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Reviewed on Apr 17, 2019 , Jake Thauvette, Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.8
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.6
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.7
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.8
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.9
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.5
TV
Score components:
5.1
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT are good sounding over-ear headphones. They are comfortable to wear for a while, and their build is made with premium and solid materials. However, they feel a bit tight on some larger heads and they aren’t very versatile since you can’t use them with a regular audio cable. They also take a long time to charge, which is disappointing for the amount of battery life you get. They look and feel like premium headphones, but might not be worth the investment for some.

Test Results
Design 7.3
Sound 7.5
Isolation 5.8
Microphone 5.3
Active Features 6.0
Connectivity 4.2
Pros
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Premium and durable design.
  • Good audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Very long charging time.
  • Sub-par isolation.
  • Bass delivery is prone to inconsistencies across users. Sensitive to glasses.

Check Price

7.3

Design

Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Design Picture

The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT are decently well-designed wireless over-ears. They are fairly comfortable to wear but may feel a bit tight on some heads. They look great and their build quality is very good thanks to premium materials. Unfortunately, since they are tight, they trap heat inside the ear cup fairly quickly and are not designed for sports. They also don’t come with an audio cable since you can’t use these headphones passively, which is disappointing. On the upside, their controls are fairly easy to use, and they come with a nice hard traveling case.

Style
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Design Picture 2

The DSR9BT are very nice-looking headphones. They are made of premium materials and the brushed metal finish on the ear cups adds a nice touch to the overall style of these headphones. The cups are big, and their padding is thick. They have a bit of a neutral look due to the different greys but look very high-end.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.71 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
1.4 lbs

The DSR9BT are comfortable headphones that you can wear for a while before feeling any fatigue. However, they have high clamping force and may feel tight for some people. They also feel a bit heavy once on your head. On the upside, the padding of the cups and headband is soft and comfortable.

7.2 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Controls Picture
Ease of use : Above-average
Feedback : Above-average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The ATH-DSR9BT have a decent control scheme that gives you access to common functionalities, but with a mix of physical buttons and a touch-sensitive area. You can play/pause, display the battery information, and trigger your device’s voice assistant on the touch-sensitive surface. On the other hand, you can control the volume, skip tracks, or rewind with the physical slider. The physical buttons are easy to use, but the touch-sensitive area is hard to locate and is easily touched by mistake when taking off or putting on the headphones. There is also no way for you to manually enter pairing mode, which is unfortunate and makes it hard to switch between multiple Bluetooth devices.

5.2 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 8.9 C

Since these headphones are very tight on the head, they create a good seal around your ears that doesn’t let much airflow in. This results in a good amount of heat being trapped inside the ear cups, and most people will feel a noticeable difference in temperature. These won’t be suitable for working out, as you will sweat more than usual.

6.1 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Portability Picture
L : 7.8 "
W : 7.3 "
H : 1.6 "
Volume : 91 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Like most over-ears, the DSR9BT are not very portable headphones. Their design is quite bulky, but on the upside, their cups swivel to lay flat, which makes it easier to slide them inside a bag or to fit them inside their traveling case.

8.0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Case Picture
Type : Hard case
L : 8.3 "
W : 8.2 "
H : 2.0 "
Volume : 136 Cu. Inches

These headphones come with a solid hard case that protects the headphones well against scratches, minor water exposure, and drops. There isn't much wiggle room in the case, which is good. The design also doesn’t add too much bulk, which means they won’t be too hard to carry around while they’re in their case.

8.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Build Quality Picture

The ATH-DSR9BT are very well-built headphones. Materials used feel high-end and the headphones should survive impact and accidental falls without too much damage. Most of the build feels made from sturdy metal, and the headband is solid, yet flexible. The overall build feels very durable, like the Dolby Dimension and the slightly better-built Bowers & Wilkins PX.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Stability Picture

These headphones are quite tight on the head, so they’ll be fine to jog with, although they aren’t very breathable and won’t be suited for sports. You shouldn’t have any problem with them swaying around if you only use them during casual listening sessions.

Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Cable Picture
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

The DSR9BT come with a long micro-USB charging cable, but don’t have any regular audio cable. Also, the micro-USB port on the headphones is uncommonly deep, and not every micro-USB cable seems to create a decent and stable connection.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.5

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Frequency Response

The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT are good sounding closed-back over-ear headphones. Their bass is powerful and decently well-balanced, their mid-range is mostly flat, and they have an excellent treble range performance. However, their bass is prone to inconsistencies across different users and is slightly boomy. There is also a big dip in their mid-range which will make vocals and lead instruments sound noticeably thin. Overall, these headphones will be good, but not ideal, for bass-heavy music, but the dip in mid-range will hurt most vocal-centric genres.

8.1 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.66 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
27.09 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.53 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.78 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.31 dB

The ATH-DSR9BT have a very good bass performance. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 27Hz, which is good. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to EDM, hip-hop, and video game sound effects, is lacking by about 1.5dB, but this won’t be too audible. The mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitar and kicks of drums, and high-bass, responsible for warmth, are both overemphasized by about 3dB, which will result in a slightly boomy bass.

Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users and is sensitive to the quality of the fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response, and your experience may vary.

7.1 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.91 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-5.49 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.12 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.34 dB

The mid-range performance of the DSR9BT is decent. The response is very flat and well-balanced in mid-mid and high-mid. However, there is an 11dB dip in low-mid centered around 350Hz, which will make vocals and lead instruments noticeably thin-sounding.

8.9 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.42 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.33 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.61 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.0 dB

The DSR9BT have an excellent treble range. The response throughout the range is well-balanced and even, which results in accurate reproduction of high frequencies. However, not everyone experiences treble frequencies the same way, so your listening experience may differ.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
5.9 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Consistency L Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.98 dB

The frequency response consistency is sub-par. Their bass delivery is inconsistent across our human subjects and the maximum deviation at 20Hz is about 6dB. If you have a lot of hair between the headphones and your ear or have glasses that are not flush to your temple, then you may experience a noticeable drop in bass. In the treble range, we measured more than 9dB of deviation under 10kHz, which is not good and will be noticeable.

8.3 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Group Delay Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.44
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.97
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.51
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
5.0

The imaging is very good. Weighted group delay (GD) is at 0.44, which is within good limits. The GD graph also shows the response is below the audibility threshold. This suggests a bass that is tight for the most part, and a transparent treble. In terms of driver matching, our test unit was very well-matched, which is important for accurate localization and placement of objects (voice, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

6.2 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.72 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.08 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
14.45 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.3
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the ATH-DSR9BT is mediocre. The PRTF graph shows a decent amount of pinna interaction, and it is also decently accurate. There is also a decent notch around the 10kHz, which helps bring the soundstage in front of the listeners head a bit. The soundstage will sound relatively large and spacious, but their closed-back design won’t be as open-sounding as open-back headphones.

7.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.955
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.073

The THD performance of these headphones is decent. In the bass range the THD is within good limits but gets slightly elevated in the mid and treble ranges. The bumps around 300Hz and 6kHz might make these frequencies a bit harsh and impure. On the upside, there is no big jump in THD under heavier loads, which is good.

5.8

Isolation

Score components:

The isolation performance of the ATH-DSR9BT is sub-par. These headphones only passively isolate and don’t block lower-end frequencies like engine rumbles, which means they won’t be great for commuting. However, their tight seal blocks out a decent amount of work environment noises like chatter and A/C systems. They also don't leak too much, which means you can slightly raise your listening volume to block out more noise without having to worry about disturbing the people surrounding you.

5.1 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-13.37 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
1.19 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-11.3 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-31.13 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.51 dB

The ATH-DSR9BT have poor noise isolation performance. They don’t have any ANC feature, which means they don’t do much against low-end frequencies, where the rumble of bus and planes engines sit. This means they won’t be great for commuting. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they isolate by about 11dB, which is decent. In the treble range, important for blocking out sharp S and T sounds and A/C system noise, they achieved about 31dB of isolation, which is good.

