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Audio-Technica ATH-R70x - In-Depth Review & Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by earfonia, May 2, 2015.
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  1. Tomkat85
    Hello Domie, thanks for your thoughts re: the HD600 vs 650 and how you preferred the 600s over the 650s.
    Now unfortunately, WHILST I HAVE ONCE briefly :) Listened to the HD600 a while ago - I've decided not to do a write up/ comparison  about it because I did not have my proper source and amp and listening material with me. So I did briefly listened to it driven off from  XDuoo-1 (out from from some portable media player I couldn't remember) - and one thing I do remember from memory was that there was a nice, inviting signature coming from the lower mids, however I found the overall performance not as refined as I thought it would be by the mass hype....hence could have been improved.... which I suspect the source and the amp could be holding it back..
    Hope this helps. 
  2. DomieMic65
    Thank you guys four your answers ...
    I had the chance to hear the 600 unfortunatelly not in my home but in some shows here in Greece for a quite some time.
    They were driven by very well regarded equipment (Auralic Vega/Taurus, Quad and some others from the local market).
    I think that, like the 650, these are cans that scale up very very well.
    I found them quite neutral and without the dark "rounded" sound of the 650s. On the other hand they were not harsh or ftiguing on the highs. In a word I find them quite balanced! I cant make more detailed comments because I didn't listen to them in my rig.
    All in all every time I heared the 650 (im my place too for quite a long time with Burson amp on loan) never made me want them (I do respect them though and I can understand why so many peple do so). From the other hand every time I heared the 600 the temptate me to get a pair....
    And here comes the question ... Is the R70X a better 600?? 
  3. woodpecker

    I had the chance to briefly audition the HD600 vs. R70x. It sounded like the R70x are full range speakers with subwoofers against the bookshelf speaker-like sound of the HD600. The HD600 initially may sound more refined, but the rendition of 3D space and imaging is much much better on the R70x. The R70x sound livelier, with a bigger body. Are the R70x better than HD600 - it depends on the listener. Will do more comparison, but for me there is no contest.
    There is one thing about the R70x that maybe wasn't mentioned in the reviews. When listening to realistic volumes, the music starts vibrating. You sort of feel the distortion of the guitars or the presence of the drums - a very live, sort of loudspeaker like experience. The headphones are not attacking your eardrums, instead, the whole sound-stage is vibrant and full of energy. Not many headphones can pull this of.
    eimis, nick n and Tomkat85 like this.
  4. Tomkat85
    Very much in agreement with your views! The R70X to me recreates that "live" sound very well - that it conveys a sense of "space" so effective that I have no doubt it would work extremely well on good live/on-show recordings.  
    RE: The vibrating quality - this is EXACTLY the textured, visceral presentation within the bass and the surrounding lower regions that I  experience. This is the kind of bass that I have no idea why I do hear anecdotal experiences stating the R70X as lean, bass-anemic, etc. This; at least to my ears and experience also coming from other bass heavy signatures too (Alessandro MS Pro & Audio Technica WS77);  is simply not true at all. 
  5. Tomkat85
  6. Tomkat85
    …And here she is. Now a permanent part of the family. Been so far busy listening with my extended setup (macbook pro -> Wireworld silver OFC USB -> Audinst MX-1 AS Wolfson WM8740 DAC -> Nuforce HA200.
    IMGP0829_web.jpg IMGP0832_web.jpg IMGP0997_web.jpg
    So far for the first few days…so very good. Even without burn in / out of the box - all the sound signature and that enveloping bass was immediately and exactly as I heard it from StoreDJ. One of a kind experience that lets you instinctually know those “this is it” moment/s. 
  7. woodpecker
    I did some further comparison with the R70x and HD600 (and some MSR7). I tried very hard to give an honest chance to the HD600, as the HD580 (not included in comparison) started my headphone journey. The highs on the HD600 are fatiguing, not very detailed and feel kind of distorted when compared to the R70x and MSR7. The quantity and quality of the bass is lacking on the HD600. The mids are ok, however unfortunately not really my area of interest. The imaging and sound-stage is strange on the HD600. Honestly, I would classify these as semi-open headphones. The sound-stage feel kind of spacious, but is distant and not really wide or deep. In these regard they are no match at all to the R70x. Even the MSR7's sound-stage seems, while a bit congested (drivers closer to the ears), more deep or bigger. The HD600 can excel with some string music, such as the Yo Yo Ma's rendition of the Ecstasy of Gold from Ennio Morricone. The sound of the Yo yo ma's cello is portrayed a bit forward and quite detailed and stands apart form the rest of the band. On the the R70x it sounds a bit laid back, the cello in not emphasized, instead the whole band is working side by side with the Yo yo ma. The sound of the cello on the HD600 is more stringy/steel like. On the R70x the cello resonates with a deeper, wooden character which feels very organic and makes you understand that the body of the cello is also part of the instrument, it not just the strings.
    Overall, unless you have a specific music taste, the HD600 are lacking in every way. The modern headphones such as the R70x seem to be tuned to follow the Harman response curve to cover a broader range of music taste. The HD600 feel too specialized and require the right kind of music to break through the famous Sennheiser veil, where they can show their true colors. If you're used the sound of the loudspeakers, you probably won't like the HD600 and the R70x is what you should check out.
    eimis, mmq2404 and Tomkat85 like this.
  8. DomieMic65

