I daydream of AT ATH-990z - am I wrong?


Oct 24, 2021
Probably another banal story for the audience here - I am looking for my first (kinda) entry level HiFi headphones. And I want to buy Audio Technica ATH-990z so badly.
The reason - I listened to ATH-A900x for couple of minute (really!) and they made huge impression on me. Granted, I haven't had any "normal" headphones so far, but I was already grown. I remember them with huge sound stage, despite being closed, with warm and welcoming sound.

Now, I am on my way to buy them but then I decided to look around a bit, and apart from couple of topics here, there is nothing major on the internet for them. Not to mention that I went to Crinacle's chart and I found very poor score for the 990z. Do I remember these wrong and will I make mistake buying these? I asked quickly my brother, who does studio work, about HD600 (just picked something out of the popular choices) and he said that these will be too clinical for me. Which might make sense - I tent to be Bose sound fan.

A bit of background - I don't have much time to listen to music, despite how much I crave ... just my lifestyle at the moment. However, when I can, I want to enjoy the music properly.
My experience so far is the following (not impressive):
2. Superlux HD660
3. Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

I listen primarily progressive, metal and their variances. For the past month I am mostly listening to Transatlantic, Between Buried and Me, Jinjer, Dream Theater (MP era). So, good instrument separation is a must. And the bass needs to play, rather then chop my head off. No studio work - only for pleasure.

For the moment I will be pairing these either with Fiio e10k or Bravio Audio V2 with upgraded lamp + Fiio D3.

I lean towards closed backs, as I will be listening these in the living room so in/out sound must be blocked.

Thanks for any imput!


Well-known member
May 19, 2021
Hi. You might find the Sennheiser HD650 less clinical than the HD600. I had a pair and loved them…but they are open backs. My son has similar musical tastes to you and chose the Philips Fidelio X2 and loves them….but they are open back too. The best closed backs I have heard (and own) are the Shure SRH1540. Terrific build quality, extremely comfortable, good bass and good soundstage for closed backs too! See if you can try them out…


Well-known member
Aug 6, 2011
Welcome to What Hifi forums. Like half of you half as much as should like and like less than half of you half as much as you deserve.
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