The Most Comfortable Gaming Headset I've Ever Worn

Audio-Technica’s ATH-ADG1X open-air gaming headset has a lot going for it. It’s designed and built by one of the most respected brands in audio. It’s got big 53 mm drivers that create a lovely, large soundstage. It’s even got a decent microphone for a gaming headset. But the best thing about the ADG1X is how surprisingly nice it feels, even after hours of wear.

Though I’ve been using Audio-Technica headphones and turntables for years, I only recently learned that the Japanese company makes headsets specifically targeted at gamers. In fact, Audio-Technica makes two tiers of gaming headsets.

The ATH-PDG1 and ATH-PG1, both retailing for $169, represent the company’s lower-end offerings, traditional quality headsets with 40 and 44 mm drivers, available in both closed and open-air models.

The open-air ATH-ADG1X and its closed sibling, the ATH-AG1x, are Audio-Technica’s top-of-the-line models. Both feature larger 53 mm drivers and a built-in supercardioid gooseneck microphone and retail for $399, though most retailers sell them for $299.95.

Dusty and well-worn. (Photo: Michael Fahey)

Aside from the tech and the specifications, what really sets the more expensive models apart is the headset band, or lack thereof. Instead of a traditional band, the ATH-ADG1X features a 3D wing support system.

A pair of curved and padded “wings” sprout from the tops of both ear cups. When worn, these rest on either side of the head. The pads are on a swivel, automatically adjusting to whichever head wears them. There is no sliding adjustment for users to make. Just put the headset on, and it fits.

Even on my larger-than-normal skull, the ATH-ADG1X finds its place and stays there.

Instead of a band clamping about my skull, it’s these soft wings gently resting atop my hy head. The velvety ear cups apply pressure to both sides, helping the headset stay perched, but it’s a very light pressure.

Thanks to its open-air design, which removes extra padding in favour of thin metal grills and open space, the ATH-ADG1X stays cool and is relatively light, weighing only 286.33g. It feels like it’s barely there.

ATH-ADG1X Specs

  • Driver Diameter: 53 mm

  • Frequency Response: 5 – 35,000 Hz

  • Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mW

  • Sensitivity: 99 dB/mW

  • Impedance: 48 ohms

  • Weight: 285 g (10.1 oz), without cable

  • Cable: 1.2 m (3.9')

  • Connector: 3.5 mm (1/8") gold-plated stereo mini-plug (4 pole)

  • Accessories Included: 2.0 m (6.6') extension cable; windscreen

  • Microphone Type: Condenser

  • Microphone Sensitivity: -41 dB (0 dB=1 V/Pa, 1 kHz)

  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100 – 12,000 Hz

  • Microphone Polar Pattern: Supercardioid

It’s physical footprint is very light, but the ATH-ADG1X’s audio footprint is large and wide. The 53 mm drivers produce a rich, expansive soundstage that’s wonderful for reproducing game sounds.

It does better with higher frequencies—I’d recommend the closed AG1X for richer, deeper bass—but overall the sound is nice and crisp, whether plugged into my gaming laptop or Nintendo Switch.

There are downsides to ATH-ADG1X. It is as far from noise-cancelling as a set of headphones can get. That’s fine for when I am gaming while keeping one eye on my children or listening for the doorbell, but not great when I want to lose myself in music.

And for a premium-priced headset, it doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles. There’s an inline control for muting the mic and adjusting volume. The package includes the headset, an extension cable, a mic and headset splitter cable, a windscreen for the mic, and that’s it.

Maybe that’s one of the ATH-ADG1X’s strengths, that it doesn’t need a lot to produce excellent sound. It definitely does not feel like a lot.


Comments

    Do you wear glasses? I find with my hyper X after a period of time become super compressing and gives me a head ache especially because I wear glasses

      This will be an issue with any headset sadly. However, AT's wing design reduces clamping pressure, which will help those with glasses quite an amount.

      I've recently started using the Razr Thresher, (PS4), and as a glasses wearer I have spent many 6hr + gaming sessions without that typical headache. Most impressed.

      Would it be possible to get arms for your glasses that are flat and wide? They are meant to reduce the compression pain from wearing headsets.

      I wear glasses and rock the ADG1s (the older version of the 1x) and I've never had a problem, even after hours of wearing them.

    I've had a pair of these for years and they are absolutely the most comfortable and best-sounding gaming cans I've ever used. As a glasses-wearer, I need headphones that aren't going to cause pain after long wearing periods, and these phones absolutely don't do that.

    They're fairly expensive for gaming headphones, but the price is worth it given that they last forever (mine are 5 years old and have had no issues in all that time) and the comfort and sound quality.

    The only downside is that they'll ruin you for any other headphones you'll ever try.

    Last edited 19/06/19 6:06 pm

    Yes I agree 100%
    I've had mine for 3-4 years and they are super comfortable and light. I too have a big noggin.
    Can game for hours and not hurt.
    One thing tho, the black nlyon starting to wear off (that's expected) and I was suprised that I had two what appear to be 'cuts' to the wiring. Luckily I noticed this and used electrical tape.
    I found the mute button doesn't work for the mic. Never has.

    i'm contemplating getting the closed ones next time.

      My mute button did work at first, but doesn't seem to anymore.

      I use a Yeti mic these days anyway, so it's not an issue for me, but yeah.

    Ive been using the ath ad700 for about 10 years now, they have a similer design with the wings. Best headphones ive ever used and the soundstage they have makes me feel like im cheating in multiplayer fps

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