Audio and Video Talk > Headphones

Hifiman Arya v2 vs Beyerdynamic DT1990

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Hello audio freaks,

I thought I would share some of my not too technical thoughts on the Arya and DT1990.

Now I have been using the DT1990 (A - pads) for about 4 months and man, it has been an amazing time with these. They changed what I knew about headphones and really opened my eyes to what higher end audio can be. I found them to be very versatile and I could listen to most if not all genre's but for me it was primarily Metal, EDM and Classical.

Hearing Duo for Violin and Violincello, Op7: 1 Allegro serioso, non troppo was a revelation ( It's so intense and emotional, I really felt completely immersed, even on the edge tears (Dramatic I know but I feel music deeply). You can hear the bow on the strings, the air around the instruments and you get a high amount of detail and it truly enjoyable. The bite on the DT1990 can be quite intense if not tamed with EQ but for me its a slight -2db adjustment at 7300hz and 8100hz and its slightly more smooth, anything more and you're and you're murdering the tuning.
When listening to metal its quite brutal, but in a good way. There is good amounts of punch and melodic assault that makes you stop what you're doing, turn it up and just listen. A badly mixed album (which seems to be prevalent in the genre) will be obvious and be unbearable to listen to but when you have well mixed music its really a pleasure.

Now the Arya's - If the DT1990 was a C class AMG which is aggressive, exciting and fun then the Arya's are the S class AMG which is Spacious, luxurious, still fast but delivered with a certain grace. The Arya is smoooooooth. Soundstage is wide and deep. You can place the instruments in the space and you feel surrounded by the music. The high frequencies are still up there but without being fatiguing. Out the box the low end is full and rich. The mids have some magical yet natural sound about them that stands out over the DT1990. They really are something else and deliver a totally different experience.
Now when I bought these my expectations were very high, something that would blow my mind, especially at the price ($1600)

My mind was not blown...

... I was however really impressed by the performance they gave but they also made me appreciate my DT1990's which are only $599. I felt pressured to sell them to recoup some of the cost on the Arya but I cannot let them go and I'm really struggling to decide which one I like most (That might seem crazy to you).

Daily use and comfort is one more factor and may be the decider in the end. The DT1990 with round pads and cups that aren't deep don't provide my large ears with much comfort, especially if you got studs or earrings. The Arya is amazingly comfortable with plenty of room around the ears. The pads are thick and soft. Arya certainly takes it here.

The Arya should be the star of the show and they are technically the better headphone but I feel diminishing returns can start falling into the picture.
I bought these second hand at 6 months old for less than half the original price and that makes it absolutely worth it, but at that hefty $1600.. I'm not so sure
That extra bit of natural tone and close to life sound may be worth the original price to you. Each to their own.

I think that's as much as I can muster up right now  :dop:
Thanks for reading and share your thoughts on your experience.


Many folks have multiple sets of headphones, so don't feel bad for keeping the Beyers.
As a matter of fact, ensure that you build a good relationship with your bank manager as you will undoubtedly collect a few more down the line.
I have 5 sets already with number 6 on their way.

The Beyer treble can be brutal. I have both the DT770 and DT880. I use them with an Ifi Zen Dac which tames the treble. When I use them with my Audeze Deckard amp/dac, I have blood running out of my ears after 5mins, that is how ruthless the treble on both sets are.

Great review and enjoy the journey.
Make sure you get to listen to a set of Audeze's as well.

True and thanks for replying!

I've got a Zen Dac as well which I got with the 990, then got the 1990. Its a good pairing with these headsets and Beyer sound.

My girlfriend has a pair of 990 pros (limited edition with black earcups) that I periodically steal and have a good listen with! The Beyer treble signature has never really bothered me much, itís quirky :groovy: However, the bass on the 990ís blows my mind - I canít get over how much low end they can squeeze out of an open back design

990 is a fantastic headset, value for money is great! Treble never bothered me either on those.


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