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  • Josh McDonald

Quick Listen: beyerdynamic DT1990 PRO

Wow these are contrasting. Depending on the track playing, I either can't get them off my head quick enough or revel in their detail and presentation.

Physically they are fantastic. The build is impressive and the comfort is next level. Large, open-back earcups are cosy without being constricting. They come with two cables, 3m straight and 1m coiled and a hard case for travel. Two different earpads are included too, "balanced" and "analytical". I only had the analytical at my disposal.

A quick aside, a bright top end is usually what I like in speakers and headphones. However, these have a treble spike (between 6kHz-10kHz, up to 10dB) that can be downright offensive. For modern, compressed pop music, every snare hit will have your ears bleeding if the sibilance from the vocals doesn't get you first. Rock music is just a trashy mess of cymbals.

Compliment sandwich. So what are they good at? Revealing those tiny details in music you probably never knew were there. This is a double edged sword though, does noticing all those little nuances take you out of the music or enhance it? Hearing headphone bleed from the recording session, I find, can be distracting. Yet, the reverb tails intricacies are mesmerising.

Put on something like Linda Ronstadt you're encapsulated by the precision. The double bass grunts with authority. The brass sparkles. They paint an intimate picture of the recording, like sitting in a small club, just you and the band.

Orchestral, jazz and acoustic music, that's where these shine. Modern music, not so much. But if you're making music, these are like a microscope, zooming into all the intricate details of your mix. Did someone's shoelace come undone in the studio? You'll be able to hear it with the DT1990.