Beyerdynamic DT831 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Beyerdynamic Model DT831
Headphone Type Closed Circumaural Headband Type None
Weight (g) 295 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 12
Impedance (ohms) 250 Cable Length (cm) 300
Frequency Response (Hz) 5 - 32000  
Connector 3.5mm with 6.5mm adaptor Street Price US$143
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Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 6.5 Bass Impact 6.5
Bass Quality 7.0 Mids Quality 6.0
Highs Quality 6.0 Soundstage 5.0
Detail 6.5 Portability 2.5
Isolation 5.0 Comfort 7.0
Durability 7.0 Improvement With Amplification 5.5
Value for Money 6.0    
Overall Score 6.5 Total Reviews 2

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member Iron_Dreamer on 01 Jul 07  12:32
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality7

These are excellent closed headphones for the money, if you like their sonic signature, which is certainly not laid-back. They have a degree of clarity and detail I've not heard from any other sub-$400 closed cans, which combined with classic Beyer comfort and nice tight bass makes for a great set of cans.

The bass is of the hard, fast, tight variety, definitely not for the HD650 crowd. The bass keeps up with very fast, complex music well, and does not overload or mask the midrange. You will hear all but the lowest notes; however you will not get the visceral slam of some bassier headphones.

The midrange is a bit on the dry or analytical side, with nice clarity and detail, which allows recordings to come through for better or for worse. Timbre and body are nice, with instruments sounding quite lifelike, though again not to levels of greatness.

The high end is a bit on the bright side, which again goes to the clear and revealing nature of these headphones. Despite the slight brightness, I've yet to notice any listening fatigue even over long sessions. The treble is not distracting from the rest of the presentation either, so don't make the mistake that this headphone is overbearingly bright.

Soundstaging is pretty good for a closed headphone, typical of Beyers, with decent width and good imaging. In comparison with some competing closed cans, it's not quite as expansive or 3-D as the AT A900, but not as closed-in as the AKG K271, and has better imaging than the DT770.

The 831's are well-built, moreso than their little brother the 531, but not quite to the tank-like standard of the DT770. Comfort is among the best closed headphones, between the soft trademark velour pads, relatively low clamping force, and lightweight headband mechanism. They are fairly large, which hampers portability, but the coiled cord is a bonus there.

Despite high impedance (250ohms) the DT831 is fairly efficient (98dB/mW) and thus can be driven to good levels from some portable players, like my iHP-120. It does benefit from a good amplifier, though quite not to the level of some other high impedance headphones.

The DT831 exemplifies Beyerdyanmic's tradition of well-built, quite comfortable, nice sounding headphones at a reasonable cost. The sound signature is one that will appeal to fans of the Sony SAx000 series, the current Grado line, and perhaps even the AKG K501 and Beyer DT880 looking for a quality set of closed headphones. Their greatest weakness is in bass quantity/slam, which combined with their slight brightness could be a definite turn-off to fans of a darker, warmer sound. If they appeal though, get them while you can, since they're discontinued, but good deals can be had, since some sellers don't know quite how good these headphones can be.

These headphones do improve quite a bit with the use of a 120-ohm output impedance, either via a dedicated jack like those of the Meier Audio amps, or with a simple adapter. The bass extension an impact improves noticeably, while the high end is backed off a bit. The result is a more balanced and engaging sound. My ratings reflect the sound as used with a 120-ohm adapter, without one, I'd give one point less to bass extension, impact, and highs quality.

My ratings:
Bass Extension: 8
Bass Impact: 7
Bass Quality: 8
Mids Quality: 7
Highs Quality: 7
Soundstage: 5
Detail: 7
Portability: 2
Isolation: 5
Comfort: 8
Durability: 8
Improvement with Amplification: 7
Value for the Money: 6

Review by Senior Member thrillmetoo on 03 Sep 06  05:26
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact6
Bass Quality6
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality5

I've owned these cans for about four years now and they still sometimes surprise me. A year ago I bought a DT 880 and in some ways the DT 831's are far more enjoyable. The mids are a bit too pronounced, but nice nevertheless. There are sometimes too much highs, depending on the material.
I always use an equalizer and when listening with the 831's, I turn the 2 kHz sliders down about 3 dB and the 8 kHz sliders about 4 dB down.
(I also use the equalizer with my DT 880 fot that matter. In that case, The 4 kHz sliders are on about 3 dB up and the 8 kHz, as with the 831, about 4 dB down.)
Even then, there is still considerable difference in the sound signature between 831's and 880's. Compared to the 880's the bass of the 831's is more tight, though sometimes a little less deep.
The fit is near perfect for me, and even during long listening sessions I don't get sweaty ears. I remember the grip took some getting used to (or maybe it loosened in time). It's a pity there are a little too many plastic parts.
I'm still looking for an opportunity for a direct comparison to the AKG 271's, which also cought my interest. Until then I can say the 831's are the most comfortable, least coloured closed cans I've ever heared. In my comparisons these always turned out to be the cans with the most realism and are they are surely the most 'fun' cans.

Beyerdynamic DT831