Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7b Impressions & Discussion Thread
Nov 14, 2018 at 7:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1,050

Nikolay Vutov

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Audio-Technica has announced new Hi-Res closed-back “Sound Reality” headphones ATH-MSR7b as an upgrade of the award-winning ATH-MSR7.
They are available in black and gunmetal.


ath_msr7b_bk_1_sq.jpg
ath_msr7b_gm_1_sq.jpg


The ATH-MSR7b headphones give you the latest in high-resolution headphone technology, combining the advanced features of the original ATH-MSR7 with both standard and balanced connection options for the ultimate portable listening experience.

These headphones are equipped with 45 mm True Motion Drivers with diamond-like carbon coated diaphragms to deliver distortion-free audio reproduction with extended frequency response. The headphones also feature Multi-layer Air Damping Technology that reduces unwanted vibration and controls the airflow for superior audio clarity. Completing the package are two detachable Y-type cables with A2DC (Audio Designed Detachable Coaxial) connectors. One cable is equipped with a standard 3.5 mm 3-pole stereo mini-plug, and the other has a 4.4 mm 5-pole balanced mini-plug, allowing you to use the MSR7b headphones with the latest high-spec audio players.

They are outfitted with soft memory foam earpads and headband for ultimate comfort. Stainless steel acoustic mesh resistor provides improved high-frequency response, while bass acoustic resistor delivers accurate low-frequency response.



Frequency Response: 5 - 50,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 101 dB/mW
Impedance: 36 ohms​
 
Nov 14, 2018 at 10:27 PM Post #3 of 1,050
Hopefully the 'b' stands for 'bass', which the originals were completely lacking. :rolling_eyes:
Hopefully the 'b' stands for 'bacon'!
 
Nov 15, 2018 at 3:32 AM Post #4 of 1,050
Hopefully the 'b' stands for 'bass', which the originals were completely lacking. :rolling_eyes:

I hope for the same. I'll give them a review when I get them (as soon as they are released).
Audio-Technica said that this would happen by the end of this month. I can't wait :D
 
Nov 17, 2018 at 7:13 PM Post #5 of 1,050
Note: This post is inaccurate. It turns out these are not the new "b" version.
However, they do fit me, as described.

Sorry for any confusion.

____________________

I bought a set of these - in black - from Amazon, and they arrived yesterday.

Right here, at the outset, I'll mention my main reason for this post >
these headphones fit very nicely. :slight_smile:

These are my third set. First was about a year ago. Liked the sound a whole lot,
but they were way too tight. Wanted to keep them, but after a week or so realized
it was futile; I could not wear them for more than a few minutes at a time. I faced
up and reluctantly returned them.

That nice sound stayed in my mind, though, and about 6 months later I bought
them again in the hope that perhaps something in the fit had changed for the
better. But, of course, there was nothing doing in that regard. The fit was most
uncomfortable, bordering on unbearable. And once again I felt there was no
realistic option but to return them, which I did.

Still, though, I was on the prowl for (another) set of closed headphones.
Even though I had some good ones...well, you know how it is.

Picking up the pace of my search, and not looking for Focal's or
Fostex 900's etc., I just kept running into glowing recommendations
for the ATH MSR7's. (I wasn't at all aware that they had been newly
tweaked). They were only $219. from Mr. Bezos & company, no tax,
no shipping cost because of Prime. (We all have Prime by now,
I guess - don't we?)

Deciding to give them one more try, I placed the order.
Upon their arrival, I opened the box - all appeared to be
the same as the previous two pairs I'd bought and had to
return. Wincing at the memory of the tight fit, I put them on.
Gently.

And they fit! :grinning::grey_exclamation::white_check_mark:
Very well indeed.
Had AT really heeded the call of their customers - and
potential customers - regarding the overly tight clamping
fit of these otherwise excellent headphones?

I couldn't quite believe this turn of events; but there was no doubt
that it was so. Which was a very cool thing indeed.
After wearing them a while, I decided to actually listen to some music.
The sound was outstanding. These were/are definitely keepers.

Just wanted to let the community know about this quite
consequential tweak to the ATH-MSR7's (and hoping it
hasn't already been noted.)
 
Last edited:
Nov 17, 2018 at 10:24 PM Post #8 of 1,050
Hi guys, I was on a short trip to Tokyo last week and picked up a pair of these.
I also own a pair of the original MSR7s.
I believe the "b" stands for balanced as it is one of the biggest changes over the original MSR7s.
However I don’t have a balanced setup yet so the impressions below is without balanced.

Some first week impressions:

1. Comfort
Easily the best improvement over the originals.
Weight is significantly less and so is the clamp.
Out-of-the-box clamp was less than my already stretched out MSR7s.
Softness of the pads kind of remind me of the Sony 1A line,
but there is still some AT-ish clamp to it.
I somehow like this fit over the 1AM2 because of the more secure feel.

2. Design
Noticeably smaller profile than the originals, and the headband is much thinner but much softer.
I though the design choice of extending the colors all the way around would look cheap,
but they look really good in person.

3. Sound
Very similar signature to the MSR7s,
but bass to me sounds a bit deeper and more detailed.
Vocals (mids) were a bit recessed and therefore sounded a bit dark out of the box,
but they quickly brightened up after some listening.
Mids and highs are clean as before and imaging is outstanding,
but the overall sound is a bit smoother than the MSR7s.
A good improvement for those who found the original being a bit harsh,
and overall I'd say it's a well polished version of the MSR7s.
They're definitely still not for bassheads, AT has the solid bass line for that.
But overall I find it a good successor to the MSR7s with improvements in the right areas.

