Audio Technica AD-Series: AD300, AD700, AD900, AD1000PRM, AD2000

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This is the first whole line up comparison article that we’ve been wanting to do for a while on Headfonia. Well, I realize we are missing the AD400, AD500, and the AD1000. But for the sake of discussion, I think we have the popular models for the whole line up pretty much covered.

The AD700 was the first Audio Technica AD-series headphone that I’ve tried (and we wrote a review of it too, here), and at that time, I was really impressed at the big open sound that I was hearing from the AD700. It was a really, really large, open sound, and it was even comparable to the Stax Lambda headphones that is also known for its spacious and open sound. So, that became my lasting impression of the AD700 series, an easy to drive headphone that has a very spacious sound, even compared to the more expensive open headphones outside the AD line up.

Jumping to the other end of the spectrum there is the AD2000 which is the flagship model of the AD series. Before the era of the current $1,000 flagships, the AD2000 belonged to the the flagship line up which includes the Grado RS-1, the ATH W5000X, and the HD650/K701/DT880 headphones. When a few friends bought the AD1000PRM headphones and started to rave about them, everyone got interested on how the special AD1000PRM would compare to the flagship AD2000. The AD2000 was not a highly popular model, and none of our close friends happen to own an AD2000, so there were no way to compare the two. Finally an opportunity came up, and as I were talking to Siana at Audio Technica Indonesia, they agreed to loan me an AD2000. I quickly posted in our forum that an AD2000 is coming to me, and not soon after that, I also received an AD1000PRM from a Julius, a local forum member. Then I talked to my good friend Sem and he offered to throw in an AD900 to the mix. The rest was then the AD300 and the AD700, both of them I received from Audio Technica. Finally we have it, an AD300, AD700, AD900, AD1000PRM, and AD2000 comparison article that would give people a good idea of what you get when you decide to upgrade to the next one on the line up.

GENERAL SOUND IMPRESSIONS OF THE AD-SERIES

The general signature of the AD-series is that they give you a big, open, and spacious sound. I can’t think of another headphone that rivals them in this area, even including the famed AKG K501 and even the Sennheiser HD800. As I was talking earlier, the openness of the AD series easily rival the Stax Lambda (which is more open sounding than the Omega 2) headphones, though I may give a slight edge to the AD headphones as being ultimately more spacious. It’s even more impressive, considering that the headphones don’t need heavy amplification to accomplish that — something that can’t be said with the AKG K501 or the Stax Lambdas, which require a special electrostatic driver to work. The fit and the comfort is mostly excellent, both due to the very light weight of the headphones and the superbly designed headband and pads design by Audio Technica. The big frame may not be that ideal for small heads, but it seems to provide a good fit for most people.

The big and spacious sound is a fresh breathe of air for headphone users who’s been tired of having to live with the closed sound of their headphones. The comfort and the easy to drive factor also makes these headphones to be very likable. If you notice, however, I haven’t said one word about the bass, and that is where the achilles’ heel of the AD-series are. I am not asking for a basshead level bass here, far from it. But if you compare the AD-series headphones to just about any other headphones out there, you will find it to lack bass body, quantity, and punch. This makes the AD-series a highly specialized headphone for music that doesn’t have strong beats, and as we all know, such music are pretty rare today.

A big and spacious sound is one thing that people find to be missing when moving from speakers to headphones. With a few exception of headphones like the Grados, the Stax Lambdas, and the AD-series, most other headphones feel relatively closed and cramped. The spaciousness of the sound can be very good for orchestral music, but on the other hand, the energy of the sound does get dispersed and you can lose the focus and intensity when playing an intense piece of progressive rock. Small closed headphones tend to have a better focus of the energy, though you have to live with the claustrophobic sound when your music demands spaciousness.

In general, the AD series have a good forward sound with a relatively fast pace. The sound is more lively than the typical Sennheiser sound, and the midrange is fuller than the Beyerdynamics. Clearly they are tuned for music listening, and for people who feel the Sennheiser sound to be boring and slow, the AD series would be a good recommendation to try. In some ways they can be similar to Grados, except that the AD headphones are more refined, more spacious, and not as extremely forward as the Grados. They are less energetic than the Grados, that’s for sure, but they are also less harsh and piercing than the Grados. The lower AD-line tend to be less forward, but the AD1000PRM and the AD2000 is quite engaging in the midrange.

Despite their seemingly good traits for Rock (forward, fast-paced), the AD series is not quite the ideal Rock headphone. First and foremost is the spacious sound that disperses too much of the energy from the music, robbing them from the intensity that makes Rock works. The weak bass punch also makes the PRaT factor very low. The AD2000 the least faulty in this sense, as it has a relatively good amount of upper bass punch when compared to anything else in the line up. So, though they sound very impressive at first with their big spacious sound and relatively good clarity levels, they are actually quite a specialized headphones as most mainstream music today need a good PRaT factor to work. Julius, who loans me his AD1000PRM actually finds the AD1000PRM to lack the bass impact for his music, which is mainly jazz!

NOTES ABOUT THE AD-SERIES SOUNDSTAGE

Many said that the AD series have a very good soundstage. I would say yes and no. I think what happens is a slight confusion between a spacious and open sound, and what actually is a big soundstage. First and foremost, it is very important that you actually play a good live recording to be able to hear what a proper soundstage should be like. Good jazz recordings such as Jazz at the Pawnshop or the Buena Vista Social Club are good. Likewise classical recordings are mostly taken in a real hall with proper acoustics, and these are the type of recordings that is best used to evaluate soundstage. Remember that a real soundstage is one that is captured from the acoustics of the venue when the recording takes place, and mainstream recordings taken in sound-proof studios should not be used to evaluate soundstage.

So, back to the AD series. In the midst of the big and spacious soundscape, I actually find the soundstage performance to be mediocre. There is an improvement as you go up the line, but the improvements are very slight. If I make the comparison to a relatively mid-fi Sennheiser HD598, for instance, the HD598 would display a much more accurate sounding soundstage image with good depth, in comparison to even the AD2000. The AD series will remain to be more open sounding and more spacious, where the HD598 is significantly more closed and narrow, but the soundstage performance remains quite two dimensional and ambiguous on the AD headphones.

AD300

The entry level model to the AD line up looks better to my ears than the champagne-purple color of the AD700 (who thought of that color scheme anyway?). But not only that, the AD300 surprisingly has a more well-rounded tonal balance when compared to the AD700. It’s relatively warm (definitely warmer than the AD700), less treble centric, and fuller sounding overall. The sound is spacious, true to the AD-line up signature, but the slightly lesser treble levels (or even slightly rolled-off) of the AD300 somehow kept it from being as airy and spacious as the other models in the line up.

