Audio-Technica launches latest audiophile headphones – and they're made from wood

audiophile headphones
(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

Audio-Technica has unveiled its latest headphones for audiophiles, and they come with an unusual wooden design that's bound to stand out from the sea of Sony H-1000XM4 lookalikes on the market. 

The Japanese audio brand has been making wooden over-ear headphones for 25 years, and its latest, the Audio-Technica ATH-WP900, can be easily used on the move thanks to swiveling earcups and an included carrying pouch.

The flame maple housings have been finished by Japanese guitar manufacturer Fujigen, a material chosen for its stiffness and density and often used in the creation of string instruments like violins and guitars. 

Each housing will look slightly different, thanks to the unique grain of the wood, and according to Audio-Technica, boast a beauty that will "deepen with age". 

Powerful sound

Using maple to create the housings of these headphones isn't just about beauty – Audio-Technica says that the characteristics of the wood means the ATH-WP900 can offer an "ideal response and accurate sound".

Inside these housings are 53mm large diameter drivers, which feature a DLC (diamond-like carbon coating), which should deliver a very powerful sound indeed.

A high-power magnet is designed to ensure "superlative" low-range audio reproduction, while a top-mounted PCB (printed circuit board) apparently regulates the airflow to enable the diaphragms to move with precision. In other words, these headphones should sound highly detailed, with strong (but not overpowering) bass frequencies. 

over-ear headphones

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

Detachable A2DC connectors have been designed for durability and enhanced audio quality, thanks to their secure connection for stable signal transmissions. In the box you get a 1.2m cabled with a 4.4mm five-pole balanced mini plug for use with amplifiers and portable music players, as well as a 3.5mm cable for regular unbalanced connections.

With those impressive specs, it's unsurprising that the Audio-Technica ATH-WP900 cost a pretty penny, coming in at $650 / £599.99 / AU$1099.

That's even more expensive than the Apple AirPods Max, which impressed us with their fantastic sound and great features for iOS users. 

However, with no 3.5mm audio port, the AirPods Max wireless headphones are aimed at a totally different market than the new Audio-Technica cans, focussing on wireless connectivity instead of offering a range of wired connection options for superior audio quality.

In any case, we've loved previous wooden headphones from the Japanese brand, with the Audio-Technica ATH-AWAS among the best-sounding headphones we've ever tested.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.