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Audio-Technica ATH-M50 for movies and games?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 



I'm the proud owner of a Sennheiser HD555 which has served me well for movies, music, and games. But I'm off to college in the fall and as much as I love my HD555, its open cans won't serve me in a noisy dorm or a quiet library. So I need a new closed pair to take with me. I'm not an audiophile but I figure I might as well get good audio where I can afford it. I'm really close to pulling the trigger on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. They're in my budget (<$200). They're semi portable (they fold). They've got stellar reviews. And they look pretty damn good.


The only thing holding me back are comments that the ATH-M50 are bad for movies and gaming, due to the poor soundstage. Usually the alternatives given are the DT-770 and open headphones (HD555 and the like). Clearly open headphones won't work for me. The DT-770 seem too large, are not portable, and are a little ridiculous looking to be seen outside with. So I'd prefer to give them a pass.


As an HD555 owner, I understand the importance of soundstage, but is this just a problem with the ATH-M50 or would all closed headphones have similar issues? If I were to buy the ATH-M50 and use them for mostly movies and games, would I be wasting my money? Are there really any closed headphones besides the DT-770 that offer a much larger soundstage?


Thank you, I look forward to hearing your advice.


EDIT: Would the Shure SRH840 be any better?

Edited by SystemsLock - 6/26/12 at 10:59pm
post #2 of 8

I suggest the Fa003 and its clones for movies and games. The M50s have an incredibly closed off soundstage, though there is some size to it.
I haven't tried the 840s long enough to comment on those, and I've never tried the Dt 770s.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response. The Fischer Audio FA-003 are too large for me and not portable. Not to mention I can't even find them for sale anywhere.


By incredibly closed off, do you mean incredibly closed off for closed headphones, or just compared to their open counterparts? It seems to me that some closed headphones like the FA-003 and DT-770 make up for their soundstage deficiency by making the cans extremely large. I really don't want anything larger than the ATH-M50. This may sound vain, but if I'm going to wear these things outside I'd like them to be somewhat "normal" looking.


If the soundstage of the ATH-M50 is perfectly fine for closed headphones of that size, then I am fine with it.

post #4 of 8

i know shure headphones provide pretty good soundstage for closed cans, detail and clarity is good too. they are a little large, but smaller than the DT770 (i think?)

shure headphones like the srh440 and srh840 look pretty nice to me imo

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I think the the SRH840 may be out for me. Lots of people are complaining about their bass. I need base for movies and games.


Can anyone else comment on the ATH-M50 soundstage?

post #6 of 8
I have the m50 and i think theyre great for my needs. Bass heavy songs are what i listen to. As for sound stage, theyre arent very good. The best youll get is hearing whats from the left and right and whats infront of you. I still use them for gaming though because i dont play competetively. I dont need to hear for footsteps and all that jazz. I wouldnt suggest them if you are more than an occasional gamer.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks that makes sense, but is still leaves the big question! I can't get headphones any larger and they must be closed. How would the M50 compare against another pair that's closed and similar sized? The M50s fit my needs everywhere else. Unless they have a particularly bad soundstage for headphones of that size then they should be fine.

post #8 of 8

M50's are good in almost every other aspect except soundstage i feel, if you don't mind the narrow feeling i would suggest them

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