10 Best Audio Technica Over-Ear Headphones [2022]

Best Audio Technica headphones -- the R70x
Best Audio Technica headphones — the R70x
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Whether for audiophile-quality listening, audio mixing, or casual music sessions, here are the best-sounding Audio Technica over-ear headphones you can find on the market today.

NameTypeConnectivityFrequency RangePrice
ATH-R70x Best OverallOpen-backWired5 - 40,000 HzBUY
ATH-M50X Strong Runner-UpClosed-backWired15 – 28,000 HzBUY
ATH-SR50BT Best BudgetClosed-backWired or Wireless5 – 40,000 HzBUY
ATH-ANC900BT Best for TravelClosed-backWired or Wireless5 – 40,000 HzBUY
ATH-G1 Best For GamingClosed-backWired5 - 40,000 HzBUY
ATH-WP900 Best for On-The-Go Premium ListeningClosed-backWired5 – 50,000 HzBUY
ATH-AD1000X Best for Vocal ClarityOpen-backWired5 – 40,000 HzBUY
ATH-BPHS2 Best for BroadcastingClosed-backWired15 - 28,000 HzBUY
ATH-PRO5X Best for DJs Closed-backWired5 - 35,000 HzBUY
ATH-ADX5000 Best Premium Sound QualityOpen-backWired5 – 50,000 HzBUY

How to Choose the Best Audio Technica Over-Ear Headphones

If you wondered whether Audio Technica is a good headphones brand, the answer is a resounding yes. Some of their headphones like the ATH-M50x have dominated the market for their price point.

The ever-popular M50x have more than 24,000 ratings on Amazon, making them the most-rated over-ear headphones in the $100-200 range.

This Japanese company has gained the respect of audio engineers and enthusiasts alike. Their ATH-M60x even won the TEC awards, which is one of the most prestigious awards in the audio industry. So, if you’re looking at their headphones to be your first (or next) pair, you’re heading in the right direction.

But with over 50 headphones released right now, there may be an overwhelming amount of selections, even if you’re not exactly new in the audio scene.

While Audio Technica does have excellent IEMs and on-ear headphones, we’re going to focus on their over-ear products in this article. IEMs and on-ear headphones have their upsides, but over-ear is simply the most recommended form factor for most types of audio content.

But there are more important aspects of their over-ear headphones that you should be looking at. Here are some of them:

What will you use them for?

While they are known to be one of the top studio headphones brands, Audio Technica has been branching out their product lineups to different niches like sports, gaming, and many more. But they have not strayed from their core products: top-notch over-ear headphones for audiophiles.

That said, you should think about what features you want in your headphones depending on your activities.

Here are some features that you will find in Audio Technica over-ear headphones and whether or not they’ll suit your needs:

Active noise canceling

Noise-canceling headphones are excellent choices for traveling or studying. Not only that, but the ability to cancel out unwanted ambient noise is a very welcome feature that can enhance your listening experience.

When you have imperfect sound isolation around the ear cups, outside noises can get in and clutter the music or other sounds from your headphones. Having ANC will negate those noises and therefore prevent noise pollution from getting into your ears.

While their ANC isn’t as highly praised as Sony’s or Bose’s, Audio Technica’s latest products like the ANC900BT can deliver industry-standard noise canceling to compete with the top dogs.

Microphone

Being known as one of the brands that mostly focus on studio production, most of Audio Technica’s over-ear headphones don’t come with microphones.

Microphones don’t affect headphones’ sound quality in any way, but having them on studio monitoring headphones wouldn’t have any clear benefit.

However, if microphones are a must-have for your headphones, you can browse their purpose-specific product lineups that include headphones for gaming, broadcasting, and video conferencing.

Surround sound

Audio Technica is still behind brands like Logitech and Steelseries in gaming headsets. However, their latest gaming product lineups offer an advanced virtual surround sound feature with ImmerseTM software from Embody.

