Japanese company Audio-Technica is an established brand that has been producing audio equipment, such as phonographic magnetic cartridges, headphones, and microphones for a long time. They have earned the respect of music and gaming lovers from all walks of life and continue to produce one great model after another.
Here, we take a look at two of their entry-level headphones, ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X. Let us go over their features and see which one gives more value for money.
Features and Specs
ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X have the same driver aperture of 53 mm. The driver is the headphone component that is responsible for producing sound. The larger the driver, the more powerful and the stronger the bass. In this case, 53 mm is relatively large, and the resulting sound should have great and clear treble and mids.
CCAW Voice Coils
You can find the company’s proprietary bobbin-wound copper-clad aluminum-wire (CCAW) voice coil technology in both ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X. Audio-Technica promises outstanding sound reproduction with this technology.
The impedances of ATH-AD700X and TH-AD900X are the same, which is 38 ohms. If you are a casual or average music lover, you may not have heard of headphone impedances. You may not even care about it at all, and that is fine. A lot of people can and do enjoy their preferred music even without thinking about impedances.
However, it starts to matter once you become increasingly discerning when it comes to sound quality. The impedance is a measure of the headphones’ electrical resistance to any current sent through it or any change in that current.
Basically, you want a low impedance if you predominantly use mobile devices for your music. Low-impedance headphones do not require as much power as high-impedance models, and you can more easily increase the volume while still consuming only a small amount of power. Great highs and midranges can also be expected when you use low-impedance headphones. Depending on where you are listening, headphones with low impedances may need to be used with amps, but that is not required.
High-impedance headphones do require a lot of power, but this is for a good reason. Such headphones can be used for a wide array of equipment and purposes. Pros looking for high-quality headphones they can use for work may want a pair with high impedance. No amps are needed for these.
Having an impedance of 38 ohms, both ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X fall within a little gray area among impedance ranges. Your decision of whether you need to use an amp or not depends on what exactly you are listening to and where.
If you have been shopping around for reliable headphones for a while now, you may have already heard about magnets. In headphones, you want strong magnets because that means more power.
In the case of ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X, the former is better because it uses a neodymium magnet, which is a rare-earth magnet. It is light, powerful, and very affordable despite the performance. Such magnets are made of alloys of neodymium, boron, and iron.
The frequency response is one of the few areas where ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X vary. The frequency response range of ATH-AD700X is 5-30,000 Hz, and that of ATH-AD900X is 5-35,000 Hz. This is a substantial difference.
In headphones, you want high frequencies because that means crisp and clear treble. But then again, if all you are after is a good pair for listening to music while in transit, the variation should not make too much of a difference.
Sound Pressure Level
Both ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X have the same sound pressure level of 100 dB/mW. In our opinion, this is sufficiently high. At this level, you should be able to get a loud enough sound regardless of audio source.
Housing, Casing, and Other Externals
From the outside, ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X look very much identical. In fact, they even weigh exactly the same.
Both models have self-adjusting 3D wing support housing. This is called such because it adjusts to your head size so it is comfortable.
They both have full open-air bodies, lightweight honeycoimb aluminum casing with great acoustics, and cushioned earpads that do not apply pressure on the ears even when listening for long hours.
The earpads have flexible raised-fabric texture, over-the-ear form, and fully enclose the ears. As a result, you should be able to get great sound isolation and you do not need to fear being judged by whoever you are sitting next to on the basis of your music leaking out. This design also ensures maximum bass and loudness.
Both ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X have gold-plated connectors with adapters. The connectors measure 3.5 mm, and the adapter is 6.3 mm. The cable lengths are the same at 3m.
The two models are also both open-backed, which means that the audio sounds natural and sharp because it exits through the earcup back.
One difference we see between the two in this area is the tangle-free cable, which you can find in ATH-AD700X but not in the other. According to Audio-Technica, for ATH-AD700X, they use “highly conductive OFC single-sided cord with elastic TPE sheath.”
Having lowest frequencies of 5 Hz, both headphones should have equally strong bass. Similar to other models by Audio-Technica, ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X have clear, subdued bass and great positional audio. This is a refreshing option especially if you are used to feeling silent headphone rattling where those low bass notes should be. The positional audio is great for gaming, where sound is always key.
Which One to Buy?
Audio-Technica’s ATH-AD700X and ATH-AD900X are very identical in terms of appearance and even weight. We also see very little difference in terms of specs. ATH-AD700X has the better magnet, and ATH-AD900X has a wider frequency range, which means you can get louder sounds with it without distortion. Also, ATH-AD900X has a specially designed tangle-free cable.
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