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ATH-R70x Headphones – $349
PROS: Lightweight, great design, excellent audio quality.
CONS: Slightly pricey.
Headphones in a studio environment are a must – they’re excellent references for audio, but headphones specifically meant for a true audio professional aren’t usually talked about. Audio-Technica’s ATH-R70X will make any listener (audiophile or engineer) think about headphones differently.
They’re a bit vintage looking in overall design, with a simple metal band, and 2 spring-loaded pads. The drivers are neodymium magnets, which are super light, and have a 5Hz-40kHz frequency range. With no coloring, the flat-tuned response gives a “what you hear is what you get” listening experience. A detachable stereo cable and soft carry bag are included in the package.
These are open back headphones, which means no sound isolation and outside noise isn’t masked out. So why shell out the $350 street price for a set? For a studio environment, listening on a set of closed-back cans seals the listener in, while an open-backed set allows the environment in, hearing how audio in the room also interacts with the audio in the headphones (one of the reasons we love Grados).
A music studio or audio engineer would be foolish to overlook a set of these. An audiophile will like them as they’re great for personal listing in an environment without a lot of outside noise. These are not meant for listening to an MP3 player on the subway or an airplane. For home recorders especially, listening to a mix on a set of these can help diagnose “trouble areas” that live somewhere in the sound spectrum between a studio monitor situation and a closed-back set of headphones.
With the lightweight design, it translates into a lightweight sound, giving the listener an unprocessed experience of what the audio is actually doing in the room.
Type: Open-back reference
Driver Diameter: 45 mm
Frequency Response: 5 – 40,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mW at 1 kHz
Sensitivity: 99 dB
Impedance: 470 ohms
Weight : 210 g (7.4 oz), without cable and connector
Accessories Included: Protective carrying pouch