Verdict – The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 is a warm, pleasant sounding home listening set that carries plenty of detail but never steps in the fatiguing territory. Its lightweight design allows the listener to wear them for longer periods.
Pro’s – Fantastic stereo imaging with a great sense of space. Very comfortable headphones, a great partner to that favourite comfy chair. Excellent value for money.
Cons – Very gentle loose fit and combined with their size and the open back means these are definitely for home listening.
Introduction – Audio-Technica established in 1962 is a worldwide group devoted to the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of problem-solving audio equipment. They started out making phonograph cartridges and now create microphones, mixers and electronic products for home and professional use. Winner of numerous awards, Audio-Technica manufactures quality products that are used in professional and personal audio around the world.
Description -The ATH-AD700 is only available in the exciting purple and silver colour way. For the purpose of this review a transparent amp was used, but with such a low impedance of only 32 ohms, the AD 700 can be powered quite easily by your portable devices such as an iPod, iPhone or other portable media player. You really get the impression that Audio-Technica produced these as an entry-level headphone for those not sure if they want to commit a huge amount of their well earned money into their hi-fi gear yet. There’s no need for a headphone amp or expensive audio equipment, anyone can enjoy these excellent hi-fi headphones.
Application – One of the main advantages of open back headphones is their accuracy, and as the AD700 are so very open, there are less sound wave reflections clouding the mix, and that will be part of the reason for their excellent accuracy and sound separation. However that also means that those around you will hear everything, so if the reason for purchasing headphones is to not disturb others in the same room then these probably would not be a good choice, you would be better choosing some closed back headphones.
Describe the sound – Generating the sound in the AD700 is a pair of 53mm neodymium drivers. As far as drivers go, that is pretty big, and big is beautiful in this case. Sound separation and stereo imaging is excellent, far exceeding headphones twice the price on that front. There’s such clarity right across the frequency spectrum, although the top end seems to struggle at a louder volume, for most people’s comfortable listening level they really deliver well. In particular the mid range is as good as anything within a reasonable price range. Some may feel that the bass region is lacking a touch but for the casual listener these have plenty to offer, it is only in the very low frequencies where there is quite a drop. In real listening terms I’d put it like this – you still get all the slap of the kick drum, just not so much of the boom. However what you can hear down there is very accurate and unlike the higher frequencies remains very clear even at high volumes.
Comparisons – Have a look at Sennheiser’s HD600 and 650 models in case you’re after a bit more warmth. In case you prefer a tad more articulation at the top, the SoundMAGIC HP200 is a great alternative. For an all around balanced sound, the German Maestro GMP400 is a great option.
Product – Audio Technica ATH-AD700
Product Type – Open Back Hi-Fi Headphones
Price – £124.96