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Audio-Technica ATH-M50 or Koss Portapro?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I'm new here

 

So for the last couple of days, I've been searching for a new pair of headphones to use with my mp3 player (Zune HD). After a lot of reading, comparisons, and eliminations, it now all comes down to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and the Koss Portapro. I know their price and format is a bit different, but I think that these two are the best out there that fit my criterias.

 

I'm absolutely not an audiophile, but I wanted something that sounded fairly balanced, on the warm side, with punchy bass (but not boxed). I listen to mostly rock music, and electronic music. I'm also looking for comfort and portability. Initially, the Grado SR60 was one of my serious contenders, but their sound leakage bothered me. Speaking of which, I don't think I want open cans since I'll be carrying them a lot outside and I'd like to get at least a minimal amount of noise isolation. Isolation isn't a decisive factor though, I just don't want too much sound leaking in, and especially leaking out. I also like the looks of these hadphones (the Grados looked very nice to me, IMO). I admit it: the looks is a decisive factor to me, not as important as the sound quality, of course, but still very important. Ideally under $100. 

 

So yeah, how does their sound compare? I searched online, but I couldn't find such a match-up. And how hard do the Portapro hang onto your head? 'Cause I think they look a bit flimsy

 

I also considered the Denon AH-D310R at some point, but I couldn't find much information on them

 

thanks! can't wait to get either one of them! ... or maybe a pair I haven't read about? :P

 

a few others that grabbed my attention, but didn't make it: SR80, Alessandros MS-1, Sony V-6, Denon AH-D1001, a couple of Senns (I don't seem to like them for some reason).

post #2 of 10

The PortaPro is open... The AT M50 is not, and the clarity, sound, and sound-stage suffers because of it. I would say the Portapros are comfortable for a few hours at a time, with minor re-adjustments every half hour or so. If you want isolation, aim for an IEM, as they isolate far more than any over ear headphone, but, if you want a great open headphone, get the PortaPro. Once you hear it, you realize how cavey and small closed headphones really sound.

post #3 of 10

never heard the portapro but i just got a pair of the Koss UR40's and i like them so far. good bass and a very open sound compared to what i am used to.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ooh, I didn't know the Portapros were open! Thanks for the information, I'll read on that. As for the IEMs, I don't like them much.

post #5 of 10

Despite being open, 10 Portapros wouldn't make me give up my former M50.  YMMV.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Dang you make my choice difficult :P

I hope I won't end up buying both of them. By the way, I didn't know what YMMV meant; at first glance, I thought it meant "You Make Me Vomit" haha

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by toucanlam View Post

Dang you make my choice difficult :P

I hope I won't end up buying both of them. By the way, I didn't know what YMMV meant; at first glance, I thought it meant "You Make Me Vomit" haha



You mean it doesn't mean that?  Woops.  ; )

post #8 of 10

You're in luck. Joker just updated his portable headphone review thread with the M50's.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/433318/shootout-57-portable-headphones-compared-audio-technica-ath-m50-added-11-12

 

I have both sets, and in terms of sound there is no real competition between the two. I'd agree with Joker's assessment, the M50's are better in most ways - and despite being closed actually tend to do at least as well if not better than the open porta pros in terms of soundstage. My portapros are Kramer modded and even then the M50 excels in almost every way. The M50's impress me over the IEM's I have that are 3 times the cost, whereas the Porta Pros sound like.. well, 50 dollar headphones. 

 

In terms of portable use though its more of a mixed bag. The PortaPros are very very comfortable, apart from the fact that the headband tends to eat my hair. The M50's, at least for my head, are less comfortable, being heavier and closed sets that can make the ears a little sweaty. However, weight that up against the fact that the M50's are closed, whereas the Porta Pros will be open, leak sound to everyone around you, and require a lot more volume to get over the sound around you. This is bad for the sound, and bad for your hearing.

 

If I were you I'd definitely go for the M50's. But then I'd even consider stretching my budget and going for HD25's, which seem that bit more practical. 

 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your opinion and for pointing me to that other thread, it truly helped me decide. To be honest, I was leaning towards the Portapro, but after reading all that, I'll definitely go for the M50s. It will be a great upgrade from my old Panasonic RP-HTX7. Plus, winter is coming and the M50s will keep my ears warmer than the Portapro can biggrin.gif  (I live in a rather cold region)

 

Maybe I'll buy the Portapro next year, for summer use. They've been around this long, I guess they'll still be around then

 

The HD25s do seem to be very nice, but they're a bit too expensive for me at the moment. If they were priced a bit lower, I think I would choose them. They seem to have a great sound, and in addition, I just stumbled upon the blue Adidas version, they look REALLY nice in my opinion. Meh, too bad.

 

again, thanks!

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by toucanlam View Post

Thank you so much for your opinion and for pointing me to that other thread, it truly helped me decide. To be honest, I was leaning towards the Portapro, but after reading all that, I'll definitely go for the M50s. It will be a great upgrade from my old Panasonic RP-HTX7. Plus, winter is coming and the M50s will keep my ears warmer than the Portapro can biggrin.gif  (I live in a rather cold region)

 

Maybe I'll buy the Portapro next year, for summer use. They've been around this long, I guess they'll still be around then

 

The HD25s do seem to be very nice, but they're a bit too expensive for me at the moment. If they were priced a bit lower, I think I would choose them. They seem to have a great sound, and in addition, I just stumbled upon the blue Adidas version, they look REALLY nice in my opinion. Meh, too bad.

 

again, thanks!

 

If you want a Summer portable set, I'd say go for the Jays V-Jays rather than the Porta Pros. They sound quite a bit better :)

 

And no worries! Hope you get what you want :D
 

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