The Beyerdynamic DT 990 is one of the most popular open-back dynamic headphones. Being an open-back headphone, the DT 990 has no isolation except at the highest frequency. It has sound leakage which means your neighbor can hear them. However, they deliver a rich sound for any type of music when used in the studio, gaming, or at home. Like many other headphones, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 needs an amp to reduce distortion and deliver a rich sound. While the headphones have an integrated small amp, the amp is never powered enough to give you the sound you need. The headphone amp raises the low-voltage audio signal from the source device to a level that your headphone speakers can convert into sound waves. They work the same way as full-size speaker amps but at a lower scale.
Best DAC/AMP for Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO (250 ohm Headphone) on the market
Most of the best amps for Beyerdynamic DT 990 come with a DAC (digital to analog converter), which converts digital audio into a voltage signal for your amplifier to intensify. You might hear the sound clearly on some phones, PC, and laptops. For most, however, the quality of the amp and DAC is so poor that you will need a separate amp to get the sound right. If you have a Beyerdynamic DT 990, these are the amps you need:
|Audioengine D1|| |
Best Portable amp
|FiiO Q1 Mark II|| |
|Mayflower Objective-2 || |
|Pyle Professional Audio || |
Best Amp With Bluetooth
|Fosi Audio T20 || |
1. Audioengine D1 – Best DAC for dt 990 pro
The Audioengine D1 is a compact headphone amp for DT 990 so you can use it at home with your desktop or on-the-go. It readily plugs into Mac or PC without the need for any drivers. It also works with powered speakers, Apple TV and any products with optical speakers, and all audio systems with RCA input or mini-jack. You can, therefore, use it to listen to music from any of your favorite devices.
The unit is USB powered with no need to power cords or any other form of connection. Inside, the unit has a high-performance AK4396 DAC, which offers a clear digital to analog conversion to give you rich sounds from your DT 990. It has a front panel volume control. The unit can process digital audio up to 24 bits. Since its design works with all headphones, it might be a great choice for DT 990.
It is able to unravel a busy production without distorting the message. If the audio from the source is clear, the D1 offers great dose of detail of refined sound without hardness.
– Works with a wide range of headphones
– Delivers great refinement for a tonally balanced and informative sound
– Connect to any device with RCA input or mini-jack
– Lacks a touch of precision
2. FiiO Q1 Mark II – Portable Amp and Dac for Beyerdynamic
FiiO created the Mark II as a portable headphone amp for iPhones. However, it works perfectly with Android as well. The box has MicroUSB-to-Lightning Connection to connect to the amp – which makes it iPhone-focused. This way, you never have to use the camera connection kit from Apple.
The unit works with any USB Type-A or MicroUSB when you connect it to a computer, an Android phone, or your TV. However, FiiO does not guarantee that the unit will work perfectly with Android or other devices because the USB output is not standard.
It is a compact device, the size of a standard playing card deck, and weighs 100g. FiiO sought to improve the design of the Q1 to deliver an amp you can carry anywhere. Besides the large volume control dial, the Q1 has two other switches; one to adjust gain and the other to adjust bass. Inside, the unit uses a high-performance AK4452 DAC chip that supports files up to 32bit/384kHz.
The amp is rechargeable – it has a 1800mA battery that can last up to 10 hours of playing. This way, the amp doesn’t have to take power from your phone.
Quality of Sound
The Q1 delivers a well-balanced frequency range without excess bass or undue sharpness. You can use the gain and bass switches to balance the tone depending on the music you are playing. Regardless of the music you are listening to the Q1 delivers a great sense of dynamism so you can hear instruments more precisely.
– Delivers great tonal balance
– Offers a decent bass kick
– Has a built-in battery, making it portable
– It is relatively detailed
– The volume knob not easy to use with the unit lying flat on your desk
3.Mayflower O2 – Best 250 Ohm Headphone Amp
Objective 2 is an improvement from the previous version to deliver better sounds and power different devices from IEMs to HD 800s with so much ease. What makes the O2 unique is the fact that Drop involved the audio community in its creation. It offers a quarter-inch headphone output, a rear-mounter power jack, and RCA inputs.
You can choose between a standard gain and a medium gain for your DT 990. If you are using the amp with IEMs, you can use the medium gain. If you use the DT 990 with more than 300-ohm, opt for the standard gain.
The unit draws power from a 110V AC adapter. Although it will not draw power from your device, you cannot use it on-the-go. It is also a large unit with a length of the 12 inches and a weight of 255g. It is a great unit for use with your desktop and TV.
The medium and standard gain, allow you to balance different tones to get the exact sound you want. The O2 doesn’t make any noise regardless of the song you play. With the advanced clarity, the O2 allows you to hear the instruments in songs clearly.
