Audio-Technica ATH-AD900

General Information

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Pros: Fair price, good build, not too heavy, the sound .
Cons: Sound stage can be altered if shifted too far on the ears.
I bought my pair on the used market, sold in the area by a very serious audio fan.
I have waited one year of use to do this review.
They were in perfect shape when bought and I got spoiled by the price, $80.00.
The cable length is long but not too long like some Sony headphones I had and the connector 1/8" (with adapter)
is one of the nicest quality build I have seen.
Comfort wise perfect when you find the common balance sweetspot on the auto adjusting headphone design.
Very clever, but I have a feeling someone with a smaller than average head having shifting issues.
My head is a bit bigger than average for my size and they fit perfectly .
The shifting which has happened to me when moving around will alter the soundstage but easy to rectify. The cushy
pads are a beautiful experience to wear a velveteen type material, which is replaceable.
They are AIR design headphones so the listening experience can be heard outside the headphones..but it's not as bad
as I thought it has been described  in other forums with open air style phones.
Cosmetically I think they look sharp, and are not flashy . I am not buying headphones for the visual style but
they happen to be low key in a way I like while leaving a positive impression with people.
They are lighter than they look, especially with that outer metal grille.
Sound wise they are exactly what I was looking for with a headphone. I'm using these almost exclusively to do rough and final
mixes , and sound restoration with these headphones , which I also do have monitor speakers ect.

