Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO by Sam Marks
I highly recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO as reference studio headphones. I have been a month using them in my studio and the quality of my recordings and masters has improved considerably.
Build quality: Excellent. Built like a German tank. The Porsche, Audi (R8) and Mercedes (AMG) equivalent quality like but for sound production.
Comfort: Very comfortable. Velour and memory foam pads. All parts replaceable and the right pressure on the head when used.
Versatility: the DT1990 include two pairs of ear pads, balanced (B) and analytical (A), which modify their sound to suit to your personal preference. Analytical pads are more neutral and ideal for production sonic microsurgery. Balanced have slightly more bass response and are ideal for a more vivid sound experience.
The sound of these headphones is great in all the registers (based on the balanced pads experience)
Bass: Very solid and punchy bass sound. Being open this was a very good surprise for me. But the bass is not exaggerated or muffled. Just the bass as it was produced, very honest bass sound. Crispy and very dynamic bass response.
Mids: You will be in heaven when you listen to the mids of these cans. They are stunning. Very neutral sound but at the same time very natural. Perfect for critical professional production decisions.
Highs: Very accurate and audiophile grade high response. The classic Beyer high peak has been totally corrected. The result is an astounding high resolution. The highs are very detailed and with the right amount of energy for a truly neutral sound for mastering and mixing.
Soundstage: Perfect. Not too stretched to the sides not too glued in the mid. Each sound sits perfectly in the corresponding part of the stage, but not trying to fool you that you are hearing a pair of monitors (I have professional JBL and Alesis studio monitors). Other high-end cans tend to over present the sound separation, but not in this case, which is very good when you wan a coherent natural sounding mix.
Value for money: $599 is a very good price for a pair of headphones with such an impressive sound and build quality.
All in all, for the studio I consider that I can always rely on these cans for critial mixing and mastering decisions. I have tried several other cans, including Sennheiser (HD650, HD25II, HD205II, etc.), Sony MDR 7506 and AKG (K712 Pro, K141 mkII, etc.) and the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 are, so far, the most neutral and the best for my studio purposes. They have the perfect sound balanced needed for serious music production.
The DT 1990 are, in my experience, the best choice for mixing and mastering purposes, but they are also great for listening to your favorite music with extremely high definition sound. They are so much detailed that I could hear the subtle chair noises of one of the musicians in a Mozart orchestral piece in a classical audiophile record (I want to believe that this sound was the chair and not another type of human noise)
Pros: Build quality, amazing sound, neutrality, frequency response, high-end Tesla drivers, A and B pads, detachable mini xlr cables (x2), 250ohm, solid bass, clear mids, brilliant highs, balanced and true soundstage, value for money, ideal for pro studio usage.
Cons: Probably, you will need a good headphone amplifier or a good audio interface with an adequate headphone amplifier onboard to extract the best possible sound out of these cans. With the DT 1990 PRO I have finally discovered how badly mixed and mastered were some of my old records. They sound so good that they can be a little bit addictive. You will spend a lot of nights rediscovering your record collection until high hours in the morning (with the associated possible insomnia problems ).
The DT 1990 PRO are the perfect recommendation for studio monitoring, mixing and mastering.