The previous couple of years the headphone market has seen a Pinocchio-like shift. Wires have been changed by Bluetooth and, extra importantly, sound and efficiency have been drastically improved – because of aptX expertise and enhancements to connectivity and battery life.
This isn’t to say that wired headphones are a dying breed, nevertheless it’s all the time reassuring after we hear that an audio producer continues to be supplying them to the plenty. And particularly when those being introduced are successors to a critically applauded pair of cans.
Enter the ATH-MSR7b, Audio-Technica’s next-gen alternative to the ATH-MSR7 – a pair of headphones that have been one of many lowest-priced Excessive-Res Audio suitable cans round after they have been first launched. We went to IFA 2018, the place they have been launched, and we had a hear.
Design and options
The ATH-MSR7bs have loads in widespread with their predecessors. They appear achingly related however there have been just a few important tweaks. They’ve had a discount in weight, some 53 grams lighter, and the motive force inside has been redone – a 45mm True Movement Driver has been given a carbon-coated diaphragm that’s mentioned to assist in making positive audio replica is nearly as good as it may be.
They share the identical Twin-Layer Air-Management tech that’s within the ATH-MSR7s which helps to enhance efficiency and the all-important cabling has been rethought. Now, within the field there’s a four.4mm balanced cable – use this to cease interference and cut back cross discuss – and an non-compulsory 2.5mm model is on the market. That is alongside the same old three.5mm cable.
For consolation, the ATH-MSR7b vary have been given a reminiscence foam headband and earpads they usually tuck up properly right into a pouch prepared so that you can go touring with them.
The ATH-MSR7bs we tried have been completed in gun steel coloring, which had a very good crimson trim and cabling. There’s additionally a black model obtainable, with a blue trim.
We listened to numerous tracks on the Audio-Technica stand and will have listened to a quantity extra. It is because the ATH-MSR7bs are actually comfortable.
They’re like a heat tub for the ears, the reminiscence foam slotting the earcups across the ear properly, and the cushioned headband supplied up no pinch or tightening in any way however had sufficient of a seal to dam out a lot of the bustle of the present flooring.
These do really feel like they will not be the very best in stifling sizzling climate, although, given the fabric used.
Choosing by a wide range of Excessive-Res Audio tracks, we listened to some Springsteen. Dancing In The Darkish soared, it was so clear that it was a shock that we didn’t see Bruce pop up and gyrate to the music.
Darkish Aspect of the Moon supplied up a complete totally different temper, with the cans selecting out beautiful element within the opening of Breathe and held effectively when the music chugs by the gears.
These headphones have hyperlinks to Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50x vary, skilled studio monitoring headphones which have been massively widespread. The standard you get by the ATH-MSR7b, given the comparatively modest worth for them – $249 (£219, round AU$340).
The ATH-MSR7b have large boots to fill however from our early assessments, it appears that evidently Audio-Technica has tweaked and configured to ship a pair of headphones that breathe new life into wired headphones at modest costs.
As a lot as we, as with many others, are veering to wi-fi with our headphone tastes, the ATH-MSR7b put in a good case for conserving the wire.
The truth is, they hit three key areas effortlessly: consolation, design and – most significantly – efficiency.