Updated: May 9, 2015

Audio Technica Headphone Review

Audio Technica has been creating innovative audio equipment since 1962. The award-winning company began by producing phonographic cartridges, and today, they have expanded to include top-quality microphones, turntables, and, of course, their outstanding headphones. Whether you need a pair of great headphones for the recording studio or simply to enhance games or music, Audio Technica should be your first stop. In this guide we will take a look at some of the best-selling Audio Technica headphones, including their wireless headphones and noise cancelling headphones -- what to look for, what reviewers are saying, and how much you should plan on spending.

audio technica headphones




Why Audio Technica Headphones are the Best

How do you know that Audio Technica makes the best headphones? Their revolutionary ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint Noise Cancelling Headphones are the winner of the CES Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering Award. They were recommended by Pogue & Friends 2009 Holiday Guide, a video by David Pogue and Michelle Higgins of the New York Times, as one of the best travel gadgets of 2009. Why listen to the guy yapping next to you on the airplane when you can give your attention to the movie or your music? Audio Technica headphones were also called the "new best," and "better than Bose QC2" by Wired Magazine.
Everywhere you look, there are reviews raving about their noise cancellation, sound, and quality. Wired wrote that the ATH-W5000 headphones delivered some of the best sound possible, even in low bass tones. They called them "superb" and made from "hedonistic materials."` This is typical of Audio Technica products, but so is the observation that they are very pricey. The Audio Technica ATH-W5000s cost a neat $1700 - but don't worry. You can find a pair on Amazon for just over $700. Quite a bargain. Other Audio Technica models cost upwards of $100 for lower-end pairs, and about $50-70 for earbuds.

Why spend that much if you can get a pair of earbuds at your local store for under $10? If you're a casual music listener, need earbuds while using your mp3 player during a run, or occasionally watching a video on your computer, then yes, cheaper earbuds will serve you perfectly well. If, however, you are a professional musician, DJ, or enjoy clean, crisp, uncorrupted sound - and have the money to pay for it - Audio Technica is a top choice, the Mercedes Benz of headphones. One word of warning when it comes to noise cancelling headphones. I've used a lower-end version on these Audio Technica headphones (about $120), and while they worked great at drastically reducing the ambient noise around me (they are battery powered), whatever I was listening to could also be easily heard by the people around me. So even though they cup your ears, a lot of sound escapes. Even on a noisy airplane, the person next to you would probably be very distracted by the volume of sound coming out of these things. So opt for a more expensive set if you will have people around you when you use these - and know the return policy of the store you buy them from.

Audio Technica Headphones: The Best of the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

You don't have to spend $700 or $1700 on headphones to get outstanding quality - you can, but you don't have to! There are less expensive Audio Technica models that provide superior clarity, sound, and noise cancelling capabilities. One of the most popular is the Audio Technica ATH-M50. Called Studio Monitor headphones, the M50s (about $130) are designed for professional use and have the chops to back it up. They have exceptional audio quality, a closed back earcup, advanced driver technology, very high SPL capabilities, accurate bass, and great high-frequency extension. While at home in the studio, they are also perfect for private use. Amazon reviewers have said that the headphones provide realistic sound, exceptional clarity, and great enhancement for movies. These Audio Technica headphones cost over thirty percent less on Amazon, so make that your first stop (you can buy electronics like this at dozens of different stores or online sites, but since most people already shop with and trust Amazon, we normally recommend them as the easiest way to go).

ATH-ANC7 QuietPoint. When you want to leave the world behind, you only need a pair of ATH-AN7 Audio Technica headphones. These noise-cancelling beauties reduce outside noise by up to ninety percent - meaning you can block Mr. or Ms. Chatty on the airplane, ambient noise at public places, and much more. You can use them with your MP3 player, as well as DVD and CD players and in-flight entertainment systems. You can even put them on without audio to block noise. Sometimes the sound of silence is the best music. Other features include 40mm drivers with neodymium magnet systems, active noise cancellation technology, detachable cable, and a light, compact design. They have been compared to Bose's Q2 and QC3 and came out on top. And pricewise? You can pick these up for about $125. If you've never used noise cancelling headphones, you should definitely test out a pair before buying. They work by generating inverse or negative sound waves to basically wipe out sounds coming from outside. Keep in mind they are not 100% perfect, but you will notice a DRAMATIC difference using them vs. standard headphones -- things really will be quieter. But don't expect complete miracles.

For travel and moving around, the portable Audio-Technica ATH-ES7 Portable Headphones are ideal. They fold flat so you can store them easily, and they work with mobile devices. CCAW voice coils, flexible TPE headband, padded ear cushions, and 42mm drivers with neodyium magnet systems provide outstanding sound quality, comfort, and noise reduction. Our favorite review called the ES7s "sonically pleasing and suprising." What about the price? That, too, is surprising at under $100.

How to Choose the Best Audio Technica Headphones

A deciding factor for many people is price. If you can find great quality Audio Technica earbuds for about $70, you are getting a great deal, and you will have quality which far surpasses that of stock earbuds. If you can afford a $100-$300, you can get a great pair of studio, DJ, or multipurpose noise-cancelling headphones. But the first step is to set your price. Second, decide what you really need. If you are a professional DJ, for instance, try a pair of ATH-PRO5VA Stereo Headphones. These headphones are clear, feature 40mm neodymium drivers and CCAW voice coils, as well as rotating earpieces. If you don't need noise cancelling, don't pay extra for it. If you are an earbud person and don't want over-the-head headphones, you'll probably end up saving money also.
Audio Technica makes headsets, studio headphones, audiophile, and noise cancelling versions - browse their selection and choose what best fits your needs. Audio Technica headphones do cost more than other brands, but you do get a lot more in return. A complete listing of all brands of noise-cancelling headphones (including Sennheiser, Sony, JVC, Bose) is here.