A Niche Product?
We come now to pass judgment on the Beyerdynamic T90 on the whole as a product. And before we proceed there is one last piece of the information puzzle you need, which is the cost. The T90 headphones have a price tag of S$899. To put it in context with a similar amount you could probably go to a shop and walk away with the latest smartphone, tablet or even an extremely decent, well equipped notebook. The question now becomes, is it worth your while to spend that amount on this device instead?
The performance track record for the T90 is almost faultless and for the price it commands, it had to be. Overall characteristics of the headphones can be classified as being balanced and vibrant. All the different bands of frequencies from the spectrum of sound are beautifully rendered and the sum of their impact is relayed with great fidelity. We were wowed by the way the product delivered warm yet bright highs on Adele’s Melt My Heart To Stone. Attention to detail and good transient response, along with an excellent soundstage, made us feel like we were sitting in the hall for live Hotel California track. Had the T90 delivered just the slightest smidgen of extra bass impact, it might just have walked away with the perfect audio performance score.
But the application of the Beyerdynamic T90 is somewhat limited. The open back design, which helps give the headphones their excellent soundstage, also meant that you cannot use them anywhere you please. Bleeding out of sound is part and parcel of open back designs and will result in everyone being able to hear the music you are playing. We would advise against using the headphones in public spaces such as in a train ride or your office work environment just to ensure you do not offend anyone within earshot of your listening activities. In addition the 250 Ohms impedance of the T90 is a bit on the high side. While the headphones will function with portable music players such as the iPod and smartphones, these kind of devices do not have the amplification necessary to make the headphones perform at full capacity. When we tried the T90 with our iPod Classic, we experienced a definite drop in performance quality with the overall sound being muted.
The Beyerdynamic T90 is best suited for private listening, preferably with a good amplification unit thrown into the mix for a good measure. Its specifications and application make it crystal clear that the product is targeted at audiophiles and music lovers. But in today’s hectic, fast-paced day and age how many people actually have the time to sit down and enjoy music peacefully? The current trend of storing all your music on your smartphone or the cloud and consuming it on the go, with which the T90 is definitely not compatible, make the product a throwback to an older era. Casual listeners definitely do not need to invest in the T90 as it would be ill-suited to their needs. But if you are looking for cultured, sophisticated and impeccable sound, this Beyerdynamic headset should be right up your alley.