Beyerdynamic T90: Open Tesla Candy!

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Intro

Beyerdynamic was so kind to send us the T90 for review, well actually they asked us to review it for them and I’m not going to pass that opportunity by. This is a review sample and it will go back to Beyer after 3 months. In all fairness I have to mention that Beyerdynamic is a site sponsor since recently but that never stopped us from giving an objective review.

My Beyerdynamic History

The first serious full size headphone I bought was a Beyerdynamic DT990/600 and unfortunately we never got along as I had wished. It just wasn’t what I was looking for, sure I loved the looks and the velour pads but I wanted a lusher, fuller sound with different mids (the bass was great, the treble a bit hot) and so I got the Sennheiser HD600/HD650. At that time they were exactly what I was looking for and I sold the DT990/600, I have no regrets. Tastes of course evolve and while I still love my HD650 I have to admit that over the years I have started appreciating the Beyerdynamic house sound more and more. At the moment I own the closed DT770 AE, the Custom One Pro, the T70 and now the T90 which is on loan. The only other Beyer I sold was the DT1350 which neither Mike nor me really appreciate (or at least not enough to keep it).

Looks & Build

You love it or hate it but Beyerdynamic often uses the same basic design in their headphones with the metal ear cup holder/headband. Personally I absolutely love that design. The only thing that keeps bugging me on the other hand, is the 3m cable you can’t detach. Personally I find 3 meters a horrible length. It’s either too long to use at your desk and it’s too short to use in the couch. I was happy to see a dis-connectable cable on the COP and with all this beautiful customizable aftermarket cables available, I’d really like Beyerdynamic to start using them (more).

The material used in the headband isn’t quite the same as the one they used in the T70. This microfiber is more velour like (but it isn’t) and it is softer and thicker than the anti-allergic fabric used in the T70. The ear pads are thicker and the headphone is even more comfortable because of that. It isn’t particularly heavy or light, it’s a normal comfortable headphone (it’s actually 20gr heavier than the T70). The 250Ohm T90 is an open headphone using the Tesla driver technology and the main visual difference with the T70 is how the open ear cups have been designed. Check out the pictures at the end of the article to see for yourself, but it makes the T90 look great (but be careful, they easily scratch). So how does that influence the sound you say?

Sound and Comparisons

I was hoping the Beyerdynamic T90 would sound good and right from the start it did not disappoint. The T90 overall has a very good detail retrieval, maybe not at the same level of the Sennheiser HD800 but one of the best I’ve heard so far. Left-right balance and 3-dimensionality are simply incredible, just like the huge sound stage. The presentation in general is rather airy and there is a lot of space between the instruments. The T90 is a tight sounding headphone that’s not coloring the sound, well maybe just very slightly but you get a very clear and realistic presentation no matter what genre you’re listening to.

When talking about Beyerdynamic headphones there’s always the discussion about the recessed mids. A while ago the DT770AE showed less recession in that area and now I can only say this Beyer does an even better job. Sure they sound different as the closed AE but the mids are really there. They even have this slight touch of warmth and the detail level is top. The T90’s bass is very tight and has reasonable impact/body. Bass detail and layering are very good and bass goes really deep. It’s isn’t the most impactful bass (not like the AE) but it’s perfectly in line with the mids. The highs are also very detailed and layered but not harsh sounding at all. The treble however does “jump out” more than the rest, it’s just that bit less linear but still sounding great.

Compared to the T70 we reviewed earlier this T90 has the more airy presentation making it sound even more detailed. The T70 already is very detailed, here it just sounds more detailed because of the airy sound. The T90 however is less sharp and less aggressive sounding and has the 3-dimensionality and staging. It sounds more relaxed and it is definitely a better all-rounder. While the T70 was very strong with classical music, T90 is strong with everything. Especially the mids section is really different from the T70 and that combined with the open and airy sound makes it a whole new headphone.

I really mean that the T90 is strong with all musical genres, I’ve even spent quite a lot of time with it watching movies and I couldn’t find a genre that doesn’t match with this headphone. Of course it’s not for the regular bass head, this is so much more and has quality written all over. We tried getting a T1 at the same time for this review but we did not get it in time, which of course sucks. The sound signature of the Tesla T90 is so specific that’s it is fairly complicated to directly compare to other brand headphones, I even double checked with Mike but he does agree on my point of view. Do ask about other headphones in the comments section if needed though.