Embody’s ImmerseTM is subscription-based audio virtualization software that helps with shaping a deeper 3D spatial sound for gaming. It offers audio presets designed specifically for different game genres like FPS, MOBA, and RPG.

What to expect on Audio Technica headphones’ sound quality?

From the start of their journey, Audio Technica has aimed to be the top brand for audiophiles and music production. To achieve that goal, they have focused most of their research and development budget on creating the best-sounding audiophile headphones in the market.

Quoted from their story:

In 1962, Matsushita founded Audio-Technica with the vision of producing high-quality audio for everyone. And following this vision, he soon created the first truly affordable phono cartridge, the AT-1, in the company’s small flat in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

But since music is still highly subjective, many of their products have unique sound profiles. Depending on your preferred sound, you may need to narrow down your choices by considering several factors:

Frequency response

Naturally, human ears can only perceive between 20Hz-20KHz in the frequency spectrum, so most headphones stay within this range. However, bass and treble roll-offs and distortions are common problems in average headphones, especially when the sound approaches the 20Hz-20KHz lower/upper limits.

That’s why most Audio Technica headphones are made to produce a wider frequency output that ranges from 5Hz – 50KHz.

Aside from the less distortion and roll-offs, the lower bottom limit also helps with immersion since you’d be able to ‘feel’ any sound that plays below 20Hz – which is naturally inaudible to human ears.

You should remember that a wider frequency range doesn’t equal better headphones. There are other factors that contribute to sound quality, such as sensitivity, driver types and sizes, and the fine-tuning of the headphones.

Sensitivity

The headphones’ sensitivity determines how efficiently they convert the electronic signals from your phones (or other playback media) into a clean, undistorted sound.

Simply put, the sensitivity rating measures how loud a pair of headphones can be at a given signal strength. This is typically measured in decibels per milliWatt (dB/mW) – signifying the volume headphones can reach in relation to the power they draw.

The majority of headphones in the market have an 85dB – 105dB sensitivity.

Low-sensitivity headphones usually require more power from your device to reproduce high-quality sound. On the other hand, high-sensitivity headphones can operate well with less power, but they tend to distort at high or max volume.

Listening to headphones with 110dB or higher sensitivity at max volume can damage your ears in under 5 minutes. Take this into consideration when buying and using headphones.

Sound signature

The sound signature is the characteristic or ‘color’ of audio that your headphones produce. Since Audio Technica is a brand that targets audiophiles and music enthusiasts, most of their over-ear models have either a neutral or analytical sound signature.

Both the neutral and analytical sound signatures are far better at delivering accurate sound reproduction than others.

But that’s not to say you can’t find AT headphones with other sound signatures. For example, the ATH-ANC900BT have a V-shaped sound signature with clearly defined bass and treble that appeal to casual listeners.

If you’re a bass head, the ATH-WS990bt come with Solid BassTM technology to bring the extra punch to the lows. There are also headphones with a bright sound signature like the ATH-MSR7b that deliver crisp and dynamic treble for those who prefer jazz, classical, rock, and folk music.

Soundstage

Headphones’ soundstage is the ability of the headphones to create a virtual 3D space, to help you perceive where each instrument is coming from, making your music sound more realistic and life-like.

Think of it as when you’re attending an orchestra. You’ll probably see the string instruments located at the front with the cellos to your right and the violins to your left – closest to the conductor. Percussions are always the furthest back along with harps and the piano. If you close your eyes, you’d be able to visualize the position of those instruments by simply listening to the music. That is what soundstage in headphones attempts to recreate.

The soundstage of headphones is often directly related to whether they are open-back or closed-back. Open-back headphones usually have a wider soundstage, and closed-back headphones have a narrower soundstage.

Learn more about whether you should go with closed-back or open-back headphones.

Compatibility with your setup

Due to various technical aspects, some Audio Technica headphones are more difficult to drive than others. But one of the primary reasons for this is the headphones’ impedance.

