Overclock.net banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

Please rate/comment/subscribe if you enjoyed the video portion




The AD700. What can I say about this headphone? In the past, if you were to go to an MLG event, or any big LANS period, you wouldn't see anyone caught dead without some version of the Sennheiser series of headphones; HD515's, 555's, 595's, etc. But lately a new king has been rising; The Audio Technica AD700. If you now look for recommendations for a headphone/set for gaming, you can't see a thread without someone mentioning this headphone. What has made this headphone so attractive that it is recommended over headphones twice the price? Well read on below to find out.

Before I get into the sound portion, I'd like to go over the AD700's design. First off, this is hands down the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn. It feels like I'm wearing nothing at all.

The Audio Technica AD700 employs a 3d wing system, which automatically conforms to your head as you set it on. These "wings" have a nice soft padding, and tilts up/down and forward/back (hence "3d"). It is a very great system. With my other headphones I always have to worry about clicking the right amount of notches on each side to get an even grip and even fit; no fuss no muss with the AD700. Along with the wing system, the ear cups are amazing. The ear cups are bigger and softer than any other headphone I own/have tried. The ear pad goes towards the driver like a very obtuse cone with the center cut off and in the little hole you can see the driver. Because of this design, the headphone is almost supra aural since your ear is in contact with the ear pad the entire time, but it's so comfortable no matter what class you put it in.

Going from the headphone down you have a gray cord with a gold plated jack on the end. It is normally terminated with a 3.5mm cable, but it also comes with a screw on 6.3mm attachment. The screwing attachment is very nice, the jack has a small footprint with the 6.3mm on or off, and the screw makes for a great tight connection that you won't have to worry about popping out or anything.

Onto the sound quality; it's no wonder why the AD700 is such a popular choice in the sub 100 dollar headphone range. The quality in gaming/music is superb. For reference I used my Sennheiser HD595's to compare the AD700's to, and I played the game Modern Warfare 2 with the AD700's in gaming.

So if you recall in the first roundup review of headsets, the game Patrick and I played was Call of Duty 4. Since that review was posted, the successor of the game, Modern Warfare 2 was released. For a while I had just been using my Swans M10 2.1 system until I received the AD700's to test out. MW2 is funny, because it plays tricks on me. I remember the first time I was EMP'd, I had no idea what was going on and why my screen was fuzzy. I got worried and was checking my connections making sure nothing got disconnected, then it hit me that the game meant to do that when I was EMP'd. The same sort of trickery happened when I was playing with the AD700's. When I was walking by an area of a map, I believe it was either Derail or Sub Base; I started hearing this feedback buzzing noise. I was worried, and like the EMP, I went and started checking connections. It then occurred to me why I was getting the noise. I was near generators in the map and I was hearing electrical gain that was radiating from those generators. I was hearing sounds I had never heard with such clarity and natural positioning when I didn't hear it at all with my Swans, and by no means are my swans anything less than a great 2.1 system.



The clarity of the AD700's when playing was just fantastic. I don't want to say I started camping or anything, but I started to let enemies come to me and just use the headphones to allow me to hear their footsteps. The details started getting hard to hear once airstrikes were being thrown in the mix, but it happens with all of the headsets/headphones I've used. The giant soundstage this headphone has, paired with its clarity, provide an amazing headphone to be used in gaming, and it will set you back less than 100 dollars. Plus, its comfort also makes it really easy to have 5 hour long gaming sessions. Before I had used my speakers for Modern Warfare 2 so I could use my headset to hear my teammates better. Since using headphones though, and hearing the detail, I haven't switched back to my speakers.

So now onto the music; this was the big thing to test with the AD700. It has now become common knowledge on how the Audio Technica performs well for gaming. But everyone's worry is towards its performance with music and with bass; because it has also been common knowledge that the bass is light. But what does that exactly mean for you when you're listening?

Some of the songs I listened to a/b test the AD700 against the Sennheiser HD595 was Mystery of You by Red, which is a hard rock song, then If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix, which is a pop song, then Dripping by Submersed, which is acoustic/hard rock. The AD700 and Sennheiser HD595 are actually suited towards a lot of the same styles of music. If you enjoy acoustic instrumentals and vocals, then these headphones won't do you wrong.

