Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #30 in Over-Ear

Posted

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.

 

 

 

 

Posted

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.

Posted

Pros: Great SQ, comfort, cable selection, lovely bass, decent soundstage, isolation, better than average portability

Cons: Bass can get a tad boomy on excessively bassy tracks

Just as a note I bought my pair in the dark green scheme, because the standard black pair I thought i wanted had run out of stock at the store. In hindsight now I think it looks ace compared to the black ones, which some have complained of looking a bit underwhelming against the more fashion-oriented pairs (Senn Momentum, V-modas, etc. etc.) on the market today.

 

The ATH-M50x (and the ATH-M50 before it) has always been the go-to recommendation in the under $200 circuit for quite a while now. And its hasn't taken me long after getting them to see why. The bass on these cans are fantastic. They strike the middle ground for me between my two previous pairs - the Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear and the HD439. The bass on the Momentum was great fun, but a bit overwhelming at times, especially with my selection of hip-hop and rap. On the other hand the HD439s were quite neutral, which is great no question about it - and it was well-extended as well. However sometimes (infrequently) it left me wishing for more oomph. The ATH-M-50x was perfect on the other hand, as it had the well-extended, controlled bass of the HD439 and the fun volumous bass of the Momentum, but not to its overwhelming extent. Quality and quantity, without much compromise.

 

The mids were similarly excellent, with plenty of detail. They reminded me of my Shure SE215s in this regard, which were very pleasing in this regard. Male vocals came out really well here. The treble was also on point. Treble is not really a concern to me with my selection of music, unless it is overly bright and gets in the way of you enjoying the rest of the frequency spectrum. There is no such worry here.

 

The soundstage of the ATH-M50x is quite pleasing, considering it is a closed-back pair. Much better than the HD439 for sure, but keeping in mind it retails at twice the price it is only appropriate that that is the case. I have no comparison with other over-ears in this price range, but (to my ears) they're more spacious than the on-ear Momentums, which have a respectable soundstage.

 

Isolation is great for an over-ear pair. They can hold a torch against some of the shallower fitted earphones I have, but definitely not to the Shures. I do wear spectacles, which means that better isolating on-ears like the Senn HD25s and the AKG K518DJ would likely be quite uncomfortable for me. I mean, even the Momentum On-Ear, which many considered to be one of the more comfortable on-ears on the market cause discomfort enough after an hour. So point is the ATH-M50x is a great recommendation for those who do have spectacles and want decent isolation, but can't handle the clamping force of the better isolating on-ears.

 

In any regard they are comfortable headphones. They are almost on par with the HD439, which brings to mind a hybrid between a pillow and a headphone. Where they can't compare is long term comfort, where your ears get slightly sweaty due to the pleather pads.

 

Some nitpicks are the included carry case, which is um, well, a leather purse. But this is quite picky indeed as the ATH-M50x is incredibly well made and probably doesn't need it in the first place. Every folding motion feels solid and resonates with a nice click.

Posted

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. 

Posted

Pros: Great midrange linearity, very good THD performance across the board, calibrates well

Cons: U shaped voicing, channel imbalance at low mids

Intro

This review will mostly focus on M50x’s  qualities from a studio professional point of view – what to expect when using these headphones as a monitoring device for mixing and do they really cut it for mastering work.

After all, you should make your decisions based on what’s in the material, otherwise you might end up with mixes that translate well on your gear and not much else. Know the limitations of your equipment and you will be able to work around them. This text will attempt to illuminate, what to keep in mind when using the M50x for critical studio work.

The original ATH M50 has been one of the most recommended closed headphones at the $150 price point. Most of its fame comes from the consumer segment. One of its largest communities – this forum – has generated dozens of reviews praising its qualities and excellent price/performance ratio. Currently there is a distinct lack of dedicated pro-audio headphone reviewers, therefore most of M50’s pro-fame has largely spilled over from the consumer audio segment. At the same time both M50 and M50x have an abundance of qualities useful for both music listeners as well as producers.

 

Uncalibrated sonic performance

Perceived Acoustic Power Frequency Response (PAPFR) graph. Measured at Sonarworks lab with a proprietary compensation curve. Not to be compared directly to AFR measurements from other sources.

 

These headphones perform just like they measure – a fun, clean sound. This is mostly due to M50x’s U-shaped FR and extremely low THD. Looks like ATH has really put in some serious R&D work in M50x’s driver, because THD this low at sub bass frequencies has usually been reserved only to planar headphones. Kudos to ATH for bringing clean bass to the masses!

