“Our brand is sponsored by a famous singer!” “Check out our brand, we have 7.1 audio in a headset!” We see these statements all the time when researching headphones. Businesses in the audio market use these particular statements to attain two goals.

Goal number one being to increase popularity. The product doesn’t have to be built to the best standards, or sound the best, but as long as popular iconic faces recommend the product people will buy it; it’s all about the sales numbers. Number two, is usage of false statements when selling the product. 7.1 audio surround sound capabilities is a popular claim for audio headphone manufacturers, when in fact 7.1 is not reachable over a standard 3.5mm cable, yet they insist on using the statement.

Whilst I’m sure many readers will disagree, Beats by Dre is a perfect example of these marketing tricks. Use an iconic face to sell the product, increasing popularity, and secondly use statements that are only somewhat true. When disassembled and looked into, people will come to the realization that they're just another Chinese manufactured headset.

Quality audio equipment has to be manufactured to a high standard, otherwise you’re just buying some inexpensive speakers at an exorbitant price. Quality control in making sure the headphones sound perfect for every frequency range and ensuring that they will last a life time is key.

German engineering is known around the world as some of the best. Quality manufactured components are shipped every day and I rank German made products at a similar quality to United States and other European manufactured parts.

Being a German company, Beyerdynamic has a record of producing their products all 'in house'. Their claims of “premium stereo headphones” can be true for many of their products. No false statements or iconic faces here; just quality products that speak volumes.

I recently had the opportunity to review Beyerdynamic’s DT 660 headphones. Targeted towards a music studio, I took them for a test drive and put them to the audio test. Throughout my review of the DT 660, I will be covering the following topics: the design, audio performance, and conclusion. I would like to thank Beyerdynamic for providing me with the DT 660 for this review.



The Design

As I mentioned in the introduction, the DT 660s are made and manufactured in Germany. As such it provides the expectation that the DT 660s would have an outstanding build quality to them.

You wouldn’t be wrong in saying that the DT 660s are well built, but in my personal opinion the choice for an all plastic body headphone is not something I was happy to see. The plastic body does offer a total weight of 350 grams which means it provides a featherweight feel whilst in use. The lack of a metal headband was somewhat disappointing as it would have provided a stronger band for the headphones to flex.

Keep in mind, however, that the plastic used in crafting the DT 660s is high quality grade plastic, unlike some other brands. It did not break, splinter, or fall apart when dropping the headphones or stretching them out. The ear cups themselves use a metal housing to create a strong, ridged circle ear cup.

Whilst on the subject of the headband, the DT 660s have a large width span that would surely fit any user's head. The flexible headband also allows the listener to follow through with the “DJ style” look by placing one ear cup behind the ear.

There is an option for laying the headphones flat against your chest, which in return projects the sounds outwards. Personally, this was not a style I enjoyed, but it's nice for quickly taking off the headphones.

The ear cups themselves are padded with a felt material padding. On top of the headband is a tiny padded foam block that allows the headset to rest on your head. Keep in mind that these headphones are designed for a studio application and not for the average user. They are designed to be used then taken off many times throughout recording sessions. The felt material ear pads could be better and I would have liked to have seen secondary pads come with the unit. Also, after a few hours of usage, the DT 660s top head pad became uncomfortable as the pressure point is focused on one area.

The DT 660s have a non-detachable 3.5mm audio cable that is extremely long. At six feet (three meters), users should not find any problems when plugging the DT 660s into an amplifier or studio sound mixer. Additionally, Beyerdynamic includes a 3.5mm to mini stereo jack.

All said and done, the design of the DT 660s is subjective to whoever is using the headphones. I found them not to be designed for the average YouTube watcher or gamer, but rather targeted to a music studio. They provide a comfortable fit for short periods of time and are built using a premium plastic headband. If you were to purchase the DT 660s for a music studio, you would be more than happy with the cost.



Audio Performance

I have stated that the DT 660s are made for a studio environment. The headphones shine and come into their own when listening to music. I took the DT 660s through a music tour, using them on my guitar, sound system with built in amplifier, and my computer audio jack.

Although the headphones shine in the music environment, they could use some improvement with other applications. Throughout my daily routine I watch and listen to an assortment of YouTube videos and Twitch TV streams. During the playback of YouTube and Twitch, I found that some sounds could become muffled or difficult to listen to. Although the sound quality whilst listening to YouTube and Twitch was not awful, it could certainly be improved upon.

When plugged into my guitar, the DT 660s produced loud and clear notes. Response time from hitting the guitar string and hearing it in the headset was instant. The DT 660s have a 100 mW power rating which allows for a good response when playing guitar.

Next, I moved to my home stereo. This is the only device I have that has a built in amplifier and the DT 660s respond well to the sound boost and range provided by the unit. Music was crisp and clear, just as I would expect in a music studio.

Finally, we end at my computer. Using the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and Windows Media Player, the DT 660s provide an enjoyable experience. Bass is heavily lacking in performance and certain rock and roll sounds could be better. I expect this is due to the limitations of my laptop, but it should be something that Beyerdynamic takes into account.

97dB sound volume is quite loud and at one of the largest frequency responses of 5 – 32,000 Hz, it amazes me that Beyerdynamic could produce such a driver. Also, don’t forget about the 32 ohm impedance.

Users should be aware that an amplifier would be needed when using the DT 660s with a PC. There are many high quality units available for PCs, but most audio grade studio equipment will already have these built in.



The Conclusion

At $239 the DT 660s are just about in the midpoint price of music studio headphones. The Hi-Fi enabled unit is perfect when used correctly and can certainly provide the user with a nice experience. I have reviewed a few Beyerdynamic products in the past, and as some are better than others, I would rate the DT 660s to be the entry level of premium stereo headphones.

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