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Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000

Open-air over-ear headphones

2 Reviews

Item # 901ADX5000

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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 detail 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

Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(2 Reviews)

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


Features and Specs

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