Audio-Technica Open-Ear Headphones

The Best Audio-Technica Open-Ear Headphones

Audio-Technica Open-Ear Headphones are designed by the contemporary yet classic and well-renowned brand that is their namesake. Audio-Technica is a brand that has got the hang of open-back headphones. They manufacture a range of headphones that can rightfully be considered are some of the best open-back headphones on the market.

What are Open-Ear Headphones Exactly?

Open-ear headphones are essentially the same thing as regular closed-back headphones, with one essential difference – the design of the ear cups. The difference between closed-back and open-back headphones is that the closed-back ones have a barrier between your ears and what’s beyond. 

Open-ear headphones look more like they are full of holes. They are constructed like that to let air in and to sound different. A closed-back headphone typically creates a seal over your ears, which keeps sound from leaking out and outside sound from reaching to you. You can even hear the seal by wearing a set of headphones without playing music – it sounds like a conch shell. This effect creates a different type of environment for your sound, and it makes the sound seem more “in your face” so to speak.

The result of using open-ear headphones is that they let sound leak out and do not create the “in your face” effect. Some people like this better, as the sound can seem clearer, wider, open, and even provide a better sense of dynamics because the sound isn’t echoing within the cans.

Famous for being one of the world’s best manufacturers of various audio equipment such as headphones, microphones, mixers, and DJ equipment. Audio-Technica has been around for a long time and continues to deliver a high-quality yet highly affordable range of open-back headphones. Here are some of our favorites.

The ATH-R70X is the Best Overall Audio-Technica Open-Ear Headphone

This headphone is the flagship model in Audio-Technica’s professional headphone line, incorporating the improved but very popular 3D wing support – a way for the ear cups to swivel and keep your ears covered while listening to music. 

Audio-Technica ATH-R70X

Audio Technica ATH-R70X

Wireless:
No

Sensitivity:
99dB

Freq. Response:
5Hz – 40kHz

Driver Size:
45mm

Audio purity and high-quality sound are their primary focus, accompanied by high affordability. They sound great in the low end and have a completely flat frequency response which makes them absolutely perfect for music mixing. Like all open-back headphones, the absolute low end is where they come short, while the upper bass and the entire midrange sound good. Overall, it is a pro headphone perfect for production, mastering, mixing, or simply listening to music.

They have a comfortable over-ear design, built so that long days of mixing, or music-listening, won’t result in the top of your head hurting or the cups hurting your ears. According to many users, they are super comfortable and maintain a lightweight feel throughout – weighing at about 1.63lbs. They have a 1.4” stereo connector and are equipped with a one-of-a-kind dual-sided detachable cable that automatically supports proper stereo orientation. Design-wise, they feature acoustically transparent housings of aluminum honeycomb mesh. They are open-ear and reproduce transparent sound, suitable for mixing and mastering purposes. 

The best alternative product from a competing brand would be the Sennheiser HD 650, a slightly more expensive dynamic open ear headphone that is also lightweight, with a very wide frequency range of 10Hz – 39 500 Hz and a comfortable over-ear design. A great headphone with very positive reviews, and stands as a great competitor to the Audio-Technica-R70x’s. 

For Critical Listening, get the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X for audiophiles

Audio-Technica has ensured that these headphones will fit anyone through its self-adjusting wing that automatically adjusts to your head size. They are full open-air type headphones, using “Open-Air” Dynamic technology. This technology helps keep our ears comfy during long listening times, reduces the pressure on our ears, and keeps our ears from overheating.

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X

Audio Technica ATH-AD700X

Wireless:
No

Sensitivity:
100dB

Freq. Response:
5Hz – 30kHz

Driver Size:
53mm

The sound quality of this AD700X is natural and highly accurate – and it can get deafening. These headphones are suitable for mixing music or for gaming purposes. They have an extensive frequency response starting as low as 5Hz to 30kHz, and the 53mm drivers can reproduce clear and precise treble and midrange.

The ATH-AD700X has a lightweight honeycomb aluminum casing and 53 mm drivers, with bobbin-wound CCAW voice coils. The AD700X has flexible raised-fabric earpads that offer great comfort. It comes in black and has large over-ear cups. The positive aspect of these headphones’ open-back function is that the sound seems larger, and you get to experience a wider sound stage. 


It comes in a wide plastic headband but with the self-adjusting 3D Wing Support and closest to the head a mesh fabric for comfort. At the left earcup, there is a cord to a mini-jack with included ¼” adapter. The design makes this set very durable, and its ear cushions are made of material similar to velour – making it comfortable. 

