ATH-AD2000 : Merges the best of what most people look forAn ideal mix

The ATH AD2000 occupies a unique position in the world of mid-priced stereophile headphones: it has a sound that effectively merges the best of what most people look for in a well-balanced phone. It's easier said than done.

The AD2000 has fine detail - easily capturing everything that the touted AKG K701 does - but with a richness of tone that's surprising. Instead of a "bass-boost" sound, these headphones offer a bass that's fully integrated into the music. Usually this kind of phone will require the use of a headphone amplifier, but through some kind of audio voodoo, these offer a full gain that can be heard easily with any portable gear. The velour earpieces make listening easy, though one may wish to "stretch" the wires backwards to make them even more comfortable.

These are open headpones, allowing the open flow of sound. If privacy is important, you may prefer closed headphones.

These headphones can handle a wide variety of music with ease, though they work best with pop/rock - mnusic that allows their power to come through. But it's striking how nice their presentation of classical instruments can be. One bonus is the AD2000's handling of Japanese music; it almost seems as if the headphones were especially tuned to capture these instruments and production. The AD2000 has earned respect as a fine all-around phone which can handle hard rocking pieces with ease.

Taking the earpads on and off can be an ordeal, so keep some patience stored up in case you decide to do any experimentation. Like so many Japanese headphones, they're held on tight, flexible material. Also, you may want to take care not to damage the "flying wings" that rest on top of your head; they flex for comfort, but may not survive a serious fall. Otherwise, these are extremely solid and well-made. The metal grilles are of the sturdy Sennheiser variety.

Balanced, detailed, full-sounding, and with a solid gain, these headphones offer sonic pleasures missing from products that cost considerably more. Right now, these imports are a bit overpriced, but they'd be quite competitive for around $420 - 450.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 27, 2008 at Thursday, November 27, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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