As far as bass comparison between the 2, the bass is present in both headphones. The thing is though, is that while I hear the bass notes in the AD700, I don't feel them. The AD700 actually has a really great range for bass, the bass in Dripping actually gets very low down there, and the AD700 handles it well. But listening to each headphone, I was not getting any thump from the AD700's. I definitely got more feeling out of the HD595's. To me, listening to music, the HD595 just has more body. It's a fuller sound with the power of its bass. So to repeat, while the AD700 has a nice range of bass, it just doesn't impact you as much as the HD595. It still has greater bass than the Tritton Ax720/Astro A40/Sennheiser PC350 though.

Anyways, I don't want to call the AD700 flat or anything because of its light bass. You get some really good bump in the midrange. The electric guitar and drums in Mystery of You definitely made their presence. As far as highs go, both the HD595 and the AD700 perform really well here. The HD595's are a little brighter in the highs though. Now this is where it becomes preference. A lot of people don't enjoy a lot of brightness. Some find it shrill. I personally love a great bright high; I just enjoy that feeling of it when listening to music. But the AD700 has more conservative, yet very impressive highs, as well as a great mid range. Its massive soundstage also makes you feel like you are literally watching these bands perform as well. I'm still in awe in how a headphone half the price of the hd595's can have such a soundstage. So that's how its sound goes; a very natural and clear sound, with strength in the mid to high range.

So in conclusion, the AD700 is an absolutely great choice for an open headphone under 100 dollars. It's easy to drive at only 32 ohms, so you can play this headphone right out of your laptop, iPod, TV, etc. And its large soundstage, clarity, and comfort lend itself to make a perfect gaming headphone, and a great natural sound in music. Its biggest weakness is the power of its bass, so if you are into hip hop music (or if you are a bass head) or are looking for headphones for movie watching, these might not be for you. So that will do it for my review of the AD700 review guys, hope you enjoyed it. Please view the video review of this headphone and comment/rate/subscribe, it will really help out. If you have any questions, or C&C, post away, I'm all ears.

So, Patrick and I haven't got together to do the full roundup of headsets and headphones yet. So his review on the AD700 will be released when the others are. For now, here is my little review on the AD700.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,000 Posts
Rep+

I've been looking at the AD700's and after reading your review i'm ready to pull the trigger.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,764 Posts
Thanks for the review. I see that you have also had your hands on the triton AX 720 dolby headset and the turtle beach HPX 5.1. How would you compare the sound stage or positional audio of both with the AD700?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
That was a great review. You're a good reviewer. Couple of things though:

What was the sound device you hooked in to with the AD700? I have not heard of them being weak as far as base goes or not good for listening to music. I have the Sennheiser PC350s (same headphone drivers as the HD595s according to Sennheiser) and it made a world of difference going from Realtek onboard sound to an Auzentech X-Fi Prelude. The bass can literally be too much sometimes but it never gets distorted at high volumes.

Also, got any more reviews you've done of other products?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the c&c guys!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Auld View Post
Thanks for the review. I see that you have also had your hands on the triton AX 720 dolby headset and the turtle beach HPX 5.1. How would you compare the sound stage or positional audio of both with the AD700?
The AX720 and the HPX are both actually stereo headsets(well....the hpx is sort of everything depending on the dongle you buy, I'm doing an HPA2 review against the Psyko 5.1 and Razer Barracuda soon), that use Dolby Headphone technology to get virtual 5.1 with it. Now, the Ad700 is also a stereo headphone, it just doesn't come with a decoder box. However it is compatible with them. If you play PC games, you could spend 40 dollars and have a virtual 7.1 USB soundcard, or if you play xbox, you can purchase an astro mixamp. The whole "would you rather use headset X WITH virtual 5.1 over headset X WITHOUT is a question that can't really be answered, because some people can love DH or hate it, and to me it's like comparing apples and oranges, there aren't any really criteria to compare them with.

Quote:

Originally Posted by -Sandman- View Post
That was a great review. You're a good reviewer. Couple of things though:

What was the sound device you hooked in to with the AD700? I have not heard of them being weak as far as base goes or not good for listening to music. I have the Sennheiser PC350s (same headphone drivers as the HD595s according to Sennheiser) and it made a world of difference going from Realtek onboard sound to an Auzentech X-Fi Prelude. The bass can literally be too much sometimes but it never gets distorted at high volumes.

