When I first donned Beyerdynamic’s new studio reference DT 1770 Pro headphone it was the comfort that surprised me. For once ear pad pressure against my noggin was commendably low. As high-end headphones go, the DT 1770 Pro is right up there with the easiest to wear for extended periods of time. The sound was definitely up to Beyerdynamic’s high standards.
Design wise, I like the DT 1770 Pro’s fresh look, it’s a handsome headphone. It features the latest advancements in Beyerdynamic drivers, which are now called “Tesla 2.0”; and the 45mm driver is ahigh impedance, 250 ohm design, intended for home, not portable use. That said, good quality portables like my FiiO X5 Gen 2 sounded great with the DT 1770 Pro. It’s a closed-back, over-the-ear design, and it did a good job blocking external noise. It comes with two 10 foot (3 meter) cables, one straight, one coiled; the cables plug into the left ear cup via a locking mini XLR connector. You get two sets of ear cushions, velour and artificial leather, and a large carry case. The headphone weighs 13.7 ounces (388 grams) but feels lighter than that. The US retail price is $599, £399 in the UK and AU$886 in Australia. The DT 1770 Pro also comes with a two-year warranty.
Listening to Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto’s deeply atmospheric “The Revenant” soundtrack was a real thrill. Low bass tremors, swooshing synths and careening strings were all bathed in deep reverberation that seemed to come from all around my head: the DT 1770 Pro could do no wrong.
Swapping between the DT 1770 Pro and my high-impedance (600 ohm) Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro headphones, the first thing I noticed was the difference in tonal balance. While the DT 880 Pro’s sound is leaner and cooler, the DT 1770 Pro is fuller and warmer. There’s an undeniable solidity to the sound of the DT 1770 Pro, and dynamics punch harder. Listening to The Antenna Repairmen’s ceramic percussion CD, “Ghatam,” there’s a tactile “feel” of hands and sticks hitting, striking, slapping and rubbing ceramic pots as well as discs with the DT 1770 Pro, and I get less of the texture with the DT 880 Pros. That’s another way of saying the DT 1770 Pro is a higher resolution headphone than the DT 880 Pro, but to be fair the DT 880 Pro sells for around half the price of the DT 1770 Pro.
Next up, I compared the DT 1770 Pro with my Audeze EL-8 open-back headphones. The closed-back DT 1770 Pros didn’t sound appreciably less spacious than the EL-8s, and the DT 1770 Pros did a better job defining the sound of Willie Dixon’s string bass on Muddy Waters “Folk Singer” album, which has long been one of my go-to references. The acoustic guitars and Waters’ vocals were clearer on the EL-8, but the DT 1770 Pro’s sound had more body and physical presence. As a result, I felt it did a better job putting me in the room with the musicians.
The DT 1770 Pro looks, feels and sounds like a strong contender in its price class.