Excellent value headphones
I've lost count of the number of headphones I've bough over the last 40 years. I even spent over $1000 for a pair in the 1980s. These Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 are hands down the best I've heard. Ignore the people saying that they're bass light. It's simply untrue. Their sound is balanced and at times annoyingly accurate as they reveal sub-par source material. My only criticism would be that the clamping force on your ears is a little high, but I'm sure that will lessen with use. At way under $300 they are a incredible value. I must go now to listen to more music.
When you need to hear EVERYTHING
The MSR7 has been a favourite in the audiophile community since it was released, impressing many with its accurate, detailed sound.
This is Audio Technica's top of the line closed back headphone and the price reflects this, coming in at a RRP of $350, although it can be found as low as $280 if you shop around.
So what do you get for your cash?
Opening the box brings you that modern premium unboxing experience with a bunch of little boxes inside other boxes and so on.
Here you'll find 3 cables, two short ones (1.2m - one with mic and remote and the other plain) and a plain, 3m one.
The headphones themselves are beautifully presented in a fabric cradle that lets you know you're in for something special.
Sturdy and refined, the MSR7 is made up mostly of Aluminium and plastic decorated with tasteful colour highlights.
It dismisses the brash, loud designs of headphones today for a more conservative, elegant look that may not turn heads immediately but it will sure impress those who notice. These are good looking headphones.
Bass: Present, fast and well controlled.
Let me make this clear. These are not headphones for bassheads as the MSR7 values quality in place of quantity.
Bass is well articulated and at no point does it overpower the rest of the music.
Basslines are aptly and accurately reproduced, however there's none of the bass heavy thrills you'll get with bass heavy headphones such as Beats or the M50X. That's not to say that the bass is not satisfying. EDM does sound very good and you get very tight, controlled thumps, but there's not a lot of it.
Mids: Lush, extended and somewhat elevated.
These are Japanese headphones made primarily for the Japanese market, and indeed, listening to Japanese music, specially with female vocals is an experience to behold. The sense of presence is palpable. Very natural and balanced.
Some people feel the mids are a touch unnatural. They might be right, but considering how female vocals make my toes curl with these cans, I couldn't care less.
Highs: Extremely detailed, bright and effortless.
Highs are a point of contention. They are extremely detailed, even to the point that bad recordings and mistakes become evident, so are poorly compressed files.
Highs have a lot of energy, but don't think they are aggressive. They rarely feel harsh or piercing, and if they do, it's usually the fault of the recording.
However, many people are treble sensitive and it can be too much for them.
I recommend you audition this headphone before you commit yourself.
Soundstage and imaging:
Soundstage is fine for a closed back headphone but it's the imaging that impresses me. Very accurate. It gives you a good sense from which direction the sound is coming from.
Not only does this make the MSR7 good for music but also for gaming.
One very important point to consider is that these phones are very sensitive to the source. That is to say that low bit rate MP3s will not cut it. Artifacts will become apparent and your listening enjoyment will suffer. I recommend lossless formats.
Also, if you're going to use the MSR7 with your phone, it is recommended that you have an amp or DAC/amp combo to take full advantage of these cans. A digital audio player is another good option.
Dont get me wrong, it will sound good plugged straight into your phone, but it will not be an optimal experience.
The MSR7 offer terrific value in terms of sound and build quality.
As always, these headphones may not suit everyone. They are light on bass and the treble can be too much for some. However, if you're on the market for an accurate, well balanced and extremely detailed headphone, the MSR7 is a winner in my books.
Great pair of headphones
- Comfortable for short listens
- Highs and mids are very clear and detailed
- Good looks
- Head clamp becomes a bit too tight after listening for longer periods of time
- Bass is lacking a bit
- A bit heavier compared to other headphones, due to quality of construction
Good sound but peeling off of ear pads and headband after first month
I bought this headphones for the sound. It sounded more warm and detailed of my old Roland so I took the bite and bought it in Japan during a trip. I used it daily while there and after flying back into Australia it started to peel off. The headband and ear cups both started to peel leaving myriads of pieces of black plastic material everywhere. In my backpack, around all house, in my car. Because of this I decided to complete peel off with my hands the rest of the black plastic material leaving a light gray colored cloth on the head band and ear cups. Now the ear cups are replaceable but not the head band which looks terrible and cheap. Looks like a pair of cans just picked up from a rubbish bean instead I paid 300 AUD for them just a month earlier. This was not my first experience with this problem. I also own an old audiotecnica ATH-ES7 and it did exactly the same thing but after 3 months of use. I thought this problem was been resolved but apparently not. I advice everyone not to buy these headphones if you care also about looks because the headband it is not exchangeable and it will peel off very soon. I use them inside the house sometime but have been replaced promptly by a Sony MDR Z7 which is a jewel of art for construction and material used. Not longer audiotecnica for me.
Great Hi Res Headphone
Truly amazing headphones. Worth every penny! Remarkably clear, balanced sound. If you only want to thump the bass you might be disappointed. These are for people who know that mids and highs exist too, and recognize the importance of them coming together evenly and unperverted
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