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Audio-Technica ATH-IM50 Dual symphonic-driver In-ear Monitor headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #80 in Universal Fit

Posted

Pros: Very balanced sound, good for any kind of music, superb detachable cable,

Cons: Bulky housing, bass bloat, never designed as the best in class, memory wire / over ear design

I bought IM50 about 1 year ago after Soundmagic E10 and immediately notice that it sounds better than the already good E10. For 62 USD this is still my most expensive BNIB IEM to date. But unfortunately it is not my best IEM since I bought JVC FXT90 about 1 month ago. Overall FXT90 sound quality is slightly better than IM50. Both IM50 and FXT90 has fairly balanced sound with IM50 has slightly more bass amount and FXT90 has slightly more treble. FXT90 also has bigger soundstage and slightly more detail. I prefer FXT90 mainly because it is more comfortable and lighter. IM50 housing is fairly big and memory wire is not very friendly for spectacle wearer like me. Using silicone tip is not recommended, so I only use foamtip on IM50. With FXT90 silicone tip is sufficient to get comfortable fit.

Pros;
1. Very balanced sound, so it is good for any kind of music. Safest bet for anyone without any musical preference.
2.The best cable ever amongst my own IEM - minus the memory wire. Thick but flexible, tangle free. Chin slider included.
3. Best IEM I have own for last 1 year until FXT90 arrived.

Cons;
1. Bulky housing, memory wire, have to use foam tip for perfect fit
2. Bass amount is slightly higher than FXT90 but on some tracks I can detect some bass bloat. FXT90 has moderate amount of bass but it sounds tighter.
3. Anyone reading this mini review would probably know that there is Audio-technica IM70, a more expensive and probably better sounding big brother to IM50. So if you have 90 USD or more to spend please take a look at IM70. Not to mention that BNIB FXT90 is costing about 90+USD. Or for even more value you can buy China OEM FXT90 from Aliexpress like me for just 33 USD biggrin.gif

So what we have here is a good upper entry level IEM which has above average sound quality, over ear and bulky design which is not suitable for everyone and there are few other IEM which has better SQ for less. Other similarly good IEM for about 50+ USD BNIB is Audio-technica own CKX5 /CKX5is. I have Audio-technica CKX7 but somehowe I found that I prefer CKX5 more - so does our mighty ljokerl biggrin.gif. But for a dual dynamic driver IEM, this is a good start until you can trade up to FXT90, IM70, Vsonic gr07, Dunu Titan etc.

Posted

Pros: Great for vocals, smooth midrange, good bass and treble

Cons: So so isolation and comfort, treble could be more upfront.

This IEM is vocal oriented and so they are especially for vocal lovers. It is clean, detailed and upfront. This is not a basshead IEM instead it is punchy, detailed maybe a little slow on some really fast tracks but generally it is quite involving and fast. There is no midbass bloat I could hear so there is no veil in the mids. The guitars especially sound amazing on these and also acoustic instruments sound very natural. As I said before this IEM is mid-forward so the vocals are in front of the stage while you are listening to your favorite band. But this is not bad thing at least for me as I love its vocal presentation. Both male and female singers sound very natural and life-like and it has very good timbre. It has a monitoring like presentation overall.The treble while not forward, extends quite well and there is no sibilance to speak of. This is a good thing especially for long listening sessions. My only gripe is that the treble could be more upfront and wish for a little more subbass.

Posted

Pros: Nice, Warm, Sheltered Sound

Cons: Silicon Tips SUCK

I can only just about use these for an hour with Silicon Tips.

 

Tips...

- Silicon only last up to an hour, they make your ears scream in pain when you take them out.

- Foam Comply Tips, wash them well and they'll last you forever, keep them clean.

 

So, the IM50:

Why'd I buy them?

Well... I've not used Earphones since pushing on about 2010, and I really needed something good for just laying in bed on lazy days with, if I had more money it'd have been the SE215, but I think the IM50 are gonna make me just as happy.

 

So... Bed Headphoners,Earphoners.

Do some research, you'll see that warmth is there thing, warm sound, rich tonality, and why? It's relaxing, not everyone enjoys it, but yes... it's very calming.

