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Do Audio-Technica ATH-M50S need an amp?

A Review On: Audio-Technica ATH-M50S

Audio-Technica ATH-M50S

Rated # 5 in Over-Ear
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Pros: good price for the sound

Cons: get hot

I bought these cans about a year ago and they sound pretty good. as many reviews say they are fairly flat sounding with a slightly recessed mid and slightly elevated bass, with good highs. another thing is the sound stage isn't that great but overall these are great cans. about seven months in i bought a Fiio E11 amp for them. by the way i use them on average of 5 to 7 hours a day. now a lot of people say these already operate at max which i found to be completely false. i am using a 4th gen ipod touch with the eq off. (flat) i have the amp set on high power high gain and its eq off as well. honestly at first i didn't notice a difference with having the amp compared to no amp for a while other than the mids were slightly more present and the highs as well. after putting a hundred hours appx. on the amp i listened to the M50's without it. then i noticed that the amp also really filled out the m50's quite a bit. personally if your dissatisfied with the quality of the M50's id suggest simply getting different cans but the amp defiantly does fill them out and gave them a slight raise the mids and highs. now for the E11 I've seen complaints about a hissing sound that they produce, i can turn the dial to 6 before i hear the hiss (with nothing playing) and the M50's distort at about 5 and a half depending on what is being played anyways so i have not found that to be an issue. i cant pinpoint the difference between the high and low power setting on it. it doesn't increase the volume and there is a slight sound change but it is very minimal so i just left it on high. however the high low gain is a massive difference and high gain just blows the low gain out of the water. actually they sounded worse with low gain than they did without the amp all together. and the eq. on it is only for lows. 0 is natural sounding. 1 would sound pretty nice for slightly bass lacking headphones or if you just want that extra little bit of bass and 2 simply vibrates your face and unless you are a bass head or have cans with nearly completely lacking bass has no purpose. 


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