Also, got any more reviews you've done of other products?
I used onboard sound from my computer as well as using a tritton ax720 decoder box sort of as a DAC(i prefer using the latter) as well as using an iPod. I don't have any dedicated soundcards or use EQ or anything, I just use the headphones right out of source.

and if you look on my youtube channel, you will see a few more video reviews, and in the tritton and pc350 review, I link to my written review of 7 headsets/headphones. I also posted that thread in this section of OCN, so if you search my name you'll find it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
That makes sense. I noticed a huge difference with the PC350s going from onboard sound to an X-Fi Prelude. But then again, I don't have a DAC amp, so not sure which one would sound more powerful.

I did notice that natively, the PC350 is a little weak on the bass, but I can more than compensate for this using the bass boost at a 6db setting with a 100-110hz cutoff frequency.

I use the EQ for music, but it's nothing drastic. Very small tweaks.

Never tried the PC350s on any other source besides the PC.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,764 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steggy View Post
Thanks for the c&c guys!

The AX720 and the HPX are both actually stereo headsets(well....the hpx is sort of everything depending on the dongle you buy, I'm doing an HPA2 review against the Psyko 5.1 and Razer Barracuda soon), that use Dolby Headphone technology to get virtual 5.1 with it. Now, the Ad700 is also a stereo headphone, it just doesn't come with a decoder box. However it is compatible with them. If you play PC games, you could spend 40 dollars and have a virtual 7.1 USB soundcard, or if you play xbox, you can purchase an astro mixamp. The whole "would you rather use headset X WITH virtual 5.1 over headset X WITHOUT is a question that can't really be answered, because some people can love DH or hate it, and to me it's like comparing apples and oranges, there aren't any really criteria to compare them with.
Well the AD700 is stereo, the AX720 is simulated surround sound with dolby and the HPa2 actually has real 5.1 with multiple speakers in each ear. I am wondering which setup (simulated surround/stereo/real 5.1) was better with only positional sound stage and gaming in mind, sound quality is a bonus but not what I am primarily interested in.

The majority of OCN loves its stereo headphones and call anything surround sound a pile of overpriced gimmicky crap. It would be nice to hear your opinion because you have actually experienced all of them instead of just repeating what you read somewhere.

I am looking forward for your comparison on the other true 5.1 headsets, even if the psyko is WAYYYY out of my price range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Quote:

Originally Posted by Auld View Post
Well the AD700 is stereo, the AX720 is simulated surround sound with dolby and the HPa2 actually has real 5.1 with multiple speakers in each ear. I am wondering which setup (simulated surround/stereo/real 5.1) was better with only positional sound stage and gaming in mind, sound quality is a bonus but not what I am primarily interested in.

The majority of OCN loves its stereo headphones and call anything surround sound a pile of overpriced gimmicky crap. It would be nice to hear your opinion because you have actually experienced all of them instead of just repeating what you read somewhere.

I am looking forward for your comparison on the other true 5.1 headsets, even if the psyko is WAYYYY out of my price range.
If the decision is between a higher end stereo headphone vs. a stereo headset with a DH decoder box, I would personally go with the higher quality headphone and add on the DH at a later time. And yea, the true 5.1 will be interesting. The Pysko's should be making their way to me soon, I'm really excited about those over the other headsets I'm trying. But yea, the reviews on everything should be out in a few weeks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,764 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steggy View Post
If the decision is between a higher end stereo headphone vs. a stereo headset with a DH decoder box, I would personally go with the higher quality headphone and add on the DH at a later time. And yea, the true 5.1 will be interesting. The Pysko's should be making their way to me soon, I'm really excited about those over the other headsets I'm trying. But yea, the reviews on everything should be out in a few weeks.
The box you are speaking of basically simulates surround sound right? So you are saying that there is a noticeable benefit in positional sound when using stereo headphones with the decoder box compared to just using the stereo headphones without the box?

What are my options for buying a PC compatible box like that? I haven't seen any.

Thanks for the reviews and advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I mean it's sort of preference for the simulated surround sound(which is in the decoder boxes) some people on mlgpro say they don't even turn on the DH in their Mixamp. I think it's because we have all grown up with just stereo for so long that we are used to it and used to perceiving it in a 3d spacing. The Dolby Headphone technology uses the algorithms to get the 5.1 positioning in the stereo headphones by a series of delays and what not, but those who are just transitioning into it might want to get back into their comfort zone with plain old stereo sound. I for one think it's an improvement, but like I said, the heart of a good headset system is the headset itself, then the decoder box.

