Thursday, May 5, 2016

Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 IEM Review

Audio-Technica is known for their great headphones that give good bang for your buck. And here we have their ATH-IM02 IEM. They are part of their professional series, so no built-in mic. These are designed just for listening. They feature a 2-way design with detachable cable.  MSRP is only $299.

Features and specs:
  • Exclusive dual balanced armature drivers for pure sound reproduction
  • Specially designed to fit and seal within the user’s ear for ultimate in-ear monitoring
  • Detachable cables with formable wire improves fit and adds convenience
  • Horn-shaped conductor pipe, the “Acoustic Horn,” reduces acoustic radiation resistance
  • Includes a case, silicone earpieces (S/M/L) and Comply™ foam earpieces (M)
Dual Balanced Armature Driver
Frequency Response
20 - 16,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power
3 mW
113 dB/mW
36 ohms
5 g
Detachable 1.2 m, Y-type
3.5 mm (1/8") gold-plated stereo mini-plug, L-type
Accessories Included
Case, silicone earpieces (S/M/L), Comply™ foam earpieces (M)

They came in an attractive color printed box, with photos of the IEM, and their specs. They came well protected, in custom molding holding them secure in place. They were constructed of mostly plastic with some metal. The quality of materials used as well as the fit and finish were very good. You could tell this was part of their professional series, and it showed. Included in the box was the owners' manual, hard zippered carry case, and extra sized eartips. The carry case has a pocket on the inside as well, to hold your extra tips.

I'm impressed with the look, design, and quality of the Audio-Technica ATH-IM02.  The cables are good quality, are bendable at the top to help you get a good fit around your ear.  The cables are detachable, so if you get a short, you only have to replace the cable.  I also like the smoke housing so you can see the internal components.  But now it's time to hear how they sound!

David Bowie: Let's Dance, the drums had good depth and dynamics, with some authority. They threw a nice big soundstage, with good imaging. Percussion was very dynamic. Vocals were very natural. Journey: Don't Stop Believing, the keyboard sounded natural, vocals were smooth with good resolution and texture. Imaging was nice. Drums were dynamic with crisp cymbals. Also Sprach Zarathustra, it had sufficient low end extension that could be heard, very smooth bass and very nice resolution in the tympani.  Junior Wells: Why are People Like That, had nice resolution in the vocals, harmonica was crisp and clean with great dynamics. Very good details in the percussion. Bass guitar had good low end extension. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, the clarinet sounded really natural with good resolution. Piano sounded natural. Brass was really rich and smooth without being too brassy. Bassoon had good texture. They threw a good sized soundstage and had very good imaging as well.  Overall, you could definitely hear the resolution that two balanced armature drivers provide.  The sound was really crisp and clean with very good resolution and was just barely on the bright side overall. 
As usual, you can count on Audio-Technica to provide a great product with excellent sound.  The Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 did not disappoint.  The Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 takes the detail and resolution to the next level with incorporating dual balanced armature drivers.  They also feature detachable cables.  Overall sound signature is a just a tad bright and provides very good resolution.  Based on their design, features, quality, and performance, they have earned our Highly Recommended Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at  It'll be well worth your time, and money well spent!