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I just bought Audio Technica ATH-M50s.. I have questions.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hello, I just got myself a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50. I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile. I don't like hobbies, I've watched all the episodes of Star Trek and Dragon Ball Z/GT (several times in that case) and I never considered myself a fanboy of anything. I'm a hard worker but I wouldn't call myself a workaholic.. I just wanted headphones that sound better than what I've gotten before. I've used cheap Sony, JVC headphones and Skullcandy for a long time, my last one being Skullcandy Hesh 2.0. I wanted new headphones NOW and I've been eyeing these for a while. I didn't have time to stop and try on other headphones since I was at work so I had my mom pick up my order. The questions I have are:

 

1. After warranty and taxes, this cost $200 (that's 25 hours of work for me). Is this really the best I could've gotten in my price range?

2. I don't have an amp and I've never had an amp before. Do I need one for these headphones? Would it make much of a difference?

3. I took my Bose QuietComfort 15 back the other day because I realized maybe $300 is a bit much. Was this a mistake?

4. Should I be turned off that the cord isn't replacable? I've replaced my SkullCandy headphones' cord many times (cat likes to chew it and I've dropped my laptop before). This cord is obviously thicker though..

5. (Edit: I read this incorrectly. I thought he was saying ATH-M50 was king in 2007 but is no longer. That's not to say there isn't a 10+ page thread debating whether M50 is still king.) In an earlier thread, a user named ssrock64 said "The ATH-M50 is certainly better than the DT1350 at dubstep, but it's comparing apples and oranges. Honestly, there's a lot better cans you can get for the same or less money than the ATH-M50 in today's market. It was king in 2007, but now others have taken its place." I didn't really see a challenge to that statement. Is this true?

6. I've been a lurker in this forum for a while. Is ATH-M50 pretty much the Linux or Libertarian of headphones? In other words, are the positive reviews just coming from loyal, Conservative users and they're actually overrated?

7. I've heard that higher-end headphones need burning in. This cost $150 (It's sad because I could've gotten it cheaper on Amazon) so I wouldn't know where this fit.. either way, is this true?

8. I've seen Amazon reviews of these headphones going back to 2007. Have these headphones changed with the times or have they never changed? Technology improved since 2007, although not significantly unfortunately, (see Fermi Paradox). If no, should I be concerned?

9. Other headphones require batteries and have an on/off button and some have a hi/lo button. Why does this not have one?

10. If you wanted to recommend something else incase I go to Guitar Center to try on other headphones tomorrow, what would you recommend? I listen to all types of music. I find it horrifying that there are people that are stuck on one genre. I like a lot of bass but only on songs where it fits.

 

 

I may have more later. I'm asking instead of googling because this is more specific.


Edited by joeywreck - 3/10/13 at 9:17pm
post #2 of 18

1 . You could have bought them from SoundProfesionals for $109 with free shipping in the US or for $159 with Detachable cable.

http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/ATH-M50s

 

2.  No / Depends

3.  Buying the Bose was the mistake...

4.  See #1

5.  Don't Know

6.  "All Aboard" the ATH-M50 Hype Train... biggrin.gif

7.  Headphone Break-In = Putting them on your head and listening to your music.

8.  Don't Know

9.  Because they are just regular headphones maybe...

10. I'd recommend you take your music with you and try all that they have for testing, and find one that YOU like the sound of...

beerchug.gif

post #3 of 18
The on/off switch is for active noise cancellation. I prefer passive, which the m50s are. I would recommend the Beyerdynamic dt770 pro (80/250) if you want to buy an amp with them. Beyers + Amp = Less $ than Bose, ×100 better!
post #4 of 18

There are other options out there in the price range, but you'll have to ultimately decide which one sounds the best to you. Look at the Beyerdynamic DT770-80's and Ultrasone HFI-580's in particular.

 

The Bose headphones are only good if you really want that active noise cancellation. The ANC only cancels out certain types of noise (high pitched machine whines), and requires the batteries to work. Passive isolation like on the other headphones out there works better for me.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeywreck View Post

Hello, I just got myself a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50. I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile. I don't like hobbies, I've watched all the episodes of Star Trek and Dragon Ball Z/GT (several times in that case) and I never considered myself a fanboy of anything. I'm a hard worker but I wouldn't call myself a workaholic.. I just wanted headphones that sound better than what I've gotten before. I've used cheap Sony, JVC headphones and Skullcandy for a long time, my last one being Skullcandy Hesh 2.0. I wanted new headphones NOW and I've been eyeing these for a while. I didn't have time to stop and try on other headphones since I was at work so I had my mom pick up my order. The questions I have are:

 

1. After warranty and taxes, this cost $200 (that's 25 hours of work for me). Is this really the best I could've gotten in my price range?