What I have found I can mix in  the headphones with exacting results for the speakers when playing back. 
I do use 24bit audio alot, from analogue sources so the specs of these headphones shine
when using highest quality audio material with extended frequencies at both ends of the spectrum.
The Bass remains defined, non distorted and not dominant (unless mixed that way) Midrange is golden and highs are excellent.
I recommend these headphones to anyone who cares about hearing music the way the artist intended one hearing it.
Pros: Comfort, detail, soundstage/air, price, easily driven
Cons: Bass impact not for everyone
[size=10pt]The AD900 is well known for its patent Audio Technica house sound; emphasizing light, airy highs. Separation of instruments is fantastic, but occasionally can cause the soundstage to sound artificially big. This is readily apparent when playing something like the Beatles’ stereo remasters, which have hard-panned left and right channels. While not common with more recent masters, this panning can be dizzying and fatiguing if the effect is strong or if one channel is favored. This is more a problem that stems in the studio, so I won’t hold it against the 900. Where the soundstage becomes a benefit is in live recordings; you can hear the musicians shift their weight, glasses clinking, low murmurs and clapping, all from their respective places.[/size]
[size=10pt]The AD900 is great for [/size][size=10.0pt]acoustic guitar, strings, vocals, as well as jazz and instrumental records[/size][size=10pt]. They reveal a tremendous amount of detail and are best utilized with FLAC files or SACD (though I haven’t had the chance to try SACD for myself since my Panasonic player doesn’t support it). Percussion is brought out very well and feels realistic. I would, however, not use them for [/size][size=10pt]distorted rock or bass-prominent music[/size][size=10pt]. They are very accurate and balanced, which means that they will not give you the bass impact for genres like techno, house, dance, etc. Music with a lot of distortion or gain tends to be tiring to listen to (the highs can be rather shrill). Distorted rock music often doesn't reveal much detail, so I tend to favor the DT880 for that because the sound is so smooth and has more impact. I have an average sized head and these stay in place pretty well. [/size][size=10pt]The comfort is a 9/10 and the complaints about driver angle absolutely do not ring true for me. They are extremely light phones whose pressure is distributed evenly, for a comfortable listening experience. The cups don't provide a seal so expect to listen in a quiet place or turn up the volume.[/size][size=10pt] I haven't owned a great deal of headphones, but the 900 bests the Sennheiser HD555 and the DT880 in comfort (admittedly only slightly for the latter). [/size]
[size=10pt]Watching movies with these is fun because the soundstage is so wide and involving. Dialog is articulated clearly and crisp. I would recommend these, but understand this headphones' strengths and weaknesses before buying, otherwise you will be sorely upset. You don't find too many used models online, but they're a good value anyway if you’re looking for a neutral headphone with lots of detail.[/size][size=10pt] One thing: packaging could be nicer; they come in a cardboard box with a plastic display and stand. It's fairly sturdy, but you're wondering "how could this be an audiophile headphone, packaged like that?" Thanks for reading, hope this helped![/size]
Pros: Price to Value. Soundstage.
Cons: Comfort is picky.
I've been a lurker for a long time, but now that I've got some more money and better cans, I thought I'd write a review of the AD900s.
I upgunned to the AD900s from my AD700s and an HD 555 modded to HD 595, so my review will be based on that comparison. I'm listening to these through a Asus Xonar Essence STX, and am using v0 mp3 files.
So everyone always says the AD700s and HD 595s have a great soundstage, and I'll agree, and the AD900s have an even better soundstage. It's really a cool feeling when you can listen to a song or piece of music and actually feel the instrumental separation that couldn't before. The separation is very clear and distinct, almost to the point where I would say it's almost TOO good for things like gaming, when a left directional sound almost sounds like it's only coming out of the left can, which I guess is good for competitive play, but it sounds pretty unnatural. On the downside, it makes listening to anything Glee insufferable because it sounds so fake by comparison to other recordings.
In terms of the mids and highs, there's really nothing much to say that hasn't already been said. They come through clearly and with plenty of punch, and because of instrumental separation it almost feels like you can hear things you weren't able to before in certain pieces. Anywhere where the AD700 excelled, these do even better, with sharper tones, and the HD 595s don't really compare in this department. The most noticeable places are in any song with lots of vocals, where the vocals are presented at a higher volume than the instrumentals, and in the big romantic classical pieces, where the soloist comes out much more than before. Also, in Battlefield 3, where the cracks of sniper shots become much more distinct and impactful than before.
The bass is where the Audio Technica AD700 is severely lacking, but I feel that the AD900 makes up for it in every way (although I am listening through an amp). I don't really own or listen to much electronic/techno, or other bass-heavy music so maybe I'm a bad judge of bass, but I feel like the AD900s have enough to satisfy me. Both the powerful rumbles and the sharp percussive sounds are really great here (think subwoofer vs 1812 overture cannons). The HD 595s have pretty decent rumbles by comparison, but the sharp percussive effects don't come through as well. One of the places where I really notice these coming through is in video game explosions, When done right, they don't really blow your eardrums out, but you can definitely feel the rumble in your ears. I'm someone who really isn't a basshead, but I thought the AD700s were actually quite light on bass and I think the AD900 is a marked improvement over them. I don't think I would necessarily want any more than these provide.
The design is basically the same as the AD700s, but these feel a little smaller, and have a higher, more metallic build quality. The thing I like most here is the design feels very strong and the frame doesn't involve using plastic which is one complaint I'd have about the HD 595.
The comfort is the one area where I feel these come up short. I am coming from the AD700s primarily, which I will admit are the most ******* comfortable headphones I've ever worn in my life. But where I could easily have 8-10 hour work sessions with the AD700s, I definitely can't with these. The angle of the driver is an annoyance, and they are smaller, so they fit much tighter on my head. With the driver angle, it's mostly an issue of getting the position on your head right. I feel the optimum comfort is when the back of the pad touches the back of my ear, but I really can't figure out why AT would do away with the angled drivers when they were so ******* awesome to begin with. I may be looking to put a little padding in the rear of the pads to increase comfort, but I'm worries this will dampen and muddy the sound too much.
Overall, I would say that these are a very good buy. And one strength is that it doesn't take the veteran audiophile to hear the differences here. Even a casual user can easily tell the changes between the AD900, the AD700, and HD 595 without jumping between them. At $200 I feel they are a steal, and even if you dislike the particular sound signature, you won't be disappointed in the purchase like you would for other cans. They have a sound that works very well for certain genres of music, they're relatively inexpensive, easy to drive, and even if you are a basshead they may fill a niche in your lineup that you didn't know you had before.
I believe stuffing the pads a bit would help. I inserted just one loop of Dad's cheap speaker wire and they already became much more comfortable on my head.
These are my benchmark for comfort in headphones as well as AD700. I have an average-sized head.
Do not stuff the pads. You then ruin the signature neutral sound


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