Audio Technica is one of the most reputable brands in professional audio. They have been manufacturing professional equipment such as mics and headphones for decades. Their experience in crafting innovative and aesthetically-pleasing products has easily made them earn a spot in our list of Best Headphone Brands.
Unlike other brands that focus on one particular category or headphone design, Audio Technica has a vast product lineup that is constantly being refreshed and added each year. Apart from their immensely popular ATH M50X, new users may be confused with their product lineup.
So in this article, we have highlighted products from the entire Audio Technica’s lineup including the lesser-known Japanese model, the WP 900, and their high-end closed-back offering, the AP2000TI.
There are plenty of models here that are worth seeing, so check out the rest of the article to find out more.
Best Audio-Technica Headphones
Audio Technica ATH M50X
The Audio Technica M50X is arguably Audio Technica’s most popular and most successful headphone. Since its inception in 2007, the ATH M50 has been the go-to headphones for musicians, sound engineers, producers, and even casual listeners.
The recommendations of respectable professionals such as Adam “Nolly” Getgood (Periphery, Getgood Drums, producer) has made it the benchmark for good sounding headphones.
The latest revision, the M50X, gives the M50X the much needed detachable cable, which further enhances its versatility. The ability to swap to a shorter cable makes the M50X also applicable in a portable setting. The sturdy plastic construction and folding design help the M50X keep up with the often harsh and unpredictable portable environment.
The popularity and influence of the M50X can be seen outside of the professional field. Many YouTubers, for example, are using the ATH M50X as their primary output device. Even gamers and Twitch icons such as Timthe Tatman are using the M50X during his streams.
Despite its popularity, the sound signature of the ATH M50X has received some criticism. The sound signature is not entirely flat and is leaning towards a more V-Shaped sound signature. This is not unheard of as even other studio monitors such as the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro also have a V-shaped sound signature.
However, with the constantly evolving market, enthusiasts are expecting more out of these benchmark headphones. Nevertheless, the ATH M50X is still a very competent headphone. Its technical ability may have been surpassed by other closed-back headphones, but its popularity won’t die anytime soon.
The ATH M50X has already cemented itself as the standard studio monitoring headphone. It is a tried and tested design that has been used by countless professionals around the world. If you are looking for a headphone for your next professional project, or even just for casual listening, then you won’t be disappointed with this one.
This headphone works best for professional applications as well as casual listening.
The tuning of this headphone is not for those who are looking for a critical listening or neutral-sounding pair of headphones.
Audio Technica ATH M40X
The second most popular headphones from Audio Technica is, of course, the ATH M40X. Despite being in a lower-tier compared to the M50X, many consider this to be the superior headphone. It is largely due to the flatter tuning of the M40X.
The M50X is known to have a bit of an over-exaggeration in the low-end. This low-end bump helps keep the music exciting. This is also the main factor that made it on our list of top DJ Headphones.
However, some users consider this to impact the accuracy of the headphones negatively. The added energy on the bass may lead to incorrect mixing, especially if headphones are your only source (which is the case for most beginners). This is why some users prefer the more accurate sounding ATH M40X, instead.
The downsides of this type of sound signature may, however, sound too flat or boring to casual listeners. Having the most accurate representation of sound does not always result in an enjoyable experience. This is largely the reason why the ATH M50X is still the higher-end model.
But overall, if you are looking for the most analytical sounding studio monitoring headphone for the price, then the Audio Technica M40X is very hard to beat. Apart from the different tuning, the M40X has the same components as the M50X. This means that the M40X is still the same well-built pair of headphones that can be taken to live gigs or any demanding environment that may potentially break the headphones.
If a neutral sound is your priority, then we highly suggest the M40X over the M50X. However, if you want a more versatile option and if you do not necessarily mind the bass bump, then the M50X is the better choice. Either way, you are getting an industry-standard monitoring headphone.
This headphone works well with professional applications that require precision and a neutral sound signature.
This headphone is not for casual listeners who prefer energetic and fun-sounding music.
Many readers end up on the fence between these two models we’ve discussed so far. If you are trying to compare the M50X vs M40X click here for our detailed comparison.
Audio Technica ATH AD 700X
Another category that Audio Technica excels at is their premium audiophile headphone series. These headphones are not made to reproduce the most accurate sound. Instead, these are made to produce highly detailed sounds that make an enjoyable experience.
