Title: beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro and Amiron home – which is more professional? Pro or home?
Author: Frank Borowski
Translated from the original German article
What can you say about the practical characteristics of beyerdynamic headphones that hasn’t already been mentioned a thousand times? The headphones from Heilbronn were always amongst the best as far as comfort and sturdiness are concerned. Neither the DT 1990 Pro nor the Amiron home break with this tradition.
As already briefly mentioned, the 1990 has a slightly higher contact pressure which gives minimally improved hold for vigorous head movements. The Amiron compensates for this with its somewhat lower weight and a lower inert mass. What really makes the Amiron comfortable is that its connections point away from your body. Apart from that, there is less cable noise with the home headphones.
While opinions could differ with respect to the practical characteristics and which of the two candidates offers the more professional solution, things are much clearer with regard to the sound. When you put the DT 1990 Pro and the Amiron home on for the first time, the differences between them are extremely slight. They have the same fundamental character which is typical for beyerdynamic: clear, open, lively with a more linear performance, without excessive bass emphasis, but for some tastes perhaps a bit too bright.
It is exactly as the manufacturer intended: with a light centre lift, the DT 1990 Pro creates a particularly outstanding sound, showing clarity through to the smallest details. The lift in the upper-medium to high frequency range acts like an audio magnifier and allows the listener to make a particularly precise judgement of the recording in the especially important mid range.
An analogy from image processing would be that the DT 1990 Pro zooms into the image a little, so as to better edit the fine details. The Amiron home is quite different. It always shows the full picture, without leaving any of the content out. That makes it a bit more restrained but also gives it a more neutral performance. Spatially, its image is always somewhat more distant, more in the front rows of the audience rather than from the conductor’s stand.
And then we also have replacement ear cushions for the DT 1990 Pro. These have, as you can see in the following picture, more holes on the inside than standard ear cushions so that they are acoustically somewhat more open. The effect is a slight (I emphasise: slight) bass lift, which for my taste is a little more relaxing. Through this, the reproduction gains somewhat more substance and not just around the low range, but up to the mid frequencies where it is minimally more airy and also a trace less snappy.
During the early phase and when spontaneously listening in, I liked the DT 1990 Pro a touch more than the Amiron. Which clearly comes from its slightly more sprightly, more contrasting character.
The more I listened with them both, ultimately the longer the Amiron home stayed on my head. Please don’t take my formulation too seriously, but for constant listening, the DT 1990 Pro is simply a little more strenuous. You turn down the volume sooner than with the Amiron. This performance is exactly the developers’ intention, which makes the two headphone models a perfect recommendation for the chosen target groups.