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Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT Review

Decent all-around performance, but nothing that makes a splash
Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT
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Price:   $300 List | $240 at Amazon
Pros:  Good sound quality, comfortable
Cons:  Expensive in relation to its performance
Manufacturer:   Audio-Technica
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jan 7, 2018
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 19
  • Sound Quality - 30% 7
  • Noise Isolation - 25% 5
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • User Friendliness - 10% 7
  • Portability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT offers decent sound quality and a comfortable fit. However, the price is a bit steep, as you can buy the better sounding Bose SoundLink Wireless II at the same cost. You can also get similar sound quality and active noise cancellation at a lower price from the TaoTronics TT-BH060. Because of this, the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT wouldn't be our first recommendation to anyone.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $300 List
$239.99 at Amazon
$350 List
$278.00 at Amazon
$400 List
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$350 List
$249.00 at Amazon
$300 List
$199.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good sound quality, comfortableSuperb active noise cancellation and overall sound quality, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, auto-pause, relatively comfortable for most peopleExcellent sound quality, field-leading noise cancellation, comfortableGreat sound quality, good noise cancellation, comfortable, built-in Google AssistantGreat sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly features
Cons Expensive in relation to its performanceExpensiveExpensiveExpensiveExpensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the field
Bottom Line Not bad, but also no salient great points to make them particularly great for any specific useAn excellent choice for both audiophiles and those looking to enhance their concentration by drowning out distractionsThe clear choice for those that place a premium on sound quality and noise isolationPerfect for audiophiles that want the best possible sound and good noise cancellationThough not the absolute best noise cancelling phones on the market, these puppies come close
Rating Categories Audio-Technica... Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise... Bose QuietComfort... Jabra Elite 85h
Sound Quality (30%)
7
10
9
9
8
Noise Isolation (25%)
5
10
10
8
8
Comfort (25%)
8
9
9
9
8
User Friendliness (10%)
7
9
9
8
9
Portability (10%)
6
8
8
8
8
Specs Audio-Technica... Sony WH-1000XM4 Bose Noise... Bose QuietComfort... Jabra Elite 85h
Noise Cancelling No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manufacturer Reported Battery Life (hours) 15 30 20 40 wired, 20 BT 36
Weight (ounces) 10.5 8.8 9.2 10.9 10.5

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT is a good set of headphones, but fails to carve out enough of a niche to be a great choice for anyone. No matter your preference or budget, there is generally a better pair of headphones available.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT was right around average in our overall scoring, which you can see in the table above. Below we discuss all the different tests we use to determine those overall scores, and how the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT performed in each.

Sound Quality


The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT sounds relatively good and earned an above average score of 7 out of 10 in our sound quality testing. Its clarity is a clear step up from a standard set of earbuds, making both podcasts and music sound noticeably clearer. The bass is also noticeably more powerful than that of standard earbuds. These two things combine to create a relatively rich, full sound.

Overall this sound quality is very similar to that of the TaoTronics TT-BH060 which is just as clear and maybe just slightly weaker in the bass department. However, these headphones cost only $70 and add active noise cancellation into the mix, which can greatly elevate the listening experience. The Bose SoundLink Wireless II, which costs about the same as the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT, has exceptional clarity which creates a much more nuanced sound. Either way, you can get a better listening experience than what is offered by the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT for the same price or less.


The Audio-Technica sounds good, but not incredible.
The Audio-Technica sounds good, but not incredible.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Noise Isolation


The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT lacks active noise cancellation, which earned it a mediocre score of 5 out of 10 in this metric. Wearing these headphones feels a bit like wearing a standard pair of earmuffs. All sounds are muffled a bit, but most of them do, to some extent, make it to your ears. In comparison, the TaoTronics TT-BH060's active noise cancellation is able to almost completely drown out low and medium volume sounds, with only louder noise really making their way into your ears. The Bose SoundLink Wireless II has deeper ear cups than the Audio-Technica that make it maybe just slightly better at blocking out sounds, but not to a particularly noticeable degree.

Comfort


The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT is one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones we tested, picking up a score of 8 out of 10 in this metric. It has deep ear cups that can accommodate even large ears and some cushy, comfortable padding. This is a significant step up from the TaoTronics TT-BH060, which have shallower ear cups that may annoy those with larger ears. However, these headphones still can't compete with the comfort of the Bose models, which have a 'barely there' kind of feel to them.

Look at all that plush padding.
Look at all that plush padding.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT is fairly easy to operate, which earned it a relatively high score of 7 out of 10 in this metric. It has a standard play/pause button and a sliding volume control button. Sliding the volume button up or down adjusts the volume accordingly. Holding the button forward or back skips tracks. The play/pause button can also be held down to summon Siri or some other AI assistants. The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT missed out on a top score here because the sliding volume button could be a bit finicky to use at times.

Portability


The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT is on the heavy side at 10.5 ounces. You can feel the extra weight when compared to the 7.5 ounce TaoTronics TT-BH060 or the 7 ounce Bose SoundLink Wireless II. The Audio-Technica also comes with only a drawstring pouch for a carrying case, whereas the other two models we mentioned both provide semi-hard cases. This earned the Audio-Technica a score of 6 out of 10 in this metric.

The Audio-Technica only comes with a drawstring pouch, which doesn't...
The Audio-Technica only comes with a drawstring pouch, which doesn't exactly scream, "You can toss me into a suitcase, it'll be fine."
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


Overall we would consider the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT a poor value. For its list price of $300 you can get better sound from the Bose SoundLink Wireless II. You can also get sound that is just as good from the much less expensive TaoTronics TT-BH060.

Conclusion


The Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT is a decent pair of headphones, but it fails to provide any salient advantages that make it a great pick in any category. Most people will find a better overall value elsewhere.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata