Audio-Technica ATH-R70x - In-Depth Review & Impressions
Jan 23, 2021 at 1:37 AM Post #1,966 of 1,999

Shakmal

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Ouch.. After reading more than 100 pages in this thread, I am pretty convince that I need to order this hp soon... But would really appreciate if anyone here can tell me if it can be a good addition to my existing Ath-wp900 and msr7b. TQ
 
Jan 23, 2021 at 2:30 AM Post #1,967 of 1,999

Magol79

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Ouch.. After reading more than 100 pages in this thread, I am pretty convince that I need to order this hp soon... But would really appreciate if anyone here can tell me if it can be a good addition to my existing Ath-wp900 and msr7b. TQ
I haven't heard the wp-900. But I used to have the MSR7 and the R70x will be a really good complement to those. Different sound signatures.
 
Jan 24, 2021 at 5:50 PM Post #1,969 of 1,999
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It’s called listening to music when you’re not really in the mood or conversely simply lusting for a new sound signature.

Yup, some days simply don't have what it takes to enjoy music :p

I’m pretty sure it’s not that for two reasons. 1. The change was instant in the middle of a song. 2. When I exchanged the first pair there was a crossover period where I listened to the two different pairs back to back and there was a noticeable difference

That's very odd.
 
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Jan 29, 2021 at 6:53 PM Post #1,970 of 1,999

TomD

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I've recently tried the 400i 2020 and the HD 560s. Both have QC issues, I loved the hd 560s. Would I be able to drive the ATH-R70x on a heresy and modi 3+ ? Would these sound good for hiphop listening and playing games
 
Jan 29, 2021 at 8:16 PM Post #1,971 of 1,999

Trikiay

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I've recently tried the 400i 2020 and the HD 560s. Both have QC issues, I loved the hd 560s. Would I be able to drive the ATH-R70x on a heresy and modi 3+ ? Would these sound good for hiphop listening and playing games
I don’t own them right now, but when I had the R70X, I used to drive them off an Atom and they would sound pretty dope at high gain, so you’re good to go on that aspect. As for your other questions, I remember them being pretty good for hip-hop and although I’m not a gamer really, I would assume they sound good for games cause of their wide soundstage and precise imaging. I highly recommend these cans, they are absolutely worth their weight in gold (not that it isn’t much, considering how light they are but you get the point).
 
Jan 29, 2021 at 11:10 PM Post #1,972 of 1,999

prozonelayer

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I've recently tried the 400i 2020 and the HD 560s. Both have QC issues, I loved the hd 560s. Would I be able to drive the ATH-R70x on a heresy and modi 3+ ? Would these sound good for hiphop listening and playing games
I drive the R70x on a heresy and modi 3 and have no issues at low gain, but my ears are pretty sensitive, others in this thread use a magni 3+ at high gain. I listen to a lot of hip-hop and play FPS games on them and the R70x are great for both. The bass is full but doesn't overpower and the soundstage is great for music and gaming. Another great thing is I can wear them all day without issue, oftentimes I will listen to music while working all day and then game for a few hours at night and I never feel like I need to get the R70x off my head.
 
Feb 3, 2021 at 1:50 AM Post #1,973 of 1,999

RyanX

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Hello,

i am very interested in the R70x. I ordered the 58x but it takes a long time to reach me in Europe so I‘ll maybe cancel it if the r70x is the better alternative.

- Does it work with the Smsl Sh-9?

- I don‘t have speakers. I use a headphone for gaming, watching tv and listening to music. Do do you think a lightweight like the r70x is a big advantage in comparison to the Clear?

- Is the r70x good for rock, metal and movies?

- Does a AQ Nighthawk make sense as second headphone to have an
opposite / a different sounding?