While this product is a great buy, there is an even more budget-friendly alternative if you have a stringent budget but looking for a good set of over-ears – the Philips Audio SHP9500.

The Philips Audio headphones come with a speaker driver of 50mm, a frequency response of 12Hz to 35kHz, and a sensitivity of 101dB. They have received good reviews regarding audio quality, durability, and comfortability. We recommend them as an alternative to the Audio-Technica – AD700X.

Our Budget-Friendly Choice is the Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X

At under $80, these headphones offer natural audio, and just like the AD700X, they have 53 mm drivers, with CCAW voice coils that drive the sound. Another thing they have in common is the self-adjusting wing support and its straight OFC cable that hangs from the left earpiece. At that price point, they are considerably more affordable than all the other models on this page which range from about $120 to as high as $350

Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X

Audio Technica ATH-AD500X

Wireless:
No

Sensitivity:
100dB

Freq. Response:
5Hz – 25kHz

Driver Size:
53mm

The sound quality of the AD500X is more than satisfactory – they can reproduce deep bass and handle the mid to high frequencies well. It is a good headphone to use for mixing or just for listening to music. They have pretty intense directional audio, which would be great for gaming and watching movies.


They have a lot in common with other Audio-Technica Open-Ear headphones utilizing the Open-Air technology to produce no pressure on the ears for a close to natural sensation.

Design-wise, they have a honeycomb aluminum casing and flexible raised-fabric earpads. There is an OFC (oxygen-free copper) single-sided cable with elastic TPE sheath – made to prevent any tangles, which we found very useful! 


The AD500X can compete with the Philips Audio Fidelio L2 headphones. The L2 has 40mm high definition drivers but is heavier than the Audio-Technica’s. They are over-ear and suit well for taking on-the-go despite being open-back. At closer to $150, the Philips is considerably more pricey than the Audio Technica AD500X though.

For Everyday At-Home Listening Buy The Audio-Technica AD900X

The plastic feel of these headphones might be a reason to keep them at home, instead of risking damage while transporting them, as they are not of the sturdiest build. Another reason for keeping them for in-door listening is the 3M long cable. However, they are cool to mix music, as a long cable can sometimes be helpful depending on the rest of your equipment and needs. 

Audio-Technica AD900X

Audio Technica - AD900X

Wireless:
No

Sensitivity:
100dB

Freq. Response:
5Hz – 35kHz

Driver Size:
53mm

The ATH-AD900X is Audio-Technica’s revamped version for everyone who loved the previous ATH-AD900. The build of these headphones is built to last and to stand out, so it’s not an option for someone looking for a discrete look. 

In terms of audio quality, they perform well. Even though they are open-ear, the bass seems not to bleed. They have an incredibly wide and deep soundstage, and listening to music in them feels like you are listening to it live. Pair that with the feeling of not wearing any headphones due to its incredibly lightweight; this pair is pretty cool! They would be suitable for watching movies or gaming if you like the ‘live’ feel.

They have huge honeycomb earcups and no actual headband, but they have an aluminum casing. They are over-ear open-back headphones and have large 53mm drivers designed exclusively for the pair. The design of these headphones is unique. One of its strengths is the quality and thickness of the padding used and the velour-covered ear pads, which seem to have good breathability. They are made for long hours of wear. 

A competitor to the AD900X would be the Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR Headphones. The 50 mm drivers are slightly heavier than the AD900X at 0.58lbs, as the X2HR weighs about 0.84 lbs. 

Why Choose Audio-Technica’s Open-Ear Headphones

  • Audio-Technica creates products with customer satisfaction and customer relationships in focus.
  • Audio-Technica has holistic values, hoping to carry on the legacy of the late Mr. Matsushita and his quest to provide affordable, high-quality audio products for all. Their open-back phones are of high-end quality yet not overly priced. A win-win!
  • Audio-Technica has a purposeful and strong commitment to the industry which can be seen in most of their releases, including their open-back headphones.
  • Audio-Technica prides itself on extraordinary product quality paired with outstanding service and support.

The open-ear headphone options are many. They are a great purchase in addition to regular headphones or specifically for mixing purposes with an authentic ‘larger-than-life’ feel. Audio-Technica open-ear headphones are available in all price ranges and offer more stereo and dynamics than their closed-back ones. Open Back Headphones are not suitable for privacy or travel, but are really nice when you’re sitting around at home.

