If you are looking for a set of pro-grade in-ear monitoring headphones, a pair of ATH-E70 from Audio-Technica already look like solid potentials for your shortlist. They have plenty going for them, but, coming in at under $500, it’s an expensive pair. Do they offer the same quality, comfort and performance as a similarly-priced pair of traditional cans? Only one way to find out…
As with other high-end studio headphones, there is no need for us to discuss headband padding or velour earpads, as the ATH-E70s offer a streamlined in-ear design. The comfort and fit on this pair are top notch, with the all-important tips offered in a range of sizes and materials to suit your preference. In the box you will find both silicone tips (in extra-small, small, medium and large sizes), as well as a set of Comply T500 foam tips (medium). The silicone tips feel a little more comfortable in the ear, although the foam work better for sound isolation.
Combined with the flexible memory cable loops, there is no chance of these falling out, no matter how much moving around you do. Plus, at just 9g, this pair ensures long days and nights in the studio are a breeze. They do stick out of your ear a little bit, but this shouldn’t be a big deal unless you are going for a very subtle look.
Under the hood the ATH-E70s feature three balanced armature drivers to offer an accurate frequency range (20 to 19,000 Hz), while there is an impedance of 39 ohms. In addition to the selection of tips, the ATH-E70s come with a detachable 1.6-meter cable with a 3.5 mm (1/8”) gold-plated stereo mini-plug, as well as newly-developed A2DC connectors at the headphone end. There’s also a very robust carrying case for easy transportation of the phones and tips, as well as a 1/4” adapter. No more than you would expect at this price, but very solid nonetheless.
With a quality build and great tech, the ATH-E70s provide a very pleasurable listening experience for the audiophile – one that stands up to scrutiny in the studio. For one, they offer an incredibly natural soundstage and flat response, which is vital for studio monitoring. They also provide excellent clarity and detail across the spectrum – tight and realistic bass, smooth mids and clear trebles. The combination of the specially-designed housings and the foam ear tips also offer superb sound isolation, so you could use these in noisy environments if needed.
Some critical listeners may be a little tentative at dropping around $500 on a pair of in-ear headphones – but these are no ordinary in-ear headphones! This lightweight, durable pair offers an excellent alternative to traditional cans, with a near-perfect sound for precision monitoring or mixing in the studio, or on the go.