It is pretty surprising how many audio companies are making headphones considering the most common big goal is to have the best quality possible for the buck. While that may sound so simple, it is also important to take various other things into consideration like comfort, design, features and other things. Some people have different preferences on what is good sound quality for them. Pleasing the masses is the most difficult part and companies like Audio-Technica feel challenged to make it happen. The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 is the result of Audio-Technica’s hard work in making a killer flagship-class pair of headphones for under $300.
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About the ATH-MSR7
The ATH-MSR7 is the poster boy of Audio-Technica’s SoundPro series. SoundPro products generally boast better overall audio quality which is the kind of stuff that professionals demand and can easily tell apart from the consumer-focused stuff. At the same time, the ATH-MSR7 isn’t exactly on the same level as those studio-class Audio-Technica products priced above $300. Those pairs of headphones don’t belong to any special branding and are basically considered “professional” reference and monitor headphones. Just think of the SoundPro brand as a little bit closer to premium while undercutting the enthusiast products in terms of price.
The packaging is pretty noble too with the main highlight being the three detachable cables that come with the ATH-MSR7. In addition to the two ordinary cables of different lengths (1.2 and 3 meters), you also get a special cable with an integrated remote and an L-shaped jack that looks made for smartphones including the ones situated in cases. This is what separates this model from the Audio-Technica products focused on monitoring and studios.
The ATH-MSR7 isn’t exactly the most comfortable pairs of headphones in the block because they aren’t the lightest. At 290 grams, the weight isn’t excessive by any stretch but longer periods of wearing the ATH-MSR7 resulted to some slight discomfort. It is a firm but fair fit and you won’t experience overheating. Because this product uses memory foam pads, expect a noticeable improvement in comfort over the ATH-M50X.
Also part of the package is a basic drawstring vinyl travel pouch. It looks pretty similar to the pouch included with the ATH-M50X but it does the job in giving basic protection to the pair of headphones while traveling.
The ATH-MSR7 focuses on a rich balanced sound with a slight emphasis on bass resulting to mainstream tracks not sounding too booming but still with some noticeable oomph with smooth treble and strong mids. The upper-mid range is slightly lacking but you will still feel the typical strengths of a $300 pair of headphones. The only worrying thing being “good enough” is that there are a lot of good $300 options in the market today.
The $249 price tag is a pretty good spot for the ATH-MSR7 and can be considered as a shortlisted option for people who want natural sound and good enough comfort for regular listening. The ATH-MSR7 has no big strengths over the competition unless you like the fact that it comes in various styles.