When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / News / These headphones deliver entirely digital signals for fuzz-free wireless sound

These headphones deliver entirely digital signals for fuzz-free wireless sound

Audio-Technica cans cut the analogue for purer listening

I’m a vinyl fan. I love the fuzz, crackle and pop.

Then these are definitely not the headphones for you. In fact, these clever cans eliminate the presence of analogue tech altogether – delivering digital signals straight from source to driver, for a properly pure sound.

I’m confused – I thought most modern sounds were digital?

You’re half right. Source signals – for example, from your hi-fi or laptop – are digital. Headphones, though, almost always have some analogue elements within them, such as the wiring, which introduces the possibility of interference and signal degradation. Which, if you’re a true audiophile, is just not on.

What, so these shiny cans are entirely digital?

Spot on. Audio-Technica’s Pure Digital Drive system uses some complex tech to keep the audio signal digital at all times – eliminating analogue elements altogether. The manufacturer’s engineers specially developed a chipset snappily called Trigence Semiconductor Dnote, to ensure that the drivers only receive a completely pure signal.

I’m guessing they didn’t use off-the-shelf drivers, then…

You guessed right: the company focussed on converting complex digital sounds and signals into a smooth driver movement. How? By implementing unique 45mm drivers with four-core voice coils that are both incredibly precise and amazingly natural. Apparently.

Isn’t it all a bit of waste, given that they use Bluetooth?

Sure, Bluetooth is often the enemy of a sweet-sounding signal – but these ‘phones play nice with wireless aptX HD codecs, among others, up to 24-bit/48kHz – while they’ll do up to 24-bit/96kHz via a USB connection. Both pairs are equipped with NFC, too.

But would I really be able to tell the difference?

Admittedly, yes, you’ll need to be a proper audio-lover to make the most of it. Moving to FLAC files would be a good place to start, not to mention a source that’ll deliver high-res codecs. If you’re equipped, though, these phones could be some of the best you’ve ever listened too.

You’ll pay for it, though: the ATH-DSR9BT model will set you back £500, while the single-core ATH-DSR7BT will hit shelves at £300.

Profile image of Chris Rowlands Chris Rowlands Freelance contributor


Formerly News Editor at this fine institution, Chris now writes about tech from his tropical office. Sidetracked by sustainable stuff, he’s also keen on coffee kit, classic cars and any gear that gets better with age.

Areas of expertise

Cameras, gear and travel tech

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22