Being warmer and fuller on the mids and lows makes the AD300 a better choice for mainstream music than the bigger AD700, or even the AD1000PRM (overlooking the difference in detail levels). However, I think the way the AD-series is voiced requires it to have a good level of treble sparkle to work, and in this sense the AD300 sounds pretty dull in comparison to the bigger brothers. Yes, the fuller sound is good for mainstream music, but if you want to listen to mainstream music, I would say that getting the ATH-SJ33 or ATH-SJ55 would serve that purpose better than the AD300. So, yes, the AD300 has a good tonal balance, even compared to the higher line up models, but I don’t think you’re getting the AD-series sound fully with it.

Left to right: AD300, AD700, AD900. The AD300's cups are slightly smaller than the two bigger brothers.

AD700

The AD700 is a better representation of the AD line up signature. It has more treble presence than the AD300 and generally is leaner but clearer sounding than the AD300. The additional treble and the leaner sound doesn’t pair too well with mainstream music. However, I think the sound of the AD line up is all about a spacious sound and good clarity levels, and the AD700 does that better than the AD300. So, while the AD300 plays mainstream music better, I think it’s kind of ambiguous in that it doesn’t represent what the AD line up is all about the way the Grado SR60 represents the Grado sound, and the Sennheiser HD202 represents the Sennheiser sound. The AD700 makes a far better representation than the AD300, and should be the model you go for if you want to see what the AD line up is all about.

As I said earlier, the extra treble and the generally leaner sound are actually counter productive when we are talking about genre bandwith. But again, I don’t think the AD-line up is about a sound signature that plays well with different music genres. And to be frank, I truly think that the consumer grade ATH-SJ55 does that job much better. But one of the experience that Audio Technica tries to bring to the table with the AD series is the impression of clarity, and moving to the AD700 from the AD300, you will definitely feel that extra clarity in the music. The extra treble levels also help to make the sound more airy, adding to the already spacious sound of the AD line up. By these standards, the AD700 makes for a much better representation of the AD line up than the AD300 does. It’s not a perfect headphone, but if you want to see if the AD headphones are for you, it’s a good idea to get the AD700 as it is the least expensive model that gives you a good taste of the AD sound.

AD900

The AD900 may be my personal favorite in the line up. It takes the same basic spacious sound from the AD700, and adds a touch of warmth and a fuller body from the AD700 sound. What you get is a more musical headphone than the AD700 (in a way similar to the AD300), but without sacrificing the detail level or the airy sound that you get on the AD700. In short, it’s a fuller sounding AD700 headphone.

The AD900 is placed rightfully below the AD1000PRM and the AD2000 in the line up as it doesn’t offer the extra refinement you find on the AD1000PRM and AD2000. However, in terms of tonal balance, the AD900 is actually better than the two higher up model or the AD700 below it. It doesn’t have the upper mid coloration of the AD1000PRM or the lower mid coloration of the AD2000. This is probably the best buy model in the AD line up as it gives you the full flavor of what the AD series is all about, while being a better all rounder than the top two headphones in the line up.

The AD900 is very likable and would be the model I’d recommend out of the line up, provided that you have the budget for it. The higher end AD1000PRM and AD2000 are definitely more special, but they also come with their own colorations that may come off as unnatural on some recordings. The AD900, on the other hand, is more natural and should have a far better genre bandwith than the two higher up models.

One popular mods that people do with the AD900 is by removing the cloth behind the grill (as seen in the picture below). I’ve had the chance to compare a stock AD900 with a modded AD900 before and found the modded AD900 to be thinner in the mids, and I did prefer the stock sound over the modded one.

Here is a stock AD900.

Here is an AD900 without the grill cloth.

The AD900 grill up close. The AD300, AD700, and AD900 grilles are covered by a black cloth, so you can't see what's behind the grille clearly.

AD1000PRM

The special edition model of the AD1000 headphone supposedly boasts a better driver than the original AD1000, placing it closer to the level of the flagship AD2000. I don’t have a standard AD1000 to compare, but I think it’s safe to say that the AD1000PRM is a better model than the original.

The sound signature stands out as perhaps the most special in the AD line up. Very noticeable is the crystal clear upper midrange to lower treble that stands out to be more prominent from the rest of the frequency range. It has a good sparkle, grainless and crystal clear, and with no harshness like on the Grado headphones. The forward and crystal clear upper mid makes the AD1000PRM to have one of the most special instrument rendition among all the different headphones I’ve tried. It also puts the vocals at a forward positioning, giving you an intimate vocal sound amidst the spacious and open sound that’s signature of the AD-series. It’s still fairly weak on the lower mids and bass, and in that sense the AD1000PRM is still “true” to the AD line up signature.

I can probably say that the AD1000PRM has the most special treble rendition among all the different headphones I’ve tried. I think Audio Technica has really hit the jackpot with the AD1000PRM’s treble. General impressions at local meets also confirms the excellent treble of the AD1000PRM. The spacious and airy sound of the AD line up have always focused on a good and clear treble, and coupled with the AD1000PRM’s superb treble, this may be the best representation of what the AD sound is all about.

Moving up from the AD900, I also find that the AD1000PRM is free of any of the grain in the sound of the lower end models. While this is nice, the timbre is slightly off and not as accurate as the AD900 or the AD2000 models (the AD2000 being the most accurate in the line up).

While the AD1000PRM is certainly a special headphone, the light bottom tonality makes it limited to be quite a niche headphone. If you truly love the treble on the AD1000PRM, then you probably won’t be too impressed with the AD2000 which is less special on that treble section. I can see how the votes would be split equally, or even tilted to the AD1000PRM when comparing the two. However, the better refinement and depth on the AD2000 still makes it the right headphone to be positioned as the flagship model of the AD line up.

The AD1000PRM grill up close. The two higher end model comes with a fully open grille, giving a peek of the drivers.

AD2000

The flagship model on the AD line up is quite different than the rest as it has a thick and full midrange – upper bass section that I don’t hear on the other models. If the AD1000PRM puts an emphasis on the upper mid and lower treble, the AD2000 puts an emphasis on the lower mids. The AD1000PRM have a crystal clear treble quality that’s unrivaled by even the AD2000, but the AD2000 boasts a full and thick lush midrange that really draws me into the music. The treble section remains clearly detailed and smooth, but it doesn’t have the qualities that makes the AD1000PRM’s treble special. The treble is also laid back, and so you’re not as likely to notice it as being a prominent part of the AD2000 presentation, as the midrange section takes the spotlight.

