Beyerdynamic DT770 250 Ohm – A Studio Staple

The DT 770 has been around for a while and generally has found itself in many control rooms. It has many of the features one would look for in a monitor headphone – closed back, over-ear design with Beyerdynamic reputation behind it. Neither AKG nor Sennheiser have come up with worthy challengers, former’s K240 and K270 come close, but fall flat in terms of isolation and comfort. So, let’s see if the 250 Ohm DT 770 still has what it takes to be the go-to closed back for studios.

Pros
  • Priced reasonably
  • Feels sturdy and like they would last

Pros list with Sonarworks Reference correction

  • Noticeably improved balance and neutrality, overall THD is still within reason
Cons
  • Rather top-end heavy sound signature
  • The cable cannot be replaced
  • Hard to drive out of a laptop headphone out
  • Plastic used on the headphones feels a bit cheap
Use cases Recommended music genres:
Basically anything you’d like
Best use case:
Tracking and live sound engineering
Can be used for mixing with some referencing
Tech specs Type
Closed back, Over-ear
Impedance
250 Ohm
Distortion
< 0.2%
Frequency response
5 Hz to 35 kHz
Connector
3m coiled cable with 3.5 mm stereo jack
Adapter
Includes 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter
Weight
270 g (without cable)
Require headphone amp
Yes
Headphone amp

Yes, they do require an amp or audio interface to be run at louder volumes. The story with the DT 770 Pro’s just like with their cousin, the DT 880 Pro. Even though their nominal impedance is lower than that of HD 650, they are a tad less sensitive, hence will require a bit more juice.

Build quality

Even though the construction is sturdy and the headband feels like it could last a good few years of extensive use, the overall feel is slightly on the cheaper side due to the use of brutal looking plastic for the ear-cups and headband adjustment mechanism. And the non-detachable cable is always a thing to consider when purchasing something for the long haul. If that gives out, you’re missing a session or two until someone resolders the cable. On the other hand the ear-pads can be replaced and even swapped to pleather for more isolation, but bit less comfort. Do keep in mind that this alters both the aesthetics and sound of the DT 770 Pro.

Sound

The DT 770 Pro carries on the trend of what we call a “typical Beyer sound” – a very decent bass response followed by strangely carved-out midrange, topped off with an odd bump going all the way from 3.5kHz to 9kHz. This means that you’ll get too much focus on the details like cymbals and vocal presence, leaving out all important midrange character, specially when listening to something with guitars in the mix. Also, they can induce ear-fatigue pretty quickly. However, we do see benefit of this in live sound applications where you really want to get all of the top end under control to avoid feedback loop which can be a quick showstopper.

Channel balance

The DT 770 Pro has an OK balance between Left and Right channels. Even though this model doesn’t have weird dips or peaks in one of the channels, the stereo image is still a bit skewed – differences are throughout the whole frequency spectrum. Luckily the bigger differences are mostly isolated in a very narrow area and aren’t too noticeable.

Comfort

It’s a decent 8 in our books! They stay tightly on your head, without pressing on your skull to keep them in place. The headband adjustment could be smoother – a quick adjustment while keeping them on your head can be quite a challenge. Other than that – DT 770 Pro is very comfortable to wear even for a longer period of time and that is mostly due to the fact that the ear-pads are large enough to go around your ears and not press against them.

Value

At this price point, which at the time of writing  is 150€/180$, the market is rather saturated with options left and right. This model will give the rest of the competition a bit of a run for their money in terms of comfort, possible longevity and sound isolation due to their construction, although, sound wise there are better options out there.

Observations on how headphones perform after applying Sonarworks Reference correction Total Harmonic Distortion

Typical for a dynamic headphone from nineties, the driver will distort once it goes into high excursion due to low frequency content or high SPL. This distortion dips below 1% only at around 105Hz (when measured at high output levels), and throughout all of this, a nasty 3rd harmonic is very present from 60Hz to 100Hz so, when doing anything low-end critical, be careful as this is also present without calibration applied!

How accurate and consistent is the correction effect among different listeners?

The DT 770 Pro overall is a consistent model in terms of translation. The only exception is low-end – for this model it is very tricky to calibrate. Probably due to their bass reflex system it makes it hard to pinpoint specific problem areas within the bass region that needs to be attenuated thus results from head to head may differ.

How much do they differ pair to pair in terms of frequency response?

These headphones are one of the more consistent ones that we’ve measured and even though the difference especially in the bass region can span across ~6dB, the rest of the spectrum is well within reason. Glad to see a major headphone manufacturer keeping their quality check up to standard.

Rating

Build 6.5
Sound 6.5
Comfort 8
Harmonic Distortion 6
Channel balance
8 /9
Accuracy and consistency
6 /8
Value 7.5
Out of the box
With Sonarworks Reference correction

Conclusion

Durable, lightweight, sits comfortably on the head and most of the parts are replaceable. Top end gets rather harsh and fatigue can set in quickly.

Final Rating

7.4
With Sonarworks Reference 4
Calibration Enabled
6.9
Without Sonarworks
Calibration

Remove coloration from your
headphones with Reference 4

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