Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000

The AD2000 was Audio-Technica’s open flagship in the mid 2000s. It uses the 3D-wings headband and it’s a very light headphone – only 275g on my food scale. Comfort is not so great because the earpads are very thin and the ears touch the driver capsule.
Extremely easy to drive, it requires even less power than many closed-backs. The cups grills are very open and we can see part of the drivers. It is to me one of the better looking Audio-Technica models.

○ Release : 2004
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Open-back
○ Measured weight : 275g
○ Impedance : 42 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : 100 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $300-400

Sound Impression
The AD2000 has a unique tonality – I wouldn’t call this headphone bright like I’ve read on many impressions and forums. It’s quite bass-light. Less bass than an HD600, and even worse low-end extension. Bass is nicely integrated with the midrange though no bass body or rumble can be heard.

Midrange is very interesting and musical. It’s special in a sense that it sounds warm, but with forward upper-mids around 4 khz. Measurements show a big 4khz peak surrounded by dipped 2-3 and 5-7khz regions. Voices are very forward and detached from the instruments, while rest of the midrange sounds warm, at least to me. Not neutral but quite pleasing.

Treble is not particularly forward, but lacks some air up top. Staging is a bit wider than HD600, but way behind the super spacious AD900X or the K701 / HD800. Capable technically wise ; it has better than average attack and doesn’t sound too compressed.

I get the appeal of the popularity of the AD2000, as it sounds different from most modern headphones. And at $300-350 used (or cheaper on Yahoo-Auction), it’s reasonably priced. It’s probably my favorite “mid-centric” headphone, not well fitted for many genres, but when it works, it works quite well.


Measurements & Resources

Lean tonality. Bass body is almost inexistent, and midrange is emphasized around 800-1.3khz. The 4khz peak is very narrow and it’s probably a careful tuning – too much energy in the upper-mids / low-treble would have been horrible to hear. That’s why (but it’s my guess) the 2-3 and 5-8khz regions are recessed.

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