I’ve been a big fan of the world-renowned Beyerdynamics for many years. In fact, my very first top-of-the-line flagship headphone that I purchased in 2010 was the venerable T1 (the original version). I did also own their previous DT800-600 ohm flagship and loved both headphones. Well, never to rest on their laurels, the designers at Beyerdynamics have gone back and completely re-imaged their middle-tier open and closed back headphones (the DT900 Pro X and DT700 Pro X respectively). Coming in at a very affordable $299 USD, these headphones offer copious amounts of value and then some! Beautifully constructed in Heilbronn, Germany; these headphones simply hit the mark with me right from the outset. The build quality and choice of materials really had me initially thinking these headphones would cost $499+, but after a quick Google search, I was pleasantly surprised with the price point. They are very similar in design, weight and comfort with the only real differences being that the DT700 Pro X is a closed-back headphone and the DT900 Pro X is an open-backed headphone. So depending on what you are looking for, either headphone can easily fit your needs and in the end, be quite wallet-friendly.
Designed for in-studio mixing, I found both headphones to check off a lot of what I look for in a pair of audiophile headphones as well. Both are quite balanced in terms of my definition of neutrality and offer very enjoyable music listening experiences that should put a smile on your face. The advantage of being designed as studio monitors, these headphones are very well put together and should withstand everyday wear and tear without any issue. Throw in the low 48-ohm impedance and high efficiency (100dB / mW), you can enjoy these headphones with any source or amplifier.
The full list of specifications for both headphones can be found here:
|DT700 Pro X||DT900 Pro X|
|Sound Coupling to ear||Circumaural||Circumaural|
|Frequency response||5 – 40,000Hz||5 – 40,000Hz|
|Nominal impedance||48 ohm||48 ohm|
|Nominal SPL||100 dB / mW @ 500Hz||100 dB / mW @ 500Hz|
|Short term max power rating||100 mW||100 mW|
|Total harmonic distortion @ 1 mW||0.40% @ 100 Hz 0.05% @ 500 Hz 0.04% @ 1,000 Hz||0.40% @ 100 Hz 0.05% @ 500 Hz 0.04% @ 1,000 Hz|
|Headband pressure||5.3 N||5.3 N|
|Length & Type of Cable||3.9 m straight cable detachable 1.8 m straight cable detachable With mini-XLR cable connector, single-ended||3.9 m straight cable detachable 1.8 m straight cable detachable With mini-XLR cable connector, single-ended|
After approximately 75 hours of burn-in for each headphone, I decided to start to take notes of my listening sessions with each headphone carefully and officially begin my review. For my first session, I decided to use my FiiO M11 Pro DAP (digital to analog player). I quickly settled on streaming Adele’s latest album “30” from my Qobuz App. I initially listened to this album in its entirety through the DT900 Pro X and I found it a very pleasing and balanced presentation overall. In fact, I was particularly impressed with the bass depth and quality. It very much reminded me of the sound of some really impressive orthodynamic headphones I’ve owned/reviewed through the years and only rarely experienced on dynamic drivers (and never on dynamic headphones under $400). Just an amazing resolution and detail in the lowest registers without any midrange bleed-in; so very much like having your cake and eating it too! Adele’s vocals were beautifully rendered and in a very linear fashion throughout the frequency range. I absolutely was astounded that headphones costing less than $350 could offer such a clean and balanced presentation with a very good amount of “head-space”. The treble was extended and lively with a good amount of energy. Though a tad too much of an emphasis in the highest octaves for me, I certainly would not make it a serious concern overall. I tended to lean closer to the DT700 Pro X’s treble response in comparison based on my personal tastes. The DT700 Pro X in contrast though very similarly voiced to its open-backed brother, does differ slightly by offering a bit more bass emphasis and a tad less treble energy. The mids were ever so slightly pushed back compared to the DT900 Pro X, but still quite liquid and pleasing. The soundstaging for both headphones was truly excellent when considering the price point and should put a big smile on your face; as it did mine.
