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Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X
September 24, 2021
Original: $299 USD
April 2022: $279 USD
3m (coiled mini-XLR cable)
1.8m (straight mini-XLR cable)
Fans of Beyerdynamic are a bit like those people who tell you they don’t like the popular band, but rather prefer the band that influenced them. Founded in 1924, the company effectively predates the majority of music recording technology. There is evidence Beyerdynamic produced the first commercially available dynamic headphones—the reason we are all on this website. All of this to say, the newest Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X is by people who know their stuff. It shows.
Editor’s note: this article was updated on April 11, 2023, to add a section on the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X, to add the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Sennheiser HD 600 to the list of Alternatives, add a FAQ on the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X and the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X, and to update formatting.
What’s it like to use Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X?
The first impression you may have with the DT 700 PRO X is the sheer heft of the headset. Weighing in at 350g, the shell of the closed-back ear cups is nicely finished with slightly textured, glass-fiber-reinforced plastic parts, free of sharp edges. For comparison, Apple AirPods Max weighs even more at around 386g, so I guess people cart such things around with them. The padded headband helps support the weight, alongside grey velour ear pads.
Monitoring and recording audio are the bread and butter use cases of the DT 700 PRO X, and it does this extremely well. The velour puts just the right amount of grip around your head so it stays in place. The padding disperses heat over long sessions and effectively isolates you from external noise; you can wear this headset on stage if you need monitoring cans. The large 45mm drivers produce a generous sound stage. Along with a low distortion design and studio-style frequency response, this lets you really pick up details of your recordings and your favorite songs.
Some headphones are meant for commuting on the bus or exercising—this is not that kind of headset. You can’t fold the arms, and the ear cups have minimal play. The velour padding has a little give for different head shapes, but there’s certainly no DJ-style ear cup swivel. Audio is the only focus of the DT 700 PRO X. Beyerdynamic includes a carrying pouch made of a stretchy Neoprene-adjacent fabric. Please use it. I have no idea how, in the confines of my apartment—mostly at my desk—a sharp chunk of metal nicked off the yoke, leaving an edge rough enough to cut skin.
Unlike some of Beyerdynamic’s other offerings, the DT 700 PRO X can operate just fine without a headphone amp. You could commute with it assuming your device has a headphone jack, but most of us want something more lightweight and portable. Producers, on the other hand, want comfort and accuracy. Recording musicians want isolation, no sound leakage, and volume on tap. To that end, the DT 700 PRO X fits the bill.
Was the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO X built with sustainability in mind?
Beyerdynamic claims you can replace or repair many of these headphones’ components, in an effort to reduce waste. Increasingly, manufacturers of cabled headphones have stepped up with detachable cables. It’s a nice change in the right direction, even if most headphones of this caliber allow you to change padding and cables. This kind of built-in sustainability is the sort we need more of: intelligent designs that commit to minimizing waste during manufacturing.
Does the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X have good isolation?
Good old-fashioned passive isolation supplies the DT 700 PRO X with strong results. No, it won’t block out the low rumbles of an airplane, but it will do a great job of suitably muting incidental noises and a good amount of chatter.
If you plan to hit a crash cymbal, you can expect anywhere from a 30-50dB reduction in noise, depending on the pitch of the cymbal. It won’t do much at all to hush your bassist’s volume, however, but that’s pretty normal with passive isolation. This kind of performance will help save your hearing in a live or recorded music context. Silencing the environment additionally means you don’t have to crank the output volume either.
How does the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X sound?
The DT 700 PRO X (in cyan) is a pretty neutral-sounding headset when measured against our house ideal curve (in pink) for studio headphones. Particularly in the highs, the DT 700 PRO X mirrors our ideal just at a reduced volume. Compared to other frequencies, the treble notes sound quieter than you might expect but not dramatically so. Those conditioned by consumer-oriented headphones might need a little time to adapt; studio headphones are not for every application. As with any headset used for studios, you get used to the quirks.
While a studio headset is intended to reveal audio truths, whatever you mix or listen to is not going to sound the same on a consumer headset. Even though the DT 700 PRO X does its job excellently, some songs I love are so poorly mixed for a neutral frequency response that I can’t enjoy them on this headset.
