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Recommend An Upgrade From Audio Technica ATH-M50's Please

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm looking to upgrade from my M50's as even though they still sound great, they're starting to get flaky in the actual headband and cup department and it's starting to look like I have some weird black dandruff condition.

 

I have a budget of around £200-300 and was initially thinking about getting a pair of Blue MoFi's after watching this video and seeing how most on the panel really rated them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7s0FvIXQsE and in subsequent episodes of SonicTalk, they have all continued to wear them.

 

But I've been reading a few negative reviews of them and some people seem to have an issue with their weight and comfort for long listening sessions. I will mainly be using the headphones with my computer and through my Tascam M-164UF audio interface to listen to music and for when I am making music (both recording and mixing). I know I would probably be better off with a separate flat-response pair for mixing which is why I am keeping my M50's around as they've served me relatively well over the years.

 

I may also use the headphones with my smartphone (Sony Xperia Z2) but that isn't a huge must on my list as I generally use my Sony MDR-650AP's with that.

 

I've also been looking at the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus headphones but seeing as this is going to be a big upgrade from my M50's, I didn't know if they were significantly better than them.

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

post #2 of 29

So are you looking for something flatter or similar to the M50?

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AfxTwn View Post
 

Hi, I'm looking to upgrade from my M50's as even though they still sound great, they're starting to get flaky in the actual headband and cup department and it's starting to look like I have some weird black dandruff condition.

 

I have a budget of around £200-300 and was initially thinking about getting a pair of Blue MoFi's after watching this video and seeing how most on the panel really rated them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7s0FvIXQsE and in subsequent episodes of SonicTalk, they have all continued to wear them.

 

But I've been reading a few negative reviews of them and some people seem to have an issue with their weight and comfort for long listening sessions. I will mainly be using the headphones with my computer and through my Tascam M-164UF audio interface to listen to music and for when I am making music (both recording and mixing). I know I would probably be better off with a separate flat-response pair for mixing which is why I am keeping my M50's around as they've served me relatively well over the years.

 

I may also use the headphones with my smartphone (Sony Xperia Z2) but that isn't a huge must on my list as I generally use my Sony MDR-650AP's with that.

 

I've also been looking at the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus headphones but seeing as this is going to be a big upgrade from my M50's, I didn't know if they were significantly better than them.

 

Thanks for any suggestions.


Actually, I was in a similar situation as you when I joined the forum. I primarily used the M50, and used them both for casual listening and with creating/mixing music and got annoyed with them when they started getting flaky.

 

I went a different route and got the German Maestro 8.35 D. It's a somewhat rare headphone that you pretty much have to special order and buy blindly so it's a bit of a risk. 

 

Although I enjoy the sound of the M50 better, I find the 8.35 D more useful in the studio. It really picks up on flaws in a recording and will help with avoiding or correcting issues when mixing. It's a sensitive headphone that doesn't need an amp. It's fairly lightweight compared to most studio headphones. The headband is much more comfortable and made of a synthetic material that will last longer than the material on the headband of the M50. The ear pads do get warm though.

 

I do have to stress that it is a very different sound than the M50. It took me a bit to get used to, but it does what it does well and that's help you judge what's going on in a recording. It's not a headphone for everyone, but I am really happy with my purchase for the most part.

 

As a side note, if something is mixed really well they will sound great. There were times when listening and I lost track of time and such and thought for a second I was listening to the M50. This only happens with certain recordings. You will notice when things you thought were mixed good on popular records could have been mixed and/or mastered a little better.

post #4 of 29

I was looking at reviews of the Blue Mofi, and there are a couple points that would make me not want to bother. The pads are not user replaceable. They are glued on or something. That pad on the top of the headband will deteriorate just like the M50's and just the headphone in general is too much of a crazy contraption with just too much that can go wrong. I wouldn't give these the time of day.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks LN, it's funny you should mention the GM 8.35 D's as I did own a pair of these for use with my old iPod Touch when I wanted a pair that was super isolated/not prone to sound leakage due to listening to music on public transport. I did like them a lot and they were built like a tank but then I stopped going on buses and didn't use them as much and sold them and bought a pair of Philips Fidelio X1's for use at home (which I have also since sold) as I wanted to try a pair of open-ear headphones and they were also great but not fantastic for mixing.

 

I do regret selling the German Maestro's though. In answer to your question Chancho, I suppose I'm trying to hedge my bets and get the best of both worlds really, something that is great mixing but also sounds good for just listening to general music.

