Published on November 29th, 2016 | by Greg0
Music To Our Ears: Beyerdynamic iDX 200 iEs & DT1990 Pros
Whether you’re looking for on-ear or in-ear headphones, there is a company that continues to provide some of the best on the market, across a wide range of price points. Originally founded in 1924, they still manufacture much of their lineup in Germany, and make everything from wired and wireless professional microphones to gaming headsets. beyerdynamic prefers the lower case version of their brand, and today we’re checking out two of their latest models.
We’ll start with the iDX 200 iEs, an in-ear set that is their premium version but still manages to be quite affordable. We checked out their predecessor, the DX 160s, a couple of years ago and many of the same qualities we liked then remain- but the materials and build have definitely improved. The overall bullet shape is the same, but the new brushed metal is a nice upgrade from the black body- we liked the titanium alloy that beyerdynamic claims is more resistant and solid than aluminum.
We tested both of today’s sets with their A 200 p headphone DAC and amplifier, and primarily using iOS and Android. One detail we loved were the cables, tangle-free like the previous edition, and still with a detachable extension- but the ‘i’ in the name indicates the inclusion of in-line controls and a microphone for use with mobile devices. And they come with more eartips than you probably want: five silicone eartips, two eartips with flanges, and three sets of Comply memory foam ones as well (up from seven before). They still feel great in your ears, won’t fall out, and stay comfortable over long listening sessions. Available for around $199, online and in stores, the beyerdynamic iDX 200 IEs are a fantastic upgrade from your average earbuds, with a fairly flat response, plenty of bass, and a lively high end.
If you’re in the market for something a little higher-end, and want an open-back pair suitable for studio use, the beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones are handcrafted in Germany and might be the perfect gift for the audiophile in your life. These utilize the Tesla drivers, which we’ve always loved, and though these weren’t quite as classy as the Tesla T51s, they offer high-resolution sound and an unusual method of changing their audio characteristics a bit. Included are two sets of velour ear pads with differing characteristics- for what they call an ‘analytical’ versus a ‘balanced’ profile. It reminded us a bit of their Custom One Pro Plus, with it’s interesting mechanism for opening/closing ports to change the sound. Two cable options are also in the package, one coiled and one straight, but these are audio-only (no mic or controls).
As a reference pair, we burned these in for a while, and then listened to tracks as varied as Neil Young and Purity Ring (and tested on some movies and TV shows too, including the hot new TBS show ‘Search Party’ where Purity Ring is featured). Overall, they seemed fairly close to the DT 1770 Pros featuring the 45mm 250 ohm Tesla driver, though we definitely liked the look of these better- the headband was about the same, the logo a little more prominent, but these are open-backed for a little better soundstage if a bit less isolation. Expect to spend around $499 for the DT 1990 Pros, well worth the price tag if you’re serious about your sound.