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.
There's more to the ATH-PRO700MK2 than just a durable exterior, so it's useful to examine the guts of the unit like some 16th century diviner. While said diviner was a fraud, I am not—I have charts.
Like most headphones, there are some imperfections, foibles, and conscious choices by the engineers that you should be aware of before you plunk down the money to buy these cans. Namely, they do drop emphasis in the 2-7.5kHz range a bit to make the bass sound much louder by comparison. Depending on your listening habits, this may or may not be an issue for you, so let's get messy, shall we?
At first glance, the response of the cans in question looks relatively flat until you hit the 1.5kHz mark, at which point the emphasis drops considerably. While it's technically a de-emphasis, what it leads to in your normal use is a tendency to crank the volume up a bit louder to hear speech and high instrument sounds, leading to an enormous amount bass emphasis in your music.
It's not surprising, but deadening that particular range does lead to oboes, flutes, and piccolos sounding a bit off (as their harmonics are dropped in volume). The advantage of having this kind of bass emphasis is that in addition to the fact that human ears need a lot of it to sound emphasized, having such a high volume of lower frequencies can mask outside noise that's let in at that range, thereby creating the illusion of isolation.
Maybe this bass emphasis isn't for you; younger people tend to gravitate towards bassy equipment and music, but these cans may not be the right fit for those of you in the classical scene. You probably don't want to adjust your volume to match the higher-pitched notes, then have your eardrum blown out by a kettle drum. It's something to note when weighing your options.
While the chart doesn't exactly do it justice, the distortion of the ATH-PRO700MK2 is a bit exaggerated by the scale of the Y axis. Really, the low levels of distortion in the low end noises are going to be much less noticeable than if they were in the high end of the range of frequencies, and they're sitting at or below 1% where it counts. Definitely not something that will be prominently audible—especially not if you're using these in a high-volume environment.
Consequently, it's no surprise that when we look at perceptual harmonic distortion, there's nothing to be found—not even a milliphon blip on the proverbial radar. Your inner ear will not be able to hear distortion unless you crank your tunes to an insane volume (128dB+ to be exact). I shouldn't have to point out that you shouldn't try this out for yourself, but I will anyway—you could damage your hearing irreparably: don't do it.
As far as closed-back headphones go, these cans actually do a fairly good job of blocking out sound. Even though they block out only 10.3dB on average, the ATH-PRO700MK2 does a better job with the higher-frequency outside noise. With sounds 2kHz and up, you can expect a reduction of 20dB+ in volume, or a 3/4 reduction in loudness.
The only real downside to these cans in terms of isolation is that they leak a little bit when you listen at 90dB. The leakage measure is small, but appreciable—you'll definitely annoy people around you if you don't get a good seal on your head, or if you're in a very quiet environment. Beyond that, though, not many people are going to hear 27.6dB(SPL) beyond a distance of six inches.
As far as the other tests go, there really isn't much worthy of note. The tracking is imperfect, but inaudibly so. There aren't noticeable resonance issues, and these headphones don't need a lot of power, but they can handle it.
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.
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email