Apologies for the delay in replying - it went to my spam folder.
Thank you ever so much for your comprehensive reply.
I have taken on board a few other lines of thought in addition to your expert advice. Michael Wynne explained the difference between the 770 and 990 in a video on the GAK website. When I started all this some years back I read David Franz (Recording and Producing in the Home Studio) a few times.
I have thought about my requirement a bit more and the plot has thickened slightly.
My major requirement for these phones is more for the final mixing so I can get a good representation of what it’s going to sound like across all devices and platforms. I have a problem getting it to sound good on a big hi-fi and something small at the same time. So I am now thinking that an open backed DT990 would be better for that.
I don’t have to use them for recording as I am not too fussed about the quality of what I’m referencing for recording as I tend to do that one-eared sometimes anyway with one cup of my existing phones over one ear and the other cup on my temple and listen to the new take ambiently (voc, acuostic guitar) with the exposed ear. I even have a modified one-ear version where one side broke off on some old headphones so I taped the cushion around the rough end of the headband. With the electric bass it is more of a timing reference so it sounds non-optimised anyway. I am not classically taught so maybe I am making a mistake here. I am maybe a bit over-confident about my abilities and maybe I should absorb the deeper intricacies of what I’m playing along with. It involves a lot of extended-genre punk-cored music with frequent ska leanings and recently some funk/disco excursions and then back to punk again so maybe I am also careless sometimes. Even when I am careful I might still have to tweak some of the phrasing - it’s almost like there is a deviant, variable latency thing going on sometimes but it’s probably my ears playing tricks with the timing when I record. Anyway…
So I think I only need a good volume for mixing and not for monitoring against loud ambient inputs. So maybe the 990 80ohm is sufficient. Although you reckon there would not be much difference in sound quality with the 80ohm vs the 32ohm. Just I read somewhere that the headphone amp likes to have something robust to drive against for good response across the frequency range - I think it was the bass driving - not sure. Maybe the difference is a gnat’s whisker so I am worrying unduly.
But… To complicate things more, I do a lot of producing directly in the laptop listening via the headphones socket without the interface connected (I am an off-grid roaming studio so try to conserve battery). A lot of the time I’m doing edits and getting the rough mix right so I can still do that on my regular headphones (phillips SHP2500). They sound nice enough and full and the bass is solid but I’m interested to see how different a studio quality headphone would sound for the mix. Then I can use the DT990 to “check” and tweak the final mixer settings via the UR22mkII. Somebody has advised that the headphone output of the laptop is lower still as you suggest with the 32ohm version.
So it’s whatever gives me the best option to rubber-stamp the final mix with the kit I’ve got - probably 990 80ohm on the UR22 vs 990 32ohm in the laptop’s headphone output??
I have often wondered how much better the professional kit is than the laptop for recording and for perfecting a final mix and if maybe I am trying to “polish a turd”. I am on Cubase LE but I presumed the output quality is the same - just fewer features etc.
I’ll chew it over some more.
I have a beyerdynamics dt770 pro 80 ohms, that i use with a Steinberg UR-RT2 audio interface. The sound is very good, very balanced, and i can work long hours with this headphone without beeing tired. I do mainly recording and mixing with a DAW (cubase and Ableton Live).
I would definitely not go for a 250 ohms with a UR22mk2, because the headphones output level of this interface is lower than the UR-RT2 (6mW for the ur22mk2, 100mW for the urrt2). I think that you would get a tiny sound, a very low output level. The 250 ohms is designed for big and powerful hardware you can find in professional studios.
With the ur22mk2 i would better go for the 80 Ohms, but in retrospect, i think that i would even choose the DT770 32 Ohms with the Urrt2, because the output level with the 80 Ohms is somewhat low sometimes (when i am recording live with a loud instrument, a saxophone for example).
As a conclusion, with the ur22mk2, i think that the best choice is the 32 ohms. This is a very commun level for headphones used with computers and smartphones. The reason is that the ur22mk2 is an usb-powered device, and for this reason doesn’t bring a lot of power to the headphones. The main qualities of the dt770 (precision, balance, comfort) will surely remain even with the 32 ohms model as it is designed for professionnal use.
I hope this is useful.