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Were the ATH-M50s a good choice?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

Hey I'm new to this site so sorry for asking noobish questions in advance:

 

 

I bought the Audio Technica ATH-M50s to make listening to music a more enjoyable experience. I heard rave reviews and i thought they would blow me away since I've only ever had regular earphones that come with ipods. So when I got the headphones and tried them, I thought they sounded pretty good compared to my earphones but I wasn't blow away by them like I hoped. I am using a ipod touch 4g to drive them and a toshiba laptop. I mean don't get me wrong they are great but I was just a little disappointed since I set my expectations high. I heard burning them in will make them sound better, so I decided to do that by continuous songs and so far I am noticing a slight increase in SQ. Will more burn-in make them sound unbelievable as I hoped or are just perhaps not the right headphones for me. (Note that I play some encoded mp3s on them and different kbps ranging from 24 to 320)

post #2 of 55

Well I did get a huge revelation after 5 hours of burn in... after that I loved it.

 

If, after extensive burn-in, you don't like it, it means that you don't like the sound of the M50. Return them and get a new pair of different headphones :)

 

Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry 'bout your wallet!

post #3 of 55
You will always will always want to listen with files with higher bit rate where possible, also you could always invest in a small portable amp to listen to music with the iPod and get a fiio l3 cable to connect the iPod to the portable amp which will bypass the iPod amp and clean up the sound more.

Also could just be that your expectations were so high that you ended up being disappointed by the end result
post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headfonenut123 View Post

You will always will always want to listen with files with higher bit rate where possible, also you could always invest in a small portable amp to listen to music with the iPod and get a fiio l3 cable to connect the iPod to the portable amp which will bypass the iPod amp and clean up the sound more.

Also could just be that your expectations were so high that you ended up being disappointed by the end result

Well now I can tell the difference between a low kbps encoded mp3 and ones bought from itunes so that might be the issue since alot of my songs are encoded mp3s which have different ranged kbps. I would love to get a portable amp but unfortunatly I can't spend extra money right now. I'll let it burn in more and give it time to get better. thanks for the advice guysbeyersmile.png
 

 

post #5 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Player1josh46 View Post

Hey I'm new to this site so sorry for asking noobish questions in advance:

 

 

I bought the Audio Technica ATH-M50s to make listening to music a more enjoyable experience. I heard rave reviews and i thought they would blow me away since I've only ever had regular earphones that come with ipods. So when I got the headphones and tried them, I thought they sounded pretty good compared to my earphones but I wasn't blow away by them like I hoped. I am using a ipod touch 4g to drive them and a toshiba laptop. I mean don't get me wrong they are great but I was just a little disappointed since I set my expectations high. I heard burning them in will make them sound better, so I decided to do that by continuous songs and so far I am noticing a slight increase in SQ. Will more burn-in make them sound unbelievable as I hoped or are just perhaps not the right headphones for me. (Note that I play some encoded mp3s on them and different kbps ranging from 24 to 320)

 

Heya,

 

I didn't care for the M50's myself. They sound good. But they don't wow you in anything. They're not supposed to. They just render audio nicely for their price point. They're otherwise uncomfortable to me, and I don't like their design and completely abhor their non-cloth cups.

 

!!!!SOURCE!!!!

 

Note: you just said your MP3's are variable, and are anything from 24kbps to 320kbps. This is aweful for trying to go hifi. The 256/320 bit rate is ok for some kinds of music. But really, you'll want to go higher or go flac/wav, something completely lossless. Only go compressed if you absolutely must, and even then, only for certain genres (I find compressed electronica isn't very different from lossless of various varieties, but that's just me). Try higher sampled music before you consider the headphones at fault.
 

Very best,

post #6 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post



 

Heya,

 

I didn't care for the M50's myself. They sound good. But they don't wow you in anything. They're not supposed to. They just render audio nicely for their price point. They're otherwise uncomfortable to me, and I don't like their design and completely abhor their non-cloth cups.

 

!!!!SOURCE!!!!

 

Note: you just said your MP3's are variable, and are anything from 24kbps to 320kbps. This is aweful for trying to go hifi. The 256/320 bit rate is ok for some kinds of music. But really, you'll want to go higher or go flac/wav, something completely lossless. Only go compressed if you absolutely must, and even then, only for certain genres (I find compressed electronica isn't very different from lossless of various varieties, but that's just me). Try higher sampled music before you consider the headphones at fault.
 

Very best,




You are absolutely correct. I compared one of my encoded mp3s to a preview of the same song on itunes and i could instantly tell a difference in SQ. The itunes one was clearer, softer, and with less static and background hiss. I think that's why i was initially disappointed with them because i was hearing from a unreliable source.

post #7 of 55

Like everyone is saying your source is a big factor on the enjoyment of your music. Also the amp is crucial but what you can do is try to find an old AV receiver and that will greatly improve your listening experience. I myself dont have an amp, and now that the soundcard in my computer has died I dont have anything to properly drive my SRH840s, but luckily my stepdad decided to let me have his old Marantz and currently Im using a 3.5mm to RCA cable  to connect the marantz to my ipod and the marantz easily drives my 840s. Just look around at your local pawnshops/ goodwills/ thrift shops and you should be able to find a receiver. Even try sending out some emails or calling your relatives to see if they have an old receiver or something that you may be able to have. You never know until you try :) Either way I hope you have a great listening experience with your new cans :)

post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post



 

Heya,

 

I didn't care for the M50's myself. They sound good. But they don't wow you in anything. They're not supposed to. They just render audio nicely for their price point. They're otherwise uncomfortable to me, and I don't like their design and completely abhor their non-cloth cups.

