Photos: Audio Technica's ATH-A900 headphones

We've had the £200 Audio Technica headphones wrapped around our ears for a while and our first impressions will please the vocal music fans as much as they'll disappoint the metalheads

We've been having a bit of an Audio Technica headphone fest over the last few weeks. Today extends it to the ATH-A900 headphones -- a pair of closed-back reference cans priced around the £200 mark.

Placing the 'phones over the old Uncle Ned, we felt a similar level of comfort to the ATH-W1000s, which got a excellent rating in our review last week. They're snug without too much tightness.

Inside are decent specifications: a 53mm neodymium-backed driver responding to frequencies between 5Hz-40kHz, an impedance of 40ohms, sensitivity of 101dB and an excellent maximum power input of 2,000mW.

Our mild surprise began when we started listening to the A900s. Although they produce the bright voice we've heard throughout the entire high-end Audio Technica family, this brightness adds a certain colouration to music, making them slightly less a headphone for home studio reference and more for home listening.

If you're listening to vocal music, you're likely to be very pleased as the A900s excel at reproducing vocals, particularly those of female singers. Ingrid Michaelson's voice on her track Let Go was so vibrant and pleasant, it reminded us of how wonderful a vocalist she is, with all the breathy undertones of her airy voice conveyed with great detail.

What sounded less impressive was hard rock and metal, which lacked the meaty, smash-you- in-the-face-with-a-sledgehammer power and bass it needs; it sounded too harsh, too brittle.

Expect our full review very soon. If you love your Sarah Brightman, Alison Krauss and Sarah Bettens, you're going to want to check it out. Click 'next photo' for more delicious details. -Nate Lanxon

Check out the golden writing on the sides of each dark blue aluminium can.

Here's that same head support mechanism seen on all of AT's high-end headphones. Comfortable, though we've felt slightly better from some other manufacturers.

The earcups are very snug, though don't offer the same luxury felt in the ATH-W5000s. But then they wouldn't, would they, what with the W5000s costing £500 more.

The gold-plated plug defaults to 3.5mm, but a bundled, screw-on adaptor will increase this to the hi-fi-standard 6.3mm, also gold-plated.

The cable is of great quality and encased in cloth.

Although we like the headphones' general design, we're not fond of the look of this shiny bit of 'guidance'.

Overall, these will suit iPods and hi-fis alike, but don't expect to be using these on the bus -- they're strictly at-home 'phones.

 

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