DT150 (250Ω)

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NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. This is described HERE in more detail.
A ‘horizontal‘ frequency response curve on the shown frequency response plots on this website thus indicates a perceived ‘flat’ tonal signature.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
The
shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character.
The bigger the deviation the stronger the effect.

Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response.

sound descriptions mine

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Beyerdynamic DT150 – 250 Ohm

DSCN0134

The Beyerdynamic DT150 is a professional monitoring headphone. Some people are of the opinion it is also a great sounding hi-fi headphone.

It has an impedance of 250Ω and doesn’t have a high efficiency. It isn’t ‘hard to drive’ it just requires enough voltage. More than your phone or Sansa Clip can deliver.
Not really suited for portable devices.

The headphone is built like a tank. In the sense of appearance as well as mechanical. It’s a workhorse with which you probably don’t want to be seen in public.The clamping force is kind of high which is to be expected for usage in a studio.
Its cable is long but fortunately not very microphonic. It is connected via a HUGE 6 pin connector which can be secured with a small screw. It terminates in a 3.5mm plug with a 6.3mm goldplated adapter that screws on it. No idea why they would use a 3.5mm TRS plug as it doesn’t pair well with equipment sporting this socket.
The pads are of the thick pleather kind and can be changed relatively easy. Also the headband padding can be changed quickly. Handy when many different people use it.

In the end its all about the sound. As a monitoring headphone it sounds great. Not really suited to mix on or evaluate the final mix.
As hi-fi headphone it isn’t. It does have plenty of bass and sounds a bit ‘thick’ with lots of impact in the bass. Voices sound full yet not blooming. Piano sound quite good with a full bodied sound to it. Most acoustic instruments sound quite realistic abd dynamic.
It doesn’t sound pinched-off or compressed but very lifelike and dynamic.
The problem area is the treble. It is a bit subdued which is a good thing for a monitoring headphone as they are played a bit louder than hi-fi music would.
The treble is extended but doesn’t SOUND like it is extended. Cymbals have an artificial sound to it. Not refined but a bit course. The DT250-250 has a similar problem but feel the DT150 is slightly ‘worse’.
It isn’t that obvious with acoustic music, piano recitals and small combos. It does become obvious with pop music which looses some of it’s ‘life’. It sounds plain and a bit boring and ‘darkish’ with unrealistic treble.

Below the frequency response of the stock DT150 (Left, Right)

FR DT150 stock

Raised bass, excellent subbass extension for good realism in the bass. Above 3kHz the frequency response gets a little ‘jagged’. Often indicating a not so smooth treble reproduction.

The distortion plot below shows decent bass distortion levels. Above 400Hz the distortion is a bit high. Most hi-fi headphones are well below 0.1%. The distortions are mainly 2nd harmonic so not vere disruptive in general.

DIST DT150 L stock

Below the CSD of the DT150  (Left and Right are superimposed)

CSD DT150 stock

Aside from the short lived resonance at around 5kHz there aren’t many alarmingly long resonances.

The Spectrum plot below also shows decent behaviour from 400Hz up.

SPECT DT150 R stock

Then there is the squarewave and impulse response plots.

SQR DT150 stock

The 40Hz plot shows there is too much bass. So much even that the scales had to doubled to fit it on the screen. The 440Hz signal isn’t exactly a squarewave and shows quite some ringing. The impulse response shows a good attack/speed but doesn’t reach the required level. Also there is quite some ringing after the impuls which ‘smeares’ the sound.

Fortunately there is also a DT100 headphone that has similar dimensions.
Velours pads can be ordered separately and these will fit on the DT150.
Below the DT150 pads on the left and the DT100 pads on the right.
The DT150 pads have a different shape a and height.
DT150 pads are 25mm high and are narrow near the skin and get wider near the driver.
The DT100 pads are 20 mm high and are more rounded.
DSCN0136The pleather is somewhat stiff and not as supple as that of many hi-fi phones. Probably much easier to clean though. Not the most comfortable pads around.
The velours pads also aren’t super comfortable and feel a bit ‘prickly’ to the skin. Not the soft plushy kind of velours.

This is how the DT150 looks when the velours pads are fitted.

DSCN0137

The pads do influence the sound substantially though.
Below the frequency response of the DT150 (Left, Right) fitted with velour DT100 pads.

FR DT150 with DT100 velours pads

That looks a whole lot more linear, and sounds that way as well. Tonality is quite exemplary (a horizontal plot = audibly linear = realistic). Aside from the small, and not audible dip around 3kHz) it looks really flat. The ragged treble is also much more linear.

Below a comparison between the stock DT150 and when fitted with DT100 velours pads.

DT150 L vs DT150-DT100 pads L

The DT150 pads have integrated dust filters that you can clearly see through. The DT100 pads come with small and separate foam inserts which are thicker. You can’t see through them. One would think that would lower or dampen the treble.
Below a plot with DT100 pads without the foam insert and with the foam insert.

DT100 pads foam vs no foam

It appears as though the foam inserts are audibly transparant and see no need not to use them unless your ears touch those inserts and don’t when touch the driver when they aren’t present.

below the distortion plots with DT100 pads fitted.

DIST DT150 L DT100 pads

2nd harmonic Bass distortion got better between 60 and 400Hz. 3rd harmonic distortion increased between 60 and 200Hz though.

DIST DT150 L stock

Below the CSD of the DT150 fitted with DT100 velours pads  (Left and Right are superimposed)

CSD DT150 DT100 pads

Looks better than a stock DT150. Aside from the slight 5kHz rining there are no alarmbells going off here.

Below the spectrum plot with DT100 pads. Below 400Hz there is some improvement .

SPECT DT150 R DT100 pads

And finally the squarewave and impulse response plots.SQR DT150 DT100 pads

The 40Hz plot shows slight drop off for bottom extension (downwards sloping horizontal lines) but otherwise MUCH better than with stock pads. The 440Hz Hz square wave is also much improved. Impulse response also shows much improvement. Much better damped and only a small extra ‘pulse’. The peak levels and speed is also quite good.

Do these pads turn this headphone in an afforable (around € 150.-) hi-fi headphone ?
Well… in tonality it certainly does. Much more realistic sounding. For monitoring and piano etc the pleather pads may be slightly better suited though.
The improved impuls response and smooth frequency response (especially in the treble) would indicate that treble quality did improve considerably.
Alas … that isn’t the case. yes… it improved and got somewhat better but still the headphone is lacking in finesse and resolution even though the response is flat and well extended. It now is slightly below the DT250-250 in this aspect.
Still not a great hi-fi headphone to me… BUT a very tonally accurate headphone with a dynamic and realistic sound. Just lacking somewhat in the treble finesse.
Again here most noticeable in pop music and music with lots of instruments. The instruments get ‘smeared’ a little and aren’t as nicely ‘separated’ from each other in these recordings. No real complaints when very few and well recorded music is played.

Some people use HM5 pads on these headphones which are oval but do fit on it.
This increases comfort but affects the tonality as well.
More measurements can be found HERE

Below a plot with various different pads. As can be seen the tonal balance differs quite a lot with these different pads.

all pads

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