The Closed-Back Headphone Thread (Plus Comparisons & Reviews)
Aug 18, 2020 at 9:43 AM Post #91 of 1,982

Nostoi

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When I was shopping for a TOTL closed-back a month ago, I compared the AWKT, the Stellia, and the Vérité Closed together. The 2 that ended up on the final podium were the Audio-Technica and ZMF duo. The Stellia was great, too, but I felt that it lacked some of the finesse and raw technical ability of the aforementioned 2 headphones. It didn't help that it was also the most expensive of the 3. In the end, I went with the Vérité Closed, but only because it afforded a better fit with dance music, with its added warmth and slight mid-bass tilt.
Ah, super. What's the production time? I look forward to your eventual comparison!
 
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Aug 18, 2020 at 9:44 AM Post #92 of 1,982

Nostoi

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Holy moly Nostoi!!! That is quite a bit of work you’ve put into that review. Kudos my good man:)
Even as a dedicated openback aficionado I can positively state that I am lusting for some Audio Technica wood right this minute. This is just nuts!
I have a hunch that both the AWAS and the little sunburst WP900 would work wonders for my ears. Too bad I can’t have a similar tuning stuffed inside the supercool 2000Ti Robocop-shells...
Thank you, sir. 🙏
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 9:46 AM Post #93 of 1,982

Malevolent

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Ah, super. I wasn't aware you had a VC on order. What's the production time? I look forward to your eventual comparison!
I was quoted a lead time of about a month. It has been 6 weeks since, but I understand that Zach has his hands full with a bucket of orders in queue. :)
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 9:46 AM Post #94 of 1,982

Nostoi

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« oh mon dieu »nostoi .. this is A Review.. what a methodology and clarity demonstration.. An absolute pleasure to read.. deep thank’s for us.. an you didn’t forget to explain your sound signature preferences which is an essential clue prior to any audio description/comparison intends to the reader..
In that particular case it turns out that I’m also more sensitive to clear and détails headphones - bearing to trade some « good » warmth for a more detailed/technical skilled and « dry » sound .. typically a bit of ATH sound ..
in conclusion you helped a lot ..
As I say to my wife - who, like you, is also French - de rien, c'était mon plaisir :thumbsup:
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 9:47 AM Post #95 of 1,982

Nostoi

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I was quoted a lead time of about a month. It has been 6 weeks since, but I understand that Zach has his hands full with a bucket of orders in queue. :)
Ok, that's manageable and, of course, worth then wait!
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 9:48 AM Post #96 of 1,982

Malevolent

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I've amended the title of this thread to draw reference to @Nostoi's flagship shootout.

If any of you have any closed-back reviews that you'd like to feature (in this thread), do let me know, and I will amend the first page and title accordingly. Thanks! :)
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 11:35 AM Post #98 of 1,982

headwig

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Some people have mentioned it, and I agree - this lineup of AT headphones is under-appreciated.

I read a ton of reviews and forum threads about closed-back headphones before buying two sets of ZMFs, and I didn't see any discussion of the higher-end Audio-Technica closed backs at all. I wonder why they don't get talked about much? They look like a worthwhile option for anyone considering good quality closed backs.
 
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Aug 18, 2020 at 11:39 AM Post #99 of 1,982

Nostoi

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I read a ton of reviews and forum threads about closed-back headphones before buying two sets of ZMFs, and I didn't see any discussion of the Audio-Technica closed backs at all. I wonder why they don't get talked about much? They look like decent headphones, and like a very relevant comparison for anyone considering ZMF closed backs.
I think marketing is the issue. They don't have the boutique appeal of ZMF but nor do they attract the ardent fan-base of, say, Sony. Plus, their own marketing approach is kind of low key and seems to vary from one market to the next (i.e., accessibility of WP900 in the EU). It may also be that many consumers are looking for quantity of bass rather than quality. That's my hunch, but I could be wrong... It's a good question.
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 12:27 PM Post #100 of 1,982

ubs28

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Out of curiosity, why did you pass on the D9200? :)


I found the soundstage on the D9200 to be pretty good, though, in comparison with some of the other flagship closed-backs on the contemporary market. I'll have to delve a little deeper into this once I compare the headphones in my collection.

It was mainly due to price and portability considering that I could buy the AFC 2 for $999. But the D9200 was definetly one of the better closed headphones I heard (even better than HD820 which I cannot get a good seal with).
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 12:30 PM Post #101 of 1,982

Mink

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I think marketing is the issue. They don't have the boutique appeal of ZMF but nor do they attract the ardent fan-base of, say, Sony. Plus, their own marketing approach is kind of low key and seems to vary from one market to the next (i.e., accessibility of WP900 in the EU). It may also be that many consumers are looking for quantity of bass rather than quality. That's my hunch, but I could be wrong... It's a good question.

I think their universally hated wing system plays a part as well and the hate at head-fi for the M50Xs. And then there are the W5000s, which are liked by maybe 1 person on this planet?. But there was a time at Head-fi Audio Technica was better liked than Sony. The A900s were very popular. Makes me wonder why the A900Xs didn't do well.

Have you ever owned or auditioned the A900Xs? How do they compare, tonally to the AWAS? There's something in A900Xs sound, a textured(?) warmth in the upper bass and low mids that I never encountered anywhere else.
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 12:58 PM Post #103 of 1,982

Nostoi

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I think their universally hated wing system plays a part as well and the hate at head-fi for the M50Xs. And then there are the W5000s, which are liked by maybe 1 person on this planet?. But there was a time at Head-fi Audio Technica was better liked than Sony. The A900s were very popular. Makes me wonder why the A900Xs didn't do well.

Have you ever owned or auditioned the A900Xs? How do they compare, tonally to the AWAS? There's something in A900Xs sound, a textured(?) warmth in the upper bass and low mids that I never encountered anywhere else.
I haven't heard the A900Xs, I'm afraid. Sounds appealing, though. I do want to start working through some of the back catalogue of the Audio Technicas, including the W5000s. From what I gather, they're supposed to pair really nicely with the accompanying amp, the HA5000, which I'm also actively trying to track down.
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 2:37 PM Post #104 of 1,982

Mink

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I think you'll find them too warmish. If they would be more comfortable to wear and are a bit less grainy they could easily be my favorite pair.
 
Aug 18, 2020 at 2:58 PM Post #105 of 1,982

Kammerat Rebekka

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Could be - I know I can never even remember the names of the different Audio-Technica models - AWAS, AWTK - whoops, AWKT - etc.... Same as with Sonys.
Yup. They could definitely learn from ZMF and Hifiman (although the latter does sport the potential mix-up of the Sundara and the Susvara). I am not a fan of headphones that are named after license plates, never have been. I’d much prefer something like an Audio Technica ‘Betina‘ or perhaps the brand new openback ‘Tabitha’:thumbsup:
(As an aside: seeing all you Audio Technica connoisseurs talking shop and various closedback models; if you at some point feel the need to vent the old earlobes via an open headphone, well then you should do yourself a favour and check out the R70x...which seems to be Audio Technica’s best kept secret. One of those rare openbacks with power and extension in the basement notes.)
 

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