Audio-Technica ATH-R70x - In-Depth Review & Impressions
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Just wait until you start hearing some of the upper tier gear. The TOTL headphones paired with TOTL DACs and amps. Then you’ll understand what this hobby is really all about and why some headfiers have so many headphones. It’s really for the love of sound.

I owned the R70x’s and I thought they were really good. At their price point they’re probably the best of the bunch. They have a really warm, balanced sound that works for a lot of music genres. But there are a good deal of headphones out there that offer a different flavor of music reproduction that could be considered “better” :o2smile:. For someone who is just getting into the hobby the R70x’s are a really good start. Good luck in your headphone journey because it has ruined me, lol.
oh ***... yea, at first i just have a pair of kz zs6, and i wasn't impressed with the tone... and i move to headphone (R70X), in i was surprised with the tonality, but im not satisfied enough. and then i want to buy an ifi micro se lol
and now, im planning to sell my zs6 and move to $100++ iem.
yeah im on the way there lol :D but, i hope R70X and a tinhifi p1 will be my end game. :)

but, yesterday i try an astell kern sp1000, and it was so gooood. playing some dream theater song feels like realistic and im in the fairy tail world lol. i think, i know what you mean with this hobby :D

i also found that someone spent $3000+++ for a mini altmann tera DAP in my country. what a hobby, i can bought a boutique class guitar amplifier with that money....
 
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i don't understand why so many ppl have so many cans? for specific genre of music? or for mixing / recording song?
personally, i only want to keep my setup as minimal as possible (only 1 headphone,1 iem,1earbuds), so i can focus enjoying music rather than the gear :D

but, many cans is no problem too, im interested to try other cans for different experience :D
Lol, I have barely time to use all of them regularly to be honest... I personally like variation when it comes to sound, it keeps listening to music "fun". Listening to the same sound day after day is like eating the same food or wearing the same clothes every single day. There is nothing wrong with "one of everything"-approach and I admire people who can keep that. Perhaps I will experience an similar "enlightenment" some day. :p

Of course my main focus is on music no matter what headphones/in-ears/whatever Im wearing, Im not a complete gearhead. "Gear serves music". :)
 
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Just wait until you start hearing some of the upper tier gear. The TOTL headphones paired with TOTL DACs and amps. Then you’ll understand what this hobby is really all about and why some headfiers have so many headphones. It’s really for the love of sound.

I owned the R70x’s and I thought they were really good. At their price point they’re probably the best of the bunch. They have a really warm, balanced sound that works for a lot of music genres. But there are a good deal of headphones out there that offer a different flavor of music reproduction that could be considered “better” :o2smile:. For someone who is just getting into the hobby the R70x’s are a really good start. Good luck in your headphone journey because it has ruined me, lol.
Just curious, if I wanted a headphone with tonality similar to the R70X but with higher resolution is there anything like that?
 
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Lol, I have barely time to use all of them regularly to be honest... I personally like variation when it comes to sound, it keeps listening to music "fun". Listening to the same sound day after day is like eating the same food or wearing the same clothes every single day. There is nothing wrong with "one of everything"-approach and I admire people who can keep that. Perhaps I will experience an "enlightenment" some day. :p

Of course my main focus is on music no matter what headphones/in-ears/whatever Im wearing, Im not a complete gearhead. "Gear serves music". :)
Yes, this applies to me also.

When I first started using headphones, I was quite happy only having one pair (Sony MDR-V6). However, as my audiophile curiosities began to come to the fore, I found I wanted to experiment much more. For me, headphones have become like clothing, it all fulfils the same purpose, but would you wear the same outfit everyday? No. A strange analogy possibly, but true.

Sure, you could use the same headphones every day for years on end, but it would become quite boring to me. I like the varying degrees of comfort, sound and quality that different headphones provide. Some days I feel like the supreme comfort, and the bright and airy sound of the 880's, others I reach for the accuracy, tonality and perfect mid range of these.

It depends on the genre also. Yes, these R70x's will work with any genre, but would I use them for Hip-Hop most of the time? No. I have other cans that can give that genre more 'oomph'.

I couldn't imagine being restricted to one can, even amazing ones like these. To me headphones are like paydays, you can never have enough. Every time I see a new set of promising cans, I can't help but purchase them.
 
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Just curious, if I wanted a headphone with tonality similar to the R70X but with higher resolution is there anything like that?
If we're just talking fairly neutral and better resolution, the Beyerdynamic Amiron maybe a good contender. Although, the R70x wins overall.

Amiron probably has better resolution though
 
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Just curious, if I wanted a headphone with tonality similar to the R70X but with higher resolution is there anything like that?
Yes, the ZMF Auteurs. For me their tonality lead me to sell off all of my Sennheiser’s 6xx series of headphones. They also replaced the R70x’s, the Philips Fidelio X2HR’s, my Acoustic Research AR-H1’s, and quite few others. The thing all of those headphones do well is they have a great midranges. Although they all could be considered midrange products, they are exceptionally great headphones for the money.

But what set the Auteurs apart is the bass and the treble blends phenomenally well with the lush midrange for one of the most complete and musical headphones I’ve heard. They have a warm, inviting tone but they are also quite detailed. They put me in the mindset of the Sennheiser HD650’s as Zach said he used them as the baseline for the sound of the Auteurs. The R70x’s also sound like a version of the HD650’s but with better bass and treble. When I first heard the R70x’s I thought to myself this is how I was expecting the HD650’s to sound.

But the Auteurs bests them all, in my opinion if you’re considering a TOTL can. If you want to retain the R70x’s warm, full bodied, sound but move up a notch in refinement, detail and clarity the ZMF Auteurs are my pick.
 
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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:

how to replace the pad and which is best pad that suits it
 
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you should unscrew the pads mounting first, because u can't install the pads with unscrewed pads mounting.
What? Why? I have put many different pads on my r70x and never unscrewed anything.
 
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These I find the Shure HPAEC1540 excellent, great fit.
 
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cool ill make the payment on 12.12.19 my salary is on 11.12.19
Hey, should you be spending money on this kind of stuff if you don't have any savings? There are more important things in life like health, housing, education, etc.
 
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I just got these https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000185083813.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.34f04c4dBDryd8

They are awesome, very comfy and the sound is excellent. I feel that these are the best pads I have tried for the r70x, considerably better than the original pads.

The ones I got were 95mm. They are a bit of a stretch, but they fit. I suspect 100mm would also work, but I would not buy 90mm.


Something else I would like to recommend are these cables: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32961118970.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.1.3e954f43EM74ST

They are amazing and a steal at the price they are asking. They are a big step up from the standard cables.
 
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I just got these https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000185083813.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.34f04c4dBDryd8

They are awesome, very comfy and the sound is excellent. I feel that these are the best pads I have tried for the r70x, considerably better than the original pads.

The ones I got were 95mm. They are a bit of a stretch, but they fit. I suspect 100mm would also work, but I would not buy 90mm.


Something else I would like to recommend are these cables: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32961118970.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.1.3e954f43EM74ST

They are amazing and a steal at the price they are asking. They are a big step up from the standard cables.
I'm gonna grab a pair of these pads, what is the exact size do you recommend? 95mm or 100mm or either are ok?
 
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