Most Bedphone listeners don't really care for the Lemon Zest Bubble Tea+ Spring Guava, no. They like general Butter Coffee, or Cocoa, it's rich!

 

OK, Soundstage:

Feel free the make fun of my graph I made in Paint, but this is this only way I could describe the soundstage to myself.

 

The points discussed here were odd to me, a Soundstage that really left me wondering why the Earphones felt so congested at times.

 

Highs:

I actually heavily recommend a bit of tuning if you wanna bring out the Highs.

At first, the Bass, & sometimes overwhelming Lows swamped up the Highs.

But what's left to be said about them after an EQ?

M50 - Once properly fixed, the Highs are like the M50. Cut, copied, & pasted back into another device.

So what do I think?

Tune the M50 a slight bit, enhance it, you've got a percussion headphone, the same is left to be said here. A bit more masked, but sitting faintly in the back are the same Highs I knew awkwardly well.

 

Mids:

- Mids are flowing. 

- Forward.

- Relaxed.

There's not much to say, the Lows are too thick to let the Mids shine with detail, but... with most Headphones/Earphones, Acoustics did OK for these.

They weren't super detailed, but they're definitely piercing, enough so that they can escape the lows at %30 Volume, & %50 Volume.

 

Lows:

Now for a already Warmer Sounding headphone, I expected this.

Lows were REALLY thick, the foam tips cut down on that some, but they could get congested very easily.

Unfortunately instruments were a bit difficult to find, but Bass detail was done very well.

 

Final Thoughts:

With everything said, people would surely assume that I've taken a strong disliking to these, which in false.

I think they're solid for the price point.

 

If you get the IM50, here are some recommended Albums, & Test Tracks(My Taste):

[album]Tara Terra - Daughter[Female Fronted Indie Pop/Soft Rock - http://taraterra.bandcamp.com/album/daughter]

[album]Seth Corbin - Why Is Social Anxiety Ruining My Life And Why Am I Drinking So Much Beer[Folk Punk w/A Pop Side - http://sethcorbin.bandcamp.com/album/why-is-social-anxiety-ruining-my-life-and-why-am-i-drinking-so-much-beer]

[track]Tiny Moving Parts - Clouds Above My Head[Emotive Punk w/A Taking Back Sunday Style Vibe]

[discography]Vulfpeck - Discography[Great for testing Monitor Value of these, Genre:Jazz Influenced/Funk/Sinatra/& etc... - https://vulf.bandcamp.com/]

[discography]Morning Effort - Discography[Great Lo-Fi Music for testing Highs, Genre:Emo/Bedroom Pop - http://morningeffort.bandcamp.com/]

[track]Hot Tears - Follow You[Indie Rock/Warm Music - Compliments the Genre Highlights these Earphones work better for - https://hottears.bandcamp.com/track/follow-you-2]

 

 

 

Lastly, I ask that if you end up getting the IM50, be safe! And enjoy.

 

 

 

Last but not least, don't be immature about my Soundstage Description that I had trouble figuring out.

I needed to use it to explain the points of where I get lost sound, a missing point, or certain areas of the soundstage the separate and seem unnatural.

So, if you don't like how I tracked myself, or you think you're cool, and an internet gangster, don't comment, thanks!:wink_face:

Posted

Pros: Great for vocals (especially female), Has fine amount of bass, mids is forward, although big, surprisingly comfortable

Cons: Bass isn't the tightest, some may found the sound to be unnatural,

My second review in Head-Fi (first one of Sony MDR MA100 with different username), so please do be tolerant with me.

After long debate of choosing this or Shure SE 215, I finally choose the IM 50 as my first purchase in IEM. There'll be few pints I'll state here as for the reasons for you people who's in some kind of similar situation

1. Form & Build: IM 50 has quite a bulky body that might irk some, but it has a sturdy design that everyone is used from Audio Technica products. AT made a new cables for the fairly new IM line, and it’s a great one, it looks cheap, yes, but it doesn’t feel like that at all when you hold it, tangle free with 90 degrees jack for the connections, also has a memory cables that act as ear guide.