 

 

Now onto the sonic issues to keep in mind if one wants to use these headphones successfully for music production. All of the M50x headphones we measured exhibited level differences between channels. At 200Hz-600Hz there is a wide dip which drops to around -5dB, whilst not too annoying to consumers, it can cause trouble to LCR mixing advocates. With the M50x, some string instruments like guitars for example will change tonality, depending on how they’re panned. The effect will be subtle, but must be taken into account to prevent chasing ghosts in the mix.

On the top end of the U curve we have a peak at 5.5kHz-10kHz which goes up to +7dB at 10kHz which can cause a number of issues. First of all, too much de-essing will be applied to the vocals, as the peak resides right at the sibilant range. Secondly, your sweeps won’t be as accurate because the FR peak will give you a false sense of rising. In general, this peaking can cause your mixes to be dull – one of the inherent cons of all “exciting” headphones, if used in studio.

The low-end response on these headphones is positively thunderous – there is no sub-bass roll-off until 20Hz and THD stays extremely low. The channel imbalance which starts at about 350Hz is still present, but on lower frequencies it shouldn’t be much of a nuisance. Most of the signal at these frequencies is mono anyway and humans don’t really excel at positioning low frequency sound.

 

Calibrated sonic performance

After we meticulously measured every dip and peak found in the M50x, our engineer generated a calibration profile. These profiles are available for every Sonarworks Reference 3 plug-in user. They turned these headphones into a serious instrument even fit for mastering. This paragraph will explain what can be gained by applying digital calibration to these already great headphones.

We can bet that when you turn on the Sonarworks Reference 3 plug-in, you’ll wonder who flicked the fun switch off! Resist the urge to take the headphones off and listen to some well- mastered tracks. Your ears will need some time to readjust to the reference sound signature and your first impression will surely be dull for lack of a better word. At the same time, it will allow your mixes to translate well to speakers and just about any headphone out there.

All in all, these headphones are a great candidate for calibration due to the low inherent THD and little change in tonality depending on how they’re placed on one’s ears. Obviously Sonarworks calibration gets rid of the U curve and makes these headphones a perfect candidate for mixing and mastering just about any kind of music. One thing to keep in mind is that the average calibration curve won’t be able to combat the channel imbalance properly, because only individual calibration profiles do stereo calibration.

As always there will be some loss of output when applying calibration. In this case it should be about 8dB, which isn’t too bad due to the fact that these headphones are very sensitive. Most audio interfaces will be able to drive these headphones at ear-splitting levels even with calibration enabled. For some higher gain devices, the loss of sensitivity might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as it will give more usable volume pot range.

 

Ergonomics

Just like its predecessor, the M50x has a great fit that doesn’t get in the way of everyday use. Unlike most on-ear headphones, this one doesn’t rely on a strong clamp to achieve a good seal, therefore it is fairly comfy even in longer sessions. One thing to note, however, is that all pleather pads are prone to becoming sweaty in hotter environments.

Construction wise the M50x is decent, but isn’t the tank that is the venerable HD25-II is. Like almost every other headphone out there, most of the outer construction is plastic, however it feels like it’s the kind of plastic that breaks rather than bends on stress. Both earcups are on hinges which allow them to be folded up for a more compact package. At the same time, every moving part does present more points for wear, tear, and ultimately – failure.

This time Audio Technica has given the M50x a swappable cable and generously included three additional cords. The standard package includes a coiled 1.2 – 3m cable, 3m straight cable and 1.2m portable cable. All three of them feature 1/8’’ TRS jacks and the two longer ones have a thread for 1/4’’ jacks. On the headphone end, M50x have a 2.5mm TRS connector which seems to be proprietary due to a locking groove. All in all, kudos to Audio Technica for choosing to go this route because with most headphones, cables seem to be the first to prematurely fail.

Most studios tend to stick with their headphones until they disintegrate due to natural or unnatural causes and very few give attention to earpad wear. We recommend swapping out pads as soon as they start changing their initial geometry. Old pads seal worse and let the drivers sit closer to one’s ears, thus changing the initial FR. Fortunately the pads on the M50x are swappable as well, so the user is able to maintain their headphones at peak performance for a longer time.

