Audio-Technica capitalised on their 60th anniversary as the perfect catalyst to employ a new, state-of-the-art, industrial machine pressing ATH-W2022's dome out of one piece of pure titanium. Compacted to a thickness of 30 microns, this titanium specimen is the heart of a 58mm driver that's never been seen before.
Such innovation shows up in ATH-W2022's sound. Listeners are left totally immersed by a soundstage and reproduction of space that belies its closed-back nature.
There's a tonal richness, density and depth to music, aided by a driver that moves copious amounts of air. Instrument and vocal colours burst forth – here is a gravitas of musical reproduction with a presence rarely associated before with Audio-Technica or, indeed, other dynamic drivers.
That's because the structural density of this huge driver maintains the rigidity and featherweight nature of titanium but enhances damping and control of its movement up into the higher frequencies. ATH-W2022 moves as a piston up to a break-up point that surpasses other contemporary, oversized, dynamic drivers.
Audio-Technica's Core Mount Technology – first seen in their ATH-ADX5000 – integrates ATH-W2022's titanium driver into a baffle for improved airflow and full-range audio reproduction.
Using the air volume between the driver and the earcup as another element to damp unwanted modal movement and vibration, this large diaphragm is always kept under perfect control at all frequencies.
The finishing touch is in ATH-W2022's motor assembly. Built of pure laminated iron plates, its poles and yokes completely immerse the voice coil in magnetic flux over the latter's extended travel, such that the drivers never go out of control.
Also aimed at reducing back electromotive force, Audio-Technica's advanced motor ensures ATH-W2022 plays well even with sources of low damping factor. Belying its 48ohm impedance, this flagship is tube-friendly, allowing you to go between all manner of amplifiers and impressing with immaculate, beautiful sound throughout.
Her lucky owners are just as likely to enjoy ATH-W2022 from Feliks Audio's OTL Euforia EVO, to the transformer output KT88 HA-6A from Cayin Audio – before progressing all the way to the high damping factor, ultimate resolution, dCS Lina.
We therefore see before us a true anniversary celebration that can be appreciated in all manner of ways, visually and sonically, by everyone. Commemorate Audio-Technica's milestone with ATH-W2022 or any one of their other classics here, or view our other headphones here.
Driver 58mm one-piece pure titanium dome
Frequency response 5Hz-50kHz
Sensitivity 98dB SPL/1mW
Cables 1 x 4-pin XLR; 1 x 6.35mm