Pros: Soundstage, tonal balance, cable, comfort, pads
Cons: 'Wings' headband design, all plastic build
These headphones are a tremendous value for lovers of full range sound with a neutral signature.
Big thanks to Frank Doris at Audio Technica for the review sample! Great guy :)
Spoiler: images (Click to show)
The ATH-A700x is an efficient headphone that I've found to be great with practically every genre. However, these do rock incredibly well for me. I can honestly say that I can fully immerse myself in rock music with these headphones. I even prefer them over my DT770 Pro to an extent for rock.
These headphones don't need an amplifier in my opinion. I can easily drive them from my iPhone and iPod without any noticeable sonic differences when compared with plugging them into an amp.
Build - For a headphone that costs around $150 new, these feel really cheap. The entire headphone is made out of plastic. No, not 'good' plastic, like on some headphones, like AT's own M50, but poorly crafted plastic. I'd be afraid to drop these just a few feet onto a hard floor. The 'Wings' feel pretty flimsy as well. I'm not sure how much abuse this headphone can take. The cable is actually very nice in my opinion. It's pretty thick and is protected with a layer of Kevlar. The jack is also very nice. I find it better than the jacks used in the M50, but that is just my opinion, obviously.
Comfort - It's a mixed bag here. I've heard a lot of people say that the Audiophile Series headphones from AT (A700x, AD700, W1000, AD900x, whatever has 'wings') are only for people with large heads. I can say that I kinda do have an above-average sized head, but it's not giant or anything. The pads are very plush and soft on my head, but the wings do feel a bit strange. On occasion, I can feel a slight 'tugging' sensation on my face by the pads downward. The wings are just too sensitive to pressure.
Sound - The very redeeming factor of the A700x is definitely its sound reproduction. Overall, I would describe it as a neutral headphone with a touch of warmth.
Bass - People have told me that the A700x is bass-light to an extent. I just don't hear that. I hear a neutral bass that's controlled and detailed. You'll probably end up hearing the bass more than you do feel it, though. With these headphones, bass is just truly done terrifically to me. Bass guitars sound lively and clean. Kicks have some punchiness to them, while still retaining a somewhat softer timbre.
Mids - The mids have a slight amount of added warmth to them that I find to be truly magnificent when listening to music. The midrange is right where it should be. Not forward, but not recessed. Vocals sound simply fantastic. It's like I'm actually listening to them at a concert.
Treble - The treble is neutral. It's quite extended to my ears. Detail just pours out of everything I listen to with these. Violins, guitars, synths, drums- everything.
Soundstage - The soundstage is incredible with these headphones. There's a ton of depth and width. It rivals my DT770 Pro, which has excellent soundstage. There's just so much space to the sound.
Overall - If you can get past the build and possible comfort issues, and you're a fan of neutral sound, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these headphones. I think these headphones are an excellent value.