In terms of noise sealing, the M50x works well, but again is overshadowed by Sennheiser’s HD25-II and many in-ear monitors. The seal should be good enough for mixing in moderately noisy environments and will guard musician’s ears from excessive SPL’s, but most of the time noise will obstruct the finer details. The seal will also keep the user from disturbing others working in close vicinity, good for mixing on the road.

 

Conclusion

Has ATH hit a homerun again? Could be so – at least for consumers! At the studio professional end, things are a tad more complicated. No doubt, it’s a great headphone with relatively little shortcomings, but the tuning might be too “fun” to be considered reference grade. At the same time M50x’s competition doesn’t fare any better, most of the other closed studio headphones at this price range are starting to show their age. Sennheiser HD25-II scores some hits in the ergonomics department, but its drivers are a bit long in the tooth. Same goes for Sony MDR-7506. Now, Beyerdynamic DT770 is a worthy competitor to M50x sound wise, but the Japanese headphone is able to land some hits with its three detachable cables and superior portability. Everyone at the lab agreed that these headphones calibrate very well and after calibration pose a serious threat to newer higher end closed studio phones like Focal Spirit Pro and maybe even ATH M70x.

In the end, this is a modern headphone meant for modern music. Engineers who work with a lot of bass heavy material will be in for a treat as the M50x offers excellent performance in this regard. They might not mind its other shortcomings, but should keep them in mind. Or they can use calibrated headphones and focus entirely on their work. Sonarworks calibration turns the M50x into one of the best closed headphones at any price.

Posted

Pros: Portability, price (on sale), consumer-friendly sound signature, low end, portability

Cons: Mids (for some), tinny treble, comfort, earpads may be too small for larger ears, a little lacking in clarity

This is my first review, so please bear with me, as well as the tremendous amount of errors that I'll make without revising this.

 

Used with Schiit Modi 2 and Magni 2 and LG G2

 

The M50x is a solid headphone for getting introduced into better quality audio. This is the first headphone that got me into Head-fi. I chose this over the M50s version because of the detachable cable option, and I am glad that I did. When I had bought these headphones, I was in middle school and gaming for many hours per day. I genuinely believed that these were reference headphones with a neutral signature, which I disagree at this point after having experience with other headphones and IEMs. Around that time, I did have a lot of source components; only a small Fiio E06 amp, an LG G2, and integrated motherboard sound. Now I'm in high school, barely able to have time to relax, much less play games during the majority of the year. I now have some equipment to compare and use my M50x with, but have little experience in comparing and reviewing anything.

 

Packaging & Accessories, Build Quality: Good

 

The M50x comes in a cardboard box and includes three cables, a drawstring carrying bag, and a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter. Overall, I was satisfied with the packaging and accessories. The 1/8" to 1/4" screw on adapter is very useful for connecting into my amp and quickly switching to a 3.5mm device like my LG G2. The drawstring bag has protected my M50x from various scratches and dirt when I take it around for travel. Some people might want a hard carrying case for extra protection, but for me, it's good enough since the M50x's fold up to a convenient size. These headphones might have a plastic build, but they look pretty durable to me and don't break apart inside a place like my bag while I travel around. The plastic feels so solid that I'd have to purposely try to break it with something very destructive to damage the headphone. I would be more concerned with scratches or marks on the headphone if I plan on keeping it in good condition.

 

Comfort and Isolation: About Average

 

These headphones have a very tight clamping force, and I  recommend many people to stretch these out a little. These headphones feel very snug to my 12 year old cousin, who also has a pair of these, so someone with a larger head should definitely be aware of the force. On the bright side, these won't fall off your head easily when you walk around, making it good for portable use. The headband padding is pretty small, so a modification like attaching the Sennheiser HD600/HD650 pads on the M50x helps with comfort. This headband modification addressed any comfort issues I had for the headband itself. As for isolation, these will be pretty good with walking in the streets or indoor buildings with music playing. These don't isolate enough for something like airplane travel, where no bass was present at all (including piano notes). I usually wear IEMs for portable travel now due to the much better isolation and the overall convenience. However, I'd take these if I wanted headphones rather than IEMs for my getting around to places.

 

For long term use, these aren't the most comfortable. Back when I first started using these, I had no headphones to compare to other than a pair of celebrity-headphones gifted to me by my brother. Those earpads couldn't fit anyone's ears nor isolate very well compared to the M50x, which was significantly better. However, compared to other audio-enthusiast headphones here like the K7xx, the M50x feels pretty uncomfortable. Now that my head has grown, the M50x earpads cannot cover my earlobes and I cannot wear the headphone for over an hour before my ears start sweating. People living in cooler areas or during the winter would not have this issue, as they would just make a good set of earmuffs that play music. I recommend other earpads like the Shure HAPEC840 earpads to address the earpad issue.

