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Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000

Open-air over-ear headphones

3 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 901ADX5000

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Overview

Our take on the Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000

Refreshing. Perhaps that doesn't sound like the most lofty superlative for a luxury piece of personal audio gear. But it is the first word that came to mind when I listened to Audio Technica's new flagship ATH-ADX5000 headphones. And I use that word with the highest of praise — these headphones manage to sound both revealing and musical at the same time.

Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 headphones inside the leather case

The Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 headphones arrive impeccably packed in a heavy-duty case.

Something special from the longtime headphone masters

Refreshing. Perhaps that doesn't sound like the most lofty superlative for a luxury piece of personal audio gear. But it is the first word that came to mind when I listened to Audio Technica's new flagship ATH-ADX5000 headphones. And I use that word with the highest of praise — these headphones manage to sound both revealing and musical at the same time.

The ATH-ADX5000 'phones were designed and fastidiously crafted in Audio Technica's Tokyo headquarters. They're built from precious materials and succeed from a technical standpoint and in terms of grace and soul. You get clean, pure sound across a wide frequency range. 

Appearance matters, too 

I can tell you first hand just how special it feels to have these headphones delivered to you. They arrived at my office inside in a large, important-looking shipping box that I thought must contain more than one pair of headphones. Nope.

Audio Technica — a company notorious for their no-frills, let-the-product-do-the-talking packaging — pulled out all the stops. They packed the ATH-ADX5000s inside an extra-large, stitched-leather carrying case. It unlatched with a satisfying snap, and I found the oversized headphones neatly nestled in pillow-soft velvet. 

Driver of the Audio Technica ATH-ADX5000

The honeycombed design of the open-air earcups give you a glimpse of the driver unit

Lightweight and luxurious

It seems obvious, but some companies forget: comfort can make or break the headphone experience. Audio Technica's engineers did not overlook this key fact. 

As large and substantial as the headphones are, they feel extremely light. Every inch is well-built and pleasant to the touch. I felt it as I held the smooth, strong magnesium alloy frame, and when I slipped the generous alacantra ear pads over my ears.

Uniquely designed driver system

There's a lot going on “under the hood” of these headphones, and Audio-Technica isn't trying to hide it. You get a peek right through the open-air earcups to the driver. Small, honeycomb-style openings allow for the optimum airflow, and the drivers are positioned for ideal sound.

Traditionally, headphone drivers are constructed as separate parts working together. Audio Technica did things a little different — all the separate parts of the driver are combined, then fused with the baffle into a single entity. This seriously cuts down on resonance and allows for a quicker attack, resulting in precise sound. 

My listening impressions

I got a chance to do something with these headphones that I don't often get to do. I received them right before I went on vacation, so I could listen to them more for pleasure rather than in a work context.

I made a promise to myself — just enjoy the experience and don't get overly analytical. Easy enough, because while these headphones remain true to the recording, they never sound frigid or mechanical. I could feel the music as much as hear it.

I used the TEAC NT-503 network player/headphone amp to drive these power-thirsty 'phones, and it did quite well. Here are some choice musical tracks:

"Mozart sonata for piano and violin in G major" — Hilary Hahn

I'm not a big classical music fan, but we have some aficianados here at Crutchfield HQ. One of my guys tipped me off to this recording, as a good way to test the chops of high-end headphones. I just closed my eyes and let the graceful yet frantic performance take me. It was thrilling through these Audio Technica 'phones — like I was on a runaway train, but calmly reclining in the hands of a true professional.

The peaceful warmth of the violins are cut by the startling, explosive piano work. The track plays almost entirely in the highs and upper mids, and everything is detailed and specific, yet never grating. No matter how complex the composition got, the headphones handled it all with ease.

"Work Work" — clipping.

This exciting hip-hop track showed off the ATH-ADX5000's dynamics and low-end capabilities. Bass sounded potent and tight here, never bleeding into the light, tingly wind-chime samples or the female emcee's voice. It is not the most powerful bass I've heard, but it is very satisfying.  

"Taneytown" — Steve Earle and the Dukes

Earlier in my vacation, I had seen Earle and company play live here in Charlottesville. This song was the highlight of an overall great show. Listening to it through these headphones got my adrenaline going, because it put me right back in my seat for the show: removed, but not too far away.

The soundstage is not quite as immediate as the Focal Utopia headphones, but also not as wide open as the Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones. And since the imaging was so spot on, I could pick out the different instruments and distorted guitar tones — just like the band was playing in front of me again.  