Click and read the rest of the review on the next page.

Lieven is living in Europe and is a full time Headfonia writer and the leader of the gang. Coming from a musical family he's always been interested in good sound. Unlike his family members the only musical instruments he plays are amps and DACs. He loves playing with old tubes and discovering new products while staying faithful to the good old Sennheiser HD650. Taking pictures is a real challenge but seeing happy readers in the end is what it's all about for him.

  • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

    I fixed the images but the comments posted earlier have disappeared now. Please repost and thanks for the nice comments that were there!

  • Mr. Mr

    how “smooth” is the vocals on the t90?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Not as smooth as with the Senn HD650 in example but very clean and correct. I’d still call them a little smooth, but don’t expect a really smooth voicing

  • John123John

    Very nice review L.
    love the detailed amp comparison with both pros and cons.

    The Tesla tech is definitely something I want to try out.
    How does the Tesla sound compare to the general planar sound?

    No pics? haha~ (fixed)

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Thanks John!

      It’s quite a difference actually, The Tesla still is one of the Dynamics, you don’t get the planar Characteristics

      • John123John

        oh yea. duh :p

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          What do you want me to say, it’s the usual Dynamic vs planar sound. It’s been talked about a lot on here :)

          • John123John

            how about the general differences between dynamic and Teslas?

            i feels like Beyer just improved on its typical sound. Clear treble and nice extension on both ends.

  • thegunner100

    Repost:

    Nice review! The T90s seem to be a very polarizing headphone. Those who like them would describe it as you have, but those who hate it always mention its treble. I find that the treble on the T90 was rather unnatural and harsh sounding with some songs when I tried it out at the last head-fi meet with the Beyer A1 amp. Maybe it was the amp, maybe it was my sansa fuze (I know, not the most ideal source). But I would love to try the T90 with my own setup one of these days so that I could give it a valid evaluation.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I have to admit that treble didn’t change too much from amp to amp. I do not find treble on the T90 to be “too much” or “wrong”.

    • Jeff Hein

      I also found the t90′s treble to be a bit harsh for my ears. I had the T90 for about a week, and did lots of back and forth testing, and the treble was definitely much harsher than anything else I compared it to (T1, T5p, T70, DT1350, HD700, HD800, X1, LCD 2.2)

      I was really hoping to use the T90 at home, but there were several songs where I just had to turn the volume WAY down. I really wanted to like the T90, but it just wasn’t right for my ears. In the end, I opted to spend the extra money and go for the T1 (which I am very happy with).

      • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

        I can’t really share that feeling, luckily we all have different tastes or there wouldn’t be so many different headphones :)

  • Twinster

    Hello and thank you for this great review on the T90. It seems that the T90 are somewhat hard to find a good amplifier match. Any chance to try the T90 with the ALO Pan Am? Best!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I’m sorry, Mike has all the ALO gear. As said, I found the T90 to sound good with all the OTL tube amps, I’d look for an amp in that direction.

  • Hariz Razali

    Between the T90 and the planar LCD-2/HE-5, would you say they have the same level of details?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I only have the LCD-2 and HE-500 and would dare place it on the same level of detail, yes. The T90 has a more airy sound than the LCD-2 as well which impacts the details imo

      • Dave Ulrich

        Thinking in terms of openness, and jazz/folk, T90 or HE-500?

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          HE-500 for me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Meoow.TheCat Minh Duc Nguyen

    what is with “than” always being written “then”?…I don’t understand the “internet engrish” habit now days (^_^;)…anyway, great review

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Sorry for that. I guess I can blame it on English only being my 3rd language and the spell check not picking up on that.

      • Dave Ulrich

        What is your second language?

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          Dutch – French – English – German

          • Dave Ulrich

            Very impressive!

            • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

              Thanks :D

      • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

        Even the mainstream publications with native English speakers make grammar mistakes.

  • Headphone.ph

    I find the T70 harsh initially but I grew more and more to it that I now find the treble ‘just right’. T90 is interesting because it’s just half the price of T1 yet is (almost) double the price of T70 (from Amazon) which as I understand in this review has a similar sound to T90 except for the ‘openness’ of course.

