Audio-Technica ATH-E70 Professional In-Ear Monitor Headphone

General Information

The ATH-E70 is the flagship in-ear monitor model in the E-Series. Its accuracy and detail allow precise balancing of the mix, making it the perfect choice for monitoring on stage and mixing in the studio. Offering high-resolution audio and an accurate sound stage, this model is designed for sound professionals who demand the best. Bringing the worldwide critically acclaimed sonic signature of the M-Series to an in-ear design, the Audio-Technica E-Series headphones have been designed to fully answer the needs of demanding sound professionals and musicians from the studio to the stage to the DJ Booth.

Latest reviews

yukitq

Blogger: Audio Rambles
Pros: Amazing Bass
Great timbre
(Mostly) Smooth listen
Cons: Lower Treble Splash
Below average technicalities
Looks
Memory wire
Full review: https://audiorambles.com/audio-technica-ath-e70/


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Packaging and Accessories


The minimalist design on the outer layer is to my fancy, maintaining a sleek yet premium feel to the product. The black cardboard box underneath it houses the IEMs, which can be found nestled within a hard yet malleable foam upon opening. It’s nothing spectacular, but it gets the job done, though for a flagship product, perhaps more could have been desired.

Accessories provided include:

– A small black case

– Comply Foam tips

– A few pairs of silicone tips

-3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter

Similarly, a relatively disappointing accessory haul for a flagship product.

Build Quality, Fit, Comfort and Isolation
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Aesthetics (6.5/10): Gorgeous products like the IER-Z1R or the Anole V3 spark a certain type of joy within me, and the E70s are far from having such appeal. The piano black shells are accompanied with a see-through window allowing you to see the circuit board for the crossovers, which of course begs the question: why would I want to see the copper circuit board for the crossovers? Surely they’ll be some tech lovers who disagree with me, but I’d like to stand by my opinions.

Build Quality (8.5/10): While the shells are made of plastic, they’re sturdy and thick, capable of withstanding significant beating. Detachable cables are also always a plus, though Audio Technica opted to install their own propriety MMCX-like connectors instead of the industry standard MMCX ones. Mini-rant though, why make your own proprietary ones unless you can better the industry standard (QDC), or have a perfectly good reason to implement one (JH Audio)? Till then I’ll always see proprietary ones as a cash grab and inconvenience.

Fit and Comfort (8.5/10): Once in the ear, they sit flush and are comfortable for hours on end due to their flat profile and smooth, rounded shape with no jagged edges (looking at you, Campfire). The issue, however, would be the hard, sturdy, and unapologetic memory wires on the E70. Memory wires are a declaration of war against the mental well-being and happiness of humanity, and should be illegal under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration. Don’t use memory wire. I hate memory wire.

Isolation (9/10): With a good seal, the E70 isolates fantastically, blocking out majority of the noise around the user due to its unvented design which sits flush in the ear.

Sound
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Disregarding the boosts in bass and lower treble, the E70 sounds quite linear throughout, possessing a warm tilt in the grand scheme of things.

Bass (8.5/10): The lower end of the E70 benefits from a slight boost in the bass region, receiving a healthy bump towards north of neutral. It’s not overly emphasised, but just enough to give most songs a fair kick. While my own personal preferences would lead to me finding them insufficient, most listeners would be more than happy.

Bass on the E70 goes very low, reaching similar depths as the IER-Z1R, for example. There is good rumble on the E70, achieving what many balanced armature setups fail to do with relative ease on tracks featuring heavy deep basslines such as Lorde’s “Royals” or Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”. Although E70 maintains a subbass focus, the midbass can and does deliver when called upon to get toes tapping. Slam and impact are very good, and just shy of dynamic driver benchmarks, though they make up for it by preserving the snappy, agile bass response BAs are famous for.

Even though they sport purely balanced armature drivers, the texture of the E70 is extremely close to that of capable dynamic drivers. They are a joy to listen to in that regard, detailed with realistic decay, and some of the best bass you can get on a Balanced Armature IEM.

