Seeing that the Audio Technica ATH-W3000ANV is a premium pair of headphones, we will obviously be holding it up to the highest standards to see if it meets the mark. As per our usual testing procedures we have our suite of MP3 tracks coupled with CD lossless tracks to see whether the Audio Technica ATH-W3000ANV can justify its S$1688 price tag. Although we tried the headphones with a variety of tracks, we will only be presenting the findings for the mentioned set for the sake of direct comparison and continuity with other similar products.
Diving straight into our results, we started off our testing process with Adele’s Melt My Heart To Stone. The headphones delivered bright audio with adequate warmth. Good clarity for the highs coupled with the melody of the track being well represented meant that the ATH-W3000ANV was off to an excellent start. However a bit more warmth to the rendering would have resulted in us classifying the performance on this track as truly exceptional.
We moved on to Sail On Soothsayer by Buckethead. The instrumental track is one of the hardest to replicate with the correct mix due to the high, chiming lead guitars and mid-range, distortion heavy rhythm track. However the ATH-W3000ANV navigates this tricky composition with ease. The naturally sharp attack properties of the cherry wood used in the ear-cups helps to enhance the bite of the guitar solos and melodies. Just a smidgen more definition for the distortion guitar would once again have pushed the already high score for this track even higher.
In order to test out the bass performance of the ATH-W3000ANV we had a listen to Elements Of Life by Tiesto. The headphones gave a nuanced and detailed performance with a decent soundstage. But the bright characteristics of the headphones do not naturally lend themselves to the reproduction of this track and take away slightly from the groove of the song. A bit more definition for the opening sequence of the track would have helped it out better.
We rounded off our MP3 testing segment with a live rendition of Hotel California by The Eagles. Being a closed back headphone, the ATH-W3000ANV’s soundstage could not deliver the atmosphere and ambience of the live track as well as the open back Beyerdynamic T90 for example. That being said, we could find no fault with the directionality of sound. The previously mentioned brightness and sharp attack once again helped to reproduce the acoustic guitar work in its splendor. Great transient response was also evidenced by the adroit handling of the alternate percussions found on the song.
Our CD Lossless testing suite is designed to see how well an audio product can handle reproducing horns, string and orchestra arrangements. It also allows us to test how the product copes with volume swells and more strenuous melodies.
First on the list is the theme from Cutthroat Island. The Audio Technica ATH-W3000ANV handles the track with aplomb. The melody of the piece is well represented and the brightness of tone for the product helps the details shine through. It must also be stated that the emotion of the song is well represented.
Moving on to Fanfare For Louis, we experienced no "blooming" of noise which is sometimes heard with lesser quality audio products. Once again the melody is rendered well and the horns have their distinct timbre preserved and intact. However, it must be mentioned that some of the warmth for the track was missing and results in the headphones not scoring as high as they could have.
Our last track for the CD Lossless testing is a new introduction in the form of Dance Of The Knights No:13 from Romeo & Juliet by Russian composer Prokofiev. Once again while the overall melody and the mix were done justice, we found that the bass notes lacked impact. Additionally the string melodies also lacked character and robustness.
|Melt My Heart to Stone - Adele||9.0|
|Sail on Soothsayer - Buckethead||9.0|
|Elements of Life - Tiesto||8.5|
|Hotel California - The Eagles||9.0|
|Fanfare for Louis||9.0|
|Dance Of The Knights No:13, Romeo & Juliet||8.5|