The Audio-Technica XS7 plays Ken to XS5’s Ryu. To those who didn’t get the geekery, it simply means that this bad-ass extreme-sports-based headphones is almost like its predecessor the XS5 which was reviewed by Carlo Ople not too long ago. It’s almost the same but not quite.
The most significant change would be the headband positioning. The XS5 was slightly angled backwards. The XS7 is a full back headphones. Would you look at that, a headphone that won’t mess your hair! And I do like to have my hair untouched, thank you very much!
This headphone is convenient in every way. As the support lies at the back, and still being On-Ear, the comfort level of this headset is simply amazing. The soft textured ear pads give a good cushion to your ears while providing beautiful acoustics.
I’ve sampled this headset with various iPods, ACC, mp3 and Wav files. Just to check the range that the headset can handle. So far I’m not disappointed:
Classical/Orchestral – Sampled using Patrick Doyle’s Thor. The bass was really pronounced but you can still feel the beautiful sweep of violins and trumpets and yes imagine yourself strolling (or very macho-ly running) along the glittering streets of Asgard! And the headset withstood Hans Zimmer’s blarring trumpets in Inception. ‘Nuff said. BOOOOOMM!!!
Pop/Contemporary – So far the XS7 gave pop tunes a good pulse. With the much slightly pronounced bass, Pop songs have a thump-thump-thumping character added without drowning the vocals. Sampled Britney’s “Till the World Ends” and DJ Earworm’s “United State of Pop 2009 (Blame it on the Pop)”.
Rock – Rock comes out decent. It’s not spectacular as say, the Marshalls would give it, but it’s also not bad in the sense that rock songs become too watered down. I sampled the whole 30 Sec to Mars album while on the elliptical machine and Dream Theater’s “Metropolis”. The vocals and guitars are slightly overpowered by the drum and bass. These are my low-fi files since I ripped these songs from youtube. It gave them character from the supposedly “flat” file compression.
RnB/Hip Hop – This is what this headset is made for. The bass lines are really strong to the point that when I reduced the volume of my iPod to less than half, the vocals and other instruments of Will I Am’s “I Got It From My Mama” almost faded to a whisper in comparison to the still blaring and thumping bass! Whew! Daaaaamn, that set of cans is phat, yo!
Techno/Dance – Simply gorgeous! I sampled Tiesto’s “I Will Be Here” at ¾ max level volume on my iPod Nano and I felt I was transported to a BigFish event. The Bass and drumbeats were clear and un-muddled; even the synthesized vocals were pronounced which is great!
My only concern with the XS7 are the textured ear pads. The product description noted it as “drip proof” and they weren’t kidding. Although I could also read that as whatever moisture that falls on the ear pads, your pads soak it up so well it won’t drip hence, drip proof, because after 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical it took me more than 1 ½ hours to dry my ear pads off! The pads were retaining all the moisture it’s insane! Lolz.
Like the XS5 the XS7 is also typically made for people who like a little more oomph to their bass when listening to RnB, HipHop, Dance and Techno. With its sleek look, comfortable ear pads and wide back band, you don’t have to worry about your hair while you jump a rail with your skates. Of course, hair would be the last thing on your mind now would it?
The Audio-Technica XS7 sells for Php4,499. It’s being sold in Astro Vision branches.