That ability to reveal those subtle notes while arranging your creations happens to translate well to other areas. They’re not quite neutral, having a slightly warm sound with very clear highs, slightly pronounced mids and a low-end that’s very powerful and quite capable of shaking your head. The design of the ear cups helps to keep any boominess under control, though it can certainly put out crazy levels of bass if you so desire. Just expect a headache after testing at those levels. The highs are never sparkly nor do they overwhelm or tire your ears, and mine are already tired from tinnitus anyway. Those mids? Yeah, they seem to resolve detail I never knew was there. They’re extremely clean and at reasonable listening levels there’s not a hint of resonance from the closed-back nature.
I’m a big fan of open-backed headphones (and we’ll be testing the newest open-backed variant soon), but these seem to defy expectations in a very big way. Bass is well controlled through out the spectrum with nary a hint of resonance or that dreaded boominess that can result from poor engineering, or poor drivers. It’s tightly controlled and very present, some might even think a bit bass heavy, though.
Close to neutral is good, because then it responds very well to applying your own EQ. And these are happy to oblige. EQ is how we make these sound like we want them to, giving them the character that we personally like to hear. We all have different tastes and it’s important to be able to find headphones that appeal to what you find to be aural enjoyment.
Not surprisingly, Star Wars: Battlefront was rendered in what I can only describe as cinematic glory. This game does have a very similar sound stage as the movies that uses extra bass to great effect. The deep note of a blaster shot from the T21B, the quick staccato footsteps of an AT-ST or the heavy, thunderous footsteps of the AT-AT as it makes its way along the ice sheets of Hoth. There’s definitely a feeling of presence, as if the soundtrack is happening before your very self and this helps tremendously with
Those are the obvious noises that’ll be reproduced in some fashion by any headphones. The developer is in the details, and the reproduction of those, no matter how small. Things do indeed sound so clear and wide, overall, with a full range of reproduction. While using only a stereo connection, the soundscape is quite wide and positioning feels accurate enough. Footsteps are resolved very well, as is the slight crunching of snow, or foliage, underneath as you trundle through the forests of the moon of Endor. It’s fairly easy to ascertain where they’re coming from and thus helps in reactions when looking to get the drop on someone.
Elite: Dangerous, despite criticism levied towards the game itself, has a soundscape that may just be one of the best in any space faring game that’s been released (barring maybe Star Citizen, of course). There’s life around you inside your cockpit, if you take the time to listen. The sound engineers have put an incredibly amount of detail that can be uncovered, if you pay attention. Not to mention the soundtrack is well suited to the atmosphere. The DR 1770’s make for a great companion. The subtle roar of your engines is a bit more powerful with these on your ears and the sounds of combat, with lasers and plasma sizzling against metal and shields takes on a more personal air about it. It sounds natural, like it’s enveloping you.
These would be good VR headphones due the relatively accurate way in which the DT 1770’s portray audio. In concert with a competent algorithm and microphones that can accurately capture positional audio, this could be a very good combination indeed.
Music can do a lot of things for us, motivate us, nurture us when we’re feeling down and just be in the background as a means of distracting us while doing repetitive things. It wouldn’t do well for a so-called studio mixing headphone to fall down on rendering your music as best it could.
The first song we’ll push through the DT 1770’s will be Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones. The opening sitar has a certain eloquence to it, and it feels like it’s right there being played for you. If you close your eyes. Just past that, the impact that can be felt from the opening percussion as they go into the bleaker moments of the lyrics. The version on Aftermath is sort of revealed in all its former glory, with imperfections with the recording technology, a slight hum, being heard in the background, due to how it can separate and actually resolve that little details and imperfections.
The separation of instruments and their spatial position are important factors, despite being nominal “audiophile” descriptions. You need to be able to hear it as one coherent piece, not a muddle of noises that make no sense in the brain, or to the ear. The mordant theme and despairing tone that’s taken is echoed with the little details that are available to the ear. The bass particularly is nice, strong but not overly so with the killer riff intro, but they don’t overpower if the EQ is kept flat. The mids are a bit recessed, but again not overly so. A bit of EQ magic and you can have the sound you desire.
EDM does well on these headphones by virtue of the amount of bass that they can produce. Deep bass too. And without being boomy. Though you can make it boomy if you want to. Overall, it’s quick and well done. Listening to My Way by Calvin Harris is actually a treat. It sounds as if it’s a personal concert for your ears. The midrange, particularly in the vocal region, are a bit forward, with the top-end of Calvin’s voice being a bit harsh. Otherwise there’s detail for days in the music, even at lower volumes.
The next track is something that I rather enjoy quite a bit, Worthy of Survival by Bear McCreary as part of the soundtrack for the new Battlestar Galactica. He chose a very wide array of instruments to help visualize the new feel. Worthy of Survival is an orchestral piece and the lonely duduk in the beginning has a lot of texture to it, and sounds great. Then when the stringed instruments start up and carry on the melody, it’s great. The percussion is magnificent, though here it might be a bit of a nuisance with the sheer amount of it. The impact is felt, it sounds sweet, but because of the highly dynamic nature of this piece, it sometimes sounds constrained, in a can so-to-speak. It’s an odd feeling, though it does actually still have an overall good sound to it. There’s just something a bit off is all.
What good are headphones if you can’t stand to have them on your head for extended periods of time?
The velour pads seem to be the most comfortable, letting your ears breath a bit so they don’t get too toasty. They also contribute to the DT 1770’s sort of disappearing on your head. They aren’t too terribly tight and definitely not a vice grip. Their lighter weight construction means that your neck won’t suffer either. The headband doesn’t seem to bother my head so they fit comfortable and for periods longer than three hours. These shouldn’t pose any problems, except maybe the leatherette being a bit unbreathable.