Another factor that makes the AD2000 differentiates it from the rest of the AD line up is the much improved upper bass that delivers a moderately powerful punch needed for Rock music. Somewhat the upper bass reminds me of the Grado RS1, though with a better refinement level than the Grado.

Having a thicker midrange does rob the AD2000 a little from the impression of clarity that I hear from the lower end models. Though micro detail is best on the AD2000, but the impression of clarity on the midrange is just not as good as the lower end models, especially next to the AD1000PRM. The thicker midrange also robs the AD2000 a little in its apparent speed and pace, making the headphone slightly slower-paced than the rest of the group.

With the AD2000, it helps to have an amplifier with a forward sounding upper mid as I find the upper midrange to be too laid back, affecting the presence of the vocals. In this sense the Zana Deux amplifier fits that criteria very well, hence it becomes a very ideal pairing for the AD2000.

The added level of refinement and depth on the AD2000 may not be too noticeable, however, when listening on lesser systems. And during meet conditions, I heavily doubt that people will be able to pick that up, though the thicker and fuller midrange should be quite obvious. This makes the AD1000PRM more likely to sound like a better headphone than the AD2000 during meet conditions. And I think there is a good reason for that too, as I’ve said, the sound signature of the AD1000PRM is the most special, and the treble quality may be the best one I’ve heard on dynamic headphones so far.

Despite solid efforts by the AD1000PRM to replace the AD2000 from the flagship position, the AD2000 superior resolution and depth I hear from the AD2000 tells me that this model rightly belongs as the flagship of the line up. Ultimately, the fuller and more weighty sound, added with the lush and smooth midrange is able to evoke a deeper emotion from the music, when compared to the relatively thin and weightless AD1000PRM.

AD1000PRM on the left. AD2000 on the right. Notice the grill of the AD1000PRM comes in grey color while the AD2000 is in black.

AD1000PRM headband on the left. AD2000 on the right. Still a more exquisite build on the AD2000.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

From what I’ve witnessed among the local crowd and meets, the AD line up remains to be a polarizing headphone. They have their special moments, and many who are looking for a big and spacious sound from headphones are normally very happy with the AD line up. The clarity level and their easy to drive factor are also part of their strong appeal. However, for the other crowd that thinks soundstage is overrated and that a good headphone should carry a good PRaT and attack, the AD line up is very unappealing for them.

Between the line up, the AD700 is the most affordable model that I’d recommend to get a taste of the AD sound. The AD900 is a very strong performer in the line up, and personally I prefer it to the AD1000PRM. The AD1000PRM, however is the most special model, though perhaps the most polarizing at the same time. The AD2000 is definitely worthy of the flagship status, and if you like flagship gears and have plenty of money in the bank, then the AD2000 is definitely the model to get from the AD line up.

Audio Technica AD-Series: AD300, AD700, AD900, AD1000PRM, AD2000
5 (100%) 1 vote

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122 Comments

  • Reply May 16, 2011

    Donunus

     This is the type of review that I should have read years ago before spending money on getting 3 of the cans in the lineup myself 🙂 And yah the ad900 was my favorite on among the ones that I got which were the ad700, the ad900, and the ad2000

    • Reply May 16, 2011

      Anonymous

      Lol,
      Thanks, Donunus.

    • Reply May 16, 2011

      Anonymous

      Well, the review is like 3 years late. But sometimes it’s hard to get all the products together for a comparison, and late is better than never. 

      • Reply May 16, 2011

        Donunus

        I’m not blaming you, LOL. I just wished there was someone doing things like you are doing now when I spent money here and there on headphone related stuff hehehe . 

        As for the AD700, it was a love and hate thing for me. Sometimes they felt refreshing while at other times, the cheapness/grain/distortion of the sound bothered me. It’s just funny how they have these cans on stereophiles  recommended components section classified in the Class A section. The hd580 was in class B before I think. Thats just nuts. The hd580 although darker had more real detail and a more natural sound than the ad700 by far thats for sure 🙂 I also couldn’t believe that they put the hd580 and the hd600 in a different class altogether when they are waay closer in quality than some other stuff they have within the same class. Anyway, enough with my stereophile rant hehehe I just wanted to let it out. 

        Oh, you left out the ad400 hahaha. That one is supposedly the other “Bang for the Buck” model as well.

        • Reply May 16, 2011

          Anonymous

          Let’s just pretend that the AD400 is a vaporware.

  • Reply May 16, 2011

    Earfonia

    “…and if you like flagship gears and have plenty of money in the bank,
    then the AD2000 is definitely the model to get from the AD line up.”
    😀

    Excellent review Mike!
    I should try the AD900.  Tried AD2000 and I like the sound characteristic, to my ears it is not too polarized, actually can still be considered natural sounding, especially with the right amplifier.

    • Reply May 16, 2011

      Donunus

      The ad200 was a little dull to me around 5khz vs the ad900. it also lacked sparkle that the ad900 had. The only thing I liked in the ad2k vs the ad900 was the relative lack of grain and the added bass which was also a double edged sword because I felt that it added a hard punch to whatever music was playing. That wasn’t good in the long run. In the grand scheme of things, the ad900 is a little too forward for me compared to an hd600 for example but they are great cans and are very easy to drive 🙂 I loved them and actually started the ad900 appreciation thread on headfi.org before hehehe 

      • Reply May 16, 2011

        Anonymous

        Yes, I think you’re right. The AD2000 can be duller than the AD900, definitely lacks the treble sparkle.

        I didn’t realize you had so much love for the AD900 though. 🙂 But you’re right. Depending on what we’re looking for, I think can be better than the 1000PRM and AD2000.
         

  • Reply May 16, 2011

    Anon

    So Mike, say, if I don’t like anything AD900 has to offer do you think I just don’t like AD series sig in general and don’t have to bother trying the higher up?

    • Reply May 16, 2011

      Anonymous

      If you don’t like the general sound of the AD900 — the spacious wide
      open sound, thin lows and mids, then the higher up models will probably
      be the same, except for the AD2000 which is a little different on the mids.

      But I think the main point is that the AD series is not about getting a
      full mids and lows, you’d better turn to Sennheiser for those. Rather,
      it’s about their big and spacious sound and clarity, and if you like
      those, then the higher up models are worth exploring.

      • Reply May 16, 2011

        Anon

        thanks for the thought, and nice review as always though i guess this is the few hard to shoot cans since i think AD900 looks nicer in person. 😉 

        • Reply May 18, 2011

          Anonymous

          Lol.. Just rushing through the photo shoot to get it done on time.

