Wireless headphones are mostly a known quantity at this point, but Audio-Technica is using a different approach. While most Bluetooth headphones transform and process the digital signal across several steps, Audio-Technica’s Pure Digital Drive uses a Trigence Semiconductor Dnote chipset that keeps the signal digital right up until it hits the driver. Instead of digital-to-analog conversion, this chip translates the signal into digital pulses that move the voice coil in the driver, creating the sound listeners hear.
The more premium of the two new headphones is the ATH-DSR9BT, which uses a four-wire voice coil for more precise control, which results in more detailed sound. The 45mm driver is paired with an acoustic damper inside its housing, which the company makes for smoother, more natural-sounding audio.
The ATH-DSR7BT shares much of its DNA with Audio-Technica’s popular ATH-MSR7, including similarities in the drivers and driver housings. The main difference is that like the ATH-DSR9BT, the ASH-DSR7BT also uses the new Pure Digital Drive technology.
In addition to the new Pure Digital Drive technology, both of these new headphones can also deliver hi-res audio from compatible sources when connected via a USB cable, which is included in the box. Both headphones also feature a built-in mic and controller, allowing them to be easily used to take or make calls while on the go.
Audio-Technica claims battery life of up to 15 hours of continuous use on each of the new models, or over 1,000 hours of standby. Three LED indicators on each pair of headphones provides information on battery life, charging status, and even the audio codec in use during playback.
Both the ATH-DSR9BT and ATH-DSR7BT are expected to be available in spring 2017, with the ATH-DSR9BT selling for $550, while the ATH-DSR7BT will retail for $300. Audio-Technica will be showing off both new headphones along with a host of other audio gear at CES 2017, and Digital Trends will be there to share our impressions.