For more than 40 years, Beyerdynamic has been known in the studio and in the audiophile community for its over-ear trio DT 770, DT 880 and DT 990. The increasing demand for high-end headphones was met with the so-called Tesla technology, which was last used in the two studio models DT 1770 PRO and DT 1990 PRO. With the new over-ear headphones DT 900 PRO X (open) and DT 700 PRO X (closed) – specially developed for the studio, mixing and recording area – Beyerdynamic wants to devote itself again to the popular middle class and with a aggressive pricing (each 249 euros) to build on old successes. Both studio listeners should show in this test whether they can also meet the high expectations of hi-fi enthusiasts.
Scope of delivery, optics, haptics
With the completely plastic-free packaging of the DT 700 PRO X and DT 900 PRO X, Beyerdynamic wants to make a contribution to environmental awareness. The content is limited to the essentials with the actual headphones, the detachable, three meter long audio cable – a second, slightly shorter (1.8 meter) audio cable is also included in the scope of delivery -, the short operating instructions and a black, neoprene-like storage bag. It is commendable that both cables come with a jack adapter from 3.5 millimeters to 6.3 millimeters.
Treble, fine dynamics and resolution
If you are also familiar with other Beyerdynamic headphones, the first bars of “Riddaren” from the new album Dance by the Tingvall Trio immediately strike you as the manufacturer’s typical character in the highs: in a narrow frequency spectrum close to the super high tone Both the DT 900 PRO X and the DT 700 PRO X appear slightly more pronounced than, for example, an AKG K702. First of all, this treble emphasis in the new Beyerdynamic headphones is not nearly as dramatic as it is known from the DT 880 Pro, for example. Secondly, the detail resolution of the DT 900 PRO X and the DT 700 PRO X is in a very high range, especially for this price range. A comparison with the very detailed but, at 1,600 euros, much more expensive Sennheiser HD 800S underpins the positive first impression. The two new mid-range headphones from Beyerdynamic are in no way inferior to the upper-class model when it comes to fine details. Good,
Not only are hi-hats reproduced with incredible detail and sensitivity, but they also have a fairly realistic body. The Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X tends towards the slightly brighter sound body. The super high tone seems to come into its own a little more than in the open counterpart, but without ever sounding sharp and annoying. The length of the sustain also appears realistic. Cymbals are never ticked off and displayed with a too fast roll-off, but always have enough time to fade away. Coupled with the detailed, somewhat more present treble, this helps the two new over-ears from Heilbronn to provide excellent performance for quiet listeners. Fine dynamic details are still audible when the volume level is supposed to be in the lower range.
In addition, the two new Beyerdynamic headphones give the overtones of the piano and double bass a slightly lighter playing style than the Sennheiser HD 650/6xx (approx. 300 euros), but the timbre still sounds natural. Above all, if you compare the high-frequency performance with the relative DT 880 Pro from the same manufacturer, it is noticeable that the “Beyer peak”, which was more present in the old model, has been significantly reduced. Despite the slightly analytical way of playing, the long-term suitability receives a significant boost. Listening sessions lasting several hours can be tackled with the two new over-ears without any problems. If you want to make even more relaxed buddies out of the headphones, you can give them a helping hand with a slightly warmer-sounding amplifier. Of theThe Burson Soloist SL MK II , for example, often proves to be a nice sounding amp for analytical models. The iFi Hip DAC also slightly attenuates the high-frequency reproduction without losing details that the headphones of the PRO-X series are able to conjure up in your ears.
But as is well known, the treble alone does not make music. A well-accented mid-range is of essential importance, especially for singer/songwriters. The two Beyerdynamic siblings DT 900 PRO X and DT 700 PRO X are also able to convince with a very good performance in the medium frequency range. The presence range in particular shines with excellent speech intelligibility and believable timbres . The voice of Dre Babinsky, the singer behind Steady Holyday , is nuanced by new studio listeners. What is striking here is that the open DT 900 PRO X with “Love me when I go to sleep” from the album Take the Corners gentlyoffers slightly less accentuated overtones for voices than the closed DT 700 PRO X, which results in a slightly darker, but by no means dull voice reproduction.
It should be noted here, however, that the differences between the two new Beyerdynamic headphones are much smaller than, for example, between the Sennheiser HD650 and the DT 900 PRO X. The Sennheiser is thicker than the Beyerdynamic headphones, especially in the middle to lower mids. listener. The opposite is again the HE-350 from Hifiman. This makes both the voice and the guitar accompaniment sound brighter and therefore more unnatural. Even compared to the DT 880 Pro, which has been on the market for a number of years, the new duo can hold their own in terms of the level of detail and level in the mids. While the DT 880 Pro lacks body in the synth passages of “Tangerine”, the DT 900 PRO X and DT 700 PRO X hit the sweet spot between close-up detail and a relaxed playing style.
dynamics and stage
If you feed the dynamic drivers of the PRO-X models with somewhat heavier music, such as the Path of Totality album by the nu-metal band KoRn , which was produced in collaboration with various DJs , then the two test candidates crystallize somewhat clearer differences. Here you notice the nature of the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X as closed headphones, in that it offers a little more level in the lower middle and fundamental range and thus offers a mature body, especially for electric guitars. The DT 900 PRO X is a bit brighter here, but also slightly more sensitive.
Above all, however, the space benefits from the open design. Voices, e-guitars and drums are spread out a little further in the room, but can still be located just as easily as with the closed brother. The new over-ears from Beyerdynamic can’t hold a candle to the room artist AKG K702, but the stage size seems a bit more realistic than with the AKG listener.
