Audio Technica ATH-ES88 BK Black | Portable Headphones (Japan Import)

  1. asko
    Almost ideal portable cans
    Written by asko
    Published Mar 10, 2013
    Pros - Quite balanced sound, lightweight, build quality
    Cons - Comfort
    Warm, good bass extension, quite sweet highs, quite balanced sound, probably with slightly emphasized mids, not airy, recessed 300-500 Hz and 7-8 kHz. I think that the sound signature is quite similar to Audio-Technica ATH-ES10's sound signature but it's more mid-centric and not airy. The clarity is very similar too. I like the mids that are really natural. So if I can say that the ATH-ES10 is the ideal portable headphone then the ATH-ES88 is almost ideal because I think that the difference is not big.
    Comfort and build
    The build quality is amazing, it is difficult to scratch the textured aluminium housing, this unusual pivoting mechanism is very reliable, flat cables. I like the design very much. I can't say that the ATH-ES88 is comfortable: driver shells are placed not deep so it can hurt your ears. I can use it only three or four hours max.
    I do agree that ATH-ES88s are very underrated.
      nick n likes this.
    1. Mad Max
      The headphone has a noticeable issue with being overdampened inside of the cups, as some of us who have tried it have noticed.  AT threw in some thick black felt to eliminate resonances inside of each cup, but the felt is too thick and the drivers sound like they are "suffocating" comparedto any other good closed-back headphone.
      I came up with a simply solution: fiberfill.
      See my photo.
      I hope this helps other users of this now discontinued, neat little portable headphone.
      I like the relatively balanced mids/treble of this headphone combined with emphasized bass.  Fun sound while still maintaining a good degree of accuracy, and a decent enough soundstage for a portable to serve as worthwhile all-rounder for music genres.
      I bent the headband on mine to give me a tighter grip, and now I use it as an around-the-neck headband headphone, much like the Sony G52 and such "street-style" headphones.
      Mad Max, Jul 9, 2015