Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review – The True Gaming Headphones

Even if you are new to gaming you probably know of the wide variety of gaming mice, mousepads, monitors, and budget headsets. What you might not know is that there is one category in which the gaming peripherals are actually subpar and are often outperformed by products marketed for a different audience.

The category in question is the audio/headphones category where gaming headphones are quite bad compared to headphones designed for studio work.

In light of this find, I will review my personal new daily driver headphones, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro – the studio headphone that does gaming better than gaming headphones!

Sound Capabilities

The most important aspect of a good pair of headphones is the way they sound. You want a clean reproduction of sounds with as little noise as possible, so your music or in-game audio will sound natural.

beyerdynamic dt 990 pro top view

Because the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are designed for professional studio work, you can bet your socks it achieves exactly that.

From a purely technical perspective, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro has an impedance of 250 ohms, a 5-35.000 Hz frequency, and a sound pressure of 96 dB. In normal words what this means is that these headphones have the potential to sound great.

Another important technical aspect of why these headphones are so good for gaming is the fact that they are open back. What this means is that the headphone cover is missing, allowing you to hear your voice and what is happening around yourself while wearing the headphones.

beyerdynamic dt 990 pro side view

The open-back nature comes with the great perk of a very wide soundstage which then allows you to have extremely refined spatial audio in games.

In tactical shooters like Valorant or CS:GO where hearing enemy footsteps and identifying their position is of the highest importance, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro offers you the utmost level of precision specifically because of their open-back nature.

Outside of gaming, the headphones produce a very balanced sound fit for studio work where no frequencies are drowned out. You have very tight bass, defined mids, and clear highs all audible with crystal clear refinement.

Because of this refined studio work nature, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro needs to be precise and balanced, therefore, faithful in its reproduction of sounds which means you should not expect a very bassy gaming headphones sound.

The muddy bass-heavy gaming headphones you used before might sound good to the untrained ear, but once you have tried a pair of good open-back headphones like Sennheisers or the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, it will be hard to go back to anything subpar.

Overall, as expected from this grade of headphones, these sound exceptionally good with a couple of quirks in mind which we will discuss in a bit!

Quirks

So we have established that the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are extremely good sounding for music and gaming. At the same time, before purchasing this pair of headphones I would like to mention two very important things.

First of all, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro has a unique sound signature that is tuned to produce very sharp high frequencies. This makes sense in audio mixing and studio work, but for most people, this will lead to fatigue and create discomfort.

This can be easily fixed with a little bit of EQ work so be ready to get your hands dirty. Of course, you could also just get used to it if you are on the lazy side, but that might take some time.

Another important factor regarding the sound of these headphones is the fact that YOU NEED a beefy Amp/DAC combo that will be able to power the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro. You need to remember that these headphones have an impedance of 250 ohms which is pretty power-hungry.

By comparison, normal headphones that you would plug into your PC take about 32 ohms, so you get the overall idea.

Without proper power, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro will produce lower quality sounds therefore be ready to invest in an Amp/DAC if you plan on purchasing this product.

Build Quality

One of the best things about buying studio headphones is that you get the quality build you would expect from professional-grade tools. No more finicky, plasticky, dainty-looking little headphones. Here come the big boys!

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pros have a solid build with quality being a major factor of their popularity. The headphones have a metal band covered in plush leather that offers you a solid, sturdy feel.

beyerdynamic dt 990 pro headband

The ear cups are big, spacious, and use velour pads that trap less heat and overall enhance that very spatial and transparent sound.

beyerdynamic dt 990 pro cushions

There is enough headband and ear cup adjustment to make these headphones feel comfortable on most heads so that should not be of any concern to you.

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pros come with a 3m long coiled cable which is a very nice addition to the overall premium package. These types of cables tend to stay out of your way if you move around since they extend when you use them and then retract back to a small form factor when you return to your normal position.

beyerdynamic dt 990 pro cord

The coiled cable also is designed to put less pressure on the wire inside while moving around so this is part of the longevity of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro.

As quoted by Beyerdynamic, the DT 990 Pros are built with durability in mind, and even if things malfunction, you can always get them going once again since all parts are replaceable!

That’s why we like German engineering!

Extra Features

Aside from the coiled cable, plush ear cups, and overall power of German engineering allowing you to swap parts when necessary, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro has no extra features.

As previously stated these are studio headphones designed with no gimmicks in mind. They do what they need to do, and that’s to produce the best possible quality of sound.

The only downside to this lack of extra features is the lack of an integrated microphone compared to many gaming headphones.

This might be a deal-breaker for some, but for people that already have a standalone mic and simply want the best sound out of their headphones, the DT 990’s make a lot of sense.

Software

There should be no surprises that there is no software for the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones. It would actually be surprising if anybody expected a studio-grade pair of headphones to have some sort of software.

You get the point, these headphones sound exactly the way you need them to sound from the factory. If you want to change their sound you will need to use a mixer interface or some sort of third-party EQ application.

Conclusions

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is exactly what it advertises itself as – a sturdy studio headphone with extremely balanced bass and treble that offers transparent sound reproduction. These characteristics make this pair of headphones not only good for audio work but also make them exceptionally practical in gaming.

Say goodbye to your “gaming” headset, and invest in something that actually sounds good!

Long live studio headphones!

rhomb
10
Review Summary

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro offers everything a gamer needs – crystal clear sound, very good directional audio, and comfort during prolonged use. There is no gimmicky software or added features. Instead, these headphones have pure sound and a quality build!

  • Sound Quality 10
  • Comfort 10
  • Build Quality 9.0

Pros:

  • Open-back headphones
  • Crystal clear sound reproduction
  • Built to last but also easy to repair

Cons:

  • No integrated microphone
  • Needs an extra investment (Amp/DAC) to sound as it should

About The Author

Chris Bulgac

Chris is a passionate gamer, streamer and PC tech enthusiast. The PC peripheral market has a special place in his heart, as there are few enthusiast-grade products that he has not tried, and even fewer products he has not researched already. Overall, Chris is a BIG nerd and he is absolutely proud of it! Follow him on Twitch.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Max
Max
29 days ago

Just want to say that you don’t necessarily need an amp if you want these headphones- there are 32 and 80 ohm versions, which should be able to run out of most computers (with some volume adjustment). The only downside to these versions is that the 80 ohm versions comes with a long 3 metre cable (around 10 feet) which can get in the way sometimes, especially on the go, but the 32 ohm has a cable that is roughly half as long so if portability is a must, the 32 ohm versions should be considered. If you don’t want… Read more »

Lourens
Lourens
5 hours ago
Reply to  Max

I’ll second that DT 770 Pro recommendation. I bought the 32ohm version to use with my desktop and it’s excellent. Built quality is great, so is the sound and being a closed back it doesn’t leak much sound to the surroundings, an important feature for me. Also I think the price is right for the quality you get.