* Prices may differ from that shown
There are always a few considerations you need to make before purchasing new headphones. In my opinion you can divide these up in 1. Audio Quality, 2. Comfort 3. Usability 4. Looks.
As for point 1. Audio Quality, this is fantastic! I have long been married to an audiophile and new headphones must pass his inspections as well as mine. These headphones give a warm, clear sound. Not too heavy on the bass as some cheaper brands are wont to do. They are excellent to watch films with; giving you an extremely life like sound, very good for voices. As for music; yes there are headphones that will give you a cleaner sound, but this gives me the balance of warmth as well as quality. As I use these for both music and media I get the best from both worlds.
2. Comfort: These are super comfortable, probably the most comfortable I have ever worn. Due to the paddles on the top the weights is distributed differently and makes them almost weightless and they are pretty light already. I can literally wear them for 8 hours straight without any problems.
3. Usability: In my opinion these are perfect to use at home, not on the road and not in the studio. For one, the lead is too long for portability; and second you will look like an alien abduction victim.
Last but not least, Looks. The purple and aluminum makes them look a little cheap and as the title says when you have them on your head it does look like you are getting sounds beamed straight into your head. In my opinion, audio quality and comfort massively out way looks as I use these for home, but they are ugly.
In summary: Get these if you want reasonably priced, excellent sounds quality and superb comfort and do not use them out of you house or if you couldn't care less about what you look like to your colleagues in the office.
To go along with my new iPod and new iPad I really wanted a pair of top quality Headphones. I was originally interested in the Beats by Dre brand but I was put off by their ridiculous price for what was essentially a well packaged pair of average headphones.
I done my research and came across the Audio Technica AD700. The general consensus was that they were the best value for money headphones around. With this in mind I had a punt without trying them first and got a pair based on internet reviews alone.
Firstly, they are very well packaged and come with a great carry pouch which will keep your headphones protected when they are not being used. They fit nicely in the pouch utilising the deliciously designed collapsible feature. They are bigger than the Beats but these are supposed to be for professional studio use and are not really the sort of headphones you would use casually outside.
They are very comfortable and I have worn them for hours and never had any issues with them being irritable. I decided to get the coiled cable version as they do come in a straight cable also but the cable is massive and would not be ideal when using them on your iPad or iPod. I would say they are more suited for studio work.
As for the sound, well this is where thy come into their own. They are amazing. The bass is not overly bassy and is well mixed with the mids. If you compare this to the Beats where the bass is way too much you will see the difference in quality. You can listen to any type of music which picks up sounds you didn't know existed in that song or you could listen to sport and it feels like your there.
I would highly recommend anyone to give these a go before giving into this Beats by Dre craze. Yes they might not be as stylish but the sound quality is amazing.
What can I say? I purchased these as an alternative to my audio technica M50's (those are strictly for studio use). These headphones get use outside of the house all through the year. We've bared a very harsh winter and so have these headphones and they show no signs of damage which is always a good thing.
I travel everyday for 2 hours to and from university via bike and bus and these have not let me down once with a loose connection or crackly sound. The bass is well extended down to 5hz, it may be inaudible but the upper harmonics it produces effect the sound so it is not pedantic or unnecessary.
The high frequencies are very clear if not very slightly over exaggerated but this should not put you off, especially at this price.
I find these headphones competing with my studio monitors which are more than double the price, not only do they compete but in some respects they surpass! The detail is definitely there, every dash of reverb and delay is heard subtly in the background and there is a great sense of depth from the headphones.
Highly recommended for anyone wanting to hear music the way it was intended.
I ordered these a couple days ago and I'm new to the whole audiophile scene, but I decided to start out with these. They're amazing! This, however; is probably because of my low expectations. I had to buy a USB sound card just to release their full potential, so that's a minus; but nothing that's the fault of the headphones, only my sound card. I actually also wanted to buy these because I saw some awesome modifications to them that made them headsets. However, taking a look at these up close now I wouldn't suggest getting these with the intention of modifying. I'm afraid I'd destroy these things. If you have to, get a Zalman mic like everyone has suggested.
