Intro and Design
Audio-Technica really needs no introduction as their products have been consistently solid, well designed, and of the highest quality. Yet, for those who have never had the opportunity to try any of their many products, it's time to introduce you to their latest in gaming headsets available in both closed/isolated and open air styles. In this article, we'll be focusing on the ATH-ADG1X which is the open air version of their latest line of quality gear. Right off, everything about these new cans, including the box and packaging is simple yet elegant.
After carefully unpacking these bad boys, I was immediately struck at how large the drivers really are. 53mm to be exact! That's right. Fitty. Three. So while the the set looks absolutely immense, I was shocked at how light they were. Immediately, I was concerned about quality with something that was so large but so light. I slipped them on and was pleasantly surprised, they feel like they are barely even there. Truly, a stunning achievement to pack such a gigantic drivers in such a lightweight package. Even further, the set was beyond comfortable. When you barely notice the set is even on your head after a few hours, I say in my best G Dubya' Bush voice, "MISSION 'CCOMPLISHED!" Overall, in the design department, this is thee headset that not only met my lofty expectations, but blew them out of the water.
The market is flooded with headsets of every type, prices, feature, and sound quality. Diving into the ATH-ADG1X, I wasn't quite sure to expect, especially with those massive 53mm drivers. After firing up my first music test, Skrillex's Summit surprisingly wasn't overpowered by muddy or unbalanced bass, instead, I heard details and nuances that I have never heard on any other set of headphones. I quickly jumped into other music from the repertoire including Daft Punk and a few movie soundtracks. The sound is crisp, absolutely clear, and sharp in the best of ways. This is a headset for those that demand the absolutely best in detail instead of head pounding bass. The detail in games, movies, and music that I enjoyed through this set were unreal. That's right, after years of testing dozens of headsets and even more headphones, these babies can really only be summed up as absolutely crystal clear and pure audiophile level joy.
Don't get me wrong, the low end of these bad boys is plenty powerful but I would rate them as more accurate than bass heavy sets that I have tested as of late. Gunshots and tank engines in BATTLEFIELD 4 rumbled plenty but they were balanced around the mids and highs equally. The club slaps and thumbs of GRIM DAWN were beefy as well but never drowning out any other element on the sound field. So, just be aware, if you want something to shake your brain out of your skull, these aren't it.
Value and Conclusion
In the end, I was not only surprised by the ATH-ADG1X, I absolutely fell in love with them. While it took me several sessions to get used to the bass levels, I finally started to realize how unbalanced most sets I had been playing with as of late. The folks at Audio-Technica deserve major props for releasing a product that isn't gimmicky but instead, delivers the most balanced and razor sharp sound on the market today. This is a headset for pure audiophiles and your games will have a whole new depth, I promise you that. These babies retail for $299.99 but may be found cheaper out in the wild as stock becomes more abundant. They are on the higher end of the price range for gamers but it may be the last headset you ever need to buy. Regardless, if you want some of the best sounding cans out there, you deserve to check these out, like, yesterday. You can check out the main product info page right here.