how do you contest the dt990 are "just better" The k553 has a more linear frequency response uniformity than the dt990, especially if you attenuate the below 105hz. I would say, infact the the k553 walk all over the dt990`s, from an age past, and they do so with consumer load compatibility, which i think is awesome. if you can, id suggest that you do some equalization, this might help your experience. i feel the k553 can use a 4decibel boost from 105hz to 4000hz or something like that, then i think detail should be better revealed for ya. i always find myself turning down the source volume, because the cans are bass heavy, for me, ut then i run things a bit low, i agree, some people like allot of bass, I always say, if you need color in your cans, it`s easy use a "preset"... but let the headphones be neutral. The k553 are far more accurate and walk all over the dt990 pro measurements i`ve seen. which is crazy, given not only the high end positioning and prices today, but the dt990 prices 6 years ago. A little bit of eq will go along way, but that of course might not be available in some cases, but even still.. there is only a few different performance characteristics of a headphone, afaik, linear volume response is one, and speed of driver attack and degrade characteristic is another, there is also real sensitivity.. im pretty sure he k553 can be easily positioned above the dt990`s but then again, i`ve only read the charts.. and i`ve been known to make a mistake here and there.. i would not argue your personal comforts though.. i was looking at dt990's myself before for as a gift. i`d also suggest the k553 is much easier to equalize for consistent response than either of the other mentioned headphones.. and that where it's most first inaccurate is a boosted bass, which is not like, big change in the voice frequencies, just a little extra fundamental in the soprano, it's also as we both know much more sensitive, Maybe try a variety of source materials? i enjoy the build quality too, built like a tank, or a jeep, im embarrassed about the treatment of her, im going to try to take better care... They use the akgk700 series on some Canadian television news networks I seen, ;-) if you've got all these nice headphones, maybe use one per source, or one per "role", as you are, like if your cleaning the house, use something with a shorter cable, if your watching movies, use a different headphone, if you use headphones when watching movies i don't know.. i usually do, even in the living room often times. I put the speakers on when i have company over most times, or more than two people. the linearity of frequency response volume beats many speaker systems, and avoids the whole off axis issues and room resonance. Also cme to think about it, without say an analog attenuator, for general volume control, one might end up "bit clipping", more with these high sensitive headphones, coming straight-out of device, just a thought. And maybe another set for your work study or going out. This way you can put all your headphones to work and maybe save some trouble. I`d like to say your review im sure is useful to people, so thanks for sharing. and each person is entitled to their opinion and preference, however, i would have to question you assertion that the dt990's are "just better". Anyhow, all the best fellow.