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Anyone have experience with ATH-T400?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I've used search on the forum, but I haven't found much talk about these headphones. I noticed they use a 53mm driver like  Audio-Technica's higher models, but seem to use a little more plastic in construction. Reviews online seem to also be limited. There is one guy who said they were of similar grade to HD280 and liked them better than the Senns for a full-sized closed headphone. I've got an opportunity to pick them up under $40. I currently have HD-205's and JVC RX700 with the felt and foam mods. I was going to buy my kid a set of cheap junkers, but with these at under $40, I'm debating on getting these myself and giving him my 205s (As I've gotten older, the tight fit has bothered me a lot more when I wear my glasses). I want to try the sound profile of A-T since I have not had any A-T's before, but it would be nice if this was a little bit of an upgrade over what I have. The fact that the specs indicate they'd be very easy to drive is a bonus as I frequently go without amp. Who has tried these and compared them? How are they as opposed to the M30's or of other full sizes like the aforementioned HD280's?

Edited by Ubersanger - 12/17/11 at 6:19am
post #2 of 32
Thread Starter 

Well I took the plunge on the ATH-T400's given the price. I did find a little bit of info on them which I posted on the thread I started at slickdeals. (see post 1 and 5)



I may post some impressions after I get them.


post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 

It seems like I am talking to myself, but since I already started the thread, I'll post my initial observations. I'm actually traveling at the moment and don't have any decent source to use with me, but I'll give it a shot anyway. They are comfortable. I'm wondering if the one piece headband used for these instead of the wings are actually an improvement over the wings. There is reasonable clamping pressure on these, but not enough to be uncomfortable.The earpads use a faux leather type pleather material instead of the really crinkly, thin pleather material you normally see on most sub $100 closed phones (think of the same stuff on A-T's Dj cans). The cups are actually an oval shape and not round as you expect from the pics. They are not nearly as big as you expect either, being noticeably smaller than those on my JVC RX700, but they still fit fine over my ears. Construction and build quality is top notch for the $60 price level (normal street price for these). Yes they are mostly plastic, but it doesn't feel like cheap plastic. Creakiness is minimal and the cord is nice and thick and seems of pretty good quality. The 53mm driver looks absolutely enormous though, much bigger looking than the 50mm in my JVC's, but I think that is mostly an optical illusion due to the cups being smaller.


Isolation is excellent. Soundwise, they present a decent soundstage for a closed phone. It is a very laid-back, warm and smooth sound. They are bass heavy. Mid-bass is a little bloated and some mids are a bit recessed. Some sounds in the mid range do get lost because of this. Treble is all there and reasonably detailed but they do lack the pop and sizzle that people look for in the so called "fun" sound, this might be in part due to the closed design. It's a similar sound signature to the JVC RX700 but the treble is a little better and the mids are a little worse. Bass for the T400 is a bit punchier and it goes deeper than the JVC however, with not nearly as steep a drop-off below 50 hz. These work fine with a portable source without amp. Sound quality should improve with the amp, though. Overall, a nice set of headphone for the $60 and under market, but it does skew more into the bass head territory. I would be very interested in how they compare to the M50 in this regard.

Edited by Ubersanger - 12/22/11 at 8:19am
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 

Still talking to myself. I've never been one to put a lot of stock in the concept of burn-in, but now after having a lot more hours on these and rotating with my other headphones to try to keep my ears fresh, I do have to say that the sound has changed quite a bit. The mid-bass bloat has been reduced a bit, but the mids have really come out on these a lot and actually seem foward at some frequencies. Treble still needs a little help and seems a tad harsh and dark to my ear in that range. Overall, a more balanced set than my initial impression thought. I only have budget headphones so can't compare to any higher models. With the burn-in, and dong some A-Bing, there are not as similar to the JVC RX700 as originally thought. The JVC provide a bit more mid-bass and feel a little fuller in the bass range, but the T400 does provide more thump and a lot more extension,though the lower frequencies aren't completely clean (still better than the JVC). Detail overall is a tad better than the JVC. The JVC has a slightly more open and airy sound than the T400, which will not ever let you forget they are a closed can. The RX700 has a little distance in the sound, while the T400 is definitely much more immediate. In this regard they are much closer to the sound of my Sennheiser HD205.


I like the sound of vocals on the T400 as it is very immediate and well centered, with a nice fullness. On the RX700, vocals do sound more distant and have a slight nasalness in quality. My HD205 have the some closeness, but vocals lack the fullness of the T400. Rock guitar sounds great, rich and detailed. However, a lot of classical recordings fell short on these. I felt they needed more space and air. Classical music requires a certain sweetness to the sound and the immediate presentation and slighlty harsh treble of these cans did it no favors.


I'm very happy with the construction on the T400. Yes, the design lacks rigidity so I wouldn't want to be throwing in a gear bag at any time. However, even though they are mostly plastic, they really strike me as high quality for a sub $100 set. They really do make the RX700 seem like a much cheaper set. All the materials - the plastics, the padding, the fabric, the pleather - seem a step above those on the RX700. They are much lighter and less clunky than the RX700. Also, the T400 is a lot less creaky than the RX700. So far, I've not encountered any creaks while using the T400 and the cord seems more resistant to noise when bumped than either the RX700 or the HD205. Comfort is very good on these. I can't imagine any sub $100 headphone being more comfortable, but they will not make you forget you are wearing them. Isolation is great and may be one of their biggest strengths. Its on a whole other level compared to my other headphones. The RX700, HD205 and JVC HAS160 just do not compare. These are very easy to drive as well, notably easier than than the RX700.


The driver on the T400 look identical to that of the pictures I've seen of the A500 and AD500 so I wonder how close they are. Specs are different, but I know housing and cables can affect that somewhat as well. Maybe I'll post some pictures later. Here's the generic one from A-T as well as official specs:



Type Closed-back Dynamic
Driver Diameter 53 mm
Frequency Response 15 - 23,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power 1,600 mW
Sensitivity 105 dB/mW
Impedance 40 ohms
Weight 260 g
Cable 3.0 m/single-sided
Connector 3.5 mm (1/8") mini-stereo, gold-plated
Accessory Included Detachable 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter


Edited by Ubersanger - 1/8/12 at 6:43pm
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 

Finally some pics:








post #6 of 32

Forward mids and nice vocals seems like a very standard AT house sound. So for its price's worth, it seems like a good intro to the AD series and the ES, W series. But I only have experience with a cheap esw9 (I like how its still wood lol, I use that to decieve myself how I am listening to the W series sound) and the ad900. They both have very nice extended highs and tight bass however.


Keep up the effort. Support even if I couldn't give you any useful comments.

post #7 of 32
great little review, these sound like they would be very good for the price. A comparison to panasonic RP-HTX7 would be good, i know they are far apart in price, but it would be interesting. Keep up the good work, shame about the lack of support.

post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comments guys. I'm really liking these more and more, but they are a bit unforgiving of lower quality sound files. Much, much better sound on CD than on 256 mp3, even straight off my laptop.

post #9 of 32

Driver looks very similar to AD500's. Small voice coil but big 53mm driver.

post #10 of 32

For $40-60, it seems to be an excellent deal, especially if it can compare to the the HD280s that you mentioned. I have a set of HD280s and they are probably the most neutral and balanced set of cans I have. They are absolutely boring for normal listening usage but I use them for monitor purposes for the music stuff I do. Your T400s seem to be a little on the warmer side and probably (as stated) were not intended for monitor usage but a more enjoyable and fun sound. Actually, it seems that I would have bought the T400s rather than the HD280s because it looks like a better overall headphone in terms of build quality. The HD280s are all somewhat sturdy but horribly built plastic with the cheap foam you had described in your review. However, I do question the single piece headband rather than the two wing standard used on models such as my AD700s. The purpose of the "3d Axis wing" as I view it was to put as little amount of pressure on the head as possible while keeping a good amount of stability. That was the reason for the moving rather than fixed wings. The single piece headband seems to be the opposite, even if well padded. This gives the implication that it might have been intended for more portable use, pointing to the closed back design.


