Audio-Technica ATH-WB LTD Review

Almost everyone who listens to headphones is familiar with the name Audio-Technica. Their M-series headphones like the M50x have been some of the most popular studio headphones around. In the past, they’ve also released some higher-end headphones like the ADX5000, and now with the new ATH-WB LTD, they’re looking to revisit this more premium range. The LTD has some notable competition here from the likes of Kennerton and Denon, who both have wooden closed-back headphones in this price range. Let’s see if the LTD can eclipse them.

What You Get

  • Detachable 1.2 m (3.9′) cable (A2DC to 3.5 mm (1/8″) gold-plated stereo mini-plug
  • Detachable 1.2 m (3.9′) cable (A2DC to 4.4 mm (1/6″), 5-pole gold-plated balanced plug)
  • 6.3 mm (1/4″) Adapter
  • Carrying pouch

Audio-Technica ATH-WB LTD headband

Look & Feel

The build of the LTD draws a line between Audio-Technica’s mid-fi and high-end headphones. Obviously, the most striking aspect of its design is its beautiful wooden housing made of three-layer maple, walnut, and mahogany. I particularly like the silver outline that surrounds the wooden plate, as it accentuates its premium feel. However, it’s interesting that the frame of the headphones doesn’t appear to have a high grade at first. At first glance, it can appear like a hard plastic, but it’s actually aluminum. The earcups fold flat though, which you don’t see on a lot of high-end closed-back headphones, which is why I compared its appearance to a combination of high-end and mid-fi. This is also reflected in the headband, which also doesn’t make the LTD feel like a headphone that costs $1,599. Not a lot of this matters too much though, as I think the LTD is built very sturdily, and it also makes the seal lighter and more comfortable. They fit on my head just fine and naturally encase my ears with a firm grasp.

Audio-Technica ATH-WB LTD above


The LTD uses a 45mm dynamic driver with a DLC (diamond-like carbon) coated diaphragm. It also has a high-performance magnetic circuit that hopes to reproduce a detailed sound signature, helped by the special properties of its wooden housing. This is only a 40-ohm headphone, but it’s definitely more idea to drive the LTD with a good DAC/Amp to do its sound justice. A nice mid-range DAC dongle would be all that you need to give the LTD enough juice to perform properly.

  • Frequency Response: 5 – 50,000 Hz
  • Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mW
  • Sensitivity: 104 dB/mW
  • Impedance: 40 ohms

Audio-Technica ATH-WB LTD side


There have been a few high-end closed-back headphones like this that have brought some impressive soundstage and imaging. After listening to the LTD, I think I consider it one of the best. What stood out to me immediately was its balance and width between the left and right channels. Your tracks have a huge scope over the LTD, larger than most closed-back headphones. You never feel like the soundstage has any hard limits on how far it spans, as everything appears naturally in the stereo field. With its exceptional layering and separation, the LTD puts you in the middle of the sound, mimicking an in-studio feel. It’s not a completely holographic sound like what open-back headphones in this range can give you, but the sonic environment it paints is almost equally immersive.

Low End

If you like some thickness in your low frequencies, then the LTD will definitely give you that flavor. You get tons of warmth with the LTD, as the bass frequencies resonate outward. It forms an engaging pool of texture that isn’t always the most articulately shaped, but it’s still enjoyable. The presentation of the lows would not work for me if the timbre was any muddier, but it succeeds in creating a natural surface of colorful bass tones that is hard not to be wrapped up in. While I would have liked to see a bit more shape to it, the bass has a solid character that gives a significant aura to a lot of tracks.


The midrange of the LTD is something that needs to grow on you. When I first listened to the LTD, I thought the mids were too hollow and a bit inelegant. However, nothing about the dips it takes in the frequency response ever feels destructive. Certain tracks even come off as surprisingly natural in timbre, giving notes a more rustic character. It became obvious to me that the LTD was going for this style of coloration, and I began to appreciate it much more. While the level of detail here doesn’t make the LTD a good candidate for critical listening, it does make it a fun one. There’s flavor in its texture, especially with vocals and acoustic instruments, but don’t expect a reference sound.


Everything in the highs feels completely balanced with the rest of the sound signature. You won’t hear any harsh tones or peaky areas. While nothing about the highs offers any notable pop, it maintains a steady layer of height and detail. It’s a strictly linear surface of frequencies, but they supply enough clarity to satisfy most listeners.


The Audio-Technica ATH-WB LTD is a very unique closed-back headphone. Its incredible craftsmanship speaks for itself, but you’re not used to hearing the sound signature in this price range. While it lacks some definition in the mid and highs, it makes up for it in lush coloration and pure sonic enjoyment. The LTD made me enjoy a type of bass response that I don’t normally click with, but the confidence in its performance was very immersive to me. This is helped by one of the best soundstages you’ll hear over closed-back headphones, as the LTD surrounds your head in a studio environment. If you’re looking for a pair of closed-back headphones with more midrange detail and bass articulation, then the LTD might be a bit disappointing as a high-end headphone, but if you’re looking for something quality with a ton of character then it will be the best of the bunch.

Pros Cons
  • Great soundstage
  • Spacious imaging
  • Textured bass
  • Detailed highs
  • Excellent wood craftsmanship
  • Great comfort
  • Hollow mids

The Audio-Technica ATH-WB LTD is available at Audio46.

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