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Most Stylish Headphones Ever! (From Audio Technica)

AnGeLiCbOrIs

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A few months ago, I posted a picture of these, the Audio Technica ATH-ESW9. They cost me about $265 and were the best damn portable headphone I could find. The housing is made of African paduak wood and the earpads are made of lambskin. They sounded absolutely amazing and when I sold them (due to a significant lack of money) I swore I would buy another pair.

Enter the new limited edition ATH-ESW10JPN from Audio Technica. They are limited to about 1500 pairs worldwide. The housing is crafted of North American black cherry wood and the earpads are lambskin once again. And "The outer finish is done with Japan's most renowned lacquer craftsmanship in Echizen." Initial reports from head-fi are that they sound fuckin' awesome. I find that the great thing about Audio Technica is that they back up their great design with great sound.

The cheapest price online is ~$530 but I bought them from these guys with 30% cash back.


Also, the ESW9 is available on eBay for less than $190 after cash back. I could not give a higher recommendation for any portable headphone I have ever tried.

Here are some pics.



Next to the ESW9:


 

AnGeLiCbOrIs

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Originally Posted by Willsw
So they are urushi?

Sasaki (in Japan) at head-fi says:
Seems like the urushi(lacquer) paint and new driver is the major improvement from ESW9. I think this is the first JAPAN model for portables. The urushi-lacquer painted craft is an old traditional of Japan, hence the name comes from.
 

ppllzz

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i like ath, i have the w5000 and it sounds very good, don't have much use for a portable headphone though since i usually listen to music either at room or at gym and i cant really bring nice headphoens to the gym

good buy though the esw9 tempted me for the longest time
 

Sprezzatura2010

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Originally Posted by LabelKing
Personally, I like the Modernist look of the Grados.
In addition to sounding like 1980s car stereos, I find the Grado line universally hideous looking.
The Sennheiser HD-580 is more my idea of Modernist headphone design (and leagues better-sounding)
The HD-580 Jubilee, HD-600, and HD-650 lose a bit of the design purity of the '580 with their carbon fiber bits and metal grilles. The new Denons are a little bit more old school, with the metal bits and bolts in place of the molded smoothness of the Senns, and the wood cups on the more expensive models.
But the most stylish headphones ever, if not the best-sounding to my ears, have to still be the Sennhesier Orpheus.
 

amerikajinda

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Sprezzatura2010

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I've seen the Orpheus on sale for a lot less than that. Maybe a USD vs. AUD thing, or Australian import duties? I don't think I've ever seen them for more than ~$15k USD. The cheapest I've seen a set on offer was a demo model at a Viennese dealer for something like 7000EUR when rates were about 1:1 or more favorable to the USD. That's the one I was considering buying until I listened to it and realized that I liked my 580's better. Had the same realization, but stronger, when I listened to the AKG K1000 within a few months of the Orpheus audition.
The Denons, however, are quite nice. I've never heard a pair of Stax headphones, but I would like to.
 

AnGeLiCbOrIs

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I've always wanted to listen to "real" headphones like the R10, K1K, Orpheus etc. My personal needs are for a portable headphone that can be powered directly out of my DAP or with a small amp. I went through some twenty plus portable headphones before finally being happy for the first time when I heard the ESW9. I've owned lots of headphones at many price levels that I can recommend or warn others away from but I've never really experimented with full size circumaural headphones since I never had a need for them. I also have a seldom updated blog with my feelings on lots of headphones, IEMs and canalphones at headphone-reviews.blogspot.com.
 

Sprezzatura2010

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Originally Posted by AnGeLiCbOrIs
I also have a seldom updated blog with my feelings on lots of headphones, IEMs and canalphones at headphone-reviews.blogspot.com.
I've never heard any of the AT cans. Or even seen a pair. How would you describe their sound? Based on your blog, the common reference points we have are Etymotic-for-Altec im716's, Koss KSC-75s, and Etymotic ER-4's (mine were the S model).
 

Brian SD

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Originally Posted by Sprezzatura2010
I've never heard any of the AT cans. Or even seen a pair. How would you describe their sound? Based on your blog, the common reference points we have are Etymotic-for-Altec im716's, Koss KSC-75s, and Etymotic ER-4's (mine were the S model).
I share those common reference points as well and here are my comments: Compared to the Koss KSC-75s: Less bass, but much clearer low end More balanced and accurate-sounding soundstage Better representation at every frequency except the very, very low end Compared to ER-4's Not as warm Clearer highs Doesn't produce the "sound in the middle of your head" syndrome. The reason I like the ATs more than the Ety ER4s is that they aren't as intrusive (I can only handle canal phones for so long), and the soundstage sounds further from your head, creating a very nice atmosphere.
 

Artisan Fan

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I like the new Denons and AKGs but still prefer the Grado RS-1s for overall clarity. We use them on recordings after the performance and we use AKG closed phones during the performance. The Grados have a slight midrange bump up but this is better in my view than some of the midrange softness on the Senns.
 
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Originally Posted by Sprezzatura2010
I've seen the Orpheus on sale for a lot less than that. Maybe a USD vs. AUD thing, or Australian import duties? I don't think I've ever seen them for more than ~$15k USD.
ok I have no issues with audiophilia, but am I the only one who just cannot see the value in 15k worth of headphones?
 

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