Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Audio-Technica Model ATH-ESW9
Headphone Type Closed Circumaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 170 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Wood Isolation (dB) 10
Impedance (ohms) 42 Cable Length (cm) 102
Frequency Response (Hz) 5 - 35000  
Connector 3.5mm Street Price US$280
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 7.5 Bass Impact 8.5
Bass Quality 7.5 Mids Quality 8.5
Highs Quality 7.0 Soundstage 5.0
Detail 8.0 Portability 7.0
Isolation 5.0 Comfort 6.5
Durability 6.5 Improvement With Amplification 6.0
Value for Money 8.0    
Overall Score 7.6 Total Reviews 2

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member dalethorn on 07 Nov 12  17:15
Individual review
Bass Extension7
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality9
Highs Quality6
Detail8
Comfort6
Durability5
Value9

Despite some so-so ratings on individual features, the sound is amazingly good for the price. I would rate the ESW9 sound as equal to most headphones in the $400 to $500 range, with the possible exception of soundstage, since in that respect it sounds about like its size suggests. But the bass is near perfect as are the mids, and only a slightly soft treble compared to the highest-fi headphones makes it less than perfect (or nearly so) when it comes to signature, clarity, detail, etc.

Review by Senior Member Phkd on 17 Mar 08  08:41
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact9
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality8
Highs Quality8
Detail8
Comfort7
Durability8
Value7

I f'ing love these things. They are my portables of choice.

setup: Cowon A2 MP3 player (320 kbps mp3's), Earcandy mini-mini, Ray Samuels SR-71 amp, ATH-ESW9.

The bass is AWESOME. so deep and powerful but the driver must weigh next to nothing because it is very accurate. So powerful that they will overwhelm your music if you like to crank the bass. However this is only just a possibility. If you don't increase the bass from your source, it mixes in beautifully with the rest of the frequencies.

The mids envelop you... when the bass isn't astounding you. Again, spot on.

Again, when your source is not all out of whack, the highs are also basically brilliant. The details here really are admirable.

The soundstage is impressive for a dynamic, single driver, stereo headphone, but wouldn't compare to a multidriver, or surround.

With all this said...
This the first headphone where I really noticed a difference with an amp. The impedence is relatively low (42 ohms i think), so the amp isn't NECESSARY, but since I own an amp, I always use it. This review was written based on the setup i listed above with includes the amp.

The earcups swivel in a strange way, but it seems intentional. if you take them off in front of you and rotate each enclosure so that you can see the wood, each enclosure rotates 90 degrees (so that they are flat). if you rotate them in the other way, they go about 45 degrees each. This is because it is more comfortable if you wear them around your neck.

The headband is very soft and comfy and you will forget its up there, but the earcups (which are supra-aural and made of foam-filled leather) can get uncomfortable after long listening sessions.

The isolation is noticeable, but not the best I've heard. certainly not as good as some closed circumaurals or canalphones.

also, i should note that people will be asking you, quite often, where you got such hip-looking headphones. very stylish indeed.

If you are into quality portable audio, these are my top choice so far. value for the money is "good" (and you may expect me to rate this higher based on all the good things i've had to say) because I paid $300 USD for these and that's a lot of money for me.

These also came with a cable extension, a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter, and a carrying pouch with a draw string.

disclaimer - this is my review based on what i've heard. my ears, source, amp, cable, music, taste in sound, etc maybe be very different from yours.

Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9