Author Topic: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x  (Read 1137 times)

Offline capetownwatches

Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« on: June 15, 2018, 01:27:09 PM »
I listened to the Audio Technica ATH-M70x this afternoon. Source was my LG V20 with a variety of hi-res and Redbook files.
A Cash Crusaders store not the best place for critical evaluation on a stormy Cape day, but good enough.

The bad: plastic build quality, uncomfortable (pads too thin), headband too thin although reasonably padded.
Not good enough for a R6,000 headphone, or even a R1,900 one (their best price).
One of the thin aluminium sliders was bent. Not serious, but would bug me.

The good: surprisingly good sound quality. Very open and very detailed. Good channel separation.
Bass is lacking in quantity but what is there is very tight and detailed.
I kept thinking they might sound way better amped. Pity I'll probably never know.

Mids are again surprisingly detailed and accurate. Not lush, but Amber Rubarth's drawl sounded fine.
As did the guitars of Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen, for the most part.

Alas the highs kill this otherwise rather good phone. Brittle. Sibilant. Just too much of it.
And if I think thus (I like my highs prominent), trust me - I imagine this baby would render the treble-sensitive helpless within seconds.
Amping would likely make things worse, and a low impedance doesn't help matters.

My record of never having heard an AT headphone that I liked thus remains intact.


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Offline Tenflare

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 11:13:41 AM »
I almost bought these blind in late 2015. I am so glad I had an opportunity to demo beforehand though because they are absolute murder cans with spiky, harsh, eardrum-destroying treble. I imagine that they're intended for some esoteric studio specificity - the old KRK Rokit chestnut of "if you can make a mix sound good on these, they will sound good on anything!"

The ATH-M40x is probably the only great headphone in this pretty extensive series. The rest are either not worth mentioning outside of casual circles (M20x and M30x) or just the most unpleasently harsh things you have ever heard.

Just get the Z55's already!

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Offline GvR

Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 06:07:47 PM »
My MSR7's sounds much better when i play through my Fiio E11k  head amp than straight from my desktop of Lg phone. I can describe it as a much more full bodied sound.  I can honestly say that i haven't heard better headphones for the price i paid ( R 2600 new ). 

Offline capetownwatches

Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 06:59:15 PM »
My MSR7's sounds much better when i play through my Fiio E11k  head amp than straight from my desktop of Lg phone. I can describe it as a much more full bodied sound.  I can honestly say that i haven't heard better headphones for the price i paid ( R 2600 new ).
Your MSR7 is a better sounding headphone, and benefits from amping as good headphones do.
The M70x may possibly benefit from being driven with more power, but I doubt this would attenuate the razor-sharp highs to an acceptable extent.

A pity really because it does have a lot going for it otherwise.
Just insanely overpriced on top of it though.


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Offline Tenflare

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 07:13:47 PM »
The MSR7 exists outside of the studio-orientated M--x series with signature more intended for the portable audiophile. They sound incredible on phones and DAPs.

The M40X's are flat and accurate -- they are for sound engineers. The insanely popular M50X's are for DJ's and are insanely v-shaped. M70X's seem to be for musicians and singers.



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Offline Doge

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 12:00:30 PM »
I really don't know where people get the impression that the M50x is "horribly" V shaped, I bought the M40x based on this terrible advice (I say terrible because if the M50x is V shaped, the M40x are U shaped) but the M50x is more balanced and resolving, period, even if they are just a tad bloated in the upper bass region.

Offline capetownwatches

« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 12:22:18 PM by capetownwatches »


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Offline Doge

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 12:49:26 PM »
^^ Treble measurements on headphones are notoriously inconsistent between measuring rigs.

The M50x isn't the best headphone out there, but there is no way in hell the M40x is flatter or more accurate.

The M40x is definitely a "nicer" sounding headphone to the layman; to say it's a headphone for sound engineers is laughable.

Offline Tenflare

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 02:59:31 PM »
Apologies. I thought I was entitled to my opinion. You are so very clearly entitled to yours.

You say the 40's are for "laymen" when on sales and reviews alone, the M50X is by far the most layman-friendly headphone from a proper audio brand -- possibly ever. From a sound perspective it's status as the hipster Skullcandy is even clearer with muddy bass and spiky harsh overpronounced detail. Laymen tend to prefer that sort of excited tinnitis-inducing volume, so maybe you are the layman here...

Now I am not a budget-busting audiophile by any sense. The most expensive parts of my listening rig are entry level by anyone else on this forum's standards. But I am a qualified, albeit non-practicing, sound engineer, electronic composer and producer. It's how I discovered this hobby in the first place so I am, somewhat qualified, to tell what a sound engineer would and wouldn't trust.

