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Audio Technica ATH-AD700 Open-air Dynamic Audiophile Headphones

Posted

Pros: Clarity in mid-high range - Soundstage - Natural sound - Low bass helps positional audio in gaming

Cons: Impact in almost any genre is very small - Low bass is massively recessed (though not muddy) - Relaxed sound cuts intensity in some music

Now on the stickied thread "Essential Reading for Audio Fans"


I can only fix what mistakes I know, so constructive criticism is not only welcomed, but encouraged.



Hello all,


All testing audio is in lossless FLAC format running through Foobar2000 with the wasapi plugin, through a Xonar DX on the Hi-Fi setting (What else?)

In this review I wanted to address a broader spectrum of music than i usually see on reviews of these headphones, as well as comfort and build quality.

AD700.png

COMFORT
This is one of the main reasons I decided to pick these up. I was apprehensive about the reviews on amazon saying you need a "pumpkin head" for them to fit correctly, but wow, I was glad I went for it. I would call my head around average, and they are simply the most comfortable headphones i have ever used. The '3D Wing Design' that audio technica uses works wonders, putting the small amount of pressure they exhibit balanced out over a wide area on the sides of the head, where it start sloping downward. The earcups are oversized, and leads to my ears not having to touch anything. On my M50s (Which, if you do not know, are monitor headphones, with very pronounced bass, and good clear mid-high range), the tops of my ears slightly support the headphones after awhile, which can lead to perpetual readjusting. For me, the issue of ears touching the driver (which is angled slightly) is non existent, and from what I can tell, your ears would need to protrude quite a fair amount to become an issue. I did however have a smaller sized gal come over to try these on, and the wings simply did not do anything to hold the headphones on her head.

BUILD QUALITY

While I know paying $90 isn't going to net you a premium product, I was surprised at the cheapness of the plastic used. Every time the ear cups swivel, there is a fairly distinctive creaking noise made. This becomes a problem is you want to move around with them, as, unless your gait is very stable, you will notice it. I can forgive the plastic to some extent, as it results in a lighter headphone, but i wish they would have paid more attention to this issue. The magnesium (purple part) of the earcups, on the other hand, feel very solid, without flex, and do exude quality. Although most pictures of them look purple/violet, i would call it a dark shade of pink in direct light, from almost light source.

MUSIC- CLASSICAL
Mars, Bringer of War - Gustav Holst

One of the staples of epic classical music, i thought this would be a good place to test the response of both extremes of volume, and of clarity. The beginning of this piece is very percussive, with string players using their bows to bounce off of their strings. Immediately, what grabbed my attention was how bouncy it actually sounded. On my M50s, the sound was more akin to common percussion, impactful and brief. I felt these gave a more prolonged degradation to the note that was sorely missed with my M50s. Next, what I found was another the AD700s strong suits is brass. And when I say strong, I mean tremendous. It was less blaring than on my M50s, but that doesn't mean it was less powerful. In fact, the clarity imparted to them gave the whole piece a more majestic bearing than the M50s. Balancing was done much more naturally, with the mids and highs dominating, and the bass doing exactly what it should in classical, provide a base to build chords upon. One thing i did miss from my M50s, however, was the impact of the timpani. While the trumpets benefitted from sounding recessed, I feel like the percussions' impact was lost, which is disappointing in a recording of such an intense piece. Overall, this was the genre, that I thought benefitted from these headphones the most.

MUSIC- ROCK
Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf

First off, the guitar on this recording was perfect, spot on, and all around, very faithful to the original sound, with the decay of notes occuring naturally, and the harmonics coming out clear, without being piercing. On the other side of the spectrum, the bass was dissapointing. When it has its riffs, and goes into the high-bass spectrum, its clarity was good, while sounding slightly recessed, however, once it finished, and dipped back into consistent and repeated notes, it was almost impossible to pick out, and the ad700s do not reproduce the low lows of the bass. I would have appreciated more grittiness in the singer's voice, as often times, the ad700s would smooth out the vocals and leave a purer tone. This isnt to say the grit has gone, just become recessed. This is probably a personal preference, and may vary from person to person, but I miss it. Percussion wise, it does a fair amount better than in Mars, as there are less layers to obscure it, and it plays a more integral role in the music. Impact is low, but present, and it sounds like part of the music, rather than an afterthought.

MUSIC- DANCE
Moar Ghosts n stuff - Deadmau5

There's a reason the 'dance' setting on an EQ boosts the treble. Dance with good treble sounds awesome. And these headphones have good treble. The beginning of this piece begins with an electronic rendition of Chopin's funeral march, and i was surprised at how ambient the audio was. It genuinely sounded as if it was coming from all around me, anywhere from ten feet away, to right from my spine. A voice then kicks in, and it sounds like its whispering right into your ears, while the rest of the music maintains the ambient atmosphere. The legend of the AD700s' expansive soundstage is true! The main beat, as you would expect from dance, is thumpy, well-paced, and has an incredibly catchy treble part accompanying it. As with dance, the impact is designed to be almost overpowering, which is just what the AD700s need. Finally, I was able to get some impact into them, although not much. Bass is clear, but downplayed, giving way to the much more catchy and important melody. Comparing these to the M50s, its two completely different pieces. One bass-light, with a beautifully clear and pronounced top part, complete with all the electronic variances, and one bass-heavy, you-are-in-a-club-don't-know-what-time-it-is-don't-care-just-want-more-bass, oh and that melody is pretty cool too. Two different songs, and i believe both have their place. The bass light version is actually as engaging and compelling as the bass heavy version.

