They were my first decent cans, and I wanted to like them, but it just didn't happen.

A Review On: Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Studio Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Studio Monitor Headphones

Rated # 52 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $143.00
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Pros: Very pretty, does some new genres like indie rock well.

Cons: Fatiguing, Uncomfortable, Terrible bang for your buck

These cans were decent, back when they were just above 100 bucks. They've inflated to 160 and that's just ridiculous. There is better in this price range. The SRH840's for example on eBay for 120~ bucks new, does everything better than these cans. The M50's have really punchy bass, and extremely stringent highs, they're very loose in the low end, and their mids are recessed. That combination makes for a fatally tiring listening experience. The pads are pleather and terribly uncomfortable, whilst having an almost starchy texture to them. The headband clamps onto larger heads and lacks decent padding underneath. These phones are also terrible in regards to any soundstage at all, which means for gaming, these will be pretty terrible. They do some... SOME... new genres alright, but their extremely aggressive presentation makes these phones just hard to listen to. They also can't do lighter genres like Jazz and Classical due to their poor positoning. There are much much better monitors in this price range than these, the Shure SRH840 as I've said before totally outclass these headphones in all areas.

The Head-Fi vets are right, stay away, don't fall victim to the hype.


Thanks for not being dumb and giving them a 1/5 for audio quality.
What version did you have? Sounds like you had the older version and not the newer white boxed version.
I think I gave the older version and 8/10 overall score. Newer one would be very slightly higher. It had slightly better mids and a little less bass. Definitely more treble. The soundstage on mine wasn't large, but fairly accurate. I also do prefer the DJ100, SRH-840 and KRK KNS-8400, but I don't do any studio work. They're good alternatives for those that don't want/need emphasized bass. 840 does have a mid-bass hump though.
I actually had the white box version, never heard the blue box ones.
"don't fall victim to the hype."
Too late. I picked them up new for $138.00. They're my first pair of headphones over $30.00 and ignorance is bliss, having nothing to compare them to that is. Reading your review was refreshing. Comfort aside I agree with everything you've said, though I'm still in the controversial burn in period.
tdockweiler, I wear these while I work. I've heard great things about the SRH-840 and 940, but I'm concerned about portiblility as well as how easily driven they are. I'm using an iPod Nano. I do like bass, and wish they were just a bit stronger in lower end of the bass spectrum (Mary J. Blige "A Dream"), though I do listen to all types of music including barbershop acappela, and value clarity in the mids and highs. Shogunner was dead on when he used the word stringent to define the highs. I'm wondering if they might sound better with a little amplification...
If anything, when I used an amp with these, it just brought out the qualities I didn't really like even more. It's all a matter of taste I guess. I just returned them due to Amazon's awesome policy, after hearing the SRH840's which were 20 bucks less, I just didn't see a point in keeping the ATH-M50's besides their portability, but then I think I'd rather just get some good canalphones.
But yea, burn them in a bit more, and just test the waters really.
Good review
Haha i thought i was the only one that say these were overhyped , what i realise too is that people always say its perfect and so on and no one mentions the flaws/cons( comfort etc). but when they review other stuff they say "this headphone has no bass blah blah "
Are you sure the SRH840s have more bass... I tried them both at the local store and the M50s seem to own them.