Fun fact: Sound engineers - especially live ones - tend to be a lot less nuanced and finicky about gear than what average people think. A lot of guys I know could mix a symphony on Apple Earpods if they wanted/needed to. They also don't crutch on equipment and tend to work with what they are given, because most just don't get paid well enough to carry the best stuff gig to gig.

As for yours truly, I mixed on Fostex T40's because they are flat to the point of boredom so I know flat when I hear it. The M40's arent as flat as the Fostexes but they certainly are a lot flatter than the M50's. In fact, they were created to be flat studio monitoring cans, so even the company that designed them has a different opinion to you.

I think you are being overly precious about what you paid for. That is an understandible stance but saying "period" and calling me ridiculous doesn't make you any more right than you are.

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Offline Doge

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 05:21:35 PM »
Ooh, I must have hit a nerve.

Apologies. I thought I was entitled to my opinion. You are so very clearly entitled to yours.

Google Professor Brian Cox's statement on opinions

You say the 40's are for "laymen" when on sales and reviews alone, the M50X is by far the most layman-friendly headphone from a proper audio brand -- possibly ever. From a sound perspective it's status as the hipster Skullcandy is even clearer with muddy bass and spiky harsh overpronounced detail. Laymen tend to prefer that sort of excited tinnitis-inducing volume, so maybe you are the layman here...

Citations for sales figures please? You're talking about the treble on the M50x as if the M40x doesn't have the same problem... you can't be serious?

As for reviews... you and I must be looking in different places, the forums are awash with people saying the M40x are better, especially quoting "less bass" which the measurements seem to disagree with. I can only assume people who don't know better are confusing the better bass quality with 'more' as it's closer to the kind of sound you get in a high-end planar.

Now I am not a budget-busting audiophile by any sense. The most expensive parts of my listening rig are entry level by anyone else on this forum's standards. But I am a qualified, albeit non-practicing, sound engineer, electronic composer and producer. It's how I discovered this hobby in the first place so I am, somewhat qualified, to tell what a sound engineer would and wouldn't trust.

Don't take this personally, but if I had a quid for every "qualified" sound engineer I know I could probably buy another M40x

Fun fact: Sound engineers - especially live ones - tend to be a lot less nuanced and finicky about gear than what average people think. A lot of guys I know could mix a symphony on Apple Earpods if they wanted/needed to. They also don't crutch on equipment and tend to work with what they are given, because most just don't get paid well enough to carry the best stuff gig to gig.

As for yours truly, I mixed on Fostex T40's because they are flat to the point of boredom so I know flat when I hear it. The M40's arent as flat as the Fostexes but they certainly are a lot flatter than the M50's. In fact, they were created to be flat studio monitoring cans, so even the company that designed them has a different opinion to you.

I feel like these two paragraphs deserve no comment, a lot of it's irrelevant, kinda derails your own argument, and also appeals to you as (questionable) authority on the subject, which is a logical fallacy anyway. Never mind buying into marketing copy.

Since you've brought up your Fostex, I might mention that I also own the HD600 and LCD-2, objectively arguable as much better references of both neutrality and low THD respectively.

I think you are being overly precious about what you paid for. That is an understandible stance but saying "period" and calling me ridiculous doesn't make you any more right than you are.

I think if you learn to read thoroughly I'm doing the exact opposite; I own the M40x and listen to it every day and the great thing about objectivity is it doesn't actually care who wants to be right.

EDIT: One more thing I'd like to know, have you actually compared the two back-to-back?
You seem to be basing a lot of you opinions on words written on the internet.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 05:35:37 PM by Doge »

Offline capetownwatches

Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 08:28:39 PM »
 :popcorn:


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Offline Tenflare

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 09:43:37 PM »
Ooh, I must have hit a nerve.
Well, you did kinda hurt my feelings. Questioning someone's integrity and history will do that. Especially when it's done on the esteemed behalf of inanimate objects.

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Google Professor Brian Cox's statement on opinions
Isn't Brian Cox a physicist? I don't see how his opinion on opinions is any way relevant. Would you trust a linguist on math? You don't trust a sound engineer on sound engineering, that's for sure.

Quote
Citations for sales figures please? You're talking about the treble on the M50x as if the M40x doesn't have the same problem... you can't be serious?
Sales figures? Pffft this is the internet. There's over 5000 reviews on Amazon for the 50's and under 2000 for the 40's. I barely care enough to look any further than that.
 
