Audio-Technica ATH-A900X

The ATH-A900X is a closed headphone Audio-Technica developped some time ago, part of the “ART” family of A-T headphones, serie of closed circum models while the “AIR” serie was the open-back line.
The ATH-A10, in 1994, was the first ART model, and since then, many, many iterations have been released.
Build quality is decent, and comfort a mixed bag ; I sometimes have issues getting a good seal since the A900X cups do not swivel in a Y-axis.

○ Release : 2011
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Closed-back
○ Measured weight : 341g
○ Impedance : 42 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~102.7 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $100-150

Sound Impression

The ATH-A900X is a colored sounding headphone, substantially on the warmer side of neutral. It’s a relaxing and easy listen.

Mid-bass to lower-mids is quite strong, adding an enveloping amount of warmth and body to the sound and notes – I don’t mind it for particular listenings, but not for a polyvalent use. Sub-bass is soft between 40-60hz, and almost inexistent below that frequency.

Midrange is lower-mids emphazised, but remains quite present and not too withdrawn up to 2 khz. There is a major dip in the lower-treble area (4-7khz), where lot of resonances and harshness might happen. This dip, combined with the lower-mids warmth, is what makes the A900X sound smooth and relaxing. Mid and upper-treble are a bit lacking, though a minor peak at 10khz is apparent on some tracks.

This headphone sounds quite wide for a fully closed design, beating most closed headphones I have heard, and a lot of open-back models (HD600, for example). But the A900X lacks the transparency and openness, and isn’t a technically remarkable headphone, with just decent attack and transient response. Most “3d-wings” AT I have heard did not have great overall technicalities.

Notwithstanding, I like the A900X for desktop use and relaxing sessions, when I am not looking for pure “audiophile” listening where I would reach for a more capable and balanced pair of headphones. This Audio-Technica has a decent build quality, with good comfort (when I can get a seal) and enough isolation for a lot of situations. At maximum $150 for a pair in mint condition, I believe they’re a good option.


Measurements & Resources

Bass roll-off below 40-50 hz, bump around 100-300 hz, recessed upper-mids above 2 khz, relaxed treble. This measurement exhibits a channel imbalance, pretty common with the A900X. My pair also had minor channel imbalance.

2 Comments

  • Elwin

    Thank you for all your reviews, great to listen to.
    Would you recommend these for low volume listening? I quickly think my headphones are to loud, but when lowering the volume loose joy compared to louder listening often.

    Should I be looking for a v-shaped headphones? Any other tips?

    More specific, but I understand you don’t have time, I need closed back to isolate, in the office.
    your review about a900x is very enthusiastic, so is the K371.
    The k371 has an BT option (actually I just like to add a mic, can be wired).

    Keep these reviews coming,
    Elwin

    • titanosk

      Both the K371 and A900X will be good choices for office. They have similar isolation.
      The A900X is much bigger and doesn’t come with a removable cable though. It’s a bit more relaxing than the K371, and the K71 is a bit more neutral.
      I tend to enjoy any headphone at low volume if they sound good, no matter the tonality. The Denon D2000 is more V-shaped and energetic than the A900X or K371, but the isolation is less efficient and they’re not easy to find (discontinued, like the A900X)
      Thanks for the comment

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