Audio-Technica ATH-M50S


New Head-Fier
Pros: decent amount of detail for the price, engaging sound signature
Cons: spiky, harsh and aggressive treble, boomy bass, no soundstage, uncomfortable stock pads
After reading all the glowing reviews on youtube and amazon, I thought I would give these cans a try.
For the first half an hour I loved these cans, I thought they were fun, engaging and detailed enough for my liking. Then my ears started to hurt, more and more, to the point where I had to take them off my head and let them rest for an hour. At low listening volumes, these headphones are decent, but if you raise the volume above 40% (on an iPhone), the treble becomes so aggressive it feels as though knives are stabbing your ear, particularly with electronic music. The bass gets very muddy and bleeds into the midrange on certain tracks.
Clamping force out of the box was pretty strong, and the stock pads are rubbish.
Swapping with velour hm5 pads drastically increased the comfort, but worsened the sound. The treble's harshness amplified and I had to take off these headphones every 5 minutes due to listening fatigue. I added toilet paper between the pad and the driver, and the treble calmed itself down, but now all the details were missing. The headphone now sounded incredibly blurry, but listenable.
These are NOT studio monitors, I would go as far as to call them mildly V-shaped.
The m50x I would call the "gateway" headphone into the audiophile world, because most people either owned Beats or EarPods before, and growing tired of the poor sound, go look on youtube and amazon for a superior audio alternative and find these. When I walk around the city, the m50x's are the third most popular headphone I see (behind beats and EarPods). I find it at least somewhat commendable when I see people wearing these in public, not because they are a good choice, but because it tells me they are at least trying to get better sound quality than from EarPods.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Very solid construction (folding mechanism, cable and high quality plastic), clear and detailed bass, overall "driven" and "responsive" sound.
Cons: High head pressure, ear sweating, low quality vinyl in earcups and arch coating. Not for sound mastering (noticeable midbass and treble accents).
I've been using these phones for nearly 7 years and, I think, I can first of all conclude some "long life" specifics of these earphones:
1) They are really bombproof. I've dropped them lots of times, sat on them, crushed them with a laptop in my backpack, got caught by the cable at different obstacles (completely destroyed two player mini-jack sockets). And they are still mechanically perfect. But the head-arch coating became torn on the sides and the ear cups became cracked and stone-hard.
2) These phones had really "monitor-grade"  and "unaccented" sound for, well, first 40 hours of listening. After initial burn-in the pronounceable bass appeared, the headphones started to sound in more "raw", "dark", "wet" way. And that's what I was looking for - growling vocal and "raw" Thrash Metal guitar became perfectly enhanced.
I liked this until I tried a new freshly burnt in M50. I really thought, that mine have "burnt out" - they sounded a lot more "raw", but the lack of clarity was drastic.
But when I changed the ear cups to the brand new ones, the almost-new M50 and my 7 year old M50 became indistinguishable again. So, the condition of the ear cups can seriously affect the sound, at least in the case of M50-s. I still use old and cracked ear cups when I want to listen to something like Cascadian Black Metal.
3) The wearing comfort is not the best, but quite acceptable (unless your ear cups have already turned into stone-hard condition). The arch spring strength has not changed over 7 years - they are still tight-fit and stay aligned on the head even while running or driving off-road. But, anyway, I find it hard to continuously wear them for more than 4 hours. But what I really like about the construction is that it's quite easy securely to mount the headphones to a single ear (one ear cup is on the ear and another is resting behind another ear), so there is no need to completely take off the headphones to answer the phone or make a short conversation with someone.
4) The headphones are loud enough with virtually any device (from 20$ pendrive players to desktop DAC-AMP combos), but the quality difference is extreme (that's obvious). What is not so obvious, at least for me, is that the sound quality varies so much among different flagship mobile phones, lower-end hardware DAC players and higher-end codec players. ATH-A900X and Shure SRH840 were signifcantly less affected, than M50-s.
Now, about the sound and genres:
They have a great "drive", despite their quite average sensivity. Perfect examples of what I really like how it sounds on these earphones are: Thrash metal, Technical Death Metal (e.g. Vader - Red Code), high-paced Techno, bass-rich Melodic Death Metal (e.g. Amorphis - Majestic Beast), heavier representatives of Power Metal (Sabaton, Powerwolf, Manowar), Industrial metal or Industrial with non-electronic bass (e.g. Samael - For a thousand years).
Though, these headphones are not crystal clear, so they are not the best for high-pitched Oldschool Electronic music or Classical music (violin and tenor vocals are mediocre at most) with one exception - these headphones are not so bad for double-bass and cello-rich compositions. Jazz Fusion sounds too flat with too much bass.


