Audio-Technica ATH-A700X (10.2 oz./290g, about $145). larger. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link to them at Amazon when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.
Introduced at CES 2012, the Audio-Technica ATH-A700X are around-the-ear, closed-back, isolating headphones.
The ATH-A700X have a light, airy sound. Their added brightness help get the sound out of your head a little bit more than most headphones.
The ATH-A700X sound particularly good for solo guitar, viola, cello, violin and small string ensembles, where their added brightness and airiness make strings sound more as they do live and up close. Vivaldi and Boccherini sound great with these.
They have natural bass, not the emphasized bass of the ATH-M50.
Since the bass is unemphasized and these headphones are a bit on the bright side, these are better for monitoring for defects, and the natural bass makes them better for mixing than the ATH-M50. Mixes made with the ATH-A700X are more likely to have solid bass and less raspy midrange than those mixed on the ATH-M50.
For enjoying music, I prefer the boosted bass and more neutral (less bright) sound of the tougher professional ATH-M50, which sells for about the same price. I also prefer that the ATH-M50 fold flat to fit in my luggage with my iPad, while these ATH-A700X sound brighter, airier and more open.
THe ATH-A700X sound very similar in character to Sennheiser's Open-Aire headphones, for a lot less money and with the added benefit of isolation from outside sound.
Around-the-ear, isolating closed headphones.
∅ 53mm drivers.
Patented DADS bass structure.
38 Ω, rated.
I measure 38 Ω DC.
100 dB at 1mW.
1 milliwatt at 38 Ω is 195 mV, which means 114 dB SPL at 1 volt.
1 watt, rated — ouch!
This is 6.2 V RMS at 38 Ω.
This means 130 dB SPL if the 100 dB SPL sensitivity is rated at 1 mW!
5 ~ 35,000 Hz, no conditions specified.
Cord and Plug
Audio-Technica ATH-A700X plug with ¼" adapter attached.
Molded plastic grip and strain relief.
Cloth-covered cord, a very nice touch.
¼" adapter included.
Use the HP-A500X as replacements if needed.
290 grams (10.2 ounces), rated, without cord.
Made in China.
Audio-Technica ATH-A700X, boxed.
Audio-Technica ATH-A700X, box back. enlarge.
The ATH-A700X are bright, dry, open and somewhat wheezier than others. This bright and airy sound is great for strings and guitar, but I prefer a warmer balance most of the time.
The ATH-A700X sounds best driven by tubes, like the Woo Audio WA6-SE.
The added brightness of the Apogee Duet 2's headphone output (about +1 dB at 16 kHz) doesn't help these headphones, which already have plenty of high-frequency output. (The Woo Audio WA6-SE sounds superb driven from the line outputs of the Duet 2.)
The big, fat pads of the ATH-A700X offer typical isolation from outside noise.
The ATH-A700X leak more sound to the outside world than most closed headphones; this probably helps add to their open sound.
The ATH-A700X' bass is smooth and unemphasized, so it will sound thinner when compared to headphones like the ATH-M50 which boost the bass below about 60 Hz.
The ATH-A700X sound the same regardless of head seal, which is good, because the more comfortable support system doesn't grab as tight as the ATH-M50.
As covered before, the treble is slightly hot.
It usually sounds swell, but might be a very little too much if your amp boosts treble, like the Apogee Duet 2's headphone output.
For enjoying movies on your iPad, the ATH-A700X are clean, open and airy, with natural bass.
The ATH-A700X are super-sensitive, able to play very loud very easily on any portable device, be it a DSLR, iPod, portable CD player (Sony D-E406CK) or camcorder.
On an iPod, I play my ATH-A700X at about only 1/2 to 3/4 volume for popular music or movies, and not much higher for classical. With my Beyer DT880, I usually need to have my iPod set to the maximum.
Forget moving the jumper on the Benchmark DAC1 HDR, it has more than enough gain as-shipped.
Materials and Mechanics
Driver outside, Audio-Technica ATH-A700X.
It's all plastic, except for whatever springs are inside the harps.
There is no exposed wiring to each earpiece as with the Sony MDR-7506; the ATH-A700X hides the wires inside the yolks.
The ATH-A700X have big earpads and a funny-looking support system that works with relatively little head pressure.
The weird-looking harp and support system tend to fall down. You can't move around well with these on your head, however they do all this with much less head pressure than other closed headphones.
These don't fold.
I tie-off most of the straight cord; I only need a couple of feet for desktop and portable use.
I've made constant comparisons all through this review. Here are some summary points versus the ATH-M50:
These ATH-A700X are slightly less sensitive, mostly due to having no bass emphasis.
These have much less deep bass, since the ATH-M50 boosts it and these don't.
These ATH-A700X have more treble and more air around the sound.
The ATH-M50 are darker and more closed, while these A700X are brighter and more open.
For light, clean, open and airy sound, these are great headphones at a great price.
Personally I usually prefer my ATH-M50 because I prefer boosted deep bass and less midrange emphasis, but these ATH-A700X win on open and airy sound.
If you've found my efforts reviewing these helpful, my biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link to them at Amazon when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.
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