Mids (7.5/10): While possessing a warm tilt, the midrange of the E70 has very good clarity, and is more resolving than the QDC Anole V3. The midrange is placed slightly forward, allowing for more enthralling vocals, though they never become fatiguing to listen to. Male vocals have good weight to them, capably reproducing the velvety, powerful vocals singers such as Andrea Bocelli belt out. Female vocals have similar presence and are similarly pleasant, sounding breathy and sweet on tracks such as IU’s “Through the Night”. Audio Technica has approached a very balanced and linear approach to the midrange, a tuning which likely aims to please the majority, while maintain good air throughout. Detailing, however, is the Achilles Heel of the E70’s midrange, which can be said to be just “above average”, simply not good enough to command such a high price tag. Otherwise, the midrange is hard to fault.

Highs (6.5/10): I’ve had the displeasure of listening to many poorly tuned sets which can get overzealous in the lower treble, producing bouts of sibilance. Yet, while sibilance is bad, splashy treble, in my opinion, tops it as a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, the E70 has it in abundance, and frequently enough to become a cause of concern. The cause isn’t a trigger-happy boost in the lower treble, but it’s simply that the lower treble is loose and uncontrolled, which is a damned shame, given that the treble is quite accomplished otherwise, with great detail and timbre on instruments such as hi-hats or cymbals on tracks like The Eagles’ “Hotel California”. It’s linear and smooth up till the upper end, where it starts to roll-off, lending the E70 a slightly darker sound. As a result of the treble splash, the E70 is also difficult to listen to on higher than average volumes.

Soundstage, Imaging, Seperation and Timbre (7.5/10): The E70 casts a wide stage, and an above average Z-axis. Height is good but eventually hampered due to the roll-off. Imaging is quite average, with instruments distinguishable but sometimes not occupying their own pocket of space. The E70 also does not handle complicated tracks such as “Little Talks” particularly well, sounding a little muffled occasionally. Timbre, however, is fantastic from top to bottom, with instruments and vocals sounding natural with good note weight throughout.

Conclusions
The splashy treble is ultimately a fatal flaw for the ATH-E70, something not even their genuinely incredible bass response can salvage. For listeners who have a greater lower treble splash tolerance, are after a smoother sound, and comfortable with the fact that the E70 is simply not as technical as many of the sets in its price range, they might be worth a shot. For my sensitive ears however, these are a no from me.

nostract

New Head-Fier
Pros: Extremely well balanced and natural presentation of sound.
Cons: Although not a con (Actually remarkable) this headphone will display only the characteristics/sound traits of the music player/DAP's & music files quality in use. Please be aware of that.
Personal View:
What i have realized through years of loving music & being in the industry in various capacities is when it comes to music or sound reproduction of any sort, views range from strong likes to even stronger dislikes for a particular equipment. The best example is this review page that has various takes on ATH E70.

When views change so dramatically about a particular product from person to person, it is indeed difficult to know what suits you & finally what to buy.

Let me start by saying ATH-E 70 in my regard & by many others who are professionally into music is that it is one of the best monitor headphones in its price range & above. Please read further as to know how I came to this conclusion.

Nature of sound reproduction:

I won't get into its form factor & explain as normally people do about sound i.e. highs, lows and mids. What i want to bring forth here is the nature of sound that this headphone is able to deliver & why that makes it one of the best in its category & above.

Sound, specifically what is music to our ears can be perceived in various ways. Live sounds, the ones that are delivered via speakers and other systems and then live music delivered naturally without any of these devices; plain sound emitting from instruments and vocals. Then there is studio recording, where music is recorded under special and specific conditions. Finally the way we normally hear music i.e. via a music player/DAP’s, digital music files & headphones.

Under all these circumstances a particular musical piece may sound different in different setups & we may also feel it differently. Which situation would you say is ideal when it comes to hearing a sound in its truest form? Or as many say, music/sound as intended by the musician? Most get caught up by the idea of 'I like my music in a particular way' & invariably end up buying a particular DAP - headphones with specific sound traits or finally EQ music to their taste.