I saw other reviewers say that they are flimsy feeling, but I think that's only because of how light weight they are! I pulled on them a bit to test them and they feel quite sturdy. I travel with them, but made sure to get a warranty anyway ;).
The comfort is A++; I can barely tell they're there. When it comes to headphones, the only two things that matter to me are comfort and sound; these fit the bill! As for looks, I'll care about that when I care about making fashion statements :D.
Already a satisfied user of the Sennheiser HD595s, when I needed a second pair of headphones for a different location, I decided to go with these, after hearing many good reviews about Audio Technica equipment.
When these first arrived at my desk, I found the colour scheme a little disconcerting, given the rather garish nature of the metallic purple sides, which aren't to everyone's tastes (although I can later report that the colour does eventually grow on you). They also feel rather flimsy in hand, and certainly do not feel as rigid and durable as the HD595s from Sennheiser.
However, you choose the headphones for their sound quality, and given that the lack of durability was not a great issue for me (as I wasn't planning to travel with them), I can assure any potential buyers that the sound quality is nothing short of amazing. Whereas the Sennheisers sit very tight to your head, the 3D Wing system of the AD700s, mean they just perch on top of your head with the phones resting on your ears, which is not only more comfortable, but I feel gives a better sound. I used this phones on a system installed with a Soundblaster X-Fi system, and the sound quality for MP3s, was a lot better with these, compared to my HD595s. However, I prefer the better bass reproduction in the HD595s when playing games.
In summary, a great pair of headphones if you don't plan to travel that much with them, and the sound quality means that they really are worth the prices, especially for listening to music.
If you've had enough of the scant sound emanating from your iPod ear buds but don't want to invest several thousand in high end amplified equipment, you may wish to take a quick peak at the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 headphones.
At just shy of ¬£130 RRP, these 'phones aren't exactly inexpensive; but is it worth investing in these Far Eastern imports, or would you be better with a cheaper alternative?
DESIGN & FIT
With an array of funky headphones readily available (in no part due to the folks at SkullCandy), standing out in the marketplace is very tricky. It's therefore quite refreshing to see Audio Technica indulging a two tone design, mixing matt-finish ecru plastic with metallic-violet honeycomb mesh.
It's a real "love it or hate it" aesthetic, but taking in mind the ample size of these phones, you'll be wearing them indoors rather than sporting them around town, so I doubt it'll matter much either way.
The AD700s are an open-air, dynamic style headphone. For the uninitiated, this essentially means the cups aren't sealed at the back, allowing the sound to dissipate freely from the headphones without echo. This has the distinct advantage of presenting a wider sound field, giving the impression you're listening to music 'live' rather than stuck in a sound booth.
The open nature of the design equates to a more lightweight, comfortable fit. Though the AD700s are big, they feel light. You won't get the urge to manoeuvre or readjust these every half hour - they sit with an effortless poise thanks to their innovative '3D wing' composition. In effect, they rest over the head rather than on it, meaning you avoid the nasty 'clamp down' feeling of regular headbands.
However, all this openness means the music 'leaks' from the cans much more readily than their close-backed counterpart. Those trapped in the same room have no choice but to endure the escaping sound of your favourite artistes; while this issue is inherent with all open headphones (not just the AD700s), it should be noted that this model from Audio Technica is particularly prone to sound spillage.
CONNECTORS & CABLES
The wired cord is a generous 3 metres long, and comes with a standard 3.5mm jack and 6.35mm screw-on adapter. Thankfully the cord is asymmetric, so you won't get the usual tangled mess of the more traditional 'Y'-shaped setup.
The lead runs from the left side of the 'phones, so determining which way round they go is pretty simple. Alternatively, there's also a raised dot above the left can to confirm correct placement.
SENSITIVITY & IMPEDANCE
Sensitivity & impedance are really just another way of saying 'potential loudness'. Naturally you want to listen to your music at a decent volume, so it's important to match up your level requirements with the technical ability of your equipment.