Next up, I decided to try these two headphones straight out of my MacBook Pro (2020 edition, M1 chipset). I was curious just how good they would sound with a very minimal upfront setup. Well, I am very happy to report back that my experience was quite positive overall. Though certainly not as dynamic or transparent as with the FiiO M11 Pro digital-to-analog player, I could certainly see myself enjoying either the DT700 Pro X or DT900 Pro X when my “better gear” wasn’t around. I am a massive Led Zeppelin fan. I have been since I was a pre-teen in the early 1980s. So when Robert Plant (and Allison Krauss) released a follow-up to their Grammy Award Winning album (“Raising Sand”), I leapt at the opportunity to listen to their newest release: “Raise the Roof” for this review. Qobuz is my “go-to” high-end streaming service and I was so thoroughly impressed with the efficiency of these two headphones as my MacBook Pro could very easily drive them with plenty of headroom to spare. I did go back and re-listen to this album with my M11 Pro to better discern the differences between both setups and both headphones were revealing enough of each upfront setup that I could almost immediately tell that the MacBook Pro did not sound as clean or dynamic. Vocals were slightly blurry as well with my laptop and quite different when experienced with my Fiio DAP (which was a good step up), but my overall impressions were still very positive and I did have a smile on my face throughout the album! So if you want a fantastic pair of headphones to just plug into your mobile phone or laptop and don’t want to spend any money on a standalone DAC/Amplifier or DAP, these headphones are for you. Sure, they do improve as you step up your input quality, but rest assured that you can enjoy them from out of pretty much anything you may want to plug them into!
“Tapestry” is one of the most iconic albums released in the 1970s. It is Carole King’s tour-de-force and a must-listen for anyone of any age in my opinion. So using my iPhone 12 Pro, I decided to listen to this album twice with each headphone using my Lightning to stereo adapter and I could very easily state that I felt the earth move under my feet with both headphones. Puns aside, I was very impressed with the very balanced frequency response of both headphones. Strong and impactful bass that never bleeds into the midrange and an extended treble that has sparkle and rarely (if ever) came off as overly emphasized put a big smile on my face. Considering the very wallet-friendly price point for both headphones, they are my go-to recommendations for anyone looking to start off in this hobby and keep their setup to under $300. Simply astounding. I did prefer the slightly warmer sound of the DT700X Pro for my personal tastes as Carole’s vocals seemed a bit more up front with a tad less treble emphasis, but the improved sound staging of the DT900 Pro X certainly gave them a very strong consideration for me as well. Detail extraction was very strong; especially considering that I was using them straight out of my iPhone and the entry-level price-point. “You’ve Got a Friend” was just a pure pleasure and with either headphone, completely satisfying. If you are looking to up your game with regards to your headphones and don’t want to spend a small fortune in headphones, or a separate DAC or amplifier, I strongly suggest you give either headphone a serious audition!
I don’t want people to think that I really enjoyed both headphones exclusively because of their affordable price points; while that is definitely a huge benefit, their sound quality and balanced presentation stand all on their own. These are fantastic headphones that are very comfortable, well built and easy to drive to their fullest. You won’t need to rush out and purchase a $500 dedicated headphone amplifier to drive them either. Do they respond to better amplification and source material? Sure, but is it necessary to really enjoy great sound? Definitely not based on my experiences. It’s kind of like having your cake and eating it too! Depending on what you are looking for; be it noise isolation and a warmer sound signature offered by the DT700 Pro X or a livelier, more open experience offered by the DT900 Pro X, both headphones should have all of your bases covered. I absolutely enjoyed my time with both headphones and if you are just starting off in the hobby of personal audio, or are looking for a great pair of secondary headphones that won’t break the bank, either the DT700 or D900 ProX should be at the top of your list for consideration.
Manufacturer’s Website: north-america.beyerdynamic.com
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