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Audio Technica ATH-XS5 and ATH-XS7 Headphones Review

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Audio-Technica has been in the audio accessories business for quite some time now and has already released a slew of consumer and professional audio products.  But even if the name has been in the industry for a long time, I have to admit this is the first time I was able to use Audio Technica-branded products.

I had the chance to use two new products from the company – the Audio Technica ATH-XS5 and Audio Technica ATH-XS7 headphones.  These are classified as “X-Street Style” headphones since they are designed for active users and are meant to be used and abused.  Audio Technica claims that these headphones are specially designed to be highly durable and are capable of surviving extreme conditions.

Audio Technica ATH-XS5 Review

Product Features

  • Wide range sound reproduction with powerful bass
  • Lightweight, double headband releases pressure on the head
  • Drip proof and textured earpads provide great acoustic sealing and stability while on the move
  • Elastomer frame absorbs external impact and gives added durability
  • Housing cases are inserted with bushings to reduce damage of the cords

Product Specifications

Product NameATH-XS5
TypeClosed-back Portable Headphones
Driver40mm
Output Sound100dB/mW
Freq Response10 – 22,000Hz
Max Input Power1,000mW
Impedance47
WeightApprox. 155g
Plugø3.5mm gold-plated stereo mini-plug
Cord1.2m (Y-Cable)

Packaging and Design

The Audio Technica ATH-XS5 is available only in red and black colors.  My review unit came in red color.  The headphones are packed inside a clear plastic contraption, with the headphones revealed and the cord tucked in and hidden somewhere.  One of the ear cups is shown sideways, so you immediately see how thick the padding is even without opening the package.

The Audio Technica ATH-XS5 is very lightweight considering its size.  You’ll immediately notice this the first time you hold it.  These headphones are not too big but they are also not small.  They are sized just right in my opinion, but the weight to size ratio is quite surprising.  The materials feel light, yet you know that they are solid and durable.

The ATH-XS5 has a double-headband design, so it uses up fewer plastic, but is still sturdy and highly flexible.  I was initially doubtful if the headband would stretch far but after a few tries, the headband proved to be really flexible. If you have a slightly bigger head, the headband of the Audio Technica ATH-XS5 will gladly accommodate your size.

The joints of the Audio Technica ATH-XS5 rotate 90 degrees sideways and the headband expands on both directions.  These are the only adjustments you get, so these cans cannot be easily stowed away or carried in your bag.  Thankfully, these headphones are still lightweight so carrying them is not really a burden.

audio-technica-ath-xs5

The materials are solid and give you an impression they will withstand heavy use.  Audio Technica says it used elastomer frame for the earcups that can absorb any external impact.  A few bumps and bruises were easily handled by the earcup frames and I honestly think they capable of handling more.  Audio Technica also enhanced the inner bushing on the cords so damage to the cords during accidental drops or tugging is greatly reduced.

The earpads on the ATH-XS5 are textured so they don’t easily slip or drip from your ears.  This makes the headphones ideal for use in the gym or for active sports.  They are also sufficiently cushioned and feel nice on the ears.  I had the ATH-XS5 on my ears for 3 hours during an extended playback and my ears hardly felt the strain or pressure from the headphones.

In terms of appeal, the Audio Technica ATH-XS5 is boldly designed and is meant for the active, sports enthusiasts, so for these type of users, these headphones are quite well-designed.

Sound Performance

The Audio Technica ATH-XS5 is simply one of the best on-ear headphones i have ever used.  These headphones are actually worth more than the price tag.

The Audio Technica ATH-XS5 is being marketed as bass centric headphones and I can’t argue against this.  If you don these headphones and hit play on bass-heavy tracks, expect to get drawn into the music and prepare to forget everything else.  These cans deliver excellent bass with full details and amazing texture.  I am very picky when it comes to bass response and I’ve said this in my previous reviews.  With the Audio Technica ATH-XS5, I was more than happy with how it handles bass.  It’s strong and powerful, yet controlled enough not to drown out other sound elements.

