Audio Technica is celebrating its 60th anniversary by releasing a new limited edition model of its ATH-W2022 wooden headphones. These headphones are totally sourced, constructed, and hand-painted within the borders of Japan.
Cherry blossoms and hou-ou phoenixes are hand-painted onto the wooden housings of the headphones using the maki-e lacquer technique, which is a technique that is traditional in Japan. The housings of the headphones are made of Japanese birch, which is called mizume, as a nod to Japan’s rich cultural heritage.
If you want to get your hands on a pair of these closed-back dynamic headphones manufactured by the brand, you will need to act quickly (and have serious money) in order to do so. In the winter, consumers will be able to purchase the ATH-W2022 for a price of £8900, which converts to €10,000 or $9000. The company will only produce 100 pairs of these headphones.
These over-ears are a celebration of 25 years of hardwood headphone craftsmanship from the business. Audio Technica has had many models that fit in this category in the past. We have seen the ATH-W1000X 2010 Award-winners and the more recent Kokutan / ATH-AWKT premium cans taking over this category.
Audio Technica ATH-M50x model is also listed on the 10 Best Home Studio Headphones as the “Best Professional headphones” by our authors.
The new ATH-W2022 headphones have baffle-integrated 58mm drivers that were developed specifically for this new model. The diaphragm features a pure titanium center dome that is 30 microns thick, and the headphones aim to deliver “exceptional reproduction of the mid-high range with excellent high-frequency characteristics.” In order to provide the highest possible level of comfort and longevity, the headband and earphones are both covered in velvety deerskin.
That’s not the end of it. In a very limited quantity, Audio Technica will also be selling their brand new AT-MC2022 dual-moving coil cartridge. Later on in this year, there will be a total of sixty of these available to purchase; each one will be individually numbered, and they will sell for the same amount as the headphones: £8900 / €10,000 / $9000.
The stylus and cantilever of the AT-MC2022 are combined into a single piece and fashioned from a lab-grown diamond. It is intended to provide users with “a crisp and vivid soundscape that enables them to hear and feel every aspect of music.”
When compared to more traditional designs, the combined stylus-cantilever architecture attempts to remove distortion. As a result, the signal transmission will be more unadulterated, and the transient response will be quicker. You got your money’s worth out of it.
It generates power more efficiently, has a higher output voltage, and produces a sound that is described as being more “realistic” because it employs the same magnetic circuit as the recently introduced AT-ART20 cartridge.
The body is constructed out of titanium and aluminum. It has some black accents designed in the style of traditional shippo enameling, a form of Japanese cloisonné.
The President of Audio Technica, Kazuo Matsushita, had this to say about both limited edition products: “It is an honor to deliver a wonderful audio experience to millions of people throughout the world.
Whether you’re deeply listening to an album or sharing your voice with the world, what starts as a simple vibration – a tiny movement – results in an emotional connection. “What begins as a simple vibration – a subtle movement – results in an emotional connection.”
Both the headphones and the cartridge come in unique wooden boxes that honor the 60th anniversary of the company. These boxes are designed to take pride in place next to your hi-fi system, and they come with both the headphones and the cartridge.