Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 and ATH-ESW9A Appreciation Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 and ATH-ESW9A Appreciation Thread - Page 11

post #151 of 680

I've had these headphones for over two years now and love them! Could anyone recommend me some full size headphones with a similar sound signature? A bit more comfy with a slightly larger soundstage would be perfect?

Budget £300

post #152 of 680

Nice to see there's active users with these headphones. I bought a pair of these back in May 2009. Can't believe I've had them for over 3 years now when looking at the receipt and spending just over £200 on AudioCubes for these. Still going strong! However, I did have a minor disappointment when I broke the plastic where the "left" is located (last picture where you can see the split). Luckily, I could superglue it back and it's been fine ever since. In terms of sound (excuse for my poor descriptions), they always sound better the more I listen to music with them. I love electronic music, so the clarity through all the crisp but sharp under-stated bass to the comfortable rolling highs makes them awesome. I get a good regular couple of hours a day out of them minimum as I now commute into London from home (a good 1 hour door to door). God knows how many hours I've ramped up. Must be at least a thousand hours plus.

 

They are great at isolating the main overground train, but when I get to the underground, I still have to ramp up the volume as it's so loud on the train. I really want to try and preserve these headphones as much as possible (and not damage my ears).

 

I know no IEMs will come close, but I'm hoping to find some which match the balance these ESW9s have through out any genre I listen to. That way, I can isolate any outside noise on my travels and use the ESW9s for home use.

 

Photo 01-07-2012 16 18 26.jpg

 

Photo 01-07-2012 16 19 49.jpg

 

Photo 01-07-2012 16 19 21.jpg


Edited by Tunster - 7/1/12 at 8:32am
post #153 of 680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunster View Post

 

I know no IEMs will come close, but I'm hoping to find some which match the balance these ESW9s have through out any genre I listen to. That way, I can isolate any outside noise on my travels and use the ESW9s for home use.

 

 

I had two pair of the ESW9's with custom cable upgrades........I sold both pairs after purchasing the new Audio Technica ATH-CKM500 IEM's.  They are really worth looking into, at an unbelievably low price.

 

Here is a link if you are interested!

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607006/the-new-ath-ckm500-the-best-ckm-earphone-yet

post #154 of 680
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post

 

I had two pair of the ESW9's with custom cable upgrades........I sold both pairs after purchasing the new Audio Technica ATH-CKM500 IEM's.  They are really worth looking into, at an unbelievably low price.

 

Here is a link if you are interested!

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607006/the-new-ath-ckm500-the-best-ckm-earphone-yet

Thanks cute!

 

Will look at these as I don't want to spend the earth on a new pair of IEMs, but am going to be fussy enough to get that balanced sound. I am thinking of getting my ESW9s custom cabled at some point. I know I'll break the weedy cable one day!

post #155 of 680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunster View Post

Thanks cute!

 

Will look at these as I don't want to spend the earth on a new pair of IEMs, but am going to be fussy enough to get that balanced sound. I am thinking of getting my ESW9s custom cabled at some point. I know I'll break the weedy cable one day!

 

They can be had for $58 plus shipping.......they compare with IEM's costing 3-5 times as much!  The CKM500 has the Audio Technica house sound, gread mids vocals, very good detail and highs.  They are low impedance and don't need an amp!

 

I braided my own DHC cable for my ESW9's, and it made a significant difference in sound more detailed and natural sounding.

post #156 of 680

After selling my ESW9s a few months ago, I just bought another pair.  I wanted to try the M80s when they were on sale last week but there is just nothing like wood and leather!  I don't even really like headphones, I'm more of an IEM guy but there is just something special about these that I can't let go of.

post #157 of 680

So should I get these for my fist good headphones or some Audio Technica ATH-M50s. Keep in mind that right now I have a lower budget and so are the ATH-ESW9s worth it?

post #158 of 680

Last i checked they were only $200. at Beach Camera i believe.......best $200. headphones i have ever heard, i paid $330. i think plus got hit with import tax to boot.  They were/are still worth it to me.

 

Edit-Just checked $206 and change-if you are in the U.S. but not listed for you so....?

 

http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/search.aspx?kwd=esw9&x=0&y=0


Edited by dallan - 9/1/12 at 4:32pm
post #159 of 680
Quote:
Originally Posted by takubi View Post

So should I get these for my fist good headphones or some Audio Technica ATH-M50s. Keep in mind that right now I have a lower budget and so are the ATH-ESW9s worth it?

 

Check out the JVC-HAS500 and save a lot of money.....better than the ATH-M50 or ESW9!

post #160 of 680
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallan View Post

Last i checked they were only $200. at Beach Camera i believe.......best $200. headphones i have ever heard, i paid $330. i think plus got hit with import tax to boot.  They were/are still worth it to me.

 

Edit-Just checked $206 and change-if you are in the U.S. but not listed for you so....?

