beyerdynamic DT 880
- Incredible highs, Wonderful tight bass, Wide Soundstage, Comfortable
- May be too neutral for some
On par or better than the top of the line Sennheisers, but at a lower price, the BeyerDynamic DT880s are one of the best amplified headphones you can buy, short of spending $1000 or more.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The DT880s are BeyerDynamic's flagship headphones. Following on from their incredibly successful DT531, the later Beyers such as the DT770, DT880 and DT990 have captured many people's hearts with their unique sounds.
The DT880s are widely regarded as one of the most neutral headphones in the world. Most brands will add their own distinct colouration to the sound; Sennheisers tend to produce a bassy, dark aural signature, whilst Grados are quick, bright and fun. These headphones on the other hand are as close to the original sound of the recording as can be.
Many people will take this to mean that they are automatically the best, which is not the case at all. For some, the coloured sound of other models may simply sound better; many people find the Sennheiser sound incredible for classical music for example. For our money however, there is nothing quite like putting on a pair of DT880s and letting the music itself overwhelm us, as opposed to the headphone.
The problem this presents is that if you listen to poor recordings, the sheer accuracy of these headphones will expose all the flaws. Low bitrate MP3s will sound grainy and thin. To get the most out of the DT880s you need to be listening to CD quality audio, but when you shell out $400 to $500 on headphones that should really be a given.
You also need a headphone amplifier to adequately drive this model. The DT880s are a power hungry beast, and will sound lifeless without proper amplification.
Hook it up to the right components however and you will be greeted by a mind boggling symphony of sound. The luscious highs are smooth and ever so slightly emphasised (perhaps the only colouration the DT880s have) which gives piano based music a wonderful lively sound. Albums like Rocking The Suburbs by Ben Folds have never sounded so good to us.
The mid range is equally well presented, lending male and female vocals a sweetness that is nothing short of exquisite. Detail and clarity is incredible, allowing you to hear elements of your songs you never thought existed (you'd be surprised how often there are subtle sounds such as bells or children laughing in a lot of rock songs).
The most debated element of the DT880s is their bass. Some feel it is lacking, and compared to models like the Sennheiser HD600 it is missing a little, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. The DT880s have quick, tight bass that has great impact. It may not have the booming sound some people like for their rap and rock music, but we found it to be both powerful and accurate at the same time. Bass-heads may be a little disappointed but the rest of you will find the bass on this model to be of exceptionally high quality.
Now whilst we hate to gush over any product, sometimes a product earns such praise. The DT880s have a phenomenal sound stage to complement their phenomenal sound. No other model in this price range offers the incredible immersion and three dimensional projection that the Beyers present. Music seems to hit you from every direction at once and if you close your eyes, you can visualise yourself watching the song live. This also has implication for gaming, offering brilliant positional audio for first person shooters.
Overall we found the DT880s sound to be wonderful for all kinds of music. Piano based tunes were our favourites, but acoustic guitar and even rock music went down extremely well thanks to the tight, quick bass.
As good as any pair of headphones is, if they are horrible to wear then they won't make a good purchase. When you pay for a pair of top quality headphones you want to be able to enjoy long listening sessions in audio heaven, and the DT880s don't disappoint in this regard. They have two full over the ear cups padded with soft velour, and are joined by a leather head strap. The cups are comfortable and balance well on the head although their open design does lead to significant sound leakage, so they may not be the best office headphones in the world assuming you don't want to incur the wrath of your co-workers.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPSenior IT Business AnalystVIC
- TPDigital Project ManagerVIC
- CCData Analyst - SAS - Immediate Start RequiredNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)QLD
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- FTHead of ApplicationsVIC
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst / DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- TPTechnical WriterVIC
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPAnalyst Programmer (Adabas)SA
- TPTechnical Business Analyst - DigitalQLD
- CCBPM DeveloperVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW