I'd like to ammend something in the review below. The review below was the same equipment used, but the headphones used out of the 0 ohm jack and crossfeed disabled as opposed to the previous configuration of 120 ohm jack and low crossfeed.
I have found that for the majority of music, crossfeed is not needed, and this restores some of the life back to the sound.
Used out of the 0 ohm jack, the sound is better to my ears than out of the 120 ohm jack. Although the higher resistance jack is supposed to boost bass performance, i find it no better than out of the 0 ohm jack, but the 0 ohm jack seems to give a more powerful midrange, and does not seem any brighter. The headphone has seemingly more bass to me, and sounds far more musical and coherent, not to mention much livelier and dynamic. The 120 ohm jack seems to rob the headphone of some purpose to my ears. However, some may disagree.
Now bass has a clear part of the music, unlike before, and out of a 0 ohm jack and given good quality cables (mains and interconnect), and with a decent source, you will get very good results indeed with these headphones.
So if you have these cans, do try them on both. This gives a customisation ability to the sound with an appropriate amp.
I therefore up the rating to 5* as I did wish to get rid, but now am keeping these excellent cans.
Due to rows in the house, I have been forced to get a good headphone setup. I wanted headphones that were comfortable, and could rival my speakers for quality. After much research, it led me to these Beyerdynamic DT931 headphones, along with a Meier Audio Corda HA-1 headphone amplifier.
Accompanying equipment is a Pioneer DV-350 DVD player and Cambridge Audio DAC3 digital to analogue converter.
My taste in music is largely electronic: trance, techno, house, hard house, ambient, with the occasional bit of pop and rock/indie music.
These are very clean sounding headphones, with outstanding clarity and treble extension. I am running these out of the 120 ohm jack of the Corda amplify, which tames the highs slightly, and at moderate listening volumes, these headphones are not fatiguing.
They are very detailed, and their bass is very fast and agile, leading to a good sense of pace, rhythm and timing. Dynamics are excellent, and can really give you a shock if you fall asleep wearing these. Generally speaking, in most aspects, these are not headphones you can fall asleep to. Good, natural midrange, with clean voices. Everything is sounding very realistic, and the frequency response is pretty much as flat as you can expect in headphones.
These are also extremely comfortable headphones, it’s quite easy to forget that these are on your head, with their velvet pads, they are extremely soft on your head. The price : performance ratio of these headphones is very high, I paid £130 for these in Global Hifi.
Although I bought the Corda amplifier for them, which makes a significant improvement over the headphone jack of my Rotel RA-01 amplifier, these can actually sound quite good if you have a half decent headphone jack. Just don’t expect to get the best out of them until you have a dedicated amplifier.
These headphones are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Firstly, the coiled cord can supposedly stretch to 10 feet, although the cord is probably only about 3-4 feet. Stretching it longer than about 7 or 8 feet can exert pressure on the headphones, making them less comfortable to wear. This would not be so bad, except the cable is not easily replaceable, so one would have to risk damaging the headphones to fit a new cable, if they were not comfortable with doing DIY.
The only aspect with the sound quality of these phones that I have an issue with is their bass. Its not all bad news, as I said above, they have very fast, agile, tuneful bass, and if one prefers quality over quantity, it might be perfect. However, for a dance music fan like myself, I have found the bass shy at times, lacking the presence or impact of my speakers, and after listening to some drum and bass, I find their depth is not as good as my speakers either. Without using a 120 ohm jack output, these headphones are far too bright and thin. Even out of the 120 ohm jack, they are much more balanced, but seem to lack an element of excitement for me. Replacement cables are alleged to make some difference, but after speaking to other users, I have concluded that if you want more bass, look at a different headphone in the Beyer range, either the DT770 or DT880. However, the other two headphones mentioned cannot match the sweet treble or detail of the 931’s.
So, to conclude, I would have to say there is a lot going for these headphones. They are extremely comfortable. They would be a good choice for a genre that was not so hard hitting, although they are not bad at all for rock and dance, they could do with a bit more bass energy, and in some ways, the sound is just that little bit too clinical for my liking, but there’s no doubting the potential of these phones for other genres. They do have bucket loads of detail, excellent clarity with no veil whatsoever, and great dynamics, and even good “PRAT” factor, yet somehow they manage to do it minus a little bit of soul.
Ok, I feel i've had plenty of time to burn in these cans and can finally get to reviewing them. They were purchased at meier-audio.com, and i've used various sources, and a melos SH1 a as a amp for them, and overall, i have fairly mixed impressions. Let me start off by saying that these are my first impressions in the hi-fi world, with my only comparasions being to some low end grados (60's and 80's), and some sporta pro's. My inital impressions were that these things are extremely comfortable. I have a rather small head, so finding comfortble headphones can be somewhat difficult, however, they beyer's are designed with the idea that not everyone has a huge head, so they added an ajustable cloth headband, to fit smaller heads better. The velour pads ajust to the contours of my head, and fit wonderfully. Now, about the sound. After removing the foam pads inside the headphones, and burning them in, i have reached what i feel is the potential of these headphones which is somewhat disapointing. The mids are pretty good, no major flaws, as are the highs, with an 120 ohm adaptor in place, which is also avaible from Dr. Meier. The 120 ohm adaptor tames the brightness of these headphones significantly, and removes alot of their sonic qualities. They certiantly sound better with the adaptor in place, but they lose some of their spirit, and just sound a bit boring. The base is my major problem with these cans. While having fairly good extention, it's just there, without showing up with any impact. Personally, i like a nice, quick, grado-style base on headphones, and these lack it. I've heard that replacing the cable helps with these problems, however, I have not been able to do so, which brings me to my next point. This cord is simply terrible. It's coiled fairly tightly, and while being 10 feet long, streching it much more than 8 feet makes them so uncomfortable to wear, due to the added pressure. Some people have resorted to using HD-600 replacement cables to get rid of the cable problems, but as of now, i have not done such mods. Overall, i feel that these cans are worth the 185 dollars i paid for them, dispite their shortcommings. The mids and the highs are smooth, and rather detailed. Without the 120 ohm adaptor, they are bright and forward, with it, they are neutral, and not nearly as forward.
Brilliant cans! Very impressive overall soundstage: deep and dry bass, beautiful midrange (vocals!), smooth treble. I can't think of any better cans at this price. I even sold my Sennheiser HD 600's, because they didn't appear to be as good as the 931's. The 931's are very comfortable too. You can wear them for hours without any discomfort. The HD 600's couldn't cope with them in this respect either.
Bright overall sound, with alot of detail. Fair amount of bass, but it is tight and almost too restrained. The bass that is there is deep, there just isn't very much of it. They probably would not be very good phones for techno, but this is not a flaw as techno is not real music.
Sound leakage is slight for an open phone. At normal listening levels, other people will only find them audible in a dead quiet room. As long as you don't like your music very loud, they would be acceptable for use at night without disturbing the wife or roommate.
The headphone is built entirely of thick plastic and is very utilitarian. Solid construction, but definately not pretty. They are fairly loose, with the headstrap taking almost all of the weight. The ear pads are soft foam wrapped with felt, and are quite roomy. I find them extremely comfortable.
The cord is the phone's weakest point. It is thin and cheap feeling, and splits to connect to both earpieces. On a $150+ phone, I don't understand why they can't spend an extra $2.50 for a quality one sided cord. "But Sennheiser does it too!" is a poor excuse.
For under $200 from Meier, these phones are a no-brainer if you want a high end phone with a bright sound. If you prefer a warmer sound, you would probably be happier with Senn. HD600s.