 

http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/search.aspx?kwd=esw9&x=0&y=0

Cool! thank you, so I guess I should definitely consider it.

post #161 of 680

I'm picking this up this month over the V-Moda M80 but mainly because I really like how it looks (so sophisticated). Not that I don't care about sound quality but its also that ESW9 also sounds fine (nice midrange, good balance overall), albeit not better overall than the M80. M80 is also cheaper so I can get it anytime I want,

 

Looking forward to this cans!

post #162 of 680

Love mine. I let a couple of my colleagues at work listen and I saw their jaws drop when they heard them. They wanted to buy a pair on the spot. smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by Hooster - 9/22/12 at 2:09am
post #163 of 680

After trying a lot of on-ear/over-ear closed portables, I've thought about returning to these, though I only had them for a short audition when I did. What is the sound isolation like on these? And am I right to remember, great mids, good treble and light on bass. (Kind of like the RE262 for anyone who's heard them?)

post #164 of 680

Yeah that sounds about right, very lush midrange, of course if you feel up to it you can open up the cup and take the yellow foam out, that dramatically changes the sound.  I remember isoation being good at not leaking sound out, but not so great about letting it in..

post #165 of 680

Hi imakcler,

 

I was trying to decide between the ESW9 and the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 last week (and I'm looking for a change from the RE-262 which have been my portable IEMs for a year, nice IEMs). I couldn't find comparative reviews that satisfied me but I did manage to get hold of both and did my own little non-audiophile comparison to check out the sound. I will include it here if it is of any use to someone else in my predicament.

 

In direct answer to your questions, the sound isolation on the ESW9 is considerably lesser than the DT 1350. The DT 1350 wins hands down: you can hear the music from the ESW9 from 6 feet away in a quiet room whereas the Beyerdynamic is really good isolation (my view) and you can barely hear anything from even 1 foot away. I just wish it was better insulated for travel. Re. signature, vocals are definitely much nicer sounding on the ESW9 and there is a better bass presence on the ESW9 compared to the Beyerdynamic (-here the bass is more controlled and "directional" whereas the ESW is more all present and sort of has more depth (bigger drivers?)). Treble is good but the basic differences between these two phones to me are that ESW9 is more laid back, slightly less detailed, warmer and definitely more soundstage, whereas the Beyerdynamic is more articulate, accurate and "clinically" colder but much more precise in sound and in detail. I personally prefer the sound of the ESW9 but am going to use the DT 1350 as my travelling phones. Furthermore, the ESW9 sounds much closer to my great open HE-6 than the DT-1350. Actually ESW9 sounds pretty open for a closed headphone, despite the isolation weakness.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Nishy.

 

==================

My needs:

I need a high sound quality portable headphone for regular long distance air travel. The headphone should be : 1) light and comfortable (-overall weightwise and on/around the ear type), 2) fairly robust in build quality, 3) foldable in some way to enable easy carry on in a handgrip, 4) closed-type but open sounding as much as possible with a moderate soundstage, 5) have good sound insulation (to not disturb fellow passengers) and low leakage, 6) not be ostentatious or hip like Dr. Beats (whose sonic signatures are anyway not suited for jazz/classical).

Coming from unportable Hifiman HE-6 top-of-the-line full cup headphones (with generous much bigger drivers that make for spacious sound), I would like as close a sound as possible in a lower grade closed portable! I am used to Hifiman RE-262 IEMs for travel - great but feeling like a change.

My Music Preference:

Jazz (vocal and all instruments, trio/band formats) as well as classical. I would like abit more bass for a portable than with an audiophile grade headphone, to partly compensate for external noise when listening to jazz, but more neutral sound for classical.

From a portable, I would like a strong mid range performance for those jazz vocals but adequate detail at high end and reasonable bass definition.
Overall I think my sound signature preference is a more intimate narrower soundstage than Sennheisers (which I am well familiar with and like separately).

The Options:

I narrowed my preferences to Audio Technical ATH-ESW9 (42 mm driver) at $199 Amazon, and Beyerdynamic DT 1350 at $299 Amazon as these were the closest recommended portables I could target with many discerning followers of both. (I've used portable Sennheiser PX 100 and 200 long ago but AT and BD are both way better and more expensive).

++++The following are only my personal views intended to help someone in my predicament in choosing between these two closest fought headphones!...++++

The Boxed Packages:

BD (Beyerdynamic) has a much more professional packaging, outside and inside. The white cardbox box is a solid protective box whereas the AT is a thinner "less serious" more flimsy packaging. The BD contains a very nice slim firm and protective black headphone carrying case, moulded to fit the cans with cups flattened. It has inner pockets for 2 handy extra plugs (one for airline entertainment systems aka Emirates and a big phono adapter, nice touch). The AT has no extras, and comes with a black leatherette-rubbery pouch sack which provides virtually no protection and this for a headphone that is more fragile than the BD.

BD is the clear winner here in carry-ability albeit at $80 more (which I would pay for).

