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Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro

Confusingly, Beyerdynamic's DT770 headphones come in four different variants, with one - the straight DT770 - aimed directly at consumers, two - the DT770 Pro 80Ω and the DT770 Pro 250Ω - crossing over into studio use and one more - the DT770M - aimed primarily at drummers. Today we're looking at the 80Ω pro, which has the benefit that, though all other specifications are identical, it's slightly easier to drive than the standard DT770, and it also retails at a slightly lower price.

Unlike the other headphones on test the DT770 Pros have a closed back design, As the large supra-aural cans seal your ears off from the outside world, this makes them more practical as a set of ‘phones for listening with in public. Or in any situation where you want to avoid irritating others with your music; or them irritating you with idle prattle. They won't shut out all external noise as well as a good pair of noise-reducing in-ear efforts, but they certainly come close.

The styling is black, straight and business-like, bar the light-grey pads and an odd crocodile-skin texture on the sides of the earcups, but thanks to generous velvet padding and a traditional but very functional adjustable headband, comfort levels are really very good. We can also say the same about build quality.

The plastics and the whole construction leave the DT770 Pros feeling like they're built for hard work and tantrums in the studio or on the stage, and good, thick, well-reinforced cabling helps push the point home. The cable ends in a 3.5mm jack with a screw-on 1/4in adaptor, so while the DT770 Pros were built for musicians, they're equally at home plugged in to an MP3 player. That said, they take a fair bit of power to drive. You won't be pushing your player's volume settings to the max as you would have to with the AKG K601s, but you'll certainly be pumping it up to the two-thirds mark or more.

If you know anything about headphones, you'll know that a closed back design usually means a lot of bass, and on this count the DT770 Pros don't disappoint, amplified or not. If you want to listen to dance music, bass-heavy electronica or anything with a big beat and a fat bottom line, then these 'phones should sit high on your shortlist.

The sound from Justice's DVNO was absolutely thumping - and I mean that in a good way. The low-end is loud, rich and responsive, and there's also a real snap to the tone that suits Justin Timberlake's brand of pop R&B just as well. Surprisingly, this doesn't come at the expense of detail at the high-end or in the mid-range; there's still enough definition to carry Talk Talk's Desire, and a nice, warm but clean tone with Miles Davis's All Blues.

What's more, the DT770 Pros work brilliantly with heavy rock music, putting on a storming performance in Mastodon's Divinations and bringing the colossal riffs, tumbling drum fills and huge, chugging bass lines to life. Where you do lose out is that the sound isn't as spacious or quite as natural as you'll get from the best open-back ‘phones, and with classical music, folk, classic rock, country or jazz you grow to miss the more expansive soundstage you get from the Sennheiser, Audio-Technica or AKG headphones.

I'd also have to say that the bass can sometimes dominate tracks to their disadvantage. In the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss track, Through the Morning, Through the Night, it almost swamps the pedal steel guitar lines and vocals. That said, this is a great pair of 'phones if your own music collections plays to the DT770 Pro's strengths, and they make a reasonably practical pair for use inside and outside the home (particularly if partnered with a budget headphone amp like the FiiiO E5). There's an awful lot to like.

Verdict
The best headphones if you like bass and beats, and a decent set for fans of rock, jazz and R&B. Worth trying.

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