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Audio Technica ATH-A700 Equivalents

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been looking for a pair of good headphones for a while now, and I'm officially stumped XD I think I'm at the point where I've looked at so many I can't decide anymore. I've only been able to look at Best Buy as there aren't many electronics stores where I live, but I've tried on several pairs there. I tried Beats and they were just kind of meh to me. The pair I liked the most was the Sennheiser HD428, but I didn't like how flimsy the cord looked. My friend also has a pair of the Sennheiser HD25-1 II's, which from what I've listened to are pretty good, and he raves about them. They look a little too flimsy to me though, so I exclude those. So I started looking around on the internet, and the pair that I keep coming back to are the Audio Technica ATH-A700. They're at a good price point and I like most of what I've read. I've heard that they have some durability issues that put me off from buying them. I just wanted to know if you guys had any opinions on that, because I've heard both "They're really durable ^__^" and "They broke after a couple of years :/"
I would also like to know if you guys have any other suggestions for headphones like them. I've never bought a pair of high quality headphones, as I used to break a lot of my things so it was never justified. Now though I've gotten a lot better with maintaining my things, but I still like durability. I listen to lots of different music, so I'll just list some of the artists I listen to frequently: Days of the New, Seven Mary Three, Pearl Jam, Mad Season, Alice in Chains, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Jørn Lande, Evergrey, Corroded, Armin Van Buuren. Like I said, I listen to a lot of different music, so they need to have a good range. I listen to music at lower volumes, which reminds me of something else I read about the Audio Technica ATH-A700, that they can transmit a lot of the noise from moving around, which would be a problem with me as well.
So if you guys have any opinions I would love to hear them! I'm not an audiophile by any means, the only time I paid more than $50 for headphones was for a crummy pair of noise-cancelling ones that I wound up selling. I was young and stupid :/ And I would like to buy a good pair my first go-around.
post #2 of 14

From my own experience with the ATH-A700, they are very good headphones, pretty durable and sound great, and are a little .  The one thing you cannot get around though is just how huge they are, with the massive ear cups and the two headband wires sticking up in the air..  But I still manage to use them portably, so they are manageable.  Makes quite the fashion statement.  :P

 

These things are plenty durable.  You can bend the headband over 360 degrees and nothing happens.  I actually do this on occasion to give them a tighter fit, as they are quite loose fitting.

 

The ATH-A700's problems with moving around and transmitting noise can easily be fixed with the rubber band mod on the headband.  Just take a rubber band, or preferably a hair tie, and loop it around both the "3D wings" to pull them together.  This increases the clamping force of these headphones, making them not wobble so much.  It also keeps them from bouncing on your head when you walk.

 

They sound great for electronic music, but do everything reasonably well.  I still miss my modded HD280 Pro for the way it made guitars absolutely shred.

post #3 of 14

The ATH-A700 are the headphones that got me into everything else bigger and better and I still haven't found a headphone that I like better for general listening, even my ATH-A900. As for headphones that sound like them the ATH-A900 is an obvious pick and isn't that much more; you get better clarity and soundstage at the expense of a little bit of bass and warmth from what I can tell between my two sets.

 

I would say durability-wise they are a good pick as I used them for my gaming cans that I took all over the US to different LANs. I wasn't abusive to them but I definitely didn't baby them either and they recently broke after 4 years so it probably depends on your usage. I really can't see them falling apart if you're kind to them, mine only broke after my niece dropped them from about 5 feet up and they hit a desk corner on the way down.

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malamute View Post

I've been looking for a pair of good headphones for a while now, and I'm officially stumped XD I think I'm at the point where I've looked at so many I can't decide anymore. I've only been able to look at Best Buy as there aren't many electronics stores where I live, but I've tried on several pairs there. I tried Beats and they were just kind of meh to me. The pair I liked the most was the Sennheiser HD428, but I didn't like how flimsy the cord looked. My friend also has a pair of the Sennheiser HD25-1 II's, which from what I've listened to are pretty good, and he raves about them. They look a little too flimsy to me though, so I exclude those. So I started looking around on the internet, and the pair that I keep coming back to are the Audio Technica ATH-A700. They're at a good price point and I like most of what I've read. I've heard that they have some durability issues that put me off from buying them. I just wanted to know if you guys had any opinions on that, because I've heard both "They're really durable ^__^" and "They broke after a couple of years :/"
I would also like to know if you guys have any other suggestions for headphones like them. I've never bought a pair of high quality headphones, as I used to break a lot of my things so it was never justified. Now though I've gotten a lot better with maintaining my things, but I still like durability. I listen to lots of different music, so I'll just list some of the artists I listen to frequently: Days of the New, Seven Mary Three, Pearl Jam, Mad Season, Alice in Chains, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Jørn Lande, Evergrey, Corroded, Armin Van Buuren. Like I said, I listen to a lot of different music, so they need to have a good range. I listen to music at lower volumes, which reminds me of something else I read about the Audio Technica ATH-A700, that they can transmit a lot of the noise from moving around, which would be a problem with me as well.
So if you guys have any opinions I would love to hear them! I'm not an audiophile by any means, the only time I paid more than $50 for headphones was for a crummy pair of noise-cancelling ones that I wound up selling. I was young and stupid :/ And I would like to buy a good pair my first go-around.


I would avoid the AD700's. Hallow shy-bass toy. The internet has blown this particular headphone out of proportion in so many ways. The AD700 doesn't have good range, it has mids and treble and only upper bass and mid bass. Next to no sub bass, which is a crime to audio in my opinion.

 

Also, why limit yourself to BestBuy? Use Amazon or something. They ship basically everywhere, and you can even return things you don't like to them. No big deal at all.

 

Some suggestions:

 

Goldring DR150

Samson SR850

Fischer Audio FA-011

Sennheiser HD555

Pioneer AE1000

Grado SR60i with L-Cush Pads

Shure SRH840

Sennheiser HD449

Ultrasone HFI 780

 

If you're using a sound card, you're good to go. If you're using an ipod. You're good to go. If you're using a laptop and some noisy onboard stuff for example, look at a Fiio E10.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 14

For me Sennheiser HD25-1 II are not flimsy at all, moreover, they are easy to repair. I have tried HD 448, there is no comparison.

Actually, when I think of it, I believe HD 25 to be the toughest phones which I have.

post #6 of 14


A700 != AD700

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post


I would avoid the AD700's. Hallow shy-bass toy. The internet has blown this particular headphone out of proportion in so many ways. The AD700 doesn't have good range, it has mids and treble and only upper bass and mid bass. Next to no sub bass, which is a crime to audio in my opinion.


 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback guys ^__^

@DragonClaymore5
It's good to hear that there is a fix for transmitting noise. It's also good to hear someone can actually use them portably, a lot of people said to just leave them at home :P

@gtrslngrchris
Also good to hear more about the durability! I don't plan on throwing them on the ground or anything. I think my "breaking things" phase is over, but I'm still a bit wary of myself. I just need to keep my nieces away from them wink.gif

@Rudolfs
Must have been a fluke on my friend's then

@MalVeauX
I was talking about the A700's, not the AD700's. And I'm not limited to Best Buy, that's just the only place I can go to test them out. But thank you for your suggestions, I'm checking them all out. I particularly like the Sennheiser HD555. How is it in terms of durability? I heard that on the HD428 they tend to crack after a while, do the HD555 have the same problem?
Edited by Malamute - 2/11/12 at 5:06pm
post #8 of 14

I have not heard the ATH-A700s but I do have that cheaper ATH-T400s. From everything I've read about the ATH-A700 and looking at the frequency chart, the ATH-T400 should be very similar sounding (I think the T400 extends a bit lower on the bass end). The design is a little bit different with smaller cups and it does not use the wings for the headband. I would say that if you take care of them, either the A700 or T400 should be plenty durable. However, neither one would probably hold up under abuse as the design, while very comfortable, does not have enough rigidity. The T400s are my favorite headphone, but they are not portable at all. Other headphones I have are the Brainwavz HM3, JVC HA-RX700, Senn HD205, and JVC flats. The Brainwavz interested me for awhile, but in the end I still prefer my T400s. The T400s are about $55.

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-Dynamic-Headband-Headphone-ATH-T400/dp/B004KCJJ6A

 

post #9 of 14

I'd be wary of the A700 if you need them for portable use. Even with the rubber band mod, I found them to still creak and make a little noise when moving my head around while sitting down. Plus they were still a bit loose on my head. I have no problems carrying around full-sized headphones with me portably--I take my HM5 with me around campus all the time--but with the A700s there was just no way. Too many bendable and crushable parts, and the width of the cups would take up about as much space as 3 textbooks would in my bag. Not saying it can't be done, but my advice would be to try check them out in person first, or at least buy from somewhere with a good return policy to make sure.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
@Ubersanger
Thanks, I'll look into those too

@manveru
Then what you recommend as far as portability? I'm definitely going to be carrying these around campus, cramming them in a book bag, etc.
post #11 of 14

I haven't owned a ton of headphones, so I can't make many recommendations, but I suppose something you could look into is the Brainwavz HM5/Fischer FA-003 (they're identical). Same price range, good isolation, and great sound. They're also pretty large actually, but not as much as the A700. I can fit them in my bag with a notebook and 1-2 books. MalVeaux made a lot of good suggestions. I would say make sure you know whether or not you want open or closed headphones, that helps narrow down the choices. Personally, for portable use I value the isolation of closed headphones, but I know there are plenty of people around here who use open as well. Is there a Sam Ash or Guitar Center anywhere near you? They also make good places to audition some headphones. They usually have Shure SRH840, Audio Technica M50, KRK KNS8400, Beyerdynamic DT770, various AKGs. If you bring an iPod or something there they'll probably let you try some out.

post #12 of 14

I suppose I'm a bit of an exception, as I usually carry my headphones on my head.  You can use the A700 portably if you really want to, but it won't fit in anything smaller than a backpack.  I'm trying to figure out a way to modify the swivels to rotate more so they can fold flat, but no progress yet.  And they're still the largest headphones I've ever seen on my campus.

 

I think the problem with transmitting noise is the stupid plasticy tubes on the headband rails, which protect the wires.  They are slightly loose and wobble back and forth, making an incredibly microphonic noise.  I've been meaning to replace it with a material like 1/4" nylon sleeving, which should get rid of that rattle.  If you can replace or keep those tubes from rattling, you've eliminated most of the problem.  Though I have a sneaky feeling it's going to be tougher than it seems.

 

 

You might also consider the ATH-M50S.  Similar sound, but much smaller while still being fully circumaural, easily portable, and built extremely well.  I've had experience with these headphones myself for about a week, and they were great to me.

post #13 of 14

My main cans are currently the A700's. They are, to my ears, absolutely fantastic cans. I've got probably somewhere around 700-800 hours on them and have enjoyed every bit of it.

 

They are very neutral cans, with maybe an ever so slight (I mean slight) warmth to the overall signature. They are the cans that made me realize what kind of signature I liked in a headphone. They also respond fairly well to EQing and can become bass monsters with the right setup. Despite being neutral, they sound very engaging, and you can get really lost in your music. They are very, very comfortable. Easy to drive, but did respond nicely to my JDS cMoy, but it's not needed. Isolation is good enough for a college dorm where my roomates play music through a stereo. They feel very well made. 

 

The cons are few, but should be mentioned.

They. Are. Huge.

Long cable (not huge deal, I keep mine coiled up to useable length)

 

 

Leather pads may get hot, but since mine stay inside they are perfect.

Not recommended for portable use for reasons above

 

My vote is to go for them. If you don't like them returning is always an option. 

If you choose to get them, allot some time for burn in, mine faired well after about 50 hours. 

 

 

post #14 of 14

No offense Pulse14, but I must say, I found them to be the exact polar opposite of neutral. What I heard was a sound that was very colorful (in a fun way though), with strongly emphasized treble, slightly recessed mids, and deep pleasing bass.

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