1. Killcomic
    When you need to have ALL the details
    Written by Killcomic
    Published Mar 6, 2018
    Pros - Great build quality, beautiful detailed sound, well controlled bass with no mids bleed in, detachable cable (3 included), easy to drive.
    Cons - Treble may be uncomfortable for some, shallow pads, headband could use more padding, may ruin all other headphones for you.
    There comes a time when one realises that sound quality is not about bass quantity, and you start to search for clear, undistorted sound.
    While my ATH-M40X does a damn good job of providing me with sonic bliss, they are uncomfortable. And by uncomfortable I mean something close to passing a large kidney stone.
    So out I went into the world and searched for a new soul mate. This is how I met the MSR7.

    Build quality:
    Sturdy and refined, the MSR7 is made up mostly of Aluminium and plastic decorated with tasteful colour highlights.
    It dismisses the brash, loud designs of headphones today for a more conservative, elegant look that may not turn heads immediately but it will sure impress those who notice. These are good looking headphones.

    Sound Quality:

    Bass: Present, fast and well controlled.
    Let me make this clear. These are not headphones for bassheads as the MSR7 values quality in place of quantity.
    Bass is well articulated and at no point does it overpower the rest of the music.
    Basslines are aptly and accurately reproduced, however there's none of the bass heavy thrills you get with bass heavy headphones such as Beats or the M50X. That's not to say that the bass is not satisfying. EDM does sound very good and you get very tight, controlled thumps, but there's not a lot of it.

    Mids: Lush, extended and somewhat elevated.
    These are Japanese headphones made primarily for the Japanese market, and indeed, listening to Japanese music, specially with female vocals is an experience to behold. The sense of presence is palpable. Very natural and balanced.
    Some people feel the mids are a touch unnatural. They might be right, but considering how these cans turn female vocals into a toe curling experience, I couldn't care less.

    Highs: Extremely detailed, bright and effortless.
    Highs are a point of contention. They are extremely detailed, even to the point that bad recordings and mistakes become evident, so are poorly compressed files.
    Highs have a lot of energy, but don't think they are aggressive. They rarely feel harsh or piercing, and if they do, it's usually the fault of the recording.
    However, many people are treble sensitive and it can be too much for them.
    I recommend you audition this headphone before you commit yourself.

    Soundstage and imaging:
    Soundstage is fine for a closed back headphone but it's the imaging that impresses me. Very accurate. It gives you a good sense from which direction the sound is coming from.
    Not only does this make the MSR7 good for music but also for gaming.

    One very important point to consider is that these phones are very sensitive to the source and source material. That is to say that low bit rate MP3s will not cut it. Artifacts will become apparent and your listening enjoyment will suffer. I recommend lossless formats.
    Also, your phone may not be the optimal source for these cans. My DAP gives me much better audio quality than my Samsung Galaxy S5.

