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Over-Ear item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - Sound stage, clarity, Comfort
Cons - Cord durability, Lacking Bass
These were one of my first tries to get in to the audiophile headphone world and they were not a good choice. When I first got them I enjoyed the sound but as I got further along I realized that just too much of music was missing with these. Anything in the lows and lower mids is not there. High detail is great but I just can't enjoy music if part of it is missing due to the headphone I am using. They do have a really wide open soundstage which makes them really good for gaming and positioning in games. They are also good for movies for the same reason. If you are looking for a music headphone look elsewhere.
Pros - Precision, mids, and general detail
Cons - Soundstage, depth, top and bottom ends
To start, this is my first set of audio-technicas, and I generally listen to towers. So some of my expectations may need to be tempered, but I have also used my other set of headphones (Bose QC 15's) as a frame of reference. Also note, this is all with my PC sound card as a source. No USB / no amp. And I generally use tidalhifi as my audio source.
Sound - The mids are spot on here. Especially lower mids. Detail is great. I haven't owned a more technically accurate pair of headphones. (Very notable in wind instruments and live recordings for me). Highs and lows are decent.
Comfort - Very comfortable, but I think it's really hard to beat the qc 15's in this department. Well-cushioned and feel relatively light. Not too much clamping power.
Aesthetics - The cups on these things are pretty cool. Like seeing the driver through the open cups and the red bracket (in mine) looks kind of like the calipers on a sports car behind the rims.
Not So Good:
Sounds - Highs a little "ringy" (but improves somewhat with burn-in). Not enough depth and soundstage here - I was expecting a lot of openness / "airy" quality when I put these on from the reviews. Unfortunately these sound a little two dimensional to me, despite the high level of detail and accuracy. I expect a lot in this department because it's what brings music to life for me and makes me feel involved in the music. This was my biggest disappointment with these headphones for sure. Bass starts off weak but gets better with burn-in. However, it still doesn't give that omni-directional feel that I was looking for.
Comfort - for smaller heads, wings do not provide much support. Cups can tend to slide down with movement.
Aesthetics - the big arches that provide the clamping power for these headphones look pretty silly when worn... no getting around that. The wings also kind of make my hair look like a mohawk, so no good for the office.
I think these are a solid buy in the under 200 category, but I think I had high expectations coming in from what I had read about these. Do not judge these until you've put at least 100 hours into them because I think burn-in is a disproportionately significant factor for these guys, and sound definitely gets better.
Pros - Very comfortable, good sound stage, neutral with slight emphasis on Hi's and Mid's
Cons - Bass can be lacking, Mid's can get a little muddled
I bought these instead of the ATH M50, and i'm glad I did. I listened to the M50s and wasn't too impressed. After reading reviews I opted for the AD700s.
Look and build quality.
They look kinda dorky, no other way to say it. But good headphones aren't about looks. The purple/ pink outer mesh is an odd shade but distinctive, you'll never confuse these with another pair. The pads are comfy and very large, large enough to encompass my whole ear, which is good. The phones rest on the top of the head with two "Wings" that bend nicely, creating a very comfortable fit that can be worn for hours without hardly any breaking in. Seriously, very comfortable. The cable is a no tangle thick insulation grey, that isn't removable, ending in a 3.5mm with an included 1/4 inch screw on adapter.
My personal holy grail of audio is clarity and separation, and these are a good starting point for someone in the $100 range. They don't come close to my brand new, not burned in AKG K702's (sadly) but a big step up from my Ultrasone headphones, (don't ask.) Hi's are clear, Mid's and Bass can get a bit muddled at times, but still pleasing. Soundstage is good, I can hear the different placement of the piano, drums, and vocals listening to One Republic. I've been using a Maverick Audio Tubemagic D1, which produces very good up scaling. They're a great solution for easy listening for long periods of time. They're low impedance so they don't require an amp, and can be driven with your iPod, if you so desire.
The good: comfort, easy listening, sound stage. For this price range, a really good pair.
Pros - Pleasant sound
Cons - Apalling after sales support
I had a set of ATH-AD700 for about a year. Generally, I liked the sound and learned to live with the 'one size fits all' design. Their bulk was a little annoying, but acceptable.
After about a year of ownership, the left channel developed an audible buzz / vibration during passages with very low frequencies, so I decided to send them back to Audio Technica Australia for service. That was where the fun started.
I had multiple promises that the service department would contact me to advise of progress / outcomes, but they rarely did and I was forced to keep emailing or calling them to find out why they hadn't called or let me know what was happening. The last contact I had with them was when they advised they couldn't replicate the problem and for me to give more information, which I did, along with sample *.mp3 files that I knew triggered the fault.