2. I don't have an amp and I've never had an amp before. Do I need one for these headphones? Would it make much of a difference?

3. I took my Bose QuietComfort 15 back the other day because I realized maybe $300 is a bit much. Was this a mistake?

4. Should I be turned off that the cord isn't replacable? I've replaced my SkullCandy headphones' cord many times (cat likes to chew it and I've dropped my laptop before). This cord is obviously thicker though..

5. In an earlier thread, a user named ssrock64 said "The ATH-M50 is certainly better than the DT1350 at dubstep, but it's comparing apples and oranges. Honestly, there's a lot better cans you can get for the same or less money than the ATH-M50 in today's market. It was king in 2007, but now others have taken its place." I didn't really see a challenge to that statement. Is this true?

6. I've been a lurker in this forum for a while. Is ATH-M50 pretty much the Linux or Libertarian of headphones? In other words, are the positive reviews just coming from loyal, Conservative users and they're actually overrated?

7. I've heard that higher-end headphones need breaking in. This cost $150 (It's sad because I could've gotten it cheaper on Amazon) so I wouldn't know where this fit.. either way, is this true?

8. I've seen Amazon reviews of these headphones going back to 2007. Have these headphones changed with the times or have they never changed? Technology improved since 2007, although not significantly unfortunately, (see Fermi Paradox). If no, should I be concerned?

9. Other headphones require batteries and have an on/off button and some have a hi/lo button. Why does this not have one?

10. If you wanted to recommend something else incase I go to Guitar Center to try on other headphones tomorrow, what would you recommend? I listen to all types of music. I find it horrifying that there are people that are stuck on one genre. I like a lot of bass but only on songs where it fits.

 

I may have more later. I'm asking instead of googling because this is more specific.

1: That would be completely subjective. 

2: Portable players should drive them with enough power. No, definitely not needed. You could want one for other purposes, but that's lust not necessity.

3: Bose is generally maligned around here so that probably will not warrant the most prudent responses. If you need the noise cancelling, few can compare.  

4: Generally have not heard too much build/durability problems with the cable, you could get a removable cable mod or do it yourself if it ever does fail, but this is very rare.

5: See #1

6: As a Linux/BSD user I would've taken great offense to that but it would just prove your point. Ignore the hype/anti-hype. Focus on the product itself.

7: Burn-in is also a highly debated topic around here in regards to its validity. Read the threads in the sound science forums. Theoretically price does not dictate such, and why should it?

8: One revision during the period that flattened out the FR response. 

9: Why should it have one? It has no noise-cancelling capabilities, bluetooth/wireless, or otherwise. They are powered/receives audio from the source that they are plugged into.

10: A lot of bass + guitar centre = DT770 PRO.

post #6 of 18

ATH-M50s are basshead cans of a sort.  A lot of beginners start with basshead cans because quality bass is one of the easiest improvements to immediately notice.  Enjoy your cans!  They're a big jump from what you were listening to before, but not the biggest jump you may have made with the cash.

 

Dynamics have their limitations.  I started with a highly rated dynamic can - the HD650, which require amping but not expensive amping.  An FiiO E9 done right by them, and the $99 Magni even more so.  I was looking for planar magnetics (also called 'Orthodynamic') and happened upon a great deal on an open-box refurb/cosmetic-flaw HifiMan HE-500 (I paid just over $500 but market price is about $700) and the jump up was worth twice the price - it's a significant improvement.

 

A lot of the popular headphones in the mainstream are closed - that is, they are what you expect with headphones.  They are 'uni-directional' with materials designed to close off the sound from escaping the headphone.  This is opposed to open headphones which are a bit 'bi-directional' in that you can hear them from outside the headphone.  One of the benefits of open headphones is that they tend to present a sound that is less congested and more 'open'.  It's nothing like speakers unless you're using crossfeed (a technology that de-isolates each channel in various amounts so that it sounds more like a speaker presentation) or a computer audio player that supports some VST plugins that do much the same but with the software instead of the hardware.  Open cans tend to not have the bass presentation of closed cans, although not all closed cans have great bass presentation - it's just that the closed nature allows the bass to 'resonate' more and it creates a bass impact at least a bit more similar to a woofer.  However, what you trade in bass impact, you can more than make up in clarity and 'head-stage'.

