Pros: Incredible build, good soundstage, great detail, versatility, portability, isolation, boosted bass, detachable cable
Cons: boosted bass (for those looking for a more balanced sound), clamping force (as expected from a DJ headphone)
Before I begin, I must thank the great folks over at Audio Technica for sending me a pair of these headphones for review!
Audio Technica is a well-known brand here on Head-Fi, and rightfully so.
The ATH-PRO500MK2 are easily one of the best headphones that I've heard at the street value of $100. No doubt about it.
Here we go!
Accessories - Pleather carrying pouch, 3.5mm to 6.3mm (1/8" to 1/4") adapter, 2 cables: One straight, one coiled
Build - On terms of build quality, my expectations were not only met, but they were exceeded. The ATH-PRO500MK2 is one of the most solid-feeling headphones that I've ever held. The headphone is made out of almost entirely plastic, however, the plastic is of the utmost quality. It feels very sturdy and would definitely be able to take a beating, or multiple beatings at that. The headband is thick and covered with pleather. Not the most cushioned, but I haven't noticed any problems pertaining to comfort due to that. Size adjusters are very, very smooth when used. The amount of force needed to extend or retract the adjusters is perfect; not too much force, but not too little that it slips around and changes length while in use. The adjusters themselves are made out of metal. The pads are quite good. They have a soft feel to them. There could be a little more cushioning inside the pads, but, like the headband, I've not had any discomfort due to the included cushioning. The headphones feature a screw-on 3.5mm headphone jack. Screw-on feature is very good for a locking mechanism, however I've had some troubles unscrewing it for removal. It gets quite tight.
The ATH-PRO500MK2 features very useful swiveling of the ear cups. This is especially good for DJs that prefer to use only one side of the headphones for monitoring.
The headphones can fold up easily to fit into the carrying pouch for transport if needed.
The included cables are pretty thick. Durability seems very high.
Image: Swiveling cups (Click to show)
Comfort - I find these headphones to be moderately comfortable. There is a lot of clamping force, but that is to be expected from a DJ headphone. Not the most comfortable overall, but I don't really see any major flaws.
Isolation - These isolate very well, probably due to the quality of the build. It's rare that I ever hear outside noise while playing music through these, even when I'm in crowded areas.
Sound Quality - I really like the sound that these headphones have. I'm very impressed with their overall performance.
Bass - As with most DJ headphones, the bass is emphasised in comparison to the rest of the spectrum. The bass is tight, punchy, and impactful. Very clean and dynamic. Bass frequencies really sound excellent out of these. My favorite instrument, the slap bass, has never sounded better. I wouldn't really call it warm, but I definitely wouldn't call it cold sounding. Sub-bass is well extended.
Mids - The midrange sounds exactly where it should, to my ears; not recessed but not emphasized. Great for a closed-back headphone. Female vocals, guitars, and other midrange instruments really sound pleasant from the ATH-PRO500MK2.
Treble - My initial impression of the treble on these headphones was that it was dark. I now realize that that was incorrect. These have actually opened me up to darker-sounding treble, something I've never enjoyed before. While it is not as sparkly as other headphones that I own, it has great clarity and extension overall that really finishes off the whole sound very well.
Soundstage - There's a good amount of space in the presentation. I was impressed at first listen, and I still am because of it. Width is average, but depth is exceptional.
Overall - The ATH-PRO500MK2 is an impressive bass-heavy DJ headphone for portable or home use that's good for all genres. With a very solid build and great sound, these would be an excellent choice for people craving a little extra kick in their music, while staying otherwise true to how music should be.