That was many weeks ago and I've heard nothing from them since. I've lost interest in wasting any more time chasing their useless service department. They can keep the 'phones; I'll get something else from another vendor.
Pros - Comfort Staging Range Mids Clarity
Cons - Open Bass Sensitivity
So comfortable. Hours of enjoyment with no pressure points.
Make no mistake, if you can buy these in the $70 range ('used' means they are just starting to break in, hopefully they didn't like the fit) you won't regret it. Doesn't matter if they are open style or lacking some bass, the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot.
You can gain a bit of bass response by running heavy lows through them for a couple hours, like Bjork - Hunter (off YouTube will work). No headphone will ever produce bass like a good external sub will. More usage is making them sound better and better at 2 months old.
The AD700 staging is so good that typical music will sound lacking of instruments almost hollow but that is not the AD700's fault that you notice empty air. Echoes and reverb are well produced. Human voice range is better than either high or low ranges. Highs next, lows last... the clarity of separation allows you to know that or hear that. Stereo: right, left and center are superb. Enough bass in contrast to highs and mids to please me. (I could see where more expensive phones would disappoint if the staging didn't at least match the AD700's)
As usual, low quality signal in brings low quality out.
You can hear everything the guy at the mixing board was trying to do even if some consider the AD700 sounds colored and flat but we are talking about $70 bucks here.
The more instruments or sounds like voices or crowd noise, the more enjoyable the AD700 are, as the individual locations of the sounds stand alone and don't blend together much but gives you dimension. I have no problem listening to movies, the background noises are easily present in a wide range. Well recorded TV commercials are almost worth listening to wearing the AD700. Listening to any type (HQ) music will leave you wanting more.
Sensitivity of 98 dB/mW on these AD700 forces you to turn the volume up to bring all the sounds out but the highs and lows will begin to be more defined if your eardrums can handle it, voice(s) always seems to be enjoyable at any level.
I'm listening via a Prodigy 7.1 PCI sound card with my favorite Operational Amps (AD797BR adapted x2, 627AU adapted out) on the stereo circuit, the AD700 responds to every setting I want to hear from the control panel. There is no doubt I am hearing the subtle changes using the slider bars but usually don't use enhancements other than the 'headphones' option. Have a Klipsch 5.1 Ultra sub and the controller has headphones out at 200mW into 300ohms / 450mW into 50ohms and it does help with any headphone plugged into it but no so necessary with the AD700 @ Impedance of 32 ohms.
Going to check out Audio Technica T500 (closed) next, found them for under $70.
Packaging...don't make me laugh. Whatever, have fun.
Pros - Comfortable, value for money, mid-range
Cons - Weak bass
This is my first ever headphone that I have and I really like it. I would highly recommend it as an entry level headphones. For the amount you pay for, you cannot complain anymore.
The sound is crisp and clear. Just that the bass is weak and certain genres of music are not very suitable. Classical, orchestra, strings sound really well on these cans.
In short, if you are looking for a comfortable and sub $200 headphones, the AD700 would be on top of the list.
Pros - Clean, clear sound, good dynamics and imaging
Cons - Really big, slight brightness on some recordings
I've had these for 2 1/2 years now, and have been very happy. They replaced my Sennheiser 570, which are also very good, but not as clear as these. The AD700 is also better than the low-end Stax that I used to use. I'm driving them through an older Arcam 45-watt integrated amp with no problems - volume control is barely above the minimum for a decent listening level.
Dynamics and imaging are very good. Bass is normal, not overemphasized.
Issues: They're crazy big, even on a medium-sized head. Therefore, they move around a little, but they are still above-average in comfort. I'd prefer it if the wings were more adjustable. Being open-backed, they leak a fair amount when played loud.
They also can sizzle a bit on certain high-frequency sounds or sibilant vocals. I used to think that it was mistracking by my Ortofon 2M Bronze, since I mostly heard it on vinyl, but I eventually noticed that the same recordings behave better when played through my B+W speakers. For 95% of my records, this isn't a problem, but for a few that are cut really hot on the high end, there's some breakup.
These are still worth considering at current prices. However, I would not use them to drive a portable device without a headphone amp.
Pros - Super comfy, easily modable, no fatigue from 7 hours of listening.
This is my first pair of hifi cans so I don't really have anything to compare them to. It was a nice deal, I love the sound quality -especially when paired with a fiio e10, the e10's bass boost fixes the weak bass problem.
Pros - Transparency, low distortions
Cons - Sounds bright
These headphones are great but you will need to be willing to EQ them to get best most natural sound.
Itself they're ok but a bit on the bright side.
See measured response below. I've posted the correction here: