These cans have got the goods, and knocked it out of the park in many aspects of our scoring. Not only do they have a flat frequency response, but they have a very low distortion measure, and passable tracking. As it is with most headphones, they do have a couple quirks that are fairly minor all things considered, but the s measure up well, even when robots are the judges.
Some of the most comfortable headphones you'll ever wear.
The s are open-backed headphones, which means the back of the speaker elements aren't guarded by much, so these headphones are going to stay at home, preferably by the computer. That's okay though, as that open back is going to enable you to have a blast with these headphones, as their audio quality is superb.
As far as features go, the cable of the Audio-Technica ATH-AD900s is a rather cumbersome 10-foot cord, well insulated and durable. Make sure you keep this one on the desk, lest you run over it with your chair or trip over it. The ATH-AD900’s cable ends with a standard, straight plug with a metal casing and threading close to the base of the plug itself, allowing you to screw on the 1/4th inch adapter included in the packaging.
One of the best things about these headphones is the fact that they are insanely comfortable. For most people, the ATH-AD900s cradle your head ever so gently, and distribute their weight over the giant surface area that are the paddles on the top of the unit. Those paddles in turn rest on spring assemblies, so that the headphones don't put too much pressure on any one point no matter how you set them on your head, and after a couple hours can feel like you're wearing nothing at all.
A flat frequency response opens up a world of possibilities.
Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-AD900s do a very good job at staying within our ideal limits with only minor blemishes. Specifically, they seem to have short ranges of underemphasis at 5-6kHz and 7-8.5kHz, but nothing that you’ll probably notice too much. Because these variances are around 5dB, you'll have to know exactly what you're looking for in order to hear it.
Because the response is more or less even across the full range of audible frequencies, this means that when you use an equalizer on your music, you can basically expect the frequency response you dictate to be the one your hear (with few errors). This is fantastic for cinephiles and audiophiles alike, as you can make your music work in the way you want it to, and not be a slave to a pair of headphones' inherent flaws in this regard.
Low distortion makes for pristine audio.
They're not distortion free, but the s add such an infinitesimally small amount of THD that you won't be able to hear it. Additionally, this level won't even become audible until you absolutely blast your signal to 115.61dB before reaching the magical 3% distortion mark we use to determine maximum usable SPL. Still, we implore you: don’t listen to these or any other headphones at or near this level, ever.
Fasten your seatbelts, the ATH-AD900s have extremely good performance.
After we ran the ATH-AD900s through our tests in the lab a few times, we've concluded that they have extremely good audio performance. Throughout every test we ran, we noticed that they had very few if any appreciable blemishes in their performance, and across the board they took top marks.
In addition to having great audio quality, they also have a low power requirement, meaning you most likely won't have to buy additional equipment to use these with your computer to get them to sound their best, which is very uncommon for expensive headphones.
Keep in mind though, that this all comes at a major tradeoff: because these headphones have open backs, they will not be able to block out sound from the outside world, and they will also annoy the hell out of anyone around you too. Additionally, this is also a durability concern, as you now have to worry about foreign-object damage. Avoid having liquids near these at all costs, as they can potentially destroy their sensitive inner electronics.
A good stepping stone into world of the audiophiles
Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-AD900s are fantastic performers for their price range, with the added benefit of being super comfortable, and a low power requirement. Though they aren’t the most durable headphones on the market, you should be satisfied with most of their performance points across the board, especially for the money. If you don’t mind looking a bit odd with these massive cans, they are easily the best way you can spend less than $300 on a pair of headphones that stay near your computer.
Meet the tester
Staff Writer, Imaging@cthomas8888
A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.
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