Here at MajorHifi, we occasionally encounter headphones that do one thing so well that they demand a little extra attention. Where detail is concerned, the Beyerdynamic DT250 is no slouch. In fact, this headphone is so good, it shakes my staple list of headphones. Normally, when someone asks me for a detailed pair of cans, I direct them to the AKG K553 Pro. Both headphones are incredibly detailed. But, if you’re in the market for such a machine, which headphone should you choose?
Beyerdynamic DT250 vs AKG K553 Pro Comparison Review
Both the DT250 and the K553 Pro utilize a closed-back design. Comprised primarily of plastic, the 553 might be just a shade heavier. Sporting aluminum headbands and ample pleather padding, these headphones appear remarkably similar.
As studio headphones, cable length shouldn’t be an issue with either model – there’s plenty of cable for home use. However, users who are concerned about portability may find themselves braiding the cable to minimize that length.
While the AKG sticks to a fixed cable, the Beyerdynamic headphone offers a removable cable that can be screwed into place for heightened durability.
Beyerdynamic DT250 Specs
Frequency Range: 10-30,000 Hz
Impedance: 80 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 100 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.2%
AKG K553 Pro Specs
Frequency Range: 12-28,000 Hz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 114 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
As revealed by these specifications, the frequency range of the DT250 is wider in comparison to the K553. While both headphones can be used with low output devices like portable players and smartphones, the AKG remains decidedly more efficient. Sound Pressure Level is decent, though volume will seem greater on the AKG K553. Finally, while AKG doesn’t supply a rating for Total Harmonic Distortion, it seems to be on par with the Beyerdynamic DT250; both headphones sound remarkably clean.
Where the low end is concerned, the Beyerdynamic DT250 offers slightly deeper bass, but at the expense of some details. In most listening scenarios, I wouldn’t notice this small lack of detail. However, when stacked up against the AKG K553 Pro, the Beyerdynamic loses some luster.
For its part, the AKG offers a roomier low end, with elevated or separated high lows. The bass seems relaxed, but still present.
Between the two, the DT250 offers a more driving, emotive low end, while the K553 toes a more analytical line.
With less articulated mids but a smoother presentation, the Beyerdynamic takes a more middle-of-the-road approach. There’s still plenty of detail, but still nowhere near as much as I seemed to hear with the AKG.
More revealing in nature (but with only the slightest bit more discernable detail), the K553 is the stronger performer here. While it’s not really more detailed, there’s more contrast in the mids – resulting in an impression of a richer, more articulate sound.
In the high end, both headphone really differentiate themselves, with the DT250 supplying smoother highs. In comparison, the K553 sounds somewhat brighter. While vocals sound smooth and relaxed on the Beyerdynamic, they can seem almost tinny on the AKG.
Still, there’s a little extra detail at play in the K553’s high end, giving the AKG a better sound for instrumentation.
There’s no contest where soundstage is concerned; the AKG offers both depth and placement while the Beyerdynamic offers only a modicum of depth.
Soundstage on the K553 is just plain better. The DT250 sounds jumbled and confused in comparison, though there’s still a pleasing sense of depth there.
Overall, the Beyerdynamic DT250 is slightly less detailed, but smoother in its sound. While the AKG K553 Pro sounds decidedly mid-heavy, there’s still more detail in the lows and highs – leading to a more revealing (and unforgiving) sound.
Both the Beyerdynamic DT250 and the AKG K553 Pro offer tons of detail. For those seeking the most detail they can get on a budget of $200, the obvious recommendation remains the AKG K553.
However, the bassier low end and smoother sound of the DT250 deserve mentioning here. For jazz fans or anyone listening to older recordings, that smoother sound is a godsend. In fact, I’d tell jazz fans to skip the K553 entirely and opt for the DT250. Likewise, those seeking emphatic bass would do better with the Beyerdynamic.
Highly detailed, but offering different overall sounds, the Beyerdynamic DT250 and the AKG K553 Pro offer a pressing choice for anyone seeking more detail in a pair of headphones. Both models currently retail for a fair $199, and if you can demo these headphones in person, I highly recommend it, as source material may play a deciding factor regarding your final purchase.