In fact, were it not for their slightly bright highs and cheaper-feeling plastic casing, the Audio-Technica LS70iS would be this year’s perfect sub-£150 wired in-ears.
Design - Audio-Technica ATH-LS70iS Review
The Audio-Technica LS70iS aren’t the most attractive headphones on the market.
The headphones’ detachable cable is covered in thick, slightly tacky-looking rubber and only have play/pause functionality. In addition, they’re neither water-resistant or waterproof, making them ill-suited for runners or gym-goers on the hunt for a semi-affordable cabled set of in-ears.
The buds’ grey, slightly chunky plastic casing and pronounced ‘memory cable’ ear hooks also look noticeably less premium and solid than competitors. The LS70iS do look a little cheap but that is not the full story, there are plenty of good points too.
Despite the aesthetics they are an excellent fit and seal firmly. Also supplied are five sets of silicone ear tips. Having chosen the one set that suited me, I found the headphones fitted really well and the seal was as good as you'll get in a non-fitness focused set of in-ears.
The ear hooks gave a solid base and easily coped with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Sound quality - Audio-Technica ATH-LS70iS Review
The specifications are pretty standard for in-ear headphones in this price range. While the 24.3-ohms impedance may assure users that they’ll offer decent max volumes, the 5-26,000Hz frequency response is nothing special.
But, the surprise came when you actually use them, the ATH-LS70iS audio quality was far better than expected. Compared to other similarly priced headphones, these in-ears offer a wonderfully controlled and versatile sound that works with a variety of genres.
Unlike many rivals, the ATH-LS70iS don’t mask their low end capabilities, trying to cover for poorer audio quality bass. The bass is impressive, the ATH-LS70iS have a controlled and precise feel that’s missing on the majority of in-ear headphones at this price point.
Blues sounds’ walking basslines displayed a pleasing rumble, without ever intruding on the mids or highs. Mixed seven-string guitar that lost all separation on cheaper headphones also managed to retain their subtleties and remained discernable on the ATH-LS70iS.
With more heavy bass music genres, such as dance or club music, they may seem to be a little lacking in oomph. Mids are also nicely detailed and ably handled by the ATH-LS70iS. Listening to complex orchestral arrangements, they remained defined and had a good sense of dynamism. An admirable quality in sub £200 headphones
Highs are also smooth and refined, if not a little on the bright side at times, but mids and lows are such a big part of the ATH-LS70iS appeal.
Verdict - Audio-Technica ATH-LS70iS Review
For a highly competitive £125, the ATH-LS70iS offer a surprisingly controlled low-end, powerful mids, and decent highs. If you want to buy a good set of wired in-ear headphones that work well across multiple music genres, the ATH-LS70iS are one of the best choices you will find.