The German headphone manufacturer, Beyerdynamic, has been around a while. Over the years, the company has managed to fit itself in a comfy spot between the high expectations of the audiophile community and the more causal mainstream market, by proficiently covering wide headphone extremes of bang-for-the-buck to highly detailed “premium”.
This Synopsis focuses on the former, with the headphone that is considered a classic among many audio lovers: the DT 770 Pro. Beyerdynamic has since released more smartphone-friendly, lower impedance variants of this headphone, ranging from 250 to 32 ohms. We examine the middle-ground 80 ohms version.
The DT 770 Pro is a full-sized over-ear headphone. Being that it runs for about $150, it’s technically the “low-end” of Beyerdynamic’s more affordably-tuned DT series. This also means that it’s strictly basic in function and less frill in features than we’re used to seeing these days. There’s no removable cable or not even rotating ear cups – this is as plain as it gets. But it should be strong in value when it comes to a headphone’s ultimate goal: great sound.
- Solid construction and aesthetics
- Large and comfy ear cups/pads
- Long and sturdy cable
- Lightweight for its size
- Probably the best sound you’ll get at this price
- Plastic construction feels cheap
- Headband extender is flimsy
- Not travel-friendly
- Ear pad fabric may get grimy over time
- No removable cable
What it’s like to use
- The DT 770 Pro doesn’t try to be a “compact” headphone. It’s a full-fledged over-ear headphone with girth that feels like Beyerdynamic was aiming at more in-home or professional use. This is further implied by the substantial size of the ear cups and long, thick cable.
- It also is that the ear cups have limited motion. They have a little freedom to pitch, but barely can rotate. In other words, if you take them on the go, you’ll have to carry them in this form. More modern headphones can either collapse to a smaller size or the ear cups can rotate to flatten the headphone’s profile.
- The cable is permanently attached to the left ear cup, from a considerable stress relief. The thick cable has a rubbery quality to it (works well to counter tangles) and is almost a whopping 10 feet in length. You’ll see a 1/4″ jack termination when you unbox the headphone, but that’s actually an adapter. Unscrewing it reveals a standard, 3.5mm plug.
- At this price-point, we understand the decision of a hard-plastic construction. Beyerdynamic spruces up the design the best it can, with a stealthy matte finish, textured dome caps, and large print that displays the brand and model. Nonetheless, they can’t get away from the cheap in-hand feel of such a plastic (i.e. you get a hollow-like response when you tap on any point). This isn’t to say that it won’t stand the test of time, and the headphone’s high ratings are evidence of it.
- A headphone’s contact points with the head have the utmost importance. If a headphone is not comfortable, then it is a failure. Fortunately, this is in no way the case with the DT 770 Pro.
- The larger-than-average ear cups are super comfy. They feel like pillows against your head. This is assisted by the soft, cushion-y ear pads. The plush-like fabric feels great, but we’re not confident it will hold up against grime from either a spill or skin oil. It’s also not exempt from the common buildup of heat, so sweat can be factor too.
- The substantial ear cups/pads also equate to exemplary noise isolation. Despite no active noise cancellation, you’ll still get the feeling of being closed off from the world.
- We like the leathery headband too, which also has ample cushioning. We hate when manufacturers skimp on this. The cushion is evenly applied, and does well to distribute the weight around your head. Coupled with the headphones’s relative light weight, your head won’t easily get fatigued/ached from lengthier listening sessions.
- To reiterate, there’s no “fancy” features to the DT 770 Pro, like a 3-button remote, active noise-cancellation, etc. You simply unbox it, plug in the jack, and get playing. The only extras you’ll get is a 1/4″ jack adapter and a thin/cheapy drawstring carrying bag.
- The audio quality of the DT 770 Pro is supposed to be a crucial shining quality of it. Coupled with the high ratings we saw on Amazon, our expectations were high.
- Overall, the DT 770 Pro’s sound gets a thumbs up from us. The sound signature is a faithful reproduction, through-in-through. Every range gets an equal opportunity to shine, and when it does, it does so with authority.
- For instance, the bass has ample power and punch, but it delivers and scales responsibly. It manages to not be bloaty or overdone while broadly filling out the space and pushing attention-catching depth when called upon.
- The mid-range stays level with the rest. It’s an attention-grabbing presentation and has plenty of room/space to breathe, creating a sense of openness to vocals and instruments. It’s of course not to the around-the-head reproduction of an open-back headphone, but great for a closed-back.
- That said, the mid-range is when we first begin to catch the limits of the DT 770 Pro’s drivers. Clarity is not the best it could be. You hear it more with instruments than vocals. There’s an ever-so muddle when elements overlap, whereas higher-end headphones have better articulation/separation, and well as closer to crystal clear details. Also, the nice open space that the headphones portray isn’t fully taken advantage of in the mid-range. The dynamics could have wider reach, though, it’s decent for this price-point.
- On the contrary, the treble gives a better/wider play on space. This range is a shining quality of the DT 770 Pro. It can retrieve on surprisingly crisp detail, and it’s such a pleasure when you hear dimensional echoing. Again, the mids-to-highs transition could be clearer, but we’re glad that the drivers don’t keep going downhill. They make it up on the upper ranges.
The DT 770 Pro is a cautionary recommendation from us. If you want the benefits of an over-ear headphone that can be easily carried, then look somewhere else. You can transport the DT 770 Pro, but it will take up a relatively large amount of space. Beyerdynamic designed this to be an entry-level, “pro” headphone, first and foremost.
But if a headphone that will see limited mobility and has exceptional ergonomics and sound for the price is what you’re looking for, then you shouldn’t overlook the DT 770 Pro. Just be mindful of the resistance choices. 80 ohms can be driven by smartphones, but if you want more volume room, then the 32 ohm variant might be your ticket.