There are currently around fifty reputable headphone brands that have garnered major media attention over the last decade. Manufacturers like SteelSeries, Turtle Beach, Creative Labs and Razer have become celebrated names among Esports enthusiasts, and while having this many choices is reason to celebrate, choosing the right headphone for your needs can seem overwhelming. The aforementioned brands are excellent, and they offer some of the most feature-rich headphones on the market, but if you’re an audiophile shopping for gaming gear and don’t care for supplementary features, that list is limited to maybe a handful selections.
If there’s one name that resonates with audiophiles, it’s got to be Audio-Technica. These guys have been around since 1962, and they’ve been delivering superb audio hardware before this type of equipment emerged onto the mainstream market. Audio-Technica continues its excellence as one of the best-rated audio manufacturers in the world. If it’s pure sound quality you seek, Audio-Technica sits on top of the food chain.
Today, we’re taking a look at the ATH-ADG1x, an Open-Air, Dynamic, High-Fidelity Gaming Headset. The ATH-ADG1x doesn’t offer any fancy buzzword features, nor does it provide a particularly impressive build-quality, however, its audio performance is a stunner. The ATH-ADG1x has an incredibly wide sound stage that makes a striking first impression. I personally don’t care for simulated surround sound features or game preset modes typically offered by most brands, so I was excited to analyse another headphone that solely focuses on sound accuracy, and nothing else.
"Audio-Technica continues its excellence as one of the best-rated audio manufacturers in the world. If it’s pure sound quality you seek, Audio-Technica sits on top of the food chain."
The ATH-ADG1x boasts a minimalist design that places aesthetic emphasis on its intricate ear cups. It’s not going to win any awards for its looks, and the flimsy plastic material doesn’t complement the hefty $299 price tag, but (and this is a biggie) I don’t think that the lack of pizzazz is an issue since open-air headphones are meant for private usage. With that in mind, the ATH-ADG1x shines where it matters most: audio performance.
The Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1x conveys remarkable directional accuracy, and it handles minute details with unprecedented precision. Even though Audio-Technica skimped on the build quality, they’ve crammed the headphone with notable specs: 53 mm Drivers, a 5 – 35,000 Hz Frequency Response, an Impedance of 48 ohms and a Maximum Input Power of 1,000 mW. Since this is a low-impedance headset, it can deliver solid volume levels without the need for an amp. However, if you have something like the Sound Blaster E5 or the Sound BlasterX G5 laying around, you’ll appreciate the volumetric push at lower levels, especially if you’re listening to music instead of gaming.
"Regardless of the genre, the ATH-ADG1x flexes its muscles with great confidence and easily overshadows its competitors."
The ATH-ADG1x’s audio quality can be best described as clear and wide with a substantial bass punch when it counts. The sense of space and depth resonates with authenticity thanks to the encompassing and immersive sound stage. My testing typically consists of playing through several action-heavy genres, followed by thorough examining of music and movies. My shooter choice came down to Overwatch and Titanfall 2, and I wound up skipping between racers like Forza Horizon 3 and Project Cars.
Each one of these titles embodies distinct sound design with unique approaches to orchestrating on-screen action. The ATH-ADG1x handles every game with stunning efficiency. Regardless of the genre, the ATH-ADG1x flexes its muscles with great confidence and easily overshadows its competitors. Who needs equalizer settings when every form of media is handled with such exactitude. The superbly balanced audio is a testament to Audio-Technica’s rich history as the industry leader.
"The $299 price tag isn’t a small commitment, but if it’s audio perfection you seek, Audio-Technica’s ATH-ADG1x should be on your top list."
The ATH-ADG1x is so much more than just a gaming headset. If you’re looking for high-quality gear that will suffice across all your media needs, it doesn’t get much better than this. I’ve spent just as much time listening to music and watching movies as playing games, and there wasn’t a single instance where I felt frequency adjustments were necessary. The ATH-ADG1x impresses no matter what I throw at it, and it does it without breaking a sweat.
Conclusion: The Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1x is a phenomenal gaming headset. It’s the perfect piece of tech for audiophiles who crave raw performance over game-heavy extra features. While you may miss out on the many EQ settings and game presets traditionally found in popular Esports-dedicated headsets, the ATH-ADG1x offers such deeply engaging audio performance, the omissions are easily forgiven. The $299 price tag isn’t a small commitment, but if it’s audio perfection you seek, Audio-Technica’s ATH-ADG1x should be on your top list.