Very Nice Cans

I purchased these from Audio Cubes through Amazon. I received them in about 5 days (USPS missed me the first time they tried to deliver). These are my 7th pair of relatively high quality earphones and earbuds.

Based on listening, I would give them 5 stars. I also have the Sennheiser HD 280 pros, an old set of Sony MVR 6s, a relatively new set of Beyerdynamic DT-880s, and both Etymotic ER-4p and ER-6 earbuds.

First, I think the A-T 900s are the most comfortable earphones I have worn. Sound is very good. Certainly better (to my taste) than either the Sony MVR 6 of the Sennheisers 280s, but of course the A-T's cost twice to three times as much. I think both the MVR 6 and the HD 280 are good phones for the money. However, the A-T 900 is just a better set of cans.

Compared to the DT 880s, I find them different but both are excellent. The Audio-Technica phones have more emphasis on bass but are not as crystal clear as the DT 880s. I listen to (in rank order) jazz, folk, classical, blues, and classic rock. Probably 70% or what I listen to is jazz.

My initial impression is that I will prefer the A-T 900s for jazz and the DT 880s for classic and folk.

Certainly for the price difference -- unless you are going to primarily listen to classical and have a headphone amp or are going to use the headphones only with a shelf system with a good headphone output circuit -- I would suggest the A-T A900s (which you can get for about $80 less through Audio Cubes if you don't mind delivery from Japan). I also considered the Sennheiser 595 and 600 phones but wanted something I could listen to in bed without keeping my wife awake. If being sealed is not an issue, the Sennheiser phones are rated as excellent and I hope to pick up a pair sometime.

The other option for someone who can purchase only one set of phones or buds is the ER-4p. I have used mine for 6 or 7 years. The Etymotics provide about 30 db of isolation and have excellent sound. I have used mine at the gym, mowing, and riding a motorcycle (you have to wear earplugs riding a bike or you will quickly have hearing damage from the air flow through your helmet). However, I don't like earbuds for listening while sitting in my house reading or writing.

So for a set of sealed cans, I think the AT ATH-A900 phones are an excellent choice. For jazz, the SENN 280s are also very good but I find them uncomfortable for extended wear. The A-900s are very large but light and do not put pressure on the center of your head.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at Thursday, November 20, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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