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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

90% Positive Reviews
Rated #42 in Over-Ear


Pros: Removable cable (of course!!!), updated more comfortable earpads, more detailed sound

Cons: proprietary connector, wish there would be a cable with in-line mic/remote for smartphones

Before receiving M50x, I thought my review of this new updated version of a legendary M50 model going to be just a basic short comparison since the main advertised change was a removable cable with everything else remaining the same. Once I received it and had a chance to spend some time with it, I feel this pair of headphones deserves a full review - all over again! I really do feel Audio-Technica guys were a bit too modest downplaying the changes since beside the cable I can also hear sound improvement. Let's take a closer look at what I found.

I always start with a packaging because I find presentation of the product very important and always imagine if it would capture my attention if I see it on the shelf in the store. With M50x model the packaging was completely redesigned where instead of open view display now it's a sealed slick box with a main focus on the high quality image with a detachable cable. I can only imagine how much feedback AT received to push them over the edge to update their best selling model with this small, yet very significant change while leaving the rest of the design details the same. Typically a cable attachment is a weakest point in a design due to stress at the joint to earcup. Adding detachable cable extends the longevity of the headphone and adds flexibility for different replacement cables.

Audio-Technica included 3 different cables to make everybody happy. You get a straight 1.2m cable, a straight 3m cable, and a coiled cable which extends from 1.2m to 3m. Since the later two are intended for a more professional use, their 3.5mm connector side which goes to the audio source has a threaded connector for 1/4" adapter, included with accessories. On the other side attached to a left earcup, you have 2.5mm connector with a groove for interlocking twist connector. It is proprietary, but I'm sure it won't be too long before we going to see an aftermarket cable, perhaps even with in-line remote/mic. I have found myself using M50 while watching movies on my smartphone quite often in the last 6 months since I got it, so being able to pickup a call might be a good option as well.

In addition to 3 removable cables and 1/4" adapter, a storage drawstring pouch was also included which is a perfect size when M50x folded inward for the most compact storage. For those who would like a better case to protect your M50/M50x headphones, I would highly recommend Slappa Hardbody Pro Headphone case (http://www.amazon.com/Slappa-Sized-H...dp/B009NE7B06/) which is even more convenient to use now since you don't have to bend a cable and can just disconnect it for a long term storage or when traveling. Alternatively, you can place M50/M50x folded inside with a room for your DAP or DAC/amp.

Regarding the overall design, it remained the same - if it ain't broke, don't fix it! The headphones are build like a tank, though most of the material is quality plastic. Thanks to a double-joint connection mechanism between headband and y-fork two-point connection to earcups, these can swivel and rotate 180 degrees to accommodate any head shape, to wear in DJ-style, to keep them around your neck with earcups flat, or to place them flat on any surface. The headband adjustment still has a precious click. Also, it's still has a very compact inward fold which significantly reduces a footprint for storage. The headband has a soft inner padding for comfortable extended period of time wear, and a decent clamping force which doesn't put too much pressure while still providing good passive noise isolation. Now, here comes something new. The earpads have been redesigned and now have a much softer pleather with a thicker padding feel. Another change I noticed was "ATH-M50x" label being stamped on y-fork of each side instead of being printed outside of earcups shell like with M50.

At this point, I would have concluded my review saying M50x has the same neodymium 45mm dynamic drivers, with the same frequency response and impedance and max input power rating. All of this looks the same on the paper, but once you start listening and doing A/B comparison between M50 and M50x you will quickly hear that a tuning is slightly different and improved! It's still a well balanced warm sound with a great bass response which extends down to fast mid-bass punch and low sub-bass layer - great in both quality and quantity. It still has a nice upper mids details and clarity, and crisp treble without being too bright and harsh, and without a hint of sibilance. But when compared very close to M50, the sound is less veiled and the bass is more detailed. Keep in mind, this is just a relative comparison since M50 is great to begin with, but M50x sounds brighter and more clear to my ears which I found to be a nice bonus in addition to removable cable and new earpads. Both still have a wider than average soundstage, and in general great for non-fatigue extended listening.

Overall, I was very impressed with this update and completely justify price difference between M50 and M50x models considering improved design with a set of 3 removable cables, a more comfortable earpads, and an improved sound signature tuning. Sometimes it's a risk to take a winning formula and try to change it or to update it, but in case of ATH-M50x this change was a definite success!


