Every now and again, we come across something truly special in our hardware and tech coverage. Today is one of those days. There’s no burying the lede on this one: we’ve discovered what may just be the best headphone you could buy as a gamer than also sounds incredible for music. We’re talking about the Massdrop X Beyerdynamic 177X GO, a headphone that shocked us in more ways than one and completely replaced every other headphone we use. This is a review you won’t want to miss.
- Current Price: $450 ($400 with our exclusive $50 off coupon)
- Closed-back principle
- Circumaural fit
- Driver: 45mm Tesla neodymium technology
- Frequency response: 5 Hz–40 kHz
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Painted aluminum ear cups
- Spring steel headband
- Metal yokes
- Dark blue stitching
- Cable: Straight, detachable
- Connector: ? in (3.5 mm)
- Included in the box:
- Pair of sheepskin ear pads
- Pair of velour ear pads
- ?–¼ in (3.5–6.35 mm) adapter
- Made in Germany
We’re no strangers to Massdrop, now Drop.com, here at MMORPG.com. They’re an enthusiast site that made their name on finding products custom-targeted at passionate communities like our very own. Then, they’d bypass the usual business chain and offer those products in limited runs and cheaper prices, all based on the interest of customers like you and I. Along with that, they formed strategic partnerships to re-release their own versions of products the community already loved, factoring in their feedback to make them better and cheaper than ever before. They’ve been batting 1000 for years with this method – who would have thought, releasing the best versions of beloved products for cheaper prices than ever before is a winning strategy.
That’s where the Massdrop x Beyerdynamic 177X GO comes in. Drop’s latest headphone is based on the popular DT-1770 PRO. It uses Beyerdynamic’s acclaimed Tesla driver, which is known for its incredible precision. Tesla Technology is the latest evolution of Beyerdynamic’s acoustic design for headphones, offering a number of major enhancements.
Without getting overly technical, what it comes down to is this. Transducers rely on magnetics to achieve sound. Beyerdynamic’s Tesla drivers double to magnetic density inside the driver(greater than one Tesla, hence the name) which enhances their acoustic capability and efficiency, allowing you to find Tesla headphones all the way down to 32-ohms, easily driven by a smartphone. They’ve paired the electrical improvements with a re-engineered housing design that’s now all-metal and tilted to match the angle of the ear canal.
The result is simply one of the most capable headphones on the market today for delivering superb clarity and quality across every inch of the audible spectrum.
Like all Drop collabs, the DT-177X Go is rooted in an already-popular product with the DT-1770 Pro. This is rather remarkable since the 1770 Pro has only been on the market since 2015. Still, it’s been improved with a reworked sound profile that really smooths out the tonal frequencies and removes some of the high-end sharpness the DT line has become known for. The DT-990 could sound sibilant at points but that’s definitely not the case here. It’s very well-rounded and smooth. Additionally, Drop has lowered the impedance all the way down to 32-ohms, which makes it a perfect fit for use without an amp. Plug it right into your PC or smartphone and you’re off to the races without sacrificing sound quality.
The build quality is identical to the DT-1770s, with Beyerdynamic’s iconic circular driver housings. They’re finished entirely in metal, which is part of the Tesla composition but also makes the headphones feel very well-made and durable. I love the leather trim on the headband and the subtle, sleek style it portrays. I’m not one for wearing over-ear headphones out of the house but these look good and the sound quality demanded they follow me wherever I go.
The headphones also come with your choice of velour or real Dekoni sheepskin ear cushions. The velours are supremely comfortable. They have an airiness that helps keep your ears cool and also extends into what you’re listening to, giving it just a hint more treble. The sheepskin pads are also very comfortable but do a much better job of isolating sound by creating a tight seal around your ear. They slightly elevate the bass in tracks by releasing less air through their fabric.
Regardless of which you choose, you’ll have an amazing experience. The drivers are rated for 5 – 40000 Hz which makes them an excellent fit for high-resolution audio. Before you panic about needing to rip your music library into massive FLAC files, hold tight. Many games also feature uncompressed, high-resolution audio, which means the 177X GO can fully take advantage of your games in a way lesser headphones can’t.
Even if you’re streaming music from YouTube or Spotify, the 177X’s are immediately elevating. The sound profile here is a gentle ‘U.’ The bass is full but not overpowering. The mids are slightly back but not so much that vocals and call-outs aren’t present, they just sound further back as if the singer was in the middle of the room instead of on the edge of your desk. Highs have a slight push but aren’t sharp in any way and can certainly sparkle.
The soundstage. Oh man, the sound… stage. These headphones are some of the most open closed-back headphones I’ve ever heard. The EQ tuning makes them sound so spacious. Listening to music, it genuinely feels like you’re in the room and the musicians are playing around you. It’s relaxed, not soaked in reverb like software solutions that try to emulate this, just superbly smooth, wide, and relaxed.
The stereo imaging is also phenomenal, clearly articulating where sounds are coming from and how far away they are. I popped on some 8D audio tracks just to trace the sounds and it’s downright trippy hearing sounds trace across that massive soundscape.
The 177X GOs are the best headphones I’ve ever used for gaming. Full stop. They’re better than my Sennheiser HD6XXs, 58X Jubilees, AKG K7XXs… the works – and all of those were great for gaming thanks to their open back. But there’s some black magic going on here to create such a wide soundstage that competes with and, in my subjective opinion, beats those headphones.
Look, I’m going to lay it out there: I get that this goes against convention. Open backs are supposed to have the better soundstage, so it’s very likely the combination of tuning, imaging, and my own ears. I don’t want to overstate, they simply blew me away.
The spaciousness and accuracy of location gave a clear and absolute advantage in Modern Warfare. They made the world feel more real in RIFT. They were just stunningly good – sound quality, accuracy, spaciousness. I would take the 177X GOs over any virtual surround sound headphone on the market today. There really is no competition.
There’s no question about it, the Massdrop X Beyerdynamic 177X GOs are absolutely outstanding. There’s also no doubt about that price point – they’re expensive. With our code, you’ll be able to get a $50 discount but even at $400 these need to be viewed as an investment. They’re a good one. They’ll make you want to listen to music more. They’ll make you want to play more games. You’ll be looking for excuses to wear them more. They’re really that good and because they’re intended to be maintained, virtually all of the parts are user-replaceable to make sure they last for years to come. You need this headphone.
- HUGE soundstage… astoundingly wide for being closed back, better than most virtual surround sound solutions
- Excellent stereo imaging – better positioning for immersion and a competitive advantage
- Swappable ear cushions (including Dekoni sheepskins) for neutral or bassy sound profile
- Outstanding comfort
- User-replaceable parts – this is an investment headphone that’s made to be maintained
- Low impedance, can run and sound amazing on anything
- Incredible for music and games alike – these bring sound to life in a way I’ve never heard before
- Very expensive upfront (evens out over time)
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.