Hey gang, Valkor here. And it’s always a pleasure when the gang over at Audio-Technica pays the cave a visit. Their consumer headphones are some of the best out on the market and I don’t see that awesome train stopping any time soon. Now it looks like the company is breaking new ground as they enter gaming territory with the ATH-AG1 Premium Gaming Headphones. And this could be the start of a beautiful pairing.
On the outset the ATH-AG1 doesn’t look like any gaming headphone I’ve ever seen (and that’s not a bad thing). Actually they look like home audio headphones, but with features normally found on gaming headphones specifically. For starters the cups are pretty big, covered in soft leather and set with nice foam padding, which will cover your entire ear. Above that are cushioned 3D wing support suspended above your head, which automatically fits to any dome, plus they're cushioned for an additional layer of comfort. On the left cup you have an adjustable microphone, which set behind that is a mute button; the microphone is on a swivel, plus it bends so you can set it to your liking. The AG1 comes with a 1 meter cable, but if you need more length, then there’s a 2 meter extension. Finally the tip of the AG1 is 3.5mm gold-plated and will fit most portable devices. But if you wanna hook it up to your PC, then there’s an included USB adapter. So you’re covered if you’d like to game on your mobile device as well as your PC.
I took the AG1 through the rigors of the Val-cave, which not only included gaming but also music and movies as well. When testing the headphones, I went between my Google Nexus 7 and my Lenovo Laptop for PC gaming. But how does it fare versus similar product?
Vs. SteelSeries Siberia V2 – Appearance-wise, the V2 wins as they look like gaming headphones. However the AG1 wins out easily in the audio department. The sound it produces is louder and much clearer than the V2. And while they’re both lightweight, the AG1 fits better as the V2 is a little bit snug; not uncomfortable, but the AG1 fits nicer.
Vs. SteelSeries Siberia Elite – Again the SteelSeries gets it based on looks but also scores a win in comfort. That extra plush tho… nice! Sound quality, the AG1 edges the Siberia Elite; again it produces a much clearer and cleaner sounding audio.
I’m not gonna compare the AG1 to the Tritton 7.1 – those headphones are on a whole other level. And thus far they’ve done well when compared to others, but how to they fare as a standalone? Let’s find out in the TOV Breakdown.
Audio-Technica and Gaming are a match made in heaven; the company is known for its superior audio and it carries over well into the gaming forum, scoring an easy win with their ATH-AG1 Gaming headphones. The look is very different, but it's something that I can get used to. Sound quality is amazingly crystal clear and it balances the bass quite nicely - not too hard, not too soft, just right! I spent a good chunk of my time playing a handful of Steam games, but I found myself completely immersed into the world of Path of Exile like never before. The cinematic quality of the music works well with the AG1 and it’s great with direction audio as I could hear enemies coming from a distance up until they get up close from any direction. What if I just want to chill to some tunes? Then the AG1 passed the test once again, bringing out the best in much of my MP3s at any bitrate. I just recently discovered how amazing FLAC audio files sound and I love how they sound through these headphones. Finally, If you’re watching a film on either your mobile device or PC, then the AG1 scores another win; voices sound amazingly clear, works great on directional sound and the music is just sweet as can be! If this is only the beginning for Audio-Technica, then I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
My first objection is the USB – it needs to be shorter as it juts out too far from its port. Great if you’re on a desktop but for laptop users, well it can get broken quite easily. I’ve already cracked the casing of mine; it still works, but now I need to be more careful before it completely breaks. If you’re laptop has a rear USB then you’re in the clear, but the side ports… be very careful. Also, rather than having an extension cable, it would be best to just make the cable extra long. I dislike having to swap in and out with the extension cable – up close when I want to game, further back when I want to just chill with a movie. Finally they’re a little pricey, but also on par with similar product on the market – maybe a tad higher.
Audio-Technica has taken everything they know about audio and slapped together one hell of a gaming product with the ATH-AG1 Gaming Headphones. If you can get over the price, then you’re in for one incredible and immersive experience, with amazing sound quality and an excellent level of comfort. So, out of TOV 5 stars, Audio-Technica ATH-AG1 Gaming headphones scores a 4.5 and they’ve been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!