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 excellent neutral listing headphones. They reproduce a lot of detail in high-resolution tracks and have a clear and crisp sound quality with a spacious soundstage. They may sound a bit sharp at times, as the treble range is slightly too emphasized, but bass, instruments, and vocals are well-balanced and reproduced with high-fidelity.
Not designed for commuting. The open back design of the Beyerdynamic DT990 intentionally does not isolate.
No meant for sports use. They're stable but too cumbersome.
Not designed for office use. Unless you work in an isolated environment.
See our recommendations for the best headphones under $200, the best audiophile headphones, and the best headphones for music.
The Sennheiser HD 560S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. The Sennheiser are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, and have a better passive soundstage performance. However, the Beyerdynamic feel better built.
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 and the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X are similarly performing audiophile headphones with different strengths. While both headphones are comfortable and well-built, the PRO X have a different driver design that's advertised to reproduce loud sound without distortion, whether connected to an amp or a smartphone. They also have a wider and more out-of-head passive soundstage. However, the 990 PRO's mid and treble responses are more neutral. They also use a coiled audio cable, but it isn't detachable.
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 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. The Beyerdynamic 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 Audio-Technica will be a better option since they isolate more and leak less, thanks to their closed-backs.
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 Sennheiser and have a slightly better sound that packs more bass. However, the Sennheiser 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 Beyerdynamic and come with detachable cables.
The Philips Fidelio X2HR are slightly better open-back headphones for neutral sound listening than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. The Philips are more comfortable, have a less over-emphasized bass range, and a much wider and more open soundstage. Their treble range is also a bit more consistent between various users or reseats. On the other hand, the Beyerdynamic feel more durable and stable and have less distortion at lower listening volumes.
The HiFiMan Sundara 2020 are better for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. Both pairs have very neutral sound profiles, but the HiFiMan are more comfortable and have a more accurate treble response, which some listeners may prefer. They also have a much better passive soundstage performance and deliver audio more consistently. However, the Beyerdynamic are better-built, more breathable, and come with a pouch that should protect the headphones from minor scratches and splashes.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Philips SHP9500 are both very good audiophile headphones if you like a neutral sound, but they have different sound profiles. The Beyerdynamic get more bass, but they also sound fairly sharp and even piercing to some people. The Philips have a significant bass roll-off, but their treble is much better-balanced and they have a more natural soundstage. They're also less fatiguing to wear for long listening sessions since they fit less tightly than the Beyerdynamic.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Sennheiser HD 6XX are both open-back headphones, but the Sennheiser are a bit better for neutral sound. The Sennheiser have a more consistent audio delivery and a better soundstage. Also, their sound profile is more balanced and neutral. However, the Beyerdynamic are more comfortable and better-built, and they also come with a pouch to help protect the headphones.
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 AKG might lack a bit of sub-bass when compared to the Beyerdynamic and could sound a bit sharper on higher frequencies. On the other hand, the AKG don't feel as tight as the Beyerdynamic, which is more comfortable for long listening sessions. However, the AKG are well-built but don’t feel as durable since they don’t have a full metal frame like the Beyerdynamic. The AKG are also a bit more open-sounding, and they come with a very long and detachable cable while the Beyerdynamic have a short, coiled cable.
The Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are two very good critical listening open-back headphones but shine in different categories. If you care more about comfort and build quality, the Beyerdynamic will be a better option. On the other hand, sound-wise, the Sennheiser are slightly better and have less harmonic distortion, but this might not be audible for most. If you’re looking for a good mid-range critical listening open-back headphones, both the Sennheiser and the Beyerdynamic are great options.
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 Sennheiser do. However, they might sound a bit sharp for some and are a bit tight on the head. Also, the Sennheiser 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 Beyerdynamic.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Sennheiser HD 599 are both great headphones for neutral sound, 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 have a tighter fit. Also, while both their sound profiles are very similar, the HD 599 may sound slightly more open 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 Sennheiser HD 650 and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are both very good open-back headphones for neutral listening. While the Beyerdynamic get more bass, they also sound a bit sharp and piercing. The Sennheiser have a smoother sound with less sharpness in the treble but lack bass.
