NOT QUITE AS BASS-Y

Au­dio-Tech­nica ATH-WS770iS

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - By John Law

Au­dio-Tech­nica is a brand that's widely rec­og­nized by au­dio­philes as a com­pany among com­pa­nies that have pro­duced some of the world's most de­cent pair of head­phones within an af­ford­able price point. Ear­lier this year, the com­pany be­gan to in­tro­duce new ad­di­tions to its Solid Bass lineup, and the unit that we're re­view­ing this is­sue is the ATH-WS770iS.

One of the core rea­sons that any­one would own a pair of Au­dio-Tech­nica head­phones is the work­man­ship. These au­dio de­vices are built light to be car­ried around and over the head, but solid enough that they're still sturdy and rigid enough for long-hour use. The WS770iS is no ex­cep­tion to that rule, and upon hold­ing the head­phones, we could feel the build qual­ity for our­selves.

Aes­thet­i­cally, the WS770iS is a mar­riage of soft faux leather and beau­ti­fully de­signed alu­minum. The back­plates on each earcup are em­bossed with the Au­dio-Tech­nica logo, which is etched and carved into a piece of brushed and ma­chine­cut alu­minum. To add a lit­tle more flair to the de­sign, our WS770iS re­view unit was also ac­cented with hints of me­tal­lic red, and believe us when we tell you: that really did lend it­self to the over­all looks of the head­phones.

On another note, Au­dioTech­nica had also taken time to re­in­force the WS770iS's dura­bil­ity. At the base of each earcup, the end of the wires is re­in­forced with rub­ber nubs, which re­duce the like­li­hood of the wires de­te­ri­o­rat­ing over time. The head­phone jack has also been given a sim­i­lar treatment, hav­ing been hard­ened with a more durable poly­car­bon­ate plas­tic shell.

You're prob­a­bly ex­pect­ing us to tell you that the over­all au­dio ex­pe­ri­ence erred more to­wards the low pitches, given its name­sake. Sur­pris­ingly, it was quite the op­po­site. When we played bass-heavy songs such as Nina Si­mone's ‘Feel­ing Good' and Yoko Kanno's ‘Dig­gin' My Potato', the WS770iS's bass reg­is­ter was def­i­nitely present, but not over­whelm­ing (with no per­ceiv­able dis­tor­tion). Amaz­ingly, the high and mid reg­is­ters on these head­phones were equally as im­pres­sive, and showed no signs of break­ing when we lis­tened to Joni Mitchell's ‘A Case of You' and some clas­si­cal pieces from Boc­cherini and Bach.

Sound stag­ing on the WS770iS is pretty com­mend­able, and the head­phones were rel­a­tively ac­cu­rate in iden­ti­fy­ing most in­stru­ments, though we couldn't help but feel that Au­dio-Tech­nica could've done bet­ter in this area.

But the big­gest sur­prise wasn't that the WS770iS sounded good: it was that these head­phones were ac­tu­ally ex­tremely com­fort­able to wear over long pe­ri­ods of time, bar none.

These rub­ber joints were ac­tu­ally a nice touch. CON­CLU­SION

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