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The ATH-A900Ti Appreciation Thread

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
This thread might turn out to be a short one, but I just wanted to make clear the the Audio-Technica ATH-A900Ti is a truly great headphone. When I got the ATH-AD900 two years ago, I didn't believe I would ever own a better headphone. Well, since some weeks ago, when I received a package containing the Titanium Limited Edition model of the ATH-A900, I actually have a better one.

Anybody else here who is extremely happy and satisfied with this headphone? It's just so smooth yet detailed, fast yet laid-back, has great highs yet also svelte bass, is closed yet never fatigues. Might I say that it's a nearly perfect headphone? Even the mids are really good. Not as forward/emphasized as on the AD, but very good nonetheless. It's just so very musical and fun.

I dare now say it aloud: I've found my perfect headphone. (For now. )
post #2 of 48
Do they sound similar to AD900 but better? or do they sound completely different?
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
Well, the A900Ti (Titanium) is a closed headphone, as opposed to the open AD900 (Air). Therefore, the Titanium definitely does sound different from the Air. It's soundstage is noticeably narrower, of course. Also, the mids are ever so slightly recessed. That is not so much a flaw of the Titanium, as it is a 'feature' of the Air. The latter has more coloration, compared to the former, especially in the mids. Bass texture and detail is somewhat comparable between the two headphones, although the Titanium has way more weight behind it. (Yes, you can really feel the bass.) That has much to do with it being closed, of course. That being said, I do feel the Titanium's bass is better, having more weight or not. It has better extension, I guess. Plus, the Titanium's bass feels a bit slower, which causes it to roll off really nicely. The Air is faster, which means that all tones are gone as fast as they come, including the bass. It's bass may be good, but it just doesn't have the extension the Titanium has.

Also, I feel that because of the more neutral/recessed mids, the highs sound better. They stand out more than with the Air. That might cause fatigue with some headphones, but not with the Titanium. Not at all, in fact. It's an extremely comfortable headphone. It's drivers are angled, unlike the Air's. The driver placement in the Air causes my ears to touch the drivers. That doesn't happen with the Titanium, which helps to make it the more comfortable headphone for me. The Clarino pads are really nice, too. Nothing like the pleather pads of some other headphones. Not as svelte as the Air's velours pads, though.

All in all, yes, I really do think the Titanium is the better headphone of the two. It's alot heavier (365g versus 250g), sure, but that's never really an issue. And in the end, it all comes down to how they sound. And in the sound department, the Titanium really shines. Right now, you can get them for about $340 from eBay, and I really believe one would have a hard time finding a better headphone within it's price range.
post #4 of 48
I've always been intrigued by these, but one can buy woodies for a bit more so that is what made me lose some interest. I'd still love to try these, maybe at a meet.
post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 
Yeah, before finally deciding to get the Titanium, I also considered getting the ATH-W1000. It's only a tad more expensive. From reading reviews, though, they couldn't interest me enough to make me get them. People don't seem to really like the W1000 that much. Plus, it's bass is said to be merely okay at best. Not that lots of bass equals good sound quality, but it is a necessity for a headphone to sound really good.

Anyways, I got the Titanium instead of the W1000 and haven't regretted my purchase one second. It's a great, great headphone.
post #6 of 48
Thanks alot for your detailed review!!! It helped me alot deciding which direction to go. Glad that you are happy with your new headphone!
post #7 of 48
i have it,like it.they sound very good but i also like open cans so would maybe sell it to fund an akg k702,never listened to it yet.but as always,no chance to test in my area.
post #8 of 48
i went for k240mk2 and wouldn't need to sell the a900ti,as it's limited edition so i think it hold a great value after all. it has high quality drivers as well that made it stand out when it comes to specs.
post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I totally agree with you, drummer1985. The A900Ti sounds excellent. Very high quality drivers for sure, indeed. And like you, I also like having both an open and a closed headphone. Each type has it's strengths that make each more (or less) suitable for different music styles. But as it stands, I do definitely like the A900Ti better than my AD900. It just has a richer and fuller sound. If it weren't for the AD900's sound stage and lush mids, I would have sold it already.
post #10 of 48
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post #11 of 48
Thread Starter 
I've got a question about the ATH-A900Ti that I haven't been able to find the answer to myself. Does anybody know how many of them were made? And how many did Audio-Technica make of the ATH-A900LTD and ATH-A950LTD? Which of the three headphones is the most exclusive one by numbers? Always nice to know...
post #12 of 48
agree with everything positive in this thread. im enjoying these very much and i dont think i need another pair for a looong time. best allrounder I've ever had.
post #13 of 48
I just got them. I don't have too much experience with headphones. I have previously owned the Senn HD555 and the Sony EX300 IEMs. Before that I had owned the NHT Xd loudspeaker system. That said, I'll give a couple of quick thoughts for them:

On first listen, they sounded bright and bass-shy. After burn in, the frequency response flattened out alot more. The treble is less harsh and less pronounced while the bass started to get some thump in it. In short, do not judge out of the box. Let it burn in for a couple of days first!