 

2. Comfort: Fairly comfortable, Although bulky, the phone sits comfortably on the outside of the ears, and the earguides make them rarely slip off. It’s a bit fussy to use it for the first time though, after you set it all to your preference it’ll be good to go. The included buds are comfortable enough, with the comply for the best sound and isolation, but you may want to buy another one for more versatility and comfort. *after the included Comply tore a bit (disappointed, as i rarely used it, break inside my case) i decided to use Spinfit by Ocharaku in Medium Size... fairly comfortable and make the sound a bit cleared. haven't changed it ever since.

 

3. Sound: It’s a mid forward earphones, so any sound that’s in that range will sound fantastic, soundstage is intimate, with much quantity of bass without any sacrifice on any other sound. From my brief listen to M50x, it sound quite similar actually, so if you like and love the sound of M50, I bet you’ll like IM50 sound too…(People say IM70 is even more similar, but haven’t tried that yet to comment) It’s a joy to listen to any kind of music I throw at it. *update, during the time i reviewed this, I've bought 2 new headphones, An Audio Technica ATH M40x and a Grado SR60e, and I can confess that the IM 50 is the one i go to for my main genre of music: Anisong. which is mostly of female Vocals, and for Acoustics i'll go to my Grado. The two of them is my indisplacable gear.

 

Summary: Audio Technica ATH IM50 will be a perfect choice for: Vocal Lovers, BassHead, and people looking for earphones with similar Sound signature with The Legendary M50

Overall I’m very satisfied with this as my first purchase of IEM… I’ll try to look for IM02 as it seems to be an appropriate upgrade for this. Seems I’ll be looking forward for Audio Technica products in the future J

 

 

 

 

Posted

Pros: rich and warm bass, liquid smooth mids, non-fatiguing, instrumental separation, build quality, value

Cons: distending housing, thick nozzles, overly sensitive, intimate soundstage, average treble extension

The Audio-Technica ATH-IM50/70 series has gained popularity and favourable reviews from members of Head-Fi, as it should. The Japanese designed 8.8mm "dual symphonic driver" proves to be more than capable for its asking price, and once again reinforces the notion that Japanese audio engineers know what they are doing. The following is an analytical review based on my experience with the ATH-IM50s.

 

Gallery:

(ATH-IM50 with Comply memory foam tips. Notice the beautiful piano finish of the durable housing)

(ATH-IM50 right unit, nude)

*

(aware of the large housing dimensions, I did not have an issue with the fit at all)

 

The ATH-IM50/70 is best known for its amazingly engaging and fun, but fairly natural/balanced sound signature. Nonetheless, many fail to realize that the ATH-IM50 is more than just an IEM, like the rest of the IM series; it is a reboot of the famous A-T house sound signature. Audio-Technica isn't solely known for beautifully crafted headphones, rather their expertise in balancing technicality with human nature is what connects the end user with their products. While the IM50 is nothing astonishing, it certainly holds its position as one of the best dynamic in-ear monitors on the market under $100.

 

When I first heard the IM50, I was immediately struck in the feels by its smooth mid-range. My favourite female vocals were reproduced in such a way that I wish I was living forever in that moment. I just could not believe the sound quality came from the price I paid; it is like a dream come true. It gave me a special feeling, something along the lines of "we're never too young, we're never too old." Moving past the vocals, the bass sounds very full-bodied and powerful, and just like a sub-woofer's rumble, it satisfies without bleeding into the mids at all. Despite it being fun and exciting, it is not a basshead IEM as some people claim to be; the CKSXX Solid Bass series are instead audio-technica's solution to bass-heavy models. I believe the IM50's bass is the perfect solution to the "missing 6 dB effect" phenomenon in headphones.

 

Detail retrieval and resolution feels almost on par with the Sony MDR-EX600; from memory, it sounded even a bit livelier than the EX600s. The IM50s are actually quite true to its source; the transparent imaging will bring forth the quality of the source you are feeding it, though it is still very forgiving compared to BA IEMs. On another note, the IM50 is incredibly easy to drive, and very sensitive to the source's impedance; static hiss is a very prominent issue, as I've experienced it with both my 2009 MacBook Pro and Acer Aspire Ethos 8951G. The plus side to this trait is that you won't have any trouble with volume levels from any mobile/portable devices. No amp is required to unleash its full potentials, as it is extremely efficient.

