Open to: Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X


Range of headphones, the Japanese company Audio-Technica is able to surprise even the most experienced audiophile, one only category Hi-Fi manufacturer offers more than 10 different models. Many of the full-size wired headphones Audio-Technica are a special series of AD, and the initial version here is ATH-AD500X, which was at us on testing.

The abbreviation AD stands for Air Dynamic, i.e. all of the line headphones have an open back design. At the same time, it is not only in appearance but also sound: the AD different from the others, spacious and “airy” sound that became possible thanks to the drivers with the sound coils with aluminum core with copper coating (CCAW) and an open acoustic design.

ATH-AD500X has 53 mm drivers. Yes, the larger diameter increases the mass (and who cares if it’s headphones for home) and forced to use stiffer materials to reduce the distortion due to the deformation of the radiating surface (not to mention high requirements to the amplifier), but it increased the driver outputs typical headphones AD series sound. By the way, some of the internal elements can even see through the grill: diaphragm with straight holes is covered with a rear metal deflector. If you look on the other hand, you notice that the driver is at some angle to the frame. Why was it made? As a rule, to expand the audible sound of space, but there is also a view that this design forms a three-dimensional sound stage.

The mechanism of the headband — proprietary 3D Wing from Audio-Technica. The construction is made in the form of two elastic metal arc (lightweight aluminum body), dressed in a plastic tube. It does not require adjustment for a particular head (two “pillows” played a role), the headphones sit very comfortably as it has the minimum pressure. Yes, when moving the head cups begin to slide down, but this is clearly not the headphones for running, isn’t it?

The attachment of the ear cups, and cups, made of black plastic. Ear pads ATH-AD500X is trimmed with velvet, while the part that serves to attach the cushions to the shells made of thin faux leather. Damping a cloth strip is their integral part, so we replace will not work. How long such material? Usually for a couple of years about the problems it is possible to forget, and there to find a replacement will not be difficult.

Cable oxygen-free copper and non-removable unilateral. You can treat this differently: Yes detachable cable is easier to replace. BUT! Audio-Technica makes very high quality wires that don’t need updating even after several years of operation, especially if we are talking about a device that you use at home or in the Studio. And it is not necessary to remind that the extra contact is a potential source of problems. Remember, many manufacturers have already suffered enough because of trouble with connectors.

By the way, a nice bonus included — gold plated adaptor 6.3 mm. a useful Thing, though the 3.5 mm Jack cable no thread for its fixation. However, if you do not try to pull the cable with your foot, it will remain in the nest.

Of course, the main thing in the headphones does not look (you are unlikely to be in them in the subway, on the street, in an airplane), and the sound. Go over the specifications and let us all in order.


  • Emitter: dynamic 53mm
  • Acoustic design: open
  • Frequency range: 5 — 25 000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB
  • Impedance: 48 Ohms
  • Maximum power: 500 mW
  • Cable length: 3 m
  • Weight: 265 g


As older models of AD-series ATH-AD500X free and have a very atmospheric sound. Space these headphones draw very well, sometimes even the sound seems too easy, although the dynamism and mobility he does not hold.

A lot of bass, but without fanaticism. Lacks a bit of upper mid and high frequencies, which slightly reduces the number of supported genres, but the bass of the composition and the metal come to cheer. Vocals and guitars sound brighter and more legible the same can be said about dance music. Overall, the model sounds very vigorously — we can safely recommend it for driving genres (sitting by the fireplace, leave something like the ATH-AD900X).


Not to mention that the ATH-AD500X significantly reduces the “mud” of the source. We tried first listen to these headphones with the iPhone and Google Pixel XR 2 and was pleasantly surprised that even with the help of streaming services on a smartphone, you can get pleasure from listening to music on this device. For long-term background listening during some not too important things.

Then in the course went heavy artillery in the form of the FiiO M9: Exynos 7270, a little less than a Gigabyte of RAM, about two gigabytes of ROM, the touch screen from LG, the Bluetooth module with support for all conceivable codecs. For the audio portion of this model is the solution already tested by the company in practice: a pair of AK4490EN and the balanced amplifier on the basis of the OPA-shek. The decoding signal is engaged in a “specially trained” FPGA-shka.

Needless to say, that player immediately produced the best quality output. The sound became more transparent and realistic, albeit without the stunning effect of being in the Studio or at the concert. The fifth violinist in the third row to hear will not work, but it is not necessary: the dynamic entries with a dense sound, they work out at 100 percent.

If you use these headphones on purpose, you cannot do without a home stereo system (or computer power). We started testing with Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP in the role of the DAC and amplifier. In the first case, it was clearly evident that added a bit of HF to provide supply closer to neutral. The second DAC was pleased with its ruggedness. Sound any sample rate and bit depth, as well as newfangled DSD records that turned out for him. Gaining control of bass, it became much easier to set the song “under itself”, while MIDs remain tight, and high — the same crystal.

So using the ATH-AD500X with amplifier or home speaker system — must have if you want to fully discover their potential. In an extreme case, you can do player. As for the smartphone… better forget about him. It’s definitely not headphones in order to work in the subway chase.

Open to all

Perhaps the ATH-AD500X is a great example of how to implement the open design of the headphones. Large 53 mm drivers have allowed to reveal the potential and the comfortable fit promotes long-term music listening experience. And the price is 11 000 rubles — quite adequate for such a device, because here it is not determined by the steepness of the components and not the cost of materials and labor, developers who set up the whole system. And the result is really worth it.