Here are the pictures.






















With Slappa Case.






Pros: Detachable cable, same amazing build quality and sound signature of the original M50 as well as hinges. Fairly cheap

Cons: Design

Basically an ATH M50 with the long awaited detachable cable. It ships with 3 different cables: 4 foot straight, 4 foot coiled and a 9 foot straight. However, you have to use Audio Technica cables since it has a twist lock mechanism. If you are looking for good quality audiophile/studio headphones, these are great. They are slightly more expensive than the original M50s but definitely worth it. On the other hand, if you already own the M50s, it is not worth upgrading to the M50X.


Pros: Build, Portability, Cables, Punchy Bass

Cons: Way too hyped, Bass overpowering, muddy, slow, congested

Before I get flamed by all the M50/M50x lovers out there who praise nothing but the M50s, I would just like to point out that this is my personal opinion. Although this is my personal opinion, I am sure that many people would agree with me that a couple years back, these were quite a good value for what they cost. However, with many other competitors coming out with headphones that sound better around the same price or even cheaper makes you wonder why the hype around the M50x's are still here. Maybe it's because a YouTuber with 3 Million subscribers "claimed" that these were the best. Maybe the best that he's heard, but far from the best when you take into account the competition. So guys, my point is don't fall victim to what everyone tells you to buy. Have a listen to the competitors and make a decision for yourself.


To me, the M50s are not a reference monitor by any means, even if Audio Technica brands them as "Monitoring" headphones. These headphones just lack the finesse to really be a good pair of mixing/mastering headphones. First of all, although the bass is punchy and full and may please bassheads, but it definitely takes too much of the rest of the frequencies with it. Although I must say that the bass of the M50s is it's best attribute. The mids really suffer from the congested lower end that the M50's possess. Not terrible though but they do not sound as lush or smooth as some other headphones around this price point. At times they tend to sound artificial. The treble is well distinguished from the bass but the quality of the treble is subpar in my opinion. Very artificial sparkly highs and a bit uncontrolled and watery. Again, that finesse is lacking and there is a noticeable sibilance on some tracks that I've tested. To my ears, these headphones sound close to a v-shaped signature as opposed to balanced or let alone neutral.


Because there has been so much hype around these headphones especially on YouTube and social media people just turn a blind eye on other brands which are extremely competitive at around $150-$200. Buy a pair of M50s and call it the best thing in the world. Heck, I have seen people comparing these M50s to Focal Professionals or even orthodynamic cans. At the end of the day, for $150-$200 they are just OK. Nothing special but not all that bad. 


I would like to help point out and raise awareness that for around the same price (and perhaps even cheaper) you could get similar sound quality and often times a more accurate and detailed sound for the same price. Some options I would include are Shure SRH440 (cheaper), M40x (cheaper, more balanced, neutral, and with very similar detail), Focal Spirit One, Sennheiser HD558/598, Sennheiser Momentums, Sennheiser Amperiors/HD25II, AKG K545/550, and even the Q701/K701 which are much more capable headphones although you will require a dedicated source and amp for them but the Q701 can be found for around the same price as the M50x and side by side the Q701 is a completely different beast but you will need the right equipment.


Guys, look at my recommendations up top before diving directly into the hype and regretting it after. I'm not a hater by any means but really there are better options out there and some much better for the same price. I might be able to recommend it for under $100, but for its current price of $170, its just not worth it. Sorry if anyone is offended by my opinions but the real truth should be uncovered. 


Pros: Comfortable, detachable cable, short cable will fit most phones with cases, good lows and crisp mids

Cons: Tinny, no premium feel

I bought these to replace my Sennheiser HD25-I as they were quite uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time.


Whilst these are incredibly comfortable, the sound isn't something I'm used to. The highs are quite tinny no matter the genre. They need some wearing in, I suppose, but for $169, they're a great headphone.


The main reason I love them is because of their cables. They're thoughtfully designed and allows me to use it on my phone without having to remove the case. 


