AKG K712 Vs DT 1990 Pro

If you listen to high-quality audio files, it is crucial to use an audiophile device such as AKG K712 Vs DT 1990 Pro. These open-back headphones are some of the crowd’s favorites in the price range. They sound natural and perfect for home use where you don’t need to mind the surroundings. But, they are also different, and today we will see which you may like better.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What are Open-Back Headphones
  • What are AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro
  • How are the Build Qualities of AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro
  • How is the Comfort of AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro
  • What else AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro can offer
  • How are the Sound Characters of AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro
  • How are the Soundstage of AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro
  • AKG K712 Vs DT 1990 Pro

Open-Back Headphones

Headphones are a very common option for music listening purposes, whether you are a casual or enthusiast who spent thousands on a single gear. The more you spend, the better the experience, but subjective. The most popular headphone is closed-back. The model doesn’t always mention closed-back, but it is most likely so unless otherwise. The opposite of close-back is open-back, and as you can expect, this is the type of headphone with an open enclosure behind the driver.

Due to the limitations, they typically cost more than regular headphones and are only familiar among enthusiasts. Open-back headphones propose allowing air to pass through the ear cups from the rear of its driver. The design helps eliminate resonance and low-frequency build-up from the rear enclosure. The end goal is to create more natural-sounding headphones. But, this headphone type is not for everyone and is best when there is no other sound nearby because the design will let them enter your ears.

Not only allowing other sounds to seep through, but it also leaks the sound outside, so if a person is sitting next to you, they will know what you are listening to. Because of these reasons, an open-back headphone is less versatile than a closed-back design. However, listening at home and in a very quiet environment will be a very pleasing experience. Many also suggest that open-back is healthier for your ears because they reduce the intensity of sound delivered, making it safer for long-term use.

AKG K712DT 1990 Pro
Product Dimensions 4.45 x 7.83 x 8.35 inches
7 x 4 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight2.2 pounds 1.5 pounds
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About AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro

So do you need open-back headphones? If you only listen at home or in solitude and want something that sounds natural and more direct, then the answer is yes. Because they are marketed towards enthusiasts and audiophiles, expect to spend more than typical mid-range closed-back headphones. However, there are plenty to choose from, and it is convenient to go with famous brands because of their reputation. You can also put a budget and work on the options that seem worth spending on.

For those willing to spend more than $300 for the headphone, AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro from Beyerdynamic are two extremely popular in the price range. These headphones are often dubbed as versatile models for most listening purposes. They are great for fun and suitable for monitoring but sound pretty different. Without any tweaking, the stock profile is uneven, and the significant difference is that K712 lacks bass while DT 1990 Pro exaggerates the highs, which gives them a different experience.

Like most headphones, you can change the sound profile using third-party equipment or software to produce better results, but we will focus on their stock profile only. Another difference is on power requirement because AKG K712 is more forgiving with an impedance of 61 Ohms and 260 Ohms for DT 1990 Pro. Regardless you will need an amp to drive the two. We recommend something like FiiO K5 Pro that should work well with these headphones and many others.

Performance-wise the AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro are easy to use and satisfy many of their users. We find them equally pleasing if you can invest in equipment or software that can help tweak these headphones’ sound profiles. But, we recommend the K712 for convenience and value, moreover if you still need to buy the amp. Read also: V Moda M100 Vs Audio Technica M50X here.

AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro Build Quality

Before checking on what they can offer, let’s look at the unit first. These headphones are heavier than typical headphones with a closed-back design, but DT 1990 Pro is slightly heavier. The construction is similar and uses lots of metal. The DT 1990 Pro wins for build quality since it has fewer moving parts and feels like a premium product. The materials are also better in quality, and our favorite part is its flexible headband because the K712 looks like it may break when you twist it.

