Are you currently in search of a DAC to pair up with your Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro? If you answer yes then look no further, as we are planning to prepare a list of the best matching D/A converters for the DT 1990 Pro headphones. These open-back Tesla studio headphones are definitely worth the effort and monetary investment in a high-quality grade DAC partner.
The effort we need to put in will be for us to learn more about the sonic characteristics of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro and also to find out what are your DAC requirements which are equally as important. The requirements you have will heavily influence the type of digital-to-analog converters to go for. Your sound quality preference will also be considered as part of the requirements and this is one of the reasons why it is best to learn more about the DT 1990 Pro sound signatures.
Sonic Characteristics of Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro and Your DAC Requirements
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro has an open-back design and since it is made for high-end studio use, we can certainly expect a wide and spacious soundstage to be generated by them. If this is the type of sonic characteristic you are looking for, you might want to go for a DAC which can complement this aspect. There is a disadvantage when it comes to open-back headphones’ bass performance especially for headphone which is made for professionals to use for their work. Fortunately, the DT 1990 Pro comes with two sets of velour ear pads which we can interchange. One of them is meant for critical listeners, giving us a more analytical sound tuning and the other will provide us with a well-balanced sound, giving us a more pronounced bass performance.
The interchangeable velour ear pads do give us the flexibility to change the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro sonic characteristics without really needing the DAC to alter them too much. Even so, the differences the two sets of earpads make are not that great and some listeners may even find them subtle. If that’s the case, you probably could further enhance the main sound signatures by pairing the DT 1990 Pro to D/A converters with specific sonic traits. For instance, if you want to hear even more details when using the “analytical” ear pads, getting a DAC with a high level of transparency and insights will be a good idea.
Overall, the bass performance of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is still prominent when using either velour earpads but of course, the one with a bunch of holes (well-balanced) will have a slightly elevated low end. The treble is as exciting as the lower ends and has astonishing clarity, producing plenty of high-frequency details. It can be really bright-sounding at times and felt a little highlighted. Midrange reproduction of the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro is flat and doesn’t stand out as much as the highs. The midbass however can really pack a punch, especially when using the “well-balanced” earpads.
We did expect a wider and deeper soundstage but the DT 1990 Pro headphones kind of disappointed us a little in this area. The stereo imaging and separation are still amazing though, the performance on the soundstage has the right spacing so all in all, it is still accurate. If a wider soundstage is a requirement, you can always get a DAC with an innate ability to project a wide and spacious soundstage. Any other sonic characteristics should be jotted down as requirements but we suggest ranking them accordingly from the most important and to the least. There are other DAC requirements to consider such as the amount/budget you are willing to spend on a D/A converter.
Do you require a desktop or a portable DAC will also be a factor. You will need to check if you have enough space on your work table to accommodate an additional dedicated DAC. Since you are more than likely to use your Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones inside a studio/room, you might not need a portable DAC. But for listeners who need to travel to different places, together with their DT 1990 Pro, you probably should get a portable D/A converter. These are just some of the usual requirements to consider and if you have more, whether it is work-related or personal, just jot them all down. When you have considered all possible DAC requirements then please take a look at the best matching digital-to-analog converters to go with your Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro studio headphones.
Best DACs to pair with Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
The Black Ice Glass FX is a tube DAC that will match well with the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones especially for listeners who want a smoother treble sound quality without compromising its dynamics. This is a sanely priced tube D/A converter with exceptional sonic performance such as being able to project an open and spacious soundstage. Furthermore, it doesn’t just coat the overall sound reproduction with sweetness, it is accurate and faithful to the music. Black Ice Glass FX brings out the warmth and/or brightness of the music when it needs to but never sounded harsh or too dark.
Topping E50 is a high-quality DAC with a modest price tag and will be a suitable match with your Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. The E50 uses a premium DAC chip ES9068AS designed by the renowned ESS Technology and supports up to 32-bit/768kHz (PCM). Topping E50 also decodes DSD audio files natively, up to DSD512 via USB connection. These features are enough to satisfy modern-day digital music listeners. The sonic neutrality of this Topping DAC is great for listeners who want their Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones’ sonic characteristics to shine through without the E50 coloring it.
Gustard X16 is a balanced MQA DAC designed and built for desktop use. This is a D/A converter featuring dual ES9068AS chips with the ability to decode up to 32-Bit/768kHz (PCM) and DSD512. Other notable features of the Gustard X16 will be the Bluetooth connectivity with LDAC capability and native MQA unfolding/rendering. The pricing of the X16 is closely matched with the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones too. It is a neutral-sounding DAC with a polished and clean background. The Gustard X16 doesn’t add brightness to the overall sound reproduction which allows us to crank up the volume without worries.
There are times when you need to bring the bulky Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro outdoors with you or transport them to other venues for work and this doesn’t leave you much space to carry along a desktop DAC. This is where the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt a small USB DAC comes into play. It is so compact, you can practically slot it in your pockets or just chuck it into your carrying case. The AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt is capable of delivering a high-resolution music presentation with precision and will be a suitable match with the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro studio headphones.
The Chord Mojo is another high-quality DAC that is both compact and portable. It is small enough to slide into your pocket enabling you to carry the DAC around with ease, not to mention, you can easily keep it once you are done using the Mojo. The Chord Mojo has an award-winning sound quality to boot and will be a worthy match to the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones. This premium D/A converter is amazingly informative and can dig out plenty of music details. Furthermore, the Chord Mojo can help to slightly smoothen the treble and has tight bass handling which will complement the DT 1990 Pro really well.
Schiit Audio Bifrost 2 is one of the best DACs to partner up with the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones. It is an excellent choice for listeners who just want to enjoy listening to their music no matter what they are playing. The Schiit Audio Bifrost 2 is a forgiving D/A converter, capable of delivering a smooth music presentation with a touch of warmth. It is also for listeners who like punchy and energetic bass performance which still sounds accurate and articulate. If you are using the DT 1990 Pro “well-balanced” ear pads and want to add a bit more bass impact with more warmth, the Schiit Audio Bifrost 2 DAC is certainly worth your time to look at.
We will suggest using both velour ear pads if you haven’t done so already before getting a DAC. This is to make sure you are used to their sound characteristics and you know what you want to add on when getting a DAC with specific sonic traits. It will be ideal if you are confident with your DAC requirements too. You should shortlist a few of the above DACs and arrange an audition with them. During the auditioning of the D/A converters, you will be able to find out which one of them sounds the best to you when matched with your Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro headphones.