A Review On: Audio-Technica AIR Dynamic Headphones ATH-AD900X

Audio-Technica AIR Dynamic Headphones ATH-AD900X

Rated # 66 in Over-Ear
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Pros: sound quality, sound stage, comfortability, light weight

Cons: not adjustable to fit my head so it slips downwards a bit, as many others have reported

New to headphone hobby/obsession, but i am loving it with these bubs!


Just a quickie on the stars: half-star off because it's not really adjustable for head-size unless using a rubberband or shoelace like many others have said.  Quarter-star off because it doesn't have enough bass for my taste.  Quarter-star off because the design is...not pretty.  Sorry if you don't like my taking off a star due to my personal preference.  Also a side-comment: someone said unboxing this was anti-climactic....I quite agree.


Being a newbie here with barely any technical experience and more of consumer-joy experience, I wasn't quite sure I fully understood what anyone meant when they would use words such as soundstage, coloration, imaging, low, mid, and high ends, etc.  In reading reviews about the ATH-AD900x, many described the following:



- very great and wide soundstage

- clean punchy bass

- mostly neutral (I assume this is a synonym for "flat" in terms of EQ)

- sparkly, wonderful high ends



- light weight

- comfy pads

- depending on head size, may sag or even slip downwards (with enough movement on my head, it starts to slip so I also resorted to using a shoelace)

- fragile-looking wing system (or whatever you call it...feels fragile...even looks fragile in movement when I shake the headphones up and down a little)


I'm sure there were more/better descriptions...but that's all I remember right now.  In donning these headphones and reading so many reviews, I think i'm beginning to have a grasp on what people mean...especially on soundstage, the clean and punchy bass, the neutral sound, and the sagging.  AGAIN, I am just starting to learn...but I think I have a decent footing to help me understand with all the research i've done.



Everything I pretty much listed above...except for the following: "sparkly, wonderful high ends"...still trying to figure out what this means.  Oh--and as I'm writing this, I am listening to music with these HPs and...goodness gracious...THE SOUNDSTAGE...WOOOOW...AMAZING.  I am learning to appreciate the neutral sound to this.  Also, in terms of "coloration", I think people use this to describe the way a headphone may be geared towards specific genres...if so, then I have to say this thing is not really colored.  In listening to different genres, live tracks and studio recordings, I am learning to appreciate a clean sound...no overbearing bass killing the higher ends, and not too much treble that it's annoying.  I guess what i'm trying to say is that i'm enjoying it for the multiple genres i've run through so far...on a few tracks, I didn't like the output but on the rest, they were clean if not wonderful.



I do love me some bass...  When I go to concerts, they're typically a mix of rock, pop, indie, hip-hop, or techno-upbeat-pop-ish genre.  I am quite a fan of the creative mixes that a drummer places on the kick-bass and tom toms, along with a nice deep bass guitar accompaniment...but not the sound of electronic dub-step bass (don't mean to knock you if you're a fan of dub-step).  With that said, I do love listening to my Klipsch IO-II's and I wish the ATH-AD900X did what the Klipsch does for me while retaining the clean, rich treble and wide soundstage.  The clean punchy bass is nice but just not enough for me.



If this is your first foray into some nice starter headphones or looking for a nice $200 pair, I do recommend these as a very good start.  I enjoy the headphones for what they reveal to me which is a whole new side to sound quality and a new appreciation for the level of sound quality brought to my ears.  However, because I am somewhat of a basshead, I will be adding a portable headphone amp to this to hopefully give it the kind of oomph I like without messing up everything else I enjoy about it.  Also...using Spotify on my Samsung S3 has a better output sound than my laptop.  On my laptop, I listen to a few FLACs (or whatever the no-compression version is called) now, but an overwhelming majority of my files are still 320kbps mp3.  Now, this has to do with the more technical side of things, which i'm not well-versed in, but I think I can conclude that my laptop sound card sucks (haha).


I hate to say it BUT... you might want to see if you can Return the AD 900X, and get your self a BeyerDyanmic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm, and a Fiio E11 which would cost about $200 total for both products new [minus shipping] and if you REALLY want some BANG for you buck, for another $30 grab the Beringher UAC 202 Dac, plug it into your USB on your lap top then RCA out into 3.5mm into your E11 then to ur DT 990, for about $250ish you should be in for a real treat! The DT 990 has some BASS TO IT, and the E11 can give it EVEN MORE BASS, plus I had the DT 990 and AD900x side by side, the DT 990 has the treble and Mids of the AD900x, maybe even more sparkle [which the E11 can tame] 
From the short time i had with the AD line up, i had the impression that the AIR line all seemed quite similar...only (very) slightly more refined as the model numbers go up
...just my 2 cents...