I’m about to introduce the younger sibling of the ATH-ES700. You can read more about the ATH-ES700 here. At first glance, you won’t notice any difference between the two as they are almost built the same. The major difference being that the ES500 is powered by smaller 40 mm drivers.
Obviously built for listening on-the-go as the ES500 is lighter than the ES700 by 40g. It’s seriously lightweight that bringing it on your daily commute is a delight. Clamping force is enough for it to not fall off your head without being too tight.
The earpad’s pleather is the same material with the ES700 and is comfortable. One difference is also the headband doesn’t have a thick padding like that of the ES700, but it’s weight compensates for the comfort you’ll miss from the padding.
The 40mm drivers feel a bit lacking on the low-end and high-end spectrum, but the vocals are spot on and surprisingly, the sound stage is wide on these ones. I’m not a fan of booming bass, but this one really lacks in the bass department.
I tested the ES500 with Sitti’s CafÃ© Bossa album. The vocals are crystal clear and you can identify the extra set of percussions on the set, but disappoints on the low end.
Tried a few rock songs with Razorback’s Star album, the riffs are able to compensate the lack of bass and the separation of the instruments provide the listener a wide sound stage that doesn’t drown the vocals.
Pop songs that are vocal heavy do shine on the ES500, but for a few bucks more, I’d suggest to grab the big brother, which is the ES700.
Now for the price range, there are better choices than the ATH-ES500 as I find its performance really lacking maybe in an effort to breach the entry-level market space. But I think the ES700 is the better one in terms of price/performance ratio.
Audio Technica ES500 Specifications:
Type: Closed-back, dynamic
Freq. Response: 10 ““ 25,000 Hz
Max. Input Power: 1,000 mW
Sensitivity: 104 dB/mW
Impedance: 38 ohms
Cable: 1.2m Y-type, with 3.5mm, gold-plated L plug
Accessories: Protective carrying pouch
Audio Technica ES500 has an SRP of Php 6,999