Audio-Technica AD900X [Big Thanks to Mr. Frank Doris of Audio Technica U.S., INC

Audio Technica  ATH AD900X {$180 Used} {$299 New}

Personal Back-Story  

I recently emailed Mr. Doris a Public relations professional with Audio- Technica U.S., INC. I would first of all like to thank him for allowing me to do this review as well as for his great communication with me! Non the less, I’ve been doing reviews for about a year now and wanted to apply my trade toward a great cause and do a more professional review.  So I emailed Mr. Dorris to see if I could do a review for Audio-Technica U.S and he graciously agreed. My interest in the ATH AD900x is rooted in my love for open back headphones, as a happy owner of the Beyerdynamic Dt 880 I was curious to see how the Audio Technica open back within the DT 880 price range performed, and I was not disappointed.

Pros: Spacious airy sound, fantastic bass, sound stage and imaging
Cons : Slides a little, to little decay, aggressive,

Build [3.8/5]
Not the toughest headphone ever made, a lot of plastic. But it feels very sturdy, and has a good weight in the hands. Visually is very well made, a very attractive headphone to look upon.

Type Open Air Dynamic
Driver Diameter 53mm
Frequency Response 5-35,000
Maximum Input Power 1,000mW
Sensitivity  100dB/mW
Impedance 38ohm
Weight 265 g
Cable 3.0 meters

Ease of Use [Comfort/Fit/Isolation] [4/5]
Very comfy, the clamp is wonderful the only issue I have with them is the wings. While the wing system is implemented very nicely, the wings themselves has slightly less padding than the A900x and W1000x… making the headphone slide around a millimeter or so if you’re moving around. While this does not have a bearing on sound, it is a little distracting at times.

Price to Performance : [5/5]
Compared to the DT 880 which is in the same price range, I’d say that the AD900x like the Dt 880 is a fantastic bargain! The sound is very detailed and spacious, and over all the mix of elements on the headphone are wonderful for it’s price range!

Complimentary Genres:  Metal EDM and Classical   

Sonic Test Process

Source Win 7[Foobar2000 WASAPI] -> oDac -> MonoPrice Premium Coaxial Cables -> Matrix M Stage [Lme 49990 OpAmp]

Headphone reference notes- I like to demo all headphones against my Beyerdynamic Dt 880, as they are a well know reference can.  Reference notes will always be in italics, and are included in the Video Reviews and Head Fi review posts.

Reference points, will be in bold italics.  In each of the seven reference songs I will specify what parts of the song I am listening to, to evaluate the 3 parts of the spectrum.  In addition to other aspects of the overall sound presentation.

           In addition, I always like details  presented in all frequances
Highs- looking for and evaluating air, nice extension and good energy and placement within sound stage
Mids- looking for and considering weight, body and tone
Bass- listening for, control, texture and punch/impact

          Sound Stage- reported after listening to all tracks
          Imaging –Track #3 and #4 are well mastered for 2D and 3D imaging
          Instrument Layering-reported after listening to all tracks
          Timbre- realism of sound, fun versus real
          Speed- ability to retain mirco-details  in ultra-fast tonal shifts
Music Auditioned [All Lossless quality, tracks vary from 16 to 24bit]

          Sound Signature- Very neutral but with an aggressive tight bass, very spacious and quick natured. Detail presentation and imaging are fantastic, as is instrument layering and separation.  Lean, mean and airy
Dynamics- Super quick, sometimes a little to fast
Timbre- Very real, great timbre on the highs and mids, yet the bass can be a little too lean… a little mechanical in nature.
Speed-  VERY fast, even the bass is super tight and very quick!
          Sound Stage: Great sound stage, a nice sense of air throughout.  2D and 3D imaging are nice as well, could be slightly deeper though.  Instrument separation though is wonderful!

Highs- Wonderful sense of air and detail, very spacious with a surreal extension and energy.
Mids-  On the aggressive side, not forward but with a great edge and crunch to them, very punchy. Yet with a delicate enough body for vocals and classical.
Bass-  VERY tight sub and mid bass, pairs magically with EDM, Classical and Metal,  but a little too lean for other genres. The decay is a bit too short, timbre is a little mechanical. Still a very tight and enjoyable bass, in addition the bass is presented ever so slightly forward… a nice mix of elements really, overly lean yet slightly forward bass… works very well for the headphone!

Amplification Need or Suggested – These do not need an amp, but they would sound fantastic with a nice hybrid tube amp!   

In addition comparative notes will be in italics and only included in the full Head Fi review and mentioned in the Video Reviews.

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