- Outperform many wired headphones that cost more.
- External noise degrades the sound dramatically.
Here is an example of a product that cannot be evaluated using digital evaluation: Audio-Technica DSR9BT headphones. They are unique both technologically and practically, providing excellent sound among any wireless headphones, but only in special conditions. Subjectively, they surpass any other Bluetooth headphones when listening in a calm environment, but noticeably lose quality when you try to listen to them in a noisy place.
Sound Quality Audio-Technica DSR9BT
When I first heard Homogenic from Bjork, I was just thrilled. The sound was amazing, Bjork’s voice sounded so lively and natural that I could not even believe that Bluetooth headphones are capable of this. I can say one thing – Audio-Technica DSR9BT sounds like they are wired and this is a small technical miracle.
Audio-Technica DSR9BT very interestingly reproduces high mid and high frequencies. They are very dynamic, transparent, and most importantly – enjoyable. No matter how loud you play the recording, no matter how hard you try, the high frequencies will not cut your ears, they will sound soft and airy. But just don’t think that such sound extends to all Audio-Technica headphones, for example, the very famous M50 headphones reproduce high frequencies much worse. Moreover, if you listen to music with high female vocals loudly in the M50, you can damage your hearing, as it seems to me. DSR9BT headphones play very lively, the sound balance is excellent, there are no noticeable blockages or accents, it is realistic and dynamic, and even more so it will never be possible to say that the sound is boring. Whoever I listen to Bjork, 2Pac, Stromae, PJ Harvey – in all compositions the vocals sounded very pleasant, soft, and lively. It is difficult to describe in words the impression that is created in your head after listening to vocals, but the belief, having heard it once, there will be no way back to ordinary headphones.
Let’s not forget about the country in which Audio-Technica headphones are being designed – this is Japan. In their tradition, adjusting the sound so that high frequencies are emphasized, and low frequencies sound less spectacular and deep. This is not to say that the Audio-Technica DSR9BT is fully implemented according to these canons, the bass is here and it is well audible, but it is still noticeable that the headphones emphasize vocals to a greater extent than playing the drums. On the other hand, with this sound set, new details open up for you that previously eluded your attention. You will be surprised at how much you simply have not heard before because of the enveloping ubiquitous bass. I’m sure that after you start using Audio-Technica DSR9BT, you will begin to listen to your entire music library and in every favorite song that you have listened to, probably more than a hundred times,
Another important fact that speaks in favor of headphones – DSR9BT is the first model of headphones that made me dance in the room. The amazing power of art. This is also the first wireless model that I was able to fully discharge during a test listening, but it took me more than 8 hours. It took me only two days to do this, all the other headphones bothered me much earlier than their battery sat down. It may seem that 8 hours is not enough, but do not forget that I listened to them at a volume higher than average, because I needed to fully appreciate their capabilities, and besides, I really liked it.
Experience listening to headphones outdoors
However, the headphones also have disadvantages. The first is due to the fact that I do not recommend listening to these headphones in a noisy place, i.e. on the street or in public transport. At home or in the office – they will be the best solution for sound quality, but on the street, the noise very much affects what you hear and, believe me, it is not worth the money spent on them. If you need to get from home to work, it is better to transport the headphones in a protective case inside the backpack, so you will at least avoid disappointment.
Using the DSR9BT in the subway, I instantly felt that the balanced sound was completely destroyed under the weight of the sound of a train making its way through the tunnel. The bass becomes anemic and the emotional impact is lost. Having gone out into the crowd on the main street, I immediately want to hide from the city noise in order to get this magnificent, emotional DSR9 sound again. And that is their problem.
Usually, engineers use a closed type of full-size headphones just to make it convenient and pleasant to listen to music on the street in noisy environments. Believe me, in closed headphones it is much more difficult to get high-quality sound than in open ones. But you need to make some sacrifices in order to try to get good sound insulation and good sound at the same time. In the case of DSR9BT, for some reason, this could not be fully achieved.
I hope you understand my difficulty. How can I evaluate headphones that have very high-quality and pleasant sound on the one hand, but on the other, being a wireless model, which means intended for use on the go, they can’t cope with noise insulation on the city streets?
Some of the nuances of the practical use of headphones also raise some questions. On the one hand, the DSR9BT is lightweight, with good ergonomics and comfort for listening to music for a long time, but the ear cushions noticeably warm my ears, especially in the summer, which significantly reduces the comfort, because the ears begin to sweat.
On the left bowl is a physical volume control button, and immediately above it is a touch panel that is responsible for switching tracks and starts/stop music playback. When you take off your headphones, one of your fingers is likely to hit this panel. Thus, the engineers tried to implement the function of automatic playback stop when you take off the headphones and this is great. However, with this arrangement, the likelihood of accidental pressing is significantly increased if you just wanted to adjust the volume.
One of the latest features: Due to its unique Pure Digital Drive architecture, the DSR9BT does not receive a regular analog signal through a 3.5 mm jack. Your only option for connecting them via cable is USB.
Ultimately, I think that the Audio-Technica DSR9BT is a great model in terms of sound quality – it’s amazing when you consider that we are talking about Bluetooth headphones. If you compare them with any other wireless models, comparable in price to $ 549, I definitely choose DSR9BT just because they sound great. The DSR9BTs sound better than more expensive alternative models such as the Bowers & Wilkins P9, Audeze EL-8, Denon D7200, and AudioQuest NightHawks. A new king has appeared in the world of wireless sound.
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