These cans sport an average offering of comfort and portability.
Once you plop the somewhat large ear cups onto your head, you’ll enjoy the soft leather of the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s gently caressing your skull and ear. There aren’t any major issues like band crimping or excessive pressure on your head. However, if you have large, elephant ears like we do, you’re probably going to notice that these headphones put a bit of pressure on your ears, which builds over a period of hours.
The cable to the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s is a standard, Y-shaped affair with thin wires and a regular ol’ 1/8th inch plug. Nothing new or special about it, but it works. Due to their ability to fold down and their relatively light weight, the ATH-WS70s are fairly portable, though they do not come with a case for easy carry. If you have a way to protect the cable, feel free to shove them into a bag of some sort.
To put it in PG terms, the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s are very pretty, and most would like to bring them home to meet their parents. For those of you not open to having a love affair with your headphones, the simple-yet-elegant design of the ear cups make the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70 liable to turn heads your way if you take them out on the street. Because the ear cups are made of metal and the band is robust, the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70 feels solid and shouldn’t break after a couple drops. However, because the cables are so thin, you’re liable to break the solder points where they meet the driver unit, so take care not to manhandle these.
Fairly good sound overall—the ATH-WS70s also do a decent job isolating sound.
The ATH-WS70s maintain a pretty decent frequency response, keeping it flat in the mids, and slightly boosting the bass frequencies over the rest of you music. However, the high-mid range is severely underemphasized, and that means that the highest notes on a piano or guitar are going to sound a lot quieter than they should.
You shouldn’t really hear much of any distortion at all, though the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s do give off a relatively high power sum compared to other Audio-Technica headphones. Though not perfect, the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s don’t have any wild shifts in channel preference outside of the error in the higher end. Even if you know what to look for, chances are very slim you’ll notice, unless you’re a robot. ... You're not a robot, are you?
As for isolation, these cans block out a tremendous amount of high-pitched noise, but they let in really low-frequency noises almost unimpeded. For example, truck engines will easily disturb your listening sessions if you take your music outdoors.
For what you're paying, these headphones mostly do the job.
If you’re looking to grab a set of cans that get the job done and look slick on your head, the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s are a decent entry-level option. They do have a strange anomaly in some of the harmonic frequencies, but overall this is a great set of cans for the audio novice.
For the enthusiast crowd, these probably are not the way to go, as their cut-out at the 2.4kHz range will be annoying to those who really like music with a lot of high notes and harmonics. Additionally, the short, thin cord is probably not the way to go if you’re listening at the computer either.
Buying the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s should save the novice some coin if they’re looking to dip their their toes into the more expensive cans on the market, and they shouldn’t disappoint that crowd. Audiophiles may want to keep looking, however, as these have some quirks to them that purists may recoil from.
For entry-level Audio-Technicas, the ATH-WS70s aren't bad, but they have a few performance quirks we'd like to expound upon in a little more detail. There's some missing information in the higher end of frequencies, as well as a little more distortion roiling at the far edge of your hearing than we usually see from Audio-Technica. They do a half-and-half sort of job with isolation. If you're curious as to what data we gathered to fortify these claims, you've come to the right place.
These cans aren't for bass lovers, and they're not for purists either.
The WS70s do most things well, but they also had some quirks that detracted from their overall value. They boost bass frequencies almost 10dB, dropping as they approach the midrange, and then leveling out again. This means that deep bass sounds will have some prevalence in volume over mids. There's also a big dip in emphasis from 2k-4kHz, though, which is the biggest error in their frequency response. This loss of emphasis means the high pitched notes on a soprano guitar, a flute, the meatiest area of a piccolo, and some of your sibilance (cymbals) are going to be drastically under-emphasized in comparison to bass notes, which will sound almost 8 times as loud.
Looks can be deceiving
Though the line may appear a bit erratic, the Audio-Technica ATH-WS70s don’t have any wild shifts in channel preference outside of the error in the higher end. Even if you know what to look for, chances are very slim you’ll notice, because ears don't really have the sensitivity needed to pick this sort of thing out.
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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