 

So overall, these headphones are not super comfortable. Still, these are a major improvement over the mainstream headphones I see around my school all the time, which don't even have a swivel to adjust for the angle if your head.

 

Sound

 

The sound is pretty friendly to the general public. I don't see people acting awkward when I let them listen to these compared to the K7xx, where my friends give my weird reactions and are probably wondering why I listen to those.

 

Low end: The lower end makes up the first part of a sound signature that should have no trouble with an average person. The bass has a lot of power, with some sub-bass presence and a punchy mid-bass that has decent speed and control. Works great for electronic music but will feel overpowering for other people with different music tastes. The lows carry a good amount of weight. The enhanced bass really helps for traveling around, where bass is less present due to the lesser isolation compared to an quiet indoor place.

 

Mids: The mids are laid back for me, and definitely enough for me to call these v-shaped. Although clarity is taken back, the headphones should be enjoyable for long listening sessions if the comfort doesn't stop you. Although my first impression listening to these again every time is that the mids are heavily congested. The mids are not that bad if you give it a chance.

 

Vocals are not very intimate, and are a little more laid back, but still maintain good clarity.

 

Highs: The treble is very tinny for me, and does not sound very airy to me. However, before I noticed the tinniness of the treble, I thought it was crisp. However, the highs are not very fatiguing for me, as I've noticed in my past sessions of very long listening.

 

Soundstage/separation: The soundstage is ok, but there's definitely better. The M50x lacks enough airiness to give a large sense of space. The M50x separation is not the best either, but still manages even though the bass might make the overall sound more cohesive.

 

Amping: These 32 ohm headphones should be easily driven out of a phone (my LG G2 does it pretty easily). The M50x will sound good across many devices, and I don't see the M50x being very picky. I had bought these also due to my lack of budget for any source components.

 

I don't think of these as neutral or monitoring headphones anymore, but rather a fun and exciting sound for anyone that wants to start out with better audio. These are a good choice if you really have no idea where to go, like me a few years ago.

 

Portability and Design

 

The headphone features rotating cups with a swivel and twist. This makes the M50x fold-able and much easier to carry around. The swiveling cups helps to improve the comfort a lot, especially with the clamping force of these headphones. The detachable cables are a lot more useful than I thought, being able to switch cables between portable and home use. The design of the headphones are sleek without being too flashy or overdone. With the carrying case, you can just throw these into a backpack and move around. I've seen a few people in the streets wearing these around in most of the cities I've visited other than my own.

 

The portability is a big part of the headphone. If the M50x lacked in convenience, I'd want to see some major improvement in another area or I would have avoided this headphone. Being able to be used for home and outside use is also a big feature to many people, who feel hesitant to start buying audio gear for specific areas, and instead, try to look for the best possible all-in-one solution. The M50x achieves this by making home and portable use enjoyable.

 

Summary

 

The M50x is a great headphone for a starter, as well as a great hybrid between home and portable use. For many people coming from lower-end, but credible headphones, I would look somewhere else unless this fits your sound preferences more than the competition. The design, portability, and fun sound of these headphones make these a good value purchase (if you find these cheaper than what I'd paid for). At a little above the $100 price point, these would make an excellent choice if you plan to utilize the portability of these headphones. I went the right path to these from mainstream headphones. The transition was perfect for me to explore my sound preferences. 

 

Thank you for bearing my review. At this point, I'm bound to skip any important details that I wanted to say and make a lot more errors compared to the beginning. I'll use this review as a learning experience for me so that I can improve upon the future.

Posted

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. 

Posted

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.

Posted

Pros: overall nice headphones, with proper bass and sound

overall nice headphones, with proper bass and sound and i am still burning it, rest of things i will discuss after complete burning process

Posted

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.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Description:

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

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandAudio-Technica
ColorBlack
EAN4961310125431
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
ModelATH-M50x
MPNATH-M50X
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
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberATH-M50X
ProductGroupMusical Instruments
ProductTypeNameSOUND_AND_RECORDING_EQUIPMENT
NumberOfItems1
ReleaseDate2014-02-06
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Audio-Technica ATH-M50x