Audio-Technica ATH-A500 Headphones


New Head-Fier
Pros: Isolation, comfort, soundstage, range (high, mid, low)
Cons: Durability, sound color (enclosed, unnatural)
So I bought my amazing PC, with a HT system and the last thing I needed was a good headphone. My friends advised me to go for the Audio Technica ATH serie. They told me it was top of the bill.
I love gaming, music, movies and series. Those were the things I wanted to buy a headphone for in combination with a Zalman clip on microphone.
Audio Quality
For starters the sound quality overall is really good. This headphone hits the full sound range (mid, high, bass) and does this very well. Highs are not crisp, mids are clear and the bass is not overwhelming, it's all just right. The placement of the sound is excellent. However, the closed concept didn't work out all that well. The sound is like when you are actually in a small empty room  talking to eachother. You do not here an echo, but it feels trapped. It's hard to describe, but it simply doesn't sound natural.
Under this head I will discuss the comfort and looks as they are all part of the design. The comfort of this headphone is amazing. It fits perfectly over my ears. I wear glasses and I can wear this headphone for hours. Hell, sometimes I even wear it without listening to any sound, just because it keeps my ears warm and closes me from the environment. Though in a warm environment it can cause sweating because of the closed shells. When it comes to looks, well this headphone is nothing spectaculair, though it's big, I like its looks.
This subject needs some attention and therefore deserves a seperate head, as it could've been placed under design as well.
The cable has a fabric/rope sleeve and is very sturdy. Because the cable is sturdy it's really fragile for cable fractures. So far my cable has been replaced two times. And believe me, I am really really really carefull with my stuff, especially this kind of stuff.
My cheap Sennheiser HD207 has a V shaped cable. Normally I'd say the ATH has a better cable, because it only goes to one ear shell. However, the Sennheiser of $19 new has plugs which can be taken out of the shell. So if by mistake the cable gets stuck and I accidentially pull, the headphone and its cable won't break because the plugs will be pulled out of the shell. The ATH does not have that concept, so whenever the cord gets stuck by f/e my chair, and I stand up or pull my headphone off, it gets pulled of my head or out of my hand and lands on the floor. And so everytime that happens (sometimes you just don't check...) I pray for my ATH to still be alive.
The ear pads are made of foam and have a a leather-like wrapping. However, I think due to sweat, the wrapping ripped and now lets go of the cushion. Suddenly, one night after wearing I took the headphone off and the wrapping ripped. I was pretty darn pissed.
Ofcourse it depends on what you have to pay for this item. Personally I paid around $130. For $130 you can buy a lot of better headphones. The sound quality is above average for a closed headphone, even considering the unnatural sound. But the durability is terrible, and headphones like these are supposed to last for a while. Again, it depends on what you pay for it and how you handle it.
Makiah S
Makiah S
Ouch I just got a dt 880 so "sounds like its in a box" makes sense now, the XB 700s are well BOXY >.>
This is my first closed headphone so I'm not sure, but if you have the same experience, it might be a common occurance for closed headphones in general.
Should have gotten some sennheiser HD 558 :p