Audio Technica ATH-ADG1X
Audiophiles know the name Audio Technica. And for good reason too. Solid build quality, great reliable parts, and a warm sound that is perfect for listening to music. The Audio Technica ATH-ADG1X is a premium headset from the headphone maker designed specifically for gaming, built from the same quality parts found in their straight audio line. With its open ear design the ATH-ADG1X headset provides the same level of comfort and quality that one comes to expect from Audio Technica, but with a sound that is fine-tuned to make the most out of games. This means a distinctly more impressive low end to match the crisp and detailed highs.
From a sheer technical perspective, the ATH-ADG1X features the sort of numbers that you wouldn’t find on a more budget oriented effort. Which makes sense, because in the world of audio reproduction price can often be a measure of quality. Not always, but often. So, what does this all mean? Well, for the ATH-ADG1X keeping the frequency range wider than most means that the phrases “deep bass” and “crisp high ends” are more than just descriptors. Coupled with the 53mm drivers and open-air design (which by default amplifies bass frequencies), Audio Technica has taken the design and look of some of its more music-driven products in the world of gaming.
Where explosions, sweeping musical scores, dialogue, and environmental effects all mix together in a rich auditory experience unlike anything else. For the ATH-ADG1X, Audio Technica have kept things simple with a pure stereo output that doesn’t come packed with any additional software or device specific features. Balancing and everything else comes down to your own devices, or dedicated headphone amp. Now, we’ve mentioned separate DACs (digital-audio converters) before. Which are little amps for headphones that can deliver a cleaner and more vibrant sound. The ATH-ADG1X basically begs for one, and with build and sound quality like this you’d only be getting a portion of the story if you connect them directly to a motherboard or control pad.
- Driver: Open air dynamic 53 mm
- Frequency response: 5 to 35,000 Hz
- Impedance: 48 ohms
- Sensitivity: 99 dB/mW
- Cable length: 1.2 m
- Microphone Pickup pattern: Supercardioid
- Type: Condenser
- Frequency response: 100 to 12,000 Hz
Design and Comfort
Although the ATH-ADG1X’s might look large compared to other headsets, as their look follows in the footsteps of other Audio Technica headphones, the overall comfort and light-weight yet sturdy feel is top notch. And really the only part that feels like it could have used more attention is the addition of the microphone. Where other companies might conceal the microphone, or make it detachable or even retractable, Audio Technica seem to have simply been content just to slap on a bendy mic without any additional thought. It’s not distracting, nor does it affect the overall performance. It’s simply aesthetically rushed for a premium device.
Again, everything else is fantastic. The cushions and open ear design make this one of the most comfortable gaming headsets we’ve ever tried. Which is even more impressive thanks to the overall lightness of the ATH-ADG1X. Volume and mute controls on the cable are nice touch as is the PC extension cable meaning that it can easily switch from a single 3.5mm connection to dual sound/mic combo.
As fans of Audio Technical headphones, based on the similar look of the ATH-ADG1X, there was a general feeling that they’d sound the same too. In practice, the sound of the ATH-ADG1X is chunkier, meatier, and more intense than what we’ve heard from the company before. The large 53mm drivers and open-ear design result in the sort of bass that is truly impressive when coupled with certain bombastic musical scores found in games. The results are the sort of stuff that can even make some pretty expensive speakers sound tame by comparison.
No doubt Audio Technica went all in on the gaming aspect of the ATH-ADG1X, with the only real downside being that the over emphasised bass response can result in some unbalanced music listening. There were a couple of times we had to turn down the bass just a fraction whilst listening to music. But this is only a minor complaint, as the ATH-ADG1X performance for watching movies and listening to music was overall on par with its gaming performance. In that it was stellar. And really that’s where these shine the brightest, when gaming. Here you get the sort of detail that makes any budget headset pale in comparison. Plus, the sort of product where you can tell the difference between a game with a great audio mix and one without. So, if you’re in the market for a premium headset, the ATH-ADG1Xs are definitely worth checking out.