Being a relatively new entrant, Audio-Technica has not yet got the kind of mind space the brand deserves in India. However, that doesn’t mean this brand does not have the firepower to succeed. In fact, over the past year or so I have been convinced they offer among the best audio solutions in the country.
The high end headphone space in India has been for long been the preserve of a few brands like Bose, Sennheiser and Sony. Now, global brands that excel in top-end audio are making a beeline for India. The ATH-WS1100iS from Audio-Technica falls into this breed. From looks to style and positioning, this is a luxury headset which incidentally is no longer a niche segment.
Specs: 53mm closed-back dynamic driver | 106dB/mW output levels | 8 to 24,000Hz | 750mW | 38 ohms impedance | 254g without cable | 1.2m (Y type)cable | -42db (0dB = 1V/Pa, 1kHz) microphone with 50 to 4,000Hz frequency response
Price: Rs 18,999
The ATH-WS1100iS has a very convenient design. It is large, but folds easily to fit into any bag. It has very soft leather finish earpads that are comfortable even after long sessions. The cable is detachable, making it easy to stash away somewhere. The cable comes with microphone and remote that works well on iOS, Android and even computers.
There is more to this design. In fact, the ATH-WS1100iS has a dual aluminium housing that gives more than breathing space for its 53mm deep motion hi-red drivers. And you can feel this in the audio quality.
Then extra airflow bass system on the headphone give the audio a more natural feel despite the partiality of bass. It’s not sad if the bass hits you as there is release in the vents on the back and sides of the earcups.
But all the tech and design is wasted if the audio does not rise up to your expectations. This is where I was more than happy with the ATH-WS1100iS. From Pandit Bhimsen Joshi to Kenney Chesney, the headphone worked for my kind of music, though I don’t really like heavy bass. That is because this bass is not overpowering in anyway. Try the magical Adiye from A R Rahman’s Kadal and you will realise the versatility of this headset, handling the amazing vocals, chorus and instrumental with ease and balance.
The only grouse with the headphone is the remote, which is a bit too stylish and does not have indicators for. Plume up and down that someone people will need.
For those who love pure music, the ATH-WS1100iS is one of the best bets in the Indian market at the moment. It is a bit pricey, but still cheaper than some of the more popular models like Sennheiser Momentum and I don’t think it lacks in any respect when it comes to audio pleasure.