Audio-Technica ATH-W1000X

The ATH-W1000X is part of the Woodie line of Audio-Technica headphones and was the mid-range model, following the W1000, while the W5000 was for a long time the higher-end model. The cups are made of beautiful cherry cups.

The W1000X features the 3D-wings system headband, a design that doesn’t fit all heads, including mine. I have to bend the headband in order to get a good fit. After that, comfort is great, since they are light. The pleather ear pads can however quickly warm my ears.

They are very easy to drive, but can’t really be used in portable mode. I wouldn’t want to risk damaging the wooden cups, and the long non-removable cable would be annoying.

○ Release : 2010
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Closed-back
○ Measured weight : 349g
○ Impedance : 42 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~102.7 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $220-270

Sound Impression
The W1000X is a W-shaped sounding headphone : midbassy, peaky in the upper-mids and the mid-treble. This is a weird tonality, and (from what I’ve hears so far) close to the sound of many other A-T headphones. I’m not a great fan of this presentation.

Bass is disappointing ; there’s only midbass and a pretty good lack of extension below 60-70hz, not fair for a pair of cans originally sold for $699. Even more the bass quality is not great, lacking control.

Midrange has a moderate forwardness around 2khz, giving energy to lot of instruments and (female) vocals. This is a coloration often found with Japan made headphones. Treble is .. very sharp, as seen on the measurements there is a very strong peak around 9-10 khz I did not like over time. Lower-treble (4-7khz) is recessed so this peak is even more apparent.

This is deceiving because technicalties are decent for the price they go used. Thorougly open sounding, spacious staging and nice imaging. I find the dynamics a bit compressed, just like others 3D-wings AT I tried, except the AD2000. I can’t recommend this headphone, when you can get the E-mu Teak or Fostex TH-X00 for around the same price, used. I prefer many cheaper closed headphones to the W1000X, like the AKG K371, Soundmagic HP150 or Denon D2000.

Measurements & Resources

Poor bass extension, measuring worse than it sounds (hard to get a good seal on a measuring rig). Bumped upper-mids around 1-2 khz, with a dip …. no, a hole around 4 -7 khz, and grating mid-treble.

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