Gear of the Year 2015 – Best Accessory: Audio Technica ATH M70x

Our winning accessory this year is Audio Technica’s remarkable ATH M70x headphones…

Best Accessory – Audio Technica ATH M70x

Details
Price £299
Contact Audio-Technica, 0113 277 1441, sales@audio-technica.co.uk
Web eu.audio-technica.com/en/

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The Best Accessory award pretty much covers everything that’s not included in the other awards here, so obviously has a wide remit: anything from studio cables to books to headphones. Lots of headphones.

Yes, you’d think the headphone market would have matured to a point where we all know which are the best brands for mixing and monitoring by now, but there are lots of young pretenders, and many of the monitor brands you’d expect to be in the marketplace are simply not bothering.

This is a shame, as it’s still a rapidly growing market, with many producers monitoring on headphones either by choice, by necessity (depending on where their studios are) or because they are making music on the move.

And if you are one of those producers, there is a lot of choice out there. We’ve looked at some great models by Ultrasone, Telefunken, Audeze, Fostex and many more this year, but one brand has maintained a level whereby it has become something of a reference point within MusicTech tests, and that is Audio-Technica.

The company’s M50s were the go-to phones of last year, and the M70s pick up the plaudits this time.

The M-Series is Audio-Technica’s range of ’phones designed for studio use, with long sessions in mind and accuracy and comfort the main goals. “They are ideal for studio mixing, FOH, DJing, mastering, post-production and listening,” AT says. The latest 70 comes in both open and closed-back formats.

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The former offers a wider and more immersive experience, and we’ve tested these recently and concluded they are incredibly good. But it is the closed-back ATH-M70x model that wins the Best Accessory award, thanks to a defined and punchy bass – not coloured but more accurate – and a superb level of comfort. They are light and encompass your head, so they don’t feel obtrusive.

Surely the best phones are ones that you don’t realise you are wearing, and after a while that can be true with these.

Reviewer Andy Jones said: “The M70s are accurate and great for long sessions – not such a common combination where accuracy can become quite wearing on the ears over long mix sessions. Indeed, we’d say these are probably the best phones you can get for mixing right now. The best just got better.”

Read our review of the Audio Technica ATH M70x’s here

Here’s Ed Forth from Audio Technica accepting the award from our editor Andy Jones

Be sure to read the complete list of winners in the current issue of MusicTech Magazine and check back tomorrow for another winner…

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