CES 2018: Audio-Technica ATH-ADX5000 Over-Ear Open Flagship Headphones

I approached the Audio-Technica booth with reservation. Other than the ATH-M50x, which is a great little headphone, I've not been overly impressed with Audio-Technica cans. They tend to fall into the 'also ran' category for me. They're usually too bright, and the 'winged' headbands make me crazy—having no up-and-down tilt on the earpieces means they just never fit right on my head, always having too much pressure above or below the ear. Their noise cancelers also seem underwhelming as well.

So, I walked into the booth and asked what's new, and was pointed to the new $1999 ATH-ADX5000 flagship over-ear open headphone. Another person was deep in his listening experience when I arrived at the display; I read the sign as I waited my turn.

  • 58 mm integrated driver units utilize a Permendur magnetic circuit with exceptional magnetic characteristics
  • Japanese craftsmanship: Each housing is carefully hand assembled in Tokyo
  • Tungsten-coated diaphragm provides high rigidity for an improved transient response
  • Integrated driver unit design combines diaphragm, voice coil, baffle and magnet in single unit to reduce unwanted vibration
  • Each pair of headphones is individually identified by a laser etched serial number and comes with a specially designed hard carrying case
  • Newly developed Core Mount Technology places driver unit in optimal position for improved airflow and excellent full-range audio reproduction
  • Magnesium frame results in rigid, thin, lightweight construction
  • New honeycomb-punched housing design blocks side ventilation to prevent undesirable air pressure loss
  • Luxurious Alcantara material used on earpads and headband, providing amazing comfort and durability
  • Detachable 3.0 m (9.8') cable with A2DC (Audio Designed Detachable Coaxial) connectors at the headphones and 6.3 mm (1/4") gold-plated stereo plug


Not sure I like the Audio-Technica proprietary A2DC connector; it looks like a solid device but will limit our ability to get after-market cables. But I do like the fact that it's a 420 Ohm headphone—we need a come-back to higher impedance headphones in flagship territory.

Oh...my turn. Ahhhhh...they fit nicely. I plug them into my AK240 and play some tunes. Well, other than the fact that the CES show floor is crazy loud they sound pretty damned good. No one in the convention center booth knew much about them, but they told me there was another pair over at the Venetian and someone there may know more. So, I visited the Audio Technica Venetian room display the next day.

Again, no one there knew too much other than the printed materials, but I did get the chance to do some listening in a quiet environment. Yep, they seemed quite good. A little bass shy, but just a little, pretty good for an open headphone actually. Tonality seemed quite good over most of the spectrum, but the very top one or two octaves seemed just a little hot...but well behaved. Color me intrigued!

I did run into the PR guy who showed me the almost too good carry case and upcoming balanced cable. He said he'll send me a pair quickly. I'm really looking forward to spending some time with these.

Here's the video with my first impressions from the main show floor.

View on YouTube here.

sszorin's picture

A minor miracle, Tyll says these Audio-Technicas are "pretty good" [Aside from other ones - BUT, he never heard W3000ANV]

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MarjorieKillen's picture

did run into the PR guy who showed me the almost too good carry case and upcoming balanced cable.hot pants weight loss He said he'll send me a pair quickly. I'm really looking forward to spending some time with these.