Whenever I get to looking at dynamic headphones – the kind that handle every kind of music with ease – I always wind up somewhere north of $300. I used to think this was an unfortunate reality: there are only 24 hours in a day, PJ Harvey is out of my league, and good dynamic headphones are expensive.
Then along comes the Audio Technica ES700 headphone.
To sum up these headphones in just two words: Pure win. The sound is sharp and articulate, with mids and highs free from any threat of bleeding bass. Indeed, there are few headphones we’ve tested in this price range, that sound this good. Honestly, such a feat is what we should (at least, by now) expect from Audio Technica. Much like the M50x shattered the ceiling on the over-ear monitor market, these headphones seemed poised to change the game once again in Audio Technica’s favor.
Why, though? Appearance and sound.
The ES700 headphones look sharp. Burnished reflective metal on the cans, 90 degree swiveling cups, an adjustable wire band, and a pleather headband offer a functional-chic aura that seems to belie the actual audio badassery hidden within.
Once you put them on your ears, and power up your listening device, you get hit with the full, rich sound of these headphones. Please, for the love of all that is holy, use an amp with your phone if you’re dead-set on mobile listening: the extra power involved takes your music from muddy to mystical. Of course, this is what you would expect from an impedance of 36 ohms, but when you couple that with the unexpected frequency range of 5-30000 hz – at a cool $200, I might add – you once again have Audio Technica’s fantastic sound at a cheaper price than the competition.
Down sides? There are two that I can think of: a no-remote, non-removable cord, and the relatively tight on-ear design. If you are stickler for the over-ear design, or want a remote, the you’d best skedaddle. But if you’re all about them notes, these headphones will quickly make you forget your misgivings.
If you’re after dynamic closed-back headphones around the $200 price point, these are headphones to get. Of course, everything sounds great on them. Classical, bluegrass, rock and roll, rap, EDM. You name it, these babies own it. I mean, the only real way I could see you not liking the Audio Technica ES700 would be if you hate good headphones.
And if that’s the case, what the hell are you doing here?