Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser
Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser are two brands that are synonymous with professional audio. Their long history and the number of their achievements have shaped the state of the current headphone market and revolutionized the way we enjoy music.
Today, both of these brands have gone a long way and offer various models that cater to different kinds of audiences. Sennheiser is best known for its HD series of headphones, specifically the Sennheiser HD600 and HD800 series. You can find out more about their most famous models here.
Beyerdynamic, on the other hand, is known for their DT lineup, specifically the DT 770 Pro, DT 990 Pro, and DT 1990 Pro. You can learn more about Beyerdynamic’s top headphones models here.
Both companies make great headphones that stand the test of time. However, you must be thinking that one of these companies must produce better headphones than the other. That is why we are here to help you find out which of these brands make better headphones.
Beyerdynamic Brand Overview
As mentioned earlier, Beyerdynamic is one of the oldest manufacturers of professional audio gear that are still active today. The company was founded by Eugen Beyer in Berlin, Germany, in 1924. It was originally named Eugen Beyer Elektrotechnische Fabrik and later renamed to Beyerdynamic.
They are notorious for creating the DT48, the world’s first dynamic driver microphone. They were also responsible for creating the M88, which was used in Queen Elizabeth II’s inaugural address. You can learn more about Beyerdynamic’s rich history here.
Beyerdynamic has never ceased to bring innovations to the market. The success of their DT series has made them a mainstay in any professional recording studio. Their headphones have even made their way through professional gaming and have been notoriously used by the famous Fornite personality, Ninja.
What makes Beyerdynamic truly great is the build quality of their products. Buying a Beyerdynamic product means buying a product that will not fail. This applies to all of their products, no matter the price point.
Sennheiser Brand Overview
Sennheiser, on the other hand, is another well-established brand in the world of professional audio. They were first established on June 1, 1945, in Germany. They are known in various fields such as the headphone industry, professional audio and video production industry (lapel mics, dynamic and condenser microphones, etc.), gaming, and a lot more.
Sennheiser is best known in the audiophile hobby for producing the HD600 and HD 800s series. The HD600 was first released in 1997. And for 22 years, it has strongly held its position as one of the most influential headphones. It has, of course, been surpassed by others. But a feat like that is very impressive and hard to match.
They have since then released the 800s, which replaced the HD650 as their flagship.
They have also released the Orpheus, which is more of a showpiece instead of an actual product.
Beyerdynamic & Sennheiser Headphone Comparisons
Now, let’s pick a couple of headphones from each brand to compare. We will mainly be focusing on open-back and gaming headphones since those are the two most popular categories for these two companies. We will also be including collaborations from Drop.
Sennheiser HD 660s
The Sennheiser HD660s is currently the highest available headphone in the HD660s lineup. It shares a lot of similarities, especially with the build with the rest of the HD6XX lineup. What makes this stand out among the rest of the midrange competition is its imaging performance and midrange reproduction.
No other headphone is more iconic than the HD6XX series when it comes to the midrange. Vocals are expressed really well and give an intimate interaction with the listener. Fans of vocals, especially female vocals, will love these headphones.
The HD660s is also great at imaging. They may not have the biggest soundstage, but pinpointing the location of sounds is a breeze. This also makes it an excellent pair of gaming headphones.
Compared to the DT 1990 Pro, the HD660s has a more pleasing sound that seemingly works well with almost any genre. It is also accurate enough without going overboard with the details, thus making it also a good pair of headphones for professional productions.
You can learn more about this model here.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, on the other hand, is Beyerdynamic’s midrange offering. This pair has a reputation for being extremely accurate, which can be a good or a bad thing.
The major difference between the two in terms of the sound signature is that bass and treble has more quality and quantity compared to the HD660s. The DT 1990 Pro also has a more neutral presentation compared to the mid-forward presentation of the HD660s.
The DT 1990 Pro is also the better-built headphone out of the two, with its mostly metal construction. It also has more accessories out of the box since it includes two earpads and two cables. (The HD660s only has one extra balanced cable).
The main gripe that most people have with the Dt 1990 Pro is its treble. It has a massive peak in the high frequencies, which can make the listening experience fatiguing over long listening sessions. The tradeoff is that it is extremely accurate, which is good for professional productions.
Nevertheless, both the DT 1990 Pro and HD660s are amazing headphones. We have included them in our best high-impedance headphones, which you can read over here.
Drop x Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee
The Drop HD58X is a revival of the original HD580, the first headphone in the HD6XX series. It is a special collaboration between Sennheiser and Drop (formerly known as Massdrop when this product initially launched).
Upon its release, the HD58X has shaken the market. It offers performance close to the HD660s for less than 200 USD. That is a crazy deal considering a lot of headphones in that price range can’t even touch the HD6XX series in terms of performance.
The HD58X has a few modifications to its sound quality. It now has more mid-bass compared to the rest of the HD6XX lineup. It also now only requires 150-ohms instead of 300.
Compared to the DT 990 Pro, its tuning is mid-forward. It is also aiming more towards a smoother sound than an analytical sound. Overall, the Drop HD58X is one of the best deals that you can get right now.
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (80-ohm/250-ohm)
Very few headphones can punch above their price point. One of those is the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro. It is a classic headphone that is considered as the older brother of the DT 1990 Pro. It shares a lot of similarities with the DT 1990 Pro, including its design and general sound signature.
