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Audio-Technica ATH-A900X: Impressions, Reviews, Mods, etc.

post #1 of 729
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

I noticed the ATH-A900X is very under-reviewed on the English-speaking side of the world. Not just by users but by professionals as well (there is only one professional review of the ATH-A900X written in English, and that is by an European website - there are no American reviewers who's looked at these cans). This is rather strange to me, since Audio Technica isn't exactly a small or unpopular brand.

 

My guess is that most people go directly for the ATH-M50 when it comes buying sub-$200 AT cans. But they really could be going for the A900X instead!

 

So, I am getting the good words out - the ATH-A900X, in my opinion, is a very solid performer with great comfort, build quality, and usage versatility:

 

The Audio-Technica ATH-A900X and its Frequency Response Measurements (measured by GoldenEars)

 

Pros:

  • Excellent treble clarity and extension.
  • Warm and full-bodied mid-range.
  • Boosted mid-bass great for games and movies.
  • Great soundstage and imaging due to the good treble resolution.
  • Very comfortable (assuming you don't have issues with Audio Technica's headband wings).

 

Cons:

  • Bass extension isn't great, and the mid-bass boost can be a bit much depending on content (can be solved by installing different earpads).
  • Comfort can be an issue if you have a narrow/small head, or if you just never liked Audio-Technica's wings in general. The clamping force on the A900X is fairly strong for my head size, and it doesn't slide around at all - but many users reported it sliding down onto their ears due to the wings not having sufficient down force.

 

ATH-A1000 Earpads Mod

The A1000 earpads are fully compatible with the A900X, and alters its sound signature by reducing the bass (the opening is oval on the A1000 versus the round one on the A900X stock pads. Smaller opening = less air = less bass).

ATH-A900X with ATH-A1000 pads installed.

 

Feel free to share your own experiences with ATH-A900X, ask questions, or do your own comparisons with other cans you own.

My Review: ATH-A900X & AKG K550


Edited by Bagheera - 9/26/15 at 11:41pm
post #2 of 729

I own about 12 headphones and the ATH-A900X is one of my top two for music audio.

 

It would be nice if someone could do a comparison of the A900X (closed)  verses the AD900X (open).


Edited by PurpleAngel - 2/11/13 at 9:58pm
post #3 of 729

I will see if I have time to audition these on the weekend, this has been one of only few closed back that I am considering purchasing, how are these for metal(none screaming or whatever else that isn't purely singing)?

 

I think Tyll has an account here, you can try PM him about it, maybe even send him a pair to measure

post #4 of 729
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

I will see if I have time to audition these on the weekend, this has been one of only few closed back that I am considering purchasing, how are these for metal(none screaming or whatever else that isn't purely singing)?

 

I think Tyll has an account here, you can try PM him about it, maybe even send him a pair to measure


I don't listen to metal but I did have a few test tracks that are metal-sounding (soundtrack from Tekken 5), and they sounded pretty good (the bass was a bit much for me - but again that's down to personal taste)

 

No idea what Tyll's account name is - I e-mailed him and made a comment on his website as well. Not sure how good they typically are about checking their e-mails.

post #5 of 729

Ahh nice! I was waiting for someone to make this thread.

 

I am absolutely blown away by the A900x's. I picked them up refurbished for $125 and they came in literally new condition. The left and right hinges still had the plastic covers on them.

 

They sound phenomenal. I had the K550 along with the A900X for a few days and I clearly prefer the A900X over the K550. I think they're best closed headphones I've owned so far (the D5000 excluded because they're not fully sealed/closed). I still can't believe I was able to get them so cheap. Thank you deals thread!

post #6 of 729

I thought there was another one of these out there already, but it's certainly not bad to have another. These are severely underrated, and I don't know why a lot of the German cans especially get recommended more than these. They are better than any I have tried. They're probably the most natural sounding cans I have encountered, but with bass emphasis. Really a rare combination. Bagheera is pretty accurate with his praise.

 

And regarding the comfort issue, just use some string or shoe lace to tie the wings together, and they fit securely on your head.

post #7 of 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post

Ahh nice! I was waiting for someone to make this thread.

 

I am absolutely blown away by the A900x's. I picked them up refurbished for $125 and they came in literally new condition. The left and right hinges still had the plastic covers on them.