Mids were also excellent on the Audio Technica ATH-XS5.  Acoustic tracks are wonderfully handled by the XS5, with voice reproduction almost hitting perfect levels.  Those who love listening to concerts will benefit from this quality of the XS5, and so will those who love guitar riffs on tracks.

I like also appreciate soundstage on the Audio Technica ATH-XS5.  Listening to tracks, especially live recordings, places you right in the middle of the performance.   Some of the best songs to listen to using these headphones will be tracks similar to Eric Clapton’s Change the World, Franco’s mellow, guitar driven For My Dearly Departed, Coldplay’s Don’t Panic or even Stone Temple Pilot’s roller coaster song Big Empty.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Audio Technica ATH-XS5 offers good sound isolation.  The ear cups are big enough to fully cover the ears, making it almost impossible for sound from outside to get in.

Audio Technica ATH-XS7 Review

 Product Features

  • Latest Wide Back Band style headphone
  • Wide range sound reproduction with powerful bass
  • Drip proof and textured earpads provide great acoustic sealing and stability while on the move
  • Elastomer frame absorbs external impact and gives added durability
  • Housing cases are inserted with bushings to reduce damage of the cords

Product Specifications

Product NameATH-XS7
TypeClosed-back Portable Headphones; Wide Backband Style
Driver40mm
Output Sound100dB/mW
Freq Response10 – 24,000Hz
Max Input Power1,000mW
Impedance47
WeightApprox. 135g
Plugø3.5mm gold-plated stereo mini-plug
Cord1.2m (Y-Cable)

Packaging and Design

The Audio Technica ATH-XS7 carries the same packaging design as the ATH-XS5, that is, the headphones are wrapped in clear hard plastic and can be seen even without opening the packaging.

The  Audio Technica ATH-XS7 is also classified as “X-Street Style” headphones.  Just like the Xs5 therefore, the Xs7 is meant to withstand heavy use.  The materials used on these cans are obviously similar to those used on the XS5, so my impressions as to build quality are the same on both.  The XS7 only differs in the headband design in that it uses a behind-the-head design.  So instead of the traditional headband design used on the XS5, the XS7 sports a wide back band that’s meant to be worn behind the head.  This design is great for those who need good quality headphones but don’t want to mess up their hair.

 

The back band is wide as described and is fixed and unmovable but is stretched far enough to accomodate different head sizes.  The ear cups do not move sidewards or inwards so these cans clearly aren’t the folding type.  But they are very lightweight though.

Performance

The Audio Technica ATH-XS7 carry practically the same specs as the XS7, so sound performance are the same on both headphones.  The XS7 uses a back band, so it’s natural for anyone to have doubts as to the headphones’ ability to stay in place, especially during sudden or prolonged movements.  I had the same doubts at first but after using the XS7 for a few days, these doubts proved unfounded.  The XS7 stays in place even during sudden movements, thanks to the firm hold of the earcups.  This can be attributed to the back band’s strong pressure and the textured lining on the ear cups.

I only have two tiny complaints, really.  The Audio Technica ATH-XS7 can’t be worn any other way, so the back band gets in the way if you need to rest your head on a solid surface.  The other thing I don’t particularly like about the XS7 is the fact that it’s only available in yellow.  I personally prefer black, silver or blue on this type of headphones.

Wrap Up  

The Audio Technica ATH-XS5 and Audio Technica ATH-XS7 are well-built headphones offered at very attractive prices.  They are meant for the active user and they are equipped to handle some abuse. These cans are not only well designed, they also deliver surprisingly great sound performance.  These headphones may be bass-centric but they also excel in delivering mid frequencies.

Here are the SRPs for these items:

Audio Technica ATH-XS5 – Php3,999

Audio Technica ATH-XS7 – Php4,499

Rating: 8.8/10

 

2 Comments

  1. my ath-xs7 is color red fyi. there are also other colors such as black.

  2. Mr Cuccuou Reply

    sir ask ko lang, how is the music leakage of this hp? as in will the person next to me cant hear from my loud bassy tunes? thank you po,

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