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Last Minute Questions about Ath-M50

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm currently at the $150 budget for a pair of headphones and my final decision comes down between the Audio Technica Ath M50 and the Fischer FA 003/HM5. I'm leaning towards the M50 with only two concerns, and I would really appreciate if anyone who owns the headphone can comment.

 

- I heard the M50 has a very punchy bass. I'm am definitely not a bass head, i don't mind having a bit of bass but i don't want my head to be dizzy or shaking too much if I'm listening to a Rap/Hip hop music. Is the bass overpowering (for a non bass head)?

- How comfortable are the M50s? I heard the clamping is pretty powerful, which makes for a tight fit and, your ears might get warm/sweaty pretty fast. Can you wear this for hours and feel pretty comfortable?

 

It seems like the Fischer has less overpowering bass and may be more comfortable, but the design and flexibility of the M50 is awesome. 

post #2 of 15

I don't think their bass is that powerful.  It definitely digs deep and that could be a lot to you if you're not used to listening to deep bass, but other than that it's not very powerful.

 

I don't think they're comfortable at all after 20 minutes-- mainly because of sweat buildup.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I don't think their bass is that powerful.  It definitely digs deep and that could be a lot to you if you're not used to listening to deep bass, but other than that it's not very powerful.

 

I don't think they're comfortable at all after 20 minutes-- mainly because of sweat buildup.

 

Yikes. So its not meant to be comfortable for extended periods? Might have to go with the HM5. The M50 looks so much cooler and have so much hype around it.

post #4 of 15

If you're gonna go for the HM5s, you might want to look into the Jaycar Digitech Pro Monitors. The Brainwavs HM5, Fischer Audio FA-003 and Digitech Pro Monitors all come from an OEM called YoGa. They're all the same headphones, except the Fischer comes with velour pads and the Jaycar is 1/2 the price shipped. 

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

If you're gonna go for the HM5s, you might want to look into the Jaycar Digitech Pro Monitors. The Brainwavs HM5, Fischer Audio FA-003 and Digitech Pro Monitors all come from an OEM called YoGa. They're all the same headphones, except the Fischer comes with velour pads and the Jaycar is 1/2 the price shipped. 

 

I've read about it, but i was quite skeptical. About the Jaycar, at 1/2 price, it seems a bit too good to be true...

post #6 of 15

The M50 has stronger bass and more sparkle with its "V" shaped EQ. 

 

The HM5 is more neutral but is also a bit bland. 

 

For my money the Shure SRH 840 is better than both.  It is neutralish with a slight mid-bass hump--much more balanced than the M50 and much more fun than the HM5.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post

The M50 has stronger bass and more sparkle with its "V" shaped EQ. 

 

The HM5 is more neutral but is also a bit bland. 

 

For my money the Shure SRH 840 is better than both.  It is neutralish with a slight mid-bass hump--much more balanced than the M50 and much more fun than the HM5.

 

Interesting... sounds appealing...how would you rate their comfort level relative to the other two headphones (M50 & HM5)?

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gameaholic908 View Post

 

Interesting... sounds appealing...how would you rate their comfort level relative to the other two headphones (M50 & HM5)?

 

The M50 is the most comfortable and has the best build quality.

 

The 840 is very comfortable to me, but not for everyone.

 

The HM5 has a very strong initial clamp.  I'm not sure if that is long term problem or one that is solved with some stretching with books and use over time.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gameaholic908 View Post

 

I've read about it, but i was quite skeptical. About the Jaycar, at 1/2 price, it seems a bit too good to be true...

If I read things right, people with much more knowledge and technical aptitude around here than I have looked at the drivers for all of the sets and found similar serial numbers, meaning that they came from the same company. Soundwise, apparently Fischer installs a layer of acoustic foam which does a little bit, but not much to alter sound quality (the pads would do more change than anything, really.) 