The Headphones:

Subjectively, the AT are clearly larger cups (2.6 inches diameter, roughly as measured on the outside) and basically the cushions rest on my outer ear tips and lobes. The BD being smaller (2.2 inches) rest on the ear itself more - more comfy for me.


AT is shallower in depth if you exclude padding width whereas the BD is more cuppy and deeper. Both phones can swivel the cup on your head to listen to someone talk to you etc.
AT seems a little lighter and the lambskin padding is softer whereas BD has a firmer padding and is better in feel (other reviewers say the sealing property is key to the sound quality and bass though I feel the bass is perhaps deeper on AT). I clearly prefer BD padding of the two, AT being a bit too spongy.

AT is a more wood and plastics device (the reddish wood is a dull red matt and not as shiny as I had seen in some photos), whereas the BD is a more solid hard plastic-type casing and metal finish: of the two BD clearly looks the more professional sturdy solidly built headphone - it is stolidly German after all! The AT is definitely the more brittle of the two headphones and needs to be more carefully handled in transit.


The headphone specs can be found online, suffice to say they seem generally quite close in most respects to me. Range is a little higher on the AT technically ( 5-35,000 viz BD 5- 30,000 Hz). Impedance on AT is 42 ohms, BD 80 ohms for those so concerned. Power handling on AT is 1000mW whereas on BD it is 100mW...Output sound handling is 103dB for AT and 129dB for BD.

Some say the sound of the cables rustling on clothing is a distraction on the BD (its closed hard plastic cups do resonate sound inside your ears) and I would be sympathetic to this, but not perhaps a deal breaker.

Headband: AT has a light plastic mould cum soft leather head padding whereas the BD has a tough steely double band and a spongy padding right at the top. Herein lies a notable difference: the BD can be configured to grip your head much better to give an even better clamp whereas the AT is a light comfy slip over with little ear pressure. I was struck by the difference on actually handling the two. BD makes for a much snugger fit on my large head.


Cables: AT has cables on both cups ending in a slim 3.5 mm plug, whereas BD has wires from the Left side cup and ends in a beefy 3.5 mm plug which may in a confined player or ear socket bump against another wire eg line out etc. (probably does not affect most people). The BD also has two bits of cable popping up at the top of each can and this may be abit of an unnecessary protrusion for travellers (apt to snag on something) but no big deal.

The Sound !:

Here's the tricky bit. Overall, the AT sounds a warmer, distinctly mellower, more easy going, laid back headphone with a clearly wider soundstage - more in the direction of say HE-6 or any big sounding phone. The bass is decent and seems to have more depth/presence on jazz recordings I tried out viz BD. Vocals are more generous and intimate on the AT, whereas on the BD vocals are seemingly more constrained in the overall width of delivery - this is not to say BD is disappointing in any way but again sounds a bit more conical or directional rather than "all present".

The BD has a distinctly enclosed sound print, almost a conical sound but I feel it is more clinically colder and more accurate. Bass on BD is good but seems to be more measured and controlled whereas on AT it is reassuringly enveloping around your ear. Musical details are notably better (-not that AT is inferior) on the BD but soundstage is definitely better on the 42mm AT! I find myself turning the volume up on the BD for a "fuller" sound whereas the AT simply yields a larger sound print with instruments better laid out around around you.

On classical music, I prefer the BD signature for clarity and detail; on the AT is a warmer mellower "easy listening" sound.

Caveat: I listened to each headphone about 5 hours so the break in time is arguably insufficient. However, I did read reviews that contradicted how much break-in time these portables actually needed. Some said none - it does not matter either way, some talked of 20 hours +. I presume these portables don't need (or react dramatically) to much break-in time. I can't vouch for how different each brand might sound down the road!

The Decision!:

I find it very difficult to choose! I would probably choose the BD overall for my needs as a frequent flyer as the isolation properties on the BD are definitely much better than the AT and I don't wish to disturb fellow passengers. The clarity of sound inside an aircraft is likely to be much better too from the closed BD cups. The added travel pack and plugs are useful extras and the AT would have closed the gap more had it been more featured here!

 

That said, my son and I both prefer the warmer sound of the AT! I think the differences in sound signature are such that I will keep both.  In looks both are good looking (read serious looking and not trendy bassheads aka Beat, no disrespect intended!). The AT looks the more conservative and elegant phone but the wood finish of its cups does look slightly un-woodish and slight mock woodish (perhaps the luster is not deep-red enough - photos on head-fi are definitely much brighter red than what I see) . The BD is all Germanic and clearly steely serious.

I used flac tracks and Hifiman HM-801, the best portable by far, for my comparison (with a balanced sound card port, as well as testing the headphones from the normal headphone out socket (wider soundstage)). While I enjoy an RE-262 IEM for the last year, both these portable cans offer a welcome change in sound print over my IEM.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 and ATH-ESW9A Appreciation Thread