    I wonder if T90 would also get a significant street price drop after a while.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      The biggest difference between both is in the mids. Bass also has bigger body and yes, the airyness. I prefer the 90 over the 70 by far for enjoying music. T70 analyses better

      • rich

        Hi, I found that the T70p has a slightly thin sound. I own the T1 and was reluctant to buy the T5p a similar driver with lower impedance but cost the same. So I bought the T70p for portability and lower cost. It is not a bad headphone except that I find the mids seems a little missing. Thus, the sound is rather thin compared to the T1. Do you think this is a result of a collateral damage as a result of making this phone portable lower in impedance and can be played right out of an iPhone, iTouch or Android. Thank you.

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Rich,
          The T70 does sound like that when I listened to it.

          • rich

            Thank you for the replies. Hv a nice day.

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          Mike is right, it was just developed with thin mids, nothing to do with portability I’m afraid

  • Sam

    Thanks for the great review! I initially had plans to upgrade to the HD 700 from the 770AE, but after reading this, now im reconsidering haha How does the T90 compare specifically against the HD700? Thanks!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Thank you Sam. That’s a difficult one as I like them both. HD700 has the bigger bass of both but it’s harder to pair with an amp. Detail level on the Beyer is better and I’d even dare say the sound stage is too. Overall I think the T90 beats the HD700 but with the HD700 you get that lovely Senn sound. Difficult choice!

  • MathH

    I don’t understand such engineering policy… Are they afraid they would offer a too good bargain with a more sensible mids presentation? Recessing mids is next to a broken headphone to me… Highs and bass should be there, but merely for realism’s sake, on their own they are rather tolerated than enjoyable. Giving them too much dominance is like a deliberate attempt at annoyance and bodily harm. At least highs. The human ear is not made for them.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Well, not everyone has the same tastes. And as I clearly say, this headphone does not suffer from the “beyer tonality” that much

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Maybe, if I was monitoring a live classical concert (and I bet they have plenty of those in Europe), I’d need something clear and with a recessed mids like the Beyers.

  • Curly Watts

    How would this headphone pair with the Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I have no idea sorry

  • Curly Watts

    Sounds great by the way

  • Dave Ulrich

    Out of curiosity, what tubes were you using with the Crack?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      12AU7 RCA clear top & Beckman branded Tung Sol 6080. I have GEC 6AS7G and 5998 TS around as well, but I always go back to these ones…

      • Dave Ulrich

        I would gladly take the 5998 off your hands. Mine pooped out right after the Crack review.

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          email me!

  • therocksays

    Need a headphone recommendation asap. I’m looking for a headphone that has a very lush and smooth sound to it like liquid. Nothing overtly aggressive or glaring. Doesn’t necessarily have to be monitor accurate. Just want a pleasant smooth sound. What is the headphone that fits this bill?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Try the ATH ESW-9

      • therocksays

        Purchased! Mike is there a difference between the esw9 and esw9a? also i noticed these headphones use african padauk wood now instead of hokkaido cherry wood. does that make a difference?

        • dalethorn

          The ESW9a in African wood is much cheaper.

          • therocksays

            that sucks. i’m from japan and i would much rather have paid extra for the cherry wood version….but it looks like they don’t make em anymore.

            • dalethorn

              It could be much worse – I bought the ESW11-LTD with the Japanese wood, for $700 USD, but the sound is not nearly as good as the ESW9a.

              • therocksays

                i guess sound is the most important…hopefully they sound just as good with the african wood as it did with the cherry wood.

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Maybe yes but last esw9 I sold still sounds good though I don’t know what wood it uses.

          I don’t think we have an a version here

  • Patrick Tan

    Any good ideas for a beyer headphone for jpop?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Most probably COP.

      • alan tan

        COP.. the headphone that stayed with me the longest, and is still with me

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Fun headphone, isn’t it

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          I use it at work most of the time, very fun headphone. Sure it’s not the best and doesn’t have the greatest detail retrieval or sound stage but it so is much fun. I’m getting bired of it again however, I’m replacing it with the HE-400 for a while :)

      • dalethorn

        The COP is only the 3rd headphone of the last 75 headphones I purchased that played perfectly with no EQ. The Bose AE2i (white), the COP, and the B&O H6.

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          I requested the H6. How is it?