The tuning here is different compared to the HD58X/HD6XX series. It has a V-shaped sound signature that has slightly boosted highs and lows. Once again, the DT 990 Pro has treble spikes. While these may hurt treble sensitive people, they contribute to the overall accuracy of these headphones.
Imaging is on par with the HD58X. Soundstage, on the other hand, is bigger than the HD58X. It is not the biggest soundstage, but it is considerably larger than the intimate soundstage of the HD58X.
Overall, one headphone is not necessarily better than the other. They just have different tunings, different flavors for different people.
The infamous HD800s is Sennheiser’s flagship. While it is a departure from the HD6XX in terms of sound signature and design, it is widely considered to be one of the best headphones available. The party trick of the HD800s this time around is its extremely wide soundstage.
This headphone is Sennheiser’s most neutral offering. Unlike the HD6XX series, the HD800s does not necessarily focus on a specific frequency range. All the frequencies are presented accurately and have more detail than their midrange lineup.
In terms of soundstage, the HD800s has quite possibly the largest one. It is significantly wider than the intimate soundstage of the HD6XX series and a step above the soundstage of the Beyerdynamic T1.
Compared to Beyerdynamic’s flagship, the HD800s performs similarly to it. Aside from some aspects like the imaging and soundstage, both models have a similar performance.
You can learn more about this model here.
Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation
Beyerdynamic’s flagship, on the other hand, is more of a true successor to the midrange DT 1990 Pro. It shares a lot of similarities with the other DT headphones, such as the design. It also shared the same high-frequency peaks that people either love or hate.
In terms of their sound signature, the Beyerdynamic T1 is mostly similar to the HD800s. It is not better in any aspect, but it is also not worse. Its neutral response presents the various frequencies accurately, which is why it is also considered to be a reference headphone.
The main difference that you will immediately notice is the soundstage. The T1 has an acceptable and realistic soundstage, but the HD800s is on another level. It can sound artificial at times, so this comes down to personal preference.
In terms of build quality, however, they differ in materials. Beyerdynamic is once again predominantly built of metal, while Sennheiser is built of plastic. Sennheiser has shown that its plastic builds can stand decades, so this will be up to you.
Overall, the flagships of these companies are similar in a lot of ways. If you are interested in picking up one of these, don’t forget to pair them with an amplifier or DAC/Amp combo. We have several articles, including a specific article for the T1.
Sennheiser GSP 600
With the popularity of audiophile-grade headphones in the gaming scene, Sennheiser has decided to release a new design for their gaming lineup. The GSP 600 represents how an audio company masterfully designs a gaming headset.
The GSP 600 has essential features such as a dedicated volume control wheel and a microphone mute functionality. Their microphone has also been constantly improving throughout their products and is a worthy tool that can be used for competitive gaming, casual voice chat, and even streaming.
The driver tuning here is excellent as well. Despite being a closed-back pair, it was tuned well enough to give the illusion of soundstage. Imaging is also miles above other gaming headsets. Pinpointing enemy locations is a breeze with this pair.
The GSP 600 is a more innovative design compared to Beyerdynamic’s MMX 300, which just seems to be a recycled design from their DT lineup.
Beyerdynamic MMX 300
The MMX 300 from Beyerdynamic is one of the only gaming headsets that they offer. Compared to Sennheiser, their selection of gaming headsets is currently limited to the MMX 300 and the Custom Game. Out of the two options, this is the better and more competent headset to be compared with the GSP 600.
The MMX 300 is basically just a DT 770 Pro 80-ohm version with an added microphone. Compared to Sennheiser’s approach, Beyerdynamic is not very creative nor innovative here. Instead, they are trying to implement a tried and tested design for the gaming market.
The DT 770 Pro is, of course, a popular gaming headset thanks to its excellent tuning. It has better imaging and soundstage than more closed-backs, and it is possibly even better sounding than the GSP 600.
When it comes to these two models, it largely depends whether you want more functionality (GSP 600) or if you want a better sound (MMX 300).
Conclusion: Beyerdynamic vs. Sennheiser – Which is Better?
Answering the question of which brand is better is not very simple. Due to the different listening preferences and different tastes of each person, it is nearly impossible to objectively declare a winner. However, we can narrow it down for you by telling the strengths and weaknesses of each brand.
Sennheiser is arguably a more innovative brand. Even if a headphone as iconic as the HD6XX series works, they still try to create different designs. This gave birth to the HD800 series and many other headphones.
They, however, insist on utilizing a plastic construction for most of their models. Beyerdynamic, on the other hand, is more consistent with the build quality of their products. Regardless of the price point, Beyerdynamic always delivers.
And the sound quality, of course, depends on your preferences. Beyerdynamic is infamous for preferring a V-shaped sound signature for most of their models, while Sennheiser headphones vary depending on the series they belong to.
Regardless of which company you decide to go with, you can be sure that you will not be disappointed. Also, Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic are only part of the bigger picture. If you want to learn more about other top performing headphone brands, check out our article here.
Stephen is a musician, cinematographer, and headphone enthusiast who is passionate about reviewing audio equipment. He has been playing guitar for at least a decade, which introduced him to professional recording equipment such as headphones and in-ear monitors. With the help of reviews and online content, he was able to learn the ins and outs of the hobby. His goal is to give back to the community by providing quality content to help others enjoy the beautiful (and expensive) world of audio.
Favorite Headphones: Sennheiser HD660s