Simply put, impedance is the electrical resistance (measured in ohms) that electronic devices like headphones have in their circuitry. In lay terms, this determines the required voltage from the audio source to power up your headphones.

This matching between the audio source’s power delivery and the headphones’ resistance is called impedance matching.

Headphones’ impedance range from 8-600 ohms, with the average consumer headphones having 32 ohms of impedance. Lower impedance (below 50) means that you can get their best performance with less power required. That’s why you can use regular headphones with your smartphones or laptops.

But in the case of high-impedance headphones, like the ATH-R70X that have 470 ohms of impedance, you’ll need more power to get their best performance. For this, you’ll need a capable amp to deliver enough power to the headphones for them to function properly and deliver their optimal sound quality.

Higher impedance means you’ll need more powerful amps. If you’re unsure whether you’d need an amp, you can check your headphones’ requirements in this headphone power calculator.

Got lost browsing for amps to power your headphones? Check out our recommendations for the best desktop DAC/Amp combo or portable DAC/amp combo.

Wired vs. wireless

It’s undeniable that wireless headphones are highly convenient with zero risk of tangled cord. The sound quality of wireless headphones has also been improving steadily over the past few years. If you have a mobile lifestyle and listen to music on the go, wireless headphones are the clear choice for you.

If you decide to get wireless headphones, especially Bluetooth ones, pay close attention to the audio codecs. We highly recommend you to go with the ones that support AptX (ATH-SR5BT) or LDAC (ATH-MH50X BT2) since these codecs have the best sound quality.

But if you want to get a pair of Audio Technica for your desktop setup at home, wired ones will do you justice with the sound quality improvements over wireless ones.

Audio Technica headphones usually come with two or three high-quality stock cables with a rubber jacket. For example, the ATH-M50x comes with a 1.2m straight cable, a 3m straight cable, and a 1.2m coiled cable.

They are not the highest-end cable by any means, but they won’t randomly snap off either.

Some of their headphones also have a proprietary A2DC (Audio Designed Detachable Coaxial), which they claim to provide a more stable connection and better sound quality.

While higher-end headphones cable often has better design and durability, the effect on audio quality is highly debated over the years.

Comfort

Comfort is necessary to get the best listening experience. Sound quality won’t matter if you can’t listen to music without hurting your ears or clamping your head.

Audio Technica over-ear headphones are known to have comfortable leather or foam ear cups across the board with just the right clamping force for most head shapes. Generally, you can use these factors to gauge the comfort level of over-ear headphones:

  • Padding: Since the ear cups or ear pads are the main contact point with your head, they should be as comfortable as possible. Ideally, leather ear cups with a memory foam pad provide most people with the best seal and comfort.
  • Weight: It’s best to go for lighter headphones <340 grams whenever possible. With less weight resting on your head, you’ll be able to enjoy music for longer without any fatigue or soreness.
  • Adjustability: Some headphones may have too much clamping force by default. Having an adjustable headband will help you find just the right tightness around your head.

Price

Compared to other audiophile brands like Sennheiser, Audio Technica offers a wider variety of headphones that spans from $15 to $1,500. But while there are some budget-oriented headphones from Audio Technica, their best products are usually north of $100 – with some pairs even going beyond $1,000.

Paying that much money for a pair of headphones may sound ridiculous to some people. But as with most things, the price tags on higher-end Audio Technica headphones come with performance and quality that can justify it.

For example, in the $100-$200 range, the M50x are nearly unbeatable by their competitors like the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro or Sennheiser HD599 in terms of bang-for-the-buck ratio. The M50x not only offer a finely-tuned V-shaped sound signature they also have:

  • Foldable ear cups
  • Excellent build quality
  • Three detachable cables
  • Noise-isolating leather ear pads
  • Variety of color options

While you can find the features and options above in the higher-end headphones, no other pair at that price point can match M50x’s offer.

