Audio Technica ATH-ADX5000 headphones review

The market for high-end headphones has been a durable one in recent years, and this has encouraged companies to launch ever more elaborate flagships.

Audio Technica has partially bucked the trend though. The ADX5000s are the most expensive headphones in its range and offer some aspects you might expect of premium headphones (not least a set of hefty 58mm, tungsten-coated dynamic drivers, placed in a frame using a process Audio Technica calls ‘Core Mount Technology’ to ensure optimal location and alignment). But what is less expected is how minimalist the rest of the handcrafted-in-Japan design is. The metal chassis that encases the drivers is open-backed, and constructed from magnesium for lightness and rigidity. This means that the whole shebang weighs just 270g. Sadly, the ‘3D Wing Support’ headband design of other Audio Technica headphones has been removed, which makes the ADX5000s not as comfortable as some more affordable stablemates.

Performance is outstanding, however. These 'phones handle the densely layered soundtrack of Nightcrawler (Blu-ray) with a blissful grip on space and cohesion. As Lou (Jake Gyllenhaal) enters the house after the shooting, the wealth of effects seem perfectly placed, with the ATs proffering real three-dimensionality.

And, when it comes to hi-fi, these are also supremely revealing, delivering Twin Shadow’s Caer with superb tonal accuracy and a real sense of timing, drawing you effortlessly into the music.

As an open-back design, noise leakage is very high, and pricey cans warrant a decent amplifier behind them, but these have appeal in abundance. If you do a lot of listening via headphones, the ADX5000s are a highly capable addition to the high-end ranks.

HCC Verdict: 4.5/5

Audio Technica ADX5000

Audio Technica