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Over-Ear item created by Kees, May 7, 2010
Pros - great for vocals and classical
Cons - the plastic wings on headband could be made sturdier
This headphone goes for much below its MSRP.
It's something you ought to get if you listen to vocals and classical and don't want to bother other people.
These are bright and extremely detailed. Although their frequency response seems rolled off, they sound great. How come? The reason is that they are easy to drive and the areas in the FR where they are solid. They are musical, not particularly neutral, N-shaped in overall sound. For those that like that sort of thing. Works better for some genres than others.
The wooden cups are great. The cable is good but you need to be careful with it.
You will hear all the noise in the recording very clearly. But you also hear a great amount of detail you would not otherwise easily get to hear at this price point.
The design is very comfortable and they seal well. Nobody will hear you and you won't hear them.
Large size and excellent detail. No headband adjustment needed.
Pros - Natural high frequency, Exceptional midrange
Cons - No low end at all
Right have the pleasure of owning these for about 4 months.
Source: Foobar through Cambridge Audio Dacmagic
Amp: Lehman Audio Blackcube Linear
Headphones: Audio Technica ATH W 5000, Audeze LCD 2 Rev 2, Denon AH D 7100, Sennheiser HD 800 and HD 700, Beyerdynamic T1
Very well judged high frequency, not too bright but still great detail.
Absolutely sublime mids, anything from piano to acoustic guitar and obviously vocals (especially female, think enya, emilliana torrini, florence and the machine) these cans make anything in that range sound supremely natural and lifelike, great timbre, honestly among my headphones these are the best for mids.
Build Quality is excellent, the headphones are very light but the magnesium and ebony with leather pads are all very well put together and create a good headphone at this price. The case included is a nice branded hard shell case with some rather tacky looking red satin lining. The cable is pretty normal at this price, nice plug (would have been nice to have the wooden plug like the AT W1000) No complaints here.
Comfort is great for me, they are very light on the head and the AT wings work a treat for me, that said no head-banging or travel with these. I have had one or two complaints that these are too light on the head, but I like em.
Impedance is low on these and they do sound perfectly able and depending on source rather special un-amped. They wont go uber loud un-amped, but they portray a great sense of musicality.
Bass, these are not bright sounding headphones, they have excellent mid bass presence and are rather warm and easy to listen too, the problem is that there is no (zero, zip , nada) low end. Nothing, completely devoid of any skull cracking low end and that rules out a fair bit of music (Rock and Electro for instance). What mid-bass they have is textured and well defined.
Non removable cable, means you gotta be extra careful with the headphones.
Think of these like an exceptional pair of bookshelf speakers, something like the Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution for instance. They portray detail and musicality second to none, but please don't expect any really low end though, which is a let down given the price. These are super expensive headphones (lets be honest they are a fair wad of cash) and the fact that a pair of almost any much cheaper headphones kicks them in the teeth in any department (in this case bass impact and weight) is downright shameful.
The above aside, I still find myself drawn to them and enjoy the comfort of the fit and sound. They easy to live with if you have other cans that can handle the bass side of life, but as your only pair, you will always feel like you missing something in the lower reaches.
Pros - Lightweight, feels solid, confortable; speed of attack & decay, instrument separation, 3D imaging; outstanding on acoustic instruments and vocals.
Cons - Slightly creaky frame at times; lettering wears off on the cups, but is that really a con?! More display of the beautiful striped ebony wood!
I tried a few Grado's —didn't like the Grado house sound—, a few Senn's —HD650 left a good impression—, a few lower-end AT's —I thought the AD700 were impressive for the price— and after reading Head-Fi and other audio forums for a long time, I thought the W5000 would suit me and my listening habits well.
For over three years I'd waited for a good deal on a used set sold in Europe —to avoid custom duties— and an opportunity finally came around.
Now, at first I didn't have any decent amplification to run them from, and but I could certainly fathom they were the best I'd ever heard from the headphone output of my Onkyo integrated amp or from my Sony Hi-MD Walkmans —playing PCM of course .
Only a year later with my acquisition of the iBasso DX100 Reference DAP did I truly realise the potential of these headphones, and how amazingly good they sound.
I can only imagine what they must sound like paired with a full-size dedicated high-end desktop headphone amp!
Bending of the metal headphone bands is important to get a good seal and experience how good the bass is. Those who have complained about the W5000 lacking bass just haven't dared bending them. For my feeling, the W5000 are certainly not bass-light; in fact more bass would be too much for me. They deliver just the impact and slam that is required to reproduce the music as it has been recorded.
What more can I say, I'm now in the process of acquiring my second set! I love to share with a good friend the experience of loosing oneself in exquisite sound !
• Review in progress - more after the break.
Update: I payed a visit to the Parisian AT Concept Store past weekend and got the opportunity to plug into the HA5000ANV headphone amp, and wow, it brought the W5000's another notch up, even more articulate, more authority, more bass, fantastic! :atsmile: Pure bliss, with every musical genre I tested.
Saving up for that amp, or rather the non anniversary one, I certainly am now.
Also, I fully appreciate the importance of burn-in and bending those metal bands. Between my second pair of W5000's, my first, and the one in the shop, there was a clear difference, and no doubt did my heavely used W5000's sound the best. More fluid, better bass, more musical, less harsh, everything was better.
Also, compared to the W3000ANV's, the W5000's are the better headphones if you are looking for more neutral. The bass on the W3000ANV gives the feeling of being heavier, but it is only the mid-bass that are accentuated. The W5000 extend actually lower, and are more linear overall in the low end. Not denying that the medium range sounds particular, or special, on both those woodies, and the AD2000X fare better in that respect being a tad more balanced, i.e. even more neutral, but the W5000's are definitely still AT's flagship and the best technically. Treble extension also.
The W1000X just don't compete, resolution/detail, soundstaging not as grand, and frequency bandwidth also a bit shorter. Can be less fatiguing though.