10 Best Audio Technica Over-Ear Headphones in 2022

ATH-R70x

Best Overall
Close look at ATH-R70x (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-R70x (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Open-back
  • Driver size: 45mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • Sound signature: Neutral
  • Impedance: 470 ohms
  • Weight: 210 g

The ATH-R70x are our top selection for the best Audio Technica headphones with the right mix of comfort, sound quality, and overall technical prowess that combine into a nearly perfect listening experience.

These headphones offer a neutral sound signature, making them a perfect pair for studio mixing or monitoring. Plus, thanks to their open-back design, finely-tuned 45mm drivers, and wide 5 – 40,000 Hz frequency response, the R70x can deliver comparable performance to the more expensive Sennheiser 600HD series.

Comfort is also not an issue with these headphones. The R70x use the less conventional headband wings to rest the extremely light 210 g headphones around your head. The detachable foam ear pads are also comfortable and breathable, suitable for long studio sessions.

Yet, despite being very light, these headphones are made from high-quality material that just feels durable to the touch.

For one, the headband is made of robust metal with perforations that contribute to the lightweight construction. It’s also quite narrow compared to other headbands, which results in better air circulation around the top of your head when wearing the headphones.

You’ll also get a 3-meter detachable cable with 3.5mm connectors and a locking mechanism, so you won’t accidentally rip them out.

With a 1,000 mW maximum power input and 99 dB sensitivity, the R70x can deliver accurate and distortion-free sound with the right setup.

Unfortunately, if you plan on using the R70x with daily devices like smartphones or laptops, you probably won’t get the best performance due to their high impedance nature.

Given that these headphones have a 470 ohms impedance, there will be a degree of sound quality scaling depending on the amp you use to drive them.

The included cable is also ridiculously long at 3 meters – so you’ll have to get an aftermarket model if you want a shorter one.

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ATH-M50X

Strong Runner-Up
Close look at ATH-M50X (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-M50X (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver size: 45mm
  • Frequency: 15 – 28,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • Sound signature: V-shaped
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Weight: 285 g

The ATH-M50X are arguably the market leader when it comes to entry-level audiophile headphones with excellent all-around performance. Despite being released in 2014, the M50x remain very popular among audio enthusiast – which is a testament to their excellent quality across the board.

With a slightly V-shaped sound signature, the M50x can satisfy a wide spectrum of audiences whether they’re audiophiles or casual listeners. These headphones have 45mm drivers that are of delivering crisp details in the lows and highs while maintaining sound clarity.

They also have a wide 15 – 28,000 Hz frequency response range also ensures that there are minimum audible roll-offs in the bass and treble. Plus, a 99 dB sensitivity rating – which is on par with most mid to high-end headphones in the market.

Having 38 ohms impedance also helps the M50x to become an excellent choice for those who don’t have a high-powered amp setup, but want to get into audiophile-class headphones.

The M50x are an improved version of the older M40x. Audio Technica improved the M50x with better passive noise isolation and better sound purity on high frequencies.

Out of the box, you’ll get three varieties of 3.5mm detachable cables: a 1.2m straight cable, a 3m straight cable, and a 1.2m coiled cable.

Having a robust build and memory foam ear pads also help the ATH-M50x to become a very popular pair over the years. Combine that with the understated design, foldable ear cups, and excellent out-of-the-box experience, you’ll get a pair of headphones that is just difficult to say no to.

There’s also a locking mechanism that prevents the connectors to be accidentally ripped out of the port. Unfortunately, this mechanism can make finding a replacement cable difficult.

Since the M50x are also closed-back headphones, they have a pretty narrow soundstage compared to other studio monitor headphones. Also, while the M50x are very travel-friendly with their foldable ear cups, they can’t be an all-in-one solution for music and phone calls since they don’t have a built-in microphone.

