Sunday, October 20, 2013

[Article] Got my Audiotechnica ATH-AD500X headphones

I wasn't sure whether to get a headset at all. I had my eyes only on two products. The Audiotechnica ATH-AD700X and the Logitech G430. But both of them were pretty expensive. So I decided not to get either of them.
But then I searched if there were any cheaper options but that didn’t compromise on quality too much. The AD700X was overkill for me because I'm not an audiophile (well, at least not yet). I found out that the AD500X which is only slightly worse than the AD700X at a significantly cheaper price. Almost half price. In US$ terms, it was only $60. (or JPY5,868). Even the price of the AD500X in Japan is about half the price of USA. That must be because this is a Japanese brand. Usually it doesn’t make things cheaper, but in this case it did. (Although, it says that the headphones were made in China.)
So I didn't think twice about this and placed the order. It arrived couple of days later. Free shipping of course, but since I’m not paying for Amazon Prime anymore, I am not going to get one day or same day shipping anymore. I can live with that.
IMG_0128 IMG_0130
I have to tell you one thing. What they say about it not fitting small heads is completely true. Those two padded arms that keep the headphones on your head aren't stiff enough. The headphones would rest on your ears even before you know it.
 ad-500x padded arms
So I quickly grabbed a rubber band and used it to make the two arms not widening up freely. That actually made the headset rest on the head securely, but it made the cups clamp tightly. And it looks ugly as well. That's the first thing my wife noticed with the headset. She asked me if I didn't check before I bought it. I told her that it is a known issue and that everybody who had a small head used this mod. I think I need to find a black rubber band though.
OK, now to the important part. The sound quality is amazing. I am not sure if I these are really better than the Roccat Kaves because I am not that good with music. However these lack the bass compared to the Roccat Kaves. It’s not inadequate though. When listening to music that has a lot of bass, I didn’t feel that it lacked bass. I’m fine with that. What I wanted were headphones that could give away the position of the enemies. Not something that could drown out the footsteps by the bass.
Another thing. The input impedance (from the p.o.v of the sound card) of the AD500X is 48ohms, which is low. That makes the headphones very loud. 20% volume on the system volume controller is enough. I even tried it on the Dell Latitude 10 Essentials tablet which has very low audio levels. But even on it, 50% on the volume controller was more than enough. There is no in-line volume controller on these headphones. Less components, the better, in my opinion.
This is a headphone btw. Not a headset. That means, it doesn’t come with a mic. I don’t want one. I am using the mic on the webcam for everything. Yes, it is low quality, but that’s enough for me. I didn’t even notice that the mic of the Roccat Kaves had been broken since a long time ago.
Anyways, I have no regrets with the purchase. Except, that I have to use the front audio ports for the headphones. It’s not their fault though.

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