Also I'd like to mention that they come with a really different carrying pouch this time,
IMO much better than the bags AT used to throw in.
 
Last edited:
Nov 17, 2018 at 10:34 PM Post #9 of 1,050
Hi guys, I was on a short trip to Tokyo last week and picked up a pair of these.
I also own a pair of the original MSR7s.
I believe the "b" stands for balanced as it is one of the biggest changes over the original MSR7s.
However I don’t have a balanced setup yet so the impressions below is without balanced.

Some first week impressions:

1. Comfort
Easily the best improvement over the originals.
Weight is significantly less and so is the clamp.
Out-of-the-box clamp was less than my already stretched out MSR7s.
Softness of the pads kind of remind me of the Sony 1A line,
but there is still some AT-ish clamp to it.
I somehow like this fit over the 1AM2 because of the more secure feel.

2. Design
Noticeably smaller profile than the originals, and the headband is much thinner but much softer.
I though the design choice of extending the colors all the way around would look cheap,
but they look really good in person.

3. Sound
Very similar signature to the MSR7s,
but bass to me sounds a bit deeper and more detailed.
Vocals (mids) were a bit recessed and therefore sounded a bit dark out of the box,
but they quickly brightened up after some listening.
Mids and highs are clean as before and imaging is outstanding,
but the overall sound is a bit smoother than the MSR7s.
A good improvement for those who found the original being a bit harsh,
and overall I'd say it's a well polished version of the MSR7s.
They're definitely still not for bassheads, AT has the solid bass line for that.
But overall I find it a good successor to the MSR7s with improvements in the right areas.

Also I'd like to mention that they come with a really different carrying pouch this time,
IMO much better than the bags AT used to throw in.
I'm probably in. What will these retail for?
 
Nov 18, 2018 at 4:50 AM Post #13 of 1,050
Do they still creak as bad as the MSR7 did? The MSR7SE I had previously did not have this problem. I have had both versions.
They do creak a tiny bit, but far from what the MSR7s had. I had one of the early units of the MSR7s and they could creak a bit even when I moved my head; MSR7bs sometimes creak a little when being adjusted or stretched but once on the head it doesn’t happen.

Honestly the MSR7 creaking didn’t really bother me, but it’s definitely nice to have it gone.
 
Nov 18, 2018 at 4:59 AM Post #14 of 1,050
Hi guys, I was on a short trip to Tokyo last week and picked up a pair of these.
I also own a pair of the original MSR7s.
I believe the "b" stands for balanced as it is one of the biggest changes over the original MSR7s.
However I don’t have a balanced setup yet so the impressions below is without balanced.

Some first week impressions:

1. Comfort
Easily the best improvement over the originals.
Weight is significantly less and so is the clamp.
Out-of-the-box clamp was less than my already stretched out MSR7s.
Softness of the pads kind of remind me of the Sony 1A line,
but there is still some AT-ish clamp to it.
I somehow like this fit over the 1AM2 because of the more secure feel.

2. Design
Noticeably smaller profile than the originals, and the headband is much thinner but much softer.
I though the design choice of extending the colors all the way around would look cheap,
but they look really good in person.

3. Sound
Very similar signature to the MSR7s,
but bass to me sounds a bit deeper and more detailed.
Vocals (mids) were a bit recessed and therefore sounded a bit dark out of the box,
but they quickly brightened up after some listening.
Mids and highs are clean as before and imaging is outstanding,
but the overall sound is a bit smoother than the MSR7s.
A good improvement for those who found the original being a bit harsh,
and overall I'd say it's a well polished version of the MSR7s.
They're definitely still not for bassheads, AT has the solid bass line for that.
But overall I find it a good successor to the MSR7s with improvements in the right areas.

Also I'd like to mention that they come with a really different carrying pouch this time,
IMO much better than the bags AT used to throw in.

I’d also like to add that I own a AT-WLA1 from Audio Technica as well, which is basically the wire part of traditional bluetooth IEMs, and can be connected to any headphone with A2DC connection. I am really surprised by how well it works with the MSR7bs. WLA1 is made for IEMs so output is relatively weak, but can drive MSR7b almost to full power due to the MSR7bs being very efficient. The MSR7b being harder to drive than IEMs also makes white noise not an issue at all. Being able to use with Bluetooth really makes the MSR7b a very versatile pair for me.
B997D1F8-E9B2-4E45-A59E-B084288A6AFC.jpeg


Only thing to be careful with is the WLA1 connectors are thin as it was designed for IEMs, so attaching/detaching it from the MSR7b requires some extra care.
 
Last edited:
Nov 18, 2018 at 6:24 AM Post #15 of 1,050
I’d also like to add that I own a AT-WLA1 from Audio Technica as well, which is basically the wire part of traditional bluetooth IEMs, and can be connected to any headphone with A2DC connection. I am really surprised by how well it works with the MSR7bs. WLA1 is made for IEMs so output is relatively weak, but can drive MSR7b almost to full power due to the MSR7bs being very efficient. The MSR7b being harder to drive than IEMs also makes white noise not an issue at all. Being able to use with Bluetooth really makes the MSR7b a very versatile pair for me.


Only thing to be careful with is the WLA1 connectors are thin as it was designed for IEMs, so attaching/detaching it from the MSR7b requires some extra care.

From where you get them?
 

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