A review of the Audio Technica SonicPro® Over-Ear High-Resolution Audio Headphones (ATH-MSR7)
by Anthony Sabatini & Alison Blackman
There are so many different types of people who appreciate high quality headphones, and for many different reasons. There is the true audiophile for whom headphones with so-so sound will never satisfy, and the professional who uses headphones for work. There are people who think headphones are a fashion accessory, and those who just want to make their environment more pleasant by listening to what they choose, and not all the ambient noise around them. Some headphone companies claim that their headphones will satisfy all of the above, but most fall short of this goal.
One company that consistently delivers high quality sound for both the professional and the audiophile, is Audio Technica. The Advice Sisters have reviewed Audio Technica headphones in the past (type “audio technica, or headphones or both into our search box in the upper right hand corner of every page on advicesisters.com). Now we are excited to suggest a fabulous headphone that will satisfy the audiophile and the professional.
Anthony Sabatini: The Audio Technica SonicPro® Over-Ear High-Resolution Audio Headphones (ATH-MSR7) MSRP* US$249.95 is advertised as high resolution and high response, and that is exactly what the ATH-MSR7 delivers. It was designed to minimize distortion and uneven frequency response by using very lightweight drivers (speaker elements), exclusive 45 mm True Motion Drivers, which utilize lightweight voice coils, a custom-mounted printed circuit board and specially designed diaphragm to improve transient response and minimize sound distortion for rich, detailed audio reproduction. These in simple speak, reduce low end distortion from interaction of the base notes with the headphone’s internal structure and the “bright haze” that occurs when other manufacturers drive the high end of the headphones too hard.
The result is a breathtakingly clear and lifelike audio rendition which delivers clarity to any work that requires delicacy or has some complexity, or even the spoken word such as the dialogue of a TV show. While these headphones lack the over-driven base that some consumer headphones are designed to produce, doing so while improving some very loud music would affect the high fidelity and response of any other type of music or use. The on-ear design is a good one for many critical uses as it provides good coupling with the ear but still allows you to hear ambient sound such as people trying to get your attention, or car horns. We also like the fact that there are three different cords included with the headphones for a variety of uses.
In all, we like the headphones both for the general consumer where they are listening to many different genres, and types of entertainment and importantly, for the professional who wants an “uncolored” and unbiased representation of the sound either live or as recorded.
Alison Blackman, Editor in Chief of advicesisters.com: As an editor, reviewer, audiophile and also a consumer, I have always been impressed with Audio Technica’s products. These headphones are exciting, with sound that makes you feel “happy” and amazingly, they are under $250! Put them on, and the world is a better place! These headphones come impressively boxed, and with a travel case as well as three detachable cables (standard 1.2 m (3.9′) and 3.0 m (9.8′) cables, plus a 1.2 m (3.9′) cable with in-line controls and microphone for compatible smartphones and other devices) to suit varying needs and equipment.
The design is classic, but The ATH-MSR7 is available in black (ATH-MSR7BK) and gun-metal grey (ATH-MSR7GM). When you put them they look professional –and impressive.
Most headphones adjust, somewhat, but they rarely do so enough to fit me properly, The Audio Tehnica headphones are substantial, awith a nicely padded and adjustable band. It may be a small thing, but the sides of the headphones are marked Left and Right, leaving no guessing as to how to wear them. The headphones’ flexible swivel design lets them lie flat on your desk or for travel, so while they’re not completely fold-able, they are much more travel friendly. The nice papddded memory foam earpads and headband are comfortable, although frankly on a very long airplane ride, no headphones are going to be completely comfortable after 6-8 hours of consistent wear. But the ATH-MSR7 headphones made lengthy trips not just more entertaining but a lot more Tranquil. I think it’s safe to say that Audio Technica headphones make the world a much happier place!
Editor’s Note: Tony Sabatini is the tech columnist for advicesisters.com, but I’m including some information about Hi-Res audio FYI: While many listeners may believe that high-resolution audio came along with the introduction of the Compact Disc in 1982, constraints on the disc’s storage space always prevented CD audio (standardized at 44.1 kHz/16-bit) from fully and completely reproducing the original recorded sound. The advent and subsequent popularity of MP3s only made this problem more pronounced – the necessary compression of these files causes audio information to be lost, thus greatly reducing the audio quality. But with lossless audio file formats, faster Internet speeds, and storage space increasingly easy to come by (and in ever-smaller packages), the push is on to create audio equipment capable of capturing and reproducing true Hi-Res Audio, generally considered to be 96 kHz/24-bit or better. The Hi-Res Audio logo certifies that a product meets the Hi-Res Audio standards. Per these standards, headphones must have transducer frequency performance to at least 40 kHz. As a producer of these types of audiophile headphones since 1972, Audio-Technica is well-positioned to provide audio solutions that meet the demands of Hi-Res Audio media formats, allowing for the full reproduction of their extended sonic characteristics.
Here is a YouTube video about Audio Technica and these amazing headphones, Check it out: