[REVIEW/COMPARISON] ATH-AD900X vs ATH-AD1000X vs MDR-MA900 - It's STILL over 900!!!!
Mar 25, 2013 at 4:06 AM Post #46 of 355

Arkyle

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Haha I think I didn't make myself clear. I'm asking if they let in a lot of noise (more than ie the sennheiser HD5XX or 6XX series) because I might have a use for super leaky headphones. 
 
Mar 25, 2013 at 9:03 AM Post #47 of 355

a_recording

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Then yes lol. These are good for that.
 
Mar 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM Post #48 of 355

skulblaka

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Inquiry, are all headphones pretty much the same in regard to directional sound? Meaning, there are no headphones designed specifically for surround sound because they're all stereo. Am I missing something?
 
I'm just curious on the performance of the AD900X in regards to games.
 
Mar 25, 2013 at 6:18 PM Post #49 of 355

a_recording

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Quote:
Inquiry, are all headphones pretty much the same in regard to directional sound? Meaning, there are no headphones designed specifically for surround sound because they're all stereo. Am I missing something?
 
I'm just curious on the performance of the AD900X in regards to games.

 
I'm not a psychoacoustic scientist, but I am sure this is almost certainly untrue, especially because you have two ears - your brain 'works in stereo' too. Your brain decodes spatial cues from the differences between two sources of sound, so there is technically no reason why stereo headphones could not deliver perfect 3D sound.
 
Binaural recordings specifically take advantage of this idea; listen to this on headphones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDTlvagjJA
 
Different headphones will deliver directional sound differently because of the way the frequencies reach your ears, and also because of the headphone's ability to deliver clear transients that your brain can decode for information.
 
If a headphone has phase issues, for instance, different frequencies will reach your ears at different times, and soundstaging will get weird as a result. (Something like the XBA-4 seems to have severe phase issues).
 
Angled drivers are designed to mimic the way that sound waves reach your ears and interact with the shape of your outer ears, another way that you infer location. (Though we are not as good as bats). Sennheiser developed the ring shaped driver in the HD800 on the basis that it produced a circular wavefront that was closer to how humans hear sound, etc.
 
So no, I don't think headphones are the same regards to directional sound, though the differences are hard to articulate because of the variety of factors. We have a description for it - soundstage - but I often feel that a lot of confusion comes up on Head-Fi when we talk about soundstage because some headphones sound very wide because they have a high frequency emphasis that makes echo and reverb prominent, without actually being able to position instruments within that space (AD900X) or headphones that can place instruments very well, but have a treble shelf that makes them sound closed in or more intimate (Sennheiser Momentum / LCD-2 ).
 
Mar 25, 2013 at 9:56 PM Post #50 of 355

skulblaka

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I'm not a psychoacoustic scientist, but I am sure this is almost certainly untrue, especially because you have two ears - your brain 'works in stereo' too. Your brain decodes spatial cues from the differences between two sources of sound, so there is technically no reason why stereo headphones could not deliver perfect 3D sound.


Binaural recordings specifically take advantage of this idea; listen to this on headphones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDTlvagjJA

Different headphones will deliver directional sound differently because of the way the frequencies reach your ears, and also because of the headphone's ability to deliver clear transients that your brain can decode for information.

If a headphone has phase issues, for instance, different frequencies will reach your ears at different times, and soundstaging will get weird as a result. (Something like the XBA-4 seems to have severe phase issues).

Angled drivers are designed to mimic the way that sound waves reach your ears and interact with the shape of your outer ears, another way that you infer location. (Though we are not as good as bats). Sennheiser developed the ring shaped driver in the HD800 on the basis that it produced a circular wavefront that was closer to how humans hear sound, etc.

So no, I don't think headphones are the same regards to directional sound, though the differences are hard to articulate because of the variety of factors. We have a description for it - soundstage - but I often feel that a lot of confusion comes up on Head-Fi when we talk about soundstage because some headphones sound very wide because they have a high frequency emphasis that makes echo and reverb prominent, without actually being able to position instruments within that space (AD900X) or headphones that can place instruments very well, but have a treble shelf that makes them sound closed in or more intimate (Sennheiser Momentum / LCD-2 ).

That's very interesting, how silly of me to forget that simple concept of stereo. Thanks you for answering my question. You have an impressive knowledge of sound.
 
Mar 25, 2013 at 10:18 PM Post #51 of 355

kskwerl

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Solid review OP, we needed an extensive review of the AD900x! I was following the MDR-MA900s and knew very little about them before I read this review. Keep up the awesome work!
 
Mar 26, 2013 at 5:19 AM Post #54 of 355

a_recording

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I'm afraid I can't really make a direct comparison because I haven't heard the Q701 / K701 for very long, and I haven't heard the MA900 and Q701 side by side... someone else might have an opinion though!
 
Mar 26, 2013 at 1:06 PM Post #55 of 355

BigCabDaddy

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Seems like there is some concern about frame construction on the MA900. Could the cans be candidates for a transplant into another frame or are they some weird size? Same thing with the pads: are they "standard" or are they some unusual size?
 
Mar 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM Post #56 of 355

a_recording

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Quote:
Seems like there is some concern about frame construction on the MA900. Could the cans be candidates for a transplant into another frame or are they some weird size? Same thing with the pads: are they "standard" or are they some unusual size?

 
It wouldn't be a simple transplant - the drivers are larger than usual (70mm) and the cardboard/egg-carton/bass-lens thingy is non-typical and would probably change the sound if removed. People have concerns with the design because it feels too lightweight, but the result of that is that its comfortable.
 
----
 
I couldn't resist the current Amazon JP prices and bought an AD1000X to try!
 
Mar 27, 2013 at 4:22 PM Post #57 of 355

Yazen

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I was not charged $1 when registering at tensu.com (as of 3/27/2013 - 11:00AM EST).
 
EDIT:  Forgot to thank you for the incredible reviews between the two sets of headphones!  Really informative and you had a great voice when it came to expressing your thoughts. After reading (and watching *lol*) I ordered a pair of ATH-AD900X's mainly because I loved the AD700's and the AD900X's do look like they are built better.
 
I hope I made the right choice as it would probably be a pain to return them, I hope the build quality makes up for its flaws. 
 
EDIT 2:  Oh what the hell I might as well try and cancel these, I'm sure the MA900's are a worthy upgrade to my AD700's.
 
Mar 27, 2013 at 4:56 PM Post #58 of 355

youra6

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Quote:
I'm afraid I can't really make a direct comparison because I haven't heard the Q701 / K701 for very long, and I haven't heard the MA900 and Q701 side by side... someone else might have an opinion though!

 
This would be an interesting comparison... The soundstage on the Q701/K701 is probably the most substantial from any headphone within its price. Aside from the soundstage, I find that while it doesn't do everything the "best" it does everything well.
 
Great videos by the way, I find them very accessible to beginners and long time enthusiasts alike. One thing you do well is clarify audio jargon (buzz words) without going too far in depth. Keep it up!
 
Mar 27, 2013 at 5:35 PM Post #59 of 355

Yazen

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I just ordered the MA900's for $208 from ebay.com
I think the $5 tensu.com would have saved me are better spent on the reliability of a long established national reseller, not to mention the cheap flat rate return shipping :3
 
I've always felt fatigued after listening with the ad700's, but I do enjoy the sound signature.  I was hoping the ad900x would be less fatiguing, I figured hopping on a mdr-ma900 first is smarter because I can easily return it.  
 
I don't listen to electronica often, however even in rock/alt when highs were intense I quickly felt fatigued.  I would greatly appreciate it  a_rec if you wouldn't mind listening to Delphic - Red lights to replicate any signs of fatigue.
 
Mar 27, 2013 at 6:49 PM Post #60 of 355

Beagle

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Quote:
The MA900’s treble section is probably the least interesting part of the sound. It’s there, you can hear it, but there’s no particular character to it. Compared to the AD900X it sounds positively blunted.
 

 
I fully agree with this. The treble seems lifeless, lacks refinement and sounds too safe. Otherwise, almost an ideally balanced headphone.
 
Wonderful review and comparison BTW.
 

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