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Audio Technica ATH M50 - lacking bass...?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi

 

After doing a lot of research online and based largely on this sites recommendation, I decided to invest in a pair of ATH M50's.  I was looking for a decent pair of headphones that would mostly be used for listening to music/gaming at home, though I play guitar and do a little bit of home recording so would be used for that too.  Also, kinda had it in the back of my mind that it would be nice to have a good closed/sealed headphone for travelling or if my wife drags me to another Bon Jovi concert! biggrin.gif

 

I listen to a wide range of music so thought the neutral sound of the M50's would be ideal for my use.  However, since receiving them I've been quite surprised at the lack of bass.  Having read other reviews, some people even describe them as TOO bassy, however this is certainly not how I would describe them!  I'd even go so far as to say my MDR EX85 in ear phones have a warmer, punchier sound.

 

Now I'm not a 'bass head' by any means, but I do appreciate a punchy sound.  For example, listening to Enter Sandman by Metallica, as soon as the drums kick in you expect to feel it but it is simply not there with the M50's. 

 

This is my first 'decent' pair of headphones and perhaps I am expecting too much from what is essentially at the budget end of the market.  I'm hoping someone may be able to give me an idea as to whether I may have a faulty pair of phones or if they need a run in period.  There was no store near to me so I had to order these online.  I want to make sure I've exhausted all options before I send them back at my own expense.

 

So, do I let them run in?  Is what I'm hearing as good as they get?  Or are they perhaps faulty?  Should my £20 in ear phones really sound bassier than my £130 over ear phones?

 

Appreciate any responses....

post #2 of 16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hixxy1 View Post

 

So, do I let them run in?  Is what I'm hearing as good as they get?  Or are they perhaps faulty?  Should my £20 in ear phones really sound bassier than my £130 over ear phones?

 

Higher price does not necessarily mean more bass, but maybe better quality and extension. Cheap headphones often have emphasized boomy bass. It is unlikely that your M50 will become more bassy over time, although you may get used to its different sound eventually. Or just get some more bass heavy and reasonably priced full size headphone, like the MDR-XB700, DT770 Pro 80 Ohm, or others.

 

post #3 of 16

could you take a picture of your m50 in its collapse position with its logo facing upwards?

post #4 of 16

You're not supposed to feel lots of bass when the drums kick in on enter sandman.  Your problem might be the recordings that you're listening to.  If anything you'd get a slap from high frequencies with the drums from enter sandman.

 

 

If you have iTunes and want to preview some songs, try previewing James Blake-- Limit to your Love.  If you at least don't hear and feel the pressure of some bass, I think whatever source you're using with the M50 has a severe bass rolloff, and you'd do well to invest in an external amp/dac like the E7.


Edited by TMRaven - 1/9/12 at 1:42pm
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.  I tried listening from my laptop originally and think this could be half the problem.  Agree with the point about the emphasized bass extension on cheaper ear phones and this makes sense as to why the lack of bass was more noticeable on the M50's.

 

I've since tried plugging into my ipod and this sounds marginally better.  However, when I tried plugging into my home amp and playing direct from a CD, this is a much greater improvement.

 

So, it seems like when I'm listening at home or using for monitoring, these will be great.  But if I'm out and about or listening through a lesser source, the lack of quality may be more noticeable (unless I invest in an amp?).

 

Thanks again for your help, this is a bit of a learning curve for me so appreciate the advice.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hixxy1 View Post

 

So, it seems like when I'm listening at home or using for monitoring, these will be great.  But if I'm out and about or listening through a lesser source, the lack of quality may be more noticeable (unless I invest in an amp?).

 

Thanks again for your help, this is a bit of a learning curve for me so appreciate the advice.



A cheap portable amp may be enough. 

post #7 of 16

Like others have said your source can make or break your listening experience! I experienced the same issue as you when I initially bought my laptop. It came stock with RealTek sound hardware and it seriously cuts out all bass. There are so many combinations of computer hardware out there, and others have posted very positive reports of their RealTek experience. This is why on your iPod and home amp you get decent results, as they aren't total crap. To solve the issue I initially started out with an Asus Xonar U1 external sound card for my laptop. It does a pretty good job, especially with games and it has a lot of cool features. The problem is they stopped making them. I recently purchased a Fiio E10 USB DAC / Headphone Amp and really really like it. It blows the Xonar U1 out of the water in terms of music quality. It also has a pretty decent bass boost feature built right into the hardware so you don't necessarily have to EQ your music for more bass. I would try that, and if you want a portable solution, the PA2V2 and most CMOY Altoid tin amps will be great for rocking with your iPod.

post #8 of 16

The typical computer has a line output intended to drive an ampliier or home theatre setup. It is not for driving transducers and the sound will be tinny.  the M50 is low impedance and needs a buffered amp

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yeah, thinking an amp may be the way to go.  I probably won't use the headphones too much while travelling, but having experienced how different they can sound from a good source, I think it's worth the extra investment.

 

So, any recommendations.  I'm thinking fairly budget.  Was looking at the Fiio E6 at around £20 and I guess it's worth getting the line out cable too?  Or do I need to invest more money to really get any difference?

 

I didn't even know headphone amps existed until recently, so really appreciate all your help and advice guys!

post #10 of 16

If you want punchy bass, try the HFi580.

post #11 of 16
Have they had sufficient burn in time?
post #12 of 16

Before I owned my HA-RX700's I owned a Microsoft headset, and before I owned that headset I normally just used iBuds. My headset had really bloated, overpowering, and muddy bass, which at the time thought sounded good. Once I started using HA-RX700's, which are fairly neutral, I thought they lacked bass. Overtime however as my ears adjusted to the higher quality sound produced by the HA-RX700's I realized that the HA-RX700's actually had powerful and punchy bass, but it was tight, clean and well controlled. If your ATH-M50's are your first decent pair of headphones, it may take time adjust to clean, detailed, and tight bass when you are used to bloated and muddy bass, but once you do, you will realize just how much bass your headphones actually produce. 

post #13 of 16

I actually agree. When I had it, I noticed pretty much absolutely nothing. Didn't hear any low frequencies (especially the deep rumbling frequencies) until I bass boosted it with an E5 / E11. EQing could prob help a lot. The bass boost did loads. Actually made it rumble and was actually able to hear the sub-bass.

post #14 of 16

A song to test your new m-50. Wait until 0:32. :)

 

post #15 of 16
The M50 is very solid bass wise. I second the suggestions about program material and amplification.
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