The AD700s rank in at 98 dB, which is where the level for portable headphones typically begins; this means you'll experience ample volume directly from an iPod or MP3 player. Also, as impedance sits at an efficient 32 ohms, external augmentation isn't necessary with these cans; this is great for avoiding the hassle of powered amps and external equalizers whilst travelling.
FREQUENCY & RANGE
The AD700s specify a response of 5 - 30,000 Hz, which easily envelops the spectrum of the average human ear (20 - 20,000 Hz) while still allowing plenty of space for ultra-high and ultra-low frequencies that we 'sense' rather than 'hear'.
The upper spectrum delivers a fairly 'brassy' result; cymbals and high-hats feel unnaturally aggressive and overly bright. By contrast, the upper-mid range presents a warmer (if reserved) result; vocals within this range are mellow and well defined, if not entirely sumptuous.
Comparatively well represented is the low-end, although "bassheads" may feel disappointed; subtle beats are pleasant enough but there's not much 'oomph' or punch in the lowest frequencies. Nevertheless, although the bass is a touch anaemic on the soundstange, the low-end notes never rupture and toughened basslines refuse to distort, regardless of volume.
Ultimately, these cans register a little more 'top heavy' than the norm. This lop-sidedness creates a spectacular result with acoustic and classical material, but hip-hop and metal feel underwhelming by comparison.
Thanks to the open cup design, the AD700s can capitalize on an impressively wide soundscape. Fantastic separation and beautiful layering ensure a grand sense of performance from the majority of your favourite tracks. There's an immense feeling of presence when orchestras are performing, and intimate acoustic material is natural and immersive.
In fact, the only real disappointment comes when the mastering process fails to capture spatial nuances from the source. This material can feel slightly flat and lifeless when placed under similar scrutiny.
The ATH-AD700s have a unique sound design, the likes of which I've never experienced before:
As I mentioned earlier, the AD700s are very tightly controlled, especially around the low-end. Generally, this is a good thing - you don't get that dreaded 'muddy' bassline that often ruins the overall resonance; however, there are occasional exceptions to this: For example, in Basement Jaxx's dance track "Good Luck" the ATHs failed to capture the soothing rumble in the ultra-low region which other 'phones have previously brought to life.
On the other hand, the ATH-AD700's sonic preference for 'high-end' enhanced some songs no-end. The Turtles' immortal classic "Happy Together" is a shining example of this. Spatially, it's never sounded so good; backing vocals are pushed way out wide, haunting the edges of the soundscape. The 'tight and bright' sound of the phones reflected the sources' original intent well and it became surprisingly easy to lose oneself to a song that's clocked up more hours of airplay than I've had hot dinners.
Music, like so many things in life, is a personal preference. How you chose to listen to music is just as distinctive. If you enjoy thumping bass or a warmer sound, then the AD-700s are probably not going to be your first choice; a pair of high end Sennheisers or Grados may be more your style.
However, if you're more into acoustic rock, jazz, folk or classical, and want your instruments taut and vivid, then the AD-700s are a prime opportunity. I deny anyone to find a set of headphones with as much presence and spatial emphasis within this price bracket.
In the end, it's down to you and what you find pleasing, but on a technical note, the AD-700s outperform the majority of headphones in their class. Given the right source material they can easily outrank cans of double the price; personally, I think you'd be hard pressed to find better.
The ATH-AD700 shouldn't be confused with Audio Technica's similarly titled ATH-A700. The A700s are a closed design, and don't have the dynamic soundscope of the AD700s.
With a lightweight honeycomb aluminium casing and magnesium frame structure, these open-air headphones produce no sense of pressure on the ears, offering a completely natural listening experience. The sound is smooth and relaxed, with deep resonating bass and vocal projection. The self-adjusting wing support automatically adjusts to your head size for easy-wearing listening comfort. A straight cord at the left earpiece terminates into a mini plug with an included " adapter.