A lush world of sound . . . with pillows on your ears!
Jun 18, 2009
Review by shigeki
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:W i d e soundstage, well defined bass, transparent treble, and COMFY!
Cons:Bass lacking for people who favor pounding bass, treble harsh at times, fragile feeling construction.
The Bottom Line: I recommenc these to people who want to enjoy a relaxing time with their music and want great sound.
I thought I was in heaven when I bough my MDR-XD200 's awhile back. With them, I got good treble and VERY nice bass compared to the last headphones I had before them. Move a couple years later, and being a little more wiser about music/sound in general, I was ready to move onto more 'grownup' headphones. Enter the world of mid-fi (in my opinion, a level lower then hi-fi because these don't really destroy the bank, maybe break for some, but not destroy ;] ).
Recommend this product?
After months of deciding and comparing against others from Sennheiser, Grado, even Sony, I Eventually chose Audio Technica, because many user of the AD700 's say that these are very good bang for the buck for music, as well as for gaming, which was another criteria for choosing headphones for myself.
The AD700's come in a neat boxed, um, box. The headphones are seen through the front, after the flap is open. This is also where some information about the headphones are at. To get the headphones out, the top folds out in a unique way. I wont describe it in detail, but it fould out in a way ive never seen before.
The box itself is actually quite fragile. The cardboard isn't really very thick, and could cave in itself if something heavy was put on top of it. This box was for more form then function.
The AD700 headphones are very, very large headphones. So large that they *almost* didn't fit my head very well. They still don't fit PERFECTLY, but its not a deal breaker for me. The headphones are basically all plastic, which was a slight letdown, but they are still quite sturdy. The important parts such as screws and the frame are steel or magnesium. Some creaks are heard when moving and shuffling the headphone with your hands, but once they are on our head, they don't creak as much. And they almost don't creak at all when I'm listening to music.
*([side note] my hat size is 58cm)
The color of it is actually more lighter purple-pinkish then some photos Ive seen online. But Im not bothered by the color, I dont use these outside, and the color actually looks more 'serious' then cheap looking silver, for example.
The AD700's also employ a high quality looking cable. While unimportant to some, the cable is one of the most abused, tossed, and stepped/rolled on object of a headphones. The cable of this is from a Japanese brand called Titan. The jack itself at the end is gold plated, as well as the ¼ adapter. Speaking of which, the ¼ adapter is a screw on type, and it screws flush to the metal body of the connector.
They do have some limited amounts of adjustment. The earcups swivel on a horizontal axis, but do not swivel vertically (from facing up and facing down).
And finally, adjustments for adjusting the length of each earcup from the frame is done with Audio Techinica's supposedly proprietary (and fragile) 3D-Wing system. The wings move up and down, side to side, giving them a lot of movement to fit many different slopes of a human head.
Yes, these are so comfortable that they have a section of their own. The earpads on these are actually Velor, almost like the kind on bathrobe's. They do get slightly warm, but not *hot* like
pleather ones that come on many other full sized headphones (a common example you can go see at stores such as Wally-world are the Sony MDR-V150's, they have earpads with 'pleather' ) . The earpads on the AD700's are slightly contoured to the shape of a head, to allow more comfort. But since my head is on the smaller side, some of the contours actually dig into the side of my head. But it honestly isn't distracting after a few days of getting used to it.
The “3D-Wing” system is actually quite effective. They provide adequate support to hold the headphones on you head while not being annoying/distracting.
The headphones are, again quite sturdy. Creaks from time to time can be heard while wearing them. The only concerning part of these is the 3D-wing system. They have so many intricate plastic parts that im afraid its going to snap at any moment if I pick them up too hard. But if you are good to electronics, they *should* last quite awhile.
(I'll try to remember to update this in one year from date written for long term durability)
Here we go!
The sound of the AD700's are simply breathtaking. Extraordinarily wide sound stage to locate instruments in music, vocalists, etc. etc.
The midrange is where these shine the most. Crystal clear are the midrange, no coloration that I can detect. A little more 'bright' then my Infinity tower speakers (but they're mellow to begin with) but nonetheless, the midrange is what get my mood for music going.
Bass on these, in my honest opinion, is perfect. People are so used to booming and slamming bass that its almost as if its the only thing they need to hear when listening to music. No, the bass on these don't slam you ears into your head, but they provide an ambiance, I guess. I cant quite explain it myself, but you can hear the bass of course, but you can feel it too. Not physically maybe, but more in a sense of emotionality. (when listening to certain music of course)
The highs on these are very good also. Not the strongest point of these headphones, as they are slightly too sparkly at times, but do the job well enough to not get distracting listening to music.
What I dont recommend listening to is bass heavy music, such as hip-hop. Those music genres have more impact in mind then anything else. But with jazz and classical, the bass is perfectly fine, you can hear then and 'feel' them.
I also don't recommend using low power and low quality sources to drive these. While they will output sound, it probably wont meet your expectations of these, and the AD700's wont show what they can really do. Low power/quality sources include PC's, MP3 players, cellphones, PSP's, TV headphone jack etc. etc. Using a headphone amp, even a cheap fiio e3 will most likely make the sound much better.
SOUND (for gaming)
The headphones aren't really designed with gaming in mind, but they actually perform really well when using them in such situations. Since these are open-back headphones, they give a great wide open soundstage. I'm not sure how they would do with an onboard sound chip of a PC, but I use these connected to a Harman/Kardon AV amp, feeding from the output of a PS3 through S/PIDF connection. And however Dolby Headphone works, the duo combination works wonderfully, giving you a sound-signature location of an enemy sniper, for example. And since the headphones have lower amount of bass then others, the sounds of footsteps wont be drowned out by grenades going off and such.
Though they do have some aspects that need improvement, especially their fit to heads, and their apparent fragileness, but I will gladly forgive them because of their rich audio output, especially at a price point below $100. These headphones should be on your 'to-compare-with' list when shopping for sub $100 headphones.
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