Audio Technica ATH-W1000 headphones review:

Audio Technica ATH-W1000 headphones

Typical Price: £400.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Superb sound quality; transparent sound; stunning detail across the board; bright without being harsh; great design; decent construction.

The Bad Cloth-wrapped cabling; low-end presence isn't hugely prominent.

The Bottom Line These are an exceptional pair of reference headphones for the price with sonic accuracy across the board and brutal detail from upper low end to the top of the high end. Only deep bass fans will find fault with the subtle bass presence. Overall, these are fantastic reference cans, ideal for home mixing

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8.3 Overall

Audio Technica's most high-end pair of headphones are the ATH-W5000, costing £700. But if you just can't run to that cost, try the ATH-W1000s -- closed-back, reference grade cans aimed for indoor use. They may be just what you're looking for and cost a comparatively meagre £400.

Solid wooden enclosures house these headphones, yet don't add the heft you might expect -- the W1000s are still fairly lightweight. Inside the cans sit luxurious earcups, which are both exceptionally soft and comfortable for long periods, particularly as they press only very gently against the skull.

In fact, the headphones on the whole offer decent comfort. They're modelled after the W5000s and as such, don't offer quite the same level of comfort as Denon's AH-D5000s, but the ergonomic and padded headband work with the comfy earcups to deliver an enjoyable fit.

A 3m oxygen-free cable comes with a 6.3mm gold-plated plug fitted as standard and is wrapped in a tough cloth. Cloth is more prone to wear and tear in time if not carefully cared for and as headphones can last years we're not fond of this quality.

Moving inside the headphones, you've got a 53mm driver backed by a neodymium magnet, responding to frequencies between 5Hz-40kHz, plus a sensitivity of 102dB and an impedance rated at 40ohms. Like the W5000s, the W1000s are not the loudest or most sensitive reference-grade headphones we've heard, but can handle a high power input of 2,000mW at 1kHz.

After giving the 'phones about 100 hours of constant playback in a cupboard, we heard the same Audio Technica voice present in the flagship W5000s -- emphasis on brightness, exceptional clarity, a tremendous sense of space and transparency, but a slightly underpowered low end.

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