Audio-Technica's ebony headphones make you feel good about wood

The Audio Technica W5000 headphones are dubbed as ‘high-end’. Luckily, here at TechRadar we have a foolproof checklist to determine what that means:

  • Cost over £500? Check. (Actually £699.95)
  • Provide sound quality improvements only the cultured masses could fully comprehend? Check.
  • Eliminate oxygen somewhere? Check.
  • Made of some random material to apparently improve sound? Check.

In fairness, these cans do look very, very nice, and sound even nicer, and that’s because they’re made out of ebony wood. For those who only know of ebony when suffixed with ‘and Ivory’, then you should know that hacking into ebony wood is actually harder than cutting steel.

Sounds strong, is hard

But why make headphones out of the stuff, when you’d have to justify not paying bills for a month in order to improve the sound from your iPod?

Well, most headphones use plastic as a ‘foundation’ for the sound to spring into your ears. Given plastic has a certain amount of flexibility and strength, a lot of sound can escape the other way.

Ebony is strong, but also pretty light too, so makes much more sense for these cans. Imagine trying to punch someone on a bouncy castle (maybe because they kept bouncing next to you and making you fall over). It would be difficult to hit them, no?

But stand on concrete (assuming they stand still in front of you and let you punch them) and the whole thing becomes a lot more effective.

The headphones are comfortable on top of the head too, so can be used for many hours, ensuring you unwittingly travel far too many stops on the bus or tube.

The Audio-Technica W5000 headphones have 3 metre cables made from Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors and come supplied with a hard carrying case and a cable storage bag.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.