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Audix A150 and A152 Headphones

George Petersen • March 2020Road Tests • March 11, 2020

Founded in 1984, Audix has a reputation for delivering solid, dependable hard-wired and wireless microphones for sound reinforcement, studio and contracting applications. With that long history in transducer development, I wasn’t too surprised when the company unveiled a line of headphones and in-ear monitors for professional users at the Winter NAMM show. These included the A10 and A10X (eXtended bass) earpieces and the A150 and A152 headphones, due out in the next month or so.

During the show, I had a chance to check out the top-end A150 and A152 models and liked what I heard — and wanted to delve into these a little deeper. Audix sent me pre-production samples to audition in real-world situations.

Physically, both headphones are similar, providing a closed-back circumaural (around the ear design) designed for comfort and isolation, with soft cushion ear cups having 90-degree swivel for single-ear monitoring. Both use a high-quality removable cable with 1/8” stereo connectors at both ends. The cable itself has three conductors of silver-coated OFC (oxygen free copper) wiring. A screw-on 1/8-to-1/4” adapter is provided.

Rather than a soft carry pouch or an unwieldy hard case, the included case is a black, nylon-covered, semi-hard unit that’s lightweight, yet protective. Both earmuffs swivel 90 degrees, so the result is a compact case that lays mostly flat for transport — ideal for live sound gigs.

The transducers in the A150 and A152 are 50mm dynamic drivers with rare earth alloy magnets, 103 dB (@1kHz) sensitivity and a 30-ohm impedance. And while both models may look alike, their sound, performance and intended use are anything but identical.

The swiveling earpieces on both headphones are useful for single muff use, such as verifying or setting playback cue points during a show, but the headphones are not very comfortable in this position. I should mention that the padded earcups are very comfortable, even over extended periods and provide a very effective seal from external sounds and stage noise.

The units I tested had 1.5 meter (60”) cables, which were fine for general listening, but somewhat short when being used on a large console. With this in mind, Audix is replacing these with a 1.8 meter (71”) cable on the production versions.

‡‡         Which Model For Me?

There are two other models (the $129 A140 and the $79 A145) in the series, but I was more interested in the top-end A152 and A150 phones — both priced at $249/street. The A152s offer a cinematic sound field with extended LF response — specs state an 8 Hz to 28 kHz frequency response. With its ability to reproduce sub-harmonics, that additional bottom-end will certainly be appreciated by stage drummers who listen on headphones, or for studio monitoring applications. The soundfield is big and wide and somewhat forward, so gamers and general listeners who are seeking an impressive listening experience with lots of “character” will tune into the A152s right away.

The effect of listening on the A150s is more like listening to a pair of linear response studio monitors. With a stated bandwidth of 10 Hz to 30 kHz, the sound is full range, with tight bass, accurate mids and an un-hyped top-end. I need an accurate monitor that reflects reality when I’m listening to reference material, soloing an input, doing a “silent mix” (without filling the entire venue with sound while doing it) from virtual sound check tracks or knocking off some quick post-show mixes. And it’s here that the A150s really deliver sonic truth that’s uncolored. I like that.

At a Glance

Audix Enters the Listening Market

Known for its live sound and studio mics, Audix debuts headphones for pro applications.

PROS

  • Great sounding
  • Comfortable and non-fatiguing over long periods
  • Choice of enhanced (A152) or linear (A150) response

CONS

  • Uncomfortable in single muff mode

Audix A150/A152 Headphones

  • Transducers: 50mm Dynamic
  • Sensitivity (@ 1k): 103 dB
  • Impedance: 30 ohms
  • Street Pricing: $249
  • Manufacturer: Audix

More Info: www.audixusa.com

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