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Over-Ear item created by TeddyG, Feb 20, 2014
Pros - Crisp High, mids, lows and punchy bass, Comfortable as F***
Cons - Proprietary detachable cables
Got these headphones in blue limited edition and first of all, I must say that they look absolutely fantastic. Sexy in style and design. Not only that, the sound is amazing too! High, mid lows are all crisp and the bass is just enough for all you bass heads out there. Last but not least, the comfort of these headphones is beyond this world! You can literally wear these for the whole day and you head won't hurt even a bit. It's definitely one of the best headphones that is worth every buck of its price! The hype on these cans definitely isn't all for nothing. I really recommend this!
Pros - Removable cable (of course!!!), updated more comfortable earpads, more detailed sound
Cons - proprietary connector, wish there would be a cable with in-line mic/remote for smartphones
Before receiving M50x, I thought my review of this new updated version of a legendary M50 model going to be just a basic short comparison since the main advertised change was a removable cable with everything else remaining the same. Once I received it and had a chance to spend some time with it, I feel this pair of headphones deserves a full review - all over again! I really do feel Audio-Technica guys were a bit too modest downplaying the changes since beside the cable I can also hear sound improvement. Let's take a closer look at what I found.
I always start with a packaging because I find presentation of the product very important and always imagine if it would capture my attention if I see it on the shelf in the store. With M50x model the packaging was completely redesigned where instead of open view display now it's a sealed slick box with a main focus on the high quality image with a detachable cable. I can only imagine how much feedback AT received to push them over the edge to update their best selling model with this small, yet very significant change while leaving the rest of the design details the same. Typically a cable attachment is a weakest point in a design due to stress at the joint to earcup. Adding detachable cable extends the longevity of the headphone and adds flexibility for different replacement cables.
Audio-Technica included 3 different cables to make everybody happy. You get a straight 1.2m cable, a straight 3m cable, and a coiled cable which extends from 1.2m to 3m. Since the later two are intended for a more professional use, their 3.5mm connector side which goes to the audio source has a threaded connector for 1/4" adapter, included with accessories. On the other side attached to a left earcup, you have 2.5mm connector with a groove for interlocking twist connector. It is proprietary, but I'm sure it won't be too long before we going to see an aftermarket cable, perhaps even with in-line remote/mic. I have found myself using M50 while watching movies on my smartphone quite often in the last 6 months since I got it, so being able to pickup a call might be a good option as well.
In addition to 3 removable cables and 1/4" adapter, a storage drawstring pouch was also included which is a perfect size when M50x folded inward for the most compact storage. For those who would like a better case to protect your M50/M50x headphones, I would highly recommend Slappa Hardbody Pro Headphone case (http://www.amazon.com/Slappa-Sized-H...dp/B009NE7B06/) which is even more convenient to use now since you don't have to bend a cable and can just disconnect it for a long term storage or when traveling. Alternatively, you can place M50/M50x folded inside with a room for your DAP or DAC/amp.
Regarding the overall design, it remained the same - if it ain't broke, don't fix it! The headphones are build like a tank, though most of the material is quality plastic. Thanks to a double-joint connection mechanism between headband and y-fork two-point connection to earcups, these can swivel and rotate 180 degrees to accommodate any head shape, to wear in DJ-style, to keep them around your neck with earcups flat, or to place them flat on any surface. The headband adjustment still has a precious click. Also, it's still has a very compact inward fold which significantly reduces a footprint for storage. The headband has a soft inner padding for comfortable extended period of time wear, and a decent clamping force which doesn't put too much pressure while still providing good passive noise isolation. Now, here comes something new. The earpads have been redesigned and now have a much softer pleather with a thicker padding feel. Another change I noticed was "ATH-M50x" label being stamped on y-fork of each side instead of being printed outside of earcups shell like with M50.
At this point, I would have concluded my review saying M50x has the same neodymium 45mm dynamic drivers, with the same frequency response and impedance and max input power rating. All of this looks the same on the paper, but once you start listening and doing A/B comparison between M50 and M50x you will quickly hear that a tuning is slightly different and improved! It's still a well balanced warm sound with a great bass response which extends down to fast mid-bass punch and low sub-bass layer - great in both quality and quantity. It still has a nice upper mids details and clarity, and crisp treble without being too bright and harsh, and without a hint of sibilance. But when compared very close to M50, the sound is less veiled and the bass is more detailed. Keep in mind, this is just a relative comparison since M50 is great to begin with, but M50x sounds brighter and more clear to my ears which I found to be a nice bonus in addition to removable cable and new earpads. Both still have a wider than average soundstage, and in general great for non-fatigue extended listening.
Overall, I was very impressed with this update and completely justify price difference between M50 and M50x models considering improved design with a set of 3 removable cables, a more comfortable earpads, and an improved sound signature tuning. Sometimes it's a risk to take a winning formula and try to change it or to update it, but in case of ATH-M50x this change was a definite success!
Here are the pictures.
With Slappa Case.
Pros - Comfortable, detachable cable, short cable will fit most phones with cases, good lows and crisp mids
Cons - Tinny, no premium feel
I bought these to replace my Sennheiser HD25-I as they were quite uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time.
Whilst these are incredibly comfortable, the sound isn't something I'm used to. The highs are quite tinny no matter the genre. They need some wearing in, I suppose, but for $169, they're a great headphone.
The main reason I love them is because of their cables. They're thoughtfully designed and allows me to use it on my phone without having to remove the case.
Pros - Comfortable, detachable cable, slightly improved soundstage, tighter bass
Cons - Only cables from Audio-Technica fit, Ears can get a little warm
I was looking for closed headphones with a pricetag up to €200 that could be used without an amp. After some research and listening sessions I bought the M50x. There's really not a lot to say about these headphones. They are the new version of the well known M50/M50s with a few improvements. Such as a detachable cable and I also noticed a slightly improved soundstage and tighter bass. On top of that I found there was a little less sibilance than I experieced with the M50. The improvements in sound may be marginal, but they exist nonetheless.
The M50/M50s were great and now the M50x is just a little bit better. I wouldn't upgrade if I already owned the M50/M50s, but if you don't I think the M50x are the best closed headphones you can buy for up to €200 at the moment.
Pros - Detachable cable, same amazing build quality and sound signature of the original M50 as well as hinges. Fairly cheap
Cons - Design
Basically an ATH M50 with the long awaited detachable cable. It ships with 3 different cables: 4 foot straight, 4 foot coiled and a 9 foot straight. However, you have to use Audio Technica cables since it has a twist lock mechanism. If you are looking for good quality audiophile/studio headphones, these are great. They are slightly more expensive than the original M50s but definitely worth it. On the other hand, if you already own the M50s, it is not worth upgrading to the M50X.