Audio Technica ATHES55BK On-Ear Headphones, Black

General Information

Sleek aluminum housing. Large-diameter 40 mm dynamic drivers for outstanding sound. Frequency response: 10Hz - 25kHz. Swivel-lock design is foldable for convenient storage and portability. Sealed design reduces sound leakage. Luxurious earpads for long-wearing comfort. 1.2m OFC cable with gold-plated 3.5mm stereo plug. Includes protective carrying pouch

Latest reviews

Pros: nicely built, low profile look, yet distinguised, fine mids
Cons: no sparkling highs, no padding on headband
There's a lot said on this forum about these cans. Nearly all is positive, which was also the reason for buying them. My conclusion: they REALLY need burn-in and they are fine, but not that good as some here state. Don't get me wrong, I'm an Audio Technica lover, but maybe I was expecting too much. My main cans are W1000. For portable use (and in bed) I mainly used Sennheiser PX200, but the cushions were deteriorating, and instead of replacing them, I decided to treat myself on some new cans. I also own AKG K518 and Sennheiser PX100, but they are less used.
My comparisons:
K518: overbearing bass, scratchy highs, too little mids, too much pressure on the ears. Biggest pro is their high isolation and price.
PX100: woolly bass, a bit too much for me, subdued mids, nice but weak highs. Not very much used because I mainly need isolating cans and these are not isolating at all. Nicely built, very portable.
PX200 (the old version): weak bass, weak highs, very laid back sound sig. Very comfortable, very portable, nicely built, moderate isolation.
Now for these ES55: As you see, I critisize all my cans, so these ES55 are not fairing too bad...And really sparking highs aren't present in all these portable cans. My main problem was the irritating headband, but I took the headband pads off my PX200 and put them on these ES55. Now they are fairly comfortable.
I mentioned the burn-in. What I noticed was that al low volume, the highs went away. I first thought it was just me, or the Fletcher-Munson curve, or my iPod, but in comparison to my other cans it proved to be real. This strange behavior weakened with every hour of burn-in at higher volume.
Conclusion: beautiful, sturdy but light, not much but punchy bass, lively mids, a bit shy on the highs. Fairly comfortable (after mod) and now my main portable cans. When I'm in a really audiophile mood, I just sit down in a comphy chair and put on my W1000...
EDIT: added a picture of my ES55 with the PX100/PX200 headband pads. Comfort goes from 3 stars to 4 stars.
What a coincidence you added your review yesterday! I searched for a review of ES55 but I didn't find yours. Probably because the space between ES and 55.


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