Midrange DJ headphones that loudly mix a rich bass foundation with crystal-clear trebles to create a homogeneous, transparent sound image.
Audio-Technica recently expanded its DJ headphone portfolio with the ATH-PRO5X. With a price of just under 100 euros, they will appeal to beginners as well as to cash-savvy professionals who place more value on technical parameters than on design. The black headphones, made almost entirely of plastic, are visually inconspicuous.
Only the embedded high-gloss company logo and model number mar these oval shells. The glossy “Audio-Technica” lettering stands out quite stylishly on the matte, imitation leather padding, and the two silver metal temple extensions are accordingly discreet. Thanks to their very good damping, they should remain in position, hopefully even after prolonged use and signs of wear. Downsides: The thin headphone cable runs unprotected next to the two struts, carrying the risk of getting stuck and tearing out when the headphones are put on, and the two joints that hold the closed, completely circumaural shells can only be rotated along the X-axis. Apart from that, below the left shell, there is a bayonet connection into which you can snap the enclosed 1.2-metre straight cable. Alternatively, there is a spiral cable plus 6.3 millimetre adapter; the only other accessory in addition to the user manual.
Processing and Wearing Comfort
To keep them at a low price, the ATH-PRO5X headphones have saved on the material of the shells and their holders. On the other hand, the robust metal extensions, the very well-padded and cleanly sewn temple, and the exchangeable, extremely soft imitation leather pads all serve to enhance the headphones’ wearing comfort. Once on, you hardly feel the headphones, in no small part due to their light weight of 250 grammes, and all that padding cushions the pressure very well. Adjustments are maintained, even with more energetic movements, as the shells literally enclose the ears. The flexibility of the band allows you to clamp a shell behind one ear for one-eared monitoring and there is enough stability to keep them in position for as long as you need.
Acoustically, the test headphones come up trumps with a frequency response of 5 to 35,000 Hertz. Audio-Technica’s newly developed 40-millimetre drivers create a concise but non-intrusive sub-bass carpet without limiting the groove in its range. Kicks and bass lines stand out well, although in the midrange, they do hold back. On the other hand, they are very clear and transparent in the higher frequency range, which is particularly noticeable in precise hi-hats. Overall, I find the sound to be very natural and homogeneous, and transients are handled well. Anyone who places great value on spatial reproduction will be thrilled by its depth. The input power of 1,500 milliwatts also allows very dynamic levels without distorting – or worse, destroying – the driver. With a sound pressure level of 104.58 dB and an extremely low impedance of 30 Ohms, they can also cope with weaker headphone outputs. All in all, perfect characteristics for the DJ booth.
Shielding and Associated Use
The ATH-PRO5X headphones are certainly worthy of consideration as DJ headphones as they eliminate ambient noise. However, the signal will be diffused by increases in the external noise levels. Their clarity and extraordinary spectrum also qualify them for studio use, although their warm bass nuance somewhat clouds the preferred linearity of the soundscape.
The Audio-Technica ATH-PRO5X offer a very broad frequency spectrum that they can reproduce without exaggeration. With their shielding, rated power handling and sound pressure level, the headphones counteract the noise in the DJ booth. If you’re not particularly interested in eye-catching design, you’ll be thrilled by the practical possibilities offered by these headphones.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)5 - 35.000 Hz
- Impedance30,55 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)104,58 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head531,5 g
- Weight with cable260 g
- Weight without cable244 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Straight cable (1.2 m)
- Coiled cable (1.2 m)
- 6.35 mm stereo jack
- Also available in white