 

!!!!SOURCE!!!!

 

Note: you just said your MP3's are variable, and are anything from 24kbps to 320kbps. This is aweful for trying to go hifi. The 256/320 bit rate is ok for some kinds of music. But really, you'll want to go higher or go flac/wav, something completely lossless. Only go compressed if you absolutely must, and even then, only for certain genres (I find compressed electronica isn't very different from lossless of various varieties, but that's just me). Try higher sampled music before you consider the headphones at fault.
 

Very best,


I'm not so sure about the 320 kbps vs flac. There is much debate over this as to if the difference can even be heard. When using headphones like the M50, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. 320 is as low as I'd go though, anything lower and you will be able to tell the difference. The OP uses an iPod so memory is a bit of an issue on flash media players like that. Flac uses up more battery life and a lot more space than 320 kbps mp3.

 

post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapshot30 View Post




I'm not so sure about the 320 kbps vs flac. There is much debate over this as to if the difference can even be heard. When using headphones like the M50, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. 320 is as low as I'd go though, anything lower and you will be able to tell the difference. The OP uses an iPod so memory is a bit of an issue on flash media players like that. Flac uses up more battery life and a lot more space than 320 kbps mp3.

 


Heya,

 

Yeap, that's why I said 256/320 is ok. But variable is not, especially variable which goes down to 24kbps. Your 320kbps moment becomes 24kpbs here and there. I have tested a lot of my music from it's FLAC version to a compressed MP3 version as low as 192kbps and in a blind test it is indeed difficult to tell which one was right. I usually hear it in the highs when compression data is too low.

 

Very best,

 

post #10 of 55
Thread Starter 

Well I can tell you that when I have songs playing that are high in kbps bits the music sounds amazing, but like I said with some others there are slight distortions and the quality sounds like  normal apple earphones. I'm just hoping that despite that more burn in(I've done 15hrs most so far) will up the quality like many people inquired.

post #11 of 55

Return the M50s. If you want a headphone to blow you away, look at the Ultrasone HFI 580 instead. It has the biggest potential for bass impact that I have heard and has a very clear and aggressive sound signature to make things really fun. I tried the M50s at the start of the hype and wasn't all the impressed. It's a monitor and it does it's job well. When ABing the HFI 580 next to the M50s, the HFI 580 had a big advantage IMO.

post #12 of 55

To my ears, my M50 showe improvement up to and after 100 hours of burn in. And I don't mean listening burn in....I mean cycling music through them at full blast (and assisted by an amp). Coming from my UE TripleFi's I noticed the sound signature improvements but it wasn't like "ooooh....greatest thing ever"...that's only happpened once-when I went from my Klipsch S4 to UE TripleFi's, added and LOD to my iPOD AND re-did my entire music library at 320 kbps.THAT'S when I went oooooh.

 

Now...with that said, my M50 needed 3 things to really shine and make me want to reach for them as my primary listening headphones:

 

1) Burn in (as noted above).

 

2) Amp. In my case, JDSLabs cMoy but honestly I've heard that the PA2V2 and a couple FiiO's achieve the same thing.

 

3) Mod. Get rid of the extra padding behind the ear pad. It brings out more detail and pulls the mids up a bit.

 

Course if I keep hearing people talk about the HFI 580 and what it has over the M50 its going to be hard for me not to want to try those......

post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucdavisboy View Post

To my ears, my M50 showe improvement up to and after 100 hours of burn in. And I don't mean listening burn in....I mean cycling music through them at full blast (and assisted by an amp). Coming from my UE TripleFi's I noticed the sound signature improvements but it wasn't like "ooooh....greatest thing ever"...that's only happpened once-when I went from my Klipsch S4 to UE TripleFi's, added and LOD to my iPOD AND re-did my entire music library at 320 kbps.THAT'S when I went oooooh.

 

Now...with that said, my M50 needed 3 things to really shine and make me want to reach for them as my primary listening headphones:

 

1) Burn in (as noted above).

 

2) Amp. In my case, JDSLabs cMoy but honestly I've heard that the PA2V2 and a couple FiiO's achieve the same thing.

 

3) Mod. Get rid of the extra padding behind the ear pad. It brings out more detail and pulls the mids up a bit.

 

Course if I keep hearing people talk about the HFI 580 and what it has over the M50 its going to be hard for me not to want to try those......


I totally agree with you...

M50 definitely needs a bass boost amp to shine.

As for the mod,i have been tempted and perform it to my M50 and it sure made the sound more crisp and detailed..

Next to me now i have both M50 and the DJ1,which is the 580 in another look and i can tell you that they are both great cans..

I am impressed from Ultrasone as it beats M50 in terms of a slight wider soundstage and tremble.

It produces more spacious sound.

The s-logic technology is noticable and working nicely..

But the Ultrasone has one big disadvantage over M50 which for me is important.The clamping force is not very strong around my ears which results to a loss of the bass impact..

Maybe my head is too small for it but it pisses me off...biggrin.gif

 

 


Edited by Optimus Praim - 7/11/11 at 1:23pm
post #14 of 55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Optimus Praim View Post


Maybe my head is too small for it but it pisses me off...biggrin.gif

 

 


Oh, this is a new one for me. I felt it was too tight for me, especially at the jaw area. I'm sorry about your small head and my big head XD

post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

Quote:


Oh, this is a new one for me. I felt it was too tight for me, especially at the jaw area. I'm sorry about your small head and my big head XD



Can we switch heads???biggrin.gif

Really this is the only flaw that DJ1 has and believe me it is a major one....

The M50's clamping force is just perfect for my head..

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