Specialty of ATH-E70:

Now here it’s not a question of what is right or wrong, like most things in life it’s relative to the individual. But say that you get a chance to experience sound as if you are sitting around musicians in an open space and hear them play & sing with no speakers or any other systems. This is the setup for hearing sound/music in its most natural form & ATH E-70 is manufactured to produce this sound.

But being such an effective and fine-tuned headphone, it naturally reciprocates to the quality of the music player and music files, as this headphone on its own doesn’t have any particular sound characteristics.

You may think this as a bad thing to have no particular sound trait of its own, but believe me, not only is it difficult to create such fine-tuned headphone that recreates sound in its most natural form but to also to have an equipment that gives you a chance to experience music in the most organic manner.
As if you are not just seeing the river flowing and thinking about how the water will feel, but you are able to touch water yourself and experience it at a very personal level.
ATH E70 is like water, no taste on its own whatsoever. Some may not like that tastelessness & would go for something more tasty (that may be costlier or cheaper).
But water being water, will always be pristine, necessary & the best natural drink.

Conclusion:

Even if my grasp on language or my power of thinking is not allowing me to explain this in a much lucid manner, I will definitely say that buy it or not, at least hear it once. That too with the best player you can get your hands on and quality music files. Before you hear music know if your player has any musical traits like being bright/warm or any other musical presentation. Don’t EQ it, hear it as it is & then experience ATH-E 70.

Likes & dislikes is a different thing but you will at least know how music sounds in it's most basic and natural form

I have heard & owned various headphones and in-ear’s ranging from AKG ‘s reference headphones to campfire’s & Audeze planar’s (specifically AKG K3003, Campfire Jupiter & Audeze iSine 20), but this particular Audio Technica monitor is of a truly special quality. It allows you to sense music at it's core level and be content with it.

I feel sad that such a rare and special product is not that well recognized, possibly one of the main reason is people approach music and related equipment’s with a lot of preconceived notions and hence in return when they get life giving water to drink instead of the expected juice or alcohol, people naturally get disappointed.

So my request to all music & headphone lovers is to at least try it once.

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iems0nly

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Extremely detailed, does not sacrifice bass quantity.
Cons: A bit big on bass; detail and instrument separation are not the best. Drum kit grabs all the atention. Gets sibilant easily.
Simple Man’s review – ATH E70 (Flagship model of ATH E series - 399 USD)
This is called a "simple" man’s review because they are based on how the earphones sound directly from my mobile phone (HTC One S9), using 320 Kbps mp3 tracks.
No expensive gears nor lossless tracks, no EQ, and all that hi-fi stuff.

Product Specs :
Driver: Triple BA
Frequency response: 20 - 19000hz
Impedance: 39 Ohms
Cable: Detachable 1.6 m (5.2') with A2DC connectors
Nozzle: ~4.5mm
Release: Jan 2016


Build – 5/5
Replaceable cables - check
Thick wires (durable?) – check
Neck Slider – check
The wires feel durable, and are flexible. The wire is quite long, and falls to my ankle when i let it drop freely. I need to roll the wires quite a bit when my mobile goes into my pocket. I’d have wished this to be foot shorter. Not a biggie, but an inconvenience it could be.
The ear loops are memory plastic with extra strain relief where they come in contact with the rest of the wire. This is really thoughtful, and I haven’t seen this elsewhere. Great job, ATH!

Accessories – 4/5
A zipper case is provided, right size and quality, which can hold the earphones without any trouble. The case can go into a generous denim pocket. 4 sizes tips provided, excluding the medium ones in the earphones itself, and one pair of comply foam tips. Plus, a 3.5 to 6.3mm adapter as well is included in the box.

Isolation & Sound leakage – 4/5
Isolation is not bad, and sound leakage is almost zero.

