Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 Review: Full-size open reference headphones

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Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 are full-size open reference headphones that has become the new flagship of the cult audiophile Air Dynamic series. The model uses new 58mm True Motion drivers with a thin tungsten-coated diaphragm to ensure the required rigidity. At the same time, the driver itself is integrated into a very rigid round plate made of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and glass fiber, and, in fact, forms one whole with it. This lightweight, acoustically inert design can significantly reduce unwanted vibrations and eliminate parasitic resonances, providing superior damping and stable piston diaphragm movement.

The speaker uses a powerful Permendur (iron / cobalt / vanadium) magnet. The Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 headphones have a wide frequency range with an upper limit of 50 kHz. Such a high figure allows you to unleash the potential of high-resolution formats, which is why the model received the Hi-Res Audio certification. The model uses the patented Core Mount technology, which provides the most optimal and precisely calculated position of the driver unit inside the case, which allows to optimize the movement of air flow. As a result, according to the manufacturer, the upper and middle frequencies acquire impressive clarity and clarity, and the bass becomes richer and more accurate. which provides the most optimal and precisely calculated location of the driver unit inside the case, which allows to optimize the movement of air flow.

As a result, according to the manufacturer, the upper and middle frequencies acquire impressive clarity and clarity, and the bass becomes richer and more accurate. which provides the most optimal and precisely calculated location of the driver unit inside the case, which allows to optimize the movement of air flow. As a result, according to the manufacturer, the upper and middle frequencies acquire impressive clarity and clarity, and the bass becomes richer and more accurate.

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The Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 headphones are equipped with a detachable three-meter double-ended cable with high purity oxygen-free copper (OFC, 6N) conductors. The cable is terminated using a 6.3 mm stainless steel plug with gold-plated contact surfaces. At the same time, the kit includes a small suitcase with a handle and locks, designed to carry and store stereo phones. The model is assembled by hand at the Audio-Technica facilities located in Tokyo.

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The body, double adjustable headband and cup holders are made of lightweight, durable magnesium alloy, and the outer body has a solid perforated honeycomb structure, excluding the closed sides. This technical solution minimizes losses associated with changes in air pressure and dispersion of sound waves, and guarantees a perfectly balanced sound. The headband and ear cushions are finished with durable, wear-resistant Alcantara (synthetic suede) material, which also provides a high level of comfort. The Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 headphones are individually numbered, engraved using laser technology.

The range of Audio-Technica is extremely wide, and there are headphones with a wide variety of design and technological solutions, but the company shows consistency within the series and lines. For example, almost all home Hi-Fi models, from the affordable ATH-AD500X to the top-end ATH-L5000, are equipped with a 3D Wing headband – a handy thing, especially if the whole family uses the headphones – no need to reconfigure every time. In models that are positioned as universal, that is, they are suitable not only for home but also mobile use, traditional adjustable headbands are used. The only exception to this rule is the ATH-ADX5000: we see two traditional steel bows, but with a soft shell and a mechanism for adjusting the length to a specific head. Audio-Technica has no other model with such a headband,

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There is also a more serious difference. Most of the headphones classified by the company itself as Hi-Fi are characterized by an average impedance – in the range of 35 – 47 ohms. This means that they do not impose any special requirements on the amplifier either in terms of current or voltage. And only ATH-ADX5000 are high impedance: their passport impedance is 420 Ohm.

These headphones will work well with transformerless tube amplifiers. And also with semiconductor, which have a high output impedance. But you obviously shouldn’t connect them to a regular smartphone. But they are not designed for such frail partners. Although with a “musical” smart, equipped with an advanced sound path, I will definitely listen to them.

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Like the top model Audio-Technica ATH-L5000 , the driver is made using Core Mount technology, which means that it is a single structural unit with an acoustic shield. The advantages of this solution are obvious: a more rigid and durable structure is obtained. I would not be surprised if, over time, it will be used in budget Audio-Technica models.

Another feature of the ATH-ADX5000 is the increased driver caliber – 58 mm, like the flagship ATH-L5000 headphones… Whereas in all open models of the AD (Air Dynamic) family, closed W (with wooden cases) and A (with metal cups), emitters with a diameter of 53 mm are used. It is clear that the larger the area of ​​the diaphragm, the greater the volume of air it moves in one vibration and the lower the bass that it is able to reproduce. In addition, larger drivers produce larger sound imaging, which is even more important than very deep bass. However, there are also “side effects”: a large emitter is susceptible to deformation, so it should be as rigid as possible. And accordingly, it will be heavier than a smaller diaphragm of the same material. A slight increase in mass can be beneficial, since it will lower the resonant frequency of the driver, but at the same time reduce the sensitivity, which is undesirable. The ideal is a hard and light diaphragm,

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In the description of the ATH-ADX5000 it is said that the membrane is coated with tungsten. On the one hand, it is a very heavy metal (heavier than lead), and in the presence of even small admixtures of carbon, it is unusually hard. This coating reinforces the diaphragm and gives it the required rigidity. By the way, the ATH-L5000 model uses a different coating for the same purpose – DLC (Diamond-like carbon – diamond-like carbon), and it can be found in more affordable Audio-Technica models.

An increase in the mass of the membrane due to the coating with tungsten must be compensated for by an increase in the number of turns of the coil (hence the high impedance) and an increase in the power of the magnetic system – in the description of the headphones it is said that it is made of permendur. This alloy has a very high magnetic permeability, therefore, poles and magnetic drives are made from it. But the manufacturer is silent about the source of the magnetic field. Perhaps it is neodymium, or maybe something else. Be that as it may, but the final sensitivity of 100 dB is a good indicator.

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Housings and metal elements of the headband (except for springs) are made of magnesium alloy, that is, they are light and durable. The grille that covers the outside of the enclosures – with a honeycomb structure – makes the openwork structure rigid and reduces air turbulence.

All soft parts (ear pads, headband) are finished with Alcantara material – this is a very pleasant to the touch artificial suede, which is widely used in car decoration. Stronger and more durable than regular velor, which is used in lower class Audio-Technica open headphones. By the way, in closed models, the pillows are finished with leather – natural for the ATH-L5000 and ATH-W5000 models and high-quality artificial leather for the ATH-W1000z .

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The ATH-ADX5000 also has nothing unusual in its top-class appearance. The set includes a hard case in the shape of an old-fashioned suitcase, however, trimmed with modern material – synthetic leather. This is an attribute of all 5000 models – both the ATH-L5000 and ATH-W5000 . Each piece has its own unique serial number, which can be seen through the grill on the right earpiece. On the left – the inscription JAPAN MADE.

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The cable is removable in a dense fabric sheath with proprietary A2DC coaxial connectors – they are slightly larger than common MMCX and are also used in some in-channel models of the company. The only strange thing is that there is only one cord in the kit – the ATH-L5000 has two: normal and balanced. And no curtsies in the direction of fashionable portability – a 6.3 mm connector without 3.5 mm adapters included. Well, nothing, I have such an adapter.