 

If I had $200 to spend on headphones, I'd buy the Sony MA-900 (an open can), but if I had $300, I'd get the Mad Dogs (with Alpha pads) modified Fostex, which are closed planar magnetics that have been favorably compared to my beloved HE-500, as well as the even pricier Audez'e LCD-2.2.  They're easier to drive, but do better with an amp.  Planar magnetics do better with raw power than other esoteric amplifier attributes.  The Mad Dogs have also been said to have a much wider sound-stage than most closed cans.  The 'Alpha' pads slightly angle the drivers in a way that help create more of a 3D soundstage and although they're not bass-monsters the way that some of the Sonys, V-Modas, etc., are - they are said to provide very good and euphonic bass.

 

I hope that helped a bit.


Edited by disastermouse - 3/11/13 at 2:48am
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

This sounds odd but

 

I've been comparing these with my Skullcandy Hesh 2.0.. The Skullcandy headphones actually sounds clearer and has better lows sometimes..

post #8 of 18
I just bought the M50 as well, they dont provide the bass like on the beats. And certainly I do not want to carry an amp around. Good thing is they have a good range. And the detachable cord I wish i knew.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeywreck View Post

This sounds odd but

 

I've been comparing these with my Skullcandy Hesh 2.0.. The Skullcandy headphones actually sounds clearer and has better lows sometimes..

 

I've read that Hesh 2.0 is quite a stepup from the original Hesh and doesn't have the very typical low quality Skullcandy sound but I'm still a bit suprised about that statement. blink.gif

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

I was just told "Well, ATH-M50s is basically the kind of headphones that 13 year olds who'd like to upgrade from Skullcandy would beg their mom to buy for Christmas and get it because it's affordable enough.. Then you'll see if you go on Youtube to the nearest video titled "Pink noise" you'll see them posting comments like "Burning in my ATH-M50s!" and pretend they're brilliant."

 

It hit a nerve since I've returned an HP laptop before just because all the Youtube videos were by spoiled 13 year olds and CNET. I've made the mistake of listening to Youtube reviews by children and the toddlers at CNET when I got a prior laptop, so I'm cautious.

 

Maybe my last question, Would you call this an overpriced toy?

post #11 of 18
Thats kinda brutal to describe. I got suckered into buying them man!
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by takenlife View Post

Thats kinda brutal to describe. I got suckered into buying them man!

Blame the children.

post #13 of 18
I only know the M50 by reputation...but what would it matter what we think? This is the only place you'll get 'cool points' for your headphones.

Are there better deals for the money? Maybe, but you'll have to pay at least double what you did for a real jump up into something truly revelatory, IMHO.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeywreck View Post

I was just told "Well, ATH-M50s is basically the kind of headphones that 13 year olds who'd like to upgrade from Skullcandy would beg their mom to buy for Christmas and get it because it's affordable enough.. Then you'll see if you go on Youtube to the nearest video titled "Pink noise" you'll see them posting comments like "Burning in my ATH-M50s!" and pretend they're brilliant."

 

It hit a nerve since I've returned an HP laptop before just because all the Youtube videos were by spoiled 13 year olds and CNET. I've made the mistake of listening to Youtube reviews by children and the toddlers at CNET when I got a prior laptop, so I'm cautious.

 

Maybe my last question, Would you call this an overpriced toy?

 

Let me get this straight. You returned a laptop just because some kids use it? That's pretty ridiculous, who cares what demographic a headphone appeals to as long as they're good quality.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm actually a little disappointed with these. The sound doesn't sound much different from my year-old Skullcandy Hesh 2.0.. I'm not noticing anything different. I'm considering going to the store later to try others on. What are your recommendations? I listen to all genres. I don't have anything more specific than my favorite being post-hardcore and hip hop.. but it ranges daily. I'm listening to Wiz Khalifa but an hour ago I was listening to a Live album of Celia Cruz (salsa).. I do like bass, but I don't want anything unneccessary like what Beats would give me.

 

Comfort is not my top priority, sound is. However, I would want at least something better than the Hesh that I've been using.. It was hard as a rock. It literally crushes your skull.. and also my ears would hurt after hours of use.

 

Seeing how I spent $200 already because of warranty (which I don't really need) and taxes and the fact that the store already charges too much for the headphones, I guess my price range is up to $200.

 

The top recommendation I've seen from lurking is ATH-M50s.. or maybe it used to be the most recommended. What are the others? Could I get at least some educated guess on what would be best for me from reading what I typed?


Edited by joeywreck - 3/13/13 at 12:57am
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