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Audio Technica ATH-ADX5000 Review (Headphone)

solderdude

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Surely you have to conclude from this that either:
-a newer and more expensive flagship distorts (significantly) more than the older flagship, or
- by "different distortion measurement method" you mean one is less accurate?

I would conclude the drivers are very different and cannot be compared. In the reviews done here flagship and improved technical performance/competence do not go hand in hand. There really is no relation at all.

- by "different distortion measurement method" I mean different HATS, different analyzer, different methodologies used, very different compensation, very different target curves. They are incomparable but both will show some similarities overall when 2 similar brand/type headphones are measured.
Even the same headphone models can differ beyond measurement errors due to manufacturing tolerances.

It is obvious the 2000 driver performs technically 'better' but it does not mean most people will prefer a not EQ'ed (or EQ'ed but based on what ?) 2000 over the 5000.
This too depends on too many factors.

As an example. Take the HD600 or HD650 and look at the measurements objectively and it is very clear the HD600/650 measure clearly better in certain aspects compared to the HD800.
Some will claim the HD600/650 sounds better than the HD800 'abomination' as well.
Yet others who own them (like me) find the HD800 (granted with EQ) much better than the HD600/650 (even with EQ) on several aspects but on some niggles find the HD600/650 is superior. In this case it becomes a matter what folks find important.

In the case of the 5000 I would be highly surprised if the distortions above 1kHz will be audible in practice under normal music listening experience.
I don't KNOW this, I assume because I heard nor measured it. An educated guess. Simply because those distortion peaks are very narrow and few and you would have to play VERY loud in which case masking becomes more of a thing (that's how the hearing works which is not seen in the plots).
So some things may look bad on paper and do show issues with the headphone (regardless what causes it) but they may not be obvious listening to music.
 
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John_M

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Thank you. I don't have a technical background but I can (sort of) understand what you mean.

I am glad to hear this:

"It is obvious the 2000 driver performs technically 'better'..."

(Slightly different from phoenixsong's response, which suggested that Tyll's measurements weren't the most revealing and should be taken with a pinch of salt, perhaps that the 2000 has some distortion which wasn't showing in Tyll's measurements).

If it is right that the 2000 driver clearly performs technically 'better' this still seems a bit odd to me. Like some bright spark at Audio Technica thinks 'let's make a great new super light flagship, and who cares if it has a load of extra distortion'? I suppose this is the sort of thing that sites like ASR are supposed to reveal is happening.
 

JohnYang1997

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Thank you. I don't have a technical background but I can (sort of) understand what you mean.

I am glad to hear this:

"It is obvious the 2000 driver performs technically 'better'..."

(Slightly different from phoenixsong's response, which suggested that Tyll's measurements weren't the most revealing and should be taken with a pinch of salt, perhaps that the 2000 has some distortion which wasn't showing in Tyll's measurements).

If it is right that the 2000 driver clearly performs technically 'better' this still seems a bit odd to me. Like some bright spark at Audio Technica thinks 'let's make a great new super light flagship, and who cares if it has a load of extra distortion'? I suppose this is the sort of thing that sites like ASR are supposed to reveal is happening.
Hmm no. Tyll's measurements are only more noisy than better systems. If Tyll's rig showed better performance it must be superior.
Other differences, Tyll used stepped sine sweep, Amir uses chirp. So technically the method Tyll was using should give better resolution but the whole system is probably limited by other factors. Unless one wants to dig down 0.00x% range chirp signal is good enough.
 

John_M

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Thanks JohnYang. I think the "no" is to what phoenixsong wrote (or my interpretation of it)?

Everyone is giving technical responses but, on a human level, does this not seem slightly odd to anyone else? That you would bring in a new and more expensive flagship one of whose features is that it distorts significantly more than the old flagship?
 

Robbo99999

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Thanks JohnYang. I think the "no" is to what phoenixsong wrote (or my interpretation of it)?

Everyone is giving technical responses but, on a human level, does this not seem slightly odd to anyone else? That you would bring in a new and more expensive flagship one of whose features is that it distorts significantly more than the old flagship?
Yes, it is odd, it's a step backwards, certainly from a distortion point of view, but distortion isn't everything.....perhaps they made improvements in other areas like frequency response and soundstage (I've not compared them), but in general you'd expect them to not take a step back re distortion, but they did by the looks of it.
 

solderdude

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Everyone is giving technical responses but, on a human level, does this not seem slightly odd to anyone else? That you would bring in a new and more expensive flagship one of whose features is that it distorts significantly more than the old flagship?

The only way to really know is when the 2000 is measured on the same rig under the same circumstances.

Besides, there may be sonic benefits that aren't easily captured by some specific measurements but that subjectively make the headphone sound 'better'.
In the same vain as some prefer the objectively vastly inferior vinyl or tape 'sound' to near flawless digital recordings.

I have reviewed enough headphones by now to know that headphone measurements do say something about the sound but that frequency response does not say everything and measurable distortion doesn't mean it is audible.
 

John_M

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The only way to really know is when the 2000 is measured on the same rig under the same circumstances.

Yes, that's the only way to know 100% but a technical expert poster earlier wrote that "Tyll's measurements are only more noisy than better systems. If Tyll's rig showed better performance it must be superior." So it seems pretty clear that they have just upped the distortion significantly? (I am feeling slightly better about my purchase of the 2000 now, although it would be interesting to see this measured on Amir's rig).
 
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