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ATH-SR50BT

Best Budget
Close look at ATH-SR50BT (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-SR50BT (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired or Wireless
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver size: 45mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
  • Sound signature: Balanced
  • Impedance: 47 ohms
  • Weight: 262 g

The ATH-SR50BT are Audio Technica’s tempting offer for anyone looking to get a pair of excellent-sounding wireless headphones at a super competitive price. Their fantastic spec sheet plus 28-hour battery life and active-noise canceling, make the SR50BT our top bang-for-the-buck option.

You can use both wired and wireless modes on the SR50BT, making them suitable if you only want a pair of headphones for listening at home or while traveling.

Audio Technica equipped the SR50BT with 45mm drivers with a balanced sound signature that can handle frequencies between 5 – 40,000 Hz. They also have 100 dB/mW sensitivity, so you won’t consume too much power despite blasting these headphones at max volume.

Switching tracks on the fly is also a breeze with the touch panel on the left ear cup. And, there are well-positioned buttons to perform actions like power on/off and activate the ambient sound mode.

The AptX codec compatibility is also excellent to create a well-defined sound despite using Bluetooth to transfer the signal. But if your device isn’t compatible with AptX, the SR50BT supports AAC and SBC as well.

With a moderate 47 ohms impedance, the SR50BT have a great potential to deliver even more details to your listening quality over a wired connection even without a dedicated amp. You’ll also get a 1.2m detachable cable with a 3.5mm connector in the box.

Unfortunately, the SR50BT takes about 5 hours to fully charge – making them less portable, especially for power users who tend to keep their headphones on for hours on end. They also still charge with Micro-USB instead of the more popular USB-C.

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ATH-ANC900BT

Best for Travel
Close look at ATH-ANC900BT (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-ANC900BT (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired or Wireless
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver size: 40mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 103 dB/mW
  • Sound signature: Balanced
  • Impedance: 35 ohms
  • Weight: 263 g

If you’re looking for a more premium taste of wireless over-ears, the ATH-ANC900BT offer a major step-up from our previous recommendation. These headphones have foldable ear cups and excellent active noise cancelation that make them a perfect pair of headphones for traveling. They even come with a semi-hard case for safer and easier storage.

The ANC900BT can last up to a whopping 60 hours of playback time on wired mode with ANC active. But even with the Bluetooth 5.0 connection, the ANC900BT can last for 35 hours – which is slightly longer than their main competitors like the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Like the ATH-SR50BT, the charging time is still pretty long at 5.5 hours using a micro-USB. But, considering the playback time you’d get from a full battery, you’ll only have to charge about every two days at most.

Despite being wireless and portable, they are still Audio Technica headphones – meaning sound quality is still a top priority. They come with a pair of finely-tuned 40mm drivers with a 5 – 40,000 Hz frequency response range. The combo between those two proves to create a balanced sound signature with equal details on the lows, mids, and highs.

The low 35 ohms impedance also ensures that you’d get the best performance from these headphones while using the wired connection with low-powered devices. They also use the AptX codec to ensure that there’s a minimum drop in sound quality on wireless mode.

Playback control on the ANC900BT is also a breeze with the touch panel on the left ear cup. Everything you’d need to control your media like play/pause, adjust volume, skip tracks, etc. are all accessible right off the bat.

Unfortunately, the active noise cancelation can have a bit of cabin pressure after a certain period of use. There’s also no customizable EQ on these headphones, despite being compatible with the Audio Technica app.

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ATH-G1

Best for Gaming
Close look at ATH-G1 (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-G1 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver size: 45mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB/mW
  • Sound signature: Slightly bright
  • Impedance: 45 ohms
  • Weight: 250 g

The ATH-G1 are among the few gaming-oriented headphones in Audio Technica’s catalog, and they’re excellent for that purpose. These have a boom mic for crystal-clear team comms and a built-in Embody ImmerseTM compatibility to activate advanced spatial audio based on the game’s genre.

