Audio-Technica ATH-PRO700MK2 Review
Built like a tank, the ATH-PRO700MK2 can take whatever you dish out.
Looking to increase their presence in the persisting market for DJ-style headphones, Audio-Technica is hoping their ATH-PRO700MK2 headphones will make a strong case to consumers to rattle their skulls with very bass-heavy sound. They might be a bit more cash than your average entry-level buyer might want to drop on a set of headphones, but fans of bassy music (or even people who need more durable cans) will want to try these on before buying the very tight-banded ATH-PRO700MK2s.
Design & Features
From their branding right down to their form, Audio-Technica gave the ATH-PRO700MK2s the tools it needs to survive as a set of DJ-style headphones. If you're not sure what I mean, think of it this way: the needs of a DJ for a set of headphones usually revolve around durability and high power handling, something the ATH-PRO700MK2 excels in.
For starters, features like a swappable cable, folding band, and mobile ear cups allow the headphones great flexibility and repair options. Additionally, that included longer spiralled cable will allow you greater mobility when you're plugged into a laptop or boards.
Because these headphones fold up and stow in a pouch, you can cram them in a bag with little fuss and they'll survive the trip wherever they go. We don't recommend taking them underwater or anything, but you get the point—they'll be able to take what you dish out on tour or at home.
No set of headphones is perfect, but the most likely point of contention you could have with the ATH-PRO700MK2 is the comfort. While it's true that we all have differently sized and shaped noggins, it's also true that the band on these cans is quite tight. Some users on Amazon have had luck with stretching it, but that can have unintended consequences—do so at your own risk.
This also may not be the cans for you if you have larger ears—my ears are similar in size to that of a small elephant, so I had trouble fitting my entire pinna into the ear pad without it pinching. This is something to consider for all you with bigger brain cages out there: a tight band and ear pads that touch your pinna can lead to discomfort even in the short term.
All that being said, most of the worldwide audience for the Japanese-based Audio-Technica will find these headphones to have few issues. It's only for the unlucky few of us with comically-proportioned heads that comfort is a concern. My best advice is to try these on before buying if you can.
Whether Audio-Technica was aiming to capture the professional DJ market or just people who really love club music, the ATH-PRO700MK2 headphones are geared towards bass-lovers. While it may not appear like there's a heavy emphasis on the lower frequencies in our charts, by dropping the volume of the upper octave of a piano by about 3/4, the rest of your music will seem very bassy in comparison.
Aside from that, there's only a couple problems worthy of note. That quieting of higher musical notes only makes some of the higher-pitched woodwind instruments sound off: That's not something that really gets in the way of electronic dance music, right? Even in how their sound is handled, these seem like a logical choice for a DJ.
I'd be remiss if I also forget to point out that these cans block out high frequency sounds well, but don't do so hot when it comes to low-frequency sounds like engine noise. If you're planning on using these headphones near a lot of traffic or low-end noise, you might run into masking issues with low-volume music, making some of your tunes disappear behind outside sound.
I get the sneaking feeling that we're going to be seeing the ATH-PRO700MK2 hanging around music equipment shops for quite a while. Not only do these headphones have a high level of durability prized by garage bands and DJs, but they are members of a big family of headphones prized by several enthusiast communities for their reliability.
The lab results point to a few issues, but as long as you're not using these exclusively for orchestral music or woodwind solos you should be fine. All things considered, these cans will do what's asked of them if you're not using them to mix tracks—just be wary of that very tight band, as these are cans to avoid if you have a particularly large head.
So if your noggin is more reasonably-sized and you're looking for a set of headphones you can jam with and not worry about breaking, these are a worthy contender. Your music will be extremely bass-heavy, but considering the popularity of that type of response that's hardly a check in the negative column for those who like that sort of thing.
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