One of the most popular models in this category is the ATH AD700X. It is the successor to the popular ATH AD700, which was notorious for its pink color. And just like its predecessor, this headphone is a popular choice for gamers. In fact, it has become the basis for the ATH ADG1X.
The reason for its popularity is due to its wide soundstage and excellent accuracy. The wide soundstage provides greater immersion and an overall better experience since it can better simulate larger environments. But more importantly, the imaging is spot on.
The ATH AD700X really excels at pinpointing the direction of important sound queues such as enemy gunfire and footsteps. The only thing that is missing from these to truly making them a gaming headset is a microphone. You can attach a ModMic to the ATH AD700X, or you can purchase the ADG1X. The driver used on both the ADG1X and AD700X is the same.
Outside of gaming, the ATH AD700X’s most notable feature is its beautiful recreation of the midrange. This is something that almost all Audio Technica headphones are good at. These really excel with vocal-heavy music, especially female vocals.
The bass response is not as prominent as something like the ATH M50X. In fact, the bass response is toned down for Audio Technica’s audiophile series. They are still there when the music needs them, but there are better options for fans of sub-bass.
This headphone works best for competitive gaming. If you are a professional, definitely check this one out.
Fans of electronic or bass-heavy music may not enjoy the mid focused tuning of this pair.
Audio Technica ATH MSR7
Audio Technica has a wide selection of products. Despite being primarily known for their monitoring and professional series, they cover almost every category in the headphone market. This includes portable audio.
The current flagship of their portable headphone lineup is the MSR7. The design takes inspiration from the Monitoring series, specifically the M50X. While the M50X can be used as a portable headphone, it is not ideal due to its size and weight. It is both bigger and heavier than most portable headphones.
The MSR7 improves on this design by making the cups slightly smaller and making the weight significantly lighter. The earcups are still large enough to accommodate the 45 mm drivers. It also still has an over the ear form factor with earpads that have plenty of space for larger ears. The design is also sleeker and does not stick out as much as the M50X.
In terms of the sound quality signature, it has a more emphasized V-shaped sound signature compared to the M50X. This is a more fun-sounding headphone that is not as accurate as the M series headphones.
However, they do not overdo the low frequencies, like most consumer-grade portable headphones. In a lot of ways, it has a correct sound signature that manages to bring in the energy and excitement whenever a song calls for it.
Also, like most Audio Technica headphones, the soundstage is superior to the ATH M50X. Soundstage, realism, and immersion are not a priority of the ATH M50X because they are not important for monitoring. This is not the case for the MSR7 as they provide a more immersive and engaging experience for music, videos, and games.
Overall, if you are a fan of Audio Technica’s sound signature and design language, then you will enjoy the ATH MSR7. It is a well-crafted pair that manages to balance portability and sound quality perfectly. If you are looking for an over the ear portable pair, then you should definitely check the ATH MSR7 out.
This headphone is for fans of portable audio who are looking for an M50X style headphone that is better suited for portable use.
This headphone is not for listeners who require accuracy on their headphones.
Audio Technica ATH R70X
Audio Technica likes going toe to toe with its peers. If Sennheiser has its legendary HD 600 series, then Audio Technica also has the ATH R70X. Despite not being as popular as the HD6XX series, the ATH R70X is a worthy competitor.
The ATH R70X is Audio Technica’s foray into the reference open-back headphone category. The R70X aims to provide a neutral sound signature, which is different from the approach they took on their other open-bach headphones. The AD series, for example, has a tuning that beautifully reproduces female vocals. They are not, however, neutral or accurate.
In terms of the build quality, Audio Technica has done a fantastic job by having a mostly metal construction. This inspires confidence considering its price point. The 3D Wings System that automatically adjusts the headphone to your head size also makes a return.
Unlike their previous attempts at this system, the implementation on the R70X is more stable on the head. You won’t have the urge to adjust these headphones while they are on your head constantly.
Another departure from their older models is the power requirements of these headphones. Most Audio Technica headphones have a low impedance and can be powered efficiently by any electronic device. The R70X, on the other hand, has an impedance of 470 ohms.
The high-impedance of the ATH R70X makes it hard to drive. You will need a headphone amplifier or DAC/Amp in order to get the best sound out of the drivers of the R70X. We have a list of the best headphone amplifiers in case you do not own one yet.
