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creatip123

My personal review of ATH-AD700 (image heavy)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

After using the cheaper line of Audio Technica product, the ATH-TAD300 for quite some time, I fell in love with the sound characteristic of their product. I'm using my headphone to play games and listen to some musics. So I crawled around the net, looking for a suitable upgrade. After reading many reviews, I decided to go for the AD700 (without X).

 

Deciding is one thing, actually finding one is another thing. The AD700 has been discontinued for quite some time, so my only option is to find a store that still have this as an old stock. So I began to search for one from online stores as well as physical stores in malls. In total, I've searched around 10 stores (maybe more). I even called the Audio Technica distributor in my country, with no luck.

Then, a few days ago, I struck gold. I found a store that still have one as their demo unit, and they were willing to sell it (after all, it's discontinued, so there's no sense in keeping it as a demo unit). So I went there to check it for defects physically as well as the sound. To my surprise, it's still in mint condition. Event the tension is still good. They even still have the packaging (although the box wasn't in mint condition). Being a demo unit (not brand new), I bought it at a discount price, around $100 (from their original price of $127). I struck gold AND platinum :)

 

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Over the ear, open back type

$159 in Amazon

 


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So my first impression of the AD700 physically was, man this thing sure is big and bulky. Pictures on the net don't have any size comparison, so I couldn't estimate the real size.

 

You can see from the picture above, the size comparison with a regular Zippo lighter. Even the size of the hole in the cup is almost enough to 'swallow' the Zippo in. The paddings itself are about 1" thick which of course add to its bulkiness. But despite of its bulkiness, it's quite light, weighing at only 280g (without the cord). The cord itself felt quite solid and durable. Far from the TAD300 which is very thin and felt cheap. The cord is supposed to have titanium sheathing, for durability. With 5mm thick, the cord doesn't get tangled easily. The cord ends in a standard 3.5mm stereo jack, with included 3.5mm to 6.5mm jack adapter. Too bad the cord is not detachable from the unit, although I'm sure there are many hardcore users who are willing to mod it to be detachable. The back of the cups are covered with a thin aluminium honeycomb mesh. It's supposed to give decent protection while keeping the weight minimum.

 


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When I put it on, woah man, talk about comfortable!! This thing really 'hugs' my skull. The clamping tension is just about right, and their patented 3D wings really does the job. I don't have to adjust anything, just take it out of the box and put it on, and that's it. The thick velour padding feel so soft and cushy. I can barely feel the 3D wings at the top of my skull. The 3D wings are a pair of spring loaded mechanism covered with some soft paddings. It's supposedly patented by Audio Technica, but many other brands use the same principle, in exchange of a full headband. I've used it playing games for continuous hours (5-6 hours straight), and it's still sitting comfortably on my head. Doesn't come loose, and doesn't cause fatigue or strain either.


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Ok, so let's talk about the real sound. I'm sure there are many other AD700 users who were just like me when listening to its sound the first time. My first thought was, 'dude, where the heck is my bass?!?!'. The mids and highs are very clear, the separation of the various voices are very distinct, but where the heck is the bass?? The voice sounds too thin, lacking solidity with flat EQ. So I set up the EQ on my Xonar DG, pushed the low frequencies up, and there...I got my bass back. The bass is actually very smooth, without that echo-ey feeling, and certainly doesn't overpower any other frequencies. With the bass back on, all the musics I've tried so far sound amazing. Pop-classic-techno-dubstep-alternative, you name it. I'd say that this unit is never intended to be played with flat EQ (although I'm sure there are people who appreciate its bass-less characteristic). Maybe that's why it wasn't very popular for casual music listener. I'd imagine people would try a demo unit with flat EQ, heard the lack of bass, and quickly move on to other brands or types.

 

The drivers are angled from front to back, facing the ear lobes. This supposed to give a clearer and more natural sounds. Another characteristic that I love from Audio Technica's products is the balanced mids and highs. I can turn the volume up really loud, and I still don't get those 'hurting' mids or highs. Sure my ears are ringing afterward, but I don't feel any hearing discomfort when I'm actually hearing it.

