I was given a pretty cheap pair of skullcandy headphones a while ago and they recently broke. I am a bit of an audiofile and I'm looking for a pair of replacements anywhere less than 300 dollars. I have been doing research and narrowed it down to either the AKG K550 or the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. I would love some advice between those two cans or any headphones that are better for my price range.
- productAKG K 550tagged by System, 7/24/12
- productAKG Q701 Premium Class Reference Headphones, Quincy Jones Signature Linetagged by System, 7/24/12
- productAudio-Technica ATH-M50Stagged by System, 3/1/13
- productAudio-Technica ATH-M50 Studio Monitor Headphonestagged by System, 7/24/12
- categoryHeadphonestagged by System, 7/24/12
- productPhilips Fidelio L1tagged by System, 7/24/12
- productSennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphonetagged by System, 7/24/12
- productSennheiser HD 650 Headphonestagged by System, 7/24/12
- productShure SRH840tagged by System, 7/24/12
- productShure SRH 940tagged by System, 7/24/12More
- productV-MODA Crossfade M-80tagged by System, 7/24/12
Related Forum Threads
- A little more mids than the M50s, in the same price range? (Maybe $180) Last post on 8/10/12 at 12:32pm in Headphones (full-size)
- A Casual Audiophile's Recommendation Thread: Find me something new! Detailed requirements... Last post on 6/17/12 at 5:02pm in Headphones (full-size)
- Looking for Headphones with Style and Substance Last post on 9/9/12 at 8:01pm in Headphones (full-size)
- Advice: Upgrading from ATH-M50 Last post on 9/7/12 at 11:05am in Headphones (full-size)
- Looking for good Headphones under $300 Total Price Last post on 8/8/12 at 1:51pm in Headphones (full-size)
Last edited: 8/18/12
- Buying Guide Headphones By Price RangeLast edited: 10/26/12
- A Hopefully Helpful Headphone Buying Guide For Newbies By BoomanaLast edited: 1/6/13
AKG K550 vs. Audio-Technica ATH-M50post #1 of 247/22/12 at 8:02pmThread Starter
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2 of 247/22/12 at 9:46pmpost #3 of 247/23/12 at 2:02amThread Starter
I am going to be driving them through my android and when im home through my pre amp. The music I usually listen to is generally more in the mids and highs with a tiny bit of bass but i listen to a pretty big variety of genres. I am also planning on using them to watch movies on my computerpost #4 of 247/23/12 at 2:34am
K550 is slightly easier to drive.
ATH-M50 has slightly recessed mids but very good highs. K550 has good mids but slightly recessed highs. Your choice.
Both has very good bass although ATH-M50's bass is bigger.
K550 has way more soundstage.Quote:Originally Posted by audio snob
I am going to be driving them through my android and when im home through my pre amp. The music I usually listen to is generally more in the mids and highs with a tiny bit of bass but i listen to a pretty big variety of genres. I am also planning on using them to watch movies on my computerpost #5 of 247/23/12 at 2:50amQuote:
I agree with the M50 having slightly recessed mids; further, I find that the M50 has a slightly mechanical feel to and doesn't have a very organic timber. It does in your face music fine; it struggles with nice vocals, violins or cello. I'm not sure about the comment that the K550 have recessed highs though; these are a bright headphone, and one of the things I liked the least about them was that they could be treble spikey, but only in some frequencies. They are competent but sharp. I agree with the above comment on bass; both basses are good. I find the K550 more detailed but the M50 has more impact. The K550 costs almost twice as much and is technically worth twic as much too imo. It's also the most comfortable headphone I've owned. While you can "pretend" that the M50 is portable, the K550 is much lesso. For me, the lack of a portability is a difficulty; the killer was the spikey treble. The K550 is almost a deal changer for the headfi world. It could have been excellent but fell short. The M50 is a classic, but its limited; still a great deal for those who can get it for a $100 and aren't annoyed by the recessed mids.post #6 of 247/23/12 at 3:28am
Which country are you based in audiosnob?
Here in the uk the m50's regularly cost £135 and the k550 are at £175. I'm quoting standard amazon prices (sold by amazon.co.uk) and other online retailers have no other choice really but to price match these prices!!
shure 940 are regularly at £200
shure 840 and beyer dt770 are at £130/140
AKG Q701 and senn hd600 are regularly at £250
I've never heard the m50's so I'm not saying anything really about their sound qualities. All that I am saying is headphone shopping is sometimes all about price. People's impressions and thoughts and conclusions on a headphone are many times molded around price- which is fair enough!
So when there are HUGE discrepancies in pricings like such, between the americas and europe, then you've gotta watch out for this factor of price influencing impressions.post #7 of 247/23/12 at 4:45amQuote:
So u feel K550 has a wider sound stage comparing to ATH-M50.
