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[Request] Different between Audio-Technica ATHM50S and Audio-Technica ATHM50 and other Advice on...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am new to headphones and want high quality headphones. I am planning to get new headphones in around 6 weeks and am thinking about the  Audio-Technica ATHM50S because of its rank on the headgear rankings, but I read some of the reviews about how there are better headphones in its current price range. I also became confused because when I looked up the price on Amazon, there were also the Audio-Technica ATHM50, which are priced higher, but are ranked lower on the headphone list. Why is that?

 

Can someone please help me choose a pair of headphones within the $100-250 range?

 

I also learned that having an amp will help bring out the quality in headphones, so I am planning on buying the FiiO E11 portable amp with a FiiO L9 LOD to use with my ipod touch.

 

Should I also buy a sound card for use at home in conjunction with my future headphones? If so, then which? Would the Xonar DG be a good sound card if I need one?

 

I am definitely looking for good all around headphones and closed-ear headphones would definitely be a plus, but I'm not adverse to open-ear headphones as long as I can listen to music in loud areas. I would like to wear my headsets for a minimum of several hours a day (and usually in a single stretch); I also wear glasses, so comfort is important. I game, voice chat a lot, and tend to also listen to music frequently. My musical tastes include basically everything, especially classical music, techno, dubstep, etc; that said, I like bass, but I don't want a headache from it either.


Edited by Ralox - 7/14/12 at 7:40pm
post #2 of 7

The ATH-M50 is a great headphone, especially starting out (it's what I have). They're a really good introduction into high quality audio, and the price is obviously very good.

 

With that said, you may reach a point with them where they're good at getting the job done, but they don't really "color" the sound at all. For example, let's say you get a really nice, low-end Martin acoustic guitar. It sounds fantastic and will open up over time due to resonance (burn-in), but it has a limit as to how far it can mature and improve. It doesn't have all the overtones and nuances of a higher-end guitar, built with higher-end tone woods and different bracing patterns, etc. So, you eventually invest the money and upgrade to a better instrument once you outgrow the lower-end guitar.

 

These headphones are a bit like that. They're very good for a starting point, but you may want to move up the ladder a bit down the road. Can't go wrong with them to start off with, though.

 

Also, there is no difference in sound between ATH-M50 / ATH-M50S... one just has a coiled cable, whereas the other has a straight cable.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralox View Post

I am new to headphones and want high quality headphones. I am planning to get new headphones in around 6 weeks and am thinking about the  Audio-Technica ATHM50S because of its rank on the headgear rankings, but I read some of the reviews about how there are better headphones in its current price range. I also became confused because when I looked up the price on Amazon, there were also the Audio-Technica ATHM50, which are priced higher, but are ranked lower on the headphone list. Why is that?

 

Can someone please help me choose a pair of headphones within the $100-200 range?

 

I also learned that having an amp will help bring out the quality in headphones, so I am planning on buying the FiiO E11 portable amp with a FiiO L9 LOD to use with my ipod touch.

 

Should I also buy a sound card for use at home in conjunction with my future headphones? If so, then which? Would the Xonar DG be a good sound card if I need one?

 

Today their most direct (but not only) closed can competitor is the Shure SRH 840.

 

The M50 has strong bass but recessed mids.  If you are a basshead or basshead lite they are a good way to go.  If you want a more balanced sound, which be definition cannot include recessed mids, go with the the Shure or another choice.

 

You should probably address whether or not open (cans that leak sound) are OK for you and what sound signature (or at least genres of music) you prefer.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

@whereas Thanks for explaining the difference! Would you be able to recommend what kind of other headphones that I might move up the ladder towards?

 

@ KG Jag I am definitely looking for good all around headphones and closed-ear headphones would definitely be a plus, but I'm not adverse to open-ear headphones as long as I can listen to music in loud areas. I would like to wear my headsets for a minimum of several hours a day (and usually in a single stretch); I also wear glasses, so comfort is important. I game, voice chat a lot, and tend to also listen to music frequently. My musical tastes include basically everything, especially classical music, techno, dubstep, etc; that said, I like bass, but I don't want a headache from it either.

 

To me, Comfort > Sound Quality (Music) > Sound Quality (Games, though reasonable software 5.1/7.1 reproduction would be nice).

 

Also, what kind of USB/Dac do you recommend to power the headphones?

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Ralox - 7/14/12 at 7:39pm
post #5 of 7

You will probably want to check the Recommendations thread, the first post of which contains a link to this (which you should read):

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-7-14-2012-ultrasone-pro-900-added

 

If your are in a noisy environment, closed cans that isolate well are indicated.  Check out the Shure SRH 840, KRK KNS 8400, Sony MDR-V900HD, Sony MDR 7506 and Sony MDR 7510.

 

Because of their very good isolation and comfort, I would lean toward a Sony.

 

If you can stretch your budget a bit, you can consider the Ultrasone Pro 750, which is the only can I've mentioned that requires amping.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralox View Post

@whereas Thanks for explaining the difference! Would you be able to recommend what kind of other headphones that I might move up the ladder towards?

 

@ KG Jag I am definitely looking for good all around headphones and closed-ear headphones would definitely be a plus, but I'm not adverse to open-ear headphones as long as I can listen to music in loud areas. I would like to wear my headsets for a minimum of several hours a day (and usually in a single stretch); I also wear glasses, so comfort is important. I game, voice chat a lot, and tend to also listen to music frequently. My musical tastes include basically everything, especially classical music, techno, dubstep, etc; that said, I like bass, but I don't want a headache from it either.

 

To me, Comfort > Sound Quality (Music) > Sound Quality (Games, though reasonable software 5.1/7.1 reproduction would be nice).

 

Also, what kind of USB/Dac do you recommend to power the headphones?

 

 

 

 

 

I'm actually looking at either the AKG K550 or Denon AH-D5000 at the moment. Leaning towards the K550 because of availability and price, but some say the Denons have better bass.

 

Also, I'm using an Audioengine D1 usb dec with my ATH-M50s, which is much better sounding than the headphone jack on my iMac.


Edited by whereas - 7/14/12 at 11:43pm
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

If I were to buy the AKG 550 and Audioengine D1 USB DAC, would I be able to use Dolby Digital like Mad Lust in games? And if I were to be more open to open-back headphones, would you recommend the Q701 over the AKG 550?


Edited by Ralox - 7/15/12 at 9:17pm
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