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Audio

Audio-Technica ATH-WM77: Bye bye tangled cables

Published on Apr 11, 2014 5:15 PM
 
-- PHOTO: AUDIO-TECHNICA

Headphones with wires are still the preferred option of music lovers who want the best audio quality, but users have always found tangled wires a pain.

Audio-Technica has resolved that problem with its latest ATH-WM77 headphones.

The headphones use a flat cable attached to the right earcup - my favourite feature as the flat cable is unlikely to get tangled in my bag. But this was not the only characteristic that got two thumbs up from me. I love the fact that the cable's length is adjustable, so I can shorten it to ensure that there is minimal slack, or lengthen it if my phone is deep within my bag.

More importantly, the cable can be fully retracted and kept neatly in the right earcup. Just insert the 3.5mm jack into the small port on the right earcup, make a clockwise turn and the cable will return into the right earcup. However, any twists in the cable will prevent it from being fully withdrawn into the earcup, so make sure there are no kinks in the cable before rolling it up.

A 90-degree turn on the earcups will flatten the headphones for easy storage. I can hardly feel its 133g weight in my bag.

Unfortunately, its neat storage solution has two drawbacks: Repeated pulling and retracting of the cable will reduce its lifespan and there is no option to plug in another 3.5mm audio cable as a replacement.

An in-line controller is noticeably absent as it is unlikely to fit into the earcup. Without one, it is a hassle to have to reach for my phone to adjust the volume or skip tracks.

Unlike circumaural headphones which encompass the whole ear, the Audio-Technica headphones use a supra-aural design, with the earcups pressing against the ears.

Fortunately, the padding on the earcups is soft and comfortable.

The headphones, however, did not feel secure on my head, even after I made some adjustments to the length of the headband.

Overall, the headphones gave a good performance. I was able to hear Adele belting her newest single, Skyfall, with solid delivery and clarity. The headphones also delivered a warm tone from other singers such as home-grown songbird Olivia Ong.

Though the headphones have a distinct focus on their vocal range, they also took on the low range with ease. Strong punches landed on my ears as I cycled through the bass-heavy music from The Dark Knight soundtrack. Unfortunately, the opening guitar act from The Eagles' Hotel California gave a less than stellar performance.

  • The Audio-Technica ATH-WM77 headphones present a neat solution to those who hate tangled, messy wires, and perform adequately for basic audio needs.

teinhee@sph.com.sg

Background story

TECH SPECS

Price: $88

Type: Closed-back dynamic

Driver: 38mm

Frequency response: 10 to 23kHz

Impedance: 36ohm

Weight: 133g

RATING

Features: 3

Design: 3

Performance: 2

Value for money: 3

Overall: 3