The DT 880 Pro from Beyerdynamic can undoubtedly be called a classic for mixing and monitoring in the studio. In addition to the standard model with its distinctive silver-coloured earpieces and grey ear pads, a Pro Black Edition is also available. The slight tweaks to the classic design are subtle, yet lead to a slightly different sound tuning. So, what makes the black model different?
Contemporary Dark Mode
The limited Pro edition, with its design completely in black, looks more elegant and contemporary at first glance. Nowadays, everything is often switched to “Dark Mode”: Browsers, operating systems, apps – and now the DT 880 Pro. Beyerdynamic has also opted for a matt finish on the headphones’ metal and plastic parts for this makeover. And it is an industrial tech-look that pleases. The robust bracket construction is ultra-long-lasting, built with the usual Beyerdynamic quality. The comfortable and extremely generously padded imitation leather headband is just as beautifully finished as the classic model and provides good support, despite the approximately 300 gram weight. The sliding mechanism for size adjustment is also top-notch and the headphones can be easily worn securely, even on small heads.
The first striking difference to the grey-silver version is the ear pads. The velour finished inner padding is much firmer than on the Black Edition. Consequently, the crumple zone is no longer as large. In comparison with the earlier model, a somewhat more intensive noise reduction is also noticeable, although this is still moderate due to the half-open construction. Ambient noise is still clearly perceptible.
The cable routing has not changed. It is firmly connected to the left-hand side of the headphones and runs via a robust spiral cable to the combined jack plug. For its 250 ohms, however, you should already have a somewhat more powerful headphone amplifier lined up. The DT 880 Pro is not the thing for wimpy smartphones; it can only show off its quality on a monitor controller or good mixer amp.
New tuning with more bass
Neutrality and a high degree of spatial imaging are the strengths of the DT-880 series and one of the reasons why it has been a popular tool in the studio, and with demanding hi-fi listeners for over 20 years. Nothing is pumped out, thickened or emphasised which is not available in the mix. They are perhaps a little bit too conservative, allowing you to be able to judge a sound, voice tracks and individual instrument tracks neutrally.
Compared to the classic DT-880 model, however, the sound aesthetics of the Black Edition are quite different: there is a perceptible emphasis in the bass range, which is also due to the new earpad design. The Black Pro Edition presents a different overall tuning. The slight bass boost may be desirable depending on the style of music, such as with hip-hop or electronic music. However, it makes sound analysis in typical problem areas of the mix a bit more difficult than with the classic model. The original version has a more central basic sound that radiates more transparency and can actually cope with any style of music.
If you listen to the classic DT 880 Pro in direct comparison, it is noticeable that the lower midrange and also the frequencies above it are more directly represented than in the Pro Black Edition, whose bass reproduction slightly overshadows certain areas. In addition, the Black model shows only a minimal boost at the highs around 10 kHz, which is something you can’t help liking.
However, these are marginal differences – neither model embellishes the sound.
A plus point for the entire DT-880 range is the spatial imaging, which allows for a strong three-dimensional assessment of sound images.
The DT 880 Pro Black Edition is a great tool for checking mixes, with the addition of being styled in a chic “Dark Mode”. It’s fun to let yourself fall into the excellently well-reproduced space and wide sound image, where little is overdrawn in the frequency response. The tighter velour pads of the Pro Black Edition provide a bit more punch in the bass range. And even around 10 kHz there is a minimal kick, which makes the Pro Black Edition shine a little more in the treble range. Nevertheless, the special edition version still remains on “neutral ground” as far as the frequency image is concerned, making it quite possible to make an honest evaluation of the results of a mix. All that said, its cosy fit guarantees hours of comfortable work or music enjoyment.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)5 - 35.000 Hz
- Impedance233,05 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)91,08 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head752 g
- Weight with cable403 g
- Weight without cable292 g
- Cable length115 cm
What's in the box
- 6.35mm stereo jack
- Carrying pouch
- Limited edition