The brand new Audio Technica ATH-E70 earphone is out, sitting at the top of the manufacturer’s in-ear pyramid. And even though I’m usually skeptical when it comes to flagship in-ear headphones, these babies look mad decent.
The E70 is packaged in the same box as other models in the E-series. It’s not particularly impressive at first glance, especially when stacked up against other contenders around the same price – options from Westone and Jays. Inside the box, the plot thickens, with silicon and memory foam eartips, as well as a 1/4” stereo adapter plug and a semi-hard carrying case.
Where comfort is concerned, these earphones are a HUGE step up from the entry-level E40. I imaging they’re also an impressive step up from the mid-range E50. The wire wraps around the back of your ears, while the earpiece fits right up against the contours. Once it’s in there, it’s in there.
The ATH-E70 sounds awesome. With a frequency range of 20-19,000 hertz, and a nominal impedance of 39 ohms, I was amazed at how detailed and loud these earphones sound – even when paired with a low-output device like my portable player and some dubious source material. While it’s rated at 39 ohms, I have a feeling the impedance may be a little lower – I never found myself listening at over 50% volume, and when I did push it up to 60%, I found it almost too loud.
After this initial amazement wore off, I began to get the impression that they might sound a little relaxed or recessed, and the high end of the frequency range is definitely rolled off. Mean while, on the low end, the bass is almost perfect. It’s neither too powerful nor too weak, with plenty of detail, though it did seem to bleed the slightest bit at higher volumes. The mids are present, but never overshadowing the bass or treble.
For all intents and purposes, this may be the ideal headphone for a wide array of listening tastes. It’s a very standard, middle-of-the-road option that does what it does exceedingly well – that is, it offers detail and clarity while delivering some fine bass and a pleasant (if slightly less impressive) high-end. Where the competition is concerned, this seemed to deliver a slightly less harsh experience than the Westone W30, a slightly more articulate experience than the Westone UM Pro 30, and a fairly similar experience to the Jays Q-Jays, but with a sound that is just a little more crisp and defined, with definite improvement in the bass.
Is it right for you, though? I found these more than capable of a good sound with any genre. The crisp bass and wealth of detail were not unappreciated when it came to hip hop or rock and roll, and these can even handle some classical and acoustic choices. If you tend to ONLY listen to classical stuff – or anything with MASSIVE amounts of detail, and you want to hear every. single. nuance. …then there may be other models out there that will give you a better performance. For classical. But not for hip hop or rock and roll.
Check out all the Audio Technica headphones we are carrying at Audio46.