While these headphones are specifically designed for gaming, the excellent microphone vocal reproduction also makes them suitable for remote working setups and online meetings. Add the light-weight build at only 250 g, the G1 are super comfortable even when used for hours on end.

The included 2m cable allows you to move around more freely. There’s also an inline switch that lets you toggle the microphone on/off without having to open up the settings app on your PC or console.

If you prefer a wireless connection, there’s a wireless alternative: the ATH-G1WL that have 15 hours of battery life with nearly identical specs. Check our head-to-head comparison for more details. There’s also the newer GDL3BK, which are cheaper with an open-back design if you prefer to have a wider soundstage.

The 45mm drivers on the G1 are clearly not meant to sound like studio headphones. They have a slightly bright sound signature that creates crystal-clear treble notes that can immerse you in the game’s universe. However, they also retain the delightful punchy bass for an even more complete listening experience.

They also have a 5 – 40,000 Hz frequency response range, which should be plenty to cover various genres of music and games. And a 101 dB/mW sensitivity that helps the headphones achieve louder sound without requiring too much power.

While they are an overall excellent pair of gaming/video call headphones, the external sound isolation isn’t great. Loud noises around you will drown out quiet sound details from the G1. The in-line volume control is also rather slippery to a point where accidental scrolls are very common.

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ATH-WP900

Best for On-The-Go Premium Listening
Close look at ATH-WP900 (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-WP900 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver size: 53mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 50,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
  • Sound signature: V-shaped
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Weight: 243 g

The ATH-WP900 are some of the best portable headphones, not just from Audio Technica, but on the entire audiophile headphones market. Despite having a smaller form factor, there is almost zero compromises for the sound quality of these headphones.

The WP900 are capable of producing crystal-clear V-shaped sound from their finely tuned 53mm drivers. But despite having the components of high-end studio headphones, the WP900 are very easy to drive even with low-powered devices, thanks to their low 38 ohms impedance.

In a classic Audio Technica tuning style, the WP900 can deliver crisp detail in all frequencies, but the female vocals and string instruments stand out from others. However, the vocals and trebles don’t overshadow the bass in the slightest. The WP900 still retains the clarity of the lows with nearly zero roll-offs on most tracks.

To ensure top-notch signal delivery, the WP900 use Audio Technica’s reliable proprietary A2DP connectors with either 3.5mm unbalanced or 4.4mm balanced cables – both included in the box.

There’s also nothing short of premium about the WP900’s build and feel. The ear cups have a maple wood finish crafted beautifully by a local guitar maker in Japan.

If you love WP900’s wooden design, you should check out our review on the ATH-W1000x, which have cherrywood earcups that are just as beautiful.

You’ll also barely notice the clamping force from the headband – but they still fit very securely to your head. On top of that, WP900’s over-ear design and breathable ear pads allow them to feel very open and airy despite being closed-back headphones.

All-in-all, long listening sessions are a breeze with the WP900. You likely won’t feel too much fatigue or soreness from the clamping force even after hours of continuous use – but that may vary depending on the size and shape of your head.

However, the WP900 has a slightly recessed bass and in-your-face treble and vocals that could lead to a listener’s fatigue. Since these are also promoted as premium portable headphones, the lack of foldable ear cups and travel hard case is somewhat disappointing.

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ATH-AD1000X

Best for Vocal Clarity
Close look at ATH-AD1000X (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-AD1000X (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Open-back
  • Driver size: 53mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
  • Sound signature: Bright
  • Impedance: 40 ohms
  • Weight: 26 g

The ATH-AD1000X are a pair of open-back headphones with excellent mid and treble without making them sound harsh. If you prefer a vocal-heavy sound in your music, these headphones are right down your alley.

With the 53mm drivers and the open-back design, the AD1000x are a pair of very promising headphones capable of hyper-accurate sound reproduction for most people. The wide 5 – 40,000 Hz frequency response range also allows these headphones to deliver articulate treble with zero to minimum roll-offs.