7.1 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
39.15 dB

The DSR9BT are slightly leaky. The significant portion of their leakage is between 500Hz and 4kHz, which is a relatively broad range spread across the mid and treble ranges. This means their leakage sounds fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds, but not as full-bodied as that of open-back headphones. However, the overall level of the leakage is quite low; with the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages 39dB at 1 foot away and barely peaks at 50dB, which is lower than the noise floor of most offices.

5.3

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT have a poor integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic sounds noticeably thin, muffled, and lacking in detail. In quiet environments, this microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, but it will struggle in moderately loud places like a busy street.

4.8 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
310.89 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
4.4 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
1298.62 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
5.554
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
41.99 dB

The integrated mic of the DSR9BT has poor recording quality. The LFE of 310Hz results in recorded or transmitted speech that is noticeably thin. The HFE of 1.3kHz suggests speech that lacks a lot of detail and presence. This result is worse than most Bluetooth headphones and will make speech recorded sound even more muffled.

5.8 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
9.01 dB

The integrated microphone has sub-par noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 9dB, indicating it's best suited for quiet environments. However, it will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in even moderately loud situations.

6.0

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The ATH-DSR9BT have a decent battery life with 16 hours of continuous playback, which will be enough for most users. However, they take a long time to charge fully with 5 hours of charge time. On the upside, you can use them while they are charging, but you can’t use them passively since they don’t have a jack for a regular audio cable. They also don’t have an app for customization and control options.

6.7 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
16.5 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
4.8 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The DSR9BT have a good 16-hour battery life that will be more than enough for a typical workday of casual listening. However, this amount is disappointing considering they take 5 hours to charge fully, which is noticeably longer than most over-ear headphones. On the upside, they enter a standby mode when idle for a few minutes, which saves battery life if you forget to turn them off. You can also use the headphones while they are charging, which is convenient. However, they don’t have a regular 1/8" audio cable, meaning you can’t use them passively.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones don’t have a companion app to offer customization and control options.

4.2

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The ATH-DSR9BT are wireless Bluetooth headphones that unfortunately can’t be used passively with a regular audio cable. However, you can use the USB cable to get Hi-Res Audio. When used wirelessly, their range is pretty good. Their latency is like most Bluetooth headphones, which might not be ideal for watching videos and playing video games. On the upside, they support NFC and you can also use aptX and aptX HD codec for an overall better performance.

8.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

The DSR9BT are Bluetooth wireless headphones. They can only be connected to a single device at a time, but they remember the last 8 synced devices. On the upside, they support NFC for a quicker and easier pairing procedure, which is convenient since there is no way to manually enter pairing mode once you’re paired to a device.

2.8 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
No
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

You can’t have audio over a 1/8" audio cable since these headphones don’t have a jack for it. However, you can get Hi-Res Audio with the USB cable on PC only. Unfortunately, this isn't compatible on consoles. Note that not every micro-USB-to-USB cables seem to be compatible with the port on the headphones.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones don’t have a dock.

9.1 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
56 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
158 ft

The wireless range of the DSR9BT is excellent. With 56ft of obstructed range, you should be able to walk around a small apartment or office without too many problems. However, wireless range is dependent on many factors such as your device’s signal strength, the thickness and material of the walls blocking the signal, interference, etc., so your results may vary.

1.8 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
201 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
212 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The DSR9BT have average latency for Bluetooth headphones. With around 200ms of delay, some people may notice a delay when watching video content or gaming. They also support the aptX codec, which could give you an overall better performance. You can also use the aptX HD codec with the same amount of latency (213ms).

