The new Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X are over-ear headphones that offer great sonic transparency. They deliver a treble-emphasised signal, which in the mids sounds rather cold and sober and unobtrusive in the basses. These open headphones are particularly suitable as a means of isolating subtle nuances in sound in audio processing and mixing. The DT 900 Pro X Sound also offer purists and hi-fi fans a good headphone for classical, jazz and other acoustic music.
Beyerdynamic headphones like the DT 770 Pro and the DT 990 Pro have been among the world’s most popular circumaural studio headphones for quite a few years. With the new Pro X series – consisting of the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X tested here and the Beyerdynamic DT 700 Pro X – the manufacturer now wants to appeal even more specifically to audio professionals and music makers. Here, we test the features of the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X to see what it has to offer. We will also find out how it differs from the classic Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro.
In addition to the headphones themselves, the box includes a carrying pouch with a drawstring. There are also two cables included. Both are straight jack cables with gold-plated plugs and screw-on gold-plated adapters. Furthermore, promotional brochures and a leaflet with an instruction manual are included. What surprised me about this package was that no technical information was included. Neither were the most important specifications noted on the headphones’ cardboard box nor was there any corresponding documentation to provide detailed information.
Looks, feel & choice of materials
The Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X adopt the overall look of other Beyerdynamic headphones but takes it further. It is noticeable, for example, that the lower end of the headband no longer ends with a “boxy” end piece. Instead, the struts of the sprung steel bracket disappear into the headband via a seamlessly designed transition. If you look closely, you will discover that this transition has nevertheless been screwed into place so that important parts can be serviced. The arms that hold the ear cups also adopt the general design language of the DT 990 Pro. However, they are more curved, as they no longer end in the typical “little blocks” but instead embrace the ear cups. In a way, they are a further development of the design of the DT 1990 Pro .
The padding, which is encased in synthetic leather, can be changed, as can the ear cushions, which are equipped with memory foam. The latter are finished with soft velour that contrasts silver-grey with the rest of the black design – just as is usual on many classic Beyerdynamic headphones. However, the seams of the ear pads have been improved compared to the classics so that the pads stay in better shape. Last but not least, these headphones, with their smooth, glossy model designation on a matt-textured background, are sleeker in appearance than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro. The build quality, however, has remained the same, leaving nothing to be desired in the DT 900 Pro X that we tested.
The supply cable of the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X is routed on one side, so there is no cable dangling in front of your chest to get in your way. Unlike that of the DT 990 Pro, however, the cable on this model is replaceable. This means these headphones are not only service-friendly but also much more flexible to use. The included interchangeable cables are significantly longer than the rather short 1.25 m cable that comes with the DT 990 Pro. With cable lengths of 3 m and 1.8 m, users get plenty of freedom of movement without having to tug on a spiral cable.
While the DT 990 Pro is one of the lighter headphones in its class, the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X weighs over 70 g more and tips the scales at 343 g without a cable. Therefore, it is good that the Pro 900 X is stronger in terms of contact pressure. Otherwise, the fit of these headphones would not be as secure as it proved to be in practice. Even with jerky movements, the DT 900 Pro X do a good job. Only when they’re worn for a longer period does the considerable contact pressure become clearly noticeable. Incidentally, the size adjustment of the headband is graduated so that the last setting is automatically available again after taking it off.
The 45 mm drivers of the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X are dynamically driven. Its 5 to 40,000 Hz frequency range extends a full 5 kHz higher in the treble than that of the DT 990 Pro. It also surpasses the DT 900 Pro X in terms of maximum sound pressure level, as the DT 900 Pro X is marginally louder at over 97 dB/SPL. With its average impedance of 47.8 ohms, the DT 900 Pro X is also suitable for headphone preamps that only output a low voltage. Therefore, it is loud enough to work with on laptops, smartphones and tablets. The DT 900 Pro X’s distortion factor is so low that signal distortion due to non-linear distortion is not to be expected.
The sound of the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X
Sound-wise, the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X are first and foremost treble-rich headphones that deliver a three-dimensional sound image. But let’s look at the details: the highs are finely resolved and the entire super high-frequency range seems wonderfully open. Even if it might already be too much for some users, the highs never seem unpleasant despite the strong upper frequency range. Speech intelligibility in music and voice recordings is excellent in the mid-range. However, if you expect a warm sound, you’ve got the wrong headphones. The mids also seem rather analytical. The DT 900 Pro X is not about prettifying but more about providing a good solution for assessing signals in post-production or in the mix. As usual with open headphones, the DT 900 Pro X is reserved when it comes to bass performance. But even though the bass here is anything but imposing, it is reproduced right down into the low bass range, however, it does this discreetly.
I liked the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X in terms of dynamics as well. Transients are reproduced with sufficient precision. When listening to classical music, it became clear how much room the headphones have for manoeuvre in terms of programme dynamics. From a detailed representation of quiet music passages to impressive orchestral tuttis, the DT 900 Pro X shows what a recording is made of.
I also liked the solid stereo impression these headphones gave. Last but not least, the detail of the treble had a positive influence on the overall signal resolution. This was especially noticeable with acoustic music, which seemed wonderfully uncompressed and lively with the DT 900 Pro X. The combination of open design and fine reproduction with lively dynamics also had a positive effect on the impression of spatial depth. The entire sound image seemed three-dimensional and, considering the price range these headphones are in, it feels like a gift.
The Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X cost 249 euros and, especially with regard to their sound, impressed us with a price-performance ratio that was worth seeing and hearing. They deliver a treble-emphasised signal that offers a great tonal openness towards the higher frequencies. Rather cold and sober in the mids and discreet in the basses, these headphones serve primarily as a means of classifying subtle sound nuances in audio editing and mixing. With the DT 900 Pro X, sound purists also get an affordable and high-quality pair of headphones for the enjoyment of classical, jazz and other acoustic music. The high build quality and pleasant materials also make the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X a comfortable audio tool with good handling.
If you can’t or don’t want to work with open headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X but are looking for exactly this sound image, you should take a closer look at the new closed Beyerdynamic DT 700 Pro X.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)5 - 40.000 Hz
- Impedance47,8 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)97,24 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head824,5 g
- Weight with cable387 g
- Weight without cable343 g
- Cable length180 cm
What's in the box
- Straight cable, 1.5 m
- Straight cable, 3m
- Carrying pouch