ATH-A500X Impressions Thread
Dec 28, 2012 at 5:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

sacrifice13

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Hey guys, I just got a pair of Audio Technica ATH A500X headphones for Christmas, and seeing as how there is not much info out there at all on these cans I thought I would post some impressions.
* Don't judge too harshly on this review, I still consider myself pretty 'noob-y'.
 
I have been too lazy to take my own photos so here is a stock one:
006.jpg

 
Right off the bat, these things look ALMOST the same as it's big bro the A900X (which is to say, they look incredibly sexy). Considering the A900X get lots of attention I thought it was only fair these got some too.
 
Note: I am using an iPod classic (unamped) as my only source. For reference, my other cans  I own include the Ultrasone HFI-580, Shure SRH-440, ATH-WS55 and the CAL!
 
They have at least 50 hours on them by now so I'm pretty confident these impressions won't change too much, considering I didn't notice that much of a difference between opening them, and now.
 
Build: The build on these is pretty good quality. It's noticeably plastic, but definitely a high quality plastic, and the pads are very good quality pleather, better than anything I currently own. I wouldn't throw these around for fear of snapping one of the rings on the top, but they are pretty sturdy. The cord is fabric-covered which I think is a really nice touch.
 
Comfort: When I first put these on, I was definitely confused as to how they were meant to sit, and how they were possibly going to stay on my head. I think AT designs these things with bigger heads in mind LOL. It took me a couple of days but I am pretty used to the loose fit now. Coming from the tight clamp of the HFI-580 to these was very strange, but I can now say the comfort is absolutely top notch. The only thing I own that beats it is the Sony XB-500. The ear cups are extremely well-padded and quite deep. The driver is angled, but I never feel like my ear is touching it.
 
Isolation: Because of the *somewhat* loose fit, I don't feel the A500X have the best isolation. Definitely better than the CAL! but not as good as the HFI-580.
 
Sound: Now the fun bit! I have to say, these cans took me a while to get used to, for the plain and simple reason that I'm not used to such balanced cans (well, balanced to my ears anyway). I went from the SRH-440 (which I found cold and harsh) to the HFI-580 (which are the opposite of balanced) to the A500X. So overall, I would say the sound is a good mix of 'fun' and 'balanced'. They are amazing all-rounders.
Bass: The bass on these is crazy controlled. Maybe a bit flabby before break-in, but now it's very tight and (to my ears) the quanity is just right. When a song doesn't have heavy bass, these cans won't enhance the bass at all. You will know it's there, but it definitely won't hit you in the face. However, I threw on some house music, and BAM! bass in the face. I was really impressed that these cans could produce such tight, deep bass at so many different quantities (but always great quality). Definitely nowhere near as bassy as the HFI-580, but I would say that's a good thing.
Mids: The reason I bought more Audio Technica headphones is because of the great mids they seem to have, and these are no exception. These are the best mids I have ever heard. I would say the mids are probably the selling point of these headphones. Word of the day : natural. Right now I'm listening to 'Iris' by the Goo Goo Dolls, and I can pick up the strumming sounds better than I ever have been able to before. Vocal reproduction on these is just sublime. Very intimate and rich. So yeah, great mids.
Treble: The treble on the A500X is very inoffensive (for lack of a better word). By this I mean it's definitely present, with great levels of detail, but they are VERY unlikely for anyone to find them fatiguing. I've only detected the smallest hints of sibilance ina few tracks, but that's it. I would say the highs take a back seat to make room for more sweet mids, and I don't have a problem with that at all. Smooth highs make me happy :) 
 
Conclusion: To sum up, I would say these are a really great value. People who are in the entry/mid-fi market should consider these. Definitely trump the HFI-580 in all aspects except bass quanity. I would wager that these also beat the M50 in a few areas as well. Very balanced sound and very easy to listen to, with good levels of detail and extremely natural vocals, I would recommend these to anyone.
 
Dec 28, 2012 at 6:30 AM Post #4 of 26

MalVeauX

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Quote:
There's an aussie shop called addicted to audio that I like to buy stuff from. I got them for $150, but they can probably be had for cheaper around the net.

 
Yikes... I got the A900X for $180. Guess I'll just watch to see if the A500X shows up some where for less after the holidays. The A700X can be had for like $98 on Amazon even. Wonder why the A500X is gouging. Was hoping it was a $50~70 headphone, like it should be.
 
Very best,
 
Jan 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM Post #6 of 26

jjcoolaus

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I just looked on Amazon and the a900x are $219, which is about the same price I can get them for on ebay.

I've already ordered my a500x for $120 and after reading the write up here, I'm keen for them to arrive.

$150 from addicted to audio is a very reasonable price, considering that's the going rate from more popular ebay sellers as well (to Australians incl postage)
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 12:43 AM Post #7 of 26

sacrifice13

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Quote:
I just looked on Amazon and the a900x are $219, which is about the same price I can get them for on ebay.
I've already ordered my a500x for $120 and after reading the write up here, I'm keen for them to arrive.
$150 from addicted to audio is a very reasonable price, considering that's the going rate from more popular ebay sellers as well (to Australians incl postage)

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I did a bit of a mod with them, inspired by the 'paper' mod on the JVC HA-S400 thread.
I just got a bit of paper towel and rolled it up, and stuck it under the pads in the spot where they sit behind your ears. This makes them feel a bit more secure on the head, and to my ears it sounds like it adds a little bit more bass as well, which I am enjoying.
Please post your impressions once you receive them.
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 12:57 AM Post #8 of 26

Mani ATH 87

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I got the a900x for Christmas, I paid just under $300 for them.

