After buying the disappointing AT-WS70s, I've been waiting for the opportunity to replace them. Well, today the office upstairs had a water pipe explode directly above my desk, and waterlogged quite a few of my gadgets (including the WS70s). I was feeling adventurous and spontaneous, and saw that audiocubes had the new d1100s available. So I scooped them up
UPDATE - Okay folks, the elusive AH-D1100 headphones have arrived! And let me just say...
With my trusty ATH-A900 and ATH-WS70 headphones as a comparison, here is a mini review (with ratings on 1-5 scale) based on the last half an hour:
- Aesthetics & Portability - 4.5
These headphones look great. They are very elegant, and definitely miles beyond the A900's alien-like proportions. I wouldn't say they are ultra-portable, but they really feel like they are just the right size. The WS70s have always looked great too, and were a bit more portable.
Comparison: A900 - 2.5, WS70 - 4.75
- Comfort - 4.75
After dealing with the vice-grip-like-clamp and tough earpads of the WS70, I immediately fell in love again with my A900s. Sure they were ugly as sin, but comfortable headphones are very important, especially when you wear them for hours on end. One quickly ceases to take this for granted when experiencing something like the WS70s.
With that being said, I was very apprehensive about another set of portables. Could a headphone be portable, kind of seksi, *and* comfortable? The answer is yes, and that is what the D1100s bring to the table. The earpads are extremely soft and pleasant, covering up my [big] ears completely. The clamp has just enough pressure to keep the cans in place, and not an ounce more. I haven't had enough time to see how much my ears will warm up under extreme wearing sessions, but my hunch is that it will be negligible.
Comparison: A900 - 5, WS70 - 2
- Bass - 5!
Yea that's right, I said it. The bass on these guys gets a big fat five. Compared to the A900s, you are looking at an order of magnitude more bass. Ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but these cans really do deliver. I've always liked the A900s for their sound, but the bass was definitely a disappointment.
Comparing them to the much touted "solid bass" of the WS70s is much more interesting. I would say that the 1100s barely edge the WS70s out in terms of quantity, and yet the quality of bass is miles beyond. The WS70s sound like cheap grainy bass, whereas the D1100s sound punchy and clean. As a basshead, I'm very happy!
Comparison: A900 - 3, WS70 - 3.5
- Other Acoustics - 4.75
I guess you can have great bass without sacrificing mids and highs, because this is what the D1100 delivers. Compared to the A900s, these things sound so natural. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is due to a combination of solid mids and a wide soundstage. The highs are crisp, but not too bright. I never thought of my A900s as nasally and/or flat, but after the D1100s, that is what comes to mind. Oh and they beat WS70s, hands down.
Comparison: A900 - 4.25, WS70 - 3.5
- Noise Isolation / Bleeding - 4.75
I just put some loud music on someone elses head, and I'm pleased to say that there is very little bleeding. I couldn't make out the song at all. Also, noise isolation is very good.
With no music on whatsoever, my keyboard typing is barely audible. However, I do have a logitech perfect-stroke keyboard, so it's kind of quiet. The computer fans are *barely* noticeable, even with no music.
When i turn the music on to very low levels, you really can't hear a thing. But more importantly is the comparison to my A900s and WS70s. Hands down, the 1100s are the winner. I really can't believe how poorly these two closed cans isolate compared to the 1100s.Comparison: A900 - 3.5, WS70 - 3.0
Needless to say, they are my new favorites! I hope this review helps shed some light on these new cans. Oh, and I'll try to post some pics when I get a chance.
EDIT: added quick feedback on noise isolation and sound bleed
Edited by Relleum - 9/28/10 at 9:43pm