    So to wrap it up, the MSR7 offer terrific value in terms of sound and build quality.
    As always, your value may vary. They are light on bass and the treble can be too much for some. However, if you're on the market for an accurate, well balanced and extremely detailed headphone, the MSR7 is a winner in my books.
    1. audiophilefan
      Nice review man! I love reviews that are this concise! I had the chance to audition these some time ago and I agree with your impressions. I believe they are tuned to be very accurate studio monitors, much like the M40x, but better. I find the same character with my Shure SRH440s. They are extremely detailed and I very much like how bass is presented with studio monitors. It doesn't become apparent on every song (bass), only when called upon so that's accurate. :)
      audiophilefan, Mar 8, 2018
      Killcomic likes this.
    Lean and clean with good looks and comfort
    Written by ZOMBIEWINEGUM
    Published Apr 14, 2017
    Pros - Tight bass, incredible highs, gorgeous looks
    Cons - hot spot headband, creaky plastic, unnatural midrange
    I've had the Audio Technica MSR7s for about a year and a half now. I purchased them myself from amazon for £145. I won't bother with specs/accessories since every other review has already been over that.
    Build and comfort
    When you first hold the MSR7 the build feels very premium, it is  weighty with aluminum cups and plush, high quality pads. However, the plastics used leave something to be desired, with a fair amount of creaking developing at the hinges and a general feeling of "don't stretch them too far" when you go to place them on your head. I think it was a mistake to use plastic on the hinges, it in no way inspires confidence. Luckily, that is the only real complaint about build, the rest of the headphone feels fairly solid and about in line with what you'd expect for the price. 
    DSC_0049ed.png DSC_0050as.jpg
    Pads are plush, using what I presume is high quality pleather (materials are not mentioned anywhere). They provide great comfort for me, going all around my ears whilst being deep enough to keep my ears from touching the plastic behind the pads. If you have larger ears, I could see these pads being a little too small for you. The headband uses the same material as the pads but for some strange reason has more padding on top than on the bottom, where it will rest on you head. This, combine with the curved shape that will not conform to most heads, can create a bit of a hot spot on your head during long listening sessions.  
    Obviously, the MSR7 is an exceptionally handsome headphone, so no qualms there.
    Sound quality
    Truly the star of the show, the treble is stunning. In quantity, the treble could be seen as having just the slightest hint of warmth, preventing any harshness whilst preserving the details and excitement. The headphones resolve even the slightest detail with ease, never sounding congested or too upfront. In quality, the treble is liquid smooth, no harshness or even sibilance to speak of. The best highs I'm yet to hear in any headphone.
    Robust. Bass extends reasonably low, perhaps missing the lowest rumble, but what it lacks in extension it makes up for in, well, everything else. In quantity the bass feels neutral with the treble and has no midbass hump or bleed into the vocals. Not really for bassheads. In quality, the bass in tight and fast with no distortion. Like I said earlier, the best word to describe the bass is "robust".
    Mids are where the MSR7s fail to impress quite so much. The upper mids are a little too forward for my taste, introducing a leaness to the presentation of vocals that sounds a little unnatural. Instruments suffer the same flaw, although to a lesser extent. They sound detailed, but lack realism.
    Imaging and soundstage
    Soundstage is very small, with it feeling like everything is happening within a space the size of the cups. However, this is not to say they sound congested, in fact, its entirely the opposite. Thanks to the smooth, detailed treble and fast bass, imaging is pin point accurate with each instrument and singer given their own spot around your head. This results in none of the congestion and confusion associated with the small soundstage of closed headphones. 
    To sum up, the MSR7 is a handsome, well made headphone with reasonable comfort and fantasticly detailed sound. A solid offering at the price point.  
    Update: Forgot to mention that I find this headphone responds incredibly well the the Fiio E10k's bass boost. Great for if you feel these lack bass quantity. The above impressions were all made without the bass boost, however. 
    1. Wiencon
      I loved the build quality of them, but sold mine after 2 months. I couldn't get myself to like them, after extended sessions I felt fatigue and the sound was annoying to me, I think it was the big amount of trebles and very low amount of bass. Switched to Fidelio X2 and it seems like perfect sound signature for me.
      Wiencon, Apr 14, 2017
    2. BigDave
      I agree with this review a lot.  I would also add that they are quite source dependent for me.  When running off my nuforce icon hdp they sound great (they do not need the power but maybe the dac makes a difference?).  They sound pretty good out of my ibasso dx50.  However, my cowon d20, sansa clip+ and other cheap daps do not have a good synergy - the highs become a little harsh and unbearable. And these msr7's are not hard to power. Even out of my Asus ultrabook the sound is .... average.  None of my other cans have quite this sound change depending on source.  Oh well.
      BigDave, Apr 15, 2017
  3. Chiek
    Favourite pair of earmuffs and portable over-the-ear cans
    Written by Chiek
    Published Jan 21, 2016
    Pros - Thought I was in heaven when I listened to 'Jump right in' by Zac Brown Band and Remember when by Alan Jackson
    At -20oC right now in the middle of the Norwegian winter, these beautiful ear muffs keep my ears from frostbitten, while piping in my favourite genre of folk music. Like Unkle Bob's Satellite. Listening to Zac Brown Band's songs like 'Knee Deep' and 'Goodbye in her eyes', made me cry because it just sounded too good to be true. 
    Once one has gone through a few headphones, rating new cans get a little easier if one can just make reference to the previous cans. This way I can dispense you guys of meaningless jargons beyond treble, bass and soundstage. 
    So comparing these with the over-the-ear portable headphones in the same price range that I have, I like these pair of headphones more than Sennheiser momentum in design & comfort (by a lot) and Sony MDR-1A in sound (not by much, both are very pleasing).
  4. Suraki
    One of the best sealed headphone for this price
    Written by Suraki
    Published May 18, 2015
    Pros - detailed and balanced sound, 3 cables, all-purpose
    Cons - just average soundstage, heavier
    - Extremely detailed sound (if you want more, multiplies the price!)
    - Balanced sound with slightly mid/mid-high forwarded
    - 3 cables by default
    - It feels well built
    - Almost everything playing well
    - Lack of air (not the best choice for big orchestral compositions or other complex musical structures)
    - Little heavy (especially as portable device)
    Without burn in (a day or more) the MSR7 is a little sibilant.
  5. AsnOtk
    Great headphones for $200 range
    Written by AsnOtk
    Published Mar 10, 2015
    Pros - Beautiful sleek design, beautiful treble, tight bass present but not too much
    Cons - Comfort requires getting used to, slightly "creeky" headband
    I purchased these headphones and burned them in for 1 week with the "sine wave" file available on the head-fi forum. This isn't a detailed review after years of use - simply a first impression after few weeks of use.
    MSR7 as a portable Headphone (general)
    I find these design amazing. These are pretty bulky, but they look amazing on one's head (at least mines). Although a big headphone for portable use may seem unsuitable, I feel that these "look" amazing for outside use - as it also fits in great when hung around your neck.