Having only 40 ohms impedance also helps with their performance on lower-end setups – so if you only have an entry-level amp, you should still be able to drive the AD1000x while still getting excellent sound.

Being a part of Audio Technica’s Air Dynamic (AD) series, the AD1000x have a wide soundstage that brings a nearly life-like listening experience to your ears. However, they sound slightly narrower compared to the previous ATH-AD900x.

Yet, the AD1000x still have more detailed and clearer sound than its predecessesor. Even compared to the more premium ATH-AD2000x, the AD1000x are only slightly behind in the treble department.

The AD1000x has a matte finish with robust build quality despite being very light at only 265 g. The magnesium alloy headband also allows these headphones to have plenty of flex but fit securely on your head with just the right clamping force.

That said, while these stand out in mids and trebles, you still shouldn’t expect to have thumpy bass when listening to the AD1000x. Compared to V-shaped headphones like the M50x, the bass is still shapeless and all over the place, especially without any additional EQ.

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ATH-BPHS2

Best for Broadcasting
Close look at ATH-BPHS2 (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-BPHS2 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver size: 45mm
  • Frequency: 15 – 28,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB
  • Sound signature: Balanced
  • Impedance: 38 ohms (headphones) / 550 ohms (microphone)
  • Weight: 250 g

As the flagship headphones from Audio Technica’s broadcasting lineup, the ATH-BPHS2 feature a high-resolution boom microphone with top-notch quality.

Products in this lineup are specially made for sports and news broadcasters. However, the mic is generally designed to pick up voice. You can use these headphones to record a podcast, voiceover, or simply jump on video calls with extraordinarily crisp voice.

The microphone in the BPHS2 has a hyper cardioid pattern with -57 dB sensitivity, meaning it will pick up voices directly in front of it while rejecting most voices from other directions. This sound isolation is excellent for situations where background noises could be an issue like in a jam-packed stadium or crowded areas.

You’re also free to choose whether you want the mic on the left or right side of your head since the boom arm rotates 360o. It’s also very stiff, yet flexible, so you can articulate the mic’s position however you want.

In the sound department, these headphones have a pair of 45mm drivers with a balanced sound signature. They also have 102 dB/mW sensitivity with only 38 ohms of impedance, meaning these can get quite loud even with a moderately powered audio source.

However, the microphone’s impedance is at 550 ohms, which is reflective of the recording quality you’ll get when you have the right setup to drive the BPHS2. With that much impedance, the typical 3.5mm audio jack on your PC or laptop won’t have enough power to drive the BPHS2’s mic.

If you want to get the most quality out of the BPHS2’s mic, it’s best to use an external audio interface like dedicated soundcards or amps. That’s why they’ve included a 3m long cable with a 6-pin connector on the headphone and a 6.5mm audio jack on the other end.

The BPHS2 also have other variants built for different use cases:

  • BPHS2S offer a single-ear headphone alternative for better direct communication and environmental awareness.
  • BPHS2C have a high-input cardioid condenser microphone with sleeker design and higher sound fidelity than the hyper cardioid dynamic microphone in the standard model.
  • BPHS2C-UT are a variant of the BPHS2C with an unterminated cable (no plug installed) on the other end. It allows you to install any type of audio jack or connector you need.

The BPHS2 are made for a very specific purpose: broadcasting. They will do everything you’d need in for broadcasting perfectly. But unfortunately, they don’t sound particularly good for music or monitoring. These headphones also have a very narrow soundstage that often feels claustrophobic.

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ATH-PRO5X

Best for DJs
Close look at ATH-PRO5X (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-PRO5X (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Closed-back
  • Driver size: 40mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 35,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB
  • Sound signature: Warm
  • Impedance: 34 ohms
  • Weight: 250 g

If you’re a newcomer DJ looking for a pair of headphones to mix your tunes, the ATH-PRO5X are some of the strongest contenders that offer an excellent value-for-performance ratio. These headphones have a wide frequency range that will be especially useful for mastering tracks or monitoring recording results with high accuracy.