This really boils down to what kind of music you intend on listening to and how you like it presented. I'm probably not the most qualified to help you out, but I own the M50s, and I own the Superlux 681, which is a more bass-light headphone. The M50s aren't "boomy", but they are nice and punchy. It's not like the Beats, where they rattle off of your skull, but they can "bump" if the track is made to do that (see: a lot of modern dubstep, crunk music)

I'm really enjoying the SQ of the ATs, but again, I haven't heard anything said to be better, so I'm a bit biased. I don't consider myself a basshead, but these cans seem to be fairly neutral. Just be sure to get the new revision, the ATH-M50s got "re-launched" a few years ago and adopted a much more neutral frequency curve in the process. I listen to my pair comfortably for about 4 hours, and I don't get sweaty at all. Other people on head-fi can't wear them for more than 10 minutes. 

Your best bet is to demo both of them. I'm getting Jaycars in the mail in about a week and a half and would be more than willing to do a comparison for you, but it sounds like you'll have them ordered by then. 

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post

 

The M50 is the most comfortable and has the best build quality.

 

The 840 is very comfortable to me, but not for everyone.

 

The HM5 has a very strong initial clamp.  I'm not sure if that is long term problem or one that is solved with some stretching with books and use over time.

 

Thanks for the quick reply. Basically its insane how much reading i've been doing this past week on headphones haha. So base on some posts/reviews on this forum, the M50 isn't a headphone that would be comfortable for extended use (2+ hours). I think the HM5 may be more comfortable in the long run once the clamping issue is resolved with stretching.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

If I read things right, people with much more knowledge and technical aptitude around here than I have looked at the drivers for all of the sets and found similar serial numbers, meaning that they came from the same company. Soundwise, apparently Fischer installs a layer of acoustic foam which does a little bit, but not much to alter sound quality (the pads would do more change than anything, really.) 

This really boils down to what kind of music you intend on listening to and how you like it presented. I'm probably not the most qualified to help you out, but I own the M50s, and I own the Superlux 681, which is a more bass-light headphone. The M50s aren't "boomy", but they are nice and punchy. It's not like the Beats, where they rattle off of your skull, but they can "bump" if the track is made to do that (see: a lot of modern dubstep, crunk music)

I'm really enjoying the SQ of the ATs, but again, I haven't heard anything said to be better, so I'm a bit biased. I don't consider myself a basshead, but these cans seem to be fairly neutral. Just be sure to get the new revision, the ATH-M50s got "re-launched" a few years ago and adopted a much more neutral frequency curve in the process. I listen to my pair comfortably for about 4 hours, and I don't get sweaty at all. Other people on head-fi can't wear them for more than 10 minutes. 

Your best bet is to demo both of them. I'm getting Jaycars in the mail in about a week and a half and would be more than willing to do a comparison for you, but it sounds like you'll have them ordered by then. 

 

I've read about detail comparisons between HM5 and FA 003, but haven't seen Jaycars mixed in the comparisons, just a person arbitrarily saying "base on previous posts on forum, they're all the same". I'm completely new to this, but it just seems pretty ridiculous that the same pair of headphones can be sold under 4-5 different brands with such varying prices. M50's comfort level seem pretty different for so many people. I'm in US, so I think i can find a guitar center to demo the M50 but not too much for the Jaycars. Even if i ending buying the headphones before your purchase, I'm still looking forward to your comparisons!

post #11 of 15

Cool beans. Some "proof" about the HM5/Jaycar/Fischer/Lindy Premium Hi-Fi can be found here.


Do you have an amp? The HM5/Jaycar/Fischer/Lindy Premium Hi-Fi (all of which are really the Yoga CD-880) are 64 ohms, which means that they take up a good amount of power (less power requirements, more loudness, more power requirements, less loudness plus lower sound quality if unamped), more than a typical laptop/iPod out can really provide, plus they are HUGE and not the most portable-friendly.

Where will you be listening at? If you just plan on listening at home on a computer, and $150 is your budget, you might get better SQ by getting a nice Amp/DAC like the FiiO E7 ($80) and then getting the Jaycars ($70 shipped).

If you intend on using an iPod, then the M50s might be a better choice because they are only 32 ohms. I can power mine easily through my Motorola Android tablet and they get plenty loud and sound pretty nice.

I don't know about the Shures, but KG does, and he knows a LOT more about this stuff than me.

