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ATH-A700 Review - Page 2

post #16 of 54
bump?
post #17 of 54
so is it true the a500's have hardly any soundstage at all?
post #18 of 54
thats the impression i get from reviews, thats why im asking for opinons on the a700 vs. the a900's .
post #19 of 54
I think I'll give this one a little bump 'cause I'd really like to hear a comparison of these two. Looking at Audio Cubes, I do see that their stats differ a little bit. I think there are at least a couple of people around here who collect AT's because they're so good-looking. Hopefully we'll get lucky and have a comparison to read...
post #20 of 54
Thread Starter 

Follow Up: A900 comparison input for your enjoyment

OK guys…sorry, I’ve been neglecting this for a while but I wanted to break in the A900’s a little before posting impressions…plus I’ve just been too busy to put anything together.

I originally posted this thread approx. two weeks ago. At that time I’d had the A700’s about a week (certainly no more than that). I kept them for another week or so, and enjoyed them tremendously. The A700’s are outstanding, well-balanced/well-rounded cans…and at their price point you can’t go wrong (in other words, I still stand firmly behind my review at the top of this thread). Before I type another word…I want to say that I LOVE the A700’s, and would unhesitatingly recommend them to anyone looking to spend $150 on a pair of sealed headphones. Just this past weekend, a friend of mine brought over a pair of AKG 501’s. These are some very nice cans as well (in a similar price range), but for my money, I’ll take the A700’s. But wow…those 501’s really do have very nice midrange…cellos & violins sound fantastic.

But I digress…

m’kay…so about a week ago now, I went back to my friendly local hi-fi dealer and swapped out the A700’s for the A900’s. I pretty much only did this for you guys…so, you’re welcome (OK, maybe that’s not the only reason)!!!

My Cost (ymmv):
A700: approx. $145 USD.
A900: approx. $205 USD

Build:
The A900 & A700 are very similar…in fact, nearly identical.
The cups on the A900 are a lighter shade of blue with a much more subtle (almost indistinguishable) metallic paint effect. I think I like the A700 paint better…personal preference here though.
On the A900, the 1/8” plug has a threaded collar for the ¼” adapter…a nice touch that I like very much over the non-threaded ¼” adapter on the A700.
And that’s pretty much it folks…these are really the only two significant external differences as far as I can see.

Comfort:
The A900’s are a little heavier (350g vs. 290g for the A700), and the ear pads are a little wider (not thicker) on the A900. I prefer the thinner pad width of the A700 as it presents less surface area against the head. This combined with the lighter weight of the A700 equals a small comfort advantage for the A700 in my opinion. The A900’s are still very comfy, but as I’d mentioned in my original post the A700’s are without a doubt the most comfortable sealed cans I’ve ever owned…I’m stickin’ with that claim.

Sound:
So, after a week with the A900…I’m still in the same place I was before. I simply do not hear any appreciable difference between these two headphones. I wish an audio-technica rep or engineer would tell us what the real differences are between these two cans.
The website does shows some specification differences ( http://www.audio-technica.com.sg/audiophile.html ). The A900 has lower impedance (40 ohm vs. 64 ohm), higher max input power (2000mW vs 500mW), and a few other differences...but to me they translate to very little difference in the sonic characters of these two headphones. They share virtually identical everything (to my ears), including soundstage. If I had to write a dedicated A900 review right now, I feel confident that I could simply cut-n-paste my A700 review above & click “submit”.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:
So, will I return the A900’s & reclaim the A700’s? Maybe, but not yet. As I’d mentioned in my original post, these cans were purchased exclusively for office use (I have my home needs pretty well covered at this point). I’m currently in the process of upgrading my office rig. This past Monday, my CIAUDIO DAC & power supply arrived, and I think there’s an Emmeline XP-7 in my near future…Ray Samuels has an email from me waiting in his inbox as we speak. The point is, I’m thinking that as I improve other aspects of my office rig, the differences between the A700 & the A900 may become more apparent.