– Delivers balanced sound
– Cancels noise to offer clear sounds
– Has both input and output jacks
– You cannot use it on-the-go
4. Pyle Professional Audio – Bluetooth amp for headphone
What sets the Pyle Pro apart is the fact that it is Bluetooth compatible. Its built-in wireless streaming ability lets you stream music from different devices today that have Bluetooth connectivity. You can, therefore, stream from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PC. The hassle-free receiver pairing is ideal when you need to stream wireless audio.
It is a safe unit, thanks to the 3-second delay that prevents turn-on transients and in turn protects your loudspeakers. When both channels are operational, the power LED goes on as an indication that the unit is receiving power. Inside the unit are two 2-speed cooling fans that keep the unit cool at all times. If the unit requires additional cooling, the fans will automatically move to high speed.
You can use the controls on the unit to adjust each channel’s input gain. These controls determine how loud each channel of the power amplifier sounds for a given input signal. To achieve the max input gain, turn the control clockwise to the end.
The amp has an output of 1000 watts – which is more than you will ever need for home use. The unit is rack-mountable and easy to retrofit with other components to create the sound you need at all times.
The Pyle Pro is no different from any slow A/B solid-state amplifier. Regardless of the genre of music you play, the amp does not turn into a dramatic performance, but instead delivers balanced tones. It is ideal when you need an amp to play background music with your DT 990 as you play video games.
– Balanced input
– Rach mountable
– Decent sound
– Great price-quality ratio
– The fans are loud
5. Fosi Audio T20 Best Tube amp for DT990 pro
The Fosi Audio T20 comes with a 3.5mm headphone output for your DT 990. Fosi Audio created the amp to optimize your listening experience and deliver enhanced robustness for a great listening experience. The device offers fully synchronized audio to make the music clearer when you play. Inside the unit is an Adopt CSR64215 Chip, which allows the amp to support apt-X and apt-X latency. This offers a superior wireless audio experience whenever you turn the unit on.
You can stream Hi-Fi music from any Bluetooth enabled device. With Bluetooth and RCA input, the system is easy to retrofit with other audio components. The built-in Bluetooth can transmit up to 39 feet.
It uses a 24V power adapter or 12-24 DC adapter. For your headphones, the output is between 16 and 64Ohm. It is a small unit, but one that packs a lot of power. Even after performing for a long period, the unit still doesn’t get hot, thanks to the fans inside it.
If you want to get the best sound quality from the T20, ditch the Bluetooth and connect it with RCA cables. The Bluetooth connectivity is fast and great when you do not want wires running in your home, but is noisier than when you use wires. Some people might not feel the noise, but if you love great audio clarity, you will definitely hear the difference.
The sound from the T20 is clear through the DT 990 headphones. You have separate bass/treble so you can adjust based on the music you are listening to. You do not have to run either at maximum and there are no background hisses when the amp is operational.
– Easy to set up
– Produces clear and crisp sound even at high volume
– Bass/treble allows for tone balancing
– Does not heat up
– Sound not as clear with Bluetooth as with RCA input
Do i need an amp for Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro?
Understanding the Beyerdynamic DT 990
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 is an open-backed pair of headphones. They provide a unique sound signature, which makes them rather polarizing. You might be having either of two versions; the Edition or the Pro.
The Edition model is ideal for use at home. There are three variants of the Edition – the 32, 250, and 600 Ohm. The DT 990 Pro only comes in a 250ohm variant. Beyerdynamic also produces a limited edition version that features black ear pads and a straight cable. The default version features a coiled cable and gray ear pads. The Pro comes in handy for mixing and critical listening.
Whichever model you choose, the DT 990 produces a clear sound. You can comfortably listen to music without the amp, but if you need a richer sound, an amplifier comes in handy.
How is the DT 990’s Sound?
Some people are of the opinion that this earphone is a little expensive but others swear by the effectiveness and durability of the Beyerdynami. This is a must have in your earphones collection if you want to listen to music and enjoy your music.
Earphones have many advantages. The Beyerdynami headphone is made of flexible material. They come in different colors so you can choose the color that fits your style.
There are many specific features that are important in order to get the best out of the earphones. They should not cause any kind of strain on your ear canal as these can affect the quality of the sound. It should also have a low impedance that is why the Beyerdynami is quite popular.
Make sure that you check for any warranty so that you can return the product if it does not work for you.
Many online stores offer great deals on their products. Be sure to check the customer feedback in order to see what other users have to say about the product. You can also get advice from Artem Ali in the comments
Although it is an open-back headphone, the DT 990 has a great balance between bass and treble. The treble might feel aggressive, but the bass neutralizes it to create a rich sound that users might love. To most users, both the treble and the bass might be too aggressive. If you do not listen to your music so loud, the highs are not as aggressive.