They come with 45mm drivers that produce a warm sound signature. With the 5 – 35,000 Hz frequency response range, the PRO5X have an excellent bass response that doesn’t bleed over to the mids and highs. This excellent bass isolation keeps the mid and treble clean and detailed, which helps you mix audio better.

The PRO5X also have a low impedance at 34 ohms, meaning you’ll be able to get their best performance even with low-powered audio output like smartphones and laptops.

You will get a 3m detachable cable with a 3.5mm audio jack that supports a screw-on 6.5mm connector to use with amps or sound cards. You will also get a shorter 1.2m coiled cable with a 3.5mm connector to use with laptops and mobile audio players. Both cables are made from very high-quality material with Audio Technica’s proprietary locking mechanism that prevents accidental rip-out.

The PRO5X are sturdily built despite weighing only 250 g. They have an adjustable stainless steel headband with a soft cushion to keep your head comfortable. You’ll also get super soft faux leather removable ear pads that provide excellent isolation and are very comfortable even for long listening sessions.

If you’re looking for headphones with a smaller design or better environmental awareness, the ATH-M60x are an excellent pair of on-ear headphones with bigger drivers and even better overall sound quality than the PRO5X.

Unfortunately, Audio Technica had to cheap out on some materials to keep the cost down. The ear cups are made of a thin polycarbonate that doesn’t feel particularly robust. However, it also plays an important role in keeping the headphones light. Also, there’s no microphone on the PRO5X since they’re intended for DJ or studio mixing use.

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ATH-ADX5000

Best Premium Sound Quality
Close look at ATH-ADX5000 (From: Amazon)
Close look at ATH-ADX5000 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Type: Open-back
  • Driver size: 58mm
  • Frequency: 5 – 50,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
  • Sound signature: Neutral
  • Impedance: 420 ohms
  • Weight: 270 g

The ATH-ADX5000 are a pair of high-end headphones with an all-around premium experience from unboxing to listening. They come with a full-on suitcase that ensures the headphones don’t get damaged when they get to you. They’re also super light at only 270g – which is amazing considering the size of their 58mm tungsten-coated drivers.

The tungsten coating provides extra stiffness and rigidity to the drivers, which then allow them to reproduce sound with better detail and at higher frequencies. On top of the massive drivers, the ADX5000 also have a wide frequency response that ranges from 5 – 50,000 Hz and 100 dB/mW sensitivity.

But as expected from headphones of this caliber, the ADX5000 are a bit difficult to drive with a whopping 420 ohms impedance.

The ADX5000 are the eldest sibling of the AD1000X that also made this list. Since they’re a part of the Air Dynamic series, the ADX5000 also have a wide soundstage that does a marvelous job at separating instruments in a 3D audio space.

While other products in the AD lineup have a balanced sound signature, the ADX5000 have a neutral sound that allows you to listen to the purest form of music as if you were present during the recording.

Typically, open-back headphones will face difficulty in retaining tonal balance, which results in harsh vocals and trebles that can get tiresome after some time. But the same cannot be said for the ADX5000, which delivers a nearly life-like experience without being harsh on the ears.

Moreover, the earpads are super soft and cushiony despite being made from Alcantara and not memory foam. The earpads are also resistant to heat build-up from wearing them for long periods.

They also have a stainless steel headband covered in felt with a big gap in the middle that contributes to the lighter overall weight. You’ll also get a robust adjustment mechanism on each ear cup that just feels durable to the touch.

Unfortunately, the included cable is a little stiff and hefty. Oftentimes, this can slightly reduce the comfort while moving around with the headphones. It also has Audio Technica’s proprietary A2DC connectors, which are reliable – but are slightly difficult to find replacements for.

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