    However, although this headphones are advertised as "portable" headphones, I don't think the sound signature is the best for those use. The treble is really beautiful, crisp and clear, but it can go to the extent that it may be a bit too sharp for outdoors use as you tend to use louder volumes outside where there is background noise..However, the sound has softened up after burning it in, and I only burned them in for 2 days so perhaps it will soften up even more after more use. Also, there is slight noise isolation, however it is not the best. The surroundings won't be able to hear what you're listening to, but you can hear them. This makes it an "ok" isolating headphones, and I feel that they could've improved it considering the size and clamping force.
    MSR7 as an indoor headphone
    Sound in general
    I think that the MSR7 suits more as an indoor headphone. The treble is so crisp that it makes vocals stand out really clearly. I love listening to genres such as J-Pop because this headphone makes the bass present but not to the extent that it is in your face - and all the different instruments support the vocals extremely well, heightening the listening experience. Classical music are also extremely great because the soundstage in this headphone is decent for a closed headphones, and make every instrument clear and distinct. The mid-range centric frequency response are also really suitable for many classic music. - This is why I love Audio Technica, the sound signature is typical of Audio Technica, overall pretty neutral but having a really strong, clear and distinct mid-range.
    However, as I said in the portable section, this sound can be slightly sharp and sibilant. This can make bad recordings really stand out and to the extent that it can be irritating. Because this headphone has a wide frequency range, and every range is so clear, small "unwanted noise" can really stand out when listening using these headphones. If the recordings are recorded in a poor environment, and white noise, hissing noise, excess background noise, it is probable that they will be irritating to your ears.
    Although the treble are slightly forward, in general these are a pretty neutral headphones, so I feel that these will also be compatible for mixing use.
    These are not the most comfortable headphones out there. The clamping force is strong, headband isn't the softest out there either, and it is really bulky and heavy. There is a force applied onto your ears as well as on the top of your head, but both of these forces are extremely strong making them slightly uncomfortable after prolonged use. I like to take them off for around a minute for every 3-4 hours of use recently.
    Build quality
    I really feel that this headphones are a sturdy beast. It looks sturdy and I am not worried about it breaking at all. HOWEVER, the materials used in the inside of the headband makes it creek when stretched out. There is probably a slight stress in the material, which is clearly a design or production failure. I would have expected them to fix such an obvious "faultiness" in these headphones for this price-range. Although it can be irritating at the start, I will not be worried about it "breaking" or anything as long as you treat them decently.
    The cable is really standard, so you will be able to plug in cables that came with your other headphones unless they are the "abnormal" ones. However, the cable that came with these headphones are also good. They are not coiled, because they are meant to be "portable", but they are thick enough to be durable but not thick enough to the extent that it can be annoying. The rubber coating is really thick and I'm sure that this can protect the wires inside as long as you treat them normally.
  6. Egoist
    The best headphones I have bought (only like 4th pair so...)
    Written by Egoist
    Published Jan 30, 2016
    Pros - Beautiful mids and amazing details and sound stage. Just makes music alive
    Cons - Comfort can be a issue in the beginning, Mainly plastic, picky on music (quality)
    (first review) After having many troubles with my Sennheiser momentum on ears (v1), the breaking down of my wonderful Vsonic gr07s and the over powering bass of my RHA T10is. I've decided to look for a new headphone that will finally please my ears other than the gr07 which was not even close to being call durable. 
    First I'll give you some backgrounds on what kind of person I am so this review doesn't seem too bias. I listen to J-Pop, C-Pop, Jazz, EDM, Classical, And tons of female and male vocals are involved in these genres epically the stuff I listen to. I like a clear and detailed sound without too much treble (the s sounds) or bass that over powers and makes the mid ranges sound muffles (what happened on RHA T10i). I had sony extrabasses for a year so I do like bass but not too much of it. I use my headphones extensively, everyday, and for iems I used to sleep with them but now I have cheap ones that I sleep with. 
    So lets first start with the design, I personally find these beautiful(I bought the black and blue version). It's clean and stylish. While having a decent weight on your head that feels comfortable for me. However not a fan of the plastics dues to squeaking occurring after some use. But overall the design is solid with the exception of the thin ear pads which some pointed out but wasn't a problem for me since I have small ears. Now on to comfort. This is something I am not too proud of, however, it is something that is fixable. When I first tried the MRS7s at e-earphones in the Akihabara Store in Japan I loved the sound, but hated the fit. The earcups were fine but the clamping force almost made my already small head hurt. (it's smaller than most girls) The guy at the store suggested that I put them on tissue boxes every night and wear them during the daytime. Which worked out wonderfully. It solved the fit problem for me in about a week completely. However I think for people with wider heads could result in a far more un comfortable situation. But I personally feel that the comfort factor is what turned most people away from this headphone. 
    Sound Quality
    To be honest, I want to say these are the best pair of headphones I have tried; it's just my opinions (I tried the HD 600s, Shure 846, grados GS1000.etc) It may not be the most detailed but it makes the music I listen to sound more appealing to my ears personally. the Highs are clear but not piercing, and the bass is punchy and detail but still not enough for a bass head in my opinion. However, the mids are what I feel these headphones really offer. Comparing a track 黑白 by方大同 really showed me where these headphones shined. The male vocal is clearly defined, and the jazz played in the background just gave me this emersed experience that I haven't had with any other headphones I've tried with this track. The Sennheiser momentum on ears compared to this sounded muffled and un detailed. lacking sound stage and clarity. And being more expensive really disappointed me. The fit also kinda irritated me. However, these are quite picky in terms of what you listen to. most of my music are all lossless or 320k mp3 which is fine. But if the file was badly recorded you can hear all the harsh details. Some people mentioned that using an amp would greatly improve the sound, I have a Fiio A3 which I used regularly, but in my case, I haven't found any significate improvement other than slightly more details from the instrumentals. Overall if you like most genres that benefits from an outstanding mid, this might be a good consideration. 
    These headphones are something I truly like. It's a pretty flat signature with a defined mid. I would definitely recommend to anyone who is willing to deal with the comfort issue, and feel that it is seriously a great value.
      SteveOliver likes this.
  7. BigBadBirdman
    not suitable for classical music
    Written by BigBadBirdman
    Published Oct 17, 2017
    Pros - good build quality, looks nice
    Cons - poor frequency response, bright treble and upper midrange, weak lower midrange and bass, not very comfortable