Microphonics – 4/5
I couldn’t hear any sound while walking with the music on. Maybe just a tiny bit. If any, it still doesn’t interfere with enjoying the sound from these earphones.

Fit – 4/5
Around the ears only, and this can’t be worn down. Personally, I didn’t find an issue with the fit. The housing rest, and stay, properly with a good seal. However, I remember an amazon reviewer wanted to “shoot” the ATH designer because they didn’t fit him at all. If you have regular ears like me, you shouldn’t have an issue here.

Before we get to the sound:
First, tips: This is a personal thing. I absolutely hate the ATH stock tips, they seem to make my music too bassy, with their narrow hole and short stems, which I don’t like. Each may have their favourite tips and mine are the SpinFits. I used to like the Spiral Dots before i was introduced to SpinFits. I’m using the spinfits on my E70s, and i would suggest any wide bored tip, like spiral dots as well. They sound fine with Sony tips too. However, i noticed not a very glaring difference with tip rolling. BA earphones don’t seem to be affected by tip rolling much (from my experience)

Second, Sound volume: they are easy to drive. I never find myself going above 60% volume on my phone. The impedance value just seems like a number here.

Alright now. Phew! I’m wasted already. But let’s get on with that which matters now.

Last, but important thing before we proceed. You must know that i don’t listen to trance, EDM, or bassy stuff, no metal stuff, so, take my opinion about the extremes of the sound spectrum, and speed,etc., with a grain of salt, as they are just based on the kind of music I listen to- namely Jazz, blues, some progressive rock from the 70s/80s. However, to give a fair review, i include some of my favourite Daft Punk, Tool, NIN, and some Pop songs among my test tracks.

Sound –
Let me just say that they sound awesome, incredible, amazing, unbelievable, superb, excellent, fabulous, and all the like terms. These are my most expensive phones till date, and accordingly these are the best sounding. I’m a happy guy. Things are fair, and as they should be.

ATH E70 LR.JPG

The signature seems to be mostly neutral, with a linear emphasis on the lower end of the spectrum.
Bass:
There is no bloat in its bass. Neither is there a mid-bass bloat, nor a sub-bass emphasis. Bass in general is a bit elevated. If the song has a bass line, you will hear it in all the definition. The bass quality is just unbelievable, and the quantity is there to show it. You are sure to hear some great bass details here like you’ve never done, possibly, in any price range. Definitely can’t see this below 500 USD. There is great rumbly feel to the bass when the song requires it, although you don’t feel the bass pumping air as in dynamic phones. You still hear nice rumble nevertheless.
Treble:
On the other end of the spectrum, things are pretty bright. Not splashy bright, but revealing with enough brightness to not make the earphones actually sound warm. Some have commented that these sound warm, very warm, etc., but these are in no way as warm as the JVC woodies, for instance. Treble details are amazing. In general, the detail retrieval is just excellent. You hear extended shimmers of the cymbals, tiny delicate sounds are made apparent, with all the details.
The surprising part is that they are not at all thin sounding. For such a revealing phone which displays so much detail, thin-sounding is the last word you would associate with this earphone. Exhibits sibilance easily, and the higher frequencies when hit at the right point completely sucks everything out from the music. This is the only negative in this IEM.
Mids:
Mids are full, no recession here. If anything, it’s a bit mid-forward you can say. Because, as I mentioned, the bass has a very linear elevation to it, the mids don’t seem very obviously forwarded. The details in the mids are all present, and show themselves boldly.
The vocals are amazing, and you hear all the details in the human voice, and can clearly distinguish between multiple singers.