 

They sound phenomenal. I had the K550 along with the A900X for a few days and I clearly prefer the A900X over the K550. I think they're best closed headphones I've owned so far (the D5000 excluded because they're not fully sealed/closed). I still can't believe I was able to get them so cheap. Thank you deals thread!

Where did you get them? That may be the best cost:performance ratio EVER.

post #8 of 729

I'm a proud owner of A900x here!

 

I had a chance to listen to many headphones in past weekend, at this price range, I really liked my A900x (not to be bias here), and I might add the comfort level is superb compare to many headphones, AT really got the comfort down.

post #9 of 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by tseliottt View Post

Where did you get them? That may be the best cost:performance ratio EVER.

 

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=ATHA900XRB

DIG5 for $5 off.

post #10 of 729
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tseliottt View Post

I thought there was another one of these out there already, but it's certainly not bad to have another. These are severely underrated, and I don't know why a lot of the German cans especially get recommended more than these. They are better than any I have tried. They're probably the most natural sounding cans I have encountered, but with bass emphasis. Really a rare combination. Bagheera is pretty accurate with his praise.

 

And regarding the comfort issue, just use some string or shoe lace to tie the wings together, and they fit securely on your head.

I searched the forums to make sure there's no other A900X appreciation thread before making mine. If there were, I wouldn't have made a duplicate. :)

 

Quite like you said, these cans are underrated and under-exposed. I think part of the issue is the complete (literally) lack of professional reviews, so many audiophiles looking for something in the $200-$300 range simply overlook them and go with something that actually has reviews for.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tseliottt View Post

Where did you get them? That may be the best cost:performance ratio EVER.

There are several merchants on eBay selling manufacturer-refurbished A900X for $150 last time I checked. Very good deals imo - A900X's sounds are very easily worth $300.


Edited by Bagheera - 2/20/13 at 5:34pm
post #11 of 729
Are these as uncomfortable as othes say they are? Any mods?
post #12 of 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post

Are these as uncomfortable as othes say they are? Any mods?

As I said above, just do this:

 

 

and they'll turn into some of the most comfortable pair of headphones ever.

post #13 of 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagheera View Post

I searched the forums to make sure there's no other A900X appreciation thread before making mine. If there were, I wouldn't have made a duplicate. :)

 

Quite like you said, these cans are underrated and under-exposed. I think part of the issue is the complete (literally) lack of professional reviews, so many audiophiles looking for something in the $200-$300 range simply overlook them and go with something that actually has reviews for.

 

There are several merchants on eBay selling manufacturer-refurbished A900X for $150 last time I checked. Very good deals imo - A900X's sounds are very easily worth $300.

My bad, the thread I was thinking of was the huge introduction thread for the entire series, not an appreciation thread solely for the a900x.

post #14 of 729
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post

Are these as uncomfortable as othes say they are? Any mods?

Like I stated, it heavily depends on your head size. Both the A9X and A900X are more comfortable to me than the K550 (the funny thing is, if you go into the K550 appreciation thread, you'll see tons of people complaining about comfort issues due to lack of clamping force).

 

For me, the K550 has two comfort issues - one is the lack of clamping force which cause the headband to press down on my head (whereas I don't even feel AT's "wings"). The second issue is the depth of the earpads. K550 actually has very deep earpads - but one problem, the drivers aren't angled. The rear of the housing pressed down (very lightly) against my outer ears, which makes my ears sore (after many hours, of course... not a significant issue).

 

The Audio-Technicas' earpads don't "look" as deep, but due to the way the drivers are angled, as well as the way the earpads are "deeper" in the rear (there's a "bump" in the rear of the earpads to lift the driver away from the ears), they don't touch my ears at all when worn.

 

As for the wings lacking enough down-force to keep the headphones up, this happens if you have a narrow or small head and the clamping force (in conjunction with the wings) isn't enough to keep the headphones up. A piece of rubber band easily remedies the problem (suspend it between the wings) - though you may want to try some different rubber band sizes to find one that forms the perfect fit.

post #15 of 729

Thanks viralcow for posting that discount code it. I finally ordered these after seeing your post as I figured I need an enclosed pair even though I prefer open. Ironically I got my Senn HD580's brand new for $120 from ubid when Sennheiser was clearing them out to make way for the 600's.

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