    I didn't have the chance to hear the r70x yet but I had on loan on past weekend a quite old pair of 600 with a ifi iDSD Micro and the sound this combo made was quite to my taste ...
    I can see/hear the technicalities of which 600 lack, but on the other hand I find them quite musically satisfying.. (I didn't have this feeling with the 650 though). I think I like this cello forwardness you describe. Also I am very midrange oriented.. I tend to like a "broad midrangy" sound as i like to describe .. Meaning that I want the midrange to extend up on the highs and down to the lows. (Quite contrary taste than the character of my current cans).
    Are the r70x's mids laid back?
    Anyway .. I think I won't be able to find out unless I hear the r70x...
    Thank you very much for the feedback!!!!
  9. ballard3
    What about build quality ? Someone says that it's very poor. 
  10. keanex Contributor
    Built very similarly to the Ad2000 and Ad2000x. Light and sturdy. I see no weak points nor do I have any reason for concern.
    Tomkat85 likes this.
  11. sodesuka

    If you're talking about the one from the review, he's talking about the cable, which isn't actually too shabby and the problematic parts aren't even visible when you use the headphones normally.
    The headphones itself is solid.
  12. rovopio
    Did you by any chance refer to my post? Either way, Keanex is like the world famous Audio-Technica connoiseur so you should weight on his opinion more than mine. I did say it won't break anytime soon. Most affordable Audio-Technica looks similar anyway. The context of that part of my post is to comment on the reputation of Grado for having bad build quality. Grado have crap QC, arguably... but bad build quality? not at all. The cable of r70x will collect dust though, and depends on where you live and how you keep them, might get stiff someday.
    That said Keanex, I prefer the ad2000/ad2000x, or in my case, the a700x top headband design than the r70x top headband design. Mine slanted too the left quite noticeably out of the box. i slightly push them inwards to somehow make it symmetrical so there's that. Maybe headband is not the right word, anyway I'm referring to that thingy on top of the 3D wing...
  13. ballard3
    I refer to some buyers' reports on Amazon: very negative (even "horrible build quality")..  This seems very odd to me considering both the price range and the brand,
    so I am looking for other ipinions about that feature as I am very interested in buying this headphone.
  14. keanex Contributor
    Dunno about world famous connoiseur, but I do have an irrational love for their products - for the most part. I think that the R70x has the best wing design they've put out though, when looking at overall fit compatability. I get none of the uneven ear cup pressure of my Ad2000x and W1000x. They clamp securely unlike the A900/A900x. They also have pretty plush pads, unlike the thin Ad2000 ones. I think the R70x will have the least amount of fit problems of all of their wing design headphones.

    Build quality has never been a concern of mine after owning the Ad900. The Ad700 were creaky and a bit cheap feeling, but from the Ad900 and on I can't imagine durability concerns unless abuse is concerned. I put well over 1,000 hours on my Ad900 when i was out of work and the pads still looked decent and physically they had no issues. I hated having to sell them.

    Are you referring to the two metal bands on the other winged headphones as opposed to the R70x band?
    Tomkat85 likes this.
  15. rovopio
    I think if you only own 1 headphone at a time, r70x is a safe, good choice to consider. It doesn't convey vocals as good as say, a Grado or a Sennheiser though.
    Yeah that's it. The metal band. I like the old 2-band design better than this new one, design-wise. Maybe it's just the disappointment that the new metal band on my r70x is uneven and visibly slanted to the left. Well... my Grado is creaky so, I have no issue with a700x being slightly creaky. I really think they should supply better cable exterior for the r70x though.
    I didn't actually mention fit in my comment on that Grado thread, but if we're talking fit, r70x has a good fit yeah. I put it, it fits. It's great.
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