          • dalethorn

            The H6 has an unusual sound, which is hard to describe without a similar reference. Very clear tone, as though it had Tesla drivers or something. Bass is a bit lean but goes pretty well flat to below 30 hz. Treble is good, fairly strong but no major peaks. The midrange signature leans toward ‘Light’, as compared to most of my headphones that bias toward a darker sound. My feeling is, for users who can sit down late at night when it’s very quiet and put on some high quality music tracks, then sit back and just listen with no distractions – they might be thrilled by the sound, and the bass even sounds strong then. But back to daytime and the usual distractions, or worse yet outdoors with traffic and other noise, the H6 probably won’t provide a satisfactory bass kick. That’s just a guess – I’m not a real bass-head, but for me I like it a little warm, like the DT770LE, or ATH ESW9 etc. The H6 is close to those in bass quantity, but the overall sound quality is well above those two I think.

            • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

              Dale, I can’t really find myself in your review. Focus is mostly on bass and the mids. Mids are warm and smooth and not light. Very much comparable to the Momentum. This is with C5 amping. I’ll be comparing it with the AE and the COP mostly

              • dalethorn

                H6 mids voicing is light, yes. But focus on bass and mids, comparable to Momentum? Not the H6 I have. The bass is quite different from Momentum. Momentum is stronger in upper bass than lower bass, while the H6 I have is somewhat lean in the upper bass and doesn’t decrease significantly to the lower bass. The Momentum I had has a recessed upper treble, and my H6 isn’t especially strong in the upper treble, but definitely not recessed. It’s too bad I don’t have the Momentum now, but at least it’s different enough to know a few things. Take into consideration that samples can vary by several decibels, and if my Momentum varied more to the bass and H6 varied more to the treble, it could be very different from what you hear now. I do remember Tyll and others confirming that the Momentum is weak on the hgh end. The COP I have is set on no.3 position, and it sounds night to day different from the H6.

                • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

                  even on No 4 position with the COP, bass on the H6 is deeper and it especially has more timbre and detail. Treble on the H6 is nice, not too hot, not too rolled of. I like Beyer Treble and it’s not at that level of course. I can agree the momentum’s upper bass was better and that treble on the H6 goes further but I do find the sound signature to resemble the Momentum’s style.

                  I would have preferred a “heavier” voicing though, more like the Momentum.

                  • dalethorn

                    That sounds right – what we have then may be slightly different samples, but close enough that we have an understanding of how they voiced the H6. It will be interesting to read users’ reactions, since the other headphones are well established and the H6 is not.

                    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

                      After a good burn in period it is clear the H6 has changed more in the way you described it Dale. It also depends ALOT on what amp and source you’re using with the H6. I tried several portable setups and they are all very different. Review online soon! Thanks for your thoughts!

                    • dalethorn

                      Yep – reviewing comments on the COP (a very different headphone) the COP bass isn’t as deep – the port just makes it boomier at #4, but with the H6, how deep the bass goes will probably be similar with different amps, but some of them will thin out the sound. It will be good to know what you found with different amps, since I have only a few here.

                    • Carl A

                      How soon is soon!
                      Really looking forward to reading your H6 review, specifically in relation to its partnering with different amps. I’m hugely interested in the H6 – can’t afford it right now but maybe soon. Been to look and listen but only in a B&O shop, through my Nano 5g w/ Zo2. Underwhelmed but knew it needed to be listened to with a suitable amp. So I can’t wait to read your thoughts.
                      I loved its looks and fit however, and even though the sound was thin and weedy it also came across as very clean, pure and accurate. I just don’t think listening via the Nano and Zo(and in the shop)was a very good idea. Also, with Zo at full volume it was barely loud enough …
                      I had the Zo NOT boosting bass – set to flat(most green)
                      Lookin’ forward to the review!

                    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

                      The H6 is a difficult headphone and it does need the right source and amp to shine imo. Review with the portable setups will be online next week or so

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      I mean Beyer’s Custom one Pro

      • dalethorn

        I just got the COP a couple days ago. I never realized how much better it sounds that the DT770LE.