When I get all my new gear in place, I’ll grab the A700 back from my dealer for some head-to-head comparison…I mean, hey, maybe I’ve missed something here. But if my initial observations hold true, I’ll definitely consider going back to the A700.

Lighter, more comfortable, $50 cheaper, and sound quality on par (or at least in the same neighborhood) with the A900 (at least to my ears)…what’s not to like about that?

Anyway, I hope this helps. Also, I hope someone else can provide some additional A700/A900 comparison data. I'd really be interested to hear some other opinions.

Peace,

Graz
post #21 of 54
thanks for the review. these are looking really good right now. can you comment on the soundstaging of the a700's vs. the a900's? pretty much the same?

also, what music were you using for reference? how would you rate these for rock music?
post #22 of 54
Thread Starter 
steel102,

As I've mentioned, I don't hear much difference in soundstage between the two...but again, more experienced ears may hear a more significant, discernable difference. For me, it's a very close comparison between them. As I've stated in my original post, soundstage depth with headphones is a listening skill that I'm nowhere near close to mastering. Closed cans traditionally don't excel with soundstage depth. With the A700/A900, I am able to project a shallow-to-medium soundstage depth, but it's nothing near what I can project with my hd650's, which have the best soundstage depth of any headphone I've heard to date.

The A700/A900 are adept rockers...no doubt about it.
Here's a small sample of what I've thrown at them:
Dream Theater
Dave Matthews (both of these cans seem to love "Crash")
Rush
Liquid Tension Experiment
Spock's Beard
Metallica

A few others that stand out on these cans on the jazz side...
Pat Metheny - "Imaginary Day"
Marcus Miller - "M2"
Bill Evans - "Escape"
Miles Davis - "Kind of Blue"

I've also thrown some contemporary Brazilian music at both of these cans with very satisfactory results.

Hope this helps...

Peace,

Graz
post #23 of 54
Graz, why didn't you write this two months ago? You could have saved me $50.
post #24 of 54
Thanks so much for indulging us! I had just about decided to get the A900's when talk of the A700's really started - I may be changing my mind. Hmm, I can feel the mood of my wallet improving.
post #25 of 54
Am I to understand that the A500 and A700 or *just* below that of the A900. I remember somebody said the difference between the A500 and A900 was not that signifact to n00b ears(which I am one of :P). So should I purchase the the A700 instead of the A500's?
post #26 of 54
What source & amp do you have?
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Cow
Am I to understand that the A500 and A700 or *just* below that of the A900. I remember somebody said the difference between the A500 and A900 was not that signifact to n00b ears(which I am one of :P). So should I purchase the the A700 instead of the A500's?
I also would like to know if its worth getting the a700 over the a500.

Is it?
post #28 of 54
Hey Graz:

I was wondering if you could answer this question of mine. You said that the bass of the A700 is definitely one of its strong suits...how does the bass of the A700 compare with:

V6? Or SR225 w/ Flats?

I am strongly considering these as a "V6++" if you will...as the comfort of my SR225's has become a serious issue--and I'd like to have a higher quality headphone then my V6's. While they have served me well, coming off of the good-sounding (but uncomfortable) SR225's...I'm looking for a replacement.
post #29 of 54
Which of the 3 (A500/700/900) would require an amp? Or rather, which of these 3 will not sound poor without an amp? Is there really a big improvement in terms of sound quality when you amp these cans?

I am currently considering buying one of these cans, but will not want an amp yet.
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by godchuanz
Which of the 3 (A500/700/900) would require an amp? Or rather, which of these 3 will not sound poor without an amp? Is there really a big improvement in terms of sound quality when you amp these cans?

I am currently considering buying one of these cans, but will not want an amp yet.
I'm no expert by far (you can tell by my post count ) but from what I have gathered on this forum and from talking to people over here in Japan (the audio experts at the stores) is that the all of those above headphones are very forgiving when it comes to the source. I heard that the A500's in particular drive at about 80-90% without using an amp. I don't know about the specifics in regards to the others though since I was only in the market for the A500's (picked them up for $89 in Tokyo ).
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