Pros: good sqi
Cons: too heavy
I think the sq is good but personally i dont like flat sounding headphones.
The M50? Flat-sounding?


Pros: Nice Packaging, laid back mids and highs
Cons: Pretty much everything else
The highs and the lows are, for lack a better descriptor "dry".  There are people who "like" this sort of leanness, but it's never sounded "real" to me.  It's the difference I hear in vintage (dry)Teac/Tascam analog tape gear vs. the better Pioneer machines from the mid-'70's forward. (The better European machines as well, even though reliability problems are legion, depending on brand.) How something measures and how it sounds are sometimes very counterintuitive.  I was disappointed and let's leave it at that.
I'm a retired professional musician/teacher.  Most of what I listen to is what's increasingly dismissed as "marginalized" owing to my age demographic.  My idea of the greatest rock band of all time is Blood, Sweat & Tears.  (I'm casual friends with Roy Halee, although I haven't spoken with him recently, we're both trumpet players...)   I'm sorry that you dislike what I disliked and our biases somewhat cancel. They're not BAD headphones, and that seems to be the "common denominator" in the commentary about them.  My biases are toward Jazz/Classical/Acoustic and what most  think of as highly produced (prepared/rehearsed) types of music.  I.E., Mercs/RCA Living Stereo minimalist miked  type things. That probably marginalizes ME a bit. I'm a fan of AT.  I have several of their mics, including a  pair of the 4050's, the single point 822 (I know it's getting long in the tooth but man does it a great job if you can't be picky about setup) and I'm quite fond of the AT-150MLX MM cart.  (I've owned at least a dozen of their cartridges and liked nearly all of them.)  So, please underestand that I'm not biased against the brand.  But the rest of what I have by them raises my expectations.  The price point thing is getting weird now, because there's spurts of (to me, at least) WILD street price inflation hitting us differently depending on what part of the Pacific rim items come from. (Japan's gone nuts, but only on certain things...strange...) Those Superlux 'phones are more or less about the same (but the other brand name they're being imported under is down around $30.00 or so shipped, or was..) These things are in flux now more than ever.  Peace...
^^^What the heck are you talking about? You're all over the place with that post, very hard to follow, and what you just said had nothing to do with your review, and you named dropped a semi famous musician for no apparent reason, I'm confused...
Interesting.  I said that I was a retired professional musician and teacher, and proffered the comment to provide some background on why I like what I like and how I came to like it. That was the only reason it was mentioned.  Roy Halee is NOT a famous musician. I know him because we met on a trumpet group and he private messaged me about some posts I had made pointing out why so many of the records he and Lou Waxman were involved with rank as some of the best sounding popular music records of their time and place, specifically on the label he worked for.   (They get reissued, i.e.,"Mo-Fi"-ed a LOT.) I didn't know he was a member there until he contacted me and a friendship was struck.   What he IS, is a well known Producer (Simon & Garfunkel, and B,S&T among others) which again, is why I included mentioning him. I addressed Koolpep's question regarding what music I listened to and what MY biases are.  (We all have them.)   My crucible is Real (acoustic) instruments in a real (if arbitrarily created, as in the case of Halee's pop recordings) space.  It was meant to be a civil reply to a comment I took at face value.  I don't expect everybody to like what I like.  It's irrational to think that everybody would.  I'm always listening and I like discussing music (in general) and gear (in general-unless it degrades into a P***ing contest, which is where I have no interest in seeing this discussion go.)  It's just one more opinion, but I made my living in Music and I trust my own perceptions. Which is what we all should do.  I've made no attacks on anyone's preferences.  I just spoke to mine.    If you like the AT Headphones, good on 'ya, man.  But I can't keep everything I try, so choices had to be made. Sorry that you had trouble understanding the context, especially since the reply was to satisfy a request FOR context.   The tone of your post tends to make me think that you don't care to understand.  The presentation of the headphones were "dry" (some might invoke the descriptor "threadbare".) Instruments sound thinner and "smaller" as opposed to creating the instrument in a way that allows the listener to suspend disbelief and the signal chain disappears.  So without trying to invoke more invective, for me, they lacked "transparency".  I was disappointed.  A lot of people aren't. I have no connection with Audio Technica whatsoever, other than as a retail customer.  It's one person's opinion.  