Can you also comment about the separation, mids and high between them?post #8 of 247/23/12 at 5:30am
I have a lot of experience with the ATH-M50 as I own a pair, while my experience with the K550 is limited to an extended audition at a headphone store. In other words, I can't really give you all the details since I am not familiar with them enough. With this said, when auditioning the K550 it was very obvious to me that the K550 has a wider sound stage and also better separation than the ATH-M50, although this could just be a consequence of better soundstage. I find the M50's highs clearer and more upfront, while they are smoother and slightly recessed on the K550 (the K550 is still a pretty bright headphone though). M50's highs are harsh and piercing for some, K550 are pretty unfatiguing. The M50's mids are more recessed than the K550's, but the difference is not huge. M50's mids actually have a tiny bit more body to them. But please remember to take these opinions with a grain of salt. Also keep in mind that my M50 is the white-box version, which is slightly more neutral than the old versions (ie. not as recessed mids)Quote:
Edited by jupitreas - 7/23/12 at 5:39ampost #9 of 247/23/12 at 6:28amQuote:Originally Posted by audio snob
I am going to be driving them through my android and when im home through my pre amp. The music I usually listen to is generally more in the mids and highs with a tiny bit of bass but i listen to a pretty big variety of genres. I am also planning on using them to watch movies on my computer
Grab the K550's ~ given that you do not bow down to the temple of enhanced bass ~ the AKG's will eclipse the M50's on every level in terms of
separation, and post-mids detail. It is in every way not a very fair comparison, this of course being reflected in the price of both cans.post #10 of 247/23/12 at 7:06am
Suffice to say that the K550 is a generally neutral phone. I wouldn't say it excels stellarly at a particular genre or another, or any particular frequency range - none get any emphasis. Pretty good if you're gonna throw alot of genres of music it, but the preference boils down to whether you may like the laidback presentation (I know I do).post #11 of 247/23/12 at 9:04amQuote:Originally Posted by vinland029
Suffice to say that the K550 is a generally neutral phone. I wouldn't say it excels stellarly at a particular genre or another, or any particular frequency range - none get any emphasis. Pretty good if you're gonna throw alot of genres of music it, but the preference boils down to whether you may like the laidback presentation (I know I do).
It sounds to me that AKG K550 is very good for vocal, jazz, blue, classical, or anything which is not bass centric.
In the other hand, it might not be good for music like trance, dream, disco, new wave, synthdance that emphasize on bass.post #12 of 247/23/12 at 12:57pmQuote:
I think it's excellent for bass centric music.post #13 of 247/23/12 at 1:36pm
I have the K550s and find them much preferable to the M50s, which I find mechanical and sterile. The K550s are great for instrumental and vocal jazz, sometimes less so for other genres like rock and electronic, but it really depends on the recording - some come across as too bright. The K550s can be driven well by an iPhone, etc., though I think they open up with amping. They have the best soundstage I have encountered in a closed phone. As for using them as a portable headphone, however, a few things to keep in mind. They have a really long cable (maybe 9 feet) and they are big phones. They do fold flat at least, and I find them super comfortable. You do need to make sure you get a good seal by manipulating the cups a bit. If you don't, they truly do have little bass. If you do, it's a nicely balanced and accurate headphone. Noise isolation is decent, but not the best.
For portable use, I would be tempted to try the V-Moda M-80s based on what I have read. I have the Sennheiser HD-25s, but with the coiled cable so its not great for portable use. I also just don't find the HD-25s to be very comfortable, though the clamping force does keep them nicely in place.post #14 of 247/23/12 at 1:46pm
I had the K550 and i also own the M50 and i must say that the 550 is the better headphone hands down. But i found it very bright and a bit cold sounding. For vocal,jazz,blues etc its a much better choice then the M50 that has alot of power and attack but no finesse.post #15 of 247/23/12 at 3:04pmThread Starter
Thanks for all the input. I have a pair of earbuds that i have been told are very bright but it does not bother me at all so if the K550 are bright i think i would be fine with them. Is it very difficult to get a good seal on the earcups on the K550?
- AKG K550 vs. Audio-Technica ATH-M50
Gear mentioned in this thread:
- Buying Guide Headphones By Price Range
- › The HeadAmp GS-X and GS-X MK2 Thread 7 seconds ago
- › Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread 10 seconds ago
- › HD800 being "picky" with amps myth 23 seconds ago
- › SansaClip+ Rockbox Appreciation Society 35 seconds ago
- › The new IEM of Vsonic VSD 3S ( impression updated by smailbz) 42 seconds ago
- › Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR 1 minute ago
- › HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone 2 minutes ago
- › Distortion of Sound Documentary 2 minutes ago
- › Grado e Series 3 minutes ago
- › New OPPO HA-1 (CES 2014) 4 minutes ago
- › OSTRY KC06 High Fidelity Stereo Inner-Ear Earphones by twister6
- › beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Headphones by Xyrium
- › DacMagic XS USB DAC Headphone Amp by Davidoffdgh
- › SONY MDR-XB90EX | In-Ear EXTRA BASS Headphones (Japanese Import) by kevms89
- › M-Audio Studiophile Q40 Closed-back Dynamic Headphones by classycans
- › Audio Poutine CDAC+ by WhiskeyJacks
- › Hama HK-3063 by Blanejmc
- › Calyx Audio M by Currawong
- › Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro - 600 ohms by MrTechAgent
- › T-PEOS H-100II by mark2410
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Introduction)
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 2
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 3
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (In-Ear Headphones)
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (In-Ear Headphones) 2
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (In-Ear Headphones) 3
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Gaming Headphones)
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Exercise Headphones)
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Wireless Headphones)