Audio-Technica’s latest wood headphones offer warm, spacious sound in portable form.
Audio-Technica has been making wooden headphones for 25 years, its first model going on sale in 1996 in the ATH-W10VTG. The last ones we saw were the Kotukan and Asada Zakura wooden headphones in 2020, which came at a premium cost. Its latest pair are more affordable and more portable in the ATH-WP900.
Though they’re not that affordable. The Audio Technica ATH-WP900 (£599/€699) have earcup housings constructed entirely out of maple wood. If you’re not familiar with the idea, the use of wood in the manufacture of headphones can offer a more accurate sound reproduction and ideal frequency response thanks to the maple wood’s stiff and dense characteristics.
Aesthetics are also a talking point with these headphones. The ‘flame’ grain of the finish, provided by Japanese guitar manufacturer Fujigen, offers a spectrum of deep colours. Each housing features a unique grain structure, making each headphone different from the other.
The sound is provided by 53mm large diameter drivers, designed with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating to help it deliver what Audio Technica calls “exceptional full-range” audio. The top-mounted PCB construction is there to help regulate airflow for more precise diaphragm movement, with the high-power magnet assisting in the reproduction of low-range audio.
A new design touch is the redesigned baffle to help improve airflow between the front and rear of the diaphragm for improved low-to mid-range frequencies. It should also help to improve the seal of the earcups to keep external sounds out. The earpads and headband make use of smooth synthetic leather, with Audio-Technica claiming the foam pads offer a comfortable fit for long listening sessions. With a swivel design, the headphones can be laid flat for transport in a case.
Despite their portable nature these headphones don’t do Bluetooth, featuring detachable A2DC connectors (Audio Designed Detachable Coaxial) that have been designed for exceptional audio and durability, as well as stable signal transmission. Included with the headphones is a 3.5mm detachable cable and 4.4mm detachable balanced cable, plus a carrying pouch.
The Audio Technica ATH-WP900 go on sale in Europe from the end of March 2021, priced at £599/€699.