Audio-Technica SonicFuel Headphones ATH-AX1iS – Review

Over-ear headphones which have high-quality sound reproduction normally come with a high price tag. The Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AX1iS have been created to bridge the gap in the market between quality and affordability. Made with smartphones in mind and designed with swivelling ear cups, these earphones are suitable for everyday use. Will the ATH-AX1iS be the next set of headphones on your shopping list? Let’s take a closer look at the specs.

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SonicFuels in classic black colour option.

Specs

  • Over-Ear, Padded Ear Cups with Fold-flat Design
  • Closed Back
  • In-line Microphone & Control Button for Smartphones
  • 1.2m Cable
  • 3.5mm Mini Stereo, L-Type, Gold-Plated Connector
  • Weight – 138 Grams
  • 36mm Dynamic Drivers
  • 15-22,000 Hz Frequency Response
  • 40 ohms Impedance
  • 100db/mW Sensitivity
  • Limited Two-Year User Warranty

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In the box. You can see the ear cups are swivelled round to make the headphones flatter and more compact.

In The Box

1 pair of Audio-Technica ATH-AX1iS SonicFuel headphones and an instruction booklet.

It is worth noting, the clamshell packaging with these headphones is not frustration-free. Not by any means. The microphone/control dongle was well and truly stuck. I had plectrums, pennies and all sorts of makeshift tools to try and free these headphones from the clamshell. Rather annoying and risks breaking the headphones as soon as you have them.

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The different colour options available. Each with different contrasting elements.

Look & Feel

You have five different colour options to choose from when buying the ATH-AX1iS – black, grey, white, red and blue. Something to take into consideration when buying over-ear headphones is the comfort factor. Since I wear glasses, I find that many headphones dig in and become uncomfortable after about an hour. Initially, I found the padded ear cups on the SonicFuel’s very comfortable. However, after a while I found these pressed down on the tops of my ears, making them a little sore. After a few adjustments to the headband size, I found this happened less.

Build wise, these headphones seem fairly sturdy. For headphones in this price range, I’d say the cable is of standard thickness. It is a little thin, but not worryingly so. On the ear cups, there’s a smooth pleather coating, which is easy to clean.

There’s no padding on the top of the headband, which I find I am missing. The fact that I can also see where the wire has been channelled through the headband, troubles me slightly. In my opinion, this could have been finished to a higher standard.

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Showing the ATH-AX1iS out of the box. At the top of the headphone band, you can see the open channel where the headphone wire is fed.

Performance

Wow! Honestly, I did not expect this all surrounding, high-quality sound experience from a pair of £30 headphones. As soon as I plugged these headphones in, I realised just how rich and intricate the sound reproduction is. I found myself overcome with emotion and lost in the music when trying out these SonicFuel’s. The sound reproduction quality with these headphones is remarkable.

With the ATH-AX1iS being over-ear and closed back there is little sound leakage. This is perfect for studio work, or for simply keeping your music to yourself.

I found the cable to be of decent length. The elbow (or L-shaped) jack design was also a welcome addition as I find these are less likely to get in the way or take up too much room in bags.

The control buttons all seem to work well on my smartphone, with the inline volume control working across the board on all devices. So far I’ve had no issues using the SonicFuel’s with anything with a headphone socket, apart from a tiny wind-up powered radio I own. Most devices should have no issue with the impedance rating these headphones provide.

More Information

Audio-Technica have designed the ATH-AX1iS with smartphones in mind. The inline controls and microphone work with Android, iPhone, iPads & iPods. For more information on these headphones please visit Audio-Technica’s website.

You can buy these headphones directly from Amazon for £29.91 with free post and packaging.

Verdict

Comfort wise, you get what you pay for. They are comfortable, but by no means luxurious. However, these SonicFuel’s are fantastic value for money. It is rare to find headphones with such a wide frequency response range, which also sound excellent for such a reasonable price. If you are looking for compact, high quality, over-ear headphones, which don’t cost an arm and a leg, then you should consider buying the Audio-Technica SonicFuels.

lozmachttp://lozmac.redbubble.com
Artist, podcaster, sound production geek and general all round, self-professed nerd. Passionate about film, horror, art, books & music. You can find my art on Redbubble, Design by Humans, Teepublic, Fine Art America, Society6 & Art Wow.

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