durable build, and they're decently comfortable, but they're a bit cumbersome to carry around without a bag. Also, their semi-open design doesn't block ambient noise, leaks a lot and isn't really intended for any other use case except critical listening in an isolated environment.

Test Results
Design 6.9
Sound 7.6
Isolation 2.6
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Sturdy build quality.
Cons
  • Very sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
  • Bulky and unstable design.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.9

Design

The DT 880 have a sturdy and comfortable design. They look somewhat like the DT 990 PRO but with different, semi-open, ear cup enclosures and they're more comfortable than the DT 770. This makes them look a bit more high-end but they do not feel as solid as the 990s. They're not as tight on the head but still exert an uncomfortable pressure that's fatiguing after wearing them for a while. Unfortunately, the looser fit also makes them unstable. That and the bulky, semi-open design means these headphones will not be suitable to use outdoors. 

Style

The DT 880 look similar to the DT 990 PRO but have enough unique touches to feel like a different design. The circular ear cups are semi open as opposed to the open design of the DT 990 which combined with the more premium, metal enclosures makes the DT 880 look much more expensive than their price range. They also have a slightly different headband design with two small metal plates at the hinges, which look a bit odd but shouldn't be much of an issue once they're on your head.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.66 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1 lbs

The DT 880 are comfortable headphones but put an uneven amount of pressure around your ears. The ear cup padding is covered with a soft microfiber fabric that feels good on the skin. They're also not as tight as DT 990 out of the box, but unfortunately, the angle of ear cups causes them to put an uncomfortable amount of pressure between your jaw and your ear lobe which can get a bit tiring after having them on for a while.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
7.4 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 3.1 C
5.4 Portability
L : 8 "
W : 6.2 "
H : 4.2 "
Volume : 208 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Like the DT 990 PRO and the DT 770, the DT 880 are not very portable headphones. They're bulky, they don't fold into a more compact format, and the ear cups don't lay flat either. This makes them quite cumbersome to carry on your person without a bag. Unfortunately, the provided carrying case adds so much bulk that they may not even fit into your backpack or gym bag.

6.5 Case
Type : Soft case
L : 10.6 "
W : 9.3 "
H : 4.9 "
Volume : 477 Cu. Inches

Comes with a soft case that will shield the headphones against scratches and minor water damage. It also protects them against some impacts but because it's a soft case it won't be ideal against accidental drops. Unfortunately, the case almost doubles the amount of space that they would take up in your bag. This makes them even less portable which is slightly disappointing.

8.0 Build Quality

The DT 880 are rugged and well-built headphones that won't break if they accidentally fall off your desk. They also make use of some premium materials in their build quality. Their frame doesn't feel as sturdy as the DT990 PRO, but the ear cups feel better built and have metal enclosures compared to the plastic one of the DT990. However, the audio cables leading to the ear cups are a little exposed.

5.5 Stability

These headphones, unlike the DT990, are not stable. They fit a bit looser on the head when compared to the 990s and will easily fall off if you shake them too much. They're not meant to be used while exercising or running, and the non-detachable cable is cumbersome and will yank the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 9.9 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.6

Sound

The DT-880 are good sounding headphones which perform consistently and provide an open and balanced Soundstage. However, they lack a bit of punch in the Bass and could sound sibilant on overly bright tracks. Fans of Bass should consider the DT 990 PRO instead.

7.1 Bass
Std. Err.
:
3.19 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
92.43 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-5.31 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-3.4 dB
High-Bass
:
-0.28 dB

Decent Bass Range performance. The DT-880 suffer from insufficient low-bass and bass. Consequently the low-frequency extension point is at 92Hz which is poor. The resulting sound will not have enough kick and low-end rumble for the fans of Bass. The DT 990 PRO would be a better choice.

9.4 Mid
Std. Err.
:
0.81 dB
Low-Mid
:
0.69 dB
Mid-Mid
:
0.59 dB
High-Mid
:
0.32 dB

Excellent Mid Range performance. The response is virtually flawless and within 0.7dB of our target.

7.3 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.05 dB
Low-Treble
:
0.66 dB
Mid-Treble
:
4.88 dB
High-Treble
:
4.84 dB

Decent Treble Range performance. Low-treble is well-balanced, but treble is over-emphasized by an average of 5dB, peaking at 12dB around 9KHz. This makes the sound of the Treble on these headphones noticeably bright, and they could sound a bit harsh on overly bright tracks.

8.9 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.22 dB

Excellent consistency. The semi-open enclosures of the DT-880 mean they don't rely heavily on an air-tight seal to create their Bass. Therefore, they tend to perform quite consistently, even though the Bass Range of our Over-Ear and On-Ear headphones are measured on 5 different human subjects, 5 times each.

8.9 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.09
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.26
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.65
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.78
5.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.6 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
2.01 dB
PRTF Distance
:
5.67 dB
Openness
:
7.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
8.7
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB
7.7 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.585
Weighted THD @ 100
:
4.177

Good Harmonic Distortion performance. The amount of distortion in the Bass Range is a little elevated but within acceptable limits. Mid and Treble Ranges have low amount of distortion that doesn't change too much as the level increases, which is good.

2.6

Isolation

The DT 880 are semi-open headphones that are not designed for blocking ambient noise. This means they won't be suitable to use in loud environments or for commuting. They also intentionally leak due to their semi-open ear cups and therefore whatever you're listening to, will audible to anyone in your vicinity. They won't be the ideal headphones to use at the office unless you work in an isolated environment.

3.1 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-4.78 dB
Bass
:
0.03 dB
Mid
:
1.21 dB
Treble
:
-15.18 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Poor Isolation. The DT-880 is rated as semi-open but their performance is very similar to fully open-back headphones, and therefore don't isolate well. They provide no isolation in the Bass and Mid Ranges. In the Treble Range, they achieve an average of 15dB of reduction which is about average.

1.6 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
63.88 dB

Poor Leakage. Due to their semi-open back design, these headphones leak a considerable amount of sound. The significant portion of their leakage sits between 300Hz and 20KHz, which is quite a wide range. The overall level of leakage is also loud.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A
4.8

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • Beyerdynamic DT 880 Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Manual
  • Carrying case

5.8 Mixed Usage

The DT 880 are best used as critical listening headphones. They're not versatile enough to use in loud, noisy environments and their bulky, semi-open design means they will be too leaky and cumbersome for most casual uses.

7.7 Critical Listening

The DT 880 have an excellent Mid range and an above-average Bass and Treble. This makes them sound decently well balanced, with instruments and vocals that don't feel pushed back or too forward on most tracks. However, their overall audio reproduction is a little bright and sibilant. They also do not have as much Bass as the DT 990, but on the upside, they have a spacious Soundstage, low harmonic distortion and great stereo image, which makes them good headphones for critical listening.

4.8 Commute/Travel

Poor for commuting. They have a semi-open design which lets a lot of ambient noise seep into the ear cups which is not ideal for the loud environments involved in commuting via public transit.

5.2 Sports/Fitness

Not made for sports. They're bulky, cumbersome to carry around and unstable. They also don't have any controls.

5.3 Office

Sub-par for office use. Unless you work in an isolated environment, the level of leakage of these headphones may distract those around you. They also do not block any noise so they won't be suitable for a lively workplace.

5.9 TV

Above-average for home theater. They're sufficiently comfortable and semi-the open design and a well-balanced sound are suitable for long hours of movie watching. However, since they're wired headphones, they won't have the best range. Unless you have an extension cord for the audio cable, they won't be the best headphones, to comfortably watch tv from your couch.

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