Review: Audio-Technica ATH-AP2000Ti – trådad lyx

Although wireless headphones and sources that play music (such as modern, high-end smartphones) are getting better in terms of codecs that support high-definition – and even lossless transmission – there is something special about an honest, old, analog connection that is difficult to beat in terms of availability and proven functionality. Audio-Technica’s ATH-AP2000Ti are luxury headphones in the high-end segment, which offer an experience – and also a price tag – beyond the ordinary.

Under the hood

Inside the titanium-sealed covers is a 53 mm element that is slightly wider than others, corresponding to lures (on the margin of 3 mm, but still). The extra width gives more bass to us who love that kind of thing and thanks to permendur magnetic circuits and DLC (Diamond-like carbon) treatment, the powder has not been spared in choosing the best components to achieve optimal sound. The size and design of the covers are meant to optimize the airflow and resonance space, which affects the sound quality another notch against other, completely closed headphones.

ATH-AP2000Ti close up review senses
Photo: senses.se

The headphones are specified in the range 5-50,000 Hz (read more about quality outside audible frequencies here) with an impedance of 44 Ohm, which means that they dance best with a tangible partner, preferably a real amplifier that can provide plenty of cream, rather than a 3.5mm connection in your phone (although it works well too, this can often not play as loud and not give optimal effect).

Design and first impression

In terms of appearance, the AP2000Ti gives a slightly mixed impression; the mirror-shiny headphone cabinets of course look almost ornamentally luxurious, but are also regular magnets for fingerprints and grease stains and basically require constant polishing to keep the luster (yes, cleaning cloth included).

The headphones are incredibly easy to wear, the leather-covered frame sits comfortably over the skull and the only thing in the cup is that the – certainly nice – ear cushions close a little too tightly and wide over the ear, which after a while becomes a little sweaty.

AP2000Ti narbild kapa
You choose right-left according to how you like the headphones to fold. Photo: senses.se

AP2000ti can only be connected via cables, but a bit odd is that you decide which cover is right and left (they are completely identical) by connecting the cable that comes (A2DC it is called and is Audio-Technica’s own solution, lose so do not remove this cable – it is safe to order loosely but nothing you will find anywhere). It certainly includes two 3.5mm A2DC cables (one longer and one shorter) as well as a five-pole, balanced 4.4mm connection for those of you who have high-end gadgets that support such (will be a boost in sound, but quite a few amplifiers that have balanced 3.5mm connections today). The entire kit is rounded off with a plug for 6mm connection for connection to a full-size amplifier.

cables
The headphone cables are of the coax type that you push in. There is also a five-pole, balanced connection if your amplifier supports it. Photo: Audio-Technica

A funny thing, for being such a closing lure, is how much sound is actually leaking from them. Not that it disturbs the surroundings in any way, but we did not have to have a very high volume so that the colleague in the room could hear which song was being played. This may have to do with the relatively thin construction of the titanium cover itself, which must not become too massive as it would make the sound duller.

Sound quality ATH-AP2000Ti

Then we drive: how good does the ATH-AP2000Ti really sound? We at senses have our reference list on Tidal (which we run in the highest quality, approved for Hi-Fi playback digitally, completely lossless) and Spotify in the highest quality, as the latter option supports more direct connections (Spotify Connect is more developed and compatible today than Tidal Connect). We can debate what gives the best quality because there are some steps in the chain, but in any case it makes a difference to the margin in that case.

ATH-AP2000Ti what is in the package
This is included in the box. Photo: senses.se

If we first test the base with a few reference tracks, it generally feels good, but in some genres the headphones do not manage to really drill down to the deepest depths – at least not when it goes fast. If you run a song with a generous bass, which goes quite slowly (for example Creeps Vertigo), you feel that the resources are there – the membrane vibrates slowly and creates a warm bass foundation that strengthens the song’s mystery. But if we pick up the tempo, for example in metal (optional song by Slayer) or for you who love the swing in hip hop, we may miss that rocking base that some other headphones can provide. Ludacris Red Light District feels airy and captivating, but the pulse is a little too soft for our taste. This is by no means bad, you could describe the sound reproduction here as almost restrained and quite “correct” (Audio-Technica’s signum), but some music genres feel more fun and easier to listen to with a little more “oompf”. For these genres, the AP2000Ti is not entirely optimal.

If we run a little more midrange, soft rock / pop like Dire Straits Sultans of Swing, you immediately notice which position the ATH-AP2000Ti loves to play. This is ear candy deluxe. Quick, lively, well-balanced and clearly separated song and instrument, without giving the impression that it all does not play together. Or if we go to one of our singer-songwriter favorites Katie Melua and her I were a sailboat or her beautiful take on the 80s earring Wonderful Life, the AP2000Ti really shines. Here you can get stuck for many hours and just listen on.

If we challenge with something in the higher register, AP200Ti takes that lyre too – few pieces are as captivating and high-quality opera as Mozart ‘s Queen of the Night (from The Magic Flute, his best opera?). The soprano’s almost instrument-like timbre lies as a perfect glaze on the ingenious music, where the orchestral base is clearly perceived without creating too much space in the listening experience. The harmonics in Ane Brun ‘s live performance of Big in Japan are another good example of what the AP2000Ti does excellently – the guitar strings can play freely, vibrating light but never “loose” and Ane’s fragile voice still feels great thanks to the bass tones.

ath-ap2000ti
Stylish. But the mirror-polished titanium needs constant polishing to stay nice. Photo: Audio-Technica

Summary ATH-AP2000Ti

The price tag is considerable, but there is no doubt that Audio-Technica’s ATH-AP2000Ti is also something very special. For the audiophile who loves to sink into live gigs, singer-songwriter epics, softer rock or pop, you can sit in your favorite armchair for a long time and just enjoy the journey inside. For fans of fast metal / hard rock and hip hop, or for you who are a casual listener, this particular model may not be completely optimal, especially not for the price range. You might want to take a look at Audio-Technica’s excellent M50xBT instead, which are certainly not base monsters either, but which play extremely well for the price (and are wireless).

There are no perfect “clothes” or “cars” for every occasion, but it’s about taste and priorities. The AP2000Ti is like a really well-fitting, but not too well-dressed, suit or a comfortable Volvo XC90 – a product with resources and high quality right through, for users who love good sound that is reproduced correctly and do not need the fastest acceleration or necessarily endure the most the voiced party.

Of course new reference in the threaded high-end segment.

Review: Audio-Technica ATH-AP2000Ti – trådad lyx
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