        • Reply May 21, 2011

          Jason Lim

           haha i share the same thoughts too, the reflective surfaces and grills, really hard to get that “perfect shot”. did so many shoots on my cans, and i just have to be content with the shots i have posted on my review else i will never get the post out if i keep taking the pictures lol

      • Reply May 17, 2011

        Donunus

        and to add to that I used the ad900 out of my Laney acoustic guitar amp while playing my ovations and they blew the hd580 out of the water for that purpose. The guitars sounded like I wasn’t wearing headphones. Very real! the hd580s softened the attack and made the guitar sound bloated in comparison.

        • Reply May 17, 2011

          Jason Suarez

          Now that you mention it; I cant help but wonder how the the AD900 would compare to the HD560 Ovations on guitar. Compared to the HD580, the HD560 are much more tonally accurate. The HD560’s treble actually sparkles and shimmers when present in a recording, something I didn’t expect from them as Senn’s. I imagine the only point that would make the AD900 beat out the HD560 is in the depth of field.

          I getting the feeling the AD900’s sheer width and instrument size would ultimately destroy the HD560s  in creating a beleivably realistic sounding guitar.

        • Reply May 17, 2011

          Anon

          I agree on that, guitar acoustics just couldn’t sound better out of any other headphone I’ve tried. but on the negative side, anything that isn’t acoustics just sound wrong to me, they have too much treble, strangely colored mid and not enough bass to balance the things out.

          I actually thing the Creative Aurvana Live/D1001 sounds about the same with better balance, though everything sound a little rougher, also the thing has mid to die for. I’m missing it now. 🙁

          • Reply May 18, 2011

            Donunus

            LOL I also liked the denon d1001 quite a bit but only on specifically warm sources because it could get thin sounding in the lower mids while the ad900 doesn’t have the lower mids problem. I liked the d1001s better than AT ESw9s, hd25s, the m50s and other closed cans of a similar nature and even preferred them to the d2k 🙂

        • Reply May 21, 2011

          Jason Lim

           the guitar “sparkle” has always been really appealing to me on my AD900. While i havent checked out the grados who people highly acclaim for guitars, they are said to be harsh (even this post too) so i guess the AD900 wins out.

          that said, still really curious on the grados and i really want to check them out someday

          • Reply May 21, 2011

            Anonymous

            I guess one thing that I failed to mention is that, though harsher sounding, the Grados are more engaging and is livelier on the bass. This make the Grados a more exciting headphone, though it does get tiring for a long listening time.

          • Reply May 21, 2011

            Jason Lim

             how would you rate the grados (not familiar with them, an equivalent line up i guess?) vs beyerdynamics DT880?

            • Reply May 23, 2011

              Anonymous

              The Grados loses on the technicalities: refinement, detail, soundstage,
              etc. But sound signature wise, the Grados remain a strongly musical
              headphone, where the DT880 are monitoring headphones and lack the mid
              body to make it work with music.

  • Reply May 17, 2011

    Jason Suarez

     Great article! It conferms my suspisions on the AD series.

    Ive heard that the angled driver placement in the AD700 makes for a noticably larger width in the soundstage than the AD900, but that the AD900’s “flat” driver placement allows for more warmth and better focus.

    Despite the $100-200 increase in price over the AD700, it seems that the AD900 is ultimately the better value for anyone who actually enjoys using these for music XD

    I thought people only used these for video games…

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      More and more people are confirming the fact that the AD900 is the best
      value, and perhaps the best tonality out of the AD-series.

      • Reply May 18, 2011

        Jason Suarez

         Just wanted to tell you something interesting. On Saturday I went to a yard sale just 1 block behind my house and ended up buying a pair of old Sennheiser HD560 Ovation’s for just $1 dollar.

        Well, remember when I said I thought the K271 was a great alrounder? Well I was wrong. I had thought my K271’s were pretty natural but there just isn’t any competition between the trademark organic texture of Sennheiser and the airy forward-detailed texture of the AKG’s, the Senns are much more natural. Kind of like how you mentioned the HD202’s are. Their good for everything but hip hop/club stuff.

        What amazes me is how sparkly and shimmery the HD560’s treble gets on top of their darker soundstage; I wasn’t expecting that since their nothing like the HD595 I’ve tried in a boutique audio store once. They’re very dynamic and incredibly accurate.
        The AKG’s aren’t overly bright, but only because while their soundstage is airy, treble itself on them is a little soft.

        The HD560’s have a smaller midrange than the K271; its pretty dry like the K271 but much smoother/more refined, with just a touch of sweetness. K271’s midrange presentation is always airy and dry yet massive.

        At first I was frustrated because the HD560 seemed so perfect and in many ways superior to the K271 that cost me $150, but now i’m happy with both. After comparing the two, I realized i’ve become addicted to the K271’s midrange and imaging as well.

        any rate I think I’m in love with both of these XD

        • Reply May 18, 2011

          Donunus

          $1!!!!! Now I’m jealous LOL 

        • Reply May 18, 2011

          Anonymous

          Nice!

          The HD560 certainly isn’t as dark as the HD600/650, and in a way it is
          easier to appreciate. The sound is also more spacious than the
          HD600/650. It doesn’t quite have the weight of the K271, but overall the
          HD560 would be an easier cans to enjoy. It’s long discontinued though.

          It would’ve been a killer value at $50, but you got it for $1. Did you
          have a gun pointed to the seller’s head when you bought it?

          • Reply May 18, 2011

            Jason Suarez

            Not at all lol. 

            I think he sold them to me for a dollar both because he is so happy with his current Senn’s -either HD600’s or HD650’s- and because he’s trying to get rid of all his excess things. As I mentioned the nice older man was my neighbor, he might of wanted to do me a favor as well. Perfect condition as well!

            • Reply May 18, 2011

              Anonymous

              Robbing an old man, huh ? 😉

              Well, enjoy the HD560. Good find. A friend just brought a HD535 to a
              meet last time and I enjoyed it as well.

          • Reply May 21, 2011

            Jason Lim

             rofl at the gun point comment

  • Reply May 17, 2011

    Shaun

    your thoughts on AD2000 vs HE500  

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Briefly:
      AD2000: mid centric, thick mids, thin low bass and treble
      HE-500: more linear tonal balance from top to bottom, no midrange “bump”
      like the AD2000. Sweeter sound, warmer, better mid clarity.

      Frankly the HE-500 is much more enjoyable than the AD2000, even when I’m
      driving the AD2000 from the Zana Deux. I’ve taken the HE-500 to 3-4
      different meets and it’s always a crowd favorite, even only driving it
      with the Fiio E11 amp. Many agrees that this is the best Hifiman
      headphone yet.

