That all said, I could not disagree with you more. IMHO these are worlds apart from the M50 when it comes to balance, speed, detail retrieval, soundstage, layering, imaging, and overall refinement. The SQ differences and subtleties are what puts this headphone on another plain from anything under $200. Since you bring up the M50, to my ears, their frequency response is like a check mark: punchy and decent bass extension, slightly recessed mids, big treble emphasis. It's a bit sloppy and unrefined especially when listening to fast-paced music. Perhaps one might find the 500 veiled if they are used to treble-heavy headphones but I would not say they have a veil at all. To give you my perspective, the 1R has a warmer and more veiled sound in the mids - definitely a warm coloration. Meanwhile the Amperior has a bit of edginess to them - you can hear it in the treble and listening to female vocals is a big indicator. Both of these headphones sound great but because of those characteristics and if you're as nitpicky as I am, they just don't sound as natural as they could. Either slightly bright or slightly veiled. In the case of the 500, I have never heard a headphone so perfectly balanced - linear across the frequency. When I listen to them I don't feel that anything is missing or overpowering the other. I have also never heard a headphone sound so tonally correct. It's very hard for a headphone to sound lifelike in which it stops sounding like a headphone. This is first headphone where everything sounds near-perfect and the headphone sound more like an instrument than a headphone.
Anyway, we all have different ears and perhaps you may have a preference for a more aggressive brighter sound. I honestly was baffled when you said the M50 sounds better because to my ears, these are a 110% upgrade in every way possible to the M50. For me, the 500 can be anything you want it to be - you just have to press play.
Edited by roma101 - 2/24/13 at 9:05am