Great for beginner audiophiles!
Posted by bluescribe from Evanston, IL on 2011-06-07
Audio Technica ATH-A900
Detail, broad soundstage, comfortable
Slightly sibilant w/o amp, slightly subdued mids, cheap materials
Directly out of the box, I have to admit I wasn't too impressed with these cans. The highs were very hissy and the bass was barely pronounced, let alone visceral (I usually like to "feel" my bass a bit). However, after I let them burn in for a couple nights, they started sounding better and better.
Eventually (after about three days of consistent listening and three nights of burning), the sound I got from them was INCREDIBLY detailed and pretty balanced. For golden ears who like to hear "the wind between the strings" of instruments, these cans have you covered. While their slight sibilance in highs can get a bit taxing on the ears, it's so pleasant to hear the detail that sibilance adds. As soon as I amped them (keep in mind I have a relatively cheap, portable amp) the bass and mids were brought up to speed and the sibilant edges of the highs were significantly smoothed out. I still wish I could have more mids, but I think I'm going to have to wait until I can afford more accurate cans.
A note on the materials: they're pretty cheap. The earpads are covered in a crinkly, trash bag-like material that I know is bound to tear at some point. The rest of the phones are all plastic. The little pads that secure the phones on your head have a nice silky material, but the pads themselves aren't secured to the rest of the headphone, so they fall off quite frequently and could get lost.
Due to the lack of durability and the size of these babies (they're HUGE; they cover almost the whole side of my head, granted I have a pretty small head), these definitely aren't the kind of headphones you want to be carting around. However, if you keep them on hand as a go-to pair for home listening and take good care of them, they're actually quite comfortable.
Overall, your money is pretty well spent on these. Their sound really grew on me, especially the broad soundstage and the nice detail. If you can shell out for a higher end, more durable headphone, then I'd say go ahead. However, I'm a college student on a tight budget, and these satisfy my audiophile cravings quite well for the time being.
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