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Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

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Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:19 pm

Hi,

I have been using Beyer DT880-Pro for mixing and I have loved these headphones. However, I’ve had to replace drivers in these on a few occasions despite never driving them very hard!!?? I’ve not had any issues with any of my other headphones (Sennheiser, Technics).

What would you recommend as an alternative/upgrade to the Beyer DT880-Pro’s?

Thanks
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:50 pm

Long ago I had a pair of DT150s, like you they were not hammered but a driver failed. I replaced on at £35 (10+ years ago) but when another failed I just chucked them in a drawer and bought something else (of less than £35 at the time) I now have Sennheiser HD25s but intend to buy some open back cans soon, probably AKG K702 or K712.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:13 pm

Weird, I've got 990s and 770s that I've had for years and no issues and a couple of studios round here use the 770s a lot and I've never heard of any problems there. Must be different drive units I guess.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby John Willett » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:52 am

A common reason for driver failure is leaving them plugged in when switching the system on or off. The switching surge can damage the very thin wires in the driver - even more so if aluminium ribbon is used.

It’s important to make sure that headphones are not plugged in, or the volume control is at minimum before switching on or off.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby george_vel » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:16 am

John, is there same risk when using active monitor speakers?
What is the proper way of switching on/off speakers and interface and avoid risk of drive damages and failure?

I am also looking forward at taking DT880 Pro as well as Scarlet 2i2 2nd and Neumanns KH80. But reading this topic I guess I’ll need some newbie-like-me-proof equipment and safe method of switching on/off and protect the gear from damaging it immediately.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:35 pm

george_vel wrote:John, is there same risk when using active monitor speakers?
What is the proper way of switching on/off speakers and interface and avoid risk of drive damages and failure?

Always switch off any active speakers or monitor amplifiers first and give them a few seconds before switching off anything else. When switching on, power up the monitors last.

I have my monitors on a separate switched mains socket so that I can do this easily.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby george_vel » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:55 pm

Thank you, James! :-)
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby ore_terra » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:21 am

John Willett wrote:A common reason for driver failure is leaving them plugged in when switching the system on or off. The switching surge can damage the very thin wires in the driver - even more so if aluminium ribbon is used.

It’s important to make sure that headphones are not plugged in, or the volume control is at minimum before switching on or off.
Good to know...

... as that’s what I always do...

... with Beyer DT880’s :lol:
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby wireman » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:53 am

John Willett wrote:A common reason for driver failure is leaving them plugged in when switching the system on or off. The switching surge can damage the very thin wires in the driver - even more so if aluminium ribbon is used.

It’s important to make sure that headphones are not plugged in, or the volume control is at minimum before switching on or off.

I don't know much about this but I would have expected any product to deal with any scenario expected in its field of use and this is one of them. The manual for my DT150 has no warnings about this, and even acknowledges the likelyhood they are plugged into a live signal...

When plugging in headphones or headsets to the drive amplifier,
we recommend that this is done before it is fitted over the ears
for use. This will give the technician the chance to check that the
volume levels are not too high. Please remember that the user
could well be a highly-paid presenter and the consequences of
damaging his/her ears may well prove to be music to the ears of
the lawyers!

Perhaps there are limits - low frequency square waves, but I'm not in the habit of listening to those.

Funnily enough, I did send these back a few years ago as one driver had gone bad.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:21 am

It might be worth getting your headphone source checked out. A faulty headphone amplifier can put low-level DC through the headphones which, over time, can degrade them and result in premature failure. Problems with the power supply can also cause substantial switch on/off thumps which can stress the earpiece connections and surrounds to, as others have already mentioned.

So if this is a recurring problem, I would check out the headphone amp as a matter of urgency and not assume the repeated failures are entirely the fault of the headphones...

H
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby James Perrett » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:46 pm

I would also add ultrasonic oscillations to Hugh's list of possible faults.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:06 am

Thanks. My headphone amps have changed over the used. I originally had an old Rane HC6, and that was replaced with an MTR HPA6 and now a DACS Headlite2.
I also use my headphones with my Yamaha digital piano and Yamaha DTX electronic drum kit both of which I run at less than 50% output!?
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby John Willett » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:38 pm

george_vel wrote:John, is there same risk when using active monitor speakers?
What is the proper way of switching on/off speakers and interface and avoid risk of drive damages and failure?

I am also looking forward at taking DT880 Pro as well as Scarlet 2i2 2nd and Neumanns KH80. But reading this topic I guess I’ll need some newbie-like-me-proof equipment and safe method of switching on/off and protect the gear from damaging it immediately.

Always switch the monitors on last and off first - this is the safest method.

Some equipment has a switch-on delay to stop the surge, but not everything - which is why it's best to do as above. :thumbup:
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby Kwackman » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:51 pm

John Willett wrote:It’s important to make sure that headphones are not plugged in, or the volume control is at minimum before switching on or off.

I had the monitor rule drilled into my brain many moons ago, but never considered the same for headphones. Thanks John, another lesson learnt! :thumbup:
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby John Willett » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:28 pm

Kwackman wrote:
John Willett wrote:It’s important to make sure that headphones are not plugged in, or the volume control is at minimum before switching on or off.

I had the monitor rule drilled into my brain many moons ago, but never considered the same for headphones. Thanks John, another lesson learnt! :thumbup:

I discovered this many years ago when I worked for Sennheiser and a few people kept blowing up their headphones.

The headphones had a voice-coil made from aluminium ribbon - this was lighter and more closely wound than a voice-coil made from copper wire and made the headphones faster and more responsive.

But aluminium has a lower melting temperature than copper and the switching surge was melting the aluminium. Telling the people to unplug the headphones (or having the volume at minimum) while switching on or off cured the problem.

Also, even with headphones with a copper voice-coil, the wire is very thin and a big surge could melt it in some cases.

So - better safe than sorry. :thumbup:
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby blinddrew » Tue May 01, 2018 10:50 am

thread filed away under 'try-and-develop-good-habits'. :)
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri May 11, 2018 11:11 pm

Hi guys. I've just had a quote for repairs on the DT880 pro’s and it is a lot less than a new pair of DT880’s!
So my dilemma is should I get an 8 year old pair of headphones repaired, go for a brand new pair or because of the unreliability I’ve been having (not had any issues with my ancient £40 pairs of Sennheiser EH2200) get something different?
I would be prepared to spend a little more (around £300-£400) if there is a better option than the DT880pro’s?
My studio monitors are Neumann KH120’s.

What would you recommend?
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby The Elf » Sat May 12, 2018 7:46 am

My recommendation would be the AKG K712. I'd take them over ANY headphone I've heard to date.
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby James Lehmann » Tue May 15, 2018 1:43 pm

dickiefunk wrote:I have been using Beyer DT880-Pro for mixing and I have loved these headphones. However, I’ve had to replace drivers in these on a few occasions despite never driving them very hard.

I’ve not had any issues with any of my other headphones (Sennheiser, Technics).

My headphone amps have changed over the years. I originally had an old Rane HC6, and that was replaced with an MTR HPA6 and now a DACS Headlite2.

I also use my headphones with my Yamaha digital piano and Yamaha DTX electronic drum kit...

It seems beyond the bounds of bad luck to have had such regular failure with your DT880s. :cry:

I have a pair of DT990's that have lasted 25 years without issue (apart from some dissolved foam) and I just purchased some DT880s hopefully for the next 25 years (hence my interest in this thread).

The 880 Pros are 250 Ohms which require a bit more gain than other consumer headphones which might reside at 600 Ohms. In other words a cr*p headphone amp perhaps makes them marginally more vulnerable to distortion damage.

So one suggestion might be to keep your freshly repaired 880s strictly for mixing work with your DACS and use your other pair(s) of cans on the direct outs of your electronic drum kit & piano?
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Re: Replacement/upgrade for Beyer DT880-Pro headphones?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:05 pm

Thanks for all the replies/suggestions!

Bizarrely my DT880-Pro's are working perfectly at the moment!! I can't re-create the problem either!? The strange thing is I was getting the same problem with different pieces of equipment (Yamaha Arius piano, Yamaha DTX562K drums, iPad etc). Before I was getting crackling and audio dropping out of one side when I moved the lead. Also the right side driver distorted with bass heavy sources even at lower volumes. Now they are working perfectly and no matter how much I jiggle the lead and no distorted bass!?

Not sure what the problem could have been but I'm very happy they are working again!
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