Quote

As for reviews... you and I must be looking in different places, the forums are awash with people saying the M40x are better, especially quoting "less bass" which the measurements seem to disagree with. I can only assume people who don't know better are confusing the better bass quality with 'more' as it's closer to the kind of sound you get in a high-end planar.
We are looking at different places. Again, I looked at the amount of reviews on Amazon and to be honest, I didn't even have to check. So unless the most used consumerist retail source in the Western World has more audiophiles reviewing products on it's platform that it does non-audiophile consumers, it surely qualifies as a good gauge of mainstream popularity for a product.

Quote
Don't take this personally, but if I had a quid for every "qualified" sound engineer I know I could probably buy another M40x

I don't take it personally. This is the internet. If I took things personally here, I'd have had to attend therapy after playing any competitive multiplayer game. Obviously, I can see where you're coming from with regard to overblown claims on the web. Rest assured, however, I indeed attended Cape Audio College in 2006 and subsequently made a living producing music before studying copywriting in 2008. Yes, my life story is just as silly as it sounds and if I had a quid for the amount of times people questioned it, I'd be able to study something else... Maybe opinions on opinions from physics professors.

Quote
I feel like these two paragraphs deserve no comment, a lot of it's irrelevant, kinda derails your own argument, and also appeals to you as (questionable) authority on the subject, which is a logical fallacy anyway. Never mind buying into marketing copy.
Whoa Nelly! I guess my paragraphs did deserve comment because that's what you did!

Anyway, my authority on this subject may be questionable, but snark can't change my academic past so what does that make your authority? Dubious, at best? Likely nonexistant aside from being able to afford a pair of Audeze? I don't know and I don't care. That you don't believe in my substantiation doesn't change the fact it is at least a substantiation. That you haven't substantiated bugger all but some measurements from the internet (which I don't believe in anyway. Check my sig.). And then you accuse me of taking too much from the same place?? Logical fallacy indeed.

Quote
Since you've brought up your Fostex, I might mention that I also own the HD600 and LCD-2, objectively arguable as much better references of both neutrality and low THD respectively.
WOW! Those are great cans. Did you have the opportunity to blind demo both before you bought them? Or did you have an idea that you were going to buy them before you tried them -- like maybe read something off the internet? I suspect it's kind of half and half? I'm just saying that you own 3 of the most loved pairs of headphones on Headfi and basically the entire internet... Anyway, how does a 2006 pair of T40's compare to what you've got there? T40's cost around R800 back then so I'm not bragging or anything -- quite the opposite. I own planars and HD6-- Sennheisers as well. I wouldn't track on those headphones because when you mix you're constantly removing your headphones and checking on monitors so you kind of want something that's ok with being chucked around.

That aside, I still use the T40's for that purpose to this day -- although these I got for R250 from Gear Junkies.

Quote
I own the M40x and listen to it every day and the great thing about objectivity is it doesn't actually care who wants to be right.
That's great. They are very good headphones. I prefer my Z55's but I do like the M40X's and still maintain that they wipe the floor the M50X. You are right about objectivity, but one can't attempt to condescend and discredit another person objectively, can one? You literally have no idea who I am and yet still made some harsh assumptions about me because... I had a different opinion to you!

Quote
EDIT: One more thing I'd like to know, have you actually compared the two back-to-back?
You seem to be basing a lot of you opinions on words written on the internet.
I demoed both of them at Mars Music, Heathfield in 2016. I liked the M50x's as Killer Mike did sound amazing on them, but I also felt that the M40's were more what I was after.

In the end I bought DT990's. The spikiest things ever but so, so fun!

:popcorn:

@Arie: I hope you're enjoying the show buddy!


====================

CLOSING THOUGHT: I don't enjoy getting into arguments on the internet. Especially not on forums and especially not on other people's threads so I must apologise. I will try my best not to share anything too controversial in the future.
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Offline psymon007

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 10:21:27 PM »

CLOSING THOUGHT: I don't enjoy getting into arguments on the internet. Especially not on forums and especially not on other people's threads so I must apologise. I will try my best not to share anything too controversial in the future.

Bravo  :clap:

Offline capetownwatches

Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 10:35:10 PM »
No need to apologise whatsoever, and it's not my thread, it belongs to all of us.
Never apologise for being controversial.

And whilst I shall remain entirely Swiss about the matter, I must commend your measured (and comprehensive) response.



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Offline Doge

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Re: Listening Impressions - Audio Technica ATH-M70x
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 01:14:03 AM »
@Tenflare
Decent response :dop: I think you and I might get along well despite our disagreement, I feel a few key questions  and points were ignored, dodged perhaps misunderstood or communicated; I'll elaborate on those when I have time again, until then.