Through the years, Audio-Technica have always remained one of our favourite manufacturers. Although they’re certainly making a push into wireless in 2018 (who isn’t?), they haven’t completely let up on their pro audio output.
At NAMM this year they unveiled a comprehensive line of DJ equipment including a new turntable plus two pairs of pro-quality headphones. Lately we spent some time with the more expensive (and more powerful) set of cans, the ATH-PRO7X.
Audio-Technica show some much-needed understanding for professional DJs with the ATH-PRO7X, an on-ear headphone that knows what performers want.
Firstly, the differences between the PRO7x and its closest counterpart, the PRO5X. The PRO7X offers twin 45mm drivers compared to 40mm on the PRO5x, with an input power of 2000w over 1500w. The frequency response is advertised as 5 – 40,000Hz.
It’s meatier for sure, but you should expect that at $299 a pop ($130 higher than the PRO5X). Given that those specs are more than enough for any DJ on the live circuit, I’d already be tempted to grab these. However, where the PRO7X shines is in its complementary features.
It’s a small and sleek pair of headphones, which is becoming increasingly impossible to come by. The fact is that (most) touring performers prefer to travel light and without a fashion statement on our heads, so it’s nice to see someone like Audio-Technica cotton on.
They feel light but incredibly sturdy, especially the headband. They also come with detachable locking cables, which is something any pair of pro DJ headphones should have – although you won’t find the same feature on the PRO5x model.
I sat through an eight hour working day with a pair on my noggin, and never had a problem with comfort. I’ve almost exclusively worn over-ear headphones in the past, so that was actually a pleasant surprise.
On top of this, I made a point of listening at plenty of different volumes, since Audio-Technica made a point of advertising the PRO7X’s fidelity at higher levels. I pushed it as far as I could without giving myself tinnitus on the new Jon Hopkins record, and couldn’t notice any degradation in what I was hearing.
The sound isolation will never be as complete as a set of over-ears, but these more than make up with it with the 45mm driver fidelity at high volumes. Whether you’re playing to a room of 20 people or standing between a pair of Funktion-Ones, you’ll be able to distinguish the ins and outs of your mix.
Above all, it seems like Audio-Technica have catered to a DJ’s needs better than ever with their ATH-PRO7x headphones. They won’t come apart at the seams with a bit of wear, they won’t leave you with cauliflower ears after three hours on the decks, and they won’t pop out of your desk if you accidentally slap the cable.
Far too many audio products are billed with ‘Professional’, ‘DJ’ or ‘Studio’ in their names today for the sake of seeming fashionable. Audio-Technica have once again proven they understand what the professionals needs, rather than what the consumer wants. They’ve delivered in spades on the ATH-PRO7X.
Find out more about Audio-Technica’s ATH-PRO7X headphones here.