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          Not sure it is better, I think there’s less detail. Love the COP

  • netmask254

    Currently I have a HD650 (with Schiit Valhalla + Fostex HP-A3) and want to take a try of Beyer sound. Is T90 overall a significantly better start point comparing with the very classic DT-880? T1 is a bit expensive to me :-)

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I think T90 and T1 are fairly close. The T1 just is that bit better in everything. I would not say the sound sig of the T90 can be compared to the T90 sound, it’s clearer, more detailed, less warm, less smooth, bigger soundstage, etc. Don’t get me wrong, the HD650 is an awesome headphone, but to me the T90 is in a different league

      • netmask254

        Thanks! I think that’s what I want, a different sound with HD650 :-)

        • Trent_D

          You could always throw a Bottlehead Crack amp in there, too.

          • netmask254

            I know it’s a very hot amp in headfonia, but it looks like a big challenge to me to assemble it, though my major is electronic :-) Just use Valhalla temporarily (which doesn’t sound like tube amp).

            • Trent_D

              The first thing I wrote for Headfonia contained a comparison between the Crack and the Valhalla with the HD650. It wasn’t a contest. L also said the Crack was insanely fun with the T90

              • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

                Even with the stock tubes!

  • chuck77

    Excellent review! I bought the T90s and really enjoy the 3D imaging and wide soundstage with my AMB M^3 amp. The detail retrieval is very very good too. However, I keep wondering if it’s worth it to return the T90 and upgrade to the T1. I am not sure if it’s just me, or if the T90 sounds slightly bright because of the excellent treble extension. Does the T1 have a totally different sound than the T90? Is it worth buying the T1 instead? :)

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Chuck,
      I haven’t listened to the T90 but the T1 is a big upgrade from the T70 and even the T5p in terms of technicalities.
      Some do prefer the T5p over the T1 as the T5p has a warmer and smoother sound.

      • chuck77

        I returned the T90 yesterday because I wasn’t completely happy with the sound with my current equipment. I had a chance to demo a pair of T5p’s today. Although they certainly did not sound 2x better than the T90, they did have a completely different sound that is warmer, smoother, and better mids. On the other hand, the soundstage of the T5p did not sound much different than the T90. Technically speaking, I would even rate the T90 to be slightly better.I couldn’t justify the cost of the T5p being 2x as much. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I found a great deal on the Koss ESP-950 tonight and bought a set. Hoping it’s still good by current standards, especially when compared to those Tesla headphones!

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Chuck,
          The ESP-950 is extremely special. Not quite the technicalities of a modern dynamic driver like the T5p, but very smooth and linear, extremely fast transients. If you can still get a brand new set please let me know where as I’d like one as well.

          • chuck77

            I bought mine from Amazon Canada last night for $730 + tax. Great price I think. I picked up the second last one, but this morning the last one sold too! Anyway, the second lowest price is at World Wide Stereo, but for about $100 more.

        • dalethorn

          I’d suggest investing in a repair kit for Koss Electrostatics (heh). I’ve been through a few of those before switching to Stax.

          • chuck77

            Good tip. What tends to break on these? Are the repairs easy to make?

            • dalethorn

              For me it was the wiring – several times. I just replaced what I could reach and that always did the trick.

              • chuck77

                My ESP-950 are already squealing from the right channel. AH!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I can’t say I ever find the T90 to be bright with any of the amps I use it with. I do recommend a good tube amp with warm sounding tubes, especially for the mids section. And those would work as well in softening the treble. You’ll have to find a tube with a good mix of soundstage and timbre. The 336 is a nice amp budget tube amp, but maybe not up to it either. The T1 do is almost double the price of the T90 lately

      • Dave Ulrich

        Just make sure you don’t use the stock Chinese tubes that come with the 336. They are quite bright. The combo of bright tubes and a warm, laid back amp is uncomfortable to my ears.

  • Dave Ulrich

    Oh man, Amazon is selling these for $499…

    • Dave Ulrich

      Must have just been a fluke. It is back up to $650.

      • chuck77

        Razordog has them for about the same. There’s a coupon code you can use for that!

      • jeyaganesh rajamanickam

        They were selling it for $470 and $430 few days back. I check its price often daily. I havent decided what to buy – either T90 or dt990 or 2.1 speakers for my laptop.
        They are changing its price after one batch of stock sold out. Today it costs $599. I think, ‘Razordog audio’ has that rebate for last two months.