      • Reply May 20, 2011

        Shuan

        Cheers, keep the excellent reviews coming
        HE500 it’ll be…

        • Reply May 20, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks, Shuan.

  • Reply May 17, 2011

    Themiddlesky

     same here, I also curious how about HE500 compare to AD-Series 🙂

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Same answer. 🙂

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Brian Fu

      I think the AD1000PRM is superior compared to all these silly orthos.  

  • Reply May 17, 2011

    singha

    Can you compare the AD700 and AD900 with the JVC HARX700 and HARX900 to continue with the budget trend? There’s a lot of talk that they’re very similar at less than half the price.

    • Reply May 17, 2011

      Anon

      they cannot be anymore apart, what they said similar was the A series, which is closed.

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      I’ve listened to the JVC 700 and though it didn’t boast any special qualities (like the AD-series’ open spacious sound and clarity), tonally it was pretty good, overall slightly warm with good musicality. A little loose in the bass, not too punchy, but perhaps a better all rounder headphone, though not very impressive overall.

      But Anon is right, the A series would’ve been a more proper comparison.

      I’ve only listened to the A900 Limited on the A-line up. It sounded more like a lower end ATH W series. A sweeter sound than the JVC, more refined, clearer mids and bass, slightly hotter treble than the JVC. I am not familiar with the prices of these headphones, but the A900 is clearly better than the JVC.
       

  • Reply May 17, 2011

    Anonymous

     Hm, have you tried anything from the closed A series to compare to these?

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, A900 Limited.

      The A900 Ltd sounds like a lower end ATH W series. Closed housing, closed sound, though quite spacious but not as open and spacious as the AD. Definitely better bass on the A900 than the AD. Good texture and clarity on the bass, clear mids, overall more refined sound than most of the AD (except AD1000PRM and AD2000), slightly hot treble. 

  • Reply May 17, 2011

    Ling Wen Hoong

     Suggestion, just suggestion, can you make a article about different types of headphones which suitable for particular different type of music ?

    I am still new, and I found that I really need advice in this.
    Thx in advance 🙂

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      That’s a good suggestion. Let me think about how I can write an article that will help people to choose a headphone based on their music.
       

  • Reply May 18, 2011

    alex

     If only i read your article sooner. I bought the the ad700 for the soundstage on classical music, but as you said the only merit is its large space. Positioning-wise I think theese cans are an utter failure. The large spacing and the lack of direction and distance feels like I am swimming in an ocean of sound. Frankly the AD700s give me a headache when listening to large orchestras.

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Donunus

      The ad700s wider sound vs the others is only attributed to their more recessed upper mids IMO. Its just a more exaggerated diffuse field type of a curve in the response IMO 

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Alex,
      When it comes to symphonies, I think the Sennheiser HD600/650 nailed it
      better than anything else. The sound may be not too spacious, but what’s
      equally important for symphonies are bass impact during those loud
      passages. The HD600/650 also has the dynamic range and detail level that
      is required to play a good symphonies.

      German headphones for symphonies. It’s their national music. As simple
      as that.

  • Reply May 18, 2011

    Mampus

    AD900 all the way! 

  • Reply May 18, 2011

    Jason Suarez

    Here: 

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Ah,
      Sorry the one I listened to was the HD570, and the HD535. Not the HD560.
      http://bit.ly/jx0af8

      • Reply May 18, 2011

        Jason Suarez

        Did you try the HD535 with the DSP360? How was Sennheiser’s take on virtual surround?

        • Reply May 18, 2011

          Anonymous

          I tried the Sennheiser Lucas, which is a larger unit than the DSP360,
          with the HD800. 😀

          The DSP effect was noticeable, though I didn’t spend enough time with it
          to decide if it’s ultimately a good piece of gear to own. It wasn’t as
          natural as say a good tube amp like the Zana Deux, but for the price it
          was quite some gadget.

          I don’t know how the DSP360 would compare to the Sennheiser Lucas though.

          • Reply May 18, 2011

            Jason Suarez

            phf…lucky. 🙂

            Is it true that you don’t get sparkly, shimmery treble on Sennheiser headphones until the HD598 and HD800? This person on headfi told me the HD560 tonally is very similar to the HD800, which makes me really want to try those legendary  phones 🙁

            • Reply May 18, 2011

              Anonymous

              I don’t think Sennheiser headphones ever put an emphasis on the trebles.
              Their house sound is always more focused on mids and lows, with the
              treble part only complementing the sound. Likewise the HD598 and HD800
              doesn’t have sparkly trebles. The Beyers are the one you should go for
              if you want sparkly trebles, and the Audio Technica AD-line as well.

              I can’t comment on the HD560, but the HD570 is closer to the HD800’s
              tonal balance than the HD650.

  • Reply May 18, 2011

    Knock

    How about a AD700/AD900 vs HD598 comparison? I mostly listen to classical, ranging from solo violin and piano to Beethoven Symphonies, and those are the headphones I’m looking at.

    Being a musician myself, I prefer a neutral and accurate reproduction: nothing is as irksome as listening to a recording of an artist and hearing something completely different in a live performance.

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      The soundstage reproduction of the HD598 is much more accurate and three
      dimensional, compared to the AD700/900, so I would bias more to the
      HD598 because of this.

      But the HD598 is also not the best headphone for symphonies nor pianos..
      It is quite good for violin solos where bass impact is not important.
      For symphonies and pianos, I still think the HD600/650 is the headphone
      to get.

      Accuracy of timbre is not so good on either the AD700/900 nor the HD598.
      Not totally off, but the HD600/650 is more accurate when compared to the
      AD700/900/HD598. Of course you can’t expect the sound to be identical to
      when you go to a local classical concert as different halls have
      different acoustics, different timbre and so on.

  • Reply May 18, 2011

    Brian Fu

     Fuck yeah,  AD1000PRM! 

    • Reply May 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Serious love for the PRM huh?

      • Reply May 18, 2011

        Brian Fu

        Oh yeah baby. It’s the Headphone of the year, ALL YEARS!  

  • Reply May 20, 2011

    GhostRider

    This is an awesome comparison. I was listening to an album called “Gershwin Without Words” with my AD700, and I noticed the bass hits a really low register, and it sounds awesome. Now I’m all curious about the AD900.

    • Reply May 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      GhostRider,
      On some Gershwin songs like the Rhapsody in Blue, I find the AD700/900
      or anything else in that line up to lack the sufficient bass impact
      during the loud passages.