Audio-Technica creates headphones following a red thread in the styling department – the acoustically transparent housings from aluminum honeycomb mesh. When choosing the Audio-Technica brand, you always get consistency in audio quality, comfortability, and style. Out of all those reasons, the main reason we can agree is that Audio-Technica has the most comfortable lightweight headphones on the market today! Another plus is that they never over-charge.

Where it All Began…

Audio-Technca logo

Hideo Matsushita (1919) came to Tokyo at 32 and started working for the Bridgestone Museum of Art. He organized highly successful LP listening concerts that continued for about a decade.

In 1962 in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Hideo Matsushita, at the age of 42, decided to found Audio-Technica – a company born out of the vision of giving ordinary people high-fidelity and affordable listening experiences in their own homes. An idea sprung from the same experiences Matsushita gave the people of Shinjuku when he hosted and curated LP concerts. 

The overwhelmingly positive feedback from the record listening sessions convinced Matsushita that high-quality audio should not only be available to high-income homes. His vision soon created the first affordable AT-1 – a phono cartridge. In 1974 the company launched its first headphones – the dynamic AT-700 headphones. And by 1984, the first two pairs of condenser headphones had come out. 

Fast forward to May 2016, when Audio-Technica debuted its first-ever pair of open-back headphones. Namely, the ATH-R70x is a pair of professional-grade reference headphones that have since become known as a flagship product of Audio-Technica’s. Many say they are among the most lightweight pair of headphones one can wear. And their audio quality, comfort, and overall user-friendliness are comparable to rivals such as the Sennheiser HD650 or the AKG K702. Audio-Technica launched this set of open-back headphones together with the premium ATH-M70x closed-back phones. Their track record has since shown that both products came to be a success, together with several other open-back phones. 

Building on Matsushita’s passion, Audio-Technica is today a well-known company worldwide. It continues to design acclaimed headphones, turntables, and microphones, all while remaining a family business that stands by the vision and company statement: high-quality audio should be accessible to all.

We previously mentioned that Audio-Technica is a family-run business. Turns out, Kazu Matsushita, Hideo’s son, was onboarded as the new Chairman after a few highly successful decades.

In September 2007, they released the legendary Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Headphones. These headphones are one of the most sold headphones on the market today. Most audiophiles have tried these out, own a pair, or know someone who does. They are versatile, suitable for DJs to use, affordable, and easy to mix on. It’s a closed-back dynamic headphone with a 45mm driver and a 99db sensitivity output. These perform exceptionally well – and are a flagship product of the Audio Technica brand. 

The Legacy and Vision of the Audio-Technica Brand

Audio-Technica has managed to acclaim steady growth, combining the late Matsushita Sr. and Matsushita Jr.’s leadership, vision, and goals.

Having been a leading pioneer in transducer technology for over 45 years, Audio-Technica launched a new branding campaign with the statement “Experience More”. It reinforces the company’s initial vision for improving the customer audio experience, articulating the fundaments of the company’s base values – keeping their focus on always giving more than expected. 

Audio-Technica Expertise 

With over 45 years of experience and knowledge in the industry, Audio-Technica has become a big name and renowned for manufacturing microphones, wireless microphones, headphones, mixers, and electronics for the audio industry. 

Their expertise starts with their founder and his goal to provide personal, affordable, high-fidelity listening experiences and ends with the companies passion for listening. When they speak about listening, they mean listening to their customer’s needs and wants, listening to their feedback, the quality of sound their customers experience when listening to one of their audio devices.

Their designs are all-inclusive when it comes to their companies goals and their customer’s needs and wants. 

Other Audio-Technica Products 

Audio Technica has various professional audio products, and we will mention only a few. Besides open-back headphones, they cater to DJs – headphones, mixers, turntables. They also make really good microphones, wired and wireless amongst other products.

Audio-Technica Product Highlight

  • The iconic AT2020 Cardioid Condenser microphone is ideal for musicians, podcasters, and singers alike. This mic became the first affordable alternative for high-quality recordings at home.
  • ATH-M50 – A legendary headphone for professional monitoring and mixing.
  • A more rare product came out in 2009 when Audio-Technica joined a project together with CrystalRoc, and they created the Crystal PRO700 – earphones covered with over 5000 Swarovski rhinestones. Talk about style!
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Written by
Rebecka Lundqvist

Rebecka is an Audio Engineering graduate, Swedish born and raised. When she’s not writing for Audiostance, you’ll find her behind the decks at various events and clubs under the DJ name Miss Bex. Rebecka also has a keen interest in sound design and production.

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