Product Highlights:

  • over-the-ear, open-back design for spacious, transparent sound
  • large 58mm dynamic drivers deliver punchy, deep bass, clear mids, and airy, detailed highs
  • headphone housings assembled by hand at Audio-Technica's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan
  • we recommend a separate headphone amplifier for optimum sound quality
Build and Construction:
  • strong, lightweight design with magnesium alloy frame
  • drivers strategically positioned in open-back headphone chamber for desired airflow
    • honeycombed housing design prevents unwanted air pressure loss
  • driver parts and baffle combined into a single unit to reduce unwanted vibration
    • rigid tungsten-coated diaphragm for better fluidity
    • strong Permendur magnetic circuit creates strong magnetic field
  • soft, pleasant alcantara line the earpads and headband
Accessories, Specs, and General Info:
  • detachable 9.8-foot cable with gold-plated 1/4" stereo plug
    • cable connects to headphones via left and right A2DC headphone connectors
  • latching, luggage-style storage case with padded velvet interior
  • earcup laser-etched with unique serial number
  • frequency response: 5-55,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 100 dB
  • impedance: 420 ohms
  • weight: 9.5 ounces
  • warranty: 2 years limited
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)

AT ADX5000: Very good. But still leaves certain details missing

Terry from Clayton, NC on 5/24/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For any headphone review, context is helpful. My music tastes (and what makes up most of my music collection) tend mainly toward acoustic (piano-based trio jazz, small group singer-songwriter, etc.) Mainly, real (acoustic) instruments recorded in actual space. The other two headphones I own are the AKG K-701 and the beyerdynamic T-90. Let's get real. Two-thousand dollars?...For a headphone?!? Well, yeah. The idea stretches my common sense, too. These headphones are for people who listen to headphones almost exclusively, and are serious music fans who want to listen deeply into the music and find it enjoyable to pick up on details in a recording, but who also want musical instruments to sound like musical instruments. The X5000 does a good job of revealing good tone, timbre, harmonics and overtones (especially in the area of bass guitar, both acoustic and electric). It's as if this headphone were voiced and tuned by an acoustic bassist. Note and chord decay on acoustic piano is also very good. I find fault with this headphone's lack of overtones of ride cymbals when being played by a jazz drummer. No matter what you're listening to, most ride cymbal hits sound like "tic, tic, tic." Very good h/p. But not a GREAT one. They're keepers, but...worth 2K? Ahhh...No. (Surprise!) Ha. For this money, I expected just a bit better. (4 stars if $1K) I plan on experimenting a bit in the future with different amps (including tubes) and different sources, so this review is STC...

Pros: Bass QUALITY (as far as tone and timbre of acoustic bass instruments) is VERY good, as is the low frequency registers of a grand piano in a jazz context. This h/p has good bass impact and slam, though not on the level of "planar bass", (as I once owned an AUDEZE LCD-3). I sold that h/p as I found the mids and highs sorely lacking for acoustic music and instruments. The X5000's low-frequency resolution (as far as conveying low notes on acoustic instrument in a convincing way) is its' stren

Cons: For 2K, these X5000's could do better at resolving certain higher frequencies bringing forth a bit more fine-level detail. These h/p's do have "impact" and "slam", (if it's present in the recording) but I would have preferred more subtlety, finesse, and detail retrieval "up high". They're over-priced, even considering what they do (very) well. Headphone engineering still has a way to go with resolving certain complex overtones and harmonics with regards to certain instruments and frequencies.

Amazing Sound

Ann from Eureka, MO on 2/6/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've heard a lot of headphones before, but They all sound so boring and analytical compared to these. Their sound Has amazing color and pop to It that I've only ever heard in my Audeze LCD 4s. For the price, you Get quality you should expect, and then some. If you want fun sou n ding headphones and have the money, Get a pair of these cans. Theyre amazing.

Pros: Flashy sound Analytical but not flat Great bass for open back

Cons: Could have a little more definition on the highs.

Audio-Technica ADX 5000

Ryan from Castro Valley, CA on 1/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Compared to my previous high end headphones (Beyerdynamic T1 and HE1000 v1), the ADX5000 stands at the helm of my collection in terms of resolution. Sound signature-wise, I feel as though it is closer to the T1 than the HE1000--positioning is similar. It is in almost every regards better than the T1 in my initial listening. Overall, the HE1000 and ADX5000 are a lot closer in technical performance seeing that the T1 is rather dated now. Compared to the HE1K, the HE1K sounds even more "open" or "airy" and has way better sub-bass. The primary advantage the ADX5000 has is the immense amount of detail-retrieval it brings to the table. Personally I wouldn't say that it is an overly bright headphone but I do feel as though there is a slight peak somewhere in the treble. There is also a good enough amount of bass impact that will satisfy enough. Overall, I would like to say that this headphone has a well balanced sound and really allows you to hear almost every detail hidden in the recording. I would recommend it for anyone looking for a pair of excellent analytical pair of headphones.

Pros: Excellent mids and highs--extremely analytical, next level resolution Good-enough impact Extremely lightweight

Cons: A2DC headphone connector makes it hard to find any upgrade aftermarket cables at the moment. Not the most "fun" sounding headphone, although it may improve with tubes, which I don't have

Details

Features and Specs

General
Earcup Type Open
Earcup Width x Height
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls No
iPhone Control No
Lightning Connector No
Android Control No
Frequency Response 5-55k Hz
Sensitivity 100 dB
Impedance 420 Ohms
Weight 9.5 ounces
Cord Length 118"
1/4-inch Adapter Included No
Volume Control No
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I've heard they are amazing. I hope that it's true and I love them. [ John  May 05, 2018 ]

1 question already asked

I believe they are all currently made in Japan [ Ryan  May 01, 2018 ]
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