    The Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 is a bright sounding headphone that will not appeal to people who want a warm or neutral sound.

    Sound Signature

    The SR stands for Sound Reality but the sound is not realistic at all if you ever go to classical music concerts. I have been to hundreds of concerts and every time I am impressed at how big and warm the sound is. The sound in every concert hall I have been in has a huge bass that cannot be reproduced accurately by any speaker and headphone. The Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 does not even try. Instead, they try to pass themselves off as “high resolution” by decreasing the upper bass and lower midrange and increasing the upper midrange and lower treble. By doing this you will hear some things that you will not hear in a neutral or warm sounding headphone but you are also missing much of your music.

    When listening to “El amor brujo” conducted by Leopold Stokowski, the sound was very strange. It was like listening to tiny speakers with a subwoofer. The bass is deep and extended but there is no upper bass or lower midrange and the upper midrange is super loud. When I play this recording on any of my other headphones, the sound is warm and smooth.

    Next I put on Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony conducted by George Szell and got the same results. There was a thinness to the sound that is completely unnatural. You would never hear a tonal balance like this in any concert hall. I have had this CD for decades and listened to it on many different speakers and headphones and it is normally a warm sounding recording. The Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 just sucked the life out of the performance.

    “The Rite of Spring” conducted by Simon Rattle actually sounded pretty good. There was really good resolution in the quiet parts and the big bass drum whacks had depth and power.

    Probably the most disappointing recording was the Mahler First conducted by Erich Leinsdorf. This is one of my reference recordings and on the Philips X2 it is one of the most lifelike sounding recordings I have. On the ATH-MSR7, the sound was thin and anemic and generally unpleasant. I only made it about halfway through the first movement before I had to change to a different headphone.

    My Setup

    I use CD, Blu-ray, and DVD as my sound source. I mostly use a Marantz CD6005 but sometimes use an Onkyo C-7030 as my CD player. I use a cheap Sony Blu-ray player for video.

    I drive all my headphones with a Schiit Asgard 2 headphone amplifier. The Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 is designed for portable use. However, I do not use any portable listening devices and do all my listening exclusively at home.

    If you are planning on purchasing the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 and you intend to use them on your home audio system, you will need to purchase a 1/8” to 1/4” adaptor. There are 3 cables supplied but they all are 1/8” and there is no adaptor included. All my other headphones came with adaptors but apparently Audio Technica thinks the ATH-MSR7 is only going to be used with portable players.