Not all of us make purchases online for various reasons, and shopping locally (outside the U.S.) is usually a bit more expensive. I'm usually happy to make purchases at least within the MSRP. 

In Canada headphones tend to be more expensive then they are across the border, and maybe I still live in the stone age but I just like going down to my local shop to rather then buying online and worrying about credit cards, shipping, tracking, worrying etc.
 
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 5:54 AM Post #9 of 26

pogy

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Oh I remember a while a go when you posted Sacrifice13 asking if someone has ATH.A500X!
I am so glad that you like them because I love mine. They are are really a nice pair of headphones and I agree with everything you wrote about them.
 
Your point that they beat ATH-M50 is very good. I own M50 and A500X and have to say that the A500X do everything better than the M50. And in my country you can have them for the same money as ATH-M50.
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 6:32 AM Post #10 of 26

Tangster

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Quote:
 
Yikes... I got the A900X for $180. Guess I'll just watch to see if the A500X shows up some where for less after the holidays. The A700X can be had for like $98 on Amazon even. Wonder why the A500X is gouging. Was hoping it was a $50~70 headphone, like it should be.
 
Very best,

Eurgh. The A900X were £250 ($405) when I bought them, even accounting for Japan-UK shipping at £40, that's pretty silly. Audio Technica's silly euro pricing. The A700X were 1600HK$ (£130) when I got them in summer. Doesn't have the shiny silver ring on the edge of the cup though. I need to try the A500X sometime. Preferably at a more reasonable price than the AT's usually sell here.
 
EDIT: Prices seem to have dropped though. A900X is hovering around £200.
 
May 28, 2013 at 11:29 PM Post #12 of 26

jjcoolaus

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Quote:
Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I did a bit of a mod with them, inspired by the 'paper' mod on the JVC HA-S400 thread.
I just got a bit of paper towel and rolled it up, and stuck it under the pads in the spot where they sit behind your ears. This makes them feel a bit more secure on the head, and to my ears it sounds like it adds a little bit more bass as well, which I am enjoying.
Please post your impressions once you receive them.

 
Well to be honest I received them, thought "oh these sound horrible" and chucked them in the plastic tub where all the unused headphones live.
 
Until Monday when I read about people having the same problem with the A900X, until they did about 20+ hours of burn in, and then the treble and bass really come to life (or so i read).
 
So when I got home from work Monday at 7pm I connected the A500X to my unused Samsung Galaxy S3 4G and started playing music off the SD card - there is a wide range of genres on there from rock to jazz to drum and bass to rap to trance. They stayed on that phone until 5am this morning (a 34 hour burn in) - i checked a couple of times by having a listen during burn in and could hear it made a difference.
 
This morning I left my profile picture headphones at home and brought the A500X to work. I must say i'm impressed. The isolation was enough on the bus but it didn't block out everything - it was nothing like listening to open headphones though. I wanted just slightly less isolation than the DT770s provide for walking through the city and these provide that. Turn the music up a bit and you can't hear anything else anyway so it's all good.
 
Using my HTC One with the Equalizer app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smartandroidapps.equalizer&feature=search_result) - yes i like using equalizers - i found these headphones responded best to the Latin profile, while the treble and bass didn't sound anywhere near as good with the Rock profile (Rock is usually where i leave my DT770s). By using the bass boost I found it gave the A500X a considerable boost in the low end without any distortion which i was really happy about. It's just passable for drum and bass, but I can see I'd get a lot more detail out of the bass with my DT770s, which is OK because that's not what i want to use these for.
 
These headphones are for days when i want to listen to talk radio, jazz, or trance - genres that the DT770 would be totally wasted on - I found the bass in the DT770s far too heavy for trance for example, which is why I wanted to give these headphones another go. As advised by other head fi'ers, i'm going to try and keep using the A500s for another 2 weeks, without using anything else - this will help me to loosen up the earpads a bit (they are still a bit stiff and i'm told that will pass with wear) and get more used to them.
 
After that I will be forced to use my Bose QC15s for 3 weeks, unless i decide to take a 2nd pair of headphones on my holiday - if i do it will be something with a good carrying case, like the PSB M4U2s or V-Moda LP2s.
 
In a few months I plan to buy the A900X, but i'm not sure it's really worth it. I've never owned the x900 line before, i've only gone so far as the 700s when i picked up the ATH-AD700 - they sit permanently on my desk at work as my work headphones. :)
 
The A900X are still $299 at headphones.com.au and addictedtoaudio.com.au and ebay sellers might be flogging fakes. I found a digital camera store online selling them for $189, but it sounds a little too good to be true.
 
I'm just not sure if the $300 purchase to upgrade from A500X to A900X is worth it yet.
 
I'm not sure about this mod - where exactly is the paper towel supposed to go? I'm not sure i need it anyway.
 
May 22, 2014 at 5:31 AM Post #13 of 26

Biff73

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This is my first approach at an audiophile headphone,I bought the ATH-A500X at SGD$148 & I have to say it simply sounds amazing compared to my turtle beach Z22 hwadset which is complete rubbish
 
Jul 24, 2014 at 2:49 AM Post #15 of 26

sacrifice13

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Hope you all are still loving your A500x's. I find that these sound seriously good with any type of music. Definitely my favourite headphones based purely on sound quality.

Also they are sexy as hell
 

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