Beyerdynamic DT 860 Review
The Beyerdynamic DT 860s are a great set of cans for the price.
With decent build quality and high performance for the price, the Beyerdynamic DT 860s (MSRP $240.45) are over-ear cans that offer impressive audio quality. Though their open backs mean they don’t leave the computer, they’re great for home use, and don’t disappoint for the price.
Comfort Design & Features
These DT 860s are fairly uncomfortable, and must be kept inside to be properly maintained.
Comfort, or lack thereof, is the one major drawback we found while testing these cans. Though Beyerdynamic has impressed in this arena in the past, the Beyerdynamic DT 860s seem to want to pop your eyeballs out of your skull if your head is on the larger side. If you’re lucky and can adjust the band to fit, they will grip your head firmly, but the plush padding will allay much of the force of the clamping effect.
In terms of function, the Beyerdynamic DT 860s are fairly standard: dropping from the left ear cup is the 9.6-foot long cable of the Beyerdynamic DT 860, ending in a straight 1/8th inch plug. That plug in turn has a very thick rubber casing, making it sturdy enough to handle daily use. Included in the packaging is an adapter for home audio systems requiring a 1/4th inch connection.
These cans weren't made for walking, and that’s just what they'll not do. Seriously though, even though there is a carrying case, the 860s weren’t meant to brave the elements—even a mild outlier like high humidity could work its way into the ear cups via their open-back design. This is a huge problem, as the electronics of your Beyerdynamic DT 860s would be exposed to water. No good. Better to just keep them inside.
Great overall sound performance.
Here we see the beauty on the inside of the Beyerdynamic DT 860s. No, it’s not just a line these headphones tell themselves when they don’t snare their dream date: they actually deliver where it counts. For the vast majority of frequencies tested, they managed to maintain a response that was very flat. This is ideal, meaning they don't underemphasize or overemphasize anything too much (minus some higher harmonics) in your music.
Open-backed headphones—like the Beyerdynamic DT 860s—do not isolate well by design, and that’s no accident. With closed-back headphones, it’s possible to get tiny echoes of sound reflecting off the back of the casing, but with open headphones, this not only cannot happen, but the speakers can move more freely, and not suffer some of the impediments of a sealed chamber. They're not good isolators because they aren't meant to be.
The DT 860s perform at a high-end level, despite toting a mid-range price.
Beyerdynamic makes some high-quality headphones, and the Beyerdynamic DT 860s are no different. While not perfect, they still heartily stomp out a lot of other headphones in the area of performance. With a great frequency response, even tracking, and low distortion, the DT 860s perform at a level higher than their price point would suggest. If you want a set of open-backed cans for home, the Beyerdynamic DT 860s are a great choice.
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