Cable-free, Bluetooth and NFC as standard, compatible with high-resolution codecs, impressive battery life and integrated hands-free functionality – these are just a few of the features Audio-Technica has singled out for praise for the new ATH-DSR7BT. Designed with the digital native in mind, the ATH-DSR7BT packs plenty of promise.
The DSR7BT is Audio-Technica’s first leap into the wireless world. The most noticeable feature is that the headphones have no analog input at all. Music can be played either via USB cable, which is also used for charging, or via Bluetooth or NFC. Although invisible features, support for Qualcomm’s high-resolution audio codecs (with which data transfer rates of 24-bit/48 kHz can be achieved), future-proofs these headphones against functional redundancy anytime soon. Also unseen: The D/A converter is integrated seamlessly into the drivers. And of course, these headphones also have an integrated hands-free kit, since the playback device in most cases is probably a mobile phone.
Technical data reads well. According to the manufacturer, the DSR7BT generates frequencies in the range from 5 Hz to 40 kHz, which is impressive. The 40 kHz peaks should be particularly appreciated when the headphones are fired with high-resolution audio sources. The impedance is 35 Ohm, although this is negligible since the amplification is achieved in the headphones.
Here, the few control elements are distributed over the edge of the driver housing on both sides. On the left is the micro-USB socket for charging and listening to music via the computer, a volume control and a sensor to control play/pause and activate voice control on your mobile device. It also has the functions for inbound calls, including call acceptance, rejection, hanging up and forwarding to your mobile phone. The power slider is positioned on the right, with the headphones automatically switching off after 5 minutes without an active paired connection.
Automatic pairing via NFC (Near Field Communication), whereby a mobile device is simply placed near the corresponding symbol on the headphones, did not work with my Samsung S6. Bluetooth connection, on the other hand, could be established without any difficulties and music playback via USB via the computer was also easy, with no need to install drivers. The speed with which Bluetooth connection picks up when switching on again is a delight. It doesn’t even take a second after the device is switched on before the headphones are connected again. However, the range is not so impressive, with even a simple room door or a distance of five metres enough to bring the wireless link to a grinding halt. If you want to clean your house while listening to music, you should keep your mobile phone in your pocket as you go along.
Despite the closed design, I was pleased to notice that the model had a very comfortable fit. It distributes its 300 grams very well and maintains a good compromise of firm contact pressure and casual wearing comfort. Of course, the weight includes the integrated lithium polymer battery, which is fully charged within 4 hours and subsequently provides about 15 hours of wireless music playback.
I can only report good things to you here: The fundamental characteristics of the DSR7BT are very linear, almost soberly clear. The main reason for this is the strong impulse highs and highs mids, which might seem almost harsh for music lovers who like it bass-rich. As a result, it performs confidently with all music styles that are supplied to it. In particular, finely textured material in the highs benefits greatly from the precision on offer. I would even go so far as to assign monitoring qualities to these headphones. The bass is crisp without being too heavy.
The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT is a headphone that is convincing in its sound, neutral in design, and functionally well conceived. From a technical perspective, it is geared towards use with Bluetooth players – primarily smartphones – without any compromises and also supports higher data transfer rates with its DA converters that are integrated into the drivers. For users who prefer to listen to their music via Bluetooth, it is certainly a good choice with an honest, pleasant sound, even if the price isn’t quite right.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)5 - 40.000 Hz
- Impedance35 ohms
- Weight without cable300 g
- Cable length200 cm
What's in the box
- USB cable
- Carrying pouch
- Pure Digital Drive System - fully digital signal chain from audio source to the 45 mm drivers
- BT codecs: aptX HD, aptX, AAC and SBC
- Audio signal via USB connection (up to 24 bit / 96 kHz)
- Touch control and volume control for music playback and incoming calls
- Memory for the last 8 connected Bluetooth devices
- 15 hours of music, 1.000 hours standby with only one charge