Why review a pair of headphones marketed towards studio use on T3? The Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X are never going to share billing for best headphones with active noise cancellation or really any kind of consumer-oriented use. Where Bose, Beats, Bang & Olufsen and plenty of other companies make products meant for the general user and include things like the aforementioned ANC or wireless capability, Beyerdynamic has focused on doing one thing. And, that’s making a pair of headphones that sound good.
That leads to two questions then. Do they sound good? And, are they the right headphones for you? Many will be happy sticking with a pair of AirPods, or the latest feature-filled offering that will do everything outside toast a piece of bread for you. Although Bluetooth headphones and earbuds have come a long way, and they can sound excellent, if all you’re after is an excellent and immersive listening experience, it’s hard to beat the DT900 Pro X.
Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X review: price and release date
There’s probably no other type of headphones that has a wider price range than traditional wired headphones. The majority of gaming headsets sit in the $100-200 (£80-150) range with a few high-end stragglers that might set you back over $300/£250. Consumer over-ear headphones have a similar range but higher-end models, like the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 or Apple AirPods Max can tip the $400/£300 mark.
However, for models without Bluetooth or boom mics, the price varies even more. You can find interesting and often great-sounding wired headphones anywhere from $20 to $10k. And, it’s in this wide spectrum that the new X series offerings from Beyerdynamic sit.
Having been released on October 7th, 2021, the DT900 Pro X and its closed-back sibling, the DT700 Pro X, will set you back around $300/£220. And, while that’s cheaper than some of the high-end wireless models, some will find the price tag for these headphones fairly steep.
Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X review: design and features
The Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X and the DT700 Pro X, both of which I was able to test, don’t reinvent the general aesthetics of over-ear headphones. But, they don’t look like they share the same mold that a lot of headphones have. The ear cups are circular and are covered in hard, durable plastic. The ear cups are connected to the tough plastic headband by adjustable metal sliders. In essence, they can handle some rough handling.
Comfort is just as important, though. And, the leatherette-covered foam padding under the headband and gray fabric-covered ear pads are more than pleasant to wear. The clamping force isn’t too bad out of the box, either. My ears did feel a little fatigued after a couple of hours of use, which may be due to its weight. At 345 grams (350g for DT700 Pro X), these headphones are a bit on the heavier side.
Now, there is only one major difference between the DT900 Pro X and the DT700 Pro X. While the DT700 Pro X is closed back like most headphones out there, the DT900 Pro X is open back. As the name suggests, the back of the headphones are open, letting out the sound. While this makes them less than ideal for use in public space, it does affect the sound quality, which I’ll discuss under performance. But, you’ll see a difference in the look between the two models due to the venting on the DT900 Pro X.
As far as connectivity goes, you’re limited to an analog input, whether that’s a typical 3.5mm input you find on most devices or a ¼ inch input on some Hi-Fi equipment – you’ll find an adapter screwed onto both cables that come with the headphones. Speaking of, you do receive two cables of different lengths, one is 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) and the other is 3 meters (9.8 feet). You might be tethered to your device but you still have plenty of cable if you want to sit back on the couch while listening to music. It should also be noted that the cables are fairly thick and well-made.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that these are easy enough to power. You don’t need dedicated equipment the way you would with some audiophile headphones to get enough volume out of them. Any device with a headphone jack will do.
Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X review: performance
Though both Pro X Series headphones are meant for studio use, complete with packaging covered in platitudes meant for musicians, producers, and engineers, they’re not sterile sounding. In fact, the whole reason these headphones are worth buying, and the main reason they’ve received such a high score, is the audio quality.
It’s also the main qualitative difference between the DT900 Pro X and the DT700 Pro X. The fact that the DT900 Pro X are open-backed gives them a more immersive, almost airy presence whereas the DT700 Pro X, being closed-back, has more bass, almost sounding a bit muddy or claustrophobic in comparison (though still fantastic).
So what do they sound like if they’re not completely flat the way a music creator would ideally want? The DT900 Pro X are warm with a nice, rich mid-range, good presence in the bass but not boosted in any way, and a detailed but rolled-off high end. If you want a bright-sounding or bass-heavy pair of cans, these are not them. Even with the DT700 Pro X’s busier bass response, I wouldn’t suggest it for bass heads.
With that said, I had a smile on my face listening to music, whether it’s Failure’s “Stuck On You,” Tierra Whack’s “Unemployed,” or Roo Panes’ “Know Me Well.” In essence, every genre sounds great on these as long as you don’t want a hyped sound profile.
While you’re not getting any special surround sound or widening features here – the DT900 Pro X are completely analog after all – the soundstage is wide enough to easily get lost in the music. Everything is wide enough to feel like you’re on stage with the artist, as opposed to some headphones that make you feel a little more separated from the music, like sitting in the back of a concert hall. More importantly, the sound imaging was impressively accurate. You can easily tell if something is just slightly off to one side and different elements aren’t crowded on top of each other since they each have their space.
Being open-back, there is some sound leakage. And, it’s the main reason, other than more than a few devices having ditched the traditional headphone jack, that these aren’t the best for public use.
Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X review: verdict
The Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X are superb sounding headphones. They might not be the right headphones for you if your budget won’t allow it or you need something for the bus or the gym. There are excellent audio solutions for those situations after all. But, if you want a pair of headphones to listen to your favorite music at home, these will most certainly satisfy.
Their warm audio quality and great sound imaging deliver an immersive audio experience that I feel offers an audiophile-level experience. They’re also very well-built, so you can put them through the wringer without too much concern. If you can stomach the price, they’re worth the investment.
Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X review: also consider
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 will set you back a little more at $379 / £349 / AU$599. But, you’ll be getting a quality feature set, such as Active Noise Cancellation and excellent built-in mics, to go along with a very good if different sounding pair compared to the Beyerdynamics.
Likewise, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is another pair of headphones that make a great companion for listening to music on the go. In fact, these are regarded to have the best ANC out there.
However, if you’re looking for a different pair of wired headphones to listen to while relaxing at home and have money burning a hole in your pocket, the Focal Clear MG will let you lose yourself in the music, and not just because you just spent $1,499 on a pair of headphones. They just sound that good.