Headphones, headphones…. Everybody uses them in some fashion but no one would like to supply some assist in selecting them. There are, of course, several types: over the ear as well as on the ear, either available or closed back types, as well as the sort used mostly for mobile applications, ear buds and ear-canal.
The ATH-A700 is a throughout the ear closed right back design. Although lightweight (290 grams) and comfortable for long term monitoring or editing chores they simply won’t work with mobile because they have a 10-foot signal cord that is non-recoiling. The “wing support mechanism,” a couple pads that remainder in your mind, helps comfort since the phones fit completely and do not wiggle or slip during long haul listening. Further, the “leather-like” ear pads will also be comfortable and don’t cause perspiration in moderately warm conditions.
How can they sound? Pretty darned good, especially at back ground listening levels. By background I mean at lower listening levels (elevator music), softly recorded programs and for monitoring and editing where hearing the most details that are minute crucial. The closed-back style helps here as well. The ATH-A700 has roughly 10-15 dB of background attenuation (about half as much as my David Clark 100/dc over the ear or Research that is etymotic ER-4S phones; both with 25 dB attenuation). You are able to nevertheless hear the device band but home that is normal studio or workplace ambient sound levels are well compensated.
To phrase it differently, moment noises often well concealed within the back ground, are completely audible. While this is important for monitor work in addition implies that reverberation, like that added to Suzanne Vega’s vocals on “Tom’s Diner,” sounds notably exaggerated. Perhaps the light reverb put into Joe Williams’ “Dimples” by the recently departed recording hero John Eargle, whilst not exaggerated, is more obvious than you will hear on speakers.
Further, with all the ATH-A700s it’s easier to hear the items of data reduction with XM radio that are usually not obvious because of the Delphi SKYFI3 Premium Audio System or playing regarding the system in your car. The same thing will be true together with your mp3 productions, therefore a great monitor phone just like the ATH-A700 will allow you to in choosing information prices.
Having said that, the ATH-A700 has extended low bass, but upper bass and lower midrange sometimes lacks a little body or warmth. This characteristic also means that the 88-note piano track on ProSonus’ Studio Reference Disc over-emphasizes the sound of the piano action. But sometimes acoustic instruments, in particular brass, tend to lack body. However, for many for the range, the phones sound natural and accurate.
Spatial rendition is, well, best over the ear headphones for working out -like. Center pictures are located to your backside of your skull and quite often perhaps not totally created. Kept and right images tend to find into the remaining and right ear cups and there is no frontal depth to the sound stage. There is lots of “envelopment” but only in the side and rear sense. Simply put, you will get the sensation that you’re in a large space but standing into the doorway looking regarding the space.
Dynamically the ATH-A700s will play softly recorded programs to a realistically loud level but programs with wide dynamic range also tend to sound compressed–meaning that the loudest sounds do not increase in loudness as much as the softer sounds. As I said, on program material with true deep bass (only movie sound tracks, nature recordings such as thunderstorms, niche stuff such as locomotives and subways, bass-head CDs and organ recordings have it) the ATH-A700s give you the fundamental tones but they cannot give you the tactile sensation that comes with the material played on speakers.
Therefore, should these phones are considered by you at $299? Well, let me put it this means, these are typically an improved device for very long term monitor work than my David Clark 100/dc. They have a far more natural balance that is tonal the same limited spatial rendition, similar dynamic capabilities and more limited noise attenuation, but the comfort factor is much better. The Etymotic Research phones have a more natural tonal balance but tend to be more difficult to make use of due to the quick cord and digging out of the in-ear plugs for restroom trips.
If I had to make the decision again after 10 years, I would consider the Audio-Technica for everyday monitor use. But because I don’t do that much, and I’ve already spent $300 for the Etymotic, I’m standing pat. But if you’re a heavy duty mp3 downloader I’d definitely recommend that you consider them because of the low level detail property.