Audio-Technica ATH-W11JPN Headphone Reviews
||Cable Length (cm)
|Frequency Response (Hz)
||5 - 30000
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Review by Senior Member Iron_Dreamer on 01 Jul 07 00:40
These headphones are both a joy to behold and listen to, as their beauty is both external and internal. Their glowing wooden enclosures conceal a midrange that is among the elite of headphones, and the best of any I've owned. The W11JPN is not a one-trick pony, however, as the rest of their sonic performance is very enjoyable if not quite world class.
The midrange is without a doubt the star of the show when listening to the W11JPN. The lower midrange, in particular, is as magical and realistic as I can recall hearing from a headphone. Well recorded male vocals are especially nice sounding. Also horns are rendered in a way that reminds me of the Sony R10 (definitely a good thing in this regard). More so than all else, they have a tone that just sounds correct and realistic. This is certainly a great asset for listening to classical, orchestral, and acoustic music.
I was surprised by the depth and solidity of the bass, as what I'd read about these headphones led me to think they were all mids. It's certainly not the case. While these are no bass monsters, they perform admirably. The bass is well rendered down to nearly the lowest of sounds, with appreciable fullness and weight. Impact is solid but unspectacular.
The treble is much like the bass, in that it does the job very well, and never attracts attention via flaws in it's presentation. Some might argue that it is too smooth (though it's no HD650) while others might find it not smooth enough, go figure. I think it toes the line of smoothness and detail quite nicely, without pulling too far to one side or the other, and leaving no important details unheard.
Soundstaging is done pretty well for a closed headphone; however, it has no allusions of sounding like an open one. Switching from an good open headphone like the DT990, the soundstage does become smaller, but arguably better defined. Though it does not sound as huge or epic, an orchestra can still be heard for individual instruments, likely due to the angled drivers. While it is not the largest or airiest presentation, it does nothing to hinder the enjoyment of even large arrangements.
Amplifying the W11JPN makes the bass marginally more impactful, and the soundstage a bit better separated and well defined.
The pictures of these headphones speak for themselves, they are quite beautiful in all their lacquered glory. They feel well put together, though not quite as robust as the more recent W5000 design. As with all the full-size AT headphones, they are extremely comfortable, and isolation from external sounds is useful but not remarkable. Like most wooden headphones, going portable isn't very practical with the W11JPN's.
The W11JPN is certainly a treat for the headphone aficionado; between the great midrange performance, superb looks, and their overall enjoyability, they are certainly worth seeking out. Now that I have enjoyed what they have to offer I can understand why they are as sought after as they are, even nearly a decade after their limited release.
Bass Extension: 8
Bass Impact: 7
Bass Quality: 8
Mids Quality: 9
Highs Quality: 8
Improvement with Amplification: 6
Value for the Money: 7