Lows, mids, and highs
Throwing on the song Godstar by Psychic TV, the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X rewards you with its excellent reproduction and generous (for closed-back headphones) sound stage. The song takes advantage of the interplay of panned instruments and vocals, so it’s a pleasure to hear each element at the appropriate volume when sections switch each between the left and right channels.
The dip at the 250Hz range sits kind of at the cusp of lower mids and upper bass. You can still hear the fundamentals. Quietly mixed elements like piano, hard-right panned handclaps, and subtle echo effects on Genesis P-Orridge’s vocals come through well.
Meanwhile, the walking bass line and kick drum sit pretty evenly, not exaggerated or hidden beneath other instruments. It does not exactly have boosted bass. The only element that could use a slight bump might be where the DT 700 PRO X is a bit quiet in the highs. Some of the treble parts like hi-hats and crash cymbals are hard to hear. These elements are still audible, however, as are all parts of the track.
An example of what the DT 700 PRO X does well is reproducing panning and production artifacts that can go otherwise unnoticed. On Ghosts of American Astronauts by Mekons during the chorus at 1:50 (and again at 2:56) the wide panned track suddenly universally narrows the sound stage and gets filtered with a phaser-like effect. Having first listened to this track on a specifically bad set of headphones before, I did not notice this dynamic effect. The DT 700 PRO X makes old songs new to your ears.
While Beyerdynamic may advertise a 5-40,000Hz frequency response, most people can’t even hear much above 15,000Hz, let alone 40,000Hz. Commendable, however, is the low distortion on the DT 700 PRO X. Additionally, this range can allow very close listeners to catch artifacts in lossless recordings, so if that’s your thing, the DT 700 PRO X can do it.
Should you buy Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X?
The DT 700 PRO X has a lot of competition, and for less money. If you just want a workhorse set of studio headphones, cheaper options will do the job. With that in mind, Beyerdynamic has elevated the experience with thoughtful improvements like chunky cables. The polished housings, comfortable fit, and attractive design count as legitimate selling points. For those who care about that sort of thing, at around $300 Beyerdynamic makes a German manufactured headset—nice.
You can’t help but look at the DT 700 PRO X and see it as more than just a tool. It’s an object of elevated utility. Sure, you can cook on a $15 frying pan and the meal won’t be that different from one cooked on cast iron. However, if you’re an enthusiast, the experience might feel more rewarding if you prize your tools. So much of the enjoyment reaped from headphones happens when it works as advertised, but also when it makes you feel joy.
If you use studio headphones for audio production, having a set that makes you smile, fits well, and sounds good makes the process better. Meanwhile, audiophiles can benefit from the pretty neutral frequency response and low distortion of the DT 700 PRO X. It reliably reproduces what audio you feed it. Yes, it looks good with your other snazzy gear too.
Is the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X better than the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X?
Released at the same time as the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X is the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X. The DT 900 PRO X has open backs, as the defining difference between it and the DT 700 PRO X. For folks who aren’t recording in the room with mics, the open backs are great, but perhaps more limited in utility to quiet rooms than the closed backs of the DT 700 PRO X.
The DT 900 PRO X uses the same kind of drivers as the DT 700 PRO X, and the same sensitivity and impedance. Both headphones weigh similarly, with the DT 900 PRO X coming in at 345g. Mainly, the draw of the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X is its great studio style frequency response, which is flat from about 30Hz up through 1500Hz. Some of the best studio headphones roll off bass volume earlier than ideal, and if you want to mix with accuracy the DT 900 PRO X is that. Not far off in sound, the DT 700 PRO X, has that volume drop in the high bass and low mids, but a more subdued treble response as well.
Both are excellent choices, and the DT 700 PRO X is a little more flexible, as you can use it to track live instruments without leakage. Meanwhile the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X is also well suited for creatives and audiophiles in a quiet space.
Neither the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X or Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X is better than the other exactly, however, one might suit your needs better than the other. The DT 700 PRO X has more flexible use cases by virtue of its closed back design. Also, it isolates better than the DT 900 PRO X.
