Audio-Technica Shows New High-Fidelity Headphones

Everyone and their brother (and mother) are making headphones these days, but Audio-Technica has been doing it for far longer than most. They continue to refine their designs, and are showing five new or upgraded headphones in their High Fidelity line.

The ATH-A2000AZ ($650), ATH-A1000Z ($$400), and ATH-A990Z ($220) headphones are closed-back dynamic models and the ATH-ESW990H ($350) portable wooden on-ear headphones are all Hi-Res Audio-compliant. The ATH-A550Z ($120) is a closed-back, over-ear dynamic budget model. The three “A” models all feature proprietary 53-mm drivers with extended response from deep bass to 45,000 Hz (your actual hearing acuity may vary). They use a new top-mounted printed circuit board design that is said to enable more precise diaphragm movement. They also employ AT's exclusive Double Air Damping System that uses a main air chamber to house the driver, plus an additional chamber that operates with a specially shaped housing and port to control the airflow produced by the driver; this is said to improve bass response.

The flagship ATH-A2000Z (pictured) has particularly impressive build features including a top-quality Permendur magnet circuit and OFC-7N copper voice coils. It also features a pure iron yoke and its housings are made from titanium with magnesium-alloy baffles. The ATH-A1000Z has many of the same features, but uses an aluminum housing. The ATH-A990Z uses OFC (oxygen-free copper) voice coils and an aluminum housing. The ATH-A550Z uses CCAW (copper-clad aluminum-wound) voice coils.

The ATH-ESW990H features non-resonant sycamore wood housings; you will recall the many stringed musical instruments use sycamore. Furthermore, 42-mm drivers are employed with specially coated diaphragms with a unified mounting yoke system for each driver that uses two magnetic circuit elements for higher flux density.

All headphones will be available in March.