Beyerdynamic DT150

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by RiddleyWalker, May 18, 2016.

  1. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    I've been trying out a few different closed back headphones recently - trying to find something that would suffice when I needed some isolation. Man, I'd forgotten what a bummer closed back cans can be. I've been listening to HD 650's exclusively for the last year or so. Just acclimatising to the in your head trapped-sound sensation of closed backs is weird. Trying out some new cans started with the Sennheiser HD 598CS. The weird honky mid-range of those cans made me look elsewhere. I went through a bunch of headphones without much success - I've been down this road before, mind - (I liked the Oppo PM-3 and the Nad HP50 on that previous journey - but they were a bad fit for me comfort-wise.) Then I remembered I had a couple of phones in storage - the Logitech UE6000 and the Beyer DT 150. I dragged 'em out and plugged in to my Vali 2. The Logitech was kinda OK. Just too warm and mushy. The DT 150, though, is pretty amazing. The sound is BIG, there might be some reverb due to pad size - they sound massive - listening to well recorded orchestral music gives a real good sense of scale. Dynamics are nice & there's some punch too. Shit, these things are good - it occurs to me that i've not listened to them since I got the Vali 2 - the last time I heard them was probably through my Rotel receiver - which has a questionable headphone amp to say the least. Through the Schiit they sound pretty awesome. I'm gonna do some more listening, see where the flaws might be - I might try out some Alpha pads, I've got some to hand, see how they get on. More to follow...
     
  2. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    Quick update: The Alpha pads fit quite well and add some to the comfort. The overall sound is little changed - which in this case is a good thing. The lowest bass seems a bit more present and there's a delicacy to the top end that I don't remember with the regular pads.
    I think overall the mid-bass bump is still a bit more than ideal on these cans. The mids, though, sound pretty good and the treble is well proportioned relatively. The treble sounds natural enough but doesn't quite reach HD 650 refinement/smoothness. Overall, It's very coherent sound - it all sounds stitched together nicely. But there's also great separation - listening to chamber music you can really hear the distinct voicing of the instruments. It's perhaps a touch thick sounding and a bit... dull? It's only a slight thing though and as that's the sort of complaint people throw at the 650, that's really not a big mark against it.
    A few of other notes:
    Works surprisingly well straight from my phone.
    DT 100 headband pad is more comfortable than stock.
    It's much more expensive in America than the UK. About twice the price new.
    The Head-fi thread for the DT 150 is pretty unhinged. When I went there last, a year or so ago, there was one guy who replied to every single post with a kind of frothing mad missionary zeal. Man, he loved these cans. Now every other post is some guy talking about adding crystals to all his audio gear...
    Anyway - I like these cans a lot! My reference for closed cans is still the Oppo PM-3 and these don't reach the same audio heights - but they are better in some ways - If you've big ears for starters and if you're prone to dropping or standing on your headphones too. They've some sonic advantages also - the Oppos can sound a bit small in comparison and the 150's generally sound less congested. I think it's part of the overall frustrating character of closed back cans that, in my search for a viable go to, I've come back to a can that I've liked rather than loved for a long time. Still, it's good to hear them again - They're alright.
     
  3. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I too like the DT-150s and gave up my 650s for the increased clarity in the mids and the overall improved dynamics. No they don't have the texture of the 650s but I like the clarity. Using stock pads and they do have seal issues but no matter I don't mind a bit of bass that escapes. These measure similarly to the Sony 7520 cans I had. I liked them a lot even with their weird bass hump and slightly peaky upper mid lower treble. DT-150s seem to do less damage to the upper mids lower treble and have less of a bass peak.

    solderdude of 1217 fame did loads of graphs with various cushions. I am drawn to the response of the Brainwavz pleather hybrid. Anyone try those? At the UK price these cans are an absolute steal.
     
  4. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    Ooooh - I hadn't seen Solderdude's measurements before - The HM5 hybrid pads frequency response and CSDs look real nice.
     
  5. Lasollor

    Lasollor Friend

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    The DT150 is my favorite all around closed headphone. I sold my Alpha Dogs, TX-00, TH-610 and a few others after buying it. They did some things much better but the overall sound and price/performance ratio wasn't good enough to keep them.

