It wasn't long ago that we reviewed the terrific Audio Technica ATH-W5000 headphones -- a £700 pair of cans that, for many people, would be more enjoyable than a racy evening with Sarah Michelle Gellar and a troupe of Smurfs.
But enough about our fantasies. Today, we're looking at the W5000s' younger brother, the ATH-W1000s -- a more affordable version of the W5000s at £400.
These closed-back, wood-enclosed reference 'phones have only been given about 50 hours of burn-in time, so we're expecting mild sonic differences between now and when we write out full review. For you, though, we're prepared to form some early opinions.
Our first thought is that they're extremely bright, with an emphasis in high-end clarity and transparency. From the first few moments of listening, it's clear the W1000s would be superb for home studio use and mixing. The level of detail present through these headphones is staggering; they're truly relentless in revealing poor mixing, shoddy recording or poorly compressed music.
Carried down from the W5000s is the Audio Technica voice. Our main criticism of the £700 flagship AT 'phones was the less-than-prominent bass presence. True, this makes them great for mixing, but for home listening these cans are less notable.
For those interested, the W1000s sport 53mm drivers backed by neodymium magnets, respond to to 5Hz-40kHz, have a sensitivity of 102dB/mW and an impedance of 40 ohms.
We're enjoying these headphones a lot and can't wait to bring you the full review very soon. They're on sale now though, if you're just desperate to invest before then. Click 'Next photo' for more delicious headphone eye candy. -Nate Lanxon
Update: Read our full Audio Technica ATH-W1000 heaphones review.