In terms of the sound quality, the presentation of the R70X is warm and natural. Highs are airy and have lots of detail without being too harsh or sibilant. Bass is well defined and solid without being too exaggerated.
Unlike previous Audio Technica headphones and even the Sennheiser HD650, the mids here are not forward. The mids are still detailed and are enjoyable to listen to, but they are not the stars of the show here. Overall, the sound signature of the R70X is meant for analytical listening that is perfect for professionals.
If you are looking for the most accurate sounding Audio Technica headphone outside of their higher-end flagship series, then the R70X is your best bet. It is built well, and it sounds fantastic.
This is for serious enthusiasts or professionals who need a reference and neutral sounding headphones.
This is not for casual listeners or beginners who do not own a headphone amplifier.
Audio Technica WP 900
In the past couple of years, audiophile companies have started straying away from portable headphones. Over the ear, portable Bluetooth ANC headphones have mostly taken over the market since they are more convenient to use. IEMs are also currently more popular than full size or on-ear portable headphones since they are smaller, lighter, and have drivers that could match the sound of bigger headphones.
However, these have not stopped Audio Technica from producing high-quality portable headphones. The likes of the ATH MSR7, ATH ES770H, and ATH ESW990H have proven that Audio Technica is very well versed in tuning portable audiophile-grade headphones.
They continue their hot streak of amazing sounding and gorgeous looking portable headphones with the WP 900. It takes a similar approach to the wood finish of the ATH ESW990H and older models, such as the ATH ESW9. What’s different here is that the WP 900 now has an over the ear design, which is more comfortable for longer listening sessions.
The maple wooden earcups definitely steal the show here. They have been finished by Fujigen, a Japanese guitar company. This explains why color is similar to a flame maple finish found on electric guitars.
In terms of the sound signature, it follows the traditional Audio Technica sound signature. There is an emphasis on the upper mids, which highlights female vocals. In terms of the highs, the WP 900 has plenty of detail without being sibilant. There is a slight peak somewhere between 9 and 12k Hertz but does not hurt the overall experience.
In terms of the bass response, the WP 900 delivers fun and thumping bass. It is very well controlled and does not overextend into the midrange. This can make tracks exciting but can also be subtle when needed.
Overall, Audio Technica has nailed the sound signature of this release. It has enough detail retrieval to satisfy audio enthusiasts but also has enough bass response for more casual listeners. And of course, the mids are well executed like most Audio Technica headphones.
If you want a gorgeous looking headphone that sounds as good as it looks, then the WP 900 is a headphone that you should check out.
This is the perfect pair for those who want a gorgeous looking headphone with an excellent sound quality to match its looks.
This is not for users who dislike full-sized headphones for portable use.
Audio Technica AP2000TI
Audio Technica is a company that is constantly improving its products. They do not just stick with one tried and tested design. They are always testing their limits by producing gorgeous looking headphones with a sound that matches their looks.
This is demonstrated with their new high-end headphone, the AP2000TI. The star of the show here is the build quality. The AP2000TI has shiny titanium earcups, which is not common even in this price range. They are well executed and make the AP2000TI a gorgeous looking headphone.
For the price, these headphones are surprisingly efficient. This can be used as a portable headphone, but the aesthetics and the size of these headphones will definitely make you stand out.
In terms of the sound signature of the AP2000TI, it is leaning towards a V-shaped sound with an emphasis on the high frequencies. It is a bright sounding headphone with plenty of detail. In some ways, it can be compared to the Sony Z1R.
The AP2000TI sounds thinner compared to the Z1R. However, the AP2000TI sounds more natural and textured with its nice high-end extension.
Overall, the Audio Technica AP2000TI is one of the best looking and best sounding headphones that you can get. If you want a unique looking pair that has an amazing detail retrieval, then the AP2000TI should be added to your list.
This headphone is for those who want a headphone similar to the Sony MDR Z1R but with less bass and more high-end focus.
This headphone is not for those who prefer a warmer and more full sounding headphone.
Stephen is a musician, cinematographer, and headphone enthusiast who is passionate about reviewing audio equipment. He has been playing guitar for at least a decade, which introduced him to professional recording equipment such as headphones and in-ear monitors. With the help of reviews and online content, he was able to learn the ins and outs of the hobby. His goal is to give back to the community by providing quality content to help others enjoy the beautiful (and expensive) world of audio.
Favorite Headphones: Sennheiser HD660s