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[Review] audio-technica ATH-T400



For many Europeans, there's not a lot of options when it comes to good, sub-100 € headphones. Coming in at just 49 €, the audio-technica ATH-T400 is one such option. In certain countries where Amazon services aren't available, it can be hard to find a reasonable price on anything that isn't Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic. Imported products like Audio-technica headphones can be especially vulnerable to price inflation because store keepers have to raise the price to quell demand when their overseas suppliers can't get them enough units. The ATH-T400 is relatively unheard of, I suspect, which keeps the price floating low.
Overall, these are pretty great for the price. You can definitely see where they cut corners to save on costs, but they did so in an elegant manner - they've got it where it counts. Most of the build is plastic, but it's a sturdy plastic. The earpads are cheap-looking, but on the head feel good, and are an improvement over the thin, crinkly pleather that gets used on so many pads for cheap headphones. The headband has nice forgiving foam, and the clamping force is low for my medium-large head. Unfortunately, the springs in the headband are quite tight, and makes it feel like the headphones are trying to pull your ears upwards. For whatever reason, audio-technica headbands on these suspension-type designs always seem faulty by being a tad too weak or a tad too strong. Luckily, that forgiving headband makes this problem easily remedied (at least for me). A simple twist tie holding the headband to the support bars and you can adjust to your personal comfort. The cable doesn't suffer from retaining it's coiled-up shape like my ATH-AD500X, which makes me wonder even more what the heck AT was thinking with the 500X.
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There has been some speculation on various other forums that these use the same drivers as the ATH-500X, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that were true. It's hard to tell because the 500X is open and the T400 is closed, but the sound signature is very similar. They are on the bright side, but respond well to EQ if you want more bass. On the negative side of things, they seem a tad muffled, and there is an occasional build up of high-pitched distortion due to the closed back. For 40-50 bucks, you can't go wrong, and you certainly could do worse. They might be a candidate for a cheap headphone to mod - I'd bet drilling lots of holes to make them open-air would sound nearly as good as the AD series.

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I have the Ath AD 700's and they are great. I don't like a lot of bass so they suit me just fine :) great review!

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