Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT review: A digital future for high-end headphones?

How can audio progress in today’s market? With digital streaming, the proliferation of Hi-Res Audio slowly making inroads, and the advancement of wireless technologies, there’s increasing demand for quality.

Audio-Technica’s answer is the ATH-DSR9BT: the first over-ear headphones to ditch the digital-to-analogue (DAC) conversion process and deliver a true digital signal from source to drivers. The company calls it Pure Digital Drive technology.

Which sounds all well and good, but what does this actually mean? Without a DAC there’s no analogue conversion and, so the theory goes, no added distortion for more accurate reproduction. No conversion means no compromise of the original recording. Add aptX HD compatibility and it’s possible to benefit from formats up to 48kHz/24-bit over a wireless connection for the utmost quality.

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