• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

No love for high end Audio Technica headphones?

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,616
Likes
3,176
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#1
I notice there seems to be very little discussion of the high end models made by Audio Technica, despite their more affordable models featuring regularly in discussions and some of their affordable models being quite ubiquitous. I have a pair of ATH MSR7's which I love, and I also loved the ATH R70X when I tried a pair and thought they offered great value. As you go up the scale it's like they don't exist. I remember the ATH AD2000X, at one time it was high end whereas in today's market it is looking more mid range, although I never bought a pair I liked them when I tried them. I never bought them as I felt the performance didn't match price but they were nevertheless nice but I think that is true of an awful lot of high end headphones. Anyone here with any of their high end models?
 

anmpr1

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Patreon Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
570
Likes
779
#2
I have a set of ATH-M40x. I use them with my Fender practice amp. I would not think of using them as hi-fi phones, but for guitar-work they are fine. Lightweight with decent construction. The headband disintegrated into black flakes after a year or so, but I bought a replacement wrap around sleeve for a couple of dollars. You could easily make something out of fabric and velcro.

They have a 'flat' studio monitor kind of sound, not unlike my Presonus Eris speakers. Nothing rich or hi-fi, like my B$W P7 and Sennheisers. I don't remember exactly, but I think I bought them at a guitar store for less than a Ben Franklin. But it might have been mail order from Crutchfield.

PS: Back in the day I had a set of AT electret phones. I really liked them a lot. Cheaper than Stax, and more clear than the usual dynamic thing. That had to be in the late '70s.
 

VMAT4

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
135
Likes
58
Location
South Central Pennsylvania
#3
I notice there seems to be very little discussion of the high end models made by Audio Technica, despite their more affordable models featuring regularly in discussions and some of their affordable models being quite ubiquitous. I have a pair of ATH MSR7's which I love, and I also loved the ATH R70X when I tried a pair and thought they offered great value. As you go up the scale it's like they don't exist. I remember the ATH AD2000X, at one time it was high end whereas in today's market it is looking more mid range, although I never bought a pair I liked them when I tried them. I never bought them as I felt the performance didn't match price but they were nevertheless nice but I think that is true of an awful lot of high end headphones. Anyone here with any of their high end models?
I do most of my listening with the following headphones: HE 4XX, K7XX, HD 6XX, HD 569. I looked up the ATH MSR7 and those are affordable in my opinion as opposed to priced into four figures. What do you like about the ATH MSR7? Does it have a neutral FR or are highs and lows emphasized? Maybe the mids are most notable?

I thought the Drop headphones offered the most bang for the buck. But, at $228 the ATH MSR7 may be in there. I've concluded that marginal gains above $300 are not worth the money in headphones.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,616
Likes
3,176
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#4
I find that the MSR7 is a very detailed and revealing headphone, that can highlight inadequacies of recordings but equally it allows tremendous resolution of good recordings. They are slightly bright but not excessively so and I like the sound signature. They are nicely made from good materials and overall at the price I think that they are superb headphones.
 

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
2,732
Likes
4,462
Location
The Neverlands
#5
I can't get along with the 'wing' models from AT.
Eventhough my avatar has wings its headphone doesn't.
Had the 40X and 50, both did not stay long, heard some others as well. The higher end models are 'overly' ethereal to me.

Only had the pleasure of meeting a fake MSR7 ... one day I will audition a real one I suppose and can form an opinion about it.
 
Last edited:

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,616
Likes
3,176
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#6
I find it slightly surprising that the ATH R70x is not more popular. They have a similar sound signature to the HD650, are very light while still having a nice feel and are competitively priced. I thought they were superb when I tried them and very nearly bought a pair. I think their wing system is love it or hate it, I like it but I know many hate it.
 

VMAT4

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
135
Likes
58
Location
South Central Pennsylvania
#7
I have a set of ATH-M40x. I use them with my Fender practice amp. I would not think of using them as hi-fi phones, but for guitar-work they are fine. Lightweight with decent construction. The headband disintegrated into black flakes after a year or so, but I bought a replacement wrap around sleeve for a couple of dollars. You could easily make something out of fabric and velcro.

They have a 'flat' studio monitor kind of sound, not unlike my Presonus Eris speakers. Nothing rich or hi-fi, like my B$W P7 and Sennheisers. I don't remember exactly, but I think I bought them at a guitar store for less than a Ben Franklin. But it might have been mail order from Crutchfield.

PS: Back in the day I had a set of AT electret phones. I really liked them a lot. Cheaper than Stax, and more clear than the usual dynamic thing. That had to be in the late '70s.
I had a pair of AT electret headphones also at that time. I paid about $100 for them using money I made from delivering newspapers.
 

