🔷 Audio Technica ATH-WP900

This is the official thread for the ATH-WP900 Headphone.

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Type: Over Ear
  • Amp needed: No, but use one anyway :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
  • Closed Back

:red_circle: Hifiguides Amazon Link

[Reviews]

Z Reviews

A review on these closed back masterpieces from Audio Technica would be great thanks

Nice review here

@WaveTheory Wouldn’t this fit more in the #headphones category? Despite it being a review-request.

A review from who? I mean, I’ll happily listen to them if you send me a pair :grinning:

1 Like

yes but the guidelines suggested here so i dropped it here

Fair.
Some questions/devices don’t fit well into any category or float between two.

I have been curious about these for several months. The last few weeks on Amazon.ca has seen price drops and today a set showed up on CAM (Canuck Audio Mart) for a great price.

If I hadn’t just bought Edition XX’s last week…

I’ve had my WP900 since the beginning of September. I think they are terrific. I am no reviewer, so won’t bother even trying to be either analytical or poetic in my assessment.

—Fit & Finish: super light and comfy clamping force; solid build quality, though “built like a tank” does not apply. These are not meant to be carelessly thrown around. BEAUTIFUL (I may be a long time Audio Technica woodie stan, hahahaha)

–Sound: V-shaped, detailed, sparkly treble, no upper mid/lower treble harshness, IMO. Bass reaches deep with nice extension; sub bass rumble is there plenty (but for sure not at “basshead” levels). Some call mids “scooped”, I however, do not. The way I tend to hear mids (as the easiest frequencies for perceive) is that “forward” mids is too much, so take my opinion here with a proper grain of salt. My only nitpick WRT sound is I wish the lower mids had just a bit more presence (I do not care to EQ, fwiw, and not to start a religious war, hahahaha).

–About 6+ years ago, I moved entirely to portable/transportable, sold all my desktop/rack gear, plenty of hard to drive cans, etc. I was also away from the hobby for over 5 years, coming back only about 4-6 months ago. My gear inventory is sparse (or as enthusiasts might say, unimpressive/weak).

I use my WP900 only with a DAP (Sony ZX-507, 4.4mm balanced output). I am thinking of getting a USB DAC/amp to sue with my Macbook, but honestly, that would likely be a waste of money for me given How I operate.

tl; dr I think the WP900 are terrific, and they aren’t going anywhere. These are long term keepers for me, and as I continue my hunt for sub-$1,000 IEMs, I am mindful that I don’t “need” anything else. Can’t believe how much my mindset changed over my 5+ year hiatus.

2 Likes

3 Likes

Beautiful shot! I am still looking for the right set of closed backs.

It’s time for me to share some love for my WP900, which i’ve had for a month and a half by now. These are my official “for tripping at night” headphones.

2 Likes

Here’s my first review in a very very long time. I consider myself an analytic listener and have been for years, but I haven’t heard most gear, so I can’t compare these directly with similar options like the elegia, emu teaks, fostex or denon, but the people on head-fi have already done that. This comes from the perspective of someone who is starting to climb the mid-fi ladder.

The wp900 is the little, portable brother of the Audio Technica woodies AWAS and AWKT. Compared to those, the wp900 is known to be more energetic, in your face, slightly v-shaped, with less resolution. I was lucky to get 500 for a brand new pair with shipping and taxes included, thats what I call a steal.

SOURCE
I mostly run these balanced with a (GE JAN) tube buffered schiit magnius, it gives them a rich fullness in the sound that my other sources can’t, so this is source dependent.
Sounds very underwhelming straight from my xiaomi phone; it sounds very good from my ifi zen dac amp, the thing is the (tubed) magnius gives it a tighter bass and fills the soundstage way better.

FIT & COMFORT
These fit me extremely comfortably, theres a ton of room in the earpads, more than say the meze calssics or the msr7, big ears are no concern. The clamp came too soft out of the box, I had a problem with the seal because I wear glasses, but It was completely fixed by bending the top of the headband inwards, so its clampier now. Also, when im laying down on bed the headphones get pushed against the pillow in a way that gives the sound extra warmth, these are my sleeping cans now, I find that warmth very soothing.

BUILD
Just gorgeus, but the build quality feels flimsy, I wouldn’t throw these around without a hard case and I don’t wanna scratch em, the noise isolation is the least I’ve heard in a closed back, it also leaks of sound a bit outside; the materials used in this headphone are not very reflective by design. The included cables are good enough for 1.2m needs.

SOUND
The mid bass is strong, theres more focus on the mid bass punch rather than on the sub-bass rumble, drum kicks fall on this sweet spot. I’d describe the bass as fast, tight and clean, closer to neutral than the other v-shaped headphones i’ve tried.

The wp900 is more revealing than the hifiman sundaras, bad recordings can get very annoying, badly compressed songs will sound terrible. The level of detail retrieval is competitive with the sundara (I consider this an amazing feat), with the wp900 you get actual bass punch and the treble is somehow more detailed and airier, but the mids don’t feel as accurate, and obviously the sound is not as open. They are both very fast in delivery, effortless sounding.