      • Reply May 20, 2011

        GhostRider

        Yeah, I mostly noticed it on the quiet intros. I get a lot more bass impact through my Pioneer HDJ-1000 hps, but both headphones play those low notes nicely- just in different ways. (I don’t want to sound pretentious and use ‘audiophile terminology’ without knowing what it means.) And I just got my TEAC cd player with the iPod jack. I guess I’m not experienced enough to hear the difference between the iPod’s DAC and the TEAC’s Burr Brown DAC, but it does sound quite different – possibly due to the differences in the amp sections of each unit.

        • Reply May 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Okay.

          The HDJ-1000 are DJ headphones. I never heard them, but the bass impact
          should be awesome on the Pioneer. It’s a different kind of bass though.
          With the HD600/650, for instance, the bass is more fitting for symphony
          and orchestra music such as the Gershwin, and low level detail is also
          better than the AD700/900.

          I am willing to be that the Burr-Brown DAC is better than the Ipod though.

  • Reply May 22, 2011

    GhostRider

    Alright, I got another question: I’ve been running my CD player through my AD700’s for the past few days, and I’ve noticed the I keep the volume knob less than 1 out of 10 (about 7:30 on the face of a clock) for a comfortable level. Without knowing the output power or the impedence of this headphone out, would it be safe to assume I could get a good quality sound with some high-impedence hps (e.g. Beyer, Senn 6xx) just by cranking up the volume knob?

    • Reply May 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      Let me get this straight: you’re listening to the AD700s at 7:30
      o’clock, assuming 6 o’clock is minimum and 5 o’clock is max? If that’s
      the case the CD player can probably drive the 300 Ohms Senns just fine,
      though the 600 Ohm Beyers may be a little harder in terms of volume
      level (not current, though). Many CD players have quite a powerful
      headphone out and I think yours may be one of them.

      • Reply May 23, 2011

        GhostRider

        7:00 is minimum; 5:00 is maximum. And I listen at 7:30. My bedroom is pretty quiet, and I like to listen at low volumes to preserve my ears. At about 9:30 it gets too loud for me. Man, this headphones trip I’m on now is a huge can of worms. It’s cool having a website like this to turn to.

        • Reply May 24, 2011

          Anonymous

          I suppose that’ll be plenty for the 300 ohm or even 600 ohm headphones.

          Yeah it’s a pretty big can of worms. Better close it now before it’s too late. 😉

  • Reply May 27, 2011

    Julius Angkawijaya

    Yeah. nice review bro Mike !!

    How about your HD650 exchange with my headphone hehehehe

  • Reply May 27, 2011

    Tim

    Hello Mike,
    It seems that the AD2000 excels in midrange and bass. If you could recall, how does it compared to the HE-500?
    Thanks.

    • Reply May 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Tim,
      I think someone else asked that question somewhere. Let me try to look
      for it.

  • Reply May 31, 2011

    Eugen Suceveanu

    I always like your reviews Mike, because you seem to hear the same as me.  🙂

    I looved the AD2000’s for vocals, for small non-complex stuff whatever the genre. They are good for rock (not as good as grados but close).  But IMO an OTL would be the last amplifier for them. The AD2000’s need a fast SS low impedance good control amplifier like a lehmann linear or a gilmore lite to show you what they can.  Or a headroom amplifier (I have the balanced desktop).

    I tried them with my CEC HD53N and it was clearly better than the WA6SE (which is already a tube amp optimized for low impedance headphones).

    But the first symphonic piece I listened on the AD2000’s condemned them in my eyes, the mid coloration that’s to GREAT with vocals makes them muddy and gives them bad instrument separation, which coupled with the the attenuated highs makes them completely unfit for complex music. I preferred the balanced HF2’s to them … no joke, and the HF2’s are no spring chicken for complex music.  🙂

    Too bad, I so enjoyed them with rock, modern music (the bass is enough, you can boost it  with EQ and it responds well, because the bass quality on the AD2000’s is  spectacular … when driven with low impedance solid state, not with OTL’s. 🙂

    I have a question: could you elaborate a little more on the AD1000prm’s …  Do they unequivocally lack the midrange magic of the AD2000’s or do they still have it and add better highs and cut the bass a little? How do they do with symphonies?

    • Reply June 1, 2011

      Anonymous

      Ah haven’t seen you post here for a while, Eugen.

      I honestly don’t think the AD2000 requires gobs amount of current, hence an OTL like the Zana are still very good with it. I tried it with numerous other solid states including the Burson which has plenty of current, and the only difference I hear was the different voicing of the Burson, which suggest that the Zana drives the AD2000 adequately. Besides, I think it has become one of the accepted pairings that the Zana and the AD2000 is a “match made in heaven” and I wanted to see if that was true. Though the pairing was good and the Zana complemented the AD2000 in the upper mid range, I don’t think the match was as heavenly as people say it is.

      I know, the AD2000 is nice and smooth and refined, but the thick mids kills separation on that area, and for symphonic music, the lack of bass slam also don’t work. For modern Rock I would’ve prefer the Hifimans, the LCD-2, or even the lowly HD25-1 as it translates the energy much better than the AD2000. The bass quality is okay in my opinion. Good articulation et cetera, but that’s always easy to achieve when you don’t give bass in big quantities. Besides this is a flagship headphone and I’ve yet to find a flagship headphone with a boomy bass. 🙂

      Now, the AD1000PRMs.
      The mids are forward, but more on the upper mid and low treble. I find that in a lot of recordings this works better to give a more spot on presence on the vocals, rather than the lower mid boost of the AD2000.

      The lower mids are fairly linear and are not boosted the way the AD2000 is. But the tone of the headphone is also quite different. The timbre is not as accurate as the AD2000, but the AD1000PRM is less grainy and clearer sounding than the AD2000. The bass section is also flatter, no upper bass boost like on the AD2000. As for symphonies, I don’t think any of the AD headphones have sufficient bass weight and/or impact to deliver the necessary slam for symphonies.

      When I compare the two, I can tell clearly that the AD2000 is the higher up flagship headphone. The timbre, the resolution, refinement, depth, is superior on the AD2000. But during meet conditions, where people most likely only pay attention to the tonal balance of the headphone, I think the AD1000PRM would be the more popular choice.

      • Reply June 5, 2011

        Eugen Suceveanu

        Thanks Mike … so the AD1000prm is not for me either.  🙂

        Anyway,  a mini-list from what headphones I heard so far:

        Flagships with lethargic, boomy bass and good bass weight: D7000, HD650 (less than D7000 but still slow).

        Flagships with good bass quality but not enough weight: HD800, AD2000.