        • dalethorn

          Buydig has it for 457$ USD and they say they’re an authorized dealer.

  • Ryan

    How do these compare to the TH600s?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      The Beyer is clearer, brighter, cleaner, but thinner in the mids.

      • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

        correct, and has less bass body (but the quality is better)

  • Bryan Wallin

    Excellent review! Makes me want to pick up a pair ASAP. I’m coming from the HD558s and am thinking about upgrading to the next level. Would the T90 be a good match for an upgrade? I’m looking for an upgrade mostly in terms of the soundstage, clarity (treble presence), and a cleaner sound than the 558s. I do actually quite enjoy the bass on the 558s, but I feel it is a bit muddy sometimes (e.g. quantity > quality). How is the bass on the T90′s (paired with the Bottlehead Crack) compared to, say, the 650s, 558s, or perhaps the DT880s? I’m trying to get a feel for what these guys sound like based on what headphones I “know”. :)

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      thanks. Didn’t we reply to this already?

      • Bryan Wallin

        Yeah, sorry, I did ask a very similar question on the main Q & A thread. I forgot to add some of the clarification to the question that I wanted to add, and I also thought the question would be better placed under the actual review :)

        I’m excited to try these when I get the money! How would you say they compare with the DT880s in terms of the treble to bass ratio? Also, do you find them to be sibilant or to have a frequency spike in the 6-10kHz region? I’ve been reading that a lot of people have trouble with this on Head-Fi… I imagine the Crack helps here tho?

  • Peter

    Good review but I went for HD800
    http://youtu.be/ycKux471T7U

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Yay , an unboxing video!
      Thanks. Enjoy the headphone Peter.

  • Jaro

    Hi L&M, what do you think about pairing T90 with Burson Conductor?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      as long as it’s warm and has good bass, it’s ok!

  • John123John

    Just got the T90 today. Initial impressions: nice wide soundstage, crystal clear sparkly treble (tastefully done) and love that extended bass. Just watched a movie and got chills left and right; excellent.

    Didn’t realize that the pads were microfiber instead of the typical velour. That’s what I get for not reading the build and design section (sorry L!). I did find the DT 880s to be more comfortable (softer pads) but I think comfort will increase as the pads break in.

    Really wish I had an otl tube amp to power this though :( This is as far as i’ve gotten into “summit-fi”~

    d(^__^)b

    • John123John

      One major gripe: its too hot… my ears are burning after a few hours. :/

      • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

        Really? Haven’t noticed tbh, but then again, it’s always freezing here ;D

        • John123John

          Its decently cold here as well, well probably not as cold as where you are. Here its about 40 F but I actually have a tendency to get hot easyily. It’s interesting my ears and head getting hot is more of a problem on the T90 than on the closed back Mad Dog.

          Sigh, thought my journey would atleast pause here but theres always something~
          (really thinking about going back to the HD6X0 series….) The only problem I had what that series are the chips and crack, which Ive actually never had a problem with but the fear….

          All paths lead back to the HD650~

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      What are you powering it with, John?
      the cable is either too short or too long, as I advised Beyer, they should have removable cable on all their headphones

      • John123John

        O2 (sorry guys). I am using a tube preamp so atleast there is a tube somewhere in the chain but I dont have a problem with the sound, even after long hours of music (or whatever). Lol I think 10 feet is a long enough cable but yes, all cables should be detachable these days :(
        Makes upgrading the cable alot easier~

  • Eric Kahklen

    These sound like the next pair of headphones I’d enjoy. I currently only have a FIO E17 as my amp. Would adding the FIO E09 be enough? I am not sure I can swing another large purchase for a new amp. My current headphones are the COPs so these would be my at home headphones.

    Thanks!

    • Dave Ulrich

      The Crack can be had for under 300, of course you would have to build it.

      • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

        But an awesome match with the T90!

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Crack seems awesome with a lot of dynamic drivers.

          • John123John

            yea.. really regret selling it right now. :/
            missed a group buy a while back because of insufficient funds. Thinking about the Little Dot 4 at the moment. Any thoughts on that manufacturer?

            • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

              save up for the Crack ;)

            • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

              Back then when the LD4 was new, people who bought them reported crappy parts but when upgraded makes an awesome amp.
              It’s very smooth and spacious but too soft and lacking dynamics for me.