    I primarily listen to opera and orchestral music. The other headphones I currently own are the Sennheiser HD600, Sennheiser HD700, Beyerdynamic DT-990, Beyerdynamic T51i, and Philips Fidelio X2. All my headphones sound amazingly good when paired with the appropriate recording and each can be the best headphone I have ever heard. I consider all of my headphones to be a good value for the price.

    The Highs

    The treble on Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 is loud. It is louder than any of my other headphones but not necessarily more detailed. While other headphones might have a boost in the mid or upper treble, the ATH-MSR7 starts the boost in the upper midrange and through the lower treble. Because of that you cannot really hear anything above the lower treble because it is drowned out by the volume.

    The quality of the treble is middling. It is on par with the DT-990 and X2 but not as good as the HD600, HD700 or T51i.

    The Midrange

    The midrange is the most problematic part of the ATH-MSR7. The lean lower midrange coupled with the bright upper midrange is the downfall with this headphone. If they had gotten the midrange right, I think I might have been able to overlook the loud treble.

    The Bass

    The bass is the best aspect of the ATH-MSR7. It is very detailed and extended and neutral. There is no bloat but it is powerful when needed. The big bass drums on Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky had excellent detail and impact. On Handel’s Serse, the bass was big and warm. Unfortunately the upper bass starts to disappear and it makes Beethoven and Haydn symphonies sound too lean.


    The ATH-MSR7 does not have much of a soundstage but it images pretty good. There is good separation of images but no depth. Closed back headphones generally do not have as good of a soundstage as open backed ones but my only closed back headphone is the T51i and it has a decent soundstage. The ATH-MSR7 is average or slightly above average in this category for a closed back design.


    In head to head comparisons to my other 5 headphones, it usually came in dead last and it never came in first. The highest it ever ranked was 3. I think the problem is that Audio Technica is trying to market this headphone as “high resolution” but they are not using upgraded drivers so they are altering the frequency balance to give the illusion of having a higher resolution.
      bidn and ShaggyFi like this.
  8. keanex
    A worthwhile option in the $200 closed headphone range
    Written by keanex
    Published Sep 25, 2015
    Pros - Aesthetics, sub-bass quality and quantity, driver quickness, musicality
    Cons - Midbass bleed, peaky upper mids

    Pros: Stylish aesthetics, removable cable, musicality.
    Cons: Shouty upper mids, rolled off treble, sluggish midbass.
    Tonal Balance: Mild v-shape
    Style: Closed circumaural
    Listening Set-up: Musicbee (WASAPI/FLAC) -> Matrix HPA-3U
    Cost at Time of Review: $220

    Reviewing Process

    I’ve had the MSR7 for approximately a month with daily use being primarily for light jogs through a quiet neighborhood while plugged into my Sansa Clip Zip. I have spent a great deal of time with the MSR7 and feel comfortable sharing my opinion of them, but experience is always better than reading reviews. I encourage all readers to demo products before buying them when able to.
    Thanks to Audio Technica for the review sample.

    Build & Fit

    The MSR7 are constructed of metal and plastic and feel to be built consistent with the general quality of the $200 headphone market. When handled nothing feels overly loose or overly tight and I don’t hear any creaks or groans when making adjustments. The pads and headband appear to be stitched cleanly and securely as well. Nothing about the build stands out as being phenomenal, but I can’t find anything to complain about.
    Comfort is about average in every regard. Downwards force is mild due to the lightness of the body, but the headband padding is thin causing the downwards force to be increasingly noticed over time. Clamping force is enough to be secure without causing a headache, strong enough for a light jog but I wouldn’t trust them with strenuous exercise. The pleather pads are a bit thin, my ears nearly touch the drivers, and could certainly benefit from a bit more padding, I’d be interested in trying the HM5 pads on these actually. Isolation is above average though which makes these great for travelling or in close quarters listening situations.

