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New to the audiophile world - M50, Pro700Mk2 or Other?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Over the past week or so I've been visiting the forums and other websites a lot looking into what'd be a nice replacement set of cans for my Sony NC-7 (actually thought these were good for a while, with the 'cancellation' turned on). I guess I owe it to my audiophile friend for dragging me in a bit, after seeing and sampling his higher end (from my perspective) headphones, Sony MDR V6 and Shure 440s (with 840 pads). I'm not sure my ears are trained well enough to discern the full difference but I'd like a more capable set of headphones regardless - sound isolation is also a big concern for me, as well as comfort and the subjective factor of style.


The often suggested M50's appeal to me a lot - I like what I hear about their sound, and they look great. Nowadays they sell for a little more than I'd like to pay, but still in the running.

More recently I've stumbled across the ATH Pro700Mk2, which are said to be real great for bass.


With the different sound signatures in mind, with the following artists and genres, will either have a significant edge?

Alternative, Punk, Progressive Metal, Pop Rock, Dance, J-rock, some orchestral, some dubstep

Artists: Tool, Paramore, Chevelle, Story of the Year, Uverworld, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric


With the m50s being described as the best all rounders, are the Pro700Mk2 too much of a bass head can to do any good or comparable vocal work? When I hear that the Mk2s are less capable for vocals I wonder what sort of genres fall under this weakness. Will EQ be able to make up this?


Again comfort, and especially isolation (with alternative pad options considered), are also factors I'd like to compare on.


Open to other suggestions, keeping in mind 150s the max I'd like to spend... and I might just eliminate based on unappealing design.


Sort of odd inclusion but are there any chain stores I could look out for where I could try these headphones at out?

Edited by Aulos - 9/26/11 at 8:19pm
post #2 of 9

yeah i woudln't order anything from that link.  let alone m50s which are already well known to be faked all the time

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Originally Posted by Rawrbington View Post

yeah i woudln't order anything from that link.  let alone m50s which are already well known to be faked all the time

Wouldn't even consider it. Anyways wasn't looking for a site to order, already do my own searching for reputable retailers online. Was interested in a brick and mortar location to try these out- so without being specific on where I live, wondered if there were any chains. Are music stores (the type that sell instruments that is) worth a look?

^No deals on the M50 but the Mk2 are available on BuyDig.com for 134.95 and free shipping. Tempting. But a nice set of replacement pads (the few reviews I've seen recommend it highly, as they say the stock ones are uncomfortable) will put it up at the same level as the M50s. Oh well.. I'd buy the pads later when the cash is there.

Edited by Aulos - 9/26/11 at 7:14pm
post #4 of 9

These spammers are becoming more frequent by the day.


Back on topic, the Pro Mk2 will sound a little more recessed with vocals than

the M50 which already gets a little criticism for the same thing.


My issue with the M50 is mainly the small soundstage and lack of separation

and layering ~ jump on youtube and audition the M50 with something that

will bamboozle them in a big way eg, Hans Zimmer's 'Dark Knight' ~

they just fallover making it all sound like a jumbled mess.


It's a demanding criticism from a $150USD closed can, I use mine mainly

to check on my other cans if something sounds funny on a recording

and I want to double check if it is infact the recording.


Go for it, sounds like your mind is made up on aesthetics alone.


Otherwise, the Ultrasone 580 / 780 are a better choice, warmer

sounding but all the more enjoyable and laid back.

post #5 of 9

Greetings friend,


I was in the exact same situation as you not long ago. I went for the Pro700mkIIs and I do not regret the decision. They are great for electronica and Hip-Hop. I have also  had ample head time with my buddy's M50s and in comparing the two, I have come to the conclusion that the Pro700mkII has more bass impact at the cost of less defined highs. I personally do not find this to be a problem with the genres I listen to and the Pro700mkIIs are still quite adept at reproducing a pleasing midrange and quite good vocals. I would have to say that the M50 pads are a must for the Pro700mkIIs if you plan on wearing them for longer than an hour at a time. With the pads, they are perfectly comfortble for extended use, but without them, a pain in the ears.

