Warranty – Certain Audio Technica headphones come with a manufacturer’s warranty which can be incredibly valuable if you’re using these headphones on an everyday basis. Be sure to factor this into your decision to get the most bang for your buck over time.
Audio Technica Headphones Buyers Guide
We are kick-starting our buyers guide this week with a brief history of Audio Technica as a company and how they have gotten to where they are today.
As you can see from our reviews the brand has a well established customer-oriented approach to product development and they cater to a range of needs. Audio-Technica is actually a worldwide group of companies (conglomerate) with dedicated engineers who center their developmental strategies around problem-solving. This is why they cater so widely within each of their renown series to provide tangible solutions.
The company itself was initially Established in 1962 when they rose to fame for their at the time state-of-the-art phonograph cartridges.
One of their first successful products which propelled their careers was the Mister Disk which famously sold in the US. For those who don’t remember; it was a battery operated portable record payer and one of the most popular models at the time.
In their fifty-plus years of trading, they have earned themselves a fantastic reputation and are held in high esteem, having won many industry awards for their contributions to the sector and outstanding products.
The first of which was from the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology in 1965 just one year after start-up for their AT1001 tone arm package which was more balanced and refined than anything which was already available on the market. It was designed out of frustration to better support the cartridges they had already been producing, but it accidentally revolutionized the way in which tone arms functioned from then on.
After the notoriety of their AT-1001 tonearm became common knowledge the company went from localized to worldwide shipping of their phono cartridges in just four short years. Incidentally, it was also around this time (1969) that they created their first ever micro-cassette recorder, invented by Olympus a company within their conglomerate.
The micro-cassette recorder made history, as it changed the way in which journalists could work. It was the start of the modern Dictaphone and the beginning of the micro- revolution. There was nowhere in the world that it was more apparent than in Japan.
From then on many other companies put a huge amount of time and effort into research and development within their engineering departments to make their products smaller.
These efforts changed the way the industry thought and have led to the tiny computerized parts we are capable of making today.
It is fair to say that Audio Technica certainly made some waves in their first decade. The brand has since moved away from vintage photographs and gone on to create a plethora of products.
Just ten years after their start-up they produced their first set of headphones launching the AT-700 series, which the final set we reviewed is actually inspired by. Of course, technology has been refined to reflect the modern advancements which have long since been made, highlighting the companies evolution since they created their first pair of headphones.
Today they are known for their high-performance microphones which have received numerous awards, advanced mixers which are used professionally worldwide and of course, headphones like we are reviewing here today and are now one of the worlds most sought after electronic product manufacturers for home and professional use.
They were one of the earliest companies to produce a headset, headphone for stage use, integrating headphones and microphones together was uncharted territory and in the early 1990s, they had the majority of the market providing headsets for some of the worlds largest events. They have actually provided the majority of equipment for the Grammy Awards for almost 2 decades and their products are so reputable they are a go-to solution for most studio filmed and large live broadcast events.
They have had a hand in Big Brother, Deal or no deal and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions but most notably are favored within high profile sports broadcasting sector. The catered to the audio electronic needs of the Olympics. They were also responsible for the set-up for the World Cup, the Super Bowl, and the Commonwealth Games, the Summer Games in London, Beijing, Athens, Sydney, and Atlanta, and the Winter Games in Sochi, Vancouver, Turin, and Salt Lake City.
Some of there more recent awards include “best microphone of 1991” at the Audio Engineering Society convention and the CES Innovation Honoree Award for their Trigence Dnote Technology used in their Audio-Technica Pure Digital Drive Wireless Headphone ATH-DSR9BT model.
With such a list of professional achievements under their belts, you can rest assured that their consumer products serve-up some of the best a fistful of dollars can get you no matter your budget limitations.
What to Look for when Buying Audio Technica Headphones?
What to look for before you purchase a pair of Audio Technica headphones really boils down to 2 essential factors, given that the quality of the products is at the top of its relative retailing levels.
Firstly is your intended use as some models have more bells and whistles than others, better catering for specific needs. We have done our best to highlight the unique selling points that give them idyllic functionality for certain tasks within our reviews.
To determine exactly what you need you to need to analyze what you want to find a set with the right capabilities. Then, unfortunately, you have adjusted and offset this against what you can afford some of Audio Technica’s best headphone sets can be a little pricey due to their premium nature and top performance.
If you don’t have too many demands or are tight for cash then their entry-level models provide a balance of quality audio in an affordable package.
The materials used are less costly to the manufacturer and sometimes the luxury is slashed a little which means they might not be as comfortable for example as a high-end pair. Those we have looked at today are all essentially fabricated with the same materials as far as exteriors are concerned, and each is comfortable.
One thing that Audio Technica goes out of their way to avoid is sacrificing the internal component quality so that the buyer gets the best audio reproduction possible from the array itself.
The biggest difference as you jump from the budget to the boutique is the methods in place for signal fidelity, the circuitry refinements and the accuracy of processing technology itself. To be honest only a real audiophile will notice the nominal differences between the audio of the m50x and m70x models.
The models at the bottom of the ladder all benefit from the trickle-down technology of their boutique sets and outperform the majority of similarly priced solutions. They feature the same material choices for the components and function in the same manner, though each is a little more finely tuned than the last.
If you are going to wear your headphones for everyday use and you often listen to your music whilst you walk to work, then you might want to consider a collapsible set, they cost a little more but give the product the all-important added portability.
Overhead headphones are notoriously better in terms of the audio produced, but they are typically considered far more cumbersome to wear and aren’t as easy to take on your travels. An earbud set, in comparison, will slip inside of a pocket. Audio Technica does make some impressive earbud models which are well worth a look at but the audio in their over-ear sets is incomparable.
The collapsible sets within the M range we have looked at are designed and built impeccably well, they have held up during rigorous stress testing during developmental stages and are highly durable as a result. This means they can outlast many competitive folding headphone sets.
If you are looking for a professional set for musical pursuits you will need to be looking at the higher end of their range. Audio Technica has many sets which are tailored for studio use we are certain that for hobbyists and at-home production even the less-capable of those we have rounded up will suffice.
They really do have superior sound. If you are setting your sights a little higher we recommend you take a little step up to their M70x set which is a higher resolution.
As Audio Technica was one of the first companies to create a paired mic and headphone headsets, their modern headset style models are some of the best in the world they make for awesome gaming headphones. We suggest the ATH-ADG1X Open Air which has an incredibly strong goose-neck mounted microphone design and a super-cardioid element which keeps signals clear.
If you want the signature Audio Technica sound and require a Bluetooth option we highly recommend the Bluetooth endowed version of the M50X the ATH-M50xBT which deliver impeccable, critically acclaimed audio over a stable wireless transmission.