I will decide between HD58x, Nighthawk, Clear, Emu Teak and this one.
I own hd560s for about a month now and I just got the r70x today...
Build & Comfort
r70x feels better in the hand...doesn't mean it's more robust than hd560s, but it does look a lot more "high-end", and it does not attract finger print.
r70x also have lighter clamp and lighter, but the earcup is a little small, it's just big enough for me, my ear looks pretty average sized I would say.
I would say r70x is more comfortable if your ear is not big...but I could image hd560s to be at the same level of comfort after loosing up the clamp

Sound:
r70x and hd560s both pretty neutral, with similar staging and imaging. hd 560s might have a little bit more detail, but it could just be it's has a more analytical tuning, either way, hd560s does sounds a little more clearer to me.
but r70x is smoother, very easy to listen to, it could be called "relaxed sound" by many I would say. it have a little bit more mid bass than hd560s, but does not extend well into the sub-bass region. so not much slam.
hd 560s is brighter, still in the neutral range to me, it's not as bright as dt990 or even dt880 that I've once owned. it reaches lower in sub-bass region than r70x, but still not for bass head, or anyone who listens mainly to bass heavy music, but it's definitely on the deeper side for open back headphones in general, and I tried to eq the bass for hd560s, and it responds to eq quite well, and hit quite hard.

TL,DR:
r70x for smoother, longer music enjoyment, it's the more "hi-fi" sounding headphone, and it's harder to drive.
hd560s for analytical music listening / working, it's the "reference" sounding headphone, relatively easy to drive.

(P.S. hd560s is a rather versatile headphone, it's easy to drive and single side cable provides extra value as a one pair of open-back for all solution, I use hd560s on my digital piano, and my oculus quest VR headset, both of which have quite weak power output, it can probably be driven well by most DSLR camera headphone output).
 
Feb 18, 2021 at 12:56 AM Post #1,975 of 1,999

Fidelity King

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I've had my R70X for about a month and although I enjoyed their sound, I always felt as though there was something holding the headphones back. Even with high gain on my THX 789, the R70X still felt as though it was holding back. I recently got a balanced cable from SurfCables and this made a NOTICEABLE difference. I'm not even running my 789 from a balanced dac and am using cheap RCA cables, but nonetheless, this made a significant improvement. Resolution and detail increased by around 15% and bass sounds faster. Once I get my Schiit Modius I will post an in-depth review and will do a comparison of how they sound single-ended vs balanced.

I think that if you buy the R70X and run it balanced, you'll have to spend a considerable amount more in order to get significantly better sound from your system.

As many have already mentioned, the R70X is underrated.
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 7:46 PM Post #1,976 of 1,999

soundknight21

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Features & Specifications


ATH-R70x with its utilitarian design weighs only 210 grams. It is very light, but it feels tough. It seems to be able to handle frequent use in professional applications. Durability is not something easy to test, I cannot do drop test on this demo set, or to test how strong is the cable until it breaks. So durability is only through visual and some hands-on observation. I've brought it with me in my back pack, using semi-hard case, several times, so not only using it at home. I have no issue with the build quality so far.

The following is weight comparisons without cables, with other headphones in this review. ATH-R70x is simply the lightest.

Audio-Technica R70x : 210 grams
Sennheiser HD 800 : 330 grams
Beyerdynamic T 1 : 350 grams
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro : 295 grams
Philips Fidelio X1 : 300 grams





ATH-R70x is light, fits well, and also stays well in position. The metal headband can be bent to some degree, for better comfort and fit. I think bendable headband is a good feature to adjust the headband pressure. My concern is probably more on the headband size. My head size is probably around medium to large. T1 has 9 clicks of headband adjustment, 9 clicks left and 9 clicks right. I set it to 4 clicks both left and right for my head. The rest of 5 clicks is approximately another 2 cm on each left and right side of the headband, total of 4 cm allowance left for larger size head. With ATH-R70x, when I pushed it to the max, I estimate like there is only around 1 cm left for each side. That means probably only around 2-2.5 cm allowance left for larger head. So for users that usually need to use T1 at their maximum headband reach, please take note of this.





I highly recommend professional headphone to have detachable cable, to easily replace the cable when it spoil. not only that, when working on very large mixing console, longer cable or long coiled cable will be required. But sometime on small desk, too long cable is annoying. Detachable cable makes it easier to use the right cable to suit the working environment. ATH-R70x cable is dual-sided, each using a locking 2.5 mm TRS jack. Quoted from Audio-Technica website:
"dual-sided detachable cable that automatically maintains proper stereo orientation (no matter how it’s attached)"
The stock cable, carries both left and right channels on each side. The 2.5 mm socket on each driver only wired to one of the channel, so it doesn't matter how the cable is connected, left driver only connected to the left channel, and right channel only connected to right channel.