MUSIC- METAL
Fight Fire with Fire - Metallica
The beginning of this piece is almost mocking the baroque era of classical music, and I have to say it does a good job. The guitars are suitably light and airy, intensity is held at bay, and the small distortion effects complement the baroque style rather than come through as metal already. However, as soon as the drums kicked in, i knew this was an inferior experience to my M50s. They seemed light and out of place, the bass guitar was doing its best to push out notes, but couldn't seem to break out from underneath its higher pitched brother. As this is metal, the guitar ends up playing low riffs a fair amount of the time, and the AD700s just couldn't keep up. Everything seemed laid back in a style very uncharacteristic of metal, and had me wanting to just switch back to my M50s immediately. This was the worst genre I for these cans I found, everything just seemed far too calm, rather than the intensity that should have been present.

GAME
Battlefield Bad Company 2

This is probably the part that will interest most of you, as the AD700s are touted as the best gaming headphones for under $250. First off, yes, I am using a Xonar DX, and yes, I am aware of the driver problems. I do my best to mitigate those using Bluto from Head-Fi's Xonar configuration (slightly tweaked by me) and it has made a large difference. So, with these new setting at hand, I dove into a game of squad deathmatch (on our OCN server no less). Walking around, footsteps sounded like they were coming from the same place as my M50s, right next to me. I was really disappointing, until I stopped walking for a second, and heard a pair of footsteps 10 feet behind me. I had never heard anything like that before, so I pulled out my shotgun, crouched in a corner, and three seconds later, an enemy ran right in, and i shot him. The sense of soundstage was a massively welcome addition. While the bass response meant that explosions no longer shook my head, the sound of bullets rushing inches away from your head was a very worthy tradeoff. While the Xonar does have trouble with pinpoint audio accuracy, I was able to get a much better sense of where my enemies were, and even, after some training, what kind of gun they were using. This allowed my to prepare for each situation with much more foresight and did result in a noticeable increase in K/D Ratio. Some review sites have called the AD700s not as fun to play with as a bassier headphone, but I have to say the opposite. The sense of immersiveness these headphones impart was far more important to me than hearing stuff blow up.


Posted

Pros: Great quality and look

Cons: Comfort

I'm not really a fan of the material they use on the cups. That's my only negative. The next pair I get I'll be making sure they're super comfortable.

Posted

Pros: Lightweight, Loud, 3.5mm & 1/4" jack, COMFORTABLE, Airflow, Long Cable

Cons: Less Bass than Expected, Large(only for small heads), No Mic

Overall these headphones have been nothing but a blessing to my music and gaming experience. While the bass on these headphones is not overwhelming, it is definitely there and when put with a good sound card you can get more out of them. They are so light you don't even feel them sitting on your head! I really mean this, I fell a sleep with these bad boys on and when I woke up 4 hours later my ears or head weren't hurting at all! This is a significant plus in my books for long gaming sessions where headaches could become apparent.

Besides a few cons which every pair of headphones can have cause it's all personal preference the pros by far outweigh them. If I had to go back and do it again I would make the exact same choice cause I have no regrets in buying these at all. The quality is next to none and while the color of purple is not the first choice in my book, I will settle for it just cause of the clarity these put out.

I do recommend though using these with a soundcard as I am not sure if the onboard will be able to push enough power to these headphones to show its true colors. 5/5 flames for me and one massive thumb.gif!

Posted

Pros: Wide sound stage, great detail, comfortable

Cons: Lacking bass

Today we'll be looking at a well-known pair of headphones from Audio Technica. The ATH-AD700's have been out for a while, but are they still worth the price?

First lets get the negative out of the way: these don't have much bass. Sure, you can add EQ, but I'm talking about out of the box. However, I would say that for most music types they have just enough to get the job done. If you love bass you should probably avoid these, but for everyone else: continue reading...

The accuracy and detail continues to impress me even after owning a pair for 2 years. I often hear things that I hadn't realized were in the music before I listened to it through these. They have great channel separation and are also known for having a very wide sound stage. This makes it sound like the music is around you rather than just inside your head. This is due to the headphones being "open-styled", as you can tell from looking at the purple mesh on the sides.

Speaking of purple, this is one thing that may turn off some people. Not only are they purple, but they are also huge, so be aware that people will notice you if these are worn out in public. However, being large is a good thing for these. They are very comfortable even after being worn for hours and they are also very light.

