Beyerdynamic DT 990 vs 880 vs 770 | Don’t Buy Before Reading This!

beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones in black. Open construction, wired
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio

One glaring issue when it comes to this particular Beyerdynamic headphone series. Our readers have mentioned that the different headphone models in this series are easy to confuse with each other:  the DT 770, DT 880 and the DT 990. And checking gaming headset forums and the market in general, it seems to be a common question: which one of these three should we buy, what exactly is the difference and what are the pros and cons of each model?

Because these headphones are also within the same general price range, this adds further to the confusion of entry-level consumers and gamers looking to buy a new set of headphones.

So, to help clear things out we’ve put together this detailed comparison article between the three Beyerdynamic DT series headphones. Hopefully, this should help clear out the fog of this confusing yet impressive headphones.

Without further ado, here are low-down and basics that differentiate the Beyerdynamic DT 770 to the DT 880 and to the DT 990.


Beyerdynamic DT 770 vs DT 880 vs DT 990 – at a Glance

It can be a bit difficult to differentiate these three from each other at first glance seeing as all three utilize similar material and almost identical headband design. However, upon further inspection, you will notice one huge difference between the three that would probably make you hit yourself for not noticing sooner.

I am talking about the earcup design, of course. If you look closely at each headphone you will notice that the 770 has a closed-back design, the 880 has a semi-open design, and the 990 uses the open-back earcup design.  All three models also come with a 9.8-feet coiled cable.

This should already give you an idea as to what each model is designed for but let us dig deeper for beginners who are still up in the air about these three Beyerdynamic headphones.

If you are familiar with Beyerdynamic headphones then you know to expect one signature feature of the brand. That is, the ability to disassemble their headphones if you wish to replace or do some maintenance.


Beyerdynamic DT 770

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Studio Headphone
DT 770 PRO

Frequency response: 5 to 35,000 Hz

Nominal impedance: 32, 80, or 250 ohms

Sound pressure level: 96 dB

Closed-Back Design

Check Price of DT 770 on Amazon

Beyerdynamic DT 880

beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Special Edition Chrome Version 250 ohm (717258)
DT 880

Frequency response: 5 to 35,000 Hz

Nominal impedance: 250 ohms

Sound pressure level: 96 dB

Semi-Open Design

Check Price of DT 880 on Amazon

Beyerdynamic DT 990

beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones in black. Open construction, wired Frequency response: 5 to 35,000 Hz

Nominal impedance: 250 ohms

Sound pressure level: 96 dB

Open Back Studio Quality

Check Price of DT 990 on Amazon

From the specs detailed above you can see that all three have a frequency range of 5 to 35,000 Hz.

However, the DT 770 is the only one of these three DT models that offer a wider range of nominal impedance with 32, 80, and 250-ohm versions.

The DT 880 and DT 990 only have the 250-ohm option available.

The DT 770 is also lighter and more compact.

If I would have to choose which one is ideal as a portable headphone, I would go with the DT 770.

The sound pressure level is even with all three models with 96 decibels. A pretty impressive range that all three models managed to retain.

Sound Quality and Performance

Now we are getting into the thick of it. How well does each DT series compare with each other in terms of performance? Let us take a look.

  • Low-End Frequency

When it comes to delivering the best bass quality, both the DT 770 and DT 880 are tied at the top spot. That is not to say that the DT 990’s bass and the low-end range is bad. It is still a solid performance but it mostly produces a more subdued low end compared to the impact that 770 and 880 offers. The DT 770 delivers powerful beats while the DT 880 offers on par power but has an edge when it comes to bass articulation due to its semi-open design.

  • Mid-Range Frequency

When it comes to the mid-range audio quality, both the DT 880 and DT 990 easily excel thanks to their semi-open and open-back earcup design. The DT 770 still offers a solid mid-range detail but is clearly not on par with its siblings.

  • High-End Frequency

The high-end detail is where the DT 990 truly shines. Comparing all three, it is evident that the 770 and 880 are struggling to keep up with the 990 when it comes to producing crisp and clear high-end audio detail. The DT 990 manages to produce such clarity without the highs without it being too sharp to the ears. On the other hand, the 770 and 880 delivers a more conservative approach when it comes to producing high-end frequency audio.

  • Soundstage

In terms of immersion, it is pretty easy to tell which one offers the largest soundstage. Simply put, if you have an open-back earcup design you instantly win this category. The DT 990 gets the first place with the DT 880 and DT 770 in 2nd and 3rd, respectively. That is not to say that the DT 770 is terrible in this department. It still delivers a relatively immersive sound quality when compared to other brands. But when compared to other DT series, it falls flat.

Which One To Buy?

Reading through the specifications of each headphone should already give you an idea of which DT series suits your needs.

For those looking for a well-balanced headphone, the DT 770 fits the bill to the letter. This all-around headphone will go nicely for use in both studio, home, and outdoors. The bass booms but also manages to balance itself out thanks to the decent high-end response.

The DT 770 is a good overall choice for beginners. Think of it as a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ headphone. It does deliver the most powerful bass but sacrifices detail in the process.

The DT 880 gives good bass quality while maintaining the accuracy of the audio. For bass lovers who enjoy earth-shaking beats, the DT 880 should be your main choice. While the 770 offers more punch, the 880 can deliver solid bass and better detail. It covers both deep ends and accuracy quite nicely. The semi-open design means that sound can leak so I suggest this one primarily for home use.

Finally, the DT 990 is best for overall quality sound due to its impressive mids and highs but falls short when it comes to bass. These headphones are the best choice for those who want the best mids and highs. If you enjoy the quality sound for music in addition to gaming, then the DDT 990 is a no-brainer due to its ability to produce high-quality mids and highs as well as the spacious open-back design.

Click here to read about good headphone Amps and DACs for Beyerdynamic headphones.

pro gamer wearing Beyerdynamic DT 990
Ninja wearing DT 990s

***If you are a gamer that plays Fortnite, you may be interested to know that the 990s are the headphones that Ninja uses to play.

As you can see, each DT series headphone caters to a certain audience.

Hopefully, the information we’ve provided here will help you decide for yourself which one suits you the best.


Additional Sources:

See full specs on the company website:

Beyerdynamic DT 770

Beyerdynamic DT 880

Beyerdynamic DT 990

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