Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Audio-Technica ATH-M50S › Audio-Technica ATH-M50S Reviews

Audio-Technica ATH-M50S Reviews

Positive Reviews


Impressive- ATH-M50s


Pros: Stylish, comfort, great sound, value, good quality

Cons: long cord, pressure may cause headaches or make your head hurt

This is a review by a person, with little headphone experience.  The best headphones I have had before these would have to be the v-moda bass freq. I've had the skullcandy crushers, and some other of $20 or less phones.  This is probably a review for those who are on this forum and are noobs, since their ears are probably not as developed and won't appreciate the gifts of a $500 pair of headphones(good ones). At first I considered the Monster Studios as they were probably the only pair of headphones that i had heard of due to advertising and huge stores, and since they had such a high price tag i thought they had to be amazing.  I did try them on and they sounded good at first, but...
(read more)

Excellent quality and value


Pros: Excellent value, substantial sub-bass , non-fatiguing, relatively neutral/accurate, folds for traveling

Cons: Pleather gets sweaty, rotating earcups annoying if you're not a DJ, soundstage a bit small, not for those after perfectly neutral frequency response

(Disclaimer: This review was written while considering the very low price-point of the M50, and what you can get for that amount of money. It does not mean the M50 can go up against the high-end headphones that cost several hundred to thousands of dollars. My main headphones are high-end headphones, and the M50 is only used while I'm doing tracking or traveling. I wouldn't use it as my everyday headphone since I have superior headphones for that, such as the Audez'e LCD-2.)   The ATH-M50 is one of those rare products where the quality/price ratio really hits the sweet spot, and in fact is like a small miracle in the world of pro audio. When you get Grammy Award-winning audio...
(read more)

Great bang for your buck!


Pros: Versatile, Strong build quality, Great Isolation, Price

Cons: A bit heavy for long term listening, Pads can make the side of your head sweat, takes some work to find it's sweat spot

I was looking for a great pair of over-ear's to use for work purposes. Did not want to go open back as sound leakage is a concern when sitting next to my co-workers. Did my research and came across these as well as the aiaiai tma-1 studios and I am not disappointed that I went with this set of cans. Sound stage could be more but for a closed back work set I cannot complain. I play through an Int'l Galaxy S3 rooted with the Siyah kernal which lets me tweak the built in Wolfson Micro WM1811 DAC, being that the M50's sound really great with an AMP I paired that with a FIIO E11 and it really turned this into a "FUN" to listen to pair of cans, If your looking for FLAT, PURE then these...
(read more)

Negative Reviews


Overhyped piece of junk


Pros: Nice highs and mids, comfortable

Cons: Terribly artificial bass, NOT "monitors" (that's why nobody uses them as monitors), laughable build quality

  There's always one.  Every good thing has a dissenter, and that's me.  The ATH-M50 cannot handle songs with lots of different lower frequencies going on at once because of the artificial bass extension.  For example, Nine Inch Nails' "Heresy" is a very challenging song to play on headphones; it sounds like crap on my car stereo because the subwoofer is confused on which notes to play, so too low of frequencies overpower what should be playing louder.  The M50s do the same on the FLAC version of it.  The impacts of the kick-drum are far quieter than the bass in the verses.  It's incredibly annoying.  The bass is so sloppy and uncontrolled. ...
(read more)

Ear assault


Pros: decent amount of detail for the price, engaging sound signature

Cons: spiky, harsh and aggressive treble, boomy bass, no soundstage, uncomfortable stock pads

After reading all the glowing reviews on youtube and amazon, I thought I would give these cans a try.   For the first half an hour I loved these cans, I thought they were fun, engaging and detailed enough for my liking. Then my ears started to hurt, more and more, to the point where I had to take them off my head and let them rest for an hour. At low listening volumes, these headphones are decent, but if you raise the volume above 40% (on an iPhone), the treble becomes so aggressive it feels as though knives are stabbing your ear, particularly with electronic music. The bass gets very muddy and bleeds into the midrange on certain tracks.   Clamping force out of the box was...
(read more)

It's not awful, but it's nothing to write home about. I sent mine back.......


Pros: Nice Packaging, laid back mids and highs

Cons: Pretty much everything else

The highs and the lows are, for lack a better descriptor "dry".  There are people who "like" this sort of leanness, but it's never sounded "real" to me.  It's the difference I hear in vintage (dry)Teac/Tascam analog tape gear vs. the better Pioneer machines from the mid-'70's forward. (The better European machines as well, even though reliability problems are legion, depending on brand.) How something measures and how it sounds are sometimes very counterintuitive.  I was disappointed and let's leave it at that.

More Reviews


Not that hawt!


Pros: Frequency Response, Detail, Build Qual.

Cons: Treble, NO soundstage, Bass is too boomy, Aggressive and unforgiving

A headphone originally designed to monitor, Yet has been pushed to audiophile territory as a beginner headphone.   Although recommended, The ATH m50 is actually very boomy in it's presentation and will always be aggressive. It's primary goal is to give you an adequate amount of detail during mixes in a studio and NOT  to enjoy/listen to music.   Yet people STILL recommend it, claiming it competes with headphones at twice its price range, and offering it to people that don't know any other headphone but their skullcandy earbuds or Beats by Dr Dre.   When coming from a headphone as bad as BEATS or skull candy, the M50 sounds like an open-aire...
(read more)

Great headphones with great sound and minor cons


Pros: Great sound, good enough for mixing. Very isolated. The weight and design gives a quality impression.

Cons: The treble is a bit sharp, even after the 40 h warmup. Long sessions will create spot pressure on the top of your head.

