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A Review On: Audio-Technica ATH-M50S

Audio-Technica ATH-M50S

Rated # 5 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $129.99
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Pros: Gorgeous bass, built like a tank, attractive, value

Cons: Recessed mids, slight sibilance, comfort, cable spring

The M50's have developed a reputation as "the starter headphone" for aspiring audiophiles and they deliver for their price.


These headphones are built like a tank. Solid construction is always a plus. They do have the famous AT clamp and without some stretching, can be a bit too much. The cable is not detachable, and there is a small spring near the jack that without special care, becomes dislodged and eventually comes off. Aesthetically, and cosmetically, these cans are gorgeous IMO.

Sound Quality: For their price, these headphones are amazing, there are definitely others out there that can compete at the price range though.

Highs: I am torn by the highs on these headphones. They come across clearly, slightly grainy, with minor sibilance when handling female vocals. When listening to Propane Nightmares-Pendulum, it was difficult to listen at an elevated volume as the cymbals and synth were slightly harsh, overall I'd rate them at a 7/10.

Mids: Slightly recessed, but present and IMO forward. Vocals a clear and present, guitars sound wonderful, and instruments across the spectrum sound great. Male vocals sound decent at best, and female vocals can be sharp. 7/10

Lows: The M50's shine with their bass response. Punchy, tight and fast. Extension is decent, but sub-bass is entirely present. When listening to electronic with a large dependence on mid-bass, these cans deliver wonderfully without bleeding entirely into the midrange. 10/10

Soundstage: Great soundstage for a pair of closed cans, instrument separation is average at best. 7/10

Detail: I would describe these headphones as fast. Detailed nicely, but forgiving. You won't notice imperfections on a 128kbps track I compared directly with an mp3 file greatly, if at all. 9/10

Overall these cans are great for the price, if you are looking for a slight bass-emphasis, by all means grab these. But don't immediately reach for these without some research. These headphones run around the same price and will satisfy other tastes.

M-Audio Q40 - Bass, and lot of it. Fun sound signature. ($100~)
Beyerdynamic DT770/80ohm - Basshead's delight! With a clear SS, recessed mids ($140~)
Shure SRH-840 - Slightly bassy, neutral SS. ($125~)



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