The treble and the mids were crystal clear and transparency is good. The highs has a sparkle to it (due to the Titanium?) and seperation and detail is fantastic. I have never heard so much detail before! I can't say that I am displeased with the high and mids. The sound does edge towards an overemphasis of treble to me. Maybe it still needs a little burning-in, or maybe it is just a residual effect from a lasting first-impression. I recall that a review I read on the NHT Xd that compared the detail of the Xd to that of the Senn HD600 and said they offered equal levels of details. If that is true (I have my doubts), then the A900Ti surely beats the crap out of the Senn HD600 in terms of detail.

One of my pet hates of the HD555 is the lack of bass. I am not a fan of "doof doof" bass but I do like bass that is deep, meaningful and impactful. Bass should feel like a kick in the guts and make you jump out of your skin a little. And it should add to, not impeded on the music. Bass gives the sound weight and definition. Without it music sounds light and floaty. Kind of like a balloon compared to a football. On the HD555, it just doesn't happen. Where it does have bass it is decent bass. But it just doesn't go deep enough. I know manufacturers like to claim that bass starts from 5-15hz, but honestly, I don't even think you can hear reasonable bass from 60hz down on the HD555. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the A900Ti. Yes you can hear the deeper frequencies very faintly in the background, but I hate listening to my music from 100hz up. In contrast, the far cheaper Sony EX300 IEMs have far deeper and far more impactful bass. But the bass for the EX300 also sound more one-noted, more boomy and not at all emotional. I am not sure about others, but I think it is folly to fool myself into thinking that all is right in the world without bass. I hate the world without bass. And the A900ti didn't help much in that sense.

There is a real sense of spaciousness about it in the sense that you can hear if the sound is coming from far or near. Coupled it with great seperation, it is a listening experience to behold. But no, there is no stage or image to speak of. I've not tried any other high-end headphones, so I'm not sure if that's about as good as any headphone can muster, but it certainly isn't good enough for me -- especially since I've been pampered by the vast and precise stage of my recently sound NHT Xd Loudspeakers.

In terms of musical genres, the lack of bass makes it a poor choice for rock, techno, RNB, pop etc. It performs surprisingly well on natural, vocals (specially females), jazz and the kind. Norah Jones is a treat.

In terms of comparisons, the Xd looses out to the A900ti in terms of clarity, detail, seperation and treble. But the Xd completely trounced the A900ti in terms of bass, stage and image. The Xd has one of the best stages I have ever heard and the A900ti simply cannot compare. The A900ti comfortably beats the HD555 and the Sony EX300. It should. It costs twice as much (and more). It beats in terms of almost any sonic characteristic I can think of --> besides the fact that the Sony bass goes deeper and is more impacful. In comparison both sound warm, fuzzy and lacking in clarity, detail and seperation.

So, in short conclusion:
Strengths: Treble. Clarity. Seperation. Detail.
Weakness: Bass (or the lack of it). Stage. Weight/Definition/Command to the sound (due to the lack of bass).
post #14 of 48
Thread Starter 
Interesting review, yihfeng. I completely agree with you on everything you wrote about the highs. They're awesome, indeed. I don't really agree with what you stated about the mids, though. You wrote that the A900Ti is very well-suited for (female) vocal and jazz music. I don't completely disagree (as these types of music do sound pretty good on it), but I don't fully agree either. My AD900 has extremely warm and lush mids that make it a far better headphone for vocal music and jazz.

Also, I can't agree with you on what you think about the A900Ti's bass presentation. I think the bass is great. Even from the get-go it had better bass than my AD900. Which maybe doesn't have punchy bass, but definitely does output deep and textured bass. And as the Titanium does even better, it's a great basscan in my book. Probably not a DT770 by any means, but the bass goes way deep, is tight, has quite some weight behind it and is extremely well textured and detailed.

The Titanium does indeed have a smaller soundstage than my AD900, but that's only to be expected from a closed headphone. On things like spaciousness and vocal presentation (mids) the A900Ti can't touch the AD900, but on any other aspect it eats it for lunch.

Interesting...
post #15 of 48
If I remember correctly the 900LTD and 950LTD might be the same 'phone... someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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