Audio-Technica has been gradually rolling out a new generation of its monitoring headphones, and the top of the line in the closed-back series is the ATH-M70x. With 45mm drivers and copper-clad, aluminum-wire voice coils, the new headphones have a stated frequency range of 5 Hz to 40 kHz (no tolerances given). The extra range was easy for me to hear, but not in a hyped way, compared to the response of my older ATH-M50 headphones. For example, while auditioning digitally remastered recordings, I could better hear the original tape hiss with the ATH-M70x and more easily distinguish between the instruments in the lower and mid frequencies.
The ATH-M70x have a detachable cable and are packaged in a zippered clamshell case with a tough plastic outer shell. The ear cups twist 90 degrees, allowing the headphones to lay flat in the case. Three cables are included—9.8' coiled and straight, both of which have a 3.5mm end and a 1/4" adapter, and a 3.9' straight cable with a non-threaded 3.5mm end. I appreciated having the shorter cable for casual listening. The cables lock into to the left ear cup, bayonet style. A zippered pouch for accessories is included.
The ATH-70x feel substantial and well-made but are remarkably lightweight, and fit snugly and comfortably on my head. I was able to wear them for hours at a time without fatigue, due in part to the balanced frequency response. They also proved to be louder than all of the other non-A-T closed-backed headphones in my studio.
The ATH-70x are by no means budget headphones, but you’ll appreciate why they cost more once you use them. For critical listening, editing, and checking mixes, they provide a balanced sound that is revealing—exactly what you want from pro-level headphones.