Audio-Technica has been making beautiful wooden high-end headphones for a quarter of a century – its first were the ATH-W10VTG in 1996 – and thankfully (because we're yet to hear a bad pair), it doesn't appear to be calling it a day on that particular production line. The Japanese audio brand has just announced the European availability of the new ATH-WP900 portable headphones with flame maple housings.
The company has used many types of woods for its more home-friendly over-ears in the past, such as the Japanese striped ebony hardwood Kokutan for the ATH-AWKT and Asada Zakura birch for the ATH-AWAS, and now maple has been chosen for its combination of stiffness and density, qualities that make them good candidates for string instruments such as guitars and violins. Speaking of string instruments, each unique flame maple-finished housing is created by Japanese guitar manufacturer Fujigen.
The ATH-WP900 promise to accompany their appealing aesthetics with the sonic goods too, with their 53mm large diameter driver, coated in diamond-like carbon. A high-power magnet is designed to provide "superlative low-range audio", while the foam-packed, synthetic leather-finished ear pads and swivel ear cup design have been made with long listening sessions and portability in mind.
Detachable A2DC connectors offer high sound quality and durability, too, and included in the box, in addition to a carrying pouch, are detachable 3.5mm (3-pole stereo mini-plug) and balanced 4.4mm (5-pole balanced mini-plug) cables.
The Audio-Technica ATH-WP900 headphones are available in the UK and Europe from March, priced £599 (€699).