Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless & Hi-Res Audio Headphones Review
Audio-Technica has released the latest evolution in their high-resolution audio headphones. Sound Reality Headphones are intended for the on-the-go music listener who wants the best in sound realism. Engineered with Closed-back Dynamic 45mm ‘True Motion Drivers,’ these on-ear headphones are designed to deliver the most detailed audio reproduction. With a smaller design and Bluetooth capability, these headphones are ideal for the everyday commuter. Let’s take a closer look at this Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless Headphones Review.
• Comfortable Fit & Attractive Design
• Bluetooth Ready
• Battery Life of 38 Hours
• Hi-Res Audio w/Wired Jack
• 45mm True Motion Drivers
• Capable of Storing 8 Devices in Memory
• Auto Pairing w/NFC Functionality
• Bass Light/Bright Sound Balance
• Bluetooth Volume does not link to iPhone 6s internal volume
Sound Reality Design
These on-ear headphones have a well-executed design. These sleek headphones come in two colors: Black and White.
Since I recently reviewed the ATH-MSR7 hi-res audio headphones, I already had an idea of what these headphones might be like. Straight out of the box; they exceeded my expectations. In our previous review, we noted that the headband was a little bit too tight, and the over-ear cushions were slightly too shallow, causing your ear to rub up against the speaker occasionally – this was not at all the case with the ATH-SR5BT. Perhaps it is because these are on-ear headphones, as opposed to over-ear headphones. Regardless, I found the cushioning on these to be much thicker, softer and more comfortable.
The overall design of these headphones is much like a scaled down version the ATH-MSR7, but with the same 45mm True Motion Drivers. The headphones weigh in at 6.5 ounces, a bit more with the 3.9′ cable. The package contents include a soft cloth carrying case, a 3.9′ audio cable for wired use, and a 3.3′ USB cable.
There are several features on these headphones that allow for comprehensive functionality, without having to pull your phone out of your pocket. The left earphone features a condenser mic, a multi-function Play/Pause/Skip/Call switch, a micro-USB charging port, and a 3.5mm jack for wired use. On the right earphone, there is an On/Off button for Bluetooth pairing.
Hi-Res Audio Performance
When reviewing headphones, the most important performance factor is the quality of sound. Since the ATH-SR5BT are Bluetooth headphones, we have two sound profiles to consider: wired and wireless sound.
As wired headphones, the ATH-ST5BT sounded great. Much like the ATH-MSR7, there’s a bright sound balance. Consequently, I found myself slightly dissatisfied with the bass presence in certain genres, one being Hip-Hop. As noted in our ATH-MSR7 review, if you are a bass head, these are not the headphones for you. However, many audio companies drown their sound profile in the low-frequency (bass) range, making it hard to appreciate the finer parts of music. Audio-Technica cannot be faulted for their sound profile, which is overall very neutral and handles all music well. With wired use, the high-resolution audio offered high-quality detail – the type of detail that makes you hear a new layer of sound in a song that you have known forever.[Tweet “As wired headphones, the ATH-ST5BT sounded great. Much like the ATH-MSR7, there’s a bright sound balance.”]
The Bluetooth sound profile is satisfying. If you are an audiophile, you will notice that the sound is slightly thinner with Bluetooth than it is with wired use, but that is to be expected. As far as wireless music goes, these headphones perform very well, and I have to say, I enjoyed being cable-free during my commute.
With an iPhone 6s, the Bluetooth pairing works outstandingly well. After adding the “ATH-SR5BT” to your saved Bluetooth devices, and powering them on, the connection is instant. The only issue I found with the Bluetooth connectivity was that the headphones volume and the iPhone volume do not link together, so you will have to sync up the two volumes accordingly. More importantly, these headphones offer superb battery life, lasting up to 38 hours on a single charge courtesy of the 3.7V DC lithium polymer battery. Your mobile device’s battery will die quicker with Bluetooth enabled, but you won’t find the need charge these headphones frequently, even with heavy use. And when you do, it will take approximately four hours to recharge.
At $199, these headphones are a good buy. They feature a classy and sleek design. They offer high-performance Bluetooth connectivity, battery longevity, and even the option of high-resolution audio for critical listening. It’s important to remember that Bluetooth is incapable of streaming audio at high-resolution quality. If you’re in it for the audio alone, check out a different pair of headphones like Audio-Technica’s MSR7 (you can find our review here). If you are looking for a high-value, on-ear headphone, with high-performance Bluetooth capability, look no further than the Audio-Technica SR5BT.
Have you tried the Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT headphones? Do you agree or disagree with our analysis? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media. We’re eager to hear your thoughts.
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The ATH-SR5BT headphones come with a 2-year limited end-user warranty when purchased from an authorized Audio-Technica dealer (A.T.U.S.)
FTC Disclosure: Audio-Technica U.S., Inc. provided Beantown LLC with one ATH-SR5BTWH headphones sample for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Audio-Technica U.S., Inc.