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Audio Technica ATH-W1000X

A Review On: ATH-W1000X


Rated # 62 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $550.00
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Pros: Beautifully Crafted, Great Comfort, Wonderful Sounstage, Prominent Bass

Cons: Pleather Earpads, mids get a little overpowered at higher volumes




Equipment Used: PS Audio Power Plant Premier > Macbook Pro > USB > PS Audio Perfectwave DAC > Woo Audio 5 (Shuguang 300B-Z Output, Shuguang CV-181-Z Driver, EML 5U4G Rectifier)


Aesthetic / Build Quality:
This headphone is quite a handsome headphone with very clean lines.  The magnesium frame is very sturdily built and the 3D wings have been tweaked over the years by Audio Technica, and you can tell that this is a great frame that will last with lots of abuse.  The Wooden cups are of American Cherry wood and have a nice reddish / orange color with nice lacquer.  In terms of wood it looks a lot better than many Denon headphones and JVC and once again you can tell that ATH has spent a long time perfecting the art of making wooden full-size headphones.  The pads are made of a pleather-like material and are a little thin for my tastes and not large enough inside for my ears.  I wish they were real leather as it would feel more quality.  As for the cable, it has a rubbery coating sheathing to it, but feels nice since it is lightweight and doesn’t tangle at all.  Wooden plug is a nice touch.  Overall, the headphone is extremely well put together, feels very well engineered, and fits on the well extremely well.


I consistently found this headphone to produce very deep bass in almost all the songs I played.  It was well controlled and nowhere near as loose as a Denon D5000 was in my book.  The bass extends very deep and can be a joy on neutral sounding songs, but sometimes overwhelming in bassy recording.  For example, the bassist on Diana Krall’s S’Wonderful would be overemphasized and at time compete with Diana Krall’s voice.  On most songs though, the bass is a joy to listen to and makes songs feel very musical and with good attack.

The W1000X have very good mids in most songs, but I feel that they tend to get drowned out by the bass and treble, especially once that the volume levels are raised.  There is a slight emphasis on the treble and bass, leaving the mids ever so slightly behind.  This compounded with the large soundstage but things like vocals a little bit too far back for my likings.  This may be fine for many listeners, but I have a tendency to prefer a slightly more upfront presentation with more forward mids.

The highs on this headphone are really wonderful and well balanced with the rest of the spectrum.  Cymbals and high pitched guitar strings really sparkle and add a lot of dynamics to songs.  Even with these great and extended highs, it never feels fatiguing to my ears.

The soundstage is truly wonderful and expansive, which is something I would never have thought a closed headphone could do so well!  It isn’t as big of a soundstage as the HD800, but still allows for a lot of room / air between instruments, especially in Jazz and acoustic genres.  One is able to very easily pinpoint where the instrument in placed in the field of space.  This does have downsides though because the vocals also seem to be pushed back and at times get a little lost between all the other instruments.  This means that this headphone isn’t ideal for more classic rock songs where an upfront presentation is preferable.


I think it is a wonderful headphone with a very good and balanced amount of bass, akin to the Denon D7000 headphone.  As Skylab mentioned, they don't have much coloration to the sound and should be considered relatively neutral and thus very easy for most listeners to enjoy with a wide variety of music genres. 


The soundstage is expansive, as is the bass and treble in the songs, but the mids feel not as forward as the the other ends of the sonic spectrum.  I feel that this headphone is a lot more linear or with a little bit of a V-shaped sonic signature.  At lower volumes, all respects of the sound spectrum work on the same level, however as you start bringing up the volume, Bass and Treble increase but mids get slightly drowned out.  This makes it not work too well with classic rock songs and ones that aren’t as well recorded, resulting in a thin and slightly more distant presentation of the song.  With most of the music I listen to, which is Jazz, Indie, Acoustic, 80s though it truly excels with.   Overall, I think you would be sacrificing the mids a little for much better soundstage, better controlled and deeper bass, and great sparkling highs that aren’t fatiguing.  For the price, i think these are an exceptional value for the money and easily competes and beats the Denon DX000 series in many aspects.

1 Comment:

Great review and the picture alone was worth the read. Nice shooting there
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