Sunday, February 8, 2009


I have not posted in a while but I think that a quick update is in order.
First, I recently tried the S700 again. By now they have been used for countless hours. From a brief three minute listen, I felt that they actually did open up a bit. To my ears, they sounded much better than I remembered them.

Second, I sold my ATH-ESW10JPN after about three weeks. I just thought I was crazy for spending so much on headphones when I was perfectly happy with the ESW9. Makes sense, right? I agree but within a month I had another set of ESW10JPNs in my hand. Honestly, I just couldn't bear to be apart from them. They are head and shoulders above any other portable headphone I have ever tried. I felt that my best bet to save money in the long run would be to buy one pair that left me so satisfied that I would not have to keep wasting money on new headphones.

Having said that, while the ESW10JPN is amazing, I think that the ATH-ESW9 or ATH-ESW9A (the US version) really hits the sweet spot in the line-up. The ES7 sounded very good for a $100 headphone but I felt that the ESW9 was so much better that to me it justified the $150 price jump above the ES7. However, no matter how amazing the ESW10 sound and looks (and don't get me wrong - it's AWESOME) I see absolutely NO WAY that it justifies its price being $250+ more than the ESW9. It sounds better but not nearly that much better. Having said that I would never give mine up again. Also, as of this writing, the ES7 costs about $110, the ESW9 about $265 and the ESW10JPN about $530.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Audio Technica ATH-ESW10JPN

Yay! My new limited edition Audio Technica ATH-ESW10JPN is on its way from Tokyo! I'll be sure to post pictures and impressions as soon as they arrive. Stay tuned! They should be here within the next few days.

Monday, October 20, 2008

HA-S700 Update (sort of)

I sort of gave up on the HA-S700. I let them burn if with pink noise for another 10 hours or so but they did not get any better. So, for the benefit of anyone who reads this, I gave them to my sister since she listens to books on tape day and night. I think I'll give them another shot when they have a few hundred hours of use but for now I can not recommend them to anyone looking for sound quality. If you don't really care about great sound but want something that sounds decent and is really comfortable, looks nice (read: familiar), and is well built consider them recommended.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Cans: JVC HA-S700 - Initial Impressions

I recently bought JVC's (Victor) new HA-S700 headphones at Circuit City. I bought them since they seemed like a direct knockoff of the Bose Triport - but at a much better price. The decent Triport is vastly overpriced at $130 so I figured that I'd try the JVC "version" which cost only $50. ($35 w/ free shipping on is the best price I could find but it is currently sold out as of 8/25/2008.)

I will write a review eventually but I figure that I should let them burn in for some more time before passing judgment.

First, I will discuss comfort and style. The S700 has a very clean look and fits comfortably over my ears. They clamp my head a bit but that can be expected from new headphones. I think it is great that the ear pads are padded with memory foam. This is beneficial for both comfort and sealing purposes. The headband's extension system is also similar to that in the Triport. The HA-S700 folds inward and flat but it does not have a dual hinge for true portability.

Someone on Amazon gave these a 5 star review and said: I just bought these headphone for a trip to China. I wanted something lightweight that sounded great and the JVC hits on both items. They fold flat to make storage easy and come with a pouch. They compare very well to Bose Tri-port at half the price. Don't buy in to Bose hype !! Buy the JVC !

In my limited experience with these headphones I think that the reviewer is on the right track but may not know of other competing headphones that offer better value. Please keep in mind that my HA-S700's sound may not have truly opened up yet after 5 hours of pink noise. So far, I find the HA-S700 to have a very clean midrange presence but they lack bass definition and impact and the treble can be sibilant. (Once again I tested with an iRiver H120 and .flac music files.

Even now, if you factor in excellent comfort, sound build quality quality, decent portability and the thus unspectacular sound quality, these represent a wonderful value at ~$35. At the price range, if your primary focus is SQ, then you may want to look at the excellent sounding Panasonic RP-HTX7. However, the HTX7 is not as comfortable and does not fold. If you can spend some more I highly recommend the Denon AH-D1001 for ~$100. They are very very comfortable and sound wonderful but they do not fold like the HA-S700.

In conclusion, the JVC HA-S700 is a good looking headphone at a great price. However, if sound quality is your number one concern, there are other options.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

AT-HPP5 - Audio Technica Headphone Case

Yesterday I stopped in at AC Gears in NYC to pick up a case for my ATH-ESW9 - the AT-HPP5. It is really nicely made and has room for my IRiver too (as you can see). Now I don't need to worry about tossing my headphones into my backpack.

Here is a link to Audiocubes:
Audio-Technica AT-HPP5 Headphone Case

And here are some pictures I took. You can click to see the full pictures.




Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 Sovereign Wood Headphones

Here is a link to the ESW9 at Audiocubes. They don't carry them in their NY store any more but they are a trustworthy source of a nice selection of headphones.

Monday, January 21, 2008