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Over-Ear item created by jacksonchansf, Mar 31, 2013
Pros - Vast soundstage, Very clear sounding. Cable and headphone feel solid. Lightweight
Cons - Some say the bass is lacking. Cable is long, and has strong cable memory.
The headpiece is a pair of thinly padded pieces of molded plastic that rest on the head, attached to the cans' rotating mount via a spring-loaded piece of plastic. This is, from what i have seen, somewhat of a signature for Audio Technica, and it works well enough. This causes them to float at a position set by the tension of the spring, and thanks to the light weight of the headphones, makes the thin padding sufficient. There is a serious flaw with it though, the ear-cups only rotate horizontally, so if you have a small head, they will not surround your ears. I am fortunate as they just fit, but they form a pressure-point at the back of my jaw after long sessions because of the way they are angled.
The cans themselves are made of plastic, but solid feeling plastic, like Nintendo products, with a rigid metal mesh bearing the Audio Technica name and logo protecting the drivers and soft fabric over the ear-pads. The pads are not memory foam, but they are reasonably thick and do the job well for me aside from the aforementioned pressure points. These are immensely open headphones, with the noise made by rubbing my fingers together being audible, but they also bleed sound all-over the room, and into the ears of anyone nearby.
Edit after a few months: They remain comfortable, but after long sessions (more than four hours), they cause some tenderness on my left ear. Easily avoided by just taking short breaks, but still, it is rather relevant.
The Cable is very long, about three meters long in fact, i could mount an O2 amp and dac on the ceiling above my desk, and still have slack on the cable. As for the quality, it is pretty good, nearly as thick as a guitar cord, and has a kind of "soft touch" feel to it, like a rubberised mouse. On the end of the cable is a gold-plated 3.5mm audio plug, that can be adapted to 7mm with the included adapter (also gold-plated)
Now that i have stopped staring at them and screwing audio equipment to the ceiling, i can listen to them. Not being qualified to compare them against other headphones, i can only describe the sound. To use a single word, i choose "Clear", like glacial water, or the sky in the middle of nowhere.I listen to mainly Classical and Power Metal, with some Lost Horizon (Ethereal Metal) as well, and these do well with all, everything comes through clearly, from violins to guitar solos, everything is distinguishable from everything else, and in binaural recordings of live performances, i can almost point at where each sound is coming from (i will mention gaming separately). Drums do not quite kick the way they do with my IE60s, (IEMs, not headphones) but definitely still make themselves known. The supposed lack of base is not much of an issue for me
Gaming on these is awesome, every footstep, every gunshot and every grenade can be both heard and, using the sound, located. You can hear the enemy's medigun crackle, the enemy trying to flank you as you try to plant the bomb, the arrows fly past in Skyrim and be ready when someone tries to be sneaky in WarThunder: Tanks.
Pros - Everything
Cons - The twisty cord.
So I want to start off by stating that is this is my first real review of any headphone on this website. I am not an audiophile by any stretch of your imagination! I will try to best explain what my opinions are in as clear of a description as possible. Enjoy!
These are my first pair of open backed headphones. My intention for these headphones was for gaming. They are my go to gaming headphones for CS:GO. But as total virgin to open back cans I had no idea what to expect for music and gaming. I will start with gaming first.
CS:GO: For CS these can are the best I have heard EVER. The positional audio, clarity and soundstage can not be beat. You can easily pinpoint were an enemy shoots and is runs from. I did not realize how much I was missing with my old cans. I even thought I had a good headset eg, Siberia V2's. There is just a night and day difference between the two. Although the Siberia's had decently good positional ques I did notice some serious improvement from the AD700x's. I also noticed harshness when I fired my gun. I don't think its the cans fault, I think its CS:GO's bullet firing sound clip that just has a piercingly high treble boost.
Paired with the Zalman clip on mic, these are one of my most highly recommended setups for CS:GO.
Battlefield 4, 3: You will not benefit as much from high tier positional audio, as BF4 is not a very competitive shooter, but the immersion you get just from DICE's superb audio engine is enough to give me multiple goosebumps. I noticed where planes were flying from, where tanks were driving up, where that super annoying AA is spamming in the little inconspicuos corner of the map. I would still recommend these for Battlefield even if the competitive benefits are not as prevalent as CS:GO's.
COD: I hardly ever play COD but the sake of this review I decided to login to my old steam account and play some Black ops. The AD700x's absolutely excel at the footsteps pinpointing them expertly. I think COD benefits from a more refined audio engine than CS:GO and BF4 coming out on top, but they all have their advantages.
Keep in mind that I am not an audiophile so please don't give me shciit. I do want constructive criticism however!