        Flagships with good bass quality and weight but not enough bass extension: AKG K1000, CD3000 (I’ve heard two types of stock CD3000’s – one with good bass and just a little brighter than neutral and one that’s irritatingly bass light and bright). And one Headphile CD3000, which is a practical joke. 🙂

        From what I’ve heard, the best compromises so far are the  HD600 and the T1. Both sound closed-in compared to really open headphones like the Grados, AD2000 and HD800 and I don’t like that.

        I’ve still not tried the orthos and the Omega2.

        • Reply June 6, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes, I think more and more people realize that even a good hi-fi
          headphones should have a proper bass weight, and that “audiophile grade”
          is not a phrase that manufacturers can throw around to make up for an
          anemic bass.

          This is why headphones like the LCD-2 and the JH16 have been very
          successful.

          • Reply June 6, 2011

            Eugen Suceveanu

            My hope is that the LCD2 is the best compromise between weight, extension and control there is … the graphs say it’s completely linear in the bass area. 🙂

            Sennheiser on the other says human hearing needs a slight bump around 120Hz then a slight decrease towards 1kHz.

            • Reply June 7, 2011

              Anonymous

              I agree the LCD-2 is probably the most linear in the bass section, more than anything else I’ve heard. I’m not so sure about Senn’s statement, but the HD650 does have its own appeal with the thick and weighty bass.

  • Reply June 2, 2011

    Ninoyz

    damn! i want! i want!

  • Reply June 7, 2011

    Mark Midura

    Great post, there’s a few things I disagree on, but it’s nice to see fantastic headphones finally get some coverage. I became a huge fan of the AD series thanks to the Ad700 and moved onto the Ad900 which I am in love with. I’m more than likely going to move on up to the Ad2000 when money permits. The Ad1000PRM seem to be loved/hated more or less and the Ad2000 seems to be the logical progression from the Ad900 from my understanding. I’ll probably wind up buying the 1000PRM anyway since I love the AD sound.

    • Reply June 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Mark.

  • Reply June 26, 2011

    Eyal

    how is the ad700 vs m50 ?
    -Eyal

    • Reply June 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      M-50 sounds more closed, less detail, less airy, less spacious
      soundstage, more mid and bass body than the AD700.

      • Reply June 28, 2011

        Eyal

        I had an ad700 some years ago… seems like i’m goanna get my hands on ’em again! 🙂

  • Reply October 5, 2011

    Anonymous

    […] […]

  • Reply October 16, 2011

    Anon

    Seems like the page won’t load correctly, as in the entire review is missing.
    -anon

    • Reply October 16, 2011

      Lieven V

      We’ll look into it. Thanks!

      • Reply October 20, 2011

        Guest

        hey..just wanna inform you guys that it’s still down..

        • Reply October 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks. I don’t know what happened there, maybe a database glitch, but it should be up now. 

          Let me know if you still can’t see it.

          • Reply October 21, 2011

            Anon

            It’s fixed!
            Thank you guys for fixing it!

            • Reply October 21, 2011

              Anonymous

              Thanks for notifying us, Anon.

    • Reply October 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks for pointing it out to us, Anon. Will try to fix it, don’t know what happened to the post.

  • Reply November 9, 2011

    GenericMav

    hi mike, i got a question to ask. are all AD series use the same pads? in case if i need a replacement pads for AD900, can i use AD300 pads?

    • Reply November 10, 2011

      Anonymous

      Ouch I failed to make a note of that didn’t I.

      I think there are some differences but I’m not so sure. Sorry.

  • Reply December 28, 2011

    Andrew

    Hi Mike

    Is it possible to give me a few more thoughts on the AD900 vs HD598. What would you buy for acoustic, singer/songwriter, soft rock and vox? Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Antony and the Johnsons, Ryan Adams etc. Only electronic stuff is chillout.

    • Reply December 28, 2011

      Mike

      Andrew,
      I would go with the HD598. I think it excels with acoustic, soft rock.

  • Reply December 28, 2011

    Andrew

    Thanks again Mike, expect a E17 vs MX1 vs Headstreamer question as soon as the reviews are up.

  • Reply January 5, 2012

    Lesterleolo

    Thanks Mike, not long ago, I owned the AD700, AD1000 and AD2000 all together at the same time and I do find  your review very detailed and accuate on the AD line up about the 3.
    Eventually I gave the AD700 to a relative while my big kid is keeping the AD1000 for everyday use. For the AD2000, probably it’s my most frequently used headphones though I have the AT W5000 and even at some time having the Denon D7000. I sold my AKG501 and 271S also after getting the AD2000.
    Meanwhile I am considering to get a Beyerdynamics DT880 (600 ohm), any advice for me?
    For the amp issue, I have Luxman P200 (SS) and a Cyber 20 (tube)?

  • Reply March 3, 2012

    Chris

    Here’s a great, really simple mod for the AD900. Anyone can try it, but it may only be affective for people with certain head and/or ear shapes. For me it makes the phones much more comfortable, more relaxing/less fatiguing, a bit more bass (yup) and a bit more focused soundstage. Basically a minor miracle, in all keys. So what’s the freakin’ mod already? It’s too simple.

    Roll up a tissue, insert it under the back half of the earpad. One on each side. Back means: left side of left pad (facing it) and right side of right pad (facing it). That’s it. Try it, you may like it.

    I decided to look into modding the 900s, because I had the AD700s and they sounded better. Fuller, with more bass and not as sharp. That didn’t make sense to me. So it was either have a fit, or….

  • Reply April 22, 2012

    Victor Yu

    Hi Mike, what do you think is a better amp matching with the AD1000PRM? WA6 or HA160?

    • Reply April 23, 2012

      Mike

      I think both are okay.. what’s the best amp for the 1000PRM? I really have yet to find the “perfect” match for it.

