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a900 vs esw9 vs es-10

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

So i am relativley new to audiophilia, but not a total newb. I do own an sr60i and some klipsch s2's. I also have an Fiio E7 amp. Nothing big but then again im fourteen years old. i do have a lot of high bit rate songs ranging from 160 to 320kbps, that is about 90 percent of my music, the rest 128kbps. Most of it is AAC format. Fortunately my parents decided that they will get me another pair of headphones, my budget is about 550$. I listen to alot of types of music, here is kind of what it is like:

Rock/Alternative- 50%

Rap/Hip-Hop- 20%

Electronic- 10%

Instrumental/Classical- 10%


I have narrowed down my headphone choices to:

AT A900


AT ES-10


And maybe an A700 or Ultrasone HFI 780. One more thing: Is the AT ES-10 forgiving? Any suggestions are nice, thankssmile.gif.

post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 22

I've owned all three of those at some point in the past - the A900 the longest ago (2006) and the ES10 the most recent (sold it earlier this year). I'd recommend against the ESW9 and ES10, I thought both of those were overpriced for the sound they offered. The A900 is a general v-shaped-sounding headphone - more treble and bass versus the mid-range.


The ATH-ES7 is the headphone that I still use and one I recommend. Make sure you get a genuine one as fake ones have been reported.

post #4 of 22

From your choices I assume you want a more bassy headphone then? 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well not too bassy but atleast different from the sr60i's. i heard that AT headphones are pretty neutral. i was kind of steering towards a headphone like that. 

post #6 of 22

The A900 and forth aren't very neutral though. The Ad900 are pretty balanced, but I'm not sure if they're too different in sound signature from your Grado to satisfy you. Don't get me wrong the clarity and detail are great, the highs and mids are balanced (no fatiguing at all), and the bass isn't overbearing at all, it could actually stand a little more bass, but they aren't an "opposite" of Grado's, they're more and in-between of Grado and Sennheiser for instance. Sennheisers are said to complement Grado's very well as they have "opposite" sound signatures, Grado are aggressive, while Sennheiser tend to be more relaxed. The Ad900 fall somewhere in the middle of that.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replys, ill have to look into the ad900, is it forgiving?

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Also is th ad900 good for most music, like rock, hip hop/rap, classical, etc.?

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for suggestions so far, but i really need to know if the ad900 is forgiving. Any help is appreciated

post #10 of 22

The A900 replay any genre rather well. 

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

thanks for the help, but could you please answer my other question up top. is the ad900 forgiving?

post #12 of 22

I'm not sure what you mean by forgiving. Can you explain?

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Oh ok, what i mean is like is it forgiving to low bitrate. Will the ad900 reveal alot of artifacts in low bitrate songs that will make them not enjoyable to listen to. For example will 128kbps (mostly AAC, some mp3's though) sound bad or distorted. Most of my library is 160 to 320kbps, but there are still some lower ones. Also thanks for all the feedback.smile.gif

post #14 of 22

I read here and there Audio Technica headphones are forgiving in that matter. To my perception my A900 was indeed much more forgivable than the K701. The same counts for my current W1000X. Still gives the lesser recordings or encodes some definition. Although it won't be as good as a good recording and lossless, you could live with it.


However if you're talking about using even very low bitrate ones don't expect any headphone to forgive or mask that. There are limits of course. If you even have come to point spending more for a good headphone you should also invest in getting better sources.



Edited by cky8 - 3/28/11 at 10:52pm
post #15 of 22

As long as it's a properly encoded 128, not a transcode, it should sound decent on any headphone, though I think the A900 are borderline where it would reveal it to an annoying degree.

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