 

Having said that, I am probably more on the side of a flatter response or something with a good soundstage as I'm used to listening to un-coloured music. A few years ago I would use EQ's for everything (eg on my iPod or on Winamp etc) and have bassy headphones but when I started making music myself and read that flat, monitor headphones were better, I really started noticing the difference in quality and actually being able to hear all the instruments and frequencies without the whole song sounding to over-emphasized in the bass department or lacking elsewhere.

 

Now I don't EQ anything and prefer to listen to music (be it for mixing or standard listening) with a more flat feel as that way I think it sounds closer to how it would in the studio and how the artist originally intended it to sound without it being muddied or clouded by external processing by a hi-fi or bass-heavy headphones (besides most modern music is mixed well enough for it not to require additional bass amplification by the headphones).

 

I'll have another look for a cheap pair of 8.35 D's but I'll also see what else is out there. The more reviews I read about the Blu MoFi's, the less convinced I am by them.

post #6 of 29
I wasn't expecting you already had experience with the 8.35 D. Lol I like them more and more each day. I actually only had them for about a week, but so far I'm finding them to be a good all rounder. Sounds good out of a portable device, and helpful for mixing. I haven't gotten around to doing a very thorough test on how well they work for mixing quite yet, but my initial tests were very good.

The blue mofi is something that appeals to the inner geek, but comes off more like a novelty piece or even just a plain old nerdy experiment that wasn't thought all the way through. A lot of neat ideas packed into that can though. I like the idea of adjustable clamping force, but apparently it isn't implemented well.

Not sure what I can recommend as a true and clear cut upgrade from what you already owned with the price point you are looking at. A side grade more or less just looking for something different and new to you is easier.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

I've seen a pair of the GM's on ebay for under £50 (I'm in the UK btw) though they are the JMB DJ versions with red adjustment clamps at the side. I've been looking at Innerfidelity's Wall of Fame and I'm not sure if any of their sealed headphones might be a good choice. I'm thinking specifically of the Shure SRH1540, Oppo PM-3 or the Audio Technica M50X seeing as they're an improvement over my standard M50's and I already know kind of what they'll sound like.

 

It's very tough finding a pair of headphones that aren't accentuated in a particular area, most tend to be slightly warm and have more pronounced bass or may suffer in the highs. As I want to use the headphones for a mixture of recording/mixing and normal music listening, I guess compromises will have to be made.

 

I was tempted to get an open-ear pair like the Philips Fidelio X2's but again, I don't know if they'll be biassed towards a warmer sound. I've even been looking at the Sennheiser HD600's as they get great reviews.

 

Decisions, decisions...

post #8 of 29
You might find Innerfidelity's measurements database useful: http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads. It has the M50 listed, so you can see how the frequency response of other headphones compare smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much, I'll check it out. I think I will save up a little extra and possibly get a pair of Shure SRH1840's as I think an open pair will be better than sealed and as I don't record any live vocals or anything like that, I don't really need to worry about sound leakage.

post #10 of 29

Yamaha HPH-MT220. Way, way better for around the same price. (Partially because it used to be $399.)

 

I have not heard the HD 600, but owned the HD 650, which is similar. Sounds very pretty and is not fatiguing at all. A little too warm, dark, and smooth for me, but the HD 600 is reportedly more neutral. The Focal Spirit Professional is also very good, but I like the MT220 more than everything else I have heard.

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

Yamaha HPH-MT220. Way, way better for around the same price. (Partially because it used to be $399.)

FYI: it has never been above ~ $250 on Amazon since it was first released in 2013.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

FYI: it has never been above ~ $250 on Amazon since it was first released in 2013.

 

I saw it at or around the $399 MSRP on Amazon in 2014.


Edited by Music Alchemist - 6/14/15 at 4:14pm
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

I saw it at or around the $399 MSRP on Amazon in 2014.

camelcamelcamel is probably more reliable than your memory wink.gif
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

camelcamelcamel is probably more reliable than your memory wink.gif

 

An elephant never forgets, but a camel apparently can only go back one year. :D

 

I distinctly remember seeing it for between $350 and $400, when I was researching it and the Focal Spirit Professional.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

An elephant never forgets, but a camel apparently can only go back one year. biggrin.gif

Apparently elephants can't read:

"* since Feb 28, 2013."
http://camelcamelcamel.com/Yamaha-HPH-MT220-monitor-over-ear-headphones/product/B00B44N0DA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

I distinctly remember seeing it for between $350 and $400, when I was researching it and the Focal Spirit Professional.

It's always possible it was full MSRP for a moment. But the data indicates it was typically $250 or less, not "used to be $399" as you stated.
Edited by cel4145 - 6/14/15 at 7:23pm
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