Early Impressions of the Audio Technica AD900x Open-back Headphones


In short: I am now an open-back headphone convert.

After purchasing the Audio Technica ATH-AD900X’s I had a sensation much like the first time I purchased mid-range headphones. It like was hearing music I’ve been listening to for years for the first time. The details and “depth” of the music I could make out was so much greater. After testing the AD900X’s with a variety genres over the last few days including indie rock, post-rock, electronica, and hip-hop here are my initial thoughts:

  • Everything you read online about open-back headphones is true. You can totally here your surroundings. The result feels somewhat like listening to desktop monitors—yet different…
  • The sound is amazing for the price and definitely has a pretty flat frequency response.Though some higher frequencies attenuate more than I’d like. If you like a lot of bass emphasized in your hip-hop or electronica music then look elsewhere.
  • The “clamp” style head band the is a little awkward 1. Not uncomfortable. But definitely takes some getting use to.
  • Based on my experience thus far companies don’t make a mid-range headphone with a decent cable. The AD900X is no exception. The cable had a lot of bad memory the 1st few days and would coil up all over my desk. But it has started to mellow out now.
  • Did I mention the cable is long? 9.8’ in fact (3m). Though this is not unusual for audiophile-ish headphones—it is a little disorienting at 1st. But after a few days I have grown to like it. I am now running my headphone cable under my desk. (Yeah it is that long).
  • I have worn them a few hours on end without long breaks and can report they are comfortable. The weight isn’t surprising for the size and the ear cups have a soft, somewhat breathable material.

If you are in the market for some open-back headphones I highly recommend the ATH-AD900x’s.

  1. Audio Technica calls this 3D Wing Support Housing. Really, AT?