2017 Audio Technica new flagship ATH-ADX5000

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by seeteeyou, Aug 11, 2017.
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  1. headr
    Sorry, should have clarified. I was speaking about US availability (and pricing). The press release came from Audio Technica US, just last month (mid November) and seemed to indicate availability in the US in December. I guess they slipped until January and we can expect them during the wider world wide launch at the same time.
  2. Witcher
    yes, probably so. I was told by Audio Technica (SEA) that there's a launch event in Jan 2018.
    Mshenay likes this.
  3. earfonia
    Here is my review of ATH-ADX5000:

    I really like it! Great headphones!

    Soundstage is accurate! Laser focus instrument placing and separation. But probably due to the distance of the driver to the ears, it doesn't feel more spacious than HD800. I wrote some comparison with HD800 and HD800S in my review.

    Agree to this. Although ADX5000 may exhibit sibilant with bright recordings, but I would blame the recordings rather than the ADX5000. The detail and clarity of ADX5000 are simply amazing! One of the most revealing headphone I've ever tried. Bad recordings will be bluntly exposed.

    I let 2 of my audiophile friends to give a quick try of ATH-ADX5000, and here are their initial impressions (take note of the equipment that they used for the quick test):

    RIG: Sony Xperia Z5 (digital out) -> Chord Dave -> Auris HA2

    Test tracks (and what I listen for):
    Lorde - Team (vocals, bass)
    Adele - He Won't Go (vocals, instruments, layering)
    Daft Punk - Giorgio by Moroder (bass, dynamics, PRaT)
    John Mayer - Helpless (upper mids, sibilance, treble)
    Kendrick Lamar - These Walls (vocals, PRaT)
    The Eagles - Hotel California, Learn To Be Still (staging, timbre, vocals)
    Martin O'Donnell - Flood Rising (Staging, instruments, presentation)

    Bass: Tasteful, impactful and with a healthy rumble. Good extension and very tight, though definitely not as full as the Utopia, but has more body than the HD800.
    Mids: leaner lower mids then the HD800 and Utopia, but fuller and sweeter upper mids. Might come across shouty/sibilant on tracks with strong female vocals. Male vocals are lean, but not distant.
    Treble: Quite linear, inoffensive, although it can bright by characteristic of ATH's house sound. Sibilance might be an issue, although it didn't bother me with this amp pairing. Great airiness and extension.
    Soundstage: not as wide as HD800, but more spherical, with a very pleasant presentation. Utopia is similar, but slightly smaller in sound stage. Positional cues are stunningly accurate.
    Imaging: Clear and accurate. Layering is distinct, instruments can be individually picked out with ease, and has its own sense of space. Very analytical in this regard, might come off too lifeless on some tracks as it destroys the intimacy. On orchestral pieces, it's stellar, but some other songs sound too dissected and lean to sound pleasant.
    Timbre: Instrumental timbre is not as organic as Utopia, as it's got fast attack and fast decay, which might come off too artificial on slower songs, and makes it quite energetic on fast ones.

    Pairing: Benefits hugely from warm tube amps, the distortion makes it very enjoyable. Not very hard to drive, not too picky to pair, although I’ve yet to try with more amps.

    Comfort: rather comfortable by virtue of the weight itself, as it is so light, it feels there is almost nothing clamping down. Clamp force is higher than both Utopia and HD800, and gives it a secure fit, so the drivers don't move around, unlike the heavier Utopia and looser HD800. Might bother those with sensitive heads. Pads are round pads, so not all ears might fit. HD800 still wins in ergonomics and comfort, but ADX5000 wins in lightness.

    Build Quality: reminiscent of AT stuff in general, the use of plastics makes it light and sturdy, but unfortunately, it makes the headband very prone to creaking and flex, and on the review loaner, it creaks - a lot. Cable is supple, and fairly sturdy.

    Overall: Overall impressions, these are one of the most analytical pair of headphones in the realm of TOTL, where many aim to be different and musical. Revealing, clean and accurate, it's one that would favour those who enjoy loads of detail and a presentation that is precise. Where the Utopia and HD800(with some amps) are more geared towards musical enjoyment and lounging, the ADX5000 is made for music to be revealing and uncensored. It presents everything there is to hear, including all the flaws.

    ATH-ADX5000 First Impressions (as with all impressions, please do take this with a pinch of salt and do note that my experience may be different to yours.)

    Audio chain: Onkyo DP-X1A -> ifi iDSD BL (digital in) -> ATH-ADX5000
    Test Tracks:
    -Kaga Misaki
    -Hiryuu’s Counterattack
    -Akizuki no Sora
    - Inochi Moya****e Koi Seyo Otome
    -Sister’s noise (Orchestral)

    Notes: I’m comparing it to the HD800.
    Bass: As fast as the HD800, but with much more texture. I personally quite like it.
    Mids: More dynamic and lively, less sterile. However, it does get quite shouty and sibilant on most female vocals.
    Treble: Overly sparkly, very shimmery. The sheer amount of treble does mask some micro-details in the upper mids and treble regions.
    Overall: Incredibly good detail retrieval, more aggressive than the HD800. In fact, the HD800 sounds smother compared to the ADX5000. Transients are really nice.
    Soundstage: HD800 wins in terms of size. No competition there. However, the ADX5000 is more ‘organic’ and ‘intimate’, if you will.
    N.B: Left cup does creak quite a bit while moving my jaw around or even stretching it. The right side does this as well, but to a smaller extent. This is unacceptable for a product that costs 2000 USD. Not reflecting well on its flagship status IMO. Also, how it sits on your head will really affect the sound, which is something that occurs to a much lesser extent with the HD800.
    Ergonomics: Decent clamp force, doesn’t move around on my head.
    Final thoughts: It’s pretty good, but at this price point I personally would go for the Kennerton Odin.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    Wilashort, Sp12er3, Pokemonn and 2 others like this.
  4. FastAndClean
    hd800 successor
  5. Witcher
    Interesting. My set has no creaking issues. quite well built I must say. My HD800S feels like an elephant next to this. But I agree that it's a very unforgiving headphone.
  6. davidf
    I’m really missing the set I reviewed. Can’t wait to get a set back in - I’ll probably end up taking them home!
  7. Witcher
    I hear you. I switched back to my HD800S after an extended period with the ADX5000. I’m itching to switch back! The funny thing is, the HD800S actually sounds “relaxed” by comparison, if you can believe that. Hahahaha!
  8. earfonia
    Oh that's good news! I hope the creaking headband is only on the demo unit that I reviewed.
  9. Witcher
    Did you check the serial number? Mine is 02xx. If that set was an earlier set, it could’ve been just a prior abuse issue?
  10. omniweltall
    Doesn't look USD2000.
  11. headr
    I take it these aren't particularly hard to drive? A lower powered tube amplifier should do the job just fine?
  12. davidf
    The difference in the presentation of the ADX5000s was quite different between using a Moon 230HAD and the headphone output of my Classé Sigma SSP, which is down to the ability of those amplifiers to drive them properly - a bit like some speakers that may not necessarily be hard to drive, but need a quality amplifier in order to sound great.
  13. davidf
    They sound it though.
  14. FrostyP
    Anyone have an ATH- A1000z to compare? I know they'll be very different due to the nature of open vs closed but I love what the A1000z does with female vocals and impressions are making it sound like the ADX5000 might not be to my preference
  15. Witcher
    They do need a little more juice than the HD800s at least, but not by much. I do know that at 12dB gain on my iFi Audio iCan SE, I can max out the volume, and the ADX5000 is still listenable. lol!
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