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Review based on a short audition.

A Review On: Audio-Technica ATH-M50S

Audio-Technica ATH-M50S

Rated # 5 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $200.00
Posted · 1453 Views · 13 Comments

Pros: Folds up, better build quality.

Cons: Uncomfortable, boring sound.

First and foremost, I didn't buy these. Put in bogus purchase dates or it won't let me submit.


It was a really short audition, roughly 15 minutes. 

And this will be an equally short review.


In fifteen minutes I found out six good/bad things about the M50


1) Boring sound signature.

2) Very clampy head band.

3) Uncomfortable ear pads.

4) They are not as revealing as some say they are.

5) Loved the coiled cable. Very thick and solid.

6) collapsible, iirc.


I suppose point 2 and 3 aren't deal breakers since headphones

do get more comfortable over time.


The M50 wasn't worth S$240. It surely didn't sound like $240

to me. I auditioned the M50 and the Grado SR80, and I preferred

SR80's sound signature. 


The M50s are not overly revealing headphones. I suppose this could

be largely due to my mediocre DAP (fat PSP). They just sounded flat.

Didn't stand out in any department.



I suppose this is how Studio Monitor headphones should sound like...

I haven't tried the Sony MDR V6 or 7506 which are recommended quite

often to those looking to produce/mix music.


Btw, I was auditioning this at the time when everyone was recommending M50

to newcomers - June/July of 2011? I was like "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat" when

I put them on. They're decent headphones but they certainly are not worth US150

or SGD240. 


I'm not a fan of the design either.




no offense, but you shouldn't do reviews based on 15 minutes of listening. Especially if they were listened to in a store.
To really be at their best, they need a decent DAC and amp. Even a cheap one such as the PA2V2, E7 or E11 would do. When they have this, they have a lot of detail and are very revealing.
It's pretty well know that M50 needs a little burn in too.
BTW the M50s are supposed to sound fairly flat and balanced (new ones at least). Now I don't think they sound that way, but pretty close. The mids don't do it for me, but M50s are still quite good. Sound clarity is very good, but not great IMO.
15 minutes with a PSP.. dude...
I dont like the M50s either but it is not because of "boring" more like because of boominess and piercing highs
As Tdock and McProgger have pointed out, 15 minutes is NOT enough listening time to get accurate and reliable impression. Not to mention that this said audition happened more than a month ago.
Your overall impression is actually close to what your long session analysis will likely turn up. I think they are definitely over recommended.
I think they are a fantastic intro, closed back headphone that suits certain musical genres very well. I use mine for monitoring/recording to bring out high hat hits and bass lines.
That said, they are not worth $240 - the MSRP is $199, and they can be found on the street for almost half of that. They're definitely a great buy below $150, but I agree that above $200 you're pushing their actual worth.
15 minutes with a PSP? Really? The phrase "epic fail" comes to mind......
Calm down people.
Fifteen minutes was enough time for the headphones to make a good first impression. They're selling for S$230-40 ish here, and from what I heard in those fifteen minutes, I don't think they're worth that much. In fact, there are plenty other headphones in the $150 range that are more fun than the M50s, imo.
They're not bad, they're just really overrated (imo) and highly overpriced where i'm at.
Oh I think they hardy worth more than $160, they go for 120$ though, but I am not a fan either.

but 15 minutes with a PSP, really?
Yes. This review was meant for people who are thinking of using the PSP or similarly mediocre DAPs as their DAP. The PSP isn't that terrible anyways, lol. It doesn't go loud enough but then it really wouldn't make sense to bring my laptop along for testing when my main portable player is the PSP. Hm.. Maybe I should do a PSP vs Clip+ review in the portable media players section ಠ_ಠ
I have compared those two and the PSP is really a bad source ಠ_ಠ x2
You're in Singapore right? You can get it for SGD 189. I have the M50s and they're really good starting headphones. I've tried many other models around the price range but for beginners the M50 is pretty tough to beat. Others might like a different presentation of sound, so YMMV.
this headphone needs a good amount of time to burn in before it can reach its potential, you was simply a fool for denying it......
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