The Technology Behind the ATH-DSR7BT & ATH-DSR9BT Headphones

Audio-Technica’s Digital Sound Reality series of headphones seeks to deliver an exceptional sound experience that redefines the benchmark of wireless listening, establishing a level of sound purity that has not, until now, been available in the world of wireless headphones. The flagship ATH-DSR9BT and ATH-DSR7BT wireless headphones are the first to employ Audio-Technica’s Pure Digital Drive™ system.

wireless headphones

The Problem: Digital-to-Analog Conversion

With traditional Bluetooth headphones, wireless sound is transmitted through a digital format. Once received by the headphones, the signal must be converted from digital to analog and then amplified before the music is played. This conversion is an inefficient use of power and results in a loss of audio resolution.

bluetooth headphones

The information from each sampling rate does not exist in the originally transmitted Bluetooth signal. Thus, the analog conversion process attempts to reconnect each sample rate in an analog wave, which creates a certain discrepancy from the original digital signal that drives the audio output. These inaccuracies are further distorted when the signal is amplified.

bluetooth headphones

The Solution: Utilizing Pure Digital Drive

With Audio-Technica’s Pure Digital Drive headphones, the audio signal remains digital from the music source to the headphone driver without the need for D/A (digital-to-analog) conversion. The resulting sound reproduction mirrors the original quality of the audio signal.

By using Trigence Semiconductor’s Dnote chipset, the headphones’ wireless receiver directly receives binary digital audio signals, processes them, and then transfers them to the four-core voice coil (ATH-DSR9BT) or single-core voice coil (ATH-DSR7BT). The Dnote replaces the traditional D/A conversion and amplification. Its proprietary technology controls the amplitude of the driver motion and resulting volume without the need for amplification.

The digital pulses move the voice coil and diaphragm forward and backward, turning electrical signals into mechanical motion and creating the sound waves heard by the listener. The end result is a purely digital signal that maintains its original quality from Bluetooth devices directly to the headphone driver.

wireless headphones

wireless headphones


Thanks to the Pure Digital Drive system of the DSR series headphones, listeners can enjoy an unrivaled wireless audio experience. As the Dnote translates the Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) input signal into a Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) output signal, a continuous binary stream instructs the diaphragm to move, which consequently produces the audio that’s heard.

Exclusive drivers were designed for the ATH-DSR7BT and ATH-DSR9BT that are able to receive this PDM signal by the voice coil and diaphragm, giving Audio-Technica the unique ability to utilize the full technological potential for these headphones. In addition, both of the DSR headphones are compatible with aptX HD, aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs, thus enabling wireless transmission with resolution up to 24-bit/48 kHz.

Thanks to their innovative technology, the DSR series headphones allow wireless listeners to retain a truly authentic audio experience without sacrificing on quality.



  1. going back, way back when the first sound system was invented, it was surmised that it all boils down to the way the sound was delivered and from what source. From what I read, sound multiplication has not changed, but the way it’s received has. The so called drum beat, is still there and unless the inner ear of the headphone disappears, it will stay that way. But yes, very good article.

  2. Really nice sound!
    Is there an ETA or so on the next line of Digital Drive headphones, which use (for example) a USB-C cable (to connect to an iDevice) instead of the extremely small Micro-usb?

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