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Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 Review - The Dark Horse From Tokyo

"Exceptional quality for the price. The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 renders every detail clearly and leaves no sonic stone unturned"
audio technica ath-msr7

Verdict

Exceptional quality for the price. The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 renders every detail clearly and leaves no sonic stone unturned, but steers just clear of being overbearing at the top end of the frequency range.

Pros

  • 3 cables for all scenarios, including one for smartphones
  • Solid but light construction
  • Carry pouch

Cons

  • There must be something..!
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The new Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 has escaped from Japan and has made it to our eager earholes in the UK; but can we expect a bigger version of the M50, or something else? The styling is reminiscent of the M50, but can we expect the recessed mid range that the M50 is known for?

Key Features

The ATH-MSR7 features 'True Motion' Hi-Res audio drivers with a diameter of 45mm; this according to Audio-Technica's website improves response times and minimises distortion for a clearer and and more detailed sound, due to the inclusion of a super-light voice coil and precision diaphragm. Also 'Dual layer air-control technology' is described as a method for reducing vibrations within the housing; together with a triple-vent on each side, virtually all extraneous sound can be dealt with. Audio-Technica have been generous with extra cables in the box; there's both a 3m and 1.2m cable and for those of us with friends, a cable featuring a mic and smartphone controls. For those without, we can always place the plush and well-made carry pouch over our heads.

audio technica ath-msr7

First Impressions

The headphones don't inspire much in the way of excitement on first seeing them; they're pretty standard and much like the M50 with a less broad headband and larger earcups. The build quality is superb however, exuding a feeling of solid reliability. I'm reminded of a Beyerdynamic DT250.

Sound Quality

Under the ATH-MSR7's dour and business-like appearance beats the heart of a party animal; ready to draw you in for the time of your life! The sound of these cans really must be heard to be believed; for under £200 the ATH-MSR7 represents some amazing value for money. There's no 'effortless' feeling of headphones at the high end of the market, but everything else is there. A very pleasing bass which knows its place but is very impactful and rich, leaves room for a stunningly clear midrange with bright treble extending high, but with a smoothness which does not stray near harshness.

Soundstage is good for a closed back headphone, but it's the imaging and speed which really makes the ATH-MSR7 shine. It certainly seems that the mysterious techniques that Audio-Technica have implemented here have paid off. I can think of headphones this good which cost twice as much as the ATH-MSR7! Little harmonic details and hard-panned instruments vie for attention, and the ATH-MSR7 demands pretty much all of it!

Summary

All too often we're forced to find new exciting ways to say something is very good, and this is another of those times. The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 just does everything well. Understated enough to be worn in public, vented enough to provide a great sound, but also with a good amount of isolation. The ATH-MSR7 is just heavy enough to give the impression of solid build quality, but light enough to be enjoyed in great comfort. And as above, the sound is immersive.

Score - 9.5/10

audio technica ath-msr7

Click Below to see our Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 Unboxing video

About Shaun Gostelow

Shaun is co-founder of hifiheadphones.co.uk and spends most of his time dealing with the business side of running the store, but still loves listening to music with headphones just the same as ever.
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