Beyerdynamic DT660 Review

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by nukegoat, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    Note: I wrote this originally for head-fi.org so if i reference "this site" im not talking about OT.

    I've been a semi-serious car audio competitor since 2000, both for SPL and SQ. I got into home audio about 2 years ago when I built a couple of tower speakers / crossovers with some audax aerogels. I since have upgraded, and now in my 10'x13' bedroom i have a 13 cubic foot ported sub box for an 18" adire audio maelstrom (tuned to 19hz). Nonetheless, enough with some qualifications. I'd like to think I have an ear for audio, though I probably burnt them out with my SPL competitions. I purchased a pair of DT 660's after reading as much as I could on this site. I wanted something with low impedance because I would like to be able to plug right into a laptop / portable player without having to use something in between. I also wanted closed phones because, well... I just prefer a closed phone. I'm anti-social or private or just weird. I stay up late at night and the sound insulation in this house is pretty lousy.

    Originally I thought about spending like 70 bucks. My friend broke my sony V6's (yea i know... weird sounding cans) and I'm cheap. I didn't want to spend much money but I wanted to get new cans. I looked at the senn 280s but I heard they broke fairly easy. I then started looking around and finally, after reading as many reviews as possible, decided on the dt250s (80 ohm). I was concerned about the ohmage though and I wasn't sure if they made them anymore. A day later I saw the dt 660s and figured they were for me. Never mind i had spent close to 200 bucks where I wanted to spend 70...

    Ok enough blabbering. My thoughts:

    Comfort: These are fairly tight-fitting headphones. If you have a pet peeve about that, or have a big head like me, this is important to consider. Its not an uncomfortable pressure, its just pressure.

    Weight: They don't seem that heavy. I dunno really. I don't notice them on or off. Again, relative to my heavy head the weight may just be insignificant.

    Construction: I hope these things don't break. Somebody suggested loosening the screws - are you referring to on the top where it segue's into the black cushion? Nonetheless they seem to be built "ok." The hinges are solid all around, they seem durable even when fully extended, etc. The cord is non-coiled, its just one long rope of wire. The connector is a 1/8" with a 1/4" adapter that screws on (kinda neat. i like.)

    Staging: I don't really feel like the staging is all that impressive. I never have in nearly any system i've ever heard. Either I am extremely skeptical of everything or I just simply have a discerning ear. Nonetheless, the placement from left to right seems decent and the ability for images to sound distant is there, but I just don't feel like I'm listening to something in FRONT of me. Further, its not like I could tell you honestly they sound like they are at the proper height. I have no idea whether they're supposed to be at eye level versus at ear level versus on the floor. Stage height is undefined. Like I said though, I am very critical of staging usually. Width of the stage is average. Personally, I think this is a good thing. Abnormally wide stages are not proper in my opinion.

    Detail: These are painfully detailed. Literally, it may have to do with the excessive treble, but no nuance slips by these things. Its annoying to hear some of the little underlying noises. I think this is a combination of decent isolation and flat frequency response in the midrange (so that certain noises aren't sublimated by an overkill of 3khz, for example).

    Isolation: Decent. I can still hear my cpu fans for example. Definitely blocks out a fair amount of noise though. If you're looking for a set of phones with no isolation you shouldn't be looking at closed phones. If you're looking for a set with killer isolation, these probably are 'satisfactory' but they're not overkill.

    Bass: Lean, with a mellow peak around 40-44hz. They definitely play low enough to satisfy, but they don't pound your ears into submission and make you scream uncle. What can I say, I used to compete in the SPL arena and i have a ported 18" sub in my bedroom. I'm happy with these phones though as far as the bass goes.

    Midrange: Very very very clean. They aren't warm, but they aren't really cold either. Neutral would be the way I'd describe them. I get the impression the frequency response is very flat for the midrange. Its nice.

    Treble: Bright! I'm so used to silk-dome tweets with off-axis responses that this was a little shocking at first. I am adapting slowly but still, these are bright phones. I don't know if they're the brightest out there, but i can wager they would rank on the "bright" side of things. For what its worth, this would be my only gripe. I feel like maybe I should be EQing them.

    Conclusion: What can I say that hasn't been said already? These are good headphones. Enjoyable to listen to all around. I would give them a 8.5/10 for a bottom line. (factoring price in). If you need the distinguishing factors the dt 660 offers such as the closed-phone, low impedance, durable nature - look no further.



