Audio Technica ATH-A500
- Great bass, punchy sound, solid differentiation
- Ears can get hot
One of the best value for money pairs of headphones around. With a sub $200 street price in many places, these are definitely worth looking out for if you are looking for something in the mid range.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 3 stores)
Our first impressions of Audio Technica's A500 were that they were at the opposite end of the headphone spectrum to the AD300's we reviewed earlier. After a more thorough listening session however, we discovered the 500s shared many of the same exquisite characteristics that made the 300s so good, but with a different sound suited to a different style of music.
The A500s are a closed headphone, as indicated by the model name (AD stands for an open model), and this automatically lends them a very different sound to that of the 300s. First and foremost, the soundstage is quite a bit narrower, although we were still very impressed with it, beating out many open models from other companies. Soundstage is a term used to describe the three dimensional feeling of the music, the placement of individual instruments etc, which is often the thing missing from cheaper models and it really makes a noticeable difference to your listening experience
The other big difference the design has is on the bass; the enclosed cups are much more prone to reverb, creating boomier sound. This is aided by the fact that the A500's have quite quick natural bass, and an all-round punchy feeling. The sound is much livelier than that presented by the AD300s, suitable for fast paced, loud rock, or electronica/techno/dance.
This does not mean the bass is overpowering. In a lot of cheaper models you will find massive bass that blends with the other components of the music completely removing any sort of differentiation. The A500s suffer no such problems, with brilliant separation between sounds. The mid and upper ranges were not quite as detailed as we have heard in more expensive models, but for the price they were extremely good.
Audio Technica's closed headphone range come with Pleather cups, which are quite comfortable. They have won prizes for their headphone design in the past, and this model follows that trend. It sports two over-the-head pads, with a larger plastic strap connecting the two cups. The strap feels a little flimsy, but then again, if you're throwing your headphones off the tops of buildings and using them in situations where they could get damaged then you probably shouldn't spend several hundred dollars on them.
The cups completely envelope the ears, which some people will find comfortable, but with the warm summer months hitting in full force many will notice their ears getting hot after long listening sessions. We also felt a little excess pressure on the sides of our heads after removing the headphones, although it was quite minor, and didn't detract from our listening. With such a massive design, they are best suited to being used at home, so don't buy these expecting something you can just shove in your pocket.
Also remember a closed headphone design lends itself to a much more isolated sound, so they are more suited to a quiet environment where sound leakage may be a concern. The downside to this is that you may also find yourself missing important background noises, the phone ringing, that bus coming towards you, etc. Out of all of the Audio Technica models we've looked at these offered the best isolation.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Parrot's Zik 2.0 headphones include an accelerometer and plenty of noise cancelling
- Kogan opens online shop in New Zealand
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCHR Systems Support OfficerACT
- FTInformatica Powercenter SpecialistNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst or Information AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst, Service Performance, RetailNSW
- CCChange manager/Change LeadNSW
- CCRelease Manager, InfrastructureNSW
- CCBI/Information/Data/Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCIT Change CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior Developer (.Net)SA
- CCService Desk analystSA
- CCTechnical Solutions Specialist - Software Developer (Client facing)NSW
- CCTechnology Lead / Senior Developer - Java (Urgent)NSW
- CCOracle DBA | 3-6mth ContractVIC
- CCChange Manager- Success Factors/HCMNSW
- CCService Provider Manager - DesktopVIC
- FTPeoplesoft CRM DeveloperWA
- FTData EngineersNSW
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Network Security AdministratorACT
- CCSenior Portfolio Analyst - Risk and MetricsNSW
- CCMS SCOM AdministratorVIC
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Australian Systems Integrator - Immediate interviewNSW
- CCProject Manager / Delivery Manager - TelcoNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- FTHadoop Operation EngineerNSW
- FT.NET DevelopersQLD