Audio-Technica ATH ADX-5000

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by cskippy, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    @Erikdayo was kind enough to lend me the ADX-5000 for impressions and measurements. I originally heard this at last years RMAF and wrote it off but my impressions were influenced by a cold and blocked ears.

    This will be a stream of consciousness review:
    • The packaging was pretty robust with an outer brown box, inner box with sleeve and a cutout for the leather case with headphones and accessories.
    • The headphones are VERY light, like not wearing anything light. I was careful handling them as the headband seem fragile, at least from appearance.
    • Cable is very microphonic, single ended only.
    Sonic impressions pre-measurements:
    • Sound similar to HD800, very clear expansive sound stage
    • Treble smoother than HD800 (no 6k peak) but just as present or about the same quantity
    • Some excess energy above 5kHz, probably a peak or elevated around 8kHz
    • Mid bass covers up some details but not overbearing
    • lower treble is recessed similarly to HD800
    • Voices are sometimes pushed too far back in the mix
    • Percussion is rendered very nicely but with some extra splash and air
    • They can get tiring on a very neutral setup
    • Tubes pair very well with them, take the treble edge off
    • Sound stage is very open, deep and wide
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Channel matching is fantastic!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    I would get some distortion with the right driver with sub bass heavy songs, note the elevated distortion below 30Hz:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Something to note, that dip ~5kHz is a measurement artifact, the CSDs show a more complete picture, here is a CSD at a better angle:
    [​IMG]


    A couple headphone comparisons...

    ADX5000 vs HD800SDR w foam mod and HD800SDR w Anax? mod:
    [​IMG]

    ADX5000 vs Utopia:
    [​IMG]

    I did try a couple pad swaps, none were note-worthy. There are some funky artifacts that show up with alternate pads. Audio-Technica did a good job of taming the drivers to achieve the result they have. I enjoyed these quite a bit with the Holo Spring and Aficionado.
     
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  2. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Subjectively speaking, how fatiguing would this be compared to a stock HP-3/TH900 or Anax-ed HD800? A spike that large at ~12k might be a bit of a [expletive] without tubes to blunt the edge, but I can see how it might not bother many.

    Not sure what other drivers use a tungsten coating but would you say it has the same sort of interesting timbre as the Focal kids, or the same degree of speed perhaps? This might prove a very interesting listen for people who don't much mind deviation from "neutral" sound.

    The price came as a surprise to me, but any peers in the ~$2k range you'd say this was competitive with? I won't ask for comparisons to the upcoming ZMF kids because that's an unfair ask, but v. Auteur or other dynamic drivers might be cool.
     
  3. maverickronin

    maverickronin Friend

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    Pending the Verite, these are my favorite stock dynamics.

    With modding an HD800(S) can go farther, but stock the ADX5000 has much smoother treble and isn't handicapped by the 1 dimensional soundstage of the Focals.
     
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  4. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    @Lyer25:
    ADX5000 is swift and lightfooted, generalizing it goes in the direction of more analytical sounding headphones like HD800 or even SR-009.
    Auteur, far from being slow, brings more meat to the bones; more weight, more density, more musicality, but without becoming thick.
    And Auteur physically brings a lot more weight to your head as well, but comfort is good...
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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  5. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

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    I was surprised when cskippy contacted me about the distortion in the sub bass as I did not hear it and neither did the person I sent the ADX5000 to before him. I don't doubt what cskippy heard or measured, but it did have me worried about potentially needing to send it in for repairs. When I got the headphone back I tested it with some sub bass tests at very high volumes and still failed to notice the issue. At extremely high volumes far far far beyond my listening levels both channels did have some amount of rattle. Below that both channels seemed pretty normal to me.

    It either remains a mystery, or I am even more deaf than I thought. That said, I know my hearing below 30hz tanks pretty hard. I can hear 20hz, but it is probably at best half the volume that I hear 30hz at.

    About the microphonic able. It cannot be overstated how microphonic the stock cable is. You will get used to it, but it's easily the worst I've encountered on a full sized headphone. I do have an Atmos S cable for the ADX5000 as well, but it is also quite microphonic due to there not being any adhesive holding the braid together above the split. A better option would be nice. I have not been actively looking for a long time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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  6. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    This looks like it measures similar to a ZMF 'phone while maybe(?) having the signature airiness of the AT line? An interesting place to be in the current market.
     
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  7. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    I know its been a long time since you had the pair but what I'm looking for is not showing up in the compressed image. Did the baffle/white parts around the driver look like they were very fine mesh? I've been interested in acoustic resistors/mesh lately and am wondering if thats the case with these like the HD800 mesh.

    EDIT: NVM, I found a backlit image of the driver where you can see through the baffle, meaning its definitely permeable/mesh:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  8. WHO23

    WHO23 Rando

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    Hey man I have the ADX5000 and the ZMF Aeolus. I got them both because I wanted a more vocal centric headphone than the Sennheiser HD800S. Overall I feel that compared to a neutral/bright sound of the HD800S, the ZMF Aeolus is more warm and the the ADX5000 has a more weightier sound. The timbre of female vocals, pianos and acoustic guitars sound amazing on the ADX5000 though it does suffer from a more uneven frequency response and resonances. You're right in regard to the ADX5000's upper treble as It highlights and emphasizes well recorded music and gives sparkle and airiness though lacks the nonstaining capability of the Sennheiser HD800S. The ADX5000 can get sibilant but never overly annoyingly so like the beyerdynamic DT1990. The ADX5000's sound is signature Audio-Technica; focusing on Female Vocals, Jazz and Classical music.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  9. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Store impressions, had Klipsches along to calibrate (lending them to a friend so I had the friggin massive presentation box along). Source was an iFi Zen DAC I was demoing to consider for purchase (functioning as an AIO), source was my mobile phone using familiar Spotify and local tracks. Place was quiet save for when one person came in and started complaining to the staff. Something about Marshall gear— I generally mind my own business but it was kinda hard to ignore her, shrug.