Well, it looks like a clever approach, but so far I have never heard users have problem with connecting cable correctly to the left & right drivers. So, looks like a solution to a problem that never been really a problem in the first place. Well, YMMV. My concern is more to the Left and Right marking that kind of obscured. For me clear Left and Right marking is more important than the cable feature above. Since the Left and Right marking are not clear, I have to rely on the different thickness of the area of the earpads to identify the right orientation. The back side of the earpads is thicker than the front side. Later on my DIY cable, I simply use red colour shrink tube on the right cable for easy identification.




Back to the cable, unfortunately, not like the ATH-Mx series which come with various cables, long, short, & coiled, ATH-R70x only comes with one 3 meters long straight cable. The cable is too long for my home use; therefore I made my own cable for ATH-R70x. I use LyxPro LCP Quad Series microphone cable (4 wires) I bought from Amazon, with locking 2.5 mm TRS jack I bought from Lunashop. The 2.5 mm jack fits & locks nicely.












Most of the impressions in this review are using my DIY cable. I'm quite annoyed with the stock cable, it is too long. I suggest Audio-Technica to include shorter cable for ATH-R70x. The DIY cable sounds a tad better, a tad more transparent, just a tad. The stock cable is fine, just too long for me.


The earpads are smaller than the rest of the headphones in comparison. Still comfortable, but I do prefer a little larger and deeper earpads for better comfort. ATH-R70x earpads touch my pinna lightly, not up to uncomfortable level, but larger earpads would be more comfortable. In comparison with Beyerdynamic T1 earpad below, T1 earpad inner diameter is around 5.8 cm, and ATH-R70x earpad inner diameter is around 5 cm.




Without earpad, the driver frame is actually quite thin.







Loudness Comparisons

Loudness comparison showing the approximate requirement of output voltage for the headphones to produce equal loudness. I use 85 dB pink noise (0 dBFS) generated using Audacity, to compare loudness between the headphones. I use AudioTool app on my Samsung Galasy S4 with Dayton Audio iMM-6 calibrated measurement microphone (with the calibration file from Dayton Audio). Setup shown previously on White Noise measurement.

The reason why I use Pink Noise for loudness measurement, Pink Noise loudness translates better to my general music listening volume, better than White Noise and Sine tune. Meaning, when I set the volume to 85 dB Pink Noise, the volume is more or less the same as the listening volume I set to listen some of my reference albums (Linn Records, Channel Classics, David Manley Recordings, etc.). Beside that White Noise and Sine tune are quite irritating to my ears.

After the Pink Noise measurement, then I play 100 Hz Sine (0 dBFS) to measure the output voltage of the amplifier. All loudness measurement is done using Yulong DA8. Yulong DA8 digital volume is easier for volume level reading and accuracy. Output voltage measured using Owon VDS3102 digital oscilloscope, unloaded.

Audio-Technica R70x
Yulong DA8 volume reading : -18.5 dB
Digital oscilloscope reading : 0.79 Vrms / 2.28 Vpp

Sennheiser HD 800
Yulong DA8 volume reading : -18.0 dB
Digital oscilloscope reading : 0.84 Vrms / 2.40 Vpp

Beyerdynamic T 1
Yulong DA8 volume reading : -15.0 dB
Digital oscilloscope reading : 1.18 Vrms / 3.40 Vpp

Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro (600)
Yulong DA8 volume reading : -10.0 dB
Digital oscilloscope reading : 2.11 Vrms / 6.00 Vpp

Philips Fidelio X1
Yulong DA8 volume reading : -28.0 dB
Digital oscilloscope reading : 0.26 Vrms / 0.76 Vpp

As you can see, the output voltage requirement of ATH-R70x is pretty close to HD 800. So far, playing a soft sounding recording at pretty loud volume (not recommended), 6.6 Vrms / 18.8 Vpp is the maximum output voltage required. iBasso DX90 has maximum output voltage of 2.69 Vrms / 7.6 Vpp, so far, generally quite adequate for ATH-R70x. This output voltage measurement is useful when looking for a headphone amplifier for ATH-R70x. Get an amplifier with at least 5 Vrms maximum output for ATH-R70x. Or if you have a lot of soft sounding recording collections, 7 Vrms would be a safer choice.



I really had good times with ATH-R70x, and I really enjoyed it. One of the best headphone for long sessions. Hope this review would be useful for the readers. Once again congratulation to Audio-Technica for this nice sounding open-back reference headphone!