Pros: Comfortable, detachable cable, slightly improved soundstage, tighter bass

Cons: Only cables from Audio-Technica fit, Ears can get a little warm

I was looking for closed headphones with a pricetag up to €200 that could be used without an amp. After some research and listening sessions I bought the M50x. There's really not a lot to say about these headphones. They are the new version of the well known M50/M50s with a few improvements. Such as a detachable cable and I also noticed a slightly improved soundstage and tighter bass. On top of that I found there was a little less sibilance than I experieced with the M50. The improvements in sound may be marginal, but they exist nonetheless.

The M50/M50s were great and now the M50x is just a little bit better. I wouldn't upgrade if I already owned the M50/M50s, but if you don't I think the M50x are the best closed headphones you can buy for up to €200 at the moment.


Pros: Great sound isolation

Cons: Strong clamping, sweaty in the summer

For the money these headphones feel, and are, very special. From the experience of opening them, to laying out your accessories, it becomes immediately clear that Audio Technica wants you to feel special with the M50x's. The headphones feel very robust and premium. The hinges still feel strong after almost a year of hard use. The vinyl ear cups are still in great nick, even tho I've experimented swapping them out with Shure 1540 cups for improved comfort(you lose out on the lows if you do). They come with 3 cables that can be replaced, but they're very well made, Build quality is top notch here is what I'm saying. The cables can also be used on Senheisser 598's, and I dare say, are an improvement over Senheissers included cable.


The sound is huge. It's very balanced, but kicks hard. They may not have the fine nuances of a very nice pair of open back's, but they are reference monitors. Every sound is clear, present, and balanced. 


The only downside is the tight fit. The supra-aural cups are very plasticy and smooth. They're soft, but they clamp hard. You can swap them out for Shure cups(I used 1540's), or some custom velour pads, but you lose the lows badly. My ears will get sore with the OEM cups after about 45mins, and if it's warm they'll get sweaty and slippery, which is uncomfortable at the best of times.


You'll see gains from a DAC/amp, especially in the lows, and the clarity of things like drums in rock songs, but they still sound wonderful without. 


Overall 9.5/10 for build quality, sound quality, versatility. 0.5 deducted because I never want to take them off, but sometimes I have to to give my ears a break.


Pros: Still awesome Bass, Still solid Highs, Comfortable

Cons: Slightly Too V-shaped/Mids still turned down

These are solid headphones. A modern day boombox. Insignia reminiscent of the Illuminati. Too cool to explain the meaning to the uninspired.This is the future, or is it the present...or past. I don't know. Trapped in a desolate world like a black box that stretches to infinity in all directions. Plugged into the multiverse of beat. Torn between Zen and Chaos she is versatile. A shark that cannot stop moving. 


It's hard to compare from memory because memory lies but the highs have been tamed slightly compared to the old M50's. They are still very clear, if not more robust. It's a little picky about sound quality. It will let you know when you have a bad recording. I laughed when it said Professional Monitor headphones on the box remembering my previous go around with the M50's, but now I see that they may indeed be useful if not for all recording but at least some modern genre's. 


The Mids. See V-shaped in dictionary.


Bass. Magnificent as always. You're still there. Seems like you gained some sub-bass but whatever. As long as you don't cross this line we won't have any problems. You even add .00001 db more of bass and you have to change your name from "ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor" to "ATH-M50X-Take That Beats". But I am slightly exaggerating. None the less for me this is the upper-most echelon of acceptable Bass accentuation and it is magnificent.


Soundstage. I thought it was smaller in the old ones. Now it seems significantly better. It is still clearly nothing special but at least it's somewhat outside your head. Must be the slightly different pads. 


Are these worth 120 dollars? Yes, but there are many out there, many young lions without big names that can fight and put an end to M50's dynasty. But they are barbarians, unrefined and uncivilized. These are solid headphones, heralded and unwavering. 


Pros: Comfort, cable, design, sound

Cons: Plastic

*Not an audio professional review, only my user opinion*


After listening to lots of headphones inside this price ranger I decided on these. I was first worried cause lately I was reading lots of people say they're not actually that good but my fellow friend convinced me that I won't be dissapointed if I go check them out. And he was right.

I'm a huge fan of Audio-Technicas design but normally they don't sell ATH's here so when I had the chance to listen to these and maybe even buy, I asked my wallet and he was okay with it.