    Overall profile was hyperclear with great air, maybe definitely too much air per my preferences— ow. Sharper than on HP-3 with approx. equal SPL (just matched by ear), enough that I figure I'd not enjoy listening to these for extended periods of time.

    Treble overall was highlighted with cymbal crashes and upper harmonics pushed to the foreground. Made me really wish I had a nice warmbutt tube amp to blunt the edge a bit— totally called that the ~12kHz spike would be a b!$π¶ at higher SPLs (even if my choice of music is at least partly at fault). Upper registers were smooth apart from that blip and less immediately offensive than the TH900, which I can barely stand even at lower volumes. Very shimmery sound with noticeably protracted decay that made most music feel oddly light-footed. Not splashy but "tizzy".

    Room cues hard to determine given circumstances, but I'm inclined to say the treble did add to a sense of ambiance even with shoddy indie music. Directionality of images was less precise than on HD800 with weaker center image and even greater depth than HP-3, but the wider headstage made up for this, giving the cans some breathing room (as if they needed even more air but eh). Tapestry was basically an even spread equidistant in a sphere from my head it seemed like.

    Midrange was well-textured and exhibited good dynamic swells on orchestral arrangements, better than on HP-3 which is kinda constrained, but I didn't feel it was particularly rich; tonal balance was much leaner than on HD600/650/800 and veered almost into shouty territory, which was unpleasant paired with the elevated treble. The headphones have good punch even not accounting for the moderate (IMO) midbass elevation; some sonic elements on busier tracks seemed to Leeroy Jenkins their way into my face from out of the void, which is pretty impressive even given the sub-standard listening environment. I liked how the ADX5000s preserved nuances on acoustic stuff like Steve Gadd or Eric Clapton without hyper-sharpening them like the HP-3 does; microdynamic swings were more pronounced than on HD600, but the decay seemed to trail for slightly too long. Didn't muddle things up exactly, just really made everything seem oddly "light" without being ethereal like the HFM HE1000 v2 or Audeze LCD-2 Closed (I've listened to the former a few times now while I got to try the latter just today. I didn't spend much time with it though).

    Not quite enough crunch on distorted electric guitars, but the HD600s likely spoil me in that regard. Female vocals were a bit much at times, i.e. Nightwish's studio recording of Romanticide. My collection of weeb music was very much a non-starter. Male vocals (Sinatra, Bennett, etc) were pretty linear but lacking that sense of body and weight I've a preference for.

    Comfort was remarkable, it really did feel like I wasn't wearing anything on my head more than any other headphone I've tried to date. It just about blends into the air with how well what weight it had was distributed, which aided the impression of a massive and diffuse soundscape. The vanishingly light weight seemed to come at the cost of construction solidity though, as the ATs creaked worse than an old wooden staircase during typhoon season.

    The adjustment mechanism didn't lock very well into place, which made me worry that my hairs might get caught in the sliders if they moved around enough. Pads were plushy fuzz and didn't seem like they'd show wear easily, though whether or not it'd be easy to keep them clean with my oil field face, I thankfully cannot say.


    IN ALL, I'd say their resolution and great sense of nuance makes them worth the flagship moniker, though their tonal balance really isn't my cup of tea.

    Forgot to take a photo of me wearing the ATs as evidence so for all you know I could be lying :p Pic of headphones I could have tried below, only other thing that really piqued my interest were the Dianas. I was more curious to try the ADX5Ks though because while still unobtanium for me they're a fair bit cheaper, haha (also I was kinda pressed for time and didn't want to just cycle stuff on my head):

    [​IMG]

    Addendum: I'm just now re-reading other people's replies in this thread, I swear I didn't intentionally steal sacredgates's use of "light-footed" when writing my impressions :))
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  10. wadec22

    wadec22 Facebook Friend

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    Thanks for the detailed write up! The AD2000 is something I always enjoyed so I look at the higher end of their line wishing I could try them. I know the 2000 needed some eq up top, so not surprised to see your impressions here.

    Comfort wise I typically find their nicer stuff to be great, except the cups never articulated enough vertically for me. Do they pivot in all directions now or still no?

    I would love to try them but the price tag seems so heavy for what they are. So many headphones moving that direction.... Need to get around to trying the HP3 as well....
     
  11. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    I didn't pay attention to that, sorry! I've got a blocky sorta head so most things fit well enough dead center, but from what I recall the cups were mush-able enough to some semblance of articulation. I remember thinking I couldn't swivel them much so that the drivers were angled more towards my ears, so maybe lateral swivel isn't the best.

    Or it could just be that the unit I tried was stiffer than a corpse. @Erikdayo: sorry for the trouble, don't suppose you could opine on their ergonomics?

    I honestly believe that I'd like these a fair bit more if I didn't just have them plugged into an affordable AIO running out of my smartphone :)

    No really, I'm generally a transducer-first guy but for the most part upstream does make a massive difference, even if only as far as amping goes. This is why I make an effort to bring around a reference if I can't lug around my own gear. It's also worth noting that I was speaking in the context of my VERY limited experience with gear and that, while I have the Senn HD600 as a palate cleanser of sorts, my preferences do seem to be somewhat atypical. I'm honestly not sure how much use my impressions are, but I felt I might as well share them seeing as I had the opportunity to demo these pretty extensively.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020

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