    Sound Quality

    The MSR7 aims for a balanced sound but it doesn’t quite hit the mark, but the mild v-shape makes for an exciting and genre friendly sound while on the go. Clarity, quickness, and overall bass quality are where the MSR7 shine, all while capable of being driven from even modest portable sources.
    As usual I like to run the Bass Shaker Test first when assessing the bass linearity and quality of the driver. At the press of the button the MSR7 produce a low growl that gradually gains a bit of volume, but overall the bass sounds nearly linear with no signs of unwanted distortion or driver rattle, those are all good signs!
    In real world listening the sub-bass response is quite good; extending cleanly with respectable quickness and weight. Songs that rely on strong sub-bass response are welcome here, there’s no pretense of a sub-woofer, rather silky smooth lows that carry a satisfying weight to them. Controlled and smooth, the sub-bass doesn’t disappoint me in the slightest.
    As a whole the midbass has a few minor flaws: overly prominent, lack of control, and lack of resolution. Let’s break this down and add it all up. To start, the midbass has a mild prominence to it which isn’t necessarily bad on it’s own, but it’s further exaggerated by a dip within the lower midrange. The combination of the two gives the bass notes preference in the soundstage over lower midrange instruments which include frequencies within: male vocals, acoustic piano, acoustic guitar and drums. This is further compounded by driver having a bit of sluggishness within this region, which causes the midbass notes to linger a longer than they ideally should. Lastly, the midbass lacks the clarity to fully convey the texture and quality of the bass notes, adding a subtle one-note quality or muddiness through this range.
    None of these issues are huge, I want to make that clear, it’s simply a perfect storm of each imperfection adding up to distract from the overall clarity and crispness of the midbass. These qualities hurt the nuances heard in band based instruments, but in less nuanced electronic and pop music the midbass is lively with an enjoyable kick to it. The lows are far from horrible for rock, jazz, or other band based music, but the tuning makes them most enjoyable with the likes of Portishead, Jamie xx or Madonna.
    Mids & Highs
    As I talked about above, the midrange has a mild recession which in some cases distracts from the nuances within the lower midrange. Furthermore there’s a peak in the upper midrange, notably within frequency ranges of female vocals, violins and snare drums. This not only adds sibilance, but an unbalanced brightness that makes volume control a bit difficult for affected songs. Two songs that highlight this dilemma are Portishead’s Glory Boxand Kendrick Lamar’s Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe. This peak is followed by and odd treble response that seems rather peaky and rolled off; hi-hats tend to sound quiet within a mix as do some other cymbals, while others sound clear and present.
    Outside of the odd peaks the midrange is clear and quick with a thin leaning tone that’s not too far from natural. Detail retrieval is also relatively good, certainly not comparable to the much more expensive ZMF Blackwood, or the HD600, but resolving enough to be satisfying for on-the-go use. Overall an enjoyable experience.
    There’s no doubt that this is a closed headphone when listening to it. The soundstage is neither wide, nor is it particularly deep, but it’s cohesive in its imaging capabilities. Left/right separation is great and positioning sounds correct to my ears. The soundstage tends to crowd up with more intensive or complex music though as the music sounds as if it’s coming from in front of, rather than around, my head.


    It sounds as if I am being harsh on the MSR7, and perhaps I am undeservedly. I actually quite like the MSR7 as a closed full-sized headphone to use for light walks around the neighborhood. They feel sturdy, have a removable cable, isolate well, and have a pretty versatile and energetic sound signature. The MSR7 are competent closed back headphone with quick drivers, perhaps quicker than the HD600. They lack the refinement of a full-sized open back, but they’re not meant to compete with the HD600 or even the Ad900x for that matter. For what the MSR7 is, it makes for a fine choice and one that I recommend.
      Jeff Y and Light - Man like this.
    1. Light - Man
      Sounds to me like a good honest review! I was considering these but went for the Yamaha HPH-MT220 which I am happy with.
      Light - Man, Sep 26, 2015
  9. LonghornTech
    Buy these for sound and beauty, not for comfort or accessories. Great overall value at $250
    Written by LonghornTech
    Published Mar 6, 2015
    Pros - Excellent refined sound (Details, Soundstage, Clarity), Beautiful matte and chrome finishes, 3 cables
    Cons - Forward treble and mid can be fatiguing, bass could be more powerful, creaking plastic, comfort should be better, no hard case
    I wrote this on Amazon, thought I'd share it with you all. Please, ask questions. 
    Audio Technica has crafted a pair of headphones that might make you second guess your pair of MX50s, or any other headphone in this price range.

    Here is a guide to the ATH-MSR7's examining what they do right and where they fall short.

    + Very "public" friendly (GREAT looking set of headphones)
    + Matte finish on the aluminum housing and nice colored accents as well as chrome touches in several places
    + Brushed chrome slider

    + Outward bulk is as minimal as it can be given the size, no strange gaps, stay pretty flushed to your head
    + Good durability and flexibility
    + They may slide a bit, but they stay on your head if you're walking, turning head quickly.
    + Aluminum casing around the drivers and metal headband look and feel impressive
    + Balanced weight, no manufacturing oddities
    + Earphones twist (the correct way, unlike QC25 which fold outwards if you are wearing them around your neck -.-)
    + Large adjustment range to suit different sized heads
    + Tolerances are all tight and flush
    + Cable has tight fit into left headphone

    - Strange decision to put (LEFT/RIGHT) on outside of headphones. Not that unappealing though...

