They seem to be sturdy (I’ve thrown them around at a few gigs and they continue to work) and they sound OK, although I would’ve wanted more low end / tighter bass. I’m not a fan of the tight headband. Overall, they’re quite decent and good value, though unexceptional.
First Impressions / Setting up
They’re light and understated. The housing is made of plastic, but it doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap. The design looks a bit dated – in fact, they remind me of the classic Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones from the same era. If you like throwbacks, you’ll like these.
The ear cups swivel 90 degrees forward and 50 degrees back, meaning you can use these with just about any headphone monitoring position. The headband is pretty tight, and I found them to squeeze my head quite a bit when I have both of the ear cups on – I’m not a fan of the pressure. However, I usually DJ by having the headband on top of my head with the right cup on my ear and the left one raised so I could hear my booth monitor, so in this scenario the tight headband actually helps because it prevents the headphones from falling off.
The Audio Technica ATH-PRO700MK2 comes with a straight and a coiled cable as well as a 1/4″ adapter. I prefer coiled cables because they don’t tangle in the booth, so I plugged these in, screwed the 1/4″ adapter to the 1/8″ jack on the other end, and hooked it up to my DJ controller.
I like that they aren’t heavy, however I still felt like the headband was squeezing my head a bit too much. It was initially uncomfortable, but I got used to it after a few minutes.
The ATH-PRO700MK2 has 53mm drivers in the ear cups, so I was expecting a ton of bass. I was a bit underwhelmed because there wasn’t as much low end as, say, the RCF Iconicas (though the lows are hyped on them), but the response is decent – there’s just about enough to be heard. I tested them with the new A Tribe Called Quest album, and I had a difficult time picking out some low frequency nuances. I would’ve loved a slight bump in the lows, especially since DJs have come to expect significant bass with DJ headphones.
The mids are clear – vocals are at the fore and instruments like synthesisers and brass / guitars / strings are present. The highs aren’t anything to write home about, however they don’t sound tinny or shrill.
One thing I didn’t like about the ATH-PRO700MK2 is the lack of isolation – in a noisy DJ booth, the ear cups just weren’t dense enough to keep ambient noise out, leading me to turn up my DJ mixer’s volume so I could hear what I was cueing. This, of course, is a bad habit, but sometimes you just can’t help but turn it up if you can’t hear what’s going on in your headphones.
For a little over US$100, the ATH-PRO700MK2 sit at the moderately priced end of the DJ headphones spectrum. They seem to be sturdy (I’ve thrown them around at a few gigs and they continue to work) and they sound OK, although I would have wanted more low end / tighter bass. I’m not a fan of the tight headband, but since I DJ with just one cup on my ear most of the time, this inconvenience is negligible. Overall, they’re quite decent and good value, though unexceptional.