    A final word: I'd post the music I tested it with, but suffice it to say this review is already pretty long. I am an avid electronic music fan, but I listened to some hip-hop, some bass test tracks, some classic rock, some modern rock, some blues, a little jazz, etc. I didn't really try them out with country music. I wouldn't say these headphones are geared for any musical genre in particular (despite what i read) except to say that if you like your hip-hop bassy, these may not have enough impact for you.
     
  2. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    I don't think "ohmage" is the correct word, I'd use impedance. Also, the staging you are describing is generally referred to as "blobs in your head" and is present on nearly every headphone. A set of cans that doesn't seem to inherently have this problem is the AKG K 1000's. They actually are more like small speakers that don't even cover your ears and can be tilted so they are off a perpendicular axis. Also, some headphone amps can help get rid of this problem. My Headroom Little has a processor that definitely alleviates this to a degree on my Sennheiser HD600's.

    Why do you consider the construction just "ok"? I only ask because you only say good things about them after that statement.

    A wide sound stage is important for things like classical orchestrated music, but the headphone should narrow up for performances where the stage would not be so wide. Did you try listening to music that would naturally have a wide sound stage?

    It's interesting that you say they have too much detail. Most headphone audiophiles strive to eek every ounce of detail out of a headphone. They are apparently a fatiguing headphone, but are you sure it is a result of detail?

    How were you able to determine a peak around 40-44Hz? Looking at the frequency response curve for these phones, it seems if anything there is a dip around that range compared to the rest of the curve from 20-200Hz.

    You're definitely right about the midrange, it is a pretty flat headphone from 200-2,000Hz. And, it also seems Beyerdynamics are generally bright phones, which I also don't like very much.

    If you still can return them, I would check out the DT880. Only another $60 and apparently a much better cans.

    I'd say that was a pretty good headphone review for your first one. I can't really talk as I have never given a review like that, so I am sorry for being so critical. One thing I would have liked added would be a list of music that you did technical listening with and what your impressions of each song were on these headphones. How was it received on head-fi?
     
  3. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    I know the correct terms to use... geez. in my concluding paragraph I said "...If you need the distinguishing factors the dt 660 offers such as the closed-phone, low impedance..."

    As far as the staging goes, I've just read reviews of headphones that refer to the presence of musicians in front of them, etc. I'm just saying it certainly doesn't happen in my experience. Furthermore, I know how phasing can alter the "soundstage" but I don't have such equipment on-hand. Sorry.

    They don't look insanely solid. I wouldn't be inclined to just throw them in a backpack or something. Nonetheless they seem good enough and its wishful thinking. I'd like to think they won't break on me.

    Yes.

    Made in jest, I refer to the intense detail being painful because it makes me cringe when I listen to a noisy track (or bad mp3).

    If theres one thing I'm fairly good at, its determining where peaks are in bass response. I listened to a sine sweep through the frequencies and it just seems to get a little louder right there before returning to par for the rest of the sweep.

    Are you going off the RTA from headphone.com or something? I've seen it already.

    DT880 is a way different impedance. Why do you say "apparently?" Have you heard both? Is it really apparent?

    It was very well received on head-fi as a matter of fact. Most people pretty much agreed, one person asked about the pads, one person recommended the 120-ohm adapter... I'd list all the tracks i used to test them but i'm lazy :hs:

    You did come off like a dick though, I'll be honest.
     
  4. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    That's nice, usually people appreciate criticism so they can do better next time. I'm a dick because I am critical of your review? Then I'll be honest and let you know that you come off as trying to sound like you know more than you do. Like you trying to say you can tell where a bass peak is with an error of +/- 2Hz, especially when the curves do not show any peaks. But, I guess you just have amazing ears.
     
  5. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    Telling me the word "ohmage" is incorrect and that "impedance" would be better is just trivial. You are being anal retentive or, in modern language, a dick.

    Furthermore, the bass peak is noticeable. A couple friends of mine have agreed with me. The RTA graph may not reflect this, but I hear it. For me, I hear the bass peak. Thats my proof. As far as you're concerned, its up to you to trust either a possibly biased reviewer or a possibly biased merchant. I don't think you can really argue one way or the other. Just take my review with a grain of salt.

