It was a tough decision, but after a ton of looking around, I decided to lay down my hard earned money on a pair of Audio Technica ATH-A700‘s. I have used them every day for a few years now, so I want to share with you everything I know about them. So here is Audio + Visual’s in depth Audio Technica ATH-A700 review.
Why the Audio Technica ATH-A700 Headphones?
Well a few reasons..
1. They don’t need an amp to sound great. I have plugged them into the back of a computer, with or without a dedicated sound card, into my Ipod touch 2nd Gen and they have always packed a punch and sound great.
2. The price. A pair of ATH-900 headphones (the model up) a few years ago was well over $300. Nowadays, a pair of ATH-A700’s can be bought for around $120 through Amazon in the U.S. I bought the ATH-A700 because they were a little bit cheaper at the time, even though I wanted to, I could not splash out for a pair of ATH-A900’s.
3. I used them mostly in an office setting, so I needed closed back headphones that would not leak any sound to any others near me.
4. I would use them for 8+ hours a day, so I wanted some comfortable headphones. I really liked the fact that these cans were Circum-aural (the headphone pads sits around the outside of your ear, not on your ear. This to me is a lot more comfortable than Supra-aural headphones (ones that sit on top of your ear).
5. I liked the awesome fit-all winged design of the headphone ‘strap’. More on this later in this review.
The A700’s come with an extremely wide sound-stage. The instruments were well separated and sounded really clear. I expected a lot of heavy bass, but instead was surprised to find the bass was strong, but clean. The headphones were really well balanced for all kinds of music, especially Indie Rock and some thumpier Drum and Bass tracks.
Instruments such as guitars were crisp and were well separated. So overall a well rounded even sound stage from these cans. If you are looking for something where the bass dominates, I would not recommend these. If you are looking for strong, yet clean and well balanced bass that really is mixed well with the rest of the music, then I would highly recommend these cans.
Comfort & Usability
These headphones come with an awesome “Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing” which according to Audio Technica, “provides comfortable support for a more enjoyable listening experience”. This was a huge part of why I wanted to get these headphones.
The winged design automatically adjusts to any head shape without having to adjust and straps or bands. This is similar to the self adjusting bands found on AKG’s, but even better and a lot more comfortable. The down side to this is that you can’t really bust out any head banging, as the headphones would just fly off your head. That’s not to say you can;t move your head normally.
The cord is super long and is wrapped in a nice material and the woven fabric sheath does not transmit sound when knocked.
The only down side is how big these cans are. They aren’t really all too portable, because they will probably slide a bit while walking on the street. In fact, these would just be too big and unusable if you were running. but then again, you wouldn’t buy a pair of these cans and run a marathon.
Sitting with these for over 8 hours a day, my head was fine. The 3D wing support on the Audio Technica ath series really does wonders and makes the headphones feel super light on your head. I did notice that my ears did get hot after about 2-3 hours of non-stop usage, so I hat to give them a quick break for a few minutes before continuing.
Because these are closed back, they are great for containing sound, and they do it well. Sometimes too well. If you do need to hear anyone else in the next room, then it could be a little hard. I did try the one ear cup off to the side, but this can be a little annoying as the cups are so large.
Overall, amazing comfort for short and long stints of time and great if you are sitting still all day and don’t want any sound leakage. These cans can be plugged into anything with or without an amp and provide awesome sound with a really, really good sound stage.
There is a slight creaking sound that transmits through the headband system into the ear cups sometimes. This is fine if you are still, but when you move your head, you hear this sometimes. this is nothing too annoying, but it is there.
The material of the ear cups is nothing special, just ‘pleather’. They did last a while though and didn’t start to fray until after about 2 years of usage, which is to be expected.
The Audio Technica A700s can get a little hot on the ears after a few hours of non-stop usage. This is to be expected with circum-aural headphones I guess.
These cans can be a little expensive for the casual user, but for people that are power users or listen their music all day sitting still, I would recommend these cans in an instant. For the new, cheaper price of $120 on Amazon U.S. this is a bargain.
All in all, these are a great set of cans that can be played out of almost anything. Unfortunately due to their size they aren’t really for anyone that wants portability. The design also suits people who are sitting still. In saying this, these ATH-A700 headphones offer a quality sound-stage, comfort and good looks that would be great for any office worker who needs a pair of closed back headphones that will last for a very long time.
For you guys who love numbers:
Sound Quality: 9/10
You can check out a pair of ATH-A700’s right here.
Comments? Feel free to add your opinion on these headphones too.