Select comparisons

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ATH E70 vs ATH E40


Why ? Because they are brothers, and i know those who own the E40 are curious about this comparison.
The ATH E40 itself sounds superb, with great clarity, instrument separation, timbre and what -not. Moving from the ATH E40 to the E70, you directly perceive a vast difference in detail and clarity. If you initially thought that the E40 was very clear and awesome, moving to the E70 immediately afterwards will make you say that the E40 was muffled, and totally unclear. In this case at least, you would accept that increase in price is definitely worth every penny. (Whatever happened to the law of diminishing returns!) I would even go so far and say that the E70 sounds 4 times (atleast 3x) better than the E40! The change is simply surprising. Imagine playing ping-pong against the best player in your school, and then immediately after you face the best player in your country (assuming your school champion is not a national player). Such is the difference between E40 and the E70.
The only comparable area would be the wideness of soundstage, and even here the E70 would edge out its sibling. Enough said, and this comparison was unfair in the first place.

ATH E70 vs Sony MDR EX800ST
Why? Both of them are called studio monitors, and they’re from the 2 giants in the industry, and because I don’t have the EX1000 this should suffice.
The EX800ST competes very well with the E70. And we must keep in mind that the Sony is a single dynamic which was made about 6 years ago. It’s just amazing that it can still stand in front of the E70 released just last year. Anyway, switching from the Sony to the E70, i see that all the notes have better thickness straight away. Where the details were faint, and i had to focus my attention to hear them, in the E70, they were just apparent and more obvious. The E70 has a bigger bass while the treble of the Sony were a bit higher. The highs of Sony gave me more satisfaction compared to the E70. I feel, maybe, the slightly lesser note thickness also enables a slightly better timbre going to the Sonys. Soundstage and separation were about the same. But overall, i must say the E70 are better with their triple BA setup from current technology. I still keep my Sonys because they have a certain magic to them :wink:

ATH E70 vs Zero Audio Doppio
Why? Because both are TOTL. And Doppio is the only dual BA that i have.
We must note that the E70 is about 3x or 3.5x more expensive that the ZA Doppio. This is the best value for money product that I’ve known.
Comparing the two, E70 has more bass in quantity, and consequently, i think, has lesser detail. Switching from E70 to Doppio, it is very obvious that Doppio shows more detail in music. The highs of Doppio are also higher, and vocals also more forward. There is no colouration with the Doppios. There is however a slight thickness missing in Doppio which can be enjoyed with the E70, but this at the cost of micro-detail. Instrument separation is also better in Doppio, where E70, i would say, sounds more musical with lesser separation. Doppio is a better analytical phone. I can’t choose a winner between the two.

Overall Sound rating: 8.8 / 10
Vocals 4/5
Soundstage 4.5/5
Instrument Separation 4/5
Detail 4.8/5
Timbre 4/5

I would say that the one place where these earphones fall from grace is when the track has abundant bass, and with it also demands a clear mid section (possibly due to poor recording, or whatever) . For instance, in some progressive rock tracks with Sitars, I notice that i can’t enjoy the sound of sitar properly, and i see the bass intruding and demanding more attention. I don’t feel very satisfied with these earphones in this case. The chimes and splashes from the drum kit also takes over the entire track if they are up front. They also hit sibilance easily.

Conclusion –
Excellent earphones for the price, with amazing detail retrieval that is musical at the same time. If bass is important to you, and if you still need all the details that a monitoring phone demands,then this one is made just for you. They also don't shy away from sibilance easily, and you will hear all the ssss and ssshs in all their glory. If you want a strictly analytical earphone with no colouration, the E70 is not for you, and you can go the Etymotic way.

There goes my first review.
Thanks for reading.
iems0nly
iems0nly
@qsk78 -- you're absolutely right. Thanks for mentioning this :) When i use the Dragonfly Black, i notice that the bass is very well behaved, and doesn't stray from it's place. there's significant difference in this aspect, and there's absolutely no interference with the mids. Soundstage also improves, with more musicality.
DocHoliday
DocHoliday
Thanks for being the only one thoughtful enough to include the specs (3 BA's).
ehjie
ehjie
Why I liked? Your review was a definite Spot On. I just auditioned a pair, today. Still relevant, bright, thick Highs, Not piercing & I used my 240. A headfier friend got from another headfier friend (downsizing / upgrading gears). Was a match Made in Hi-fi heaven for the Cayin N5II...

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