CES 2012: Audio Technica
First, a bit of good news: Audio Technica is well aware of the fact that their ATH-M50 is a classic. They report it's selling very well, thank you very much. That's good news because they're less likely to discontinue it or change it if they know it's a winner. (For example: their ATH-L3000 was awesome, but they stopped making it. Limited edition or not, that's a headphone they should still be making in some form. It would sell ... and I reminded them of it during my visit.) They said they'd be more than happy to send me an M50 for the Wall of Fame.
I made my way through their booth testing all the cans with my portable rig. I so appreciate it when you can get at the cords and play your own tunes. Thanks AT! The first headphone that really caught my ear was the new ATH-ANC7b noise canceling headphone. I've mention already in my CES reports how tough this is to accomplish effectively; these cans seemed quite competent. The price is right too at $199. I'll be looking to review these at some point.
The other can that seemed quite good to me was the new ATH-WA70 Solid Bass headphone. This $149 sealed, bass emphasis can is touted as providing well controlled bass using a unique "Double Air Chamber System." I'm very much looking forward to measuring these, controlling the lows in a sealed headphone can be quite troublesome and usually shows up in uneven frequency response performance from the low mid's down. It will be interesting to see how these measure up. I'll let Crystal Griffith, Audio Technica's Consumer Marketing Manager, fill you in on the details.