Channel 5

Beyerdynamic DT860

Monday 03 August 2009

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

Like the Sennheiser HD 650s, these open-backed headphones are for altogether more serious music buffs – there isn’t even a 3.5mm adaptor in the box. They’re basically saying, “Yeah sure you can use us with an MP3 player… but it’ll be like using a Ferrari to deliver milk.”

The good

Comfy and well built, the DT 860s put up a fantastically vibrant musical performance. These are all about punch and accuracy, launching a violently dynamic, trebly assault on your ears. With rock from the Seeds to the Stones, their furious sound works brilliantly and it also does a fine job with original junglist type business and hip-hop. At £180 they’re pushing into the upper end of the price range, but they are probably worth the extra outlay.

The bad

Though these Beyerdynamic headphones don’t lack bass as such, sound is definitely weighted towards the treble end and a lot of people won’t like them as a result. With some home amp fiddling you can rebalance them to an extent, but if you are planning to use these with your MP3 player, you won’t be able to do that, unless your player has an incredibly good “bass” EQ setting – and let’s face it, none of them do.

The bottom line

A proper pair of hi-fi headphones for £100 less than the Sennheisers, these are an excellent buy, easily beating the cheaper headphones here for audio quality. The toppy sound won’t be to everyone’s taste but these are punchy rather than shrill and for long-term listening they’re a great set of cans.
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Beyerdynamic DT860 is tagged with Beyerdynamic DT860, headphones and on-ear. Select a tag (Beyerdynamic DT860, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

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