Previously known as ahnvx
Pros: Durable, Long Lasting, Great Beginner Set
Cons: Read Review
Level: Amateur Mostly
Experience: First Personal Pair
We can all agree it's been reviewed too much?
My turn please...
I'm aware of the reputation these carry, how audio should sound to a newbie, and the relative price point for most people is fairly affordable.
But after having such a long rep, and being the most top recommended headphone out there, I see where some things are wrong in my book, and that I, obviously as every other soon-to-be/experienced audiophile have different preferences per sound.
They lack to me, but I see where a newbie could melt over these if it were their first on ear.
Female Vocals are a shiny whistle, the bass isn't too much, but enough to give a good bite if you want something with better sound quality than a pair of Beats, which makes these a sensible choice.
Love shiny guitars? Lossless albums really cater to these, if it's a Rock subgenre, or something of the same nature.
Vocals aren't too candy coated, sound doesn't leak, acoustics sound fine, vocals can be breathy on tracks.
With all this positive said, what's my issue?
I can argue that my issue was mistakable in buying these, but then I'm looking back on my year of 20.
I had no audio experience, I'd seen these headphones given high ratings, and I'd always been searching to get the best for my habits, and some suitable to my listening habits. Come on, we aren't all rich.

So, here's my small input on issue, don't let these silly opinions void your purchase.
I feel as if these are chaser headphones. They're great, but the mids lack, I feel as if I'm trying to find more value by changing my preference in kbps.(256 kbps, VBR v2, or FLAC is what I prefer)
Another issue that kinda killed me off after my Six Month Period with these was more personal. I don't just listen for quality, I generally revisit a bunch of albums over and over, and when I do, I get caught in long listening hours. So why am I whining? The M50s' are strenuous, I could/can only get through a max of 3 listening hours before my head has enough. 
With all said, they're my only present set I have, if I had a job, I'd probably have more headphones.
So, with all of my personal complaints out, what's my verdict?
#1. They're Monitors for sure, keep in mind, a Monitor Headset to you isn't always going to be a monitor set to somebody else.
#2. If you personally enjoy the feedback given on them, BUY THEM, only as a beginner headphone.
#3. If you're new, headphones you buy for serious listening need to be something that'll last you a while, especially if it's your first set.
My feedback is this, they're gonna please someone who generally wants to get into serious listening habits, unmasking hidden instruments in songs, and hearing backgrounds.
Someone who's coming from a headphone a bit lower scale? I came from the ATH-WS55, they're a moderate upgrade, but before you commit to the purchase, go out and listen to different headphones, frequent them, see if they are gonna be what you truthfully want.
Last words, these headphones have somewhat of a "Cult Following", and they're recommended to anyone who wants to take their listening seriously.
I feel this needs to stop, we need a chart, a chart of headphones around $200 range to show people options, not force them into something they may have not completely read up on.


New Head-Fier
Pros: slightly bassy, Good mids, good lows, good detail
Cons: nothing just feel like its missing something on you on prefence, unless you upgrade to other headphones youll find what you prefer.
had these after my beats broