The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are sturdy critical listening headphones. They deliver an excellent audio reproduction but their open-back design is not ideal for everyday casual use. They will leak a lot, even at low volumes and don't block any ambient noise. They're also a bit tight on the head.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are sturdy, ruggedly built headphones. They look just like the DT 770 but with an open-back design. They can easily handle a few drops without getting damaged. The ear cups are well padded and fit around most listeners ears comfortably. They're also surprisingly stable, although, they're not designed for gym use or sports (see our recommendations for the best headphones for running). Sadly, they're a bit bulky and a little tight on your head, which can get uncomfortable during long listening sessions. They also don't offer any audio controls.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 are decent-looking reference headphones. They have a relatively compact and utilitarian design. However, the materials used in their build gives them a little more flare and high-end appeal. The ear cups are covered in a suede-like fabric. The headband is completely made out of metal and has a stylish and detachable padding cover.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are comfortable headphones but a bit tight on your head. They have well padded and large ear cups that fit comfortably around most listeners' ears. However, the headband is a little too rigid which make the headphones tight enough to become uncomfortable during long listening sessions.
Like the DT 770 and the DT 880, the Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO are not designed to be highly portable. 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 storage space. They are on the larger side for over-ear headphones and would only fit in a bag or a big purse.
These headphones come with a soft pouch that doesn't add much bulk but also does not offer much protection. They would be safe from scratches but not from falls. On the upside, the fabric is somewhat waterproof and will shield the headphones from minor water damage.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro have a solid, sturdy build. The headband has a rugged metal frame that can handle a decent amount of physical stress. The open-back ear cups are, unfortunately, made of plastic which makes them less durable compared to the rest of their build, but they are dense enough, to not get damaged from a couple of drops.
The Beyerdynamic DT990 headphones are moderately stable on your head. They are not designed for sports and will slip off your ears during high-intensity physical activities or while running. However, the tight fit these headphones provide is more than enough to keep the headphones on your head during casual listening sessions.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are a very good sounding and impressive pair of open-back headphones. They have a consistent, well-extended and excellent Bass Range, especially for an open-back design. Also, their mid-range is nearly flawless and their Treble is very well-balanced. However, like most open headphones, they still lack a little bit of sub-bass, and their Treble tends to be sharp and sibilant. Additionally, due to their open-back design, they have a relatively open and spacious Soundstage.
The Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO are not designed to isolate listeners. They leak a lot and are supposed to, as it improves their sound quality with a more open and spacious soundstage. Sadly, that means they're not headphones you would casually wear in public because their loud leakage will be distracting to the people around you. They also don't block any ambient noise so they won't fare well in loud environments or on noisy commutes. If you need a more outdoor-friendly headphone, to use in public transit, then maybe consider the ATH-M50x instead. They're one of the few headphones that sounds sufficiently good enough to compete with the DT 990 Pro despite being closed-back.
Poor isolation. Due to their open-back design, these headphones don't offer any isolation below 1KHz. Above 1KHz, there is a 4dB/Octave roll-off present, which will have a minimal impact of blocking outside noise.
Poor leakage. Although the profile of the leakage is quite broad, wider than K702, the general level is lower than most open headphones we have measured. Yet, these headphones still qualify as very open and not suitable where privacy is needed.
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The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 598. They are noticeably better-built headphones and feel sturdier. They also don’t lack sub-bass like the HD 598 do. However, they might sound a bit sharp for some and are a bit tight on the head. Also, the HD 598 are more comfortable for long listening sessions, thanks to the nice padding and large cups. We’ve also measured that they were more open-sounding than the DT 990 PRO.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Sennheiser HD 599 are both great headphones for critical listening, but the HD 599 are more comfortable for long listening sessions, while the DT 990 PRO are noticeably better-built and feel more durable, but feel tighter. Also, while both their sound profiles are very similar, the HD 599 might be slightly more open-sounding than the DT 990 PRO. The DT 990 PRO come with a non-detachable coiled cable while the HD 599 come with two thin and detachable audio cables.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are better headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, especially if you listen in a quiet room where you can take advantage of their open-back design. They are also better built and feel sturdier thanks to their metal frame. On the other hand, if you need good critical listening headphones for your commute or if you like to listen to music in quiet environments like a library, the closed-back M50x will be a better option since they isolate more and leak less, thanks to their closed-backs.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the AKG K702 are both great headphones for critical listeners and have very little difference in performance. Sound-wise, the K702 might lack a bit of sub-bass when compared to the DT 990 and could sound a bit sharper on higher frequencies. On the other hand, the K702 don’t feel as tight as the DT 990, which is more comfortable for long listening sessions. However, they are well-built but don’t feel as durable as the DT 990 since they don’t have a full metal frame like the Beyerdynamics. The K702 might also are a bit more open-sounding, and they come with a very long and detachable cable, while the DT 990 have a short, coiled cable.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 600. The Beyerdynamic offer a better value thanks to their excellent build quality and great audio reproduction. They feel a lot more durable than the HD 600 and have a slightly better sound that packs more bass. However, the HD 600 have a slightly better representation of instruments and vocals in the mid-range and do not sound as sharp as the Beyerdynamic on bright tracks. They also have a slightly more spacious soundstage than the DT 990 and come with detachable cables, unlike the Beyerdynamics.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are slightly better critical listening headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO thanks to their open-back design. Both headphones are similarly built and are comfortable. They are practically the same headphones, but the 990 are open and the 770 are closed-backs.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are slightly better headphones than the AKG Q701. The sound quality is excellent, and their bass is surprising for open-backs. They are also better built than the AKG Q701 and feel sturdier. However, the DT 990 are tight on the head for some, which also means they are more stable, but some people may feel discomfort and fatigue after a while. The AKG Q701 also have a better soundstage and come with an extra long cable that is detachable, unlike the DT 990’s coiled cable. Overall, the cheaper price of the Beyerdynamic makes them a better pick.