  • Reply October 11, 2012

    Howard Lin

    Hey Mike, thanks for the review. i was just looking for a review comparing AD700/900/2000. AD700 is actually what got me into the headphone scene. long story short, and now i just recently got a HD598 as well, which i love. long story short. what’s the difference between, Airy, Openess, and Soundstage. you mentioned earlier in your review that they all have different meaning but you never mentioned just what the differences are. because at the moment, to me they all mean the same. another thing i wanted your take on is comparing the HD598 and AD700. i find that AD700 gives is a wider soundstage on the width (horizontal), while the HD598 gives it a better soundstage in depth (ie. front and back vertical). do you find that to be true as well? which of the two do you think have a wider sound stage, because i keep going back and forth. to me 598 definitely has a better mid range, as the AD700 just seems too recessed that feels like a cloud is covering the mid. oh and.. the 3rd thing i wanted to get your take on. i tried the AD900 before i bought the HD598, and i actually found the bass to be weaker than AD700, what’s your take on that? i know most people say AD900 has a better bass, and the response graph certainly says so, but i just didn’t find it to be true, it actually sounded a lot weaker and thinner. and to top it off, the AD900’s mid is just way too forward for me that it became too bright and fatiguing very often. that’s why i ended up getting the HD598, with the help of fellow headfi-ers, who helped me picked out a phone that has enough mid forwardness but not as bright as AD900, but at the same time more forward than AD700. the HD598 also was a better candidate because it finally was able to fill the low end gap that AD700 and AD900 missed. look forward to your reply. 🙂

    • Reply October 11, 2012

      Mike

      I will try to answer your question, first on the soundstage. Do you have a good live recording to actually test these soundstage stuff with? Because some people test soundstage with studio recorded, multi-track stuff, and these recordings don’t have real soundstage.

      • Reply October 12, 2012

        Howard Lin

        i followed your recommandation and went to Spotify and listened to Buena Vista Club and the Pawn Shop. both btw have very awesome sounding.

        • Reply October 19, 2012

          Mike

          Sorry missed your reply.

          AD700 vs HD598 soundstage:
          The way I would describe the AD700 is that it’s airy and very spacious, but doesn’t actually have a good soundstage performance. Not only on the depth (you catch that one — the HD598 is better on the depth), but also the width, even though the 598 sounds narrower (aka less spacious) the soundstage reproduction is actually more real.

          The way I differentiate this is by using terms like airy and spacious which basically means a headphone has a big spacious sound. But that doesn’t entail a good and realistic soundstage reproduction — for which I use the term soundstage.

          The bass on the AD900 should be more, but I don’t know why your impressions were different. Maybe pads conditions? One headphone is new and the other old?

          Looks like you’re very happy with the HD598. You should look at the HD600/650. Would blow you away even more.

          • Reply October 20, 2012

            Howard Lin

            thanks Mike 🙂 for the record i tried the AD900 for 200+ hours and still didn’t seem to have as much bass as the AD700, and AD700 is on the light side. only explanation i can think of is either my unit was faulty, or because the AD900 is SOOO bright, the overall volume needed to be turned down, which lowers the bass.

            • Reply October 20, 2012

              Mike

              Alright Howard. If you’re looking for more bass than the AD700 try the HD600.

      • Reply October 19, 2012

        Howard Lin

        any word Mike?…. MIKE??????

        • Reply October 19, 2012

          Mike

          Did you read my reply?

  • Reply November 18, 2012

    Alvin Sii Hee Yong

    Hi Mike
    Sorry if it maybe out of topic
    Do you ever try Art series ?
    A700 , A900 , A1000 & etc

    I ‘m sort of curious how are them if compared with AD series !!!

    Thanks you

    • Reply November 19, 2012

      Mike

      Alvin,
      I tried the A900 Limited and the A1000X. Very different in the AD in that they are:
      1. Cleaner sound, no grain
      2. Smoother
      3. Better soundstage image, though less open feel than the ADs
      4. Tendency to be a little recessed in the mids.

      Here is a review with the A1000X:
      http://www.headfonia.com/tag/audio-technica/

      • Reply November 19, 2012

        Alvin Sii Hee Yong

        Thank you for reply !!!

        I had bought A700X so I wish to know how AD series sound compared to A series.

        Cause I had being thinking to buy another pair but I not sure worth to upgrade to AD900X or A900X !!!

        • Reply November 19, 2012

          Mike

          Probably would be a good idea to get the other series (W or AD) instead of going up within the A-series. That way you get more variations in sound.

          Have you checked out the ESW-9? It’s extremely popular. Should also check out the ATH M-50.. that’s an Audio technica everyone should have once.

          • Reply November 20, 2012

            Alvin Sii Hee Yong

            W series are extremely pricey but I knew they do worth a lot !!!

            BTW I heard W series are normally prestige and limited in production so if really true then I need to invest money to buy one

            For my current state, W1000X and ESW 9 is the closest can towards my budget hahaha

            • Reply November 20, 2012

              Mike

              Well I’m just saying.. don’t have to be the W-series, but some other headphones rather than upgrade the A-series.

              Try the new Philips Fidelio X1 for instance, it’s a very good headphone at a reportedly $299 MSRP.

              Or Senn’s legendary HD650.

              Or a Grado.

              Or the ATH M-50.

              • Reply November 21, 2012

                Alvin Sii Hee Yong

                Based on your review, ”The bass heavy nature of the HD650 makes it inherently slower than the HD600. Not only slower in the sense of transients, but also in the HD650′s ability to keep a good pace with faster music. It’s like comparing a small engine but lightweight roadster to a bigger sedan with a V8. The big sedan with the V8 will have more grunt — this is the HD650. Yet the small engine roadster, the HD600 in this analogy, will always be more nimble and would take on a series of tight corners better. The HD600 is not leaps ahead in terms of pace, but sometimes it’s enough to make or break a music. Some people who listens to Progressive Rock and Metal would probably prefer the HD600 over the HD650. On the other hand, the HD650′s superior bass weight and impact is much better for Classical Symphonies, and also feels fuller for the slower Jazz and Vocal stuff.” I ‘m really interested in HD 650 and HD600 seems not suit my preference !!! BTW are HD 650 easy to drive ? I personally still havent own an amp and will consider if I ‘m really bought a high end headphone. Based on this site and several forums, Fiio E10 seems to be a great bargain !!! Does it pair well with HD650 ?

                Thank you !!!

                • Reply November 21, 2012

                  Mike

                  Alvin,
                  The HD650 is extremely popular and would be a good headphone to try. You can drive it fine from a Fiio E10 sure.

                  • Reply November 23, 2012

                    Alvin Sii Hee Yong

                    Thank you for helping me !!!

                    No matter how I think I need to try it 1st before making the purchase!
                    HD650 is not a cheap headphone but I believe it indeed a great one
                    I ‘m really glad to learn things from you.

  • Reply December 22, 2012

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  • Reply July 2, 2013

    Adriano Moretti

    Hi Mike,

    I’m actually owning a pair of AD700 , been so great so far, but i’m willing to buy another pair of headphones, my personal musical taste is so wide, going from Operas, Jazz, BLues, Rock, electronic, Classical, Latin, you name it … Looking for some nice soundstage and good response in every most genre I like… Have been looking to the HD600’s , BT880 Pro and the ATH AD1000. What would you suggest?

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