BeyerDynamic DT 880 Review

by admin
Summary
The Dt 880s are high value headphones, which exhibit a balanced and detailed sound without compromising musicality. These headphones do an excellent job across all genres, so they’re perfect for people looking for open headphones to mix with or people who prefer a more balanced sound for their day to day listening.
Quality and comfort

The dt880s are comfortable for long term listening. Weighing in at 290 grams, these do not feel heavy on your head unlike headphones such as the fidelio x1/x2, and these headphones are not bulky at all. The headband, unlike the headband found on the dt770s, is softer and more comfortable. Lastly, the earcups are deep and large enough to accommodate most ear sizes.

When it comes to the finish, the black chrome edition looks significantly better than the original. Yes, the chrome part feels a bit cheap when you touch it, but overall, these are one of the best-looking headphones I’ve ever seen. As far as construction goes, every important part of the headphones is well built with a sturdy metal frame holding everything together.

I wish they included a removable wire because the default cable is insanely long. In addition, the ear cups squeak a bit here and there, but so do most headphones. I’ve worn these headphones for 3-4 hours at a time without any issues, and these are the 2nd most comfortable pair of headphones after the HD650s.

 

Sound

The Dt 880s do an excellent job at providing a balanced and detailed sound without compromising musicality. First, these are not necessarily V-shaped headphones like Dt 770s, where the bass and treble are a lot more prominent. After spending many hours with them, these headphones portray sound in an unbiased way across all genres, not highlighting any particular line in the music, but rather reproducing each of them fairly. As a result, some people might find these a bit sterile and not engaging; however, those words apply more to the AKG series. There’s enough soundstage depth to provide a musical sound that’s pleasant to listen to, and the soundstage width isn’t outrageously wide and fake like the AKGs, so the reproduced sound still feels cohesive like the HD650s.

Breaking the frequencies down, the highs are prominent, tight, and clean, but they’re not fatiguing. The bass extension is good, but the bass isn’t as overwhelming, so it might not be great for hip hop or electronic enthusiasts. Lastly, the mids are present and sound good, but it’s nowhere close to the mid focused headphones like the HD650s, which are for people who love listening to vocals or sparsely scored music.

These are my only other open headphones after my HD650s, and they have a very distinct sound, making it hard for me let these go. I find myself reaching for these headphones for the following scenarios: mixing music, when I want to analyze and listen to every line in the music, and when the mid-forwardness gets a bit too much. While I’d easily choose the HD650s if I could only keep one, these are such a good complement to my HD650s that I want to hang onto them. In addition, I think the Dt 880s are one of the best value headphones on the market, coming in at less than half the price of the HD650s, making them a no-brainer recommendation for people who seek after this type of audio characteristic.

 

Music section
Giorgio by Moroder – Daft Punk
  • 00:00 – 00:36 – The balance is nice, with vocals being the focus at the start, but you can still hear a lot of the background chatter. The bass line seems a bit subdued.
  • 00:36 – 1:08 – Highs are noticeable, but they are not in your face loud, and they sound a lot better than dt770 highs. Bass seems nice and balanced, and there’s plenty of separation between the instruments to hear everything distinctly. The depth also seems to be somewhat present, unlike a lot of the AKG headphones.
  • 6:58 – 7:30 – Again, the highs stand out, but they’re not fatiguingly bright. Bass doesn’t feel overwhelming at all.
Tom Sawyer – Rush
  • 00:00 – 00:50 Soundstage width is wide enough to identify all the lines. Overall, the response feels balanced, with no particular sound overwhelming one another.
Come Away with Me – Norah Jones
  • 00:00 -1:00 Everything seems balanced, even when her voice enters, it doesn’t feel like it completely takes over the stage. You can still hear the accompanying instruments while she’s singing. There’s still a good amount of depth in her voice, giving it a timbre characteristic that’s pleasant to listen.
Four seasons L’estate III Presto – Vivaldi (Pavel)
  • 00:00 – 00:44 Violin attacks are adequately sharp, the depth gives a lot of substance and resonance in the lower string sections, and you can easily identify every part in the orchestra.
  • 00:45 -1:04 Pavel’s entrance doesn’t feel as aggressive here
  • 1:05 – 1:20 – The depth, albeit not even close to the level of HD650s, feels adequate, and all the parts layer nicely thanks to its soundstage.
Count Bubba – Gordon Goodwin
  • 00:00 – 00:41 Balance is great because I can hear every part of the band, but it still manages to stay pretty cohesive unlike AKG headphones.
  • 1:10 – 1:39 The saxophone section doesn’t sound forward, but rather well balanced, and I love the separation width between each of the saxophones here, especially the bari sax.
Closing thoughts
  • These leak less sound than my HD650s, which was quite a surprise. I actually use this in the office in quiet parts of the office where no one is around me.
  • I think these are arguably easier to listen to than the HD650s because they’re less forward, unless the highs get fatiguing for you.
  • I still can’t get over how great they look and how great of a value they are. It still blows my mind after 50+ hours of listening!

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