ATH-ES55 Quick Impressions: Favorite Headphone Under $100
Jun 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


500+ Head-Fier
Jul 18, 2010
I just got the ATH-ES55 and I'm pretty stunned by how much I love these.

Let's get to it. This will be a quick impression. I listened to them for only a few hours.
The best part of the ATH-ES55 is it's fun, engaging, yet balanced sound signature. It's Audio-Technica's famous sound signature, and the ES55 takes a more balanced take compared to the v-shaped M-50 for example.
Bass: The bass is nice, impactful, and very clean. Never obtrusive, and it always has the right amount if not just a little extra to be fun.They extend well and perfectly compliments the overall sound/sound signature.
Mids: Very impressive here. Mids here are a bit forward primarily on the upper mids bringing female vocals and guitars more forward. What I really love is that, the ES55 manages to bring the upper mids forward without any harshness at all whatsoever. As a person who is very sensitive to sibilance, you can trust me when I say the ES55 is very fun without being harsh at all.
Treble: Fascinatingly, the treble on the ES55 is very present and not withheld at all. It's either slightly forward, or just perfectly balanced with the whole sound. There is a very fine level of clarity and detail thanks to the nice treble extension these have.
Overall, the ES55 manages to sound fun and forward without being harsh or obscuring any other sound. Technically it does well enough that it's fun sound signature makes you forget about that stuff and just enjoy the music. It's fun... but balanced. .My favorite type of sound signature and when done right it just sounds so good.  The ES55 does that right in spades. It's also very comfortable, easy to wear for hours and is also in my opinion one of the best looking headphones ever made.
Sadly, I'll be selling these as I'm in dire in need of funds... but do believe it when I say I will buy these again. Perhaps in both colors! (I prefer white)
These deserve way more attention than they get. My favorite headphone under $100 and possibly one of the, if not, the best headphones under $100.
Sound: Fun/forward, but still also balanced. You will never, ever feel like the ES55 is lacking something in sound. It's awesome sound signature makes you forget about technicalities.
If you're not into this sound signature then this score won't make sense to you.
Scale for reference:
Sennheiser HD650 (10/10)
HiFiMan RE-262 (9.4)
HiFiMan Re-Zero (9/10)
ATH-ES55 (9/10)
Fischer Audio DBA-02/ATH-AD700 (8.5/10)
Value: Very comfortable, appealing look, and decent pricing makes the ES55 an easy recommendation every and any time.
$85-100 (9/10)
Street price: less than $80 (10/10)
Jun 24, 2011 at 10:48 PM Post #2 of 8


500+ Head-Fier
Jul 18, 2010
Impression Update 6/24:
I've been listening to the ATH-ES55 because I'm babysitting my cousin and I'm not gonna bring my HD650 rig over here.
And my first impressions weren't lying. These sound SO good.
Nothing much has changed in my impression but what I really noticed is how good the detail retrieval on these are. Seriously I feel like I'm hearing as much detail as I would on my HD650. Clarity is breathtaking and one of the best in this price range, and to be honest better than a lot of headphones I've had or heard before. This made me think of selling my HD650 for a second but now I'd like to find a full-size version of the ES55. If any can recommend me a nice full-size version of the ES55 (particularly the full-size Audio-Technica headphones) please tell me so. 
What made me feel this way was how the ES55 revived A Perfect Circle and Tool's music. Those two are some of my favorite bands and I've listened to all their tunes many many times. When Eulogy by Tool came on, it sounded so lively and energetic I ended up putting the song on full blast just like I used to before I overlistened to Tool's tunes.
Now, I hate to hype these so much and then have someone getting and hating these because of me. I will say that the ES55 is the PERFECT headphone for me. It embodies everything I want in a headphone. Looks, comfort and most importantly SOUND SIGNATURE. I always equalize headphones and I may never even have to equalize the ES55,
I'll tell you right now Sound Signature > all else. If a headphone has the perfect sound signature for you, then nothing will matter anymore like silly technical tidbits you wish your headphone had, like a bigger soundstage. That's why I never complain with the ES55. If you find a headphone with the perfect sound signature for you, you will forget all the flaws of the headphone. I honestly can't think of a flaw with the ES55 and it's because it's sound sig is literally perfect for me. It's literally like ignorant bliss. There are probably flaws with the ES55 but I honestly feel like there are none at the moment.
I can be sure of this though. If you're into ES55's sound signature, then you might possibly be done with headphones. 
If the ES55's sound signature isn't exactly your type, good chances are you'll still like it as the ES55 is very well balanced.
Sound: 8.8/10 -> 9/10
Feb 6, 2012 at 3:26 PM Post #3 of 8


1000+ Head-Fier
Jan 22, 2009
.Thanks for this review , I have a pair and agree 100%.
I cant really fault these, the bass is well 'lovely' , the vocals are presented with such texture, Joanna Newsom sounds sweet and soulful and the treble is never harsh.
Like these more than the ES7 and my zx700.
Mar 4, 2012 at 6:59 AM Post #4 of 8


100+ Head-Fier
Nov 30, 2011
bump for a nice review!!! :D
might be buying these tomorrow!

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