If, out of sheer ecstasy, you turn the volume control even further to the right than is reasonable during “Get Up!”, the PRO-X listeners go along with it without complaint. Beyerdynamic’s promise to have developed efficient headphones despite the lack of Tesla technology seems to have come true. The studio headphones, which can even be operated at a high volume level on a smartphone, have a positive effect on the (subjectively) complete absence of distortion artifacts. The DT 880 Pro – available to me in the 600 ohm version – does not come close to the volume levels of the PRO-X series due to impedance, but it also starts to distort earlier.
In the depths
But the DT 700 PRO X and DT 900 PRO X are not only convincing in the mids. One area where I was very surprised by Beyerdynamic – especially given the price range – is the bass.
The low frequencies of both Beyerdynamic headphones are not simply unspectacular, as is the case with the Sennheiser HD 650 or the AKG K702, for example. The closed DT 700 PRO X in particular is able to massage your eardrums with beat-heavy music and higher levels. The bass range doesn’t appear spongy, inflated, and it doesn’t cover any other frequency ranges. The transition from the fundamental to the low tone is ideally solved here. The slight increase from the kick to the deep bass is clearly separated from the mid-range and despite the emphasis does not give the impression of having a “fun listener” in front of you, as is often the case with DJ products (AKG K518J, Sennheiser HD25 II etc.). the case is. The high-resolution hi-fi character of the Beyerdynamic headphones from the PRO-X series is retained in every respect. This is also proven by the range of music genres with which the new Beyerdynamic headphones “are good”.
Using the example of Modeselektor ‘s new disc EXTLP , the listeners show that they always act in a qualitatively controlled way down into the frequency range, which is not the case with all of the comparison candidates to this extent. The quasi-predecessor DT 880 Pro in the 600 ohm version is no longer audible below a certain frequency. Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X and DT 900 PRO X, on the other hand, show a very tight playing style, even in the lowest frequency range, which is otherwise only known from high-end subwoofers.
And yes, the new driver membranes can withstand one or the other decibel more even with techno. As in the midrange, oversteering is basically impossible here. The headphones are surprisingly uncritical compared to the playback device, which indicates a linear impedance curve over the entire frequency spectrum. Yes, the electronic basses on “Bangface” bang around your ears so effortlessly that I no longer want to take off the closed studio headphones from Beyerdynamic. As the name suggests, the open DT 900 PRO X works a little more openly and therefore less powerfully due to its design, but still makes me teeter. The same goes for other genres of music, of course. The double bass of a classic jazz trio sounds as sonorous as the synthetic beats in electronic music do.
Conclusion: Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X and DT 900 PRO X
Three, two, one, mine…or how did the slogan of a well-known auction house go again? At least after the test it is clear which audiophile toy I will give myself this year. What the headphone manufacturer from Heilbronn has set up with the new PRO-X series is really worth hearing. Beyerdynamic has not only succeeded in the long-awaited return to “affordable high-end”, they are probably also competing with themselves outside of the studio area.
Actually, the two new PRO-X headphones don’t show any significant weaknesses in any area. The over-ears reproduce signals with flying colors over a wide range of music. The sound character is on the balanced side in both – even more so in the open model. However, there are still tendencies as to which of the two headphones is best used for individual styles of music: the closed Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X is better suited for classical jazz trio and electronic music due to its slightly more direct and punchy playing style. If the somewhat clumsy appearance doesn’t bother you, the closed variant can also be used on the go thanks to its high efficiency and good sound insulation.
Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X & DT 700 PRO X are characterized by …
- a fairly balanced sound over the entire frequency response. The open DT 900 PRO X feels a little more like the ideal of linear frequency writing.
- a clear, extremely detailed treble, which shows no tendency to drop in level even in the super treble. There is no harshness or unpleasant sibilants due to the high level of detail.
- fairly balanced mids. The presence range is sufficiently pronounced in both models, the speech intelligibility can be considered very good. In the lower middle range, the DT 700 PRO X seems to have a little more level, so it shows a somewhat fuller sound with stringed instruments.
- a slightly raised, qualitatively but incredibly differentiated bass range. Due to the design, the level from the kick bass to the lowest octaves is perceived somewhat more strongly with the closed DT 700 PRO X than with the open counterpart. The impulse fidelity can be regarded as extremely high for the price range.
- an excellent sustain across all price ranges. Cymbals have enough time to decay, bass drum attacks are reproduced with realistic impulse behavior, dry and fast.
- good to very good fine dynamic properties. Details can be heard effortlessly even at the quietest levels.
- a high level stability. With the PRO-X models, listening at “room volume” is possible without distortion, even without a powerful amplifier.
- a realistic representation of space. The stage size looks authentic, the DT 900 PRO X has a somewhat more spacious spatial design. Instruments and voices remain easy to locate at all times.
- a way of playing that is not critical to the amplifier thanks to the high level of efficiency. On the contrary, with (very) powerful amplifiers you have to pay more attention to the possibility of still having enough control range on the volume control when playing quiet music.
- an astonishingly good sound insulation for a studio listener at home with the closed model.
- Product: Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X & DT 900 PRO X
- Concept: wired, dynamic over-ear, closed (DT700 PRO X) and open (DT900 PRO X)
- Price: 249 euros each
- Weight: 350 grams (closed), 345 grams (open); each without a cable
- Other: replaceable cable
- Scope of delivery: Headphones, 2 x jack cables with mini XLR connection and 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter. User manual, warranty card and storage bag.
- Color: Black
- Guarantee: 2 years