    And as a final note, it sounds like YOU don't know what you're talking about. I've been in the audio scene for a while. Get over it. If you're trying to call into question my level of expertise you're just going to fail.
     
  6. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    I've never heard ohmage used before and even in my circuits class they refer to it as impedance. I will apologize for that comment, as I didn't think it was a real word, I wasn't saying it for the purpose of being critical of the most trivial things or grammar.

    Headphone.com is the most unbiased source I have come across, especially when you see them bad talking some headphones they sell, and sometimes even recommending a model that is less expensive. I guess I'll have to trust you on the bass thing, since I don't plan on buying a pair so that I can run a sine sweep.

    How do I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about? I'm sure I haven't been doing audio as long as you have, since I'm 20, but I don't try to misrepresent my knowledge. I'd like you to point out where I am sounding like I don't know what I am talking about. Btw, even experts are wrong sometimes. What is your expertise btw?
     
  7. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    The way headphone.com performs its test is with some ear simulation thing. I don't know how reliable it is. Also, they jack sennheiser's nuts like nobodys business. I stopped taking their reviews seriously when i saw they rated the grado sr-1 as like "2.5 / 5" stars

    I don't want to continue this debate / bickering.
     
  8. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    Fine, but I want to clear up the headphone.com thing. The star rating is not a rating of the quality of the headphone, but of the value. The Grado RS1 retails for $700, whereas the Sennheiser HD600 retails for $450. This is the first thing written as the description for the RS1: "Considered by many to be the best headphones for listening without an amplifier." I don't think that is exactly negative.

    Also, you might be interested to know that the Beyerdynamic DT880 had this listed as it's description: "The best there is for a lively listen. Maybe the best there is, period." That's riding Sennheiser's nuts?

    One last thing about Sennheiser. I am of course biased towards the company, I first owned a pair of HD590's, great cans. I have now owned the HD600 and a HeadRoom amp for 4 months and they are spectacular. Everytime I go into a hi-fi shop (I'm talking real audiophile stuff, electrostatic speakers, tube amps, where prices usually exceed $10,000 for a pair of speakers, or $300 for a 3 foot interconnect) I ask the guy I am talking to what type of headphones he owns. Well, so far, the Sennheiser HD600 is undefeated. If they are biased in any way towards Sennheiser, it's because they truly do make some of the world's best headphones. It's hard to dispute that.

    I hope that at least shows some of the objectivity of their website. I'll admit I was in a bit of a bad mood when I wrote my original post, it's a good review, but I also like to critique.
     
  9. 04

    04 Guest

    Everyone is biased, and headphone.com is certainly no different. The fact that they have a 'value' rating doesnt mean jack, especially when different people have different tastes. Just because they dont like how a specific headphone sounds, doesnt mean it isnt good. Unless they use objective measurements as their 'value' scale, then you have to take it with a grain of salt.

    To call the hd600 undefeated doesnt make any sense either, as MANY people prefer other headphones over them.

    I thought your review was well done, nukegoat. I wouldnt worry too much about the sound not appearing to eminate from in front of you with the Beyerdynamic's, I've never heard any headphones do that (only speakers) :hs:
     
  10. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    I was basically stating that the value rating doesn't mean much, and only indirectly factors in performance. It is purely cost vs. performance. The Orpheus for instance wouldn't even register on the value scale.

    They do use objective measurements. They have a commercial headphone testing system.

    You misread what I wrote. I said they were undefeated amongst the audiophiles I have asked so far. I'm sure I'll eventually venture upon an audiophile who prefers the Grado RS1 or the AKG K 1000's. Or, if they are rolling in it, a Stax electrostatic system. Of course they are not undefeated in the general market, other manufacturers are still in business, right? I'm sure if you listen to only hip hop and pop you will not like the HD600's over the Grado's.

    At least we agree on one point, that staging in headphones really never appears to come from the front. The AKG K 1000's can somewhat accomplish this as the angle can be adjusted, I believe the same is true in some Stax phones and maybe the orpheus. My amp with its processor turned on does alleviate the inherent staging problems of headphones a little bit.
     
  11. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    Yea its just weird... i read some reviews of headphones that try to make you believe that they had absolutely everything going for them, and they made mention of a soundstage having height and depth. I just don't buy it. :hs:

    Thanks for the approval :cool:
     

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