It is easy to see why these are so polarizing on first listen. Their speed and character is almost like the DT770, but they have a bit more push in their bass and treble. The mids are musical and accurate. The bass and treble will determine whether you love the headphones.
By using a headphone amp, you are able to balance the treble and the bass for clear sounds.
The loud treble and the open-backed design collaborate to create an excellent sense of depth, soundstage, and imaging. Granted, the headphones are great for gaming sessions or for listening to any genre of music from your desktop. The soundstage of these headphones is fun when listening to music.
Amplifier for Your DT 990 pro
All headphones need an amplifier. Most, such as the DT 990, have a built-in amplifier which allows you to plug them in without the use of an external amplifier. However, the amplifier and the digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in them are not powerful enough to give you the sound you may need. When the built-in amp is underpowered, you need an external amplifier that will give you the balance of sound that you need.
How Do Headphone Amps Work?
The amps come in the form of a box designed to fit in between your headphones and your music source. You plug in the headphones into the amp and plug the amp into the music source which can be your desktop, phone, turntable, or any other. In some instances, you might need to plug in a DAC along the way, but modern amps come with built-in DAC so you never have to buy an extra device.
When the sound passes through the amp before reaching your headphone, the sound that comes out is richer, warmer, and more powerful. The sound is not only louder but it has minimal distortion at high levels. Although you may never play the music at very high levels (to protect your ears), the sound will always have minimal distortion at whichever level you play.
Inside the headphone amps are tubes, valves, and other analog components. These components help to amplify the sound on your headphone speakers. The strengthening is ideal in coloring the sounds and enhancing the performance of certain frequencies. This is why the sound pushed through the amp comes out sounding a lot better.
The DT 990 is a high quality pair of headphones. It is able to expose the deficiencies in the source music such as the compressed MP3 you may have in your phone. If music is already low quality from the source, even the best headphones will have a problem correcting the sound (unless you use noise-canceling headphones).
Does Price Indicate Quality?
In most cases, a more expensive amplifier will give better quality sound or will have more features. However, this is not a hard rule and price should not be the benchmark for buying an amp for your DT 990. Most of the expensive amps you may find on the market are bulky and not portable. Some might even have fragile components and you may be paying for features that you do not need.
Picking Between Types of Amps
There are three types of headphone amps; tubes, solid state, and hybrids. The difference between all these is the inner circuitry, which determines the kind of sound that the amp produces.
Also called valves or vacuum tubes, these appear as glowing cylinders that you might see glowing inside the amplifier. There are both driver and power tubes and they all work differently. You can identify a tube by its giant boxy power supply at the back of the unit. Tubes are ideal when you need a rich, warm, and analog sound. However, tubes are susceptible to breakages, short-circuiting, and some do not perform as advertised. With a tube, if you ever want to alter the sound that comes from your amplifier, you can change the tubes.
These models use traditional circuitry instead of tubes. They lack the warmth and character you get from tubes, but they are reliable and their sound is accurate and detailed.
These use both tubes and traditional circuitry. The tubes in them provide color to your sound and also the electronics that power the device. The one you choose among the three is a matter of personal preference, based on the sound you need to create.
Impedance and Wattage
Dou You Need a DAC?
You need a DAC, Digital-to-Analog Converter. Before the sound goes from the music source to your headphones, it needs to be converted from digital to analog, a form of airwaves you can hear. Most of the players (your phone, tablet, laptop, turntable, and PC), have these converters – which is why you are able to hear music from your computer. However, the quality may not be good when you need richer sounds.
Luckily, some of the modern amps come with built-in DACs – such as the Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC Headphone Amp and the FiiO Q1 Mark II reviewed above. These ensure that you do not need an external DAC. If the amp you choose does not have a DAC and you need a clear sound, you can purchase an external one to make your sound better.
Portable vs Desktop Amps
Do you want an amp to use in the house or on-the-go?
Both portable and desktop amps have their advantages and drawbacks. A portable amp, such as the FiiO Q1 Mark II, is advantageous in the fact that you can carry it anywhere. Most of these are only a few ounces heavy so you can carry them anywhere. The drawback is that most of these have less power output. Although your DT 990 will still perform excellently even with reduced power, you might see reduced inputs and outputs and the amp may limit the number of audio formats you play. You also need to worry about the battery life of your portable amp.
A desktop amp, such as the DROP Massdrop Objective-2 Headphone Amp, is more functional and less portable. It has a wealth of inputs, has more power, has a robust frame, and may even have other features such as Bluetooth connectivity. Most desktop amps are tube amp, which means that if you plan to swap tubes, you need to go for desktop amps. These amps are more expensive than the portable amps.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 is already a great pair of headphones when you need to play video games or play music from your devices at home or away. To make your listening experience better, you need to choose a good amp. The best amp from the ones above is dependent on your needs and your budget.