And I know that the Ax720 decoder box works with PC. It takes an optical input from the pc, and the voice goes through USB. I think it's the same with the astro mixamp.

In other news, yet aNOTHER headset will be in the big roundup. The Astro A30 audio system. I didn't get a chance to do direct comparisons between the astro mixamp and the ax720 amp before, but now i will be able to. And I will be able to compare the A30 against the A40, in terms of sound quality and whatnot, then compare the A30 in comfort against other supra aural headsets like the Grado Sr80 and the SteelSeries Siberia V2.

I'm running out of room in my bedroom guys :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,764 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steggy View Post
I mean it's sort of preference for the simulated surround sound(which is in the decoder boxes) some people on mlgpro say they don't even turn on the DH in their Mixamp. I think it's because we have all grown up with just stereo for so long that we are used to it and used to perceiving it in a 3d spacing. The Dolby Headphone technology uses the algorithms to get the 5.1 positioning in the stereo headphones by a series of delays and what not, but those who are just transitioning into it might want to get back into their comfort zone with plain old stereo sound. I for one think it's an improvement, but like I said, the heart of a good headset system is the headset itself, then the decoder box.

And I know that the Ax720 decoder box works with PC. It takes an optical input from the pc, and the voice goes through USB. I think it's the same with the astro mixamp.

In other news, yet aNOTHER headset will be in the big roundup. The Astro A30 audio system. I didn't get a chance to do direct comparisons between the astro mixamp and the ax720 amp before, but now i will be able to. And I will be able to compare the A30 against the A40, in terms of sound quality and whatnot, then compare the A30 in comfort against other supra aural headsets like the Grado Sr80 and the SteelSeries Siberia V2.

I'm running out of room in my bedroom guys :p

Do you have any experience with creatives CMSS3D? Currently I have the $35 JVC HA-RX700's and the basic on board sound card but I want to try something surround besides basic stereo. But I am confused about which route to take.

1. $65 to buy the creative xtremegamer for the CMSS3D and use my JVC headphones. I want to know if this is similar, worse or better then dolby.

2. $100 or so on a USB surround sound headset. Creatives sound blaster arena comes with CMSS3D and something like the Logitech G35 uses Dolby.

3. $135+ to buy the astro mixamp and use my JVC headphones. I am not sure if this is worth the money and if it is any better then just buying the creative sound card for half the money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I've only experienced dolby, though I do have those steelseries usb soundcards with virtual 7.1, i don't know if it's dolby headphone or not though. The Rx700's are a solid headphone with a big soundstage for such a cheap price. I'd kind of try to stick away from a USB headset. From what I've heard from like head-fi and just gamer friends, they tend to be meh. Even USB soundcards or sort of meh, but they beat the hell out of onboard at least. But the thing is, I'm a console guy, so I lean towards the Astro Mixamp. But if you're a computer gamer, I would say just give this a shot. I haven't tested the virtual surround, but it's a cheap price and is usable with any pc headset.

http://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-Si...8820153&sr=8-6

The Siberia V2 actually comes with that soundcard for 99 bucks. The Siberia V2 isn't a bad headset either. The sound card has talkback so even though the headset is closed you don't have the pressurized feeling when you talk. The sound quality is pretty good for a 60 dollar headset too, though you'd more than likely like your rx700 more. But it isn't a bad combo pack if you're a pc gamer.

And Sandman, right now i'd have to say ad700's for gaming and 595's for music. Though it might change with the Astro A30's coming out and the PC360's coming out, who knows
 

·
Old School OCNer
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steggy View Post
The Pysko's should be making their way to me soon, I'm really excited about those over the other headsets I'm trying.
I ordered them I got an email saying they would ship them out on the 23rd. Here is a OCN review. Can't hardly wait!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pings View Post
I ordered them I got an email saying they would ship them out on the 23rd. Here is a OCN review. Can't hardly wait!!!
I need to email them to find out when they are shipping it actually lol. the time is almost here for the big roundup. god it's gonna be a long read/write.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Steggy,

Can you please test the AD700's on the AX720 amp and compare them against the AX720 headphones? I'm interested in picking up the AD700's and want to know if there's a noticeable difference in sound quality when using them on the AX720 amp.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top