Good luck,
~Will

post #12 of 15

By dad and brother are in the engineers in the family, but I can tell you that just because a can has a low Ohm (resistance) rating, does not necessarily mean that it will play to its full potential out of a portable device--even if it plays at a loud volume.

 

The Shure SRH 840 plays well from my iPhone 4--but not at the high volume of some other cans.  I would say that the Shure, AT & Brainwavz (+ siblings) would all benefit to one degree or another  from a Fiio or other affordable and decent portable amp.  On the other hand I have a couple of Sonys and some other cans which play great straight out all portable devices I have tried.


Edited by KG Jag - 6/15/12 at 12:13am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post

By dad and brother are in the engineers in the family, but I can tell you that just because a can has a low Ohm (resistance) rating, does not necessarily mean that it will play to its full potential our of a portable device--even if it plays at a loud volume.

 

The Shure SRH 840 plays well from my iPhone 4--but not at the high volume of some other cans.  I would say that the Shure, AT & Brainwavz (+ siblings) would all benefit to one degree or another  from a Fiio or other affordable and decent portable amp.  On the other hand I have a couple of Sonys and some other cans which play great straight out all portable devices I have tried.

Right, sensitivity is a big factor too, and there's probably some other stuff involved. Having said that, the sensitivity is pretty close (102 dB, 99 dB, and 105 dB respectively), so if I'm right, which I may/may not be, the impedance is going to be the biggest factor in loudness/power consumption here.

The M50 does sound better when I put it into my amp/DAC, but obviously a DAC is going to improve the sound quality, so I can't really say to what degree the actual "amp" portion is helping. Having said that, there's a lot of factors that will help me make any recommendations that I am totally not qualified to make.

They are as follows:

Where are you going to be listening at?
How do you have your "system" set up? (CD player? Computer? Do you have an amp? iPod?)

If you're going to do portable listening, are bulky size and having to carry a portable amp dealbreakers?
What genres of music do you like?

and lastly and most importantly

How do you like your music presented? (Bass heavy? Treble heavy? Any emphasis on any particular instruments?)

At this price point, there are so many popular headphones and ways to do things that it's pathetic. You could get the Creative Aurvana Live, the Sennehiser HD-25 II, the AKG K240 MKii, and so many other choices that it's completely insane. You could get a portable amp. You can get a cheap, but nice amp/DAC. You can get IEMs. You can do just about anything here, and there will be a headphone that will fulfill your needs.


Edited by CashNotCredit - 6/15/12 at 12:23am
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post


They are as follows:

Where are you going to be listening at?
How do you have your "system" set up? (CD player? Computer? Do you have an amp? iPod?)

If you're going to do portable listening, are bulky size and having to carry a portable amp dealbreakers?
What genres of music do you like?

and lastly and most importantly

How do you like your music presented? (Bass heavy? Treble heavy? Any emphasis on any particular instruments?)

At this price point, there are so many popular headphones and ways to do things that it's pathetic. You could get the Creative Aurvana Live, the Sennehiser HD-25 II, the AKG K240 MKii, and so many other choices that it's completely insane. You could get a portable amp. You can get a cheap, but nice amp/DAC. You can get IEMs. You can do just about anything here, and there will be a headphone that will fulfill your needs.

 

My listening devices are going to be my 13inch Macbook pro and possible iPhone at home. Not a bass head so i don't want too much of that but I'm looking for a a headphone that'll goes well with generally any type of music i throw at it. Does an amp really make that much of a difference? I was just going to close the books on my research.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gameaholic908 View Post

 

My listening devices are going to be my 13inch Macbook pro and possible iPhone at home. Not a bass head so i don't want too much of that but I'm looking for a a headphone that'll goes well with generally any type of music i throw at it. Does an amp really make that much of a difference? I was just going to close the books on my research.

 

I'm afraid the answer is the old familiar "that depends". 

 

What you have may or not push any of the 3 mentioned headphones as well and/or as loud as you want.  There are affordable (say about $30 to $80) amps and/or amp & dac combos that you can buy if needed.  On the other hand, it may be just fine out of your iPhone and laptop. 

 

There are other cans that are made to work well with low powered portable devices without the need for an amp.  Examples include the Sony MDR-ZX700 and the CAL!  

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