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Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004)
See Top Ranked Over-Ear Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004)

Analysis:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004) make for very strong choices and are great Over-Ear Headphones for their respective $279 and $146 asking prices. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, either of these options will serve you well.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) got praised by SoundGuys and Tom's Guide - two highly trusted sources that perform in-depth hands-on testing. It was awarded the "Best All-around" title from SoundGuys and "Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound" from Tom's Guide in their respective Over-Ear Headphone roundups.

Returning to the beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004), it managed to impress reviewers from two sources that are considered to be some of the most highly trusted on the internet, thanks to their in-depth hands-on testing - SoundGuys and Rtings. It performed great in their respective Over-Ear Headphone roundups - it was named "Best comfort" by SoundGuys and "Runner Up for Best Open-Back Headphones Under $200 - More Comfortable Alternative" by Rtings. That's quite an endorsement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. Head-fi, SoundGuys, and Rtings, for example, preferred the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017), while PCmag rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) got reviewed the highest by Digitaltrends - it gave it a rating of 10, while the beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004) most impressed reviewers at Head-fi, which gave it a score of 9.5.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Over-Ear Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Over-Ear Headphones being 7.5 out of 10, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004) managed averages of 8.9 and 8.1 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs. beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
PCmag
Wirecutter
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Techradar
CNET
TrustedReviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004)
$146
Higher than average expert review score
7.6
Overall Avg. for Over-Ear Headphones
8.1
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best over-ear headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Headphones For Mixing - More Affordable Alternative
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 2 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Open-Back (Wired)
in “Best Headphones Under $200 in 2020” 
Last updated: 17 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best comfort
in “Best headphones under $200 of 2020” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Open-Back Headphones Under $200 - More Comfortable Alternative
in “The 7 Best Open-Back Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 5 May 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Bass Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 5 May 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 7 Best Wired Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020

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