As far as durability, they are very well made, but they aren't meant to be handled roughly. They are made of plastic which could break if dropped onto a hard surface. The attached cable is much more durable though. I've often run over the cable with my chair and it hasn't been damaged at all.

Overall, I would give the headphones a 9/10. The only thing that could make then better is a little more bass. Also, the AD900's have better construction due to being made of metal instead of plastic, but of course they come with a higher price tag was well. With some many good qualities though, I would highly recommend these headphones.

Posted

Pros: Great soundstage, Mids, and Highs, Excellent Comfort

Cons: Lacks bass, fit, sound isolation

These were my first ever set of "audiophile" headphones, albeit at the entry-level.

My thoughts after having them for almost half a year:

Pros:
  • Soundstage: WIDE soundstage! I can hear such a wide separation of instruments and singers in my music. The only thing I can say is that it definitely sounds like I'm listening to the music live, because of how expansive the sound stage is. In gaming, I have absolutely no problem pinpointing footsteps and gunfire around me.
  • Mids: Crystal clear. They simply sound gorgeous.
  • Highs: Same as mids; no complaints here. They just sound amazing.
  • Comfort: Others aren't lying - These do feel like pillows on your head! When I first got them, I thought that these things surely must be fatiguing to wear because of the sheer size. However, these are by far the lightest feeling headphones I've ever worn (and that includes the plasticy Logitechs and Creatives my ill-informed self wore in the past). Put them on and you'll swear the headphones are much smaller than they actually are

Cons
  • Bass: First, the lows are there, and they are very clear. That said, they lack any kick. Those of you who listen to bass-heavy music will be disappointed.
  • Fit: These fit me fine, but these are also a "One size only" pair of headphones. Those with smaller heads will have issues wearing these. I can definitely see a smaller head individual having trouble keeping these on. As a result, I also heavily recommend against buying these headphones for children.
  • Sound Isolation: It goes without saying as these are open headphones, but these have no sound isolation at all. Environmental sounds go in, music and gaming go out. Not recommended for use when sound isolation is a must.

Neutral:
  • Color: Purple grills with champagne body. It's not a color scheme for everyone.

All in all, for people who want a good pair of headphones for gaming and music use, people who don't mind or don't have to deal with outside noises, and for those without a bass-heavy playlist, I'd recommend these headphones.

Posted

Pros: Light. Great sound. Light. Better sound.

Cons: Lack of bass

This is by far the best headset I have ever used. The feeling of it on yourh ead is incredible. Itsl ike its not even there. You can wear it for hours at a time and not even realize it. Much better than any Logitech I have ever used.

And the sound-oh the sound. I hear things that I never realized were in games before. The only thing I would put as a minus on them is lack of bass. BUT that is ok.

Posted

Pros: Lightweight and comfortable. Excellent sound quality. Wide soundstage.

Cons: Lacks bass. Sound leaks.

Whenever asked about the best headphones for gaming, there will always be someone who will say the AD700. Because of this phenomenon, I decided to give it a try. I ordered it from Amazon for $88.21. I never invested so much in audio equipment, but I wanted to see what all the excitement was about.

It arrived in a timely manner. It looked different from what I usually see on headphones. The wings were new to me. Then I put it on. It was like I was wearing nothing at all! I did a couple laps around the house with them on. Yep, they work. It feels like I can wear them all day. Then I hooked it up to my computer.

The sound is great. I have nothing to compare it to, but it sounded really good. What really made it shine was the audible positioning I'm capable of doing in games. I was able to hear sounds in game as if they were all around me. One time while standing around a city in World of Warcraft, I was just spinning my character. It's amazing to hear the sounds of the surrounding spin around in my head. It also helped in MW2. I was able to hear people coming around a corner more often than not.

I am a little bummed about the lack of bass though. I personally enjoy music with bass that I can bob my head to. These are not that great with them. It's okay though, they are primarily for gaming. Paired with a Zalman clip on mic, I can raid all night long. Also, these are open air headphones. Make sure you know that. That means if your volume is loud enough, people around you will be able to hear what you are listening to. Just keep that in mind.
Audio Technica ATH-AD700 Open-air Dynamic Audiophile Headphones
Description:

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 listening comfort even during long sessions. A straight cord at the left earpiece terminates to a mini plug with included 1/4-inch adapter.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandAudio-Technica
EAN4961310087029
FeatureLightweight honeycomb aluminum casing and magnesium frame structure , extremely comfortable velvet ear-fitting pads
FormatCD-ROM
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Height4.9 inches
Length10.5 inches
Weight1.35 pounds
Width8.3 inches
LabelAudio Technica
List Price$249.95
ManufacturerAudio Technica
ModelATH-AD700
MPNATH-AD700
Operating SystemN/A
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherAudio Technica
SKUELA504390
StudioAudio Technica
TitleAudio Technica ATH-AD700 Open-air Dynamic Audiophile Headphones
UPC999992659337
Number Of Items1
DepartmentHeadphones
Legal DisclaimerWarranty does not cover misuse of product.
Colorblack
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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