The sound overall is quite coloured, the v-shaping is very smooth but there are some peaks, it feels more like an m shape to me, there aren’t any reliable frequency response charts that I could find, my take on the frequency response tuning is that its meant to give an analog, yet natural feeling to the sound.

With a very substantial drop on the lower mids, the wp900 gives dat power instead to the higher mids, male singers with acute voice and most female singers sound very clear and natural, the downside is some specific voice timbres get either recessed or sharp.

The treble is the reason why these are keepers, its just that good, I can feel it pierce my brain as much as I like without any sibilance.
Even with their slightly boosted bass and treble I can listen for hours without fatigue (I’m treble sensitive), the non-clampy, soft pads help out with that.

The soundstage and imaging are superb, the soundscape size is probably average for the price, but I think the presentation is quite special, this one I perceive it as a 3d sphere, music feels as if it was a picture taken by a fisheye lens. The imaging is extremely precise within that sphere, which makes these very good for gaming.

The dynamics are very energetic, electric guitars downright crunch, sparkly and airy sounds are great, you really do feel the power of both the kick drums and the cymbals/crashes, the wp900 has a live, immediate feeling to the sound.

FINAL TOUGHTS
The wp900 is a powerhouse, but in a subtle way, that power may be aggressive but never excesive. This is a closed back that has a bit of color and is detailed at the same time. It’s great with a lot of records, but not an all-rounder.

For the metal genre these are insane, the wp900 does electric guitars best, it feels like my brain is the amplifier and the guitar is connected to it, megadeth and pantera are personal favorites on the wp900, the drums are also highlighted. With something more “calm” like Dire Straits it’s the same, just great guitars.

I didn’t like these for EDM, hip-hop and some specific singers. These do better with jazz, rock, indie, R&B. For me the WP900 really shines with either very sweet vocals and instruments- or the opposite, very rough and distorted; They are always a joy when the songs are very skillfully mixed/mastered, specially with warmer mixes.

The other genre I’ll highlight is pop, specially jpop, as it combines high energy with cute voices I become sugoi’d, Japanese voices sound astonishing, Kyary Pyamu Pyamu transported me straight to another dimension, the layering of her songs is extremely detailed and her voice is moe af. Asian records in general sound really good on the wp900.

That’s it, I hope more people get to try these, they have brought a lot of joy to my audiophile journey.

9 Likes

Fully agree with everything you say - I’ve had my WP900s for a week now and they’re magnificent.

I have been curious about these since last summer. I just bought a pair through an Amazon warehouse deal. The box is damaged, but the headphones are supposed to be good.
Many of the descriptions sound like they are very similar to Grado’s.

1 Like

Could you compare these to Grado’s, if you have any experience with Grado’s?

Thanks.

I heard Grados for the first time this week, sr80e and gs1000, they were very different to the wp900, it was a quick test but I think the only thing they have in common is the beautiful natural sound of string instruments, and that “immediate” energetic feeling to the sound.

I see grados “grado sound” described very similarly to wp900 very often, specially the hemps, compared to the sr80e I’d say the wp900 is less “in your face” sounding, more technical with superb bass extension, laid back lower mids, and shares a similar bright yet smooth treble presentation with them.

Edit: I’d love to hear how you would compare them, I confirmed my need for a grado pair the moment I heard them, amazing.

1 Like

I love my Grado GH2’s and am anxious to compare them.

1 Like

Got my new 'phones in today. They really are beautiful! I expected the cups to be bigger since everyone commented on the roomy cups. The cups are a good size for me though.

Overall they are small, light, comfy and beautiful. I think they may be the perfect fit for my application. I essentially bought these to replace my Meze 99 Classic’s. I had those for three years and loved them, but didn’t find they scaled up with my home gear. They were my ideal 'phones for taking to work or anywhere I knew I would have a long wait.

My initial reaction is good mids, nice bass and a little brighter than my Grado’s, which I was using when these arrived.

Since there is a 4.4mm cable included, I can run these through all three amps. I bought a 4.4mm to XLR cable for Senn headphones and my Cascades. Getting my money’s worth out of this little cable. :grin:

The next few days will be dedicated to running these THROUGH all my amps and my DAP (NW-ZX300).

1 Like

Glad you’re not disappointed on first listen!

They are considered roomy only because their predecessor, the ESW series, are on ear. This is the first Audio-Technica wooden portable that has an over ear design.

The driver is the same as the A2000z driver and is extremely, extremely dependant on burn in. I’d say around 100 hours at least.

Personally, I find that although it is designed for portable use, it is very dependent of its source and likely to sound not as great on portable sources. Audio-Technicas are also quite picky, and their potential should be achieved on an amp designed for low-impedance headphones.

Enjoy!

1 Like

Right now they are sounding pretty good on my Violectric with Grado settings (-12Db’s).
Definitely a little brighter than the Grado’s, but better bass too.

The last three days I have been in love with a chain of:
Schiit BF2 to Schiit Loki to LD MKIII tube amp to Grado GH2’s. The Grado’s have never sounded so full or bassy. :smile:
Very cool.

I am hoping these pair nicely with my DAP and we’ll see what amp is their favourite.

1 Like