When I first decided to buy these I was aware that they sounded great for music but it was put in the back of my mind with the constant chatter about how good they are for gaming, ect, ect ect. So when I received them I was astounded by how good the whole of the sound was from the AD700x's. I was expecting a clear but metallic high, a pompous mid, and a lacking bass. But wow was I wrong the highs are so clean and sparkly in a very pleasurable, good sense of the word. I literally found myself wanting to eat the highs because they were so tasty! The Mids are oh so good! They are in no way, pompous or "bloated" for the lack of a better word. I heard parts of music that I never drempt of hearing. Vocals are clear and present, being carried effortlessly by a wonderfully large soundstage. One of the one things that I looked most forward to was the hyped soundstage. And SCHIIT these have such a large soundstage. Coming from a world of closed back, bassy, in-your-face cans i was astounded by the immensity of the soundstage. You feel as if you have a room on your head and its a wonderful sensation, Classical music, liquid DNB just sound magical, and airy, giving the most tingly of sensations up the spine. The bass was often refered to as lacking, but I honestly don't see that(Coming from a basshead.). I hear a rich deep, well controlled, refined, high grade bass. It is not a very loud bass, not like the bass in my car(2 12's) but a more dainty, sexy bass, that will grow on just about anyone. They aren't just for gaming folks they do music too!
These are most absolutely the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn although I did have to do the rubber band mod just so it would push down on the tops ear over extended periods of time, They are incredibly light. The pads are perfectly deep and made of a cloth that does get hot if worn for more than 5 hours. The headband is very pliable and comfortable. I like the way Audio Technica uses the wing design, it makes it almost float on your head. But the ONLY issue i have with these cans is both a issue and a treat. The Cord. The cord is very long 7-6ft to be exact but it has some crazy memory in it. It still holds the little curl of the packaging in it. Not a deal breaker just a little annoyance!
Thanks for reading and I hope to be reviewing other cans soon!
Pros - Very detailed sound. Great soundstage. Great separation. Good build.
Cons - Light bass. Sounds a little cold. Comfort depends on head size/shape and your ears can rub against the drivers.
Comfort & Fit
The AD700X are reasonably comfortable. How comfortable they are and how well they fit depends entirely on the size and shape of your head. They are not made for something with a small head and they don't have an adjustable headband to account for different head sizes, although the 3D wings are flexible so it does have some head room (heh heh...) for fit.
The ear cups are quite large. They will fit around fairly large ears easily. The material used on the ear pads is a soft cushion like material so the ear pads are soft.
I find that after some time they can get irritating as the drivers touch the edge of my ear.
As you can see in this picture the drivers are angled so that they face more towards the back of your head when you wear them.
The material on the 3D wings is very squishy like a sponge. Because of how light the headphones are (they feel about as heavy as an iPod touch in the hand) the wings can barely be felt once you're wearing the headphones.
The clamping force of these headphones is definitely on the low side, meaning if you have a smaller head they can slide down your head. With that being said it's not too bad since they are very light.
The build quality of these is good. They're definitely not an indestructible tank but they don't feel cheap either. The two bands at the top which join each cup together feel very strong. The ear cups themselves also feel strong, and on the inside of the ear cup you can see the driver is housed within a shiny metal frame with screws and looks very solid.
The cable has adequate strain reliefs at both the jack end and where the cable joins the left ear cup. The cable itself is very rubbery and strong. Because of how rubbery it is it doesn't hold kinks easily.
The actual levers that hold the wings on feel reasonably strong.
The AD700X's are very detailed on all frequencies but light on bass. Detail retrieval, separation and soundstage of these cans makes them great for analyzing music but a lack of body, compared to a more rounded and warm headphone such as an HD558 means some may find them cold or dry for music listening.
Highs are clear and apparent and small details are easily discernible from other elements of the sound.
Mids are detailed and clear and the great separation of these cans continues here, however vocal based music is not the strong point of these headphones. While the mids are clear and apparent, these headphones do not make vocal heavy music shine. The mids are clear but lack intimacy. Vocals sound good, but not on the level of a headphone with warm and smooth sound such as HD598 or HD6xx. If you are a lover of the beautiful vocal sound that can be achieved with a smooth mid-centric headphone, you may be disappointed with the AD700X.
With that being said the mids still sound great for music that isn't heavily based around clear smooth vocals. The fantastic separation of these means that vocals are easily distinguishable from other sounds in the music and don't ever sound like they are being jumbled up with other sounds. This effect is further enhanced by the excellent sound stage of the AD700X meaning that vocals are very clearly separated from other sounds and sound like they are in a different position from the other sounds.
Bass is tight, punchy and accurate. There's not much else to say, I'm not a lover of bass personally and my opinion of the AD700X bass is that it provides a good hit and is apparent, without sounding boomy or interfering with the mids at all. These are not a bass head can but for music that doesn't require boomy bass these are perfect as they give you just enough of a bass punch to hear bass elements without affecting other frequencies and being boomy.
For the average asking price of $140 these are great value if you're looking for detailed sound with good separation and sound stage. Because of these characteristics the AD700X is also excellent for games such as CS:GO.