      • Eric Kahklen

        At this point my E17 would have to suffice until I can save up for another amp. Although the idea of building an amp sounds fun, I’d rather buy one already assembled by someone with better soldering skills than myself :) If I need to have a better amp, I may have to look at a more affordable pair of headphones then.

        • Eric Kahklen

          How about the Schiit Vali? I may be able to swing that amp. I am just not sure how to get the input from my laptop though.

          • Dave Ulrich

            The e17 is both a dac and an amp. You should be able to output the signal from the e17 to another amp, but lets talk about the Vali. You don’t want it and I am going to tell you why. First, I worry about the bass impact. I tried it with the Sennheiser HD650, which is known for its bass slam, and it simply wasn’t there. Being that both the HD650 and the T90 are high impedance headphones, I am concerned. However, as I haven’t heard the Vali/T90 pairing, that is just conjecture on my part. The reason you don’t want the Vali is that the sound image has no depth to it. L mentions how nice the 3 dimensional sound is from the T90, and you will not get that with the Vali. I agree with Mike in that your best bet at this price level is to get the Fiio e9k. You will be able to dock your E17 with the e9k. That means you will use the e17 as your dac while the e9k handles the amping duties. You should check out the e9k review here http://www.headfonia.com/e7e9-reloaded-andes-and-qogir/

            • Eric Kahklen

              Thanks! Looks like I can grab that for just over $100. I recall there were different versions out there so i’ll have to make sure I select the correct one.

              • Dave Ulrich

                Yes, not the e9, but the e9k. Remember that k.

          • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

            Never tried.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I’m afraid not. I would recommend good tubes op a good ss warm sounding amp

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      The E17 should suffice, the E09 would make it better.

  • Vyom

    Have you guys tried listening to these through the Aune T1? Looking to upgrade into my first really hi-fi set of phones and was wondering if my aune would be able to handle them/tone down their brightness. Thanks!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Never listened to the Aune T1, sorry

  • Igor Sheykin

    Hi! Thanks for a good review! Currently I have Denon D600, and previously had Philips X1, SoundMAGIC HP100, and Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (All of them were choosed after reading your reviews). As for the DAC/Amp I use Audinst HUD mx2 (also thanks to you).
    So the questions are:
    - would Audinst be enough for these phones?
    - how t90 compared to the phones I used?
    - If to play in the same price-ligue how are they compared to Hifiman HE400/500?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Thank you Igor.

      T90 is very open sounding and spacious. Big sound stage, a lot of detail. Slioghtly V shaped. I recommend a warmer sounding amp with good bass. You could compare it to the HE500, not the HE400

      • Igor Sheykin

        Than which amp you could recommend? Something like Fiio, Audio GD?
        And speaking about open and spacious sound, what about X1 .vs. T90 ?

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          T90 is more audiophile by far. more airy, more sound stage, more detail. lighter bass, thinner mids.

          Violectric amps are nice with the T90

          • Igor Sheykin

            Year, the soundstage is definitely superb! Everything as you told.
            But now with Audisnt mx2 I do not have enough bass.
            1 reason — amp is not enough
            2 reason — amp is too neutral for t90
            Don’t know which is correct one.

            Violectric are definitely good, but pricey.
            Could you recommend good amp for t90 for ~$200?
            May be Schiit Asgard 2 ??

  • Berkhan Oğulcan Akçay

    Hey Mike. Good review.

    A friend of mine bought this headphone. But he can’t decide which dac/amp combo to get. I looked at some amps like JDS O2, Audinst mx-1, Fiio E17 and Aune T1. I heard that tube amps do good with T90 to reduce brightness of it. But I’m not sure. Which dac/amp combo do the best with T90? Budget around 350 $.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Thank you, but I wrote it not mike ;-)
      I really recommend tubes or a warm sounding SS. the Crack is awesome with the T90. That would be a nice start

      • Berkhan Oğulcan Akçay

        Oops. Sorry :) My mistake.

        So Crack or Aune T1?

        • Berkhan Oğulcan Akçay

          Aah sorry you never auditioned Aune T1 OK. I didn’t see it. Thanks for the reply.

  • Dave

    This headphone sounds awesome with the Schiit Valhalla.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      I’m surprised, will try it one day