Hey guys, I seem fairly new to this due to my whooping 0 posts on Headfi, but I'm quiet the headphone nerd to say the least. I'm currently in audiology school, and I have a pretty good idea of whats going on inside these headphones. I recently got off of the phone with FutureSonics(Manufacturing company for the atrios) and the atrios X series has been somewhat left in the dark. We all know of the recent change from MG5 series to the MG7 series. All in all, there cant be much of a quality gain as far as the quote on quote "NEW DRIVERS or the MG7." In all honesty I believe they just played with the frequencies on the same exact driver to give it a little change. It could be compared to the IE8 vs the IE80 sound differences(which is minute to say the least). I mean honestly... How much better can they make a so called "Audiophile grade" driver. That being said, the Atrios X is nothing but the MG5 older driver edition which everyone had came to love in the past. To sum it all up there is no difference between the atrios x and the MG5 considered the fact that they both share the exact same MG5 driver. Its just an "Older" if you would even call it "Older" driver. But does the MG7 justify the $100 price jump? Absolutely not... These drivers are manufactured in the U.S. which is a change of pace, and they were honestly fine tuned to begin with in the MG5 series. I just ordered a pair of Atrios X's with inline mic for $44 dollars(and they are authentic keep in mind)!!!!?? the original MG5 drivers were a solid $160 dollars, which although it does not break your bank, it still is a chunk of cash for those who are unsure of the quality they will receive. Needless to say, I am excited to rip into these headphones for the first time. When I get the headphones in the mail, Ill be sure to throw a detailed review on here and if they actually do burn in, I will keep everyone updated. A little background on all the headphones I have owned so I can have a little accreditation: In the past, I have had 2 pairs of IE8's, Test Driven IE80's, Triple Fi 10, Shure SE425, sennheiser cx300-II, sennheiser CX680, sennheiser MX680, sennheiser cx475(big bass), Beats By Dre TOUR, iBeats, Dre Solo HD's, YurBuds Ironman series(For road biking), Monster Copper Turbine pro, Test Driven Monster Gold Turbine, Shure SE215, Test Driven Shure SE535, and many more I just cant list. My preference is the IE8, CX680, and the Shure SE425 due to its beautiful acoustic and balanced sound.
Atrios X vs Atrios MG7 vs Atrios MG5
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As I've stated in other posts, there is a drastic difference to my ears between the Atrio X and the "old" version of the Atrio M5. I still own 3 versions of the M5 -- the 1st revision from '07 (which have partially broken), the 2nd revision from '08 or '09 (which I currently use at the gym), and now the newest version with the MG7 drivers. I owned the Atrio X as well for a short period and then gave them away. I'm a pretty big fan of Futuresonics as one might be able to tell, but if you're expecting the Atrio X to compete in sound quality to any version of the Atrio M5, I believe you may be sorely disappointed. Perhaps they are worth the $40, however -- that is for you to decide.
I'm not sure anyone other than Futuresonics themselves knows which drivers the Atrio X actually uses. Some have stated that they contain the MG5 drivers found in the old (circa 2004) FS1, and others have stated that they may actually be the MG5pro drivers found in the old Atrio M5. Unless my ears are lying to me though, I don't see see how they could possibly be the MG5pro. The sound is too inferior when compared to the M5. I really had a tough time getting any musical enjoyment from the X, whereas I adore everything about the M5, whether it be the 1st revision produced or 2007 or the improved current version with the MG7 drivers.. By the way, the difference in price isn't quite $100 -- you should still be able to get the MG7 Atrio for $110 shipped from atrio.me with the 50% coupon code that has been floating around (or has it expired now?).
Edited by bronxers - 3/14/12 at 5:15pm
They are actually the original MG5's from the FS1 or so I have heard. The other thing you have to take into consideration is burn-in. Whether you believe in it or not. All of these should change over time with more listening. The FS1 was a great headphone, there is no reason that the x series should suck. but I mean, how can they advance that much through dynamic drivers. they are all the same(IN A SENSE) same style of mechanics with different materials. But some just seem to be more tuned than others. And a use of different materials such as a crystalline filling. Is it true Future sonic hand makes all of their drivers?
I thought the IE8'S sucked when I first got them. Like honestly, I sent the first pair back and thought Id give it a try again. They really start sounding nice. But when I got them, the vocals were muddy, the bass was sloppy, the treble was non existent, but the soundstage was HUGE. I just feel like, once you adjust to a headphone certain sound you just expect it and have to make a change. I was going from shure se425 to the ie8's and I was like "Hell noo". but I got used to it and enjoyed it more and more. Could be the same concept between the MG7 and MG5 drivers.
Have no idea if they hand make their drivers. As for the X, I gave them away to a family member, so I've had opportunities to test them again after significant burn in. Unfortunately, they still don't do the job for my ears. They share some of the sonic characteristics of the M5, but really lack that extra something that made me enjoy the M5 so much. Everyone's ears are different though -- I'll be interested to hear your opinion.
By the way, if you are not satisfied with the atrio x, I highly recommend the brookstone clear dual drive in that price range. A very underrated headphone that should get more love than it does on head-fi given its low price and its similarities to the Radius DDM.
It's difficult to comment on the sonic aspects in any great detail because it's been a good 6-7 months since I've listened to them, but the main weakness when compared to the M5 was the inferior sub-bass. The sub-bass probably was decent compared to other phones, but I had (perhaps unrealistic) expectations about how the sub-bass would sound based upon my prior experiences with the M5, and the X just couldn't live up to the those expectations. So that was my main disappointment, but I should have realized that I wasn't going to get the same brilliant sub-bass from a pair of headphones that were 1/3rd the cost of my M5, especially when the M5 has some of the best sub-bass you'll ever get in an IEM.
To me, MG7 is well worth the price, especially compared to the last reversion (Atrio rev.2). Older Atrio have a rather roll-off, veiled sounding treble. MG7 on the other hand has none of those weakness. The change from MG5 series driver to MG7 driver is quite radical IMO and put FS back on the map as one of the top dynamic IEM maker.
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Question, I bought a pair of M5's off of another Headfi'er in May of 2011. Is there a way to tell if the driver is the newer MG7? Is there an obvious physical marking from the older version of the M5 to the newer?
Unfortunately no. They look identical.
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you might be able to tell from the "code" ie the model number?
Dunno just a guess
Can't remember the exact number but IIRC, I got my Atrio M5 rev.2 for around $150 in 2009 and it is the black model. I got my Atrio MG7 last year for around $175~$185 and it is the blue one. I got both in the same store I visited for years so I got the old customer's price. They generally are sold around $200 or so locally, which is of course the actual MSRP of Atrio. I have find both on eBay for $150 (and sometime less on Buy.com) but I usually shop local as much as I can for both warranty and local support.
I never heard the Atrio X myself as they don't seem to sell it oversea at all.
Edited by ClieOS - 3/23/12 at 5:13am
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Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I wanted to let you know what Future Sonics told me about the Atrio X:
I was emailing to ask about replacing my 2010 M5's with the AtrioX as it is the only integrated mobile solution - which was met by this very positive reply. All in all it does seem a pretty decent stand in, although missing ring does concern me!