Headphones, headphones…. Everybody utilizes them in some fashion but no one really wants to provide some assist in selecting them. You will find, of course, a few kinds: throughout the ear as well as on the ear, either available or closed back types, therefore the kind used mostly for mobile applications, ear buds and ear-canal.
The ATH-A700 is a throughout the ear closed back style. Although lightweight (290 grams) and comfortable for long term monitoring or modifying chores they just will not benefit mobile since they have actually a 10-foot non-recoiling signal cord. The “wing support mechanism,” a couple pads that remainder on your own head, does help comfort because the phones fit completely and do not wiggle or slip during long term listening. Further, the “leather-like” ear pads are also comfortable and don’t cause perspiration in averagely warm conditions.
Just how do they appear? Pretty darned good, particularly at background listening levels. By background I mean at lower listening levels (elevator music), softly recorded programs and for monitoring and editing where hearing the most minute details is essential. The style that is closed-back here as well. The ATH-A700 has roughly 10-15 dB of background attenuation (about half as much as my David Clark 100/dc over the ear or Etymotic Research ER-4S in-ear phones; both with 25 dB attenuation). You’ll still hear the phone ring but home that is normal studio or workplace ambient noise levels are very well paid.
Quite simply, moment sounds sometimes well hidden in the background, are fully audible. While this is really important for monitor work additionally ensures that reverberation, like this added to Suzanne Vega’s voice on “Tom’s Diner,” seems notably exaggerated. Even the light reverb included with Joe Williams’ “Dimples” by the recently departed recording hero John Eargle, whilst not exaggerated, is more obvious than you’ll hear on speakers.
Further, aided by the ATH-A700s it is better to hear the items of data decrease with XM radio that are usually not apparent aided by the Delphi SKYFI3 Premium Audio System or playing on the system in your car. The same thing will be true with your mp3 productions, therefore good monitor phone such as the ATH-A700 can help you in selecting data rates.
That said, the ATH-A700 has extended low bass, but upper bass and lower midrange sometimes lacks a little body or warmth. This characteristic also means that the 88-note piano track on ProSonus’ Studio Reference Disc over-emphasizes the sound of the piano action. But instruments that are sometimes acoustic in specific brass, tend to lack body. Nonetheless, for many regarding the spectrum, the phones sound accurate and natural.
Spatial rendition is, well, best over the ear headphones for working out -like. Center pictures are located to the back of one’s skull and quite often perhaps not totally formed. Kept and right images tend to locate within the remaining and right ear cups and there is no frontal depth to the sound stage. There is lots of “envelopment” but only in the side and rear sense. Put simply, you can get the feeling that you’re in a large space but standing into the doorway looking out of this area.
Dynamically the ATH-A700s will play softly recorded programs to a level that is realistically loud programs with wide dynamic range also tend to sound compressed–meaning that the loudest sounds do not increase in loudness as much as the softer sounds. As I said, on program material with true deep bass (only movie sound tracks, nature recordings such as thunderstorms, niche stuff such as locomotives and subways, bass-head CDs and organ recordings have it) the ATH-A700s give you the fundamental tones but they cannot give you the tactile sensation that comes with the material played on speakers.
So, should these phones are considered by you at $299? Well, let me put it this way, they have been a better device for long term monitor work than my David Clark 100/dc. They have an even more natural balance that is tonal the same limited spatial rendition, similar dynamic capabilities and more limited noise attenuation, but the comfort factor is much better. The Etymotic Research phones have a more natural tonal balance but are more difficult to utilize because of the quick cable and digging out the in-ear plugs for restroom trips.
I would consider the Audio-Technica for everyday monitor use if I had to make the decision again after 10 years. But because I don’t do that much, and I’ve already spent $300 for the Etymotic, I’m standing pat. But if you’re a heavy duty mp3 downloader I’d definitely recommend because of the low level detail property that you consider them.