Any situations in which you don’t want sound leakage or the external environment’s sounds to reach your ears, the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X is the better pick. Basically, if you record guitars or drums in the room, the DT 700 PRO X is far better, and if you listen to music in a room with others, the DT 700 PRO X won’t make other people hear your music too.
How does the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X compare to the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO?
The older Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO comes in a few varieties for you to choose from: 32Ω, 80Ω, and 250Ω depending on where and how you intend to use the headset. With the Beyerdynamic 700 PRO X, you only get a single impedance option of 48Ω, which is pretty versatile and, again, great for the nomadic audio engineer. While both headsets use a mix of plastic and metal parts, Beyerdynamic refines the look of its latest headphones and brings it into the 2020s. Neither headset is particularly travel-friendly, though the older 770 PRO is lighter at 270g.
The Beyerdynamic 700 PRO X is more sustainable than the DT 770 PRO, as the newer model has a detachable cable system and doesn’t require any tools to replace the STELLAR.45 dynamic drivers, which is pretty unheard of. Listeners with little to no hands-on fix-it experience can replace the drivers should they give out after years of hard use.
As far as sound quality is concerned, the Beyerdynamic 700 PRO X has a better frequency response for studio applications as its bass and treble reproduction is more accurate than that of the DT 770 PRO. In fact, Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO’s upper treble reproduction is more boosted than the Bose QuietComfort 45, which has caught quite a bit of flack for its loud treble.
For those who want something even more portable, and are willing to sacrifice a bit more when it comes to sound quality, check out the Beyerdynamic DT 240 Studio. The 240 Studio is about as compact as on-ear headphones but has a spacious ear cup design that sits like over-ears (for those with average-sized ears).
What should you get instead of the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X?
The penny-pinching studio engineer prioritizing utility above all else should try the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro for $87 at Amazon. It may not have some of the fancier extras, but if you want to know how the track you lay down sounds, it’ll show you. Like the DT 700 PRO X, it has a neutral-leaning frequency response and closed-back ear cups, so you can minimize sound leakage in the recording booth.
You may want to check out some of the classics, in which case, many folks swear by the Audio-Technica ATH-M series. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has a less “neutral” frequency response, although it roughly follows a similar curve as the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X. It’s much more utilitarian in that the build is mostly plastic and less cozy, versus the metal housing of the DT 700 PRO X, but it’s also lighter and cheaper ($169 at Amazon).
Still kind of plastic, but well made, you can try the open back and 200g Sennheiser x Drop HD 6XX. It’s more than suitable for mixing audio and for at-home audiophile use. It’s well priced for $199 at Drop. Don’t take it on the bus though, because everyone will hear your music. It also has almost no isolation. In the spirit of making things repairable, the Sennheiser HD 600 costs more ($299 at Amazon) but sports better build quality and it’s easier to update parts than the Drop version. It rolls off bass volume below 100Hz.
If you want to take your audio to go and listen on something more portable, but still wired, the Sennheiser IE 300 ($281 at Amazon) has a pretty similar frequency response and by virtue of fitting into your ears, it’s pocketable.
Is there a good wireless alternative to the DT 700 PRO X?
If you like the idea of the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X, but you want a little more flexibility, for example, foldability, Bluetooth, and wired connectivity, get the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2. It goes for $198 at Amazon and both headsets have very similar frequency responses. The ATH-M50xBT2 is more plasticky than the DT 700 PRO X, but it weighs less and clamps tighter.
Frequently asked questions about the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X
Well, these are two very different sets of headphones. Conceivably, you can use the AKG K371 ($176 at Amazon) for DJ gigs since the headphones rotate upward to reveal the ears, something you can’t do with the DT 700 PRO X. Another difference is the build quality and price: the DT 700 PRO X is a bit sturdier than the K371 and costs $100 USD more.
The sound profiles are fairly different from one another too. With the AKG K371, you get a more bass-heavy response which, again, is good for DJ-ing and general-purpose listening. You can’t go wrong with either and both headsets respond well to equalizing, but the DT 700 PRO X is more of a workhorse than the K371 and will take a bit of roughing around.