In the box

Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless In the box Picture

  • Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT headphones
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Cable pouch
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless Compare Picture

The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT are okay mixed usage headphones with good sound that set themselves apart by their looks and build quality. However, they might not offer the best value for Bluetooth headphones, especially since you can’t use them passively and they take a very long time to charge. We suggest taking a look at our recommendations for the best Bluetooth over-ear headphones, the best audiophile headphones, and the best budget wireless headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are better and more versatile headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT. They have a great noise cancelling feature, are more comfortable, and have a great companion app that offers plenty of controls and customization options. While the ATH-DSR9BT have a better out-of-the-box sound profile, you can EQ the XM3 with their app to suit your preferences. The XM3 also have amazing battery life and can also be used wired with phones, which you can’t do with a normal 1/8” cable with the DSR9.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are better and more versatile headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT thanks to very comfortable fit and great sound quality. They are also one of the best noise cancelling headphones we’ve reviewed so far, making them suitable for commuting as well. They offer more battery life and take less time to fully charge and you can also use them wired with a phone, even if the battery is dead. On the other hand, the premium materials used for the Audio-Technica are superior to that off the Bose QC 35 II, but overall the Bose offers a better value.

Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless

The Bowers & Wilkins PX are more versatile headphones for everyday casual use than the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT are. The PX have a great noise cancelling feature, a longer battery life, and their metal build is very sturdy. On the other hand, the sound quality of the PX is more suited for bass-heavy genres. The Audio-Technicas have a flatter frequency response and are more comfortable. However, they can’t be used wired with phones since you can’t use them with a 1/8” cable. The PX also offer more battery life and can connect to multiple devices simultaneously.

AKG N700NC Wireless

The AKG N700NC are overall better headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT. The AKG are noise cancelling headphones that are decent at every use case, on top of having a very good audio reproduction. They offer about the same battery life, but take half the time to fully charge, which is nice. The AKG can also be EQ’ed in their app and be used wired with phones. On the other hand, they feel a bit more plasticky than the very well-built Audio-Technica. Overall, the N700NC will offer better value.

Conclusion

6.8Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Okay for mixed usage. The Audio-Technica DSR9BT have a good audio reproduction but sound thin on vocals and leads, which will be better suited for bass-heavy music. They won’t be a great option for commuting since they don’t block out lower-end frequencies like engine rumbles. They also trap quite a bit of heat inside their ear cups, and the over-ear design won’t be ideal for sports. On the other hand, they can be used at the office since they don’t leak too much and have a good battery life. However, like most Bluetooth headphones, their latency might be a bit too high for watching TV and gaming.
7.6Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. Their bass is powerful and decently well-balanced, their mid-range is mostly flat, and they have an excellent treble range performance. However, their bass is prone to inconsistencies across different users and is slightly boomy. There is also a big dip in their mid-range which will make vocals and lead instruments sound noticeably thin. Overall, these headphones will be good, but not ideal, for bass-heavy music. Also, the dip in mid-range will hurt most genres with vocals.
6.7Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Passable for commuting. The Audio-Technica DSR9BT don’t do much against plane and bus engine rumbles, which means noise will seep into your audio. Their bulky design is also a bit harder to travel around with, but the cups swivel to lay flat so you can wear them around your neck, or store them in their nice hard case. On the upside, they are quite comfortable and their 16-hour battery life should be more than enough during long rides and flights.
6.8Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Okay for sports. These headphones are tight on the head and are fairly stable. However, this means they also trap quite a lot of heat inside their ear cups and would make you sweat more than usual when using them during physical activity. These headphones weren’t designed for sports.
6.9Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Passable for the office. They are comfortable to wear throughout a workday, although they might be a bit tight for people with larger heads. They have decent isolation against ambient chatter and A/C systems, and their 16-hour battery life should be long enough for a typical workday. You can also use them with their USB cable to get Hi-Res Audio when plugged into your work computer. They also don’t leak too much so you shouldn’t bother too much surrounding colleagues when playing music at high volumes.
5.5TV
Score components:
Sub-par for watching TV. While they are comfortable and can be used wirelessly from your couch, their latency might be slightly too high for this use case. Some people will notice a delay, but some apps and devices offer some sort of compensation, so you might not notice it as much. You can also use them wired with their USB cable for Hi-Res Audio, but you’ll be limited by their 6.5-foot cable.
5.1Gaming
Score components:
Poor for gaming. When used wirelessly, these headphones won’t be a good option for this use case due to their Bluetooth latency. Their microphone is also sub-par for online games. On the upside, if you don’t need a mic, you can use them with their USB cable for Hi-Res Audio and eliminate the latency as well.

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