 

The housing of the ATH-IM50/70s is designed in such a way that it directly affects the performance of the 8.8mm dynamic drivers, where the shape contributes to the delivery of sound. This design allows the soundstage and 3D imaging to achieve a sense of independence, without the dispersive out-of-head feeling. Albeit protrusive, the housing provides excellent isolation due to its sealed design. While the fit won't work for everyone, once you are able to achieve a good fit, they disappear and rest perfectly in your ears' concha.

 

The proprietary IM series connector and cables once again show the professional aspects of audio-technica: they don't skimp on the materials, even on lower tier products. On the other hand, the IM50 is prone to annoying cable microphonics, despite the great cable workmanship and connector stress relief. I find it truly disappointing how the IM50 is so close to perfection for its price, yet hindered by many of the aforementioned issues, which should be addressed accordingly in the next generation of the IM series.

 

I have read that removing the cloth filters on the nozzles improves treble extension of the IM50s. I strongly recommend against this as I believe IM50's treble perfectly matches its sound signature, and the treble performance doesn't need improvement, in my opinion. While some people may find the treble too dark or absent, removing those filters will damage internal components as dusts, residue and ear wax will get inside the housing. I propose an alternative solution to those seeking more treble from the IM50s, which is through equalization. I have found the perfect EQ settings through hours of testing, in order to make the treble more prominent without distorting the rest of the sound signature, they are: @4K + 3dB, @8K + 6dB, and @16K + 5dB.


In summary (I don't want to make this review TL;DR), the IM50s could be your perfect beginner/entry dynamic IEMs, if its availability is manageable. I've heard them for a total of 100 hours, and I stand behind everything I pointed out in this review. The IM50s are great for commuting, somewhat suitable for creating/mixing tracks, but most importantly, amazing to just drown yourself in your music collection. They are a pair of extremely versatile IEMs. If you know that you are really into that Japanese flavour sound, with the beautiful vocals and intimate soundstage, please give the IM50/70s some serious consideration, as I believe they won't disappoint in that regard.

Posted

Pros: Mid centric, smooth sound, no sibilance, no mid-bass hump, vocals are upfront, price. Durability.

Cons: Not much treble extension. This makes difficult the details to hear in low volume, big, uncomfortable design, poor isolation.

These earphones are quite big, so if your ears are really small, you can face some problems. Comfort is not great either. Finding a good fit is a little challenging. Don't expect Westone like ergonomics. The cable is good I haven't seen microphonics so far. It has a detachable cable. Overall, it is a good durable product. But comfort and isolation is not great.

 

The Sound: These have dual drivers. For the price you pay, the sound is really good! These have powerful bass response but not overwhelming the other frequencies. And mids, yeah, where these earphones shine. Vocals are clear and warm, enstrument seperation is fine for the price. Mids are taking the front line of the sound. Treble is not sibilant by any means. But don't expect airy treble like top of the line flagship IEM's. Detail level is good, especially when you consider the price.

 

I used Shure SE215's and Westone UM1's. And I think these are the best sounding of the three. And the cheapest!

 

But Shure's and Westone's, comfort and isolation wise, are clearly better then IM50.

 

For 70$, I can't think any better IEM's than these.

Audio-Technica ATH-IM50 Dual symphonic-driver In-ear Monitor headphones
Description:

Type: Dynamic type Driver : 8.8mm Output sound pressure level: 108dB/mV

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandAudio-Technica
EAN4961310125066
Feature3.5mm gold stereo mini (Y type) Code length : 1.2m
LabelAudio-Technica
ManufacturerAudio-Technica
ModelATH-IM50 WH
MPNATH-IM50 WH
PublisherAudio-Technica
StudioAudio-Technica
TitleAudio-Technica ATH-IM50 Dual symphonic-driver In-ear Monitor headphones White (Japan Import)
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElement4961310125066
Item Weight0.21 pounds
Package Height2.05 inches
Package Length7.76 inches
Package Weight0.21 pounds
Package Width3.58 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberATH-IM50 WH
ProductGroupCE
ProductTypeNameHEADPHONES
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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