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
2,732
Likes
4,462
Location
The Neverlands
#8
I had a pair of AT electret headphones also at that time. I paid about $100 for them using money I made from delivering newspapers.
Had those too... about 30 years ago. After a few years they developed imbalance and had to turn the balance knob on the amp to correct for it.
Excellent sound (to me at that time) but threw it away after I realized that one membrane was probably loosing its charge somehow and the L-R difference became too big.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
9
Likes
10
#9
Hi Everybody
this is my first post.
I have the ath R70x which is my go to headphone. I got them cheap, 2nd hand in a pawnshop and didn't expect too much when I brought them home.
But they actually get more playtime than my other good headphones, HD 800, AKG 702.
They actually seem to be getting a lot of love in the pro audio world. Sonarworks calls them the most neutral Headphones available. They have the flattest frequency respons of all the headphones they tested, even better than the Sennheiser 600's.
here is a good review; https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/6/17535412/audio-technica-r70x-review-professional-headphones

anyhow I am very happy with my pair. I can highly recommend them especially for well recorded jazz and classical music.
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
7
Likes
2
#10
I got an ATH-M70x to replace my ailing HD380Pro. The cups aren't deep as the 380, but it has less bass hype than the M50x. At first I thought the highs were too hyped, but I eventually got used to them.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,616
Likes
3,176
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#11
At the lower to middle of the market Audio Technica headphones have a well earned reputation for delivering great value, well made and well performing headphones. Some of their models almost have cult status. They never seem to have penetrated the European markets as well as the rest of the world but they do sell here. I've always wanted to try their high end models as they seem to have gone for quite an unusual tuning on some of them. The Audio Technica model I have is the MSR7 which for want of a better word has a very "normal" tuning, OK it's a bit bright but not unduly bright and overall it sounds like a very detailed but normal headphone (I like it, a lot). I found the ATH R70X was also very normal, and very similar to Sennheiser tuning I thought. Their high end models have a reputation for being a bit different and with very pronounced mids, I've always wanted to try the ATH AD2000X or ATH W5000 to see if their reputation for being different is deserved or just subjective nonsense. However, they're hard to find over here to demo and too expensive to buy a pair just out of idle curiosity to see if their reputation is grounded in reality. These days it's unusual to find half decent headphones with non-detachable cables too.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,616
Likes
3,176
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#15
I think the ATH MSR7 is one of the unsung bargains of audio, you can pick up the original version new for about £120-140, at that price you get a very nicely made headphone with excellent performance. I've got some quite pricey headphones and have had a couple of really quite expensive ones like the AKG N90Q and Beyerdynamic T5P II and I still love the MSR7. It holds up remarkably well against many much more expensive models.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Messages
4
Likes
0
Location
United Kingdom
#16
Because of diminishing returns why pay £1000 for a headphone if the £300 ones are just as good?, Which allot of reviewers and audiophiles never get. I used to be active on Reddit audio sub where few would regularly shill or over hype high end headphones.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,616
Likes
3,176
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#17
Because of diminishing returns why pay £1000 for a headphone if the £300 ones are just as good?, Which allot of reviewers and audiophiles never get. I used to be active on Reddit audio sub where few would regularly shill or over hype high end headphones.
There are plenty of very good headphones which are not that expensive, such as the Sennheiser HD650, HD660, AKG K712 (these have really dropped down in price a lot), Beyerdynamic DT1990 (these also seem to have dropped in price a lot lately), Audio Technica ATH R70X, ATH MSR7 to name just a few that I can vouch for based on personal experience. Some of these have sister models made for Drop like the HD58X, HD6XX and K7XX too. I think all of these models represent points of diminishing returns and all are genuinely excellent IMO.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Messages
4
Likes
0
Location
United Kingdom
#18
There are plenty of very good headphones which are not that expensive, such as the Sennheiser HD650, HD660, AKG K712 (these have really dropped down in price a lot), Beyerdynamic DT1990 (these also seem to have dropped in price a lot lately), Audio Technica ATH R70X, ATH MSR7 to name just a few that I can vouch for based on personal experience. Some of these have sister models made for Drop like the HD58X, HD6XX and K7XX too. I think all of these models represent points of diminishing returns and all are genuinely excellent IMO.
Same with ER4SR for IEM'S which you can get for $250 on US amazon, But yeah i highly doubt there any gains beyond those 3 headphones you picked. I always roll my eyes when the few at Reddit act like something like a Stax Ls500 is god tier and shame others with what they deem as mid fi, Like as if that gonna make me care about their opinions.
 

Ron Texas

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
1,759
Likes
1,210
Location
Equidistant From Everywhere
#19
There's no love for all sorts of things around here. Sometimes it all it takes is one member who hates everything except one particular brand. Each time I mention Triton's (reference, 1R or 1) someone craps on the ribbon tweeter and the discussion goes straight downhill.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
383
Likes
889
#20
There are plenty of very good headphones which are not that expensive, such as the Sennheiser HD650, HD660, AKG K712 (these have really dropped down in price a lot), Beyerdynamic DT1990 (these also seem to have dropped in price a lot lately), Audio Technica ATH R70X, ATH MSR7 to name just a few that I can vouch for based on personal experience. Some of these have sister models made for Drop like the HD58X, HD6XX and K7XX too. I think all of these models represent points of diminishing returns and all are genuinely excellent IMO.
My impression is that, before the headphone trend and craze hit and the mobility market exploded, manufacturers were doing their best at what would be seen very reasonable prices these days. Also, I have asked a couple of dealers to convince me to purchase a very high-end headset through listening tests. I failed to see the the value in a 10x to 15x price increase vs my HD580. Maybe a bit of improvement here and there, but nothing as drastic as what I noticed when I went for a then top of the line Shure E5c in ear (around 2005/2006? not sure).

I feel that, since the market demands it, there's a constant flow of new, supposedly enhanced models, and prices are climbing just because the market is there...

And yes, I am extremely happy with my ATH-ADG1X open back gaming headset. Very neutral and very clean. Not that expensive either as I grabbed it in an Amazon sale.
 
Top Bottom