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Help with choice between HD25-1 II and ATH-M50

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi, I've been browsing the forum for a while and managed to narrow down my choice of headphones to the two listed and unfortunately I can't find anywhere that you can demo these, so I'm wondering if anyone can help with which would be best for me before I order one.


OK, so to help, I want noise isolating because I want to listen primarily to music in a reasonable noisy "staff room" environment while I'm waiting for my kids to finish music lessons etc, and also to use on train journeys and a small number of flights.  I've tried noise cancelling and there just isn't enough isolation with these to remove the people talking around me, so this is why I'm now looking at closed cans.  I also have a pair of UE 700's, which do a good enough job of sound isolation, but having had them for a couple of months, I'm finding them just too uncomfortable in my ear to wear for any length of time, and I also find them a bit light on bass.


All of my listening will be driven from either an iPod Touch, or iRiver H320.  I don't have an amp.  I listen mainly to rock/indie/pop with a little jazz/classical thrown in and I like my music to be failry neutral - in other words don't really want a bass heavy sound, just the bass as it was meant to be!


From what I've read, I'm tempted by the M50's, as these maybe have better sound quality, but the HD-25's look more portable, possibly more comfortable and I only need a short straight cable to connect to the iPod (which is a bit of a disadvantage with the M50 having the coiled cable or long straight).


So really, I think I have a couple of questions:


Is the sound isolation much different between the two?

Is the sound quality much different between them when using an iPod?

When using the M50's portably, is the coiled cable likely to be a real pain?


Thanks for taking the time to read this far!

post #2 of 5

i can only answer your questions based on hd25 as I dont own nor try M50 :

1. isolation is average for sound coming in. but there are no sound leak at all

2. hd25 sounds great from ipod or any DAP. i use mine with clip+ and like it. they scaled with good amplification. but for my taste, its enough direct from source.

3. it can be pain and will give you awkward look. believe me.


To add, i believe m50 is a fullsize headphone while hd25 is a portable. hd25 is built like a tank (plastic tank though) and can stand lots of abuse. If you're basshead, i believe m50 has a more bass though not necessarily a better quality bass compared to hd25. HD25 is similar to HD600 to a certain extend except its has a warmer sound than 600. It should be more neutral than M50. I can also recommend ATH ESW9, its a nice portable headphone with woody and classy looks but wont be able to stand abuse as much as HD25 but again, it has the looks. If you resided in Conus then I believe ESW9 is more expensive than HD25 and in that case its not worth it the price difference. ESW has a quite warm and rich mid and its a colored headphone whereas HD25 is neutral

post #3 of 5

I own the straight cable for the M50 and you can just twist tie or use velcro to shorten the cord to your preference.


The M50s have very good isolation. ( I have used them on travel before and they isolated the sound very well inside the airplane)


I use my M50s from an ipod without an amp and it sounds very good to me after ditching my old earbuds.


The M50s are pretty comfortable despite the fact that they clamp your ears a little bit, but with the help of some stretching of the band they should feel a lot better. Personally, I like the bass the way it is and if I wanted to increase it all I do is change the EQ settings on my ipod. Overall, the M50s are great and I have no regrets from buying them.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, I'm begining to think that either set would be great!


Can anyone possibly give me a comment on the comfort of the head bands of the two, as being a bald gent that is quite important?



Edited by colantra - 7/11/10 at 2:53pm
post #5 of 5

The HD-25s have padding on the inside of the headband which is quite thick compared to the M50s, which just have a pleather-wrapped headband, although the headband is quite thick. Seeing as you are bald (sorry, I tried but there's no way I could phrase it subtly) the lighter HD25s might suit you better.  They sound great with indie rock and jazz, but are lacking for bass-heavy genres like hip hop and dubstep.


The HD25s also scale quite nicely with better equipment feeding them. With a decent amp/DAC the imaging is extremely precise.

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