    - Lots of creaking plastic when expanding headphones (everything except driver housing and slider is plastic)
    - Not foldable
    - Squirmy cable with large jack housing
    - Weight (290g) - not such a big deal
    - Adjustment slider is a bit stiff

    +Earpads are large, fit all the way around your ear
    +Earpad depth is DECENT, some might look for a little more breathing room - ears are VERY close to drivers
    + No sharp parts or anything like that
    + Just enough padding on the headband which wraps around a good portion of it

    - Earpads are not memory foam - they are soft, but why not make them even softer?
    - OK the headband. It's not curved correctly. Out of the box it pressed down onto the top point of your head. Flex it a bit, break it in. NO ISSUES
    - OK the clamping pressure. Again, out of the box it is a bit irritating. Because the earpads are so large, the pressure from the bottom of the earpads was getting to the top of my jaw after about an hour. Again, flex it, break it in, open it, close it, open it. *lots of creaking* It will work out. STILL, pressure is above average for sure.
    - Again, 290 oz is a good amount of weight on someone's head.

    Sound Quality - I'm going to try to keep this simple and unbiased
    + DETAILS. Lots of details.
    + Impressive Clarity, no muffling of vocals
    + Soundstage is impressively wide for a closed back headphone - all instruments and vocals have their own "space"
    + Natural and relatively neutral.
    + Reaches high and low: Good bass, mid and treble presence
    + Tight, focused bass that can drop fairly low

    - NOT a relaxing headphone. Ears seem to work hard with these on, focusing in and out to deal with those upfront mids and trebles especially at higher volumes
    - Bass is not for bassheads or for anyone who is looking for dynamic bass response
    - Because it is closer to neutral than most consumer headphones, it won't sound as full, rather music sounds more separate and clear
    - Flirts with sibilance in the treble - what's this mean? S's sound a bit raspy and sharp

    Neutral - Personal Preference
    = Vocals and treble are very much upfront
    = Mids are emphasized
    = Bass is only present when it needs to be
    =Treble is not smoothed out (more sharp than soothing)

    Isolation/Sound Leakage - A short summary
    - Not great. Isolation average at best. It muffles outside noise, but nowhere nears cancels it. Sound leakage is decent. Better than the QC25's, about the same as UE6000. It's what you expect, not spectacularly worse or better.

    = 3 cables: short, longer, longest. The short one is for your average consumer, comes with inline remote that comes with mic and ability to play/pause, NO VOLUME. Works on Android/iOS
    - Fake leather...Vinyl? well. It's a bag. And that's a shame. It should be a hard or semi-hard carrying case at this price point. It's a nice bag, feels good - the headphone fits fine, but it's still just a bag.

    Sony MDR-1A ($300):
    Boy these looks similar. Well, the Sony is more comfortable by a long shot w/ memory foam earpads, lighter, smaller footprint and no clamping force/headband issues. (it's incredibly comfortable vs. mildly comfortable). The Sony is plastic all the way around though it is arguably better designed. Why? The cable is designed so that it does not run up on your shoulder. The cable has this neat twisting input and most importantly the plastics don't creak. That being said: The MSR7 is arguably more impressive to hold and look at with its matte aluminum driver casings and sturdy build. Sound quality is entirely subjective. They may look the same, but they act differently. Sony is less neutral, much smoother and more relaxing. It lacks the details of the MSR7 and the vocals are a lot more subdued. The bass is very present, and fairly well behaved. The treble and midrange are definitely not as upfront.
    Recommendation: Rap, Metal, R&B, Hard Rock listeners go with the Sony's. Classical, Acoustic, Alternative, Indie: Go with MSR7

    Bose QC25 ($300):
    Just to shorten this, we'll say that the QC25 is about as comfortable as the MDR-1A, they remind me a lot of each other (w/o having had both at the same time). All plastic again. Very light, memory foam, etc. Comes with semi-hard carrying case. Noise cancelling as you well know is very impressive (INCREDIBLE on a plane, not as good with ind. voices). The MSR7 has better clarity, better soundstage, more present mid range and treble. The QC25's are pretty well balanced, with a decent bass (close to MSR7, not as refined) and good mid and treble range, They are still much more relaxing a listen. They are a jack of all trades but a master of one.
    Recommendation: If you plan to wear your headphones in public a lot (loud places), get the QC25, no question. Otherwise, MSR7 sound is more detailed.

    Audio Technica MX50 (~$160 at time of review):
    Here we go. The younger brother (kinda). This one is tough. Well they are similar in many ways. The MSR7 has slightly improved earpads (softer). Clamping force is a little stronger on MSR7. Otherwise, comfort is pretty similar. Build is similar, except you have aluminum instead of plastic, frankly the MSR7 look a lot more "grown up." Weight is similar. The MX50's fold up (That's nice.) MX50 cord is a little better (who cares at this point?). OK, sound: MX50 has more bass, MSR7 has a little more detail and better soundstage. While the MSR7 bass is a little more refined (less boomy) the MX50 bass gives a much more dynamic, better overall impression. MX50 mids and treble not as forward as MSR7, so more relaxing listen.

