Hey gang, Valkor here. So whenever I prepare myself for my commute to work, I always mentally go through a checklist of items that are essential in making the trip something of a breeze; smartphone, charger, gaming device and a pair of headphones are always at the top of the list. With the return of Audio Technica back in the Val-Cave, me thinks you’ll be adding their latest over-the-ear headphones – SonicFuel ATH-AX5iS, to your daily routine because I know I have!
The ATH-AX5iS, on the outset look pretty standard but the earcups have a more oval, egg-shape to them as opposed to the usual round style, with a slight angle. The oval shape actually does a pretty good job of containing the entire ear right inside the cup. The headphones are well cushioned and clearly labeled for the appropriate ear, with added cushioning under the plastic headstrap for additional comfort, allowing the ATH-AX5iS to be worn for long hours. Attached is a tangle-free cord, where just below the left cup is a remote for volume control and a button for answering calls or to simply mute the audio. Included with the headset is a nylon travel bag, which works well for not just for travel but also for storing the headsets when you’re not taking them along for the ride. Finally the cups of the ATH-AX5iS can pull a 180, turning outward for listening off the ears, usually when you’re occupied with some sort of task, but you don’t want to be too distracted in case you might miss something (i.e. a UPS visit). However the 180 turn is meant for ease of storage as once the headphones are in this position, they’ll slip into any bag with ease.
I’ve run the gamut of testing the SonicFuel ATH-AX5iS on multiple devices – except for the Nexus 6. Why? Even on the smartphone’s highest settings, it’s still too low to appreciate sound quality. It’s decent, but I don’t want to simply “pump up the jams”, but I want to block out excessive noise as well and this phone doesn’t cut it all that much. It's still a great phone, but it needs a volume boost. But thankfully I’m never short on portable devices, so let’s see how Audio-Technica’s latest headphones fare in the TOV Breakdown!
First up is comfort and the ATH-AX5iS headphones are a joy to wear; they easily fit over the ear, matching its contours and it feels just right. They’re lightweight and the plush cups matched with the cushioned headstrap provide a comfy fit without any serious tightness around my head, which means you can wear these for a serious number of hours without feeling too much tightness. With audio quality, the ATH-AX5iS provides clear sound quality with a rich bass that’s not overpowering, but it's also a little low on the treble side. Yet, overall sound quality is amazing on any level of MP3 I threw at it. And don’t get me started on FLAC files (my newest addiction); my ears were in wonderland at the nice, clear separation of vocals with instrumentals. Finally the ATH-AX5iS provides a decent level of passive noise cancelling, music/audio stays in and all that annoying outer racket stays out, which is a huge plus for my hour long commute to work. Audio-Technica has another clear winner in their ranks with the ATH-AX5iS headphones, with the perfect pair of headphones that’s a commuter’s delight.
For me it would have to be the controls/remote – it’s placed a little too high. Or it could be that I’m just used to the controls being so low? No… it’s too high up.
For commuter headphones, the Audio-Technica’s SonicFuel ATH-AX5iS are worth the price of admission; they’e lightweight, comfortable and provide awesome sound quality that will definitely get you where you need to go, without having to stress about what’s going on around you. And out of TOV 5 stars, the ATH-AX5iS gets a 4 and have been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!