Audio-Technica ATH-A900X LTD Headphones

The Audio Technica in Japan features a well-deserved name when it comes to high-fidelity equipment.

Their most recent ATH-A900X Ltd Edition over -ear cans are an upgrade of the closed-rear A900Xs - featuring the same 53 mm drivers but with golden lettering and scarlet housings on the outside. Like their counterparts they also come equipped with a 3.5mm terminated heavy duty cable and a 6.3mm adapter to facilitate both home and on-the-go listening.

Sound-wise it is a headphone that is impressive. There's loads of detail in addition to a genuine sense of a broad and open soundstage. Their large drivers deliver in terms of detail, bass punch and total sonic quality.

This helps you to ameliorate the harshness some other earphones can display although there is a slight heat.

Element of this is because of the layout of the headband of the Audio Technica. It has two wings - dubbed '3D Wing Support' - which sit on either side of your head and therefore are believed enhance comfort and to minimise vibration.

Having said that, though, once you have got used to the placement there is little to criticise.

And also the arrangement means long listening sessions are incredibly comfy.

Really, plugged in using its Category A headphone output circuit to a Naim Supernait 2 the Audio Technicas came over as well-balanced and nicely focussed. Bass was rich and full without being too prominent whilst treble sounded smooth and detailed.

They are also sensitive to deliver accurate volume from the likes of other portable devices or an iPhone. Joined to an iPhone 5 on my daily commute, the Audio Technicas sparkled with the likes of Tom Petty's 'American Girl' - being simply easy enough to take the edge off a few of the glowing treble on this particular recording but without losing the essential thrust of the music.

Not all cans may do this; some seem bright, others too bass somewhat dull and yet more heavy. The Audio Technicas, nevertheless, find yourself sounding clean, comprehensive and energetic and tread a fine path between these various choices.

Get used to the fitting that was quite individualistic and you'll find them a delight to listen to.

Audio-Technica ATH-A900X LTD Headphones photo