Somewhere in Honolulu, Hawaii, Bruno Mars is about to be born. Ronald Reagan has been privately sworn in for a second term as President of the United States. Careless Whisper by Wham! tops the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. Heading out to the movies? Good call, you'll be able to catch The Goonies, Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club.
The year is 1985 and Beyerdynamic has just released the inaugural DT 770 Pro for some $300 – a major pile of cash for the time. But very soon, these headphones will become a huge success story in two letters (the DT actually stands for 'Dynamic Telephone').
Today, these cans are still the benchmark; the industry workhorse that doesn't always need an amp to sound good (Beyer has actually released them in three versions over the years: 32Ω for handheld devices/laptops, 250Ω to work with high-end headphone amps, consoles or interfaces, and an excellent 80Ω variant as a solid all-rounder for most studio work applications). And in case it needs further clarification: I adore them.
Now, the Heilbronn-based headphone specialist is releasing a time-limited Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro X Limited Edition! These are 48Ω nominal impedance cans, so they'll work with the best portable hi-res audio players (the general rule is that as the headphones' impedance figure – measured in ohms – goes up, so does the power required from the output device to drive them) and even better, they will cost far less than the originals when they hit shelves in April, at a recommended retail price of €199 (so around £170, $210 or AU$329, give or take).
Suffice it to say, yes I'll be keeping an ear to the ground on these – and you can also sign up to get notified upon their release.
I remember slipping the velour gray pads over my ears when recording vocals for musicals in Germany in the early 2000s. As my career progressed, I looked out for them wherever my voice was required. The very presence of the DT 770 Pro on a hook in a studio was a sign that the place knew its stuff; it was all going to be OK.
Opinion: 100 years is a long time in audio and I want that
Similar to the Sennheiser HD 250 dupe I wore when cutting my teeth in hi-fi journalism (to look like I belonged – imposter syndrome is real guys) to own such headphones carries with it a degree of both knowledge and allegiance.
So let's get granular on what's new and what's the same. At their core, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro X Limited Edition headphones deploy Beyerdynamic's sound transducer STELLAR.45, which has been ensuring sound reproduction in the DT 700 Pro X and DT 900 Pro X studio headphones since 2021.
There's also a 3m pluggable cable now, including lockable 3-pin Mini XLR connector. Another new feature is something the company calls an "integrated fontanelle recess in the headband, which protects potentially pain-sensitive areas on the head and thus ensures particularly high wearing comfort".
And as is typical for Beyerdynamic studio headphones, both the headband and the velour ear cushions can be replaced when necessary.
“The DT 770 PRO X Limited Edition provide exactly the features that have led Beyerdynamic to the top of the studio headphone sector. With the latest driver technology and the pluggable cable, the headphones are aimed at modern musicians and producers who pursue their creativity in different places“, said Beyerdynamic Managing Director Andreas Rapp, adding, “The limited edition model is not just a continuation of our company history. It is also a thank you to our community who has asked for a DT 770 PRO with a pluggable cable and STELLAR.45 driver system for a long time".
Visually, there is no doubt that it is a homage to the DT 770 Pro. An anniversary emblem embossed in silver marks the 100-year history of the traditional German manufacturer, founded in 1924.
As a dedicated user of the best wired headphones (do see our recent Fiio FT5 review for some of the best debutantes to the market) I know full well the talents of Beyer's output here, but the excellent Beyerdynamic's Amiron Wireless and the refreshingly rock n roll guitar-pick styled Free Byrd earbuds prove that the firm isn't afraid to move with the times either.
I strongly suspect the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro X Limited Edition will marry heritage greatness and well-integrated improvements beautifully – and if any of you get them before me, I'll throw a Breakfast Club "Eat my shorts" Bender-style tantrum (if you know, you know).