Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 32 ohm Limited Edition stereo headphone review by Dale

Discussion in 'Headphone Reviews' started by dalethorn, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Charleston South Carolina
    Youtube video review: Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 32-ohm Limited Edition '88' review by Dale - YouTube

    Sources: iPhone4 alone, iPhone4 with FiiO E17 using LOD, various computers using Audioengine D1 DAC and the D1's headphone out.

    First impression of the Beyer DT770LE: Dark and slightly cavernous sound, and a bit crispy on the high end. This is the first headphone I've had that changed signature significantly with different amping. From iPod or iPhone, refer to first impression. Using my small analog amps from the iPod/iPhone LOD, it was the same or worse. Switching to the Dragonfly or Audioengine D1 DAC/amps, the sound became just right from the deep bass up through the lower treble, with just a little sibilance and zing on the top end. The most comparable headphone I have on hand is the v-moda M100, and with both played flat (no EQ), the DT770LE had a clearer midrange with just a tinge of that hollow/cavern sound. The M100 sounded more in-my-face in the vocal range oddly enough, given that the mids are usually reported as recessed when played flat. Basically, the M100's mids are tilted toward the higher end and the DT770LE's mids are tipped toward the lower end, giving the DT770LE a darker overall sound.

    In summary, the DT770LE has a strong bass that plays well with the DAC's I mentioned above, and while I can't be sure that it will be acceptable to the so-called bassheads out there, it has to be pretty close since the bass has excellent impact, which a lot of popular headphones don't have, especially the fashion brands. The DT770LE's midrange is clean and clear, but biased toward dark as noted above. People who are sensitive toward sibilants or other high-frequency problems will probably give this headphone a pass, unless they're OK with adjusting the treble to get a better response. I created an adjustment, a gentle dip with settings of -2 db at 5 khz, -4 db at 7 khz, and -2 db at 10 khz, and that took the edge off for me, leaving a nicely detailed treble that's eminently musical. The DT770LE's soundstage seems about average for a full-size closed headphone, which is to say, the better the music track the better it sounds and vice-versa.

    Isolation is high - over 12 db I'd guess, and leakage very low too. If the DT770LE were used in a quiet office next to someone's cubicle, they wouldn't be disturbed unless the listening volume were fairly loud. The DT770LE appears to be all plastic except for the metal headband, has good build quality, is fairly light for a full size headphone, and very comfortable with light clamping force and nothing that would press on outer ear parts. The earpads appear to be low-cost plastic over a spongy material - not the best such plastic I've seen, but much better quality than what Sennheiser uses with their HD280 and PX200ii headphones. The earcups don't rotate and don't pull down far enough for ideal portable use, the cable isn't detachable, and there are no carrycases I can find that are made specifically for the DT770LE, to minimize carry size. Efficiency of the DT770LE is good enough to play most music tracks loudly on iPods and iPhones, so probably not an issue for other music players.

    In two previous reviews I've included the following music examples with comments about how the headphones sound with each track. My suggestion is instead of reading each one as an absolute unto itself, you could compare my notes here to those other reviews and see how the DT770LE compares with each individual track. Note that the comments below apply to the DT770LE's sound played with the EQ I described above, since the difference between flat and EQ'd is the difference between borderline acceptable and extremely enjoyable. I'm going to go farther with this and say that even if this isn't the best sound I've ever had in the house, it has to be pretty close. I've come to favor the darker tonalities of this type of headphone over the "neutral/accurate" signatures of headphones like the Sennheiser HD800, which I used for 3 years.

    Animotion - Obsession (1980's New Wave/Techno): The upper bass synth has very good detail and tone, and both male and female vocals sound natural, without favoring either. The DT770LE plays this perfectly.

    Ben Heit Quartet - Suite-Magnet and Iron (Jazz with a Bebop flavor): The piano that leads off sounds realistic and the saxophone sounds appropriately soft. Overall, the DT770LE plays this music extremely well.

    Cath Carroll - Moves Like You (1980's New Wave/Techno): This track's percussion and voice are crisp and well-balanced, and there's a good sense of space or soundstage around the voices and instruments. The DT770LE reproduces the space and detail convincingly.

    Chromatics - I'm On Fire (Synth-Pop, female lead): This track has a good amount of space around the voice and instruments, making for a very pleasant stereo image. The voice is excellent, and the tambourine(?) sounds just right.

    Crystal Castles - Wrath of God (Electro-Pop): The bass in this track has a strong impact but little detail, while the ambient electronic effects are clear and distinct. The DT770LE plays this track very well given the limited quality of the recording.

    DJ Shadow - Building Steam With a Grain of Salt (Electronic/DJ): This track opens with what sounds like very high and very low piano notes, and the DT770LE renders those notes well. The ambient voices are slightly indistinct though.

    Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses (Pop-Rock): The moderate level of bass in this track is played with good detail by the DT770LE, and the percussion and voice are crisp and well-balanced. This track has a huge amount of high-frequency energy, but it didn't become irritating for me.

    Halie Loren - Sway (Jazz vocal): Bass instrument(s) here may sound boomy with some headphones, but the DT770LE handles this pretty well. The trumpet sounds natural but soft, and the voice is done just right.

    Hans Zimmer - Dark Knight-Aggressive Expansion (Soundtrack): The percussion in this track hits really hard, and the bass tones beginning around 0:45 have the ultra-deep "shuddery" kind of sound and feel that indicates a good deep-bass response. Overall, the DT770LE plays this music extremely well.

    Kaskade - 4am (Electro-House): The bass that kicks in around 1:01 into the track is subtle, but the DT770LE plays it well. The percussion and female voice balance well with neither overwriting the other - the DT770LE gets this right.

    Katy B - Perfect Stranger (R&B-House-Garage): The heavy bass that begins at 0:27 into this track is played very well by the DT770LE. The voice is slightly forward, but it doesn't overpower the instruments or get lost in the mix. The DT770LE balances the different elements in this music very well.

    Machine Gun Kelly - All We Have (Rap/Hip-Hop): The heavy bass beats that begin at 0:23 into the track do sound like drum impacts, although they're not sharp impacts. The male and female voices have a good balance, and the DT770LE plays this about as good as can be expected given the limited quality of the recording.

    Massive Attack - Angel (Trip-Hop): This track begins with a steady low-frequency sound and some slightly soft deep-bass impacts. The voices blend well with the music and have just the right presence, although the recorded quality of the instruments isn't great. The DT770LE plays this about as good as can be expected given the limited quality of the recording.

    Morcheeba - Bullet Proof (Trip-Hop): Bright percussion and medium-strength bass impacts make up most of this, with some dance-club spoken intonations thrown in. The DT770LE plays the percussion pretty well, and the voices sound good too.

    Peter Tosh - Get Up Stand Up (Reggae): The bass here has a decent but moderate impact, and the lead and backup voices have good separation that's not too narrow or wide. The DT770LE renders the bass with good detail and the voices sound very natural.

    Porcupine Tree - Trains (Pop-Rock): This track opens with some nicely-detailed string sounds and a forward-sounding male voice with a higher-than-average register. There are a series of "clip-clop" effects starting at 3:19 that may lack clarity and proper harmonic detail on some headphones, but the DT770LE reproduces those effects well.

    Rachmaninoff - Prelude in C-Sharp Minor Op3 No2 (Classical, Piano): Grand piano played mechanically from an original recording by the master himself. The bass is unusually light here, but the DT770LE renders the notes as well as can be expected given the limited quality of the recording.

    Scarlatti-Kipnis - Sonata in E Major K381 (Classical, Harpsichord): The harpsichord here is fairly bright and highly detailed, and the DT770LE renders the tones and transients superbly.

    Trombone Shorty - Backatown (Jazz-Funk): The deep bass impacts here are unusually strong, and work very well with the horns and other instruments. The DT770LE delivers the impacts with proper weight and great detail, and the horns have the kind of bite that gives them a wonderfully realistic sound.

    William Orbit - Optical Illusion (Billy Buttons Mix) (Electronic): This is about as close as I want to get to easy-listening music. The string(?) tones beginning at 0:18 have appreciable detail, and while the bass isn't very strong, it still adds a good underpinning to the music. The short poetic rap at 4:14, preceded by an etherial female voice, works very well with this track.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Charleston South Carolina
    Here's a spot of good news for those who took the 32 ohm and portable music player notion seriously. I was initially very disappointed by the DT770-32LE's performance (i.e. sound) with iPod and iPhone, since the bass was too boomy and highs too crispy. Using Foobar2000 on the computer with the Audioengine D1 mini-DAC and a 4 db treble reduction centered at 7 khz, the sound there was ideal. Now I find that the Apple i-device 'Piano' EQ setting matches the desktop signature very closely, and that setting carries through to the usual analog headphone amps. Looking at the shape of that EQ setting in desktop iTunes, I can't imagine how it works the way it does with the DT770-32LE and iPods, but I do know that the actual sound of certain named settings in desktop iTunes doesn't even come close to the sound of the same named settings on the i-devices. So while the 'Piano' EQ setting on desktop iTunes is irrelevant here, that setting on iPod or iPhone does the trick.
     
  3. marcusd

    marcusd Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    Philippines
    Perfect timing Dale as I have this one arriving in 3 weeks time :)
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Charleston South Carolina
Loading...

Share This Page