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

Monday, January 14, 2008

ATH-ESW9 Update (with ATH-ES7 Comparison)

I find that I use the ATH-ESW9 more than any of my other headphones. Even though I often listen to music in bed, I'll lay on my back with the ESW9 rather than on my side with the ATH-CK7 as I normally would.

The ESW9 is simply a stunning headphone and it is hard to imagine a classier design. They were a bit clampy when I bought them but the grew more comfortable very quickly. Some people (including me at first) have a hard time justifying the purchase ($275 USD for me) but they sound so much better than any other headphones I've heard in the past that my constantly nagging feeling that I need to upgrade has been quenched. The consensus on seems to be that they are the best closed portable headphone on the market and from my experience I am inclined to agree. Whether they are worth more than twice the price of the ATH-ES7 is a matter of personal opinion. The ESW9 certainly sounds much much better than the ES7 but the ES7 is a competent portable headphone and is waaaay cheaper at about $110 USD. I'll get to sound soon but as a matter of comfort the ESW9 easily beats the ES7 which is much clampier. The ESW9's lambskin earpads are a huge improvement over the pleather pads on the ES7 since they are more plush and less sweat inducing. The ESW9 also looks better on the head than the ES7 since the headband does not stick out at a funny angle. (This can be fixed on the ES7 as can be seen here. (Thanks 3X0) The ES7 also can get scuffed very easily in day-to-day use. They are both very solidly built and can easily stand portable use. They both come with carrying pouches and are both made in Japan. I don't have it yet but I think I'm going to buy this case for my ESW9 so I can toss them into my knapsack.

Alright. I've got to go so I'll save my sound impressions for later. (They are amazing ;) )

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Audio Technica ATH-CK7 Review

This post is based on a review I did for Amazon a few months ago. I have updated it slightly for the blog.

I have owned the CK7 (which is made in Japan!) for about a year now and I am still blown away each time I use them. I have owned about 20-30 other canalphones and the CK7 is my absolute favorite. The highs are sparkly and beautiful, the midrange presence is fantastic, and the bass has great impact without being "boomy" or overwhelming. The attack is excellent and these are great for rock or metal since they can keep up with a double bass. I also use them to listen to Jazz and classical music. On a high quality recording you can even make out the impact of the piano keys or the fingers strumming the guitar strings. Wind instruments have a fantastic airy quality, usually only found on more expensive headphones or speakers. They do not have a warm sound but are better for it since they are precise and technical.

The CK7 comes in a beautiful titanium housing that looks great and really protects the delicate drivers inside. I take good care of my electronics but they still tend to get tossed around since I use them almost every day. My CK7 has held up extremely well and looks as good as new.

Also of note is that the CK7 has a "Y" shaped cord unlike the "J" cord which is popular with manufacturers these days but generally not with consumers. Included in the package are 3 sizes of tips and a thin leatherette pouch.

All in all anyone looking for an amazing pair of earphones with fantastic sound and decent isolation should check these out. You will not be disappointed.

Just note that directly out of the box the CK7 can sound a bit harsh or shrill. Give them some time. The drivers need to be burned in, and after a few days of use they will really come into their own. You may want to let them play overnight before using them the first time.