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[Review] Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7SE or MSR7 Special Edition

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by cpmsan, Apr 1, 2018.
  1. cpmsan
    ATH-MSR7SE or MSR7 Special Edition review (my first review on head-fi yeet!)

    <pictures will be put in later>

    sO H :cd: L:cd: fellow head-fiers! I'm cpmsan and this time I'll try to make my first review both in english and on head-fi!(please bear with me if I happen to repeat a lot of words, english is not my first language and I have a pathetic vocab). Since this is my first review here, I figured I should give a little background on my experience around portable audio. I currently use a KZ ZST in-ear as a daily driver for my daily 2 hour commute to school and an iPhone 4 as a primary player but also a Redmi Note 3 Snapdragon, I've also used the ELiBUDS Sabia V4 before it broke and also the Xiaomi in-ear Pro. While for headphones, I've auditioned quite the fair bit of GRADOs and the MSR7 ~regular~ edition (My local audio store has a very limited selection of auditionable(?) cans and 90% of them are GRADOs) and I have used the Samson SR850s for quite some time. So as some of you can identify already, I lean towards brighter types of cans since I think I may have some sensitivity to bass and warm, bassy cans fatigues me. So, without further ado, I present, my R E V I E W of the ATH-MSR7SE!

    First-impressions - 9/10

    I do quite a fair bit of visual arts and presentation is quite important for me. Especially since these cost quite a lot of money for a high-schooler like me (it was HARD to save up for these). And these did not disappoint! I got these for IDR 3.299.000 (280USD-ish~) from BassAudio in Indonesia. The box it came in was beautiful. It's a very dark navy blue, almost black in a dim room. It came with an outer sleeve to protect the inner box and, of course, it has the big, shiny, yellow, Hi-Res Audio™ logo. (Its a joke from an Indonesian audio forum that products with Hi-Res logo automatically has a nice sound lol). The box is very thicc and soft to the touch. After opening the box, I was greeted with a soft bag and a brighter navy blue insert with a gold audio-technica logo. nice. The case it came with was sturdy and it survived a day in my schoolbag without getting any scratches.

    Then, came the actual headphone and wires. The headphone was exquisite until one of the joints creaked. On ly one tho and it wasnt that loud. The creak reduced the more i used it. But visually and as-long-as-you dont-flex-it-ly, it was excellent. A lot of plastic parts but its really solid. Also, it looks damn good. The clamping force was a bit much and I have to flex it on the box for a day or two to loosen it a bit.

    Sound Quality - 11/10

    Tracks used:

    Drive a Live (BGM Piano ver.)
    Reason!! (BGM Piano ver.)
    Over AGAIN

    THEiDOLM@STER SideM - BEYOND THE DREAM! (46 members' vocals at once - used for separation and detail)

    Spotify extreme:
    gu9udan - The Boots
    fromis_9 - Glass Shoes & To Heart
    perfume - STAR TRAIN
    LOONA - See Saw, Only One, new
    MOMOLAND - Bboom Bboom
    GReeeeN - Kiseki
    AAA - Whole albums of golden symphony & Way of Glory

    The first thing I noticed was "wow this is damn smooth". I don't hear any sibilance, or roll-offs and the positioning was really forward. Vocals in the center, instruments spread out. Also I noticed the dynamic vocal positioning. In solo parts of a song, the vocals are clearly in the center of the space, but when more than, say, 3 vocals are present, they get spread out around. I can differentiate most of the vocals (well, not ALL 46 voices, that's too insane for a single driver 'phone) and they are still clear, not muddled together. I cannot feel the "in your face" vocals like on my KZ ZST, its just...there. The voices are just there without calling for your attention. Mids and highs is the forte of these. The bass is just enough in quantity, and very high quality. Bass kicks in when its really called for and there are no flabbiness or long decays. Fast, solid, head-thumping, bass. These are really good for idol/anisong/K-pop tracks which has a lot of highs and variation in instruments. The hi-res label is no joke either. On the piano tracks, the sound of the piano keys hitting the damper under the keys (not the actual piano strings) can be heard and I can differentiate keyboard-produced piano sounds and real recorded piano sounds.

    Overall - 9.5/10

    These are very excellent headphones for what they're worth and they are worth every penny. Get it while you can (....or I can get them for you with the Indonesian price if your local price is way too high lol) and these will suit those with a love of highs and imaging.

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