    Logitech UE6000 (Discontinued, available for $115)
    UE6000, again, is more comfortable. Less so than the Sony's and Bose headphones, but the lighter weight body makes the difference here. Clamping force is also a relief. Overall, the sound is worse than the MSR7. It's not as detailed and much less clear. The bass is just a tad bit more pronounced, but given the lack of clarity, well, it's not worth that loss. Build quality is's plastic again...fabric carrying case (not a bag), comes with headphone slitter which is nice. I should say came with it, these are discontinued.

    Others to recommend in similar category:
    Sennheiser Momentum 1 ($188 at time of review) and Momentum 2 ($350) and Wireless ($500)
    Bowers and Wilkins P5 II ($300) and P7 ($400)
    Bang and Olufsen BeoPlay H6 ($400)
    NAD VISO HP50 ($300)
    Denon AH-D600 (~$300)
    V-Moda M100 ($300)
    and many more...

    Summary: Beautiful design and nice matte black aluminum finish marred by some creaky plastics. The comfort level is a notch below "good" because of the weight (290g), clamping force, and headband pressure. Accessories are OK, 3 cables of varying length and just a cloth bag. Sound quality is excellent, though not relaxing. The mids and treble are very forward and border on fatiguing, especially at higher volumes. That being said, details are excellent, soundstage is impressive, bass does a good job, and nothing sounds unnatural. Isolation and sound leakage are nothing special.

    No point to recommend these to you, because I do not know who "you" are. Facts are facts and preferences are preferences. But these are good headphones. They do a lot of things well. I hope if you read this, you know which direction to go in.

    Here are some other things:
    ***These headphones were tested on a Dell XPS 13 (2014) and LG G3. No amp. Various sources (Google Music, Soundcloud, Youtube, "Hi-Res" audio, Surround sound tests, bass tests, etc.)

    Please feel free to comment and ask questions. I really do hope this helped. If it did, please give me some credit for this exhausting review.

    *EDIT: I will add compatibility with glasses wearing folks in the future...and whatever anyone else would like.

      nimnz and JuSOCOM like this.
    1. Jeff Y
      I had both this and the NAD Viso HP50 and gave this one to my friend as  a birthday present. HP50 is the same price but overall I think it gets rid of all the cons you have there plus the soundstage is bigger.
      Jeff Y, Mar 7, 2015
  10. theminstrel
    Superb sound at a superb price
    Written by theminstrel
    Published Jan 17, 2017
    Pros - Relatively Cheap, beautiful natural tonality, detailed and wide soundstage, loud, stylish, comfy
    Cons - Would be nice if they folded up.. oh well.
    My favorite pair of headphones, and considering I own the Sennheiser HD598s, that is saying something. They look fantastic, very stylish indeed, they are extremely comfortable, infact the ear pads are quite heavenly, although the headband is prone to heating up a bit and could be a little bit thicker in order to distribute the weight around my head. The grip is a bit tighter than on many brands of headphone though never painful for me and provides a great seal that leaks zero sound and isolates external noise very well. The cans themselves should be more than big enough for most ears. They are light enough to be portable but solid enough to feel good quality. They are sturdily built as well. The choice of cables are all very good, thickly insulted in rubber and with pure gold connectors. The Sound quality on these is phenomenal. First, in terms of volume, these are very loud, even at medium volumes, on my relatively under-powered Sony A17 Walkman. Though the listed impedance is a higher-than-usual 35 ohms, these must have very efficient drivers as they can get very loud indeed on portable players and smartphones. An Amp is really never needed for these at all. The actual quality is wonderful, you get an almost perfectly neutral response, although I tend to eq the upper-mid-raange down a little bit as it can get a little bit harsh, and bump up the bass slightly to my taste. The bass is tight, clear and controlled, the mid-range is smooth, full bodied and natural, and treble sparkles sharply without the strange metallic quality some headphones deliver. Detail and clarity is unsurpassed at this price and the sound-stage is wide, deep and precise.
      amigomatt, stalepie and SteveOliver like this.
    1. MarcoGV
      Thank you for the review.  Where did you find them at the "price paid" listed under "Review Details?"
      MarcoGV, Jan 17, 2017
    2. theminstrel
      I got them for £145 which is now $180, on the website, however the sterling is much weaker than it was two years ago so they are now £182
      theminstrel, Jan 17, 2017