TL;DR: M50 more balanced, slightly better treble, Pro700mkII warmer sound with better bass impact. 


There is no wrong answer,


post #6 of 9
Most these people are pretty much hitting the nail on the head.
The M50 are more balanced, more for monitoring however they emphasize bass.
The PRO700 has been described as "taking two subwoofers straight to the head" and people tend to shy away from the fact that they crush your skull both with bass and clamp. For multiple genres and multiple uses the M50's will pay off and if you sell them later you'll always have a buyer.
The PRO700's are boss for hiphop, rap, and electronic… You know… Have'm play that bassy bassy love.

My two cents.

For even less emphasis on bass and even more flat kind of monitoring look into the PRO5MK2s. But you'll have to import them.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well I ended up going the usual route getting the M50s. Can't say I'm unhappy, but wasn't blown away. I guess I had set the bar fairly high for these phones. And maybe my source and other equipment isn't optimal for getting the full performance out of these... and of course burn-in is still a factor. About 10 hours in. I've heard some say realistically, that's as much as they need but other say up to 40 you can hear noticeable changes. Of course there's the possibility the sonic signature isn't to my liking but the amp EQs provide some options there. Bass heavy songs are definitely more enjoyable on these than any headphone I've owned in the past or had a lengthy experience with. That said, maybe the lack of wow being a touch too warm for me? Then there's other times I think the "clinical" adjective to describe them is fitting, but that doesn't seem to go with what I think when one says warm.


I think I've heard it said the mids become better over burn-in; possibly hearing that. Not sure if it's helping my impressions or not/ The bass is definitely more present it seems, which is definitely their strength for me at the moment.


Can't see how anybody finds the headband uncomfortable. Sure it's not luxuriously soft or feather light, but it's really not much of a factor. The pads themselves did have some uncomfort - but after wearing them a while and messing around with extender settings I'm getting them worn in. Taking some breaks from headphone wearing isn't terrible either anyway. The heat does build up over time, but since it's around-ear it's more tolerable than long listening periods on on-ears I find (like the Bose QC3).

My biggest problems I'm not sure what to do about include the LOD cable (L1, part of a bundle) from FiiO seems to be losing contact whenever the cable gets twirled/rotated too much or the slightly thicker insulation part near the dock end gets bent too much.

Then there's the issue of how to manage this mass of cables from using the straight version while on the go. I was a bit impatient and just went for the straight version they had in stock at Guitar Center. Might take em up on the return offer to have the coiled cable version ordered if this straight cable becomes too much of a hassle (I don't move around a ton while having the headphones hooked up to my computer, although I get them to reach long enough to lie down in the bed). They're primarily hooked up to a portable source so I should really have got the coiled cable for that reason.

Edited by Aulos - 10/10/11 at 12:19pm
post #8 of 9

My suggestion would be to get yourself a roll of velcro at walmart and cut yourself 2-3 strips long enough to keep a nice, loose coil in your cable.  That is what I have done with my longer-corded devices for quite some time now.  That makes it easy to add/remove when needed and will never harm your cables with over-tension.  i wouldn't blame you for switching to the coiled version though, it is very convenient.


Did you get the fiio from GC as well?  You should be able to take it back for a replacement.  You shouldn't be having connection issues with a brand-new product like that.  I think you will find the m50 responds exceptionally well to EQing, and I certainly hope you continue to enjoy your purchase.



post #9 of 9

The Pro700MK2's need a lot of work to be comfortable and get that good bassy sound. To do this you probably want an amp, and replacement ear pads and you want to EQ them. for ear pads try the m-50 ear pads or dt-250 earpads. (Both on Amazon.) M-50's are probably easier to deal with out of the box. Also the clamping pressure for the Pro's is alot. I've heard the m-50's have some clamping pressure too, so I would advise you stretching them on a box or something. 

Edited by Flamess - 1/2/15 at 10:11am
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