The driver looks identical to that of my previously owned AD700s, yet they are opposite sound signatures (you can look up the AD700 signature that most of the community agrees on). I have absolutely no idea how to differentiate visually from the AT drivers. 



I know the M50 as having a good (slightly overpowering) amount of but lacking some bass detail and a recessed midrange with a harsh but well extended treble that has a strange spike on a frequency that I don't remember off the top of my head. 


I enjoyed the detailed review but have one question: How is the detail of the midrange and bass? 

Since you do enjoy the warmer ATH house sound, I suggest skipping their studio monitors and going for the ES series as suggested by other posts if you are looking into a step up. I somewhat disliked the M50s, even after burn in just because of the treble. 

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 

Although I don't own the Ad700's, I think a good part of the difference would be the fact that these are closed vs the open Ad700s. You will never mistake these for being open from listening.  I'm not much of an audiophile and I don't have a whole lot of experience with headphones, although I am an experienced musician, so please take my observations with a grain of salt. If others had these I could tell if I am just way off base because of having different preferences. I like the detail of the mids a lot.  I do feel these lack brilliance in the treble with it being just slighlty recessed, albeit a bit of a hard sound. On some sources, I do feel the need to bump some treble frequencies via EQ. I don't think these have the quantity of the bass of the M50, but they do share some lack of detail in the low range, although the percussiveness of the kick drum does come through nicely.


It really did surprise me how much these changed from my initial impression after getting some time on them so I apologize for any mixed messages from my first observations. It shocked me how much the mid-bass dropped and the mids just started popping out.


Edit: I discovered that the Japanese packaging on both the T400 and T500 state "Newly developed driver." I'd guess the driver is modeled on the old AD/A series driver but heavily reworked for use in the new series. It seems that so far this driver is used for the T400, T500, and the new TAD500 (The TAD400 seems to use a smaller 40mm driver for some reason). The T400 should sound very similar to the T500 as they share the exact same design/structure and the driver. The T500 just uses aluminum in the back of the cups rather than plastic and the headband is all pleather instead of half pleather/half cloth as on the T400. I did find some semi-pro reviews of the T500 that pretty much confirm my own observations on sound of the T400 after burn-in so at least I know that I'm not off base. In summary: the T400 is fairly balanced with fantastic well detailed mids, balanced bass with good extension, and slightly weak/dull treble. Soundstage is very good for closed heaphones, but not at the level of open sets. Isolation is very good.




It's interesting that A-T has so far not brought the T500 to the US market officially, but only the T400 and the other cheaper T-series models (which use a different design and driver). T500's have to be imported via audiocubes, etc

Edited by Ubersanger - 1/16/12 at 6:26am
post #12 of 32

My mom received a rewards certificate worth $84 at an RC Willey's shop nearby (furniture/electronics store in Las Vegas). I found a pair of these headphones for $80 and needed a closed headphone to replace my HD 280's quick, so I used the rewards to get that pair. So far, it's pretty good. I also own a pair of AD700's, if that adds anything.

post #13 of 32
Originally Posted by hiddenninja View Post

My mom received a rewards certificate worth $84 at an RC Willey's shop nearby (furniture/electronics store in Las Vegas). I found a pair of these headphones for $80 and needed a closed headphone to replace my HD 280's quick, so I used the rewards to get that pair. So far, it's pretty good. I also own a pair of AD700's, if that adds anything.

And do you want to add anything - especially when you own a pair of AD700s? biggrin.gif


post #14 of 32

So do you mean it is not that good for classical?

post #15 of 32

Sorry for necroposting but may I request for a pic inside the cups if ever OP can read this =)

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