Pros: price with studio sound
Cons: cable 1/4 jack screws apart to 1/8
I was somewhat leery of headphones that have been given such a high rating in the Head-Fi rankings as #3 (#2 last month) especially when they don't cost a king's ransom, surely something doesn't seem right. What the hell, I decided to take a chance as for spending $134 at Amazon I couldn't' t be too disappointed if I had to return them. When UPS dropped them at the front door around 7 PM, I immediately hooked them up to a Total BitHead running off a desktop in my back office. Activated a massive MP3 file totaling of several thousand songs and closed the door letting them run around the clock for two days before bring them to my listening station. Surprisly they really aren't bad - clean sound without any obvious issues playing consistently from their tight bass, showing a pleasant mid range on both male and female artists with an extended but well balanced high end. They are very efficient and didn't strain my Teac UDH01-S allowing them to play loudly at moderate volume settings. The only minor complaint was the 1/4 phone plug unscrews to yield the 1/8 nini plug which wouldn't have been my choice as well they have a fixed cable but I forget they are a $134 headphone. They are comfortable to wear and only have a slight tendency to cause some ear issues when they are on for 2-3 hours. Regarding the sound quality the only fair comparison I could make was with my Sennheiser HD600s which have a somewhat laid back sound when compared to the Audio Technica phones. To more specifically describe the difference between the two besides a significant cost, is the M50S have more of a raw quality like your listening inside the recording studio with the artists vs. being in the recording engineers chair when listening through the Sennheiser HD600 headphones. I can strongly recommend the ATH-M50S to any audiophile on a budget. I haven't heard anything even close for $134 green backs.