Review: AudioTechnica ATH-AX1iS
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Headphones, the general perception suggests, need to be expensive for good audio. That’s not the reality. Even affordable headphones, if enough attention to detail is given, can produce well detailed music. That is exactly what AudioTechnica’s Sonic Fuel ATH-AX1iS does. With a price tag of Rs1,999 for these super affordable pair of cans, what you get is surprisingly rich sound and a lot more, which one doesn’t experience with most rivals.
Design: Simplicity is the key
The ATH-AX1iS are affordable headphones that are a part of AudioTechnica’s Sonic Fuel line-up. Immediately, the feather-light design and the rather stylish looks catch our attention—most similarly priced headphones tend to look cheap, feel built to a budget and don’t evoke any sense of quality. The ATH-AX1iS has turned the rule book on its head. It looks sophisticated, particularly in white colour, and the build quality is infinitely better than the flimsy way most rivals get put together. Since this has a plastic headband, there is no way you can alter the shape even slightly (it is somewhat possible with metal bands)—this means that the pressure on the ears may get a bit uncomfortable after a while. There is generous padding, but like most on-ear headphones, comfort will be subjective.
Sounds: Punching above its weight
These wired headphones are made for a budget, and for the price tag they cost you, the AudioTechnica ATH-AX1iS do a consistent job with most music that we played back. It holds up well with lower frequencies and bass, and doesn’t sound sharp with music that may be heavy on vocals. It does not have premium soundstage qualities with extensive detailing, as one expects at this price, but is surely more wholesome to hear. It can go quite loud, and yet not exhibit any sort of distortion. These headphones would be good for some music, such as pop and maybe even bass-heavy tracks. However, since it doesn’t have a lot of detailing, music genres such as jazz and maybe even rock will sound incomplete.
Since the earcup design allows for a snug fit, there is a certain amount of ambient noise that gets blocked out too. This does help with the deeper sound that one gets to hear.
Does this work on a budget?
It is hard to find too many faults with the AudioTechnica ATH-AX1iS, simply because it is doing well with most music that you will play back on it—clarity is retained even at high levels and there is decent amount of bass. However, the fairly attractive design and good-quality construction make this seem even better value at this price.