 


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The sound quality itself is a big step-up from its kid brother, the TAD300. I can easily tell right away that this is a whole different tier compared to the TAD300. I dare even say that it's on par with the Sennheiser HD 600, which is about 4-5 times the price. Of course it's my personal opinion, though. Being an open-back headphone, the sound actually got good dimensions and sounds very natural. Too bad it's leaking sounds like crazy, in and out. Sounds leaking in can easily be overpowered by the musics, but when I take it off while playing a song, man it sounds like my phone is playing a song. I could only imagine if I use this in the crowd, people would stare at me with that look 'are you deaf or something, playing songs that loud??' But then again, there's a slim chance that I'd wear this in public, due to its bulkiness, and the colors (I mean, come on, gold + fuschia??). I've read that some people actually painted the aluminium mesh with other colors.

 

It's rated at 32ohms and 98dB/mW, which should be easy to drive. Basically any smartphone have enough juice to drive this headphone. However, to unlock it's true potential, I found out that I need to set my soundcard's built-in amp to >64ohms. So if you're using onboard or other soundcards, you may (or may not) need a separate headphone amp to get its true potential. If your card have a built-in amp like my xonar DG, then you're good. I'm not talking about loudness here. Let me explain. So in my xonar DG, I have a built-in headphone amp with 3 settings, <32ohms, 32~64ohms, and >64ohms. Basically, my everyday use is set to 32~64ohms, at about 55% volume. If I set it up to >64ohms, the volume got louder, naturally, so I dropped the volume to about 30-35% to match the loudness of the previous setting. However, when I'm using the >64ohms with the same loudness setting, the voice actually became clearer and more solid. The separation between instruments became clearer, and the virtual dimension actually became wider. To sum it up, it sounds good with low driving impedance, but it sounds great with higher driving impedance. I don't really understand why, but my guess is, it may have something to do with internal soundcards having high output impedance.

 

I can easily say that this is an ideal 'audiophile starter's headphone' or 'audiophile on the budget's headphone'. Sure there are many other higher end brands and types that sound a lot better, but within the price range, there aren't many better sounding. Different characteristics perhaps, but not necessarily better.

 


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I can understand why there are so many good reviews about this headphone used to play games. The dimension of the sound make pinpointing a location much easier. The clarity of the mids and highs make it easier to hear footsteps coming or going. The clear detail separation  make it easier to distinguish various ambient sounds in the game. And of course the comfortability is a great plus for playing games, as you could easily play on for continuous hours without realizing the time. A lot of other forum users said that it's too bad it got discontinued. This headphone is a big bang for bucks....

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Not bad... surprised you managed to get your hands on a discontinued Audio Technica product. BTW OP one of your spoiler images isn't working you forgot the %7Boption%7D tag. 


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wasnt this posted like a few days ago


If your grave doesn't say "rest in peace" on it You are automatically drafted into the skeleton war.

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wasnt this posted like a few days ago

Yeah I thought I read this before?


"If you do not take your failures seriously you will continue to fail"

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Not bad... surprised you managed to get your hands on a discontinued Audio Technica product. BTW OP one of your spoiler images isn't working you forgot the %7Boption%7D tag. 

 

Yeah, like I said, I struck gold :)

 

Thanx for the image notice, btw

 

 

wasnt this posted like a few days ago

 

Yeah I thought I read this before?

 

 

Yes, someone over there said that it's more suitable to post in this sub-forum. I didn't even know about this review sub-forum before. I just found this sub-forum like an hour ago.

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Yeah, like I said, I struck gold :)

 

Thanx for the image notice, btw

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, someone over there said that it's more suitable to post in this sub-forum. I didn't even know about this review sub-forum before. I just found this sub-forum like an hour ago.

 

You could have asked a mod to move it but now I guess you will just have to ask a mod to delete the old one :)


"If you do not take your failures seriously you will continue to fail"

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Can I get a notification for all threads that are [image heavy] :D

 

Good job, the more photo's the better all around.


I roll with sigs off so I have no idea what you're advertising.

 

This is NOT the signature you are looking for.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Can I get a notification for all threads that are [image heavy] :D

 

Good job, the more photo's the better all around.

 

I have 2 other review threads, the TAD300 and the sub $40 headphones :)

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