One hundred years of beyerdynamic: a reverse history

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One hundred years of beyerdynamic: a reverse history

Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

2024 is one hundred years since Eugene Beyer started a cinema loudspeaker company, then “Elektrotechnische Fabrik Eugen Beyer” that would eventually become beyerdynamic after his son, Fred R. Beyer, took over the family business.

beyerdynamic are a hugely influential company across a few different areas of sonic bliss, the current day sees them as a pillar of the music we make, the sound we capture and the rush we feel when it all comes together.

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Most engineers, producers and music makers will know beyerdynamic today, so it makes sense to work our way backwards from a few of today’s select icons of the studio, all the way back to their humble beginnings.

DT 770 PRO X Limited Edition

To celebrate 100 years, beyerdynamic have released their DT 770 PRO X Limited Edition headphones. Building on their world-class mixing and mastering headphones, the DT 770 PRO X encapsulate the beyerdynamic spirit: reliable, professional-grade components that harness the cutting edge of technology for the best results at all times.

What’s more, the DT 770 PRO X are as comfy as every other beyerdynamic headphone on the market. Their soft, upholstered ear pads allow for hours and hours of use without discomfort. The DT 770 PRO X are closed-back for superior isolation.

MMX 200

The MMX 200 headphones were released in 2023, with a focus on gaming and streaming purposes, all with beyer’s world-class, reference quality sound. The MMX 200 builds on the MMX 100 and 150, bringing comfort and a META VOICE microphone to the party, along with world-class frequency response.

High quality sound for gaming means better localisation of enemies and gameplay, so you’re ready for whatever the immersive world has to throw at you. For streamers, there can often be multiple sounds, voices and music happening at once, so clarity of all this will make for more seamless content!

beyerdynamic MMX200

DT 1770 & DT 1990

2017 saw the release of beyerdynamic’s current flagship headphones in the DT 1770 & DT 1990. The DT 1990 feature Tesla driver technology and an open-back design for maximum comfort. They’re built for a focus on a wide soundstage, and accurate representation of the stereo field. This makes them a perfect pairing for the mixing or mastering engineer who needs the most accurate, reference-quality sound.

DT 770 & 990

The DT 1770 & DT 1990 were preceded by the DT 770 & DT 990 headphones in 1985 that, much like the crocodile and the cow shark, haven’t had much need to evolve since they arrived. The DT 770 are a closed-back design for improved isolation while recording or monitoring. A great solution for engineers and producers recording in the same room as musicians!

beyerdynamic dt 990

The DT 990s are open back, providing better comfort for extended sessions. Both the 990s and 770s feature ​​an innovative bass reflex system for extended low end dynamics and clarity.

M 201

1973 saw the introduction of a workhorse microphone that, even today, sits in just about every engineer’s cupboard (at least the ones worth their mettle!)

The beyerdynamic M201 is a hypercardioid condenser microphone, so it can be used for sources across just about the entire frequency spectrum—and then some! Its hypercardioid pattern means it’ll pick up a little ambience for an especially natural sound, and responds remarkably well for drums and room sounds, as well as guitars (both acoustic and electric amps) or even foley and sound design.

DT 100 

While still produced today, 1965 saw the release of an instant classic: the DT 100 headphones. The DT 100s produced today offer superior comfort and a balanced response, without the high end hype that some other headphones can suffer from!

The DT 100s have been used and trusted in studios and broadcast for decades! Why stop now?

beyerdynamic DT100

M 88

The M88 is a hugely successful microphone, now with a few revised versions that superseded the original M 88 from 1962. Originally designed as a handheld vocal microphone, its balanced, even response across the entire frequency spectrum made it a great solution for just about any source; be it kick mic or a guitar cab.

The original M 88s were hypercardioid, and newer models feature the same polar pattern, albeit with a more robust grille to protect the microphone’s innards in the stage and studio. They sound largely the same as they did in the 60s!

M 160

1957 brought a huge innovation to market, beyerdynamic’s M160. The M 160 ribbon microphone is now highly revered for its smooth response, and much like the rest of beyerdynamic’s range, it’s versatility.

What’s more, the M160 bucks the traditional trend of the figure-eight polar pattern. A figure-eight pattern usually means the microphone picks up as much behind it as it does the source it’s pointed at. The beyerdynamic M160 instead features a hypercardioid pattern, making it more directional while retaining the smoothness and richness of a ribbon microphone.

M 19

The beyerdynamic M 19 was an early dynamic microphone intended for studio use, arriving to market in 1939. The M 19 featured either a metal grille or a more heavy-duty metal casing to protect the capsule, the latter being used extensively for broadcast because of its robust design.

DT 48 headphones

Finally we arrive at one of the first beyerdynamic products to market: the DT 48 dynamic headphones. The DT 48 were the first dynamic studio headphones. Used for generations of sound engineers and broadcasters, the DT 48 were a part of the beyerdynamic catalogue until 2012.

beyerdynamic DT 48

Eugen Beyer had an affinity for converting his knowledge of acoustics into practical products to capture, record, monitor and ultimately playback sound. beyerdynamic stand out from the crowd in that their products are widely versatile, more so than most! What’s more, that versatility is broadly understood, so they make their products acutely robust because they know we’ll be reaching for them time and time again to get the job done.

Their headphone earcups and pads are removable, washable and replaceable, while their microphones feature robust grilles to protect the circuitry we rely on. Here’s to a hundred years of beyerdynamic, and at least a hundred more!

For local enquiries, visit beyerdynamic.