My title, pros and cons sums it up rather well. Do NOT forget to warm these babies up for at least 30 h. They will change a lot in character, the first experience might be horrible, whilst after 40 h you love them.   It should be added that the treble sensitivity of your ears will affect your liking of these. Very demanding ears have listened to these and come to totally different conclusions. So listen to these at your local store before buying, your ears might not like the intense treble.
attenuated 3db

Excellent introduction to high-end sound on low-end budget


Pros: Crisp, clear detailed sound, with excellent (not excessive) bass

Cons: Not the most comfortable phone for extended listening.

After scouring the Head-Fi forums, and noticing that HeadRoom.com included the ATH-M50S in their "ten best" list with the next best headphone at a much higher price point, I pulled the trigger on these for $110 new from an eBay seller that was a large professional music equipment dealer (an excellent source for good prices on headphones apparently, because they carry the full manufacturer's line - including microphones - I have a pair of new Sennheiser 650s coming from another pro music audio dealer that I got for $319), and have been overjoyed with the ATH-50S coupled to a tiny NuForce uDac-2 HP ($99 headphone-only DAC-amp) ever since.   I am new to Head-Fi and...
(read more)

Best Value for each Cent spend


Pros: + Good Clean Audio Quality + Good Bass response , +Good Highs and Mids for the price, + Good isolation, + great with Fiio E6, +Durable +Good Looks

Cons: -Comfort, - A bit too bright, -Bass muffled without use of Amp,

        When I heard them first, I was dejected and fuming at my decision, Now, After apprx. 50 Hours of burn in , I thank my self that i didn't return them back.   Let's start with the outside first-   Looks- Now, I don't know why some people describe them as plain-jane looking or being too introvert/somber . I got my hands on the Limited edition and let me tell you, They are as outwards as any others, having said that, They still maintain a non flashy demeanor (Unlike Beats). The limited edition beautifly franksteins an unique combination of Silvery white with a hint of  blue tint making them attractive and fresh.  ...
(read more)

ATH-M50s Review


Pros: Mids sound great, doesn't require an amp, balanced sound.

Cons: Bass isn't as punchy as I wanted, trebles get a bit trilly and sharp at high volumes, needs 40+ hours of burn-in.

I know there are too many reviews for these cans, but I thought I should put out my 2 cents. Keep in mind these are my first set of "real" headphones, as before this, the highest I shelled out was $79 for a set of Astro IEMs, which no one here has probably heard of. Anyway, let's begin.   Design These just look amazing. They're slick, and the circular metal ring on each of the earcups looks great and adds that "expensive" look. I wouldn't mind being caught wearing these in public, and they look better than Beats, at least in my opinion. The DJ articulation is nice, as I DJ at a lot of school events. The only flaw with the design is the huge Audio-Technica written on the band....
(read more)

Excellent closed cans


Pros: Sound- and build quality, value, looks, soundstage and imaging (for a closed can)

Cons: pleather gets sweaty, some beats/ drums are overpresent

Overall: The ATH-M50 is a well built, beatiful HP. It has swivel earcups and comfortable high quality pleather pads. It comes in big white box with a leather bag and a 6,3 mm jack. (ATH-M50 and ATH-M50S are the same HP. M50s has straight(S) cable, M50 has coiled. Sound: The ATH-M50 sound great out of the box, but started to shine after ~50 hours of burn in. They sound detailed, refined and balanced, with a strong but controlled bass. The biggest quality of the M50s is, that they don't really do anything wrong. They performed pretty good with evrything I threw at them, and their sonic performance is outstanding in this price class. I think it is hard to dislike them at all, but...
(read more)

A great starter headphone, with querks


Pros: Inexpendable value, dynamic, great feel and look, decent sound

Cons: Shrill highs at high volume, can distort, mids recessed, muddy and slow, weak sound stage

Before i get on to the sound, I will give you a summerized box reaction. Looking at these through the plastic box, they have an almost ikea asthetic about them, sort of a minimal hipster look. They have a funky way of sitting in the box and i couldnt help but hope they didnt sound as minimal as the looked through the box. However, as soon as i pulled them out and felt them in my hand and got a better look, i almost soiled myself. The headband and pleather pads are just about some of the comfiest things ive ever put my hands on. They just looked like they were MEANT to be worn and loved.   After seeing them in a 360 degree view, they just looked beautiful. Pictures do not do...
(read more)

Exceptional Value


Pros: Price, Sound, Comfort, Quality. Loud.

Cons: can fatigue some when worn longer than 5 hours.

Nothing to add off of other reviews. Simply the best headphone purchase dollar for feature that Ive ever made. 

n00b metalhead's first venture in audiophilism


Pros: Sound good overall, looks good

Cons: Tight fit, uber long cord, has a muddy tone, the closed design and leather pads induce sweating

Okay I'm not going to fill this area with a bunch of BS terms I'm just going to say it straight up.   I bought the headphones from a really nice used shop locally, and I was told they were pretty decent. Upon first applying them to the not forehead (because that would be retarded behavior), I noticed the isolation was quite impressive. The guy that worked there was talking but I couldn't hear a damned thing he was saying. The song I tested it with was King Crimson's "Epitaph." The power they gave off was very nice and despite what the assistant said, the bass was of a great level, not too high and not too low. When I got home I listened to American IV by Johnny cash and let me...
(read more)

Good, very good in fact


Pros: Sound and build quality

Cons: Mids are recessed

For the right price these are worth it. At 80-100$ they're a good buy. At MSRP of 150$ I would pass.  Excellent bass extension; play well out of mp3 players as well as amps; very detailed and "fun" sounding. Lacking in the midrange for vocals personally. Great for bassheads, neutral fans look elsewhere. A good cheap substitute for these would be the Panasonic HTF600, performing at close to 90% the same sound quality @ 30$ 
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Audio-Technica ATH-M50S › Audio-Technica ATH-M50S Reviews