Specifications


Type: Open-back reference
Driver Diameter: 45 mm
Frequency Response: 5 - 40,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mW at 1 kHz
Sensitivity: 99 dB
Impedance: 470 ohms
Weight: 210 g (7.4 oz), without cable and connector
Accessories Included: Protective carrying pouch
Cable: 1 x 3m included; Detachable with 2.5 mm TRS connector











Equipment used in this review:


Headphones:
Audio-Technica ATH-R70x (loan demo set)
Beyerdynamic T 1
Beyerdynamic DT 880
Philips Fidelio X1
Sennheiser HD 800
Sennheiser HD 650

DACs & Headphone Amplifiers:
Audio-Technica AT-HA22TUBE
iBasso DX90
ifi micro iDSD (firmware 4.06)
ifi micro iCan
Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC (firmware 1.8.1)
Violectric HPA V200
Yulong DA8
Yulong A28

Cables:
Atlas Equator MKIII Integra RCA cable (0.5m)
Forza Claire Hybrid RCA (8 inch) (loan from @igndenny - Thanks a lot! Very nice sounding RCA cable!)
Pangea Audio - USB cable - PCOCC & 4% silver - 2 Meters
QED Reference Audio Evolution XLR cable (DIY 40 cm cable)
Some DIY cables

Computer & Player:
DIY Desktop PC: Gigabyte GA-H77-D3H-MVP motherboard, Intel i7-3770, 16 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1.
foobar2000 v1.3.3

Measurement Instrument & Application:
Dayton Audio iMM-6 calibrated measurement microphone
Samsung Galaxy S4 (SHV-E330K) - Android 4.4.2
AudioTool v6.3 for Android
Owon VDS3102 USB Digital Oscilloscope




Some recordings used in this review:

For anybody interested in wiring themselves or getting a designer cable for these the cable schematic is such:
Main Tip - tip left - tip right
Main Ring - ring left - ring right
Main Sleeve - sleeve left - sleeve right

As you can see it's diabolically simple, and it's design means that the left right separation which is constant no matter which cable goes to which socket happens inside the can itself.

I ordered a mimic cable for it and we had some back and forth because it did not work so I took the original oem cable to my local tech guru / amp repair guy and he gave me this info. The mimic is getting rewired as I write this.

I was also getting the same readings on my own meter but didn't know how to interpret it as I'm a novice. Thanks to Colin Simpson.
 

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Feb 21, 2021 at 2:40 PM Post #1,978 of 1,999

Hooster

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I've had my R70X for about a month and although I enjoyed their sound, I always felt as though there was something holding the headphones back. Even with high gain on my THX 789, the R70X still felt as though it was holding back. I recently got a balanced cable from SurfCables and this made a NOTICEABLE difference. I'm not even running my 789 from a balanced dac and am using cheap RCA cables, but nonetheless, this made a significant improvement. Resolution and detail increased by around 15% and bass sounds faster. Once I get my Schiit Modius I will post an in-depth review and will do a comparison of how they sound single-ended vs balanced.

I think that if you buy the R70X and run it balanced, you'll have to spend a considerable amount more in order to get significantly better sound from your system.

As many have already mentioned, the R70X is underrated.

What is holding them back is the stock cable. There is a large benefit in using a higher quality after market cable, single ended or balanced. I think it is more about the difference between stock and after market cables than it is about balanced vs single ended.
 
Feb 21, 2021 at 2:43 PM Post #1,979 of 1,999

Hooster

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For anybody interested in wiring themselves or getting a designer cable for these the cable schematic is such:
Main Tip - tip left - tip right
Main Ring - ring left - ring right
Main Sleeve - sleeve left - sleeve right

As you can see it's diabolically simple, and it's design means that the left right separation which is constant no matter which cable goes to which socket happens inside the can itself.

I ordered a mimic cable for it and we had some back and forth because it did not work so I took the original oem cable to my local tech guru / amp repair guy and he gave me this info. The mimic is getting rewired as I write this.

I was also getting the same readings on my own meter but didn't know how to interpret it as I'm a novice. Thanks to Colin Simpson

I went through the same process myself. I taught a manufacturer in China how to make cables for the r70x. :smile_phones:
 

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