Like most audiophile gear, the AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro have removable cables, so in case it gets damaged, we can easily replace them. K712 comes with less in the box and gives you a regular pouch to store the headphone, an additional audio cable, and a 1/8-inch to ¼-inch adapter. The 1990 Pro, on the other hand, has a huge hard case. It is measured at 9.6 x 7.2 x 4.8 inches and can store the headphone and accessories. The equipment is a pair of additional pads and two audio cables with an adapter.

AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro Comfort

It is wise to consider the comfort of any listening device you plan to use because chances are we will be using them for hours, and it is not easy to stay comfortable for that amount of time. The AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro are not sport-styling, so the clamping force is naturally relaxed. We don’t find meaningful force from the headband, but K712 is noticeably loose. It is very light on the head that you may have to readjust it a few times during the use, depending on individual head size or hair shape.

The open-back design allows for better airflow to improve comfort, unlike closed-back headphones. The padding fabric is also breathable to reduce the temperature rising during the listening session. You will still find them warming after some time, but it is not concerning. We see the earcups are on the bigger side, so they should cover the whole ears of most people instead of sitting on top of them.

AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro Features

Some people may wonder whether AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro have a feature or controls, but there is none like most audiophile headphones. The cables included don’t have an inline microphone or button to skip and play the track. Everything that affects the sound or playback must come from another device such as a computer, compact media player, or the amp. Unfortunately, no dedicated app comes with the headphones, but we can always use the third-party app on the primary device.

AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro Sound Characters

Next, let’s see the crucial part of AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro: sound quality. As long as the audio file is at least decent and there is a good amp to power these headphones, they should work in any setup. However, the sound character or profile is not the same, and none of them are entirely neutral or flat in all frequency ranges. The K712 tends to lack bass production and has an uneven treble frequency response.

On the other hand, DT 1990 Pro has an impressive bass and mid-range response but also exaggerates the treble area. The assumption about the DT line treble range is valid as this model also suffers from the same stock profile. DT 1990 Pro is excellent for the bass range with a mostly flat and accurate response but a slight bump on the high bass, making it a bit boomy. The mid-range is also excellent and mainly flat to produce clean vocals and instruments.

The treble is another story with a good response on low-treble, yet it gets uneven the higher it goes. The bump in mid and high treble makes sibilants an issue for this headphone; thus, it can be piercing or too sharp for the ears, especially on cymbals and vocals. We find the treble range on K712 is more comfortable and controlled, even though it is not the most accurate either.

AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro Soundstage

Lastly is for the soundstage in AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro. We think they are very similar here and not far different from the typical open-back style. The soundstage is outstanding, and you can hear a “big” sound coming from them compared to the closed-back type. The spacious feeling makes your audio more natural to the ears. The drawback of being open-back is you can’t listen to them clearly when in a noisy environment. There is practically no isolation, and the sound is noticeably leaking.

AKG K712 Vs DT 1990 Pro

Both AKG K712 and DT 1990 Pro are good open-back headphones in the price range. They don’t sound the same, but quality-wise are similar. While K712 can’t produce a satisfying bass range without further EQ, the DT 1990 Pro’s treble range can be overwhelming for some people. You may need to adjust the sound profile through separate equipment or software to achieve the best sound production. Comfort is subjective, but we love DT 1990 Pro plush padding; it can be tight on some heads.

- Over-ear design maximum wearing comfort for long work sessions
- Sophisticated open technology for spacious and airy sound without compromise
- Improved low-end performance by 3dB for more powerful sound imaging
- Revolutionary flat wire voice coil for incredible impulse and treble response
- Open studio reference class headphones for mixing and mastering, Made in Germany
- 250 ohms, 45 mm dynamic Tesla neodymium drivers
- Single sided, detachable cable with mini-XLR connectors
- Soft, replaceable ear pads and headband for long studio sessions. Headphone frequency response : 5-40,000 Hz. Nominal sound pressure level : 102 dBSPL (1mW/500Hz)


There is no wrong option as these headphones are equally promising. We recommend the K712 because it is the cheaper model and you can always improve the sound character with the help of other equipment. Its stock profile has an excellent mid-range and comfortable treble with a good soundstage.


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