First impressions upon taking the ATH-A2000Z headphones out of the box were good. With their shiny metal earcups and lightweight two-pronged metal headband with separately mounted cushions, they’ve got a satisfyingly ‘space age’ look about them, and they sport a nice long cable finished with a 3.5mm jack, as well as a screw-on 6mm adaptor included in the box. They’re light and supremely comfortable to wear for long periods though they perhaps feel a little loose on the head, but otherwise there’s nothing to grumble about in the looks and build department.
The Audio-Technicas impressed when it comes to sonic performance, too. The sound they deliver is incredibly detailed – they revealed a closed hi-hat tsk’ing away in Pink Floyd’s
Brain Damage that I’ve never noticed in 30 years of owning the album, while Nile Rodgers’s screeching guitar on Chic’s Happy
Man shone through in exemplary fashion. If there’s a criticism, it’s that they’re perhaps a little lacking in ‘oomph’ – Bernie Edwards’ bass on the rest of Chic’s album was forced to take a back seat it doesn’t really deserve, while Love lacked a little of their usual exuberance. When it came to Illinois Jacquet and Flip Phillips’s Mayhem In Manhattan live concert recording, though, none of the other headphones could quite give you that “being there at Carnegie Hall” feeling as well as the Audio-Technicas did.
All told, while they’re perhaps best suited to lighter styles of music, this is a fine pair of headphones that definitely warrants a place on your listening list. 8/10
Type Circumaural, closed back, dynamic Frequency response 5Hz-45kHzWeight294gPrice£639.00Details audio-technica.com