Compared them with Sennheisers 558 and 600, Beyerdynamic DT 880/990 and AKG K701 and brought my own music so I got to listen just what I was going to listen at home too.

After years of using DT 770 600 ohm my ears yearn for bass, which of course is a good thing with electronica. Started with Sennheisers they both sounded great, then switched to Beyers and Oh boy did they sound better for the music, I realized neutral headphones are not my thing. AKG K701 were also fine but maybe I'd pick em up for something more metal.

Then I was handed these, I put them on and to my surprise they look and sound absolutely fantastic. It reminded me of my DT 770 at home which I so love, but with different kind of taste.

Next day I wake up as new owner of white ATH-M50x.


Value: Value for me personally was good, but I also hear lots of good things from other headphones in the price range like Shures which I didn't have the chance to try. I paid 151 euros which translates to 192 dollars, you can get them cheaper in US.


Audio Quality: The bass has some serious kick in it. Soundstage is good, maybe little close to the ear but that's to be expected from closed headphones and I personally prefer that to the airy sound of open headphones. 


Design: Detachable cable, they turn to almost every direction and even fold, what's there not to like? Only downside to this is that they're plastic and sometimes plastic worries me that it's going to crack like my early HD 555 did, but these are built very well and I can se them last me long time.


Comfort: Has good clamp on your head, if you don't like that you can do the stretch mod lots of people prefer. I like that clamp and I don't think it's too strong even straight out of the box, feels like Beyerdynamic on your head just smaller cups.


Overall I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking headphones that work well with bass-centric music, I won't throw my DT 770/600 ohm away as I enjoy both of these and not like you can ever have too many headphones, right?


Pros: Excellent Dynamic Range, Excellent Punchy Bass, Great Design(Not too loud, not too quiet), Decent sound stage, Durable, Comfortable, Interchangeable

Cons: Because of the immense detail you can hear imperfections in some of your favorite songs, A little Big on the head, Takes time getting used to.

Im probably like you right now, I was once reading reviews a bunch of comments, watching a bunch of videos of what to purchase... and everyone kept suggesting the ATH-M50x, so in a frantic search you are checking out reviews. I can honestly say that this was one of the best purchases. This headphone is great for studio use and I can easily convert to casual use. It plays great with all my songs even the ones I would like more bass with. I can easily get a flat sound while mixing. Excellent dynamic range, I can get songs down to very low frequencies without distortion. I can feel all the sub-bass frequencies , with no need for an amplifier. However, with the amplifier I sometimes felt my jaw shake! Everyone says the mids are recessed and its true, the mids arent as loud and present as the highs and lows, yet they do a great job. There is excellent separation between three aswell. The bass is never bleeding into the mids and the highs are not bleeding with the mids at all. I can play any song I want with the highest fidelity. I purchased the ATHM50XLE and still a great choice.


Pros: Crisp High, mids, lows and punchy bass, Comfortable as F***

Cons: Proprietary detachable cables

Got these headphones in blue limited edition and first of all, I must say that they look absolutely fantastic. Sexy in style and design. Not only that, the sound is amazing too! High, mid lows are all crisp and the bass is just enough for all you bass heads out there. Last but not least, the comfort of these headphones is beyond this world! You can literally wear these for the whole day and you head won't hurt even a bit. It's definitely one of the best headphones that is worth every buck of its price! The hype on these cans definitely isn't all for nothing. I really recommend this!

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Ath-M50X Features The Same Coveted Sonic Signature, Now With The Added Feature Of A Detachable Cable. The M50X Provides An Unmatched Experience For The Most Critical Audio Professionals

FeatureCritically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments 90 Degree swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring, professional-grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort. Detachable cables (Includes 1.2 m - 3.0 m coiled cable, 3.0 m straight cable and 1.2 m straight cable)
LabelAudio-Technica U.S
ManufacturerAudio-Technica U.S
PublisherAudio-Technica U.S
StudioAudio-Technica U.S
TitleAudio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Headphones
Warranty2 year warranty on parts and labor
Item Height4.1 inches
Item Length11.4 inches
Item Weight2.1 pounds
Item Width10 inches
Package Height4.33 inches
Package Length11.97 inches
Package Weight2.25 pounds
Package Width11.97 inches
ProductGroupMusical Instruments
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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