The AKG K712 PRO are slightly better open-back headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. The AKG are more comfortable, have a much wider soundstage, and are much more consistent among users. The Beyerdynamic are also a bit less bass-heavy, though the AKG are a bit brighter sounding.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the HyperX Cloud Alpha are designed with different uses in mind: the Beyerdynamic for critical listening in the studio, and the HyperX for gaming. That said, if you don’t need a microphone, the DT 990 PRO can be a viable option for wired gaming thanks to their well-balanced sound profile. The Cloud Alpha have better padding for long gaming sessions, but they lack detail and brightness in the treble range, and some people find the closed-back design more fatiguing to wear over time.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better for most uses than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. The Astro are more comfortable and have companion software that offers sound customization features, though some users have reported issues using it. They also have a mic with a great performance and a better passive soundstage. On the other hand, the Beyerdynamic have a somewhat more neutral sound profile, with much better treble accuracy than the Astro's default sound profile.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC each provide better value for different purposes. The SteelSeries are wired gaming headphones that come with a powerful microphone and lots of customization options. The Beyerdynamic are studio headphones designed for mixing and mastering; however, they can be a viable option for gamers who don’t need a mic thanks to their comfortable fit and well-balanced, immersive sound.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO are both very good headphones for critical listening, but they have different sound profiles. Both headphones have a bright and clear treble. However, the DT 880 lack bass compared to the DT 990 PRO, which pack a stronger punch. This makes the DT 880 sound brighter compared to the DT 990, which sound boomier. Both headphones also sound rather sharp, but the intensity depends on how sensitive you are to the higher frequencies.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are much better audiophile headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, although they require quite the investment. With the right setup, the Sennheiser have a remarkably well-balanced sound signature with a spacious, natural soundstage. They need a powerful amplifier, though, and lack a bit of bass. The Beyerdynamic don't sound quite as immersive, but they get more bass and are a lot more affordable.
While the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are both great choices for neutral sound, the Drop are a better choice for wired gaming. The Drop have a boom mic to record your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. They're also more comfortable and have a mic as well as volume controls. However, the Beyerdynamic are better built.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the HiFiMan HE-400i are both good headphones if you like a neutral sound. The HiFiMan have less bass, but they also sound less piercing. They have a much more immersive soundstage as well. However, they feel a lot less durable, and there have been many reports of issues with their build quality. The Beyerdynamic feel much better-built, although their tight fit is less comfortable.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Philips SHP9600 are both open-back headphones that are good for neutral sound, and depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. Both have balanced sound profiles with a bit of extra punch in the bass range, but the Beyerdynamic's bass is more extended. The Beyerdynamic are also better-built and have a more stable fit. That said, the Philips are more comfortable, and their audio delivery is more consistent.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are slightly better headphones than the AKG Q701. The Beyerdynamic sound quality is excellent, and their bass is surprising for open-backs. They also have a better build than the AKG and feel sturdier. However, the Beyerdynamic are tight on the head, which also means they are more stable, but some may feel discomfort and fatigue after a while. The AKG have a better soundstage and come with an extra-long cable that is detachable, unlike the Beyerdynamic's coiled cable. Overall, the cheaper price of the Beyerdynamic makes them a better selection.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are better headphones for neutral sound than the RØDE NTH-100. The Beyerdynamic are open-back headphones, so they can create a more immersive audio experience as sound can leave the ear cups and interact with the environment around you. They also have a flatter, more accurate sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their build quality is higher. However, you may still want to consider the RØDE if you're looking for closed-back professional headphones. They're able to block out a bit more ambient noise than the Beyerdynamic, although it may not be enough if you're in a very noisy environment, and they leak less audio at high volumes. They also have a detachable audio cable.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017 are two wired, over-ear headphones with very different uses. The Beyerdynamic are more suited for critical listeners as they have a decently consistent frequency response and a more neutral sound profile. However, they don't have a microphone, controls, or companion software, so some may find them very limiting. The Astro, on the other hand, are gaming headphones that have controls so you can tweak your audio on the fly, they're slightly more comfortable, and their boom microphone does an excellent job of capturing your voice clearly, even in noisy environments. Even though they have a more inconsistent bass and treble delivery, they have companion software with a graphic EQ and presets that allow you to find the right sound for your needs. That said, some people have reported issues when trying to use the software.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Beats Solo Pro have different strengths, and you may prefer either one. The Beyerdynamic are over-ears designed for audiophiles. They're more comfortable and have a more immersive passive soundstage. However, the Beats are better for casual use. They have an ANC system and can significantly block out more background noise. They also have a wireless design and have an H1 chip, so you can pair them with other devices in your Apple ecosystem.
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. If you want open-back headphones that are a bit more comfortable, check out the Philips SHP9600 or the Philips Fidelio X2HR.
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, just like the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X. 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.
For open-back headphones with a better passive soundstage performance, check out the Sennheiser HD 6XX.
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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