If you’re a music-lover or budding musician, a set of tough-as-nails headphones is an absolute must. You’re going to be taking your sidekick of choice on all sorts of adventures—not all of them electronics-friendly. Going to college, on tour, or even just hanging out in a studio is murder on plastic over the long haul. That’s why you need to take a look at durable headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio.
Editor’s note: this review was updated on July 26, 2021, to reflect current SoundGuys test data.
Who should buy the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80 Ohm?
Because of their build and sound quality, these headphones are best suited to people who need either (or both) of these two things:
- Music creators with a need for a durable, high-quality set of tracking headphones in the recording booth. Something you can trust clients or bandmates not to break accidentally.
- Casual listeners at the computer who need a super-comfortable set of closed-back headphones, or users with glasses.
What’s it like to use the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80 Ohm?
Cracking open the box will reveal the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio headphones, a screw-on 1/4″ adapter, a carrying pouch, and assorted documentation. As you may have already guessed by the title of this review, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80Ω headphones have a resistance of 80Ω. While that doesn’t mean that an amp is absolutely necessary, you may find that your smartphone isn’t always the greatest source for it to use. You may need an amp or sufficiently powerful unit to make the most of these headphones.
As far as headphones go, Beyerdynamic’s design language has been ultra-clear for decades now: they want these things to last. To that end, the DT 770 Studio uses a lot of metal in its band and ear cup forks, along with a thick layer of durable hard plastic on the ear cups. The cable is protected by a lot of rubber and plastic, which is perfect for this type of headphone.
You may notice right away that these headphones use a velour padding, which is exactly the sort of thing that those with glasses prefer to leatherette earpads because it doesn’t squeak or catch when you move your head. It also has the added benefit of not trapping in heat as badly as the aforementioned alternative does. If you’re a sweaty person, you may decide you need to air it out from time to time—but the pads are easily removable for cleaning.
If you’re worried about comfort, there’s no need; these can be used for hours without anything feeling off. If you’re in the middle of laying down some tracks, you’re going to be taking your headphones on and off a bunch, and using them for a really intense stretch of time. The last thing you want is your headphones’ clamping force to take you out of a vocal track or beat.
How’s the connectivity?
Like the vast majority of wired headphones, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio uses a straight 3.5mm TRS jack connector. As I mentioned before, there is also threading for a 1/4″ adapter. If you’re not going to be using these at home, you’re going to want to use some zip-ties or something to rein in that cable, because it’s just under ten feet long. Not ideal for smartphone use. While I would have preferred a removable cable, the DT 770 Studio doesn’t use one, so if the cord snags with too much force, it could break.
I’ve soldered Beyerdynamic cans back together for friends before, but it’s not something most people are willing to do. In that light, these are built more for the home or studio more than they are for a commute. Still, the relative fragility of the cord is something to pay attention to.
How is the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80 Ohm’s sound quality?
I’ve heard a really wide range of people putting forth opinions on this set of headphones, and the truth of the matter is that so many divergent articles can’t all be right. That’s because they aren’t. But I can help you out a little more than your average Amazon review can.
First things first, these are not “muddy” headphones, or whatever the hell words people like to use when describing sound they don’t like. You have to power them correctly. If you know that your computer or phone can handle it (say, by using an LG V30 or proper interface), these headphones can handle pretty much anything you throw at them, but you need to know that they have a very strong emphasis in the highest notes which can get a little grating after a while. This simply means that the emphasis in anything that goes through them tends to favor the highest notes over all else.
So while Barry White will sound fantastic, you may notice some higher-pitched male vocals may sound a little more up front than they might normally.
Mids can take a bit of a backseat to the highs (very obvious in instrument-heavy Meat Loaf songs), but a properly-mixed track will preserve vocals and most instrument sounds quite nicely. However, you may notice that songs you mix with these end up with an under-emphasis on higher-pitched notes. Leave these in the recording booth or at your computer. While they’re very decent isolators, you’ll get your best results with these indoors.
Highs aren’t bad per se, but they definitely bear that Beyerdynamic signature spike in emphasis. You may find that cymbals and other stringed instruments can sometimes leave you with a somewhat shrill ringing, but it’s really not all that common. If a track is properly mixed, you won’t notice this as much, outside of the fact that you can actually hear the cymbal shimmer. While we found a drop in emphasis right where mids transition to highs with our old test rig, that doesn’t seem to be the case once we’ve measured with an anatomically-correct test head. It’s a feature of many German-made headphones in order to avoid natural resonances of the human ear, and that seems to have played out here. It’s always cool to see things play out like this, and kudos to Beyerdynamic for correctly identifying how to handle this before the review industry caught up.
How should you equalize these headphones?
You should definitely consider toning down the huge peak in the highs, but in general these headphones do pretty well as-is.
Really, the biggest change you should make is to tone down 6kHz to 8kHz by 5dB, and 10-18kHz by 10dB. Doing that will squash the overemphasis in the highs, giving you a more usable result. Don’t worry so much about the emphasis suggested by the chart at 20hz, you’re not going to hear a difference if you don’t boost that, just increased noise if you use an analog equalizer. Of course, as it always is with these things: This is merely a suggestion and a starting point, not the ultimate settings you should set-and-forget. Your individual anatomy will alter what’s “best” for you, and this will only get you about 90% of the way there.
How well do the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80 Ohm block out noise?
While it won’t knock your socks off, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio blocks outside noise from reaching your ear fairly well, though it’s mostly sound that’s higher-pitched than middle-C.
If you’re going to be keeping these cans in the studio, they should be more than adequate for tracking or monitoring. However, they should do fairly well out on the street if you elect to take them outside.
Should you buy the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80 Ohm?
If you’re looking to build out a recording studio or just have a comfortable-as-hell set of computer cans, definitely take a look at the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio 80 Ohm. Seriously—they’re purpose-built for this situation, and you’ll be very happy you took the plunge. However, if you’re looking for commuting headphones: you’ll probably be better served by wireless or noise-cancelling headphones.