DT990 Pro or Phillips X2HR for music and gaming

Hi guys,

I’m looking to get my first entry headphones and I’ve narrowed it down to the Phillips X2HR and Beyerdynamics DT990 Pro, I think the music I listen to is more suited towards a V-signature pair of headphones. I listen to RnB and hip hop (Mac Miller, Jorja Smith, Kanye West just to name a few) mostly, I also play FPS games casually, Valorant, CS, Warzone. I also plan to use these headphones with my turntable, so I’ll be buying an amp regardless. I live in Asia and most of the stores that carry these headphones are a little far from me and none of the stores have a return policy. They both cost $200 USD brand new and I’m wondering which would be better suited for me ? I’m not too sure if I’m sensitive to treble (I know a lot of people complain about the DT 990’s) as I’ve been using a pair of gaming headphones for the last few years and I don’t have much experience with other headphones.

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Hello and welcome to the community :slight_smile:

It is true that a lot of people recommend V- Shape for a newbie that likes Hip-Hop. Personally I feel like this should not be the case. A lot of Hip-Hop is already V-Shape mixed. If your headphones are V-Shape as well then this can make the music sound a little too aggressive. Ofcourse this is just my experience but I would encourage you to consider this.

A lot of consumer headphones are tuned V-Shape so you may have experience with this sound but usually the resolution is so bad that you can’t really hear the details that well so it makes sense to try and make them louder.

Anyway for your two considerations while I have not heard them personally I have read a lot about them. I can tell you that the DT990 is an aggressive headphone that a lot of people have trouble with for music. They can be very sharp on the treble and in my mind it is more of a professional use headphone and not that much for casual music listening. Technically they should be very good for the price and in terms of detail-seperation-imaging better than the fidelio.

On the other hand the fidelio should be able to execute a similar sound signature that is suitable and enjoyable to listen for most. They are definitely decent but some people claim not great detail and bloated bass. I would not worry too much about it as it should be a good step up from a gaming headset. If you find yourself looking for more you can always upgrade in the future. It is a safer bet as not a lot of people complain on the treble here and they are said to have a very large soundstage which should be fun.

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Thank you for your input, another headphone I had in mind is the Sennheiser HD560S, a lot of people seem to like them for gaming but they run neutral and I’m not sure if I would be used to the sound signature of Senn’s. I know the advice would be to try them out but over here in Asia we’re still under lockdown and most audio shops aren’t allowed to operate at the moment.

In your opinion, what sound signature should I look at? If we’re being completely honest, I don’t have a trained ear so I think I would be easily pleased in the 200-250 USD bracket but I’ve tried a fair share of cheaper audio gear to know what sounds ‘muddy’ but I can’t pinpoint what makes it that way.

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So I don’t want to steer you away from V-Shape if you feel like going that way. I just wanted to share my experience because I went with V-Shape for my first decent headphones and I decided that I am not a fan of the sound signature especially for Hip-Hop.

The truth is sound signature is mostly personal preference and if you don’t hear for yourself you won’t really know.

I am sure you are going to like the headphones that you buy as all the recommended models are very good. Each has it’s own little weakness and unfortunately you will need to gain experience with one or two to really figure out what you like in terms of sound characteristics.

If I were in your situation I would try to get a decent budget amp like the Fiio K5 pro or the Zen DAC and pair it with Hifiman HE400SE. (towards neutral sound)

HD560S should be a great pick as well, some people claim they are a bit too forward in the way they present detail in an unpleasing way. Other than that I have heard great things.

So yeah, you will have to take a bit of a gamble at first and then you will see for yourself if you agree with other peoples opinion and figure out a couple of things and then you might decide to hunt for your perfect headphones.

Whatever you get you will need to give it about a week to get used to the sound and then you will really know if you like it.

I personally have only heard the DT770 pro and the Hifiman Sundara so my opinion on the above headphones is just from what I have read from other people.

I would say 560s to be honest. Recessed mids would be bad for R&B, and a Harman Neutral tuned headphone with good subbass extension for a dd will be a good introduction into the hobby

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