Audio-Technica's wood-adorned cans blend Japanese craftsmanship with high-end engineering

Audio-Technica ATH-AWKG with the wooden case open
(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

Audio-Technica is going back to the woods. The Japanese brand's new ATH-AWKG closed-back, over-ear headphones are assembled by hand in Tokyo and feature Kurogaki wooden housing which, says the manufacturer, "possesses unique physical properties to deliver both exceptional sound quality and a unique and striking design". And who doesn't like some luxury, wood-encased headphones?

Kurogaki wood, by the way, is billed as a "cherished material" which "embodies the wonder of nature", featuring ink-like patterns that give it that distinctive, almost marbled look, further brought out by the application of an attractive lacquer finish. Wooden cups aside, the AWKG feature stitched ergonomic earpads made from durable sheepskin alongside a magnesium alloy headphone arm angle for securing a better fit.

Internally, the distinctive new cans are equipped with Audio-Technica's 53mm drivers featuring German Permendur magnetic circuity for "exceptionally accurate audio with an expansive sound field." Each driver comes equipped with a lightweight and durable titanium flange and a 6N-OFC voice coil for optical signal transfer for a smoother, more accurate bass response, while Audio-Technica's air damping system shoots for "deep bass reproduction".

Audio-Technica ATH-AWKG with the wooden case open

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

The ATH-AWKG come packed in a bespoke storage box – also made with Kurogaki wood – as well as two detachable 3m cables with detachable coaxial connectors at the headphones: one with a 6.3mm gold-plated stereo plug and the other with a 4-pin XLR-M balanced connector.

Audio-Technica has a proud heritage of products lovingly incorporating full or partially wooden designs. A few years back they unveiled the ATH-WP900 cans in deference to more than 25 years of making wooden headphones, while the ATH-AWAS Zakura earned four stars from us in 2020 for their impressive detail, space and clarity.

The Audio-Technica ATH-AWKG are available now at a retail price of £3000 / $4200 €3500.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.