    I've tried the Brainwavz pads and they were ok, but I prefer the angled ZMF protein pads as someone else recommended them earlier in this thread. I get better seal with them and even better soundstage. I have the Alpha Pads too, they are more comfortable but also a little bassier, I slightly prefer the ZMF pads. Recently I put surgical tape inside the cups to tame some reflections (getting the idea from the HE1000 tape mod on head-fi) and it worked fine.

    I still think my HD650KM has much better clarity and dynamics though (with my setup anyways) and with some eq ideas from atomicbob's IVS much better sub-bass too. But the dt150 is the best cheap closed alternative I've found so far.
     
  6. dpump

    dpump Rando

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    Are you guys using the stock cable or have any of you changed the cable?
     
  7. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    Stock.
     
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    The DT150 does not have a standard earcup connector, so you'll be stock recycling the stock piece anyways...
     
  9. dpump

    dpump Rando

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    I plan to use the stock connector and replace the stock wiring. I have used a 22-gauge OCC wire from Norne Audio before in a triple twist for a different headphone. Very nice wire but it costs $1.65 per foot. I have ordered some 22-gauge silver plated mil spec Teflon insulated copper wire from eBay that was about $6.50 for 25 feet to try first. Not too much to spend to give it a go. I will end up with about an 8-foot triple twist cable when I'm done.
     
  10. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    I hardwired mine and made it dual entry. Was a noticeable improvement, sounds a bit cleaner and has better L/R balance.
     
  11. auvgeek

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    Resurrecting this old thread -- I've been digging the DT150 for years. Other headphones have come and gone, but the DT150 has stuck around for a while as my closed-back can.

    But I've struggled to find an amp that I love with it. I can't tell if this is because I haven't tried the right amp or because the DT150 just doesn't scale up how I had hoped (and how people on head-fi claimed). The Gustard H10 was okay but maybe a little ... laid back? I sold it when I sold the HE-500 and HE-560 and went HE-6 and speaker amp. A few years later, I bought a used Project Polaris because I wanted to use the DT150 from my Gungnir MB. I don't really use the DT150 for critical listening, mostly just background music while I'm working and the lowest gain setting was too high for my average listening level. The seller didn't include the attenuation module so the lowest gain was 4.5x. I considered trying to buy/build the attenuation module, but, frankly, I didn't really love what I heard from the amp.

    So does anyone have other amp recommendations in the $100-$400 range? Schiit's lineup is pretty stacked, but I'm unsure what would pair best. If it's a case where the DT150 doesn't scale well, maybe I should just get the Magni3+ and call it good?

    Also, and I think this is asking a lot, can anyone compare the DT150 to the ZMF Atticus? Sometimes I find myself seriously considering upgrading to the Atticus. But I paid <$100 for the DT150, which is a pretty staggering value IMHO -- I know they're not in the same league at all but just kind of wondering how much better the Atticus is, how they're similar, etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  12. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    @auvgeek

    A couple of thoughts as I have owned the DT-150s and the Polaris. Try lowering your music player software via its volume control (if active or activate it) by 3db -6db or so. This should not throw away any bits of resolution. And finally check to see if you have the attenuation model engaged on the Polaris by inspecting the jumpers. See manual.

    I purchased a custom attenuation module for the Polaris for about $6 shipped. Email Jeremy for ideas on what might work best after you have tried the above.

    As for other amps, I do not think their will be a life change to the sound with anything under $500, maybe a SW51 would be cool, but with the DT-150s I don't think spending more on an amp is a great investment. And if you are comfortable with the overall sound of the Polaris, no need to change, just to change.

    As for a DT-150 vs Atticus comparison. Uh, not even in the same galaxy. I have only heard the Atticus a few times, but no DT-150 is in a distant galaxy. Then again, Atticus is way more $$.
     
  13. auvgeek

    auvgeek Acquaintance

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    @bixby

    Awesome. Thanks for the reply! I'll reach out to Jeremy and see about the attenuator module. $6 is in my budget, haha. I generally try to avoid lowering the volume in software, but that's what I ended up doing with the Polaris when I used it a lot.

    I agree that spending more on an amp isn't a great investment for the DT150. Right now, I only have a speaker amp (for the HE-6) and the Polaris (which is on perma loan to my dad). I was wondering if I could sell the Polaris, since my pops said he rarely uses it, and get something else. Sounds like the Polaris is decent for the price. At some point, I'd like to compare it to the Schiit amps in that price range, but that likely won't happen for a while. Honestly, I don't love meets to compare a bunch of gear -- I find them far too noisy for critical listening. At least, that was true of the one head-fi meet I attended.

    I know a DT-150 vs Atticus comparison is pretty absurd given their price points, but I was wondering if there's a significant improvement and also how they differ. I know there's a point of diminishing returns, but, at the same time, there's a realness to sound that just isn't there on low end gear. I've heard people say the HD650 still holds it's own against $$$ headphones, so I was wondering if the same was true for the DT150 vs Atticus.

    Anyway, thanks again for a great response that came from direct experience with the stuff I was asking about.
     
  14. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    @auvgeek

    If you want a decent amp, are keeping the DT-150 and want to sell the Polaris, the Magni 3 is a good alternative. I owned one for a while. Although you may run into the same issue where the gain is a bit much and you may find yourself at the 9 o'clock position on the volume dial.

    Can't help you more on the Atticus since I have little time on them. Regards the HD-650, yes it does hold it's own against pricier competition. I owned the 650s twice. I now own the HD-600 and have no desire to spend triple or more on a set of cans. But I only listen to over the ears 1-2 hours per day. Good luck with the journey.
     
  15. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    My next headphone.
     
  16. auvgeek

    auvgeek Acquaintance

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    Well, I'd offer to send 'em to you if you wanted to demo before buying but it seems like shipping from the US would be prohibitive.

    I do love them, which is why I've had them longer than any other headphone.
     
  17. Ryanr1987

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    I recently just bought these, why the hell are these not more popular? what a nice lush listen! The resolution isn't anything to write home about but the tonality of these things is lovely. Running from the Asgard 2 I found them to be a great match. They didn't scale much with better gear I found. The Lyr3 was good on them but the Asgard combo for some nice peak free listening.

    It's funny because I always knew of these phones but they were kind of a secret despite being around so long, those who had them always rated them, I expected to be indifferent about them but I was actually really impressed with just how nice they sounded. I love discovering something like this, cheap, and just damn nice.
     
  18. Denis Binder

    Denis Binder Rando

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    DT150 has clarity, but it is also incredibly colored. The average joe would find the bass response pleasant and enjoyable, but it's far from neutral. People generally don't want flat, and in that regard, DT150's are far from flat.
     
  19. Ryanr1987

    Ryanr1987 Facebook Friend

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    Being "flat" what does that even mean anyway? isn't what you judge a good headphone on. Look at the Atticus, HD650, Fostex varients. They all have their quirks and they're all fantastic headphones. If a headphone can get your toes tapping, feeling closer to the music then it's a good headphone in my book.

    I dont really see the point in your post it just seems pointless. No-one has claimed it to be neutral or the best thing ever but I can say it's one of the biggest shocks in audio and reminded me when I heard the original Denon D2000, that shock of wow this sounds good. When something can surprise you for the price of a cheap night out It's a funny thing especially after being around the LCD-4, Utopia, Abyss etc, no it isn't as good as those headphones but you expect them to be good, I expected these to not do anything for me, and theyre damn good especially for a closed phone which is hard to get that timbre right.
     
  20. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    It’s been a long time since I owned the DT-150. But I remember them being fairly flat with litttle bothersome FR abnormalities or resonance. I remember them being one of the flattest and cleanest headphones on the market at any price.

    but I may not have noticed this supposed bass hump because of their deal breaking flaw. Their God awful tonality. You know how the HD650 has that dull tonality. Well multiply that dull dry tonality times 15 and you get an idea of the tonality of the DT-150. Bleh. I wanted to like them but couldn’t stand this tonality issue.

    if you hear it too, ironically the DT-250 doesn’t have it at all it’s got fantastic tonality one of the best out there, but unlike the rock solid build quality of the 150 the 250 has literally the worst build quality of any headphone I’ve ever touched including piece of shit headphones. Phischer Price plastic with super shitty molding.

    I hate Beyerdynamic. They finally get a headphone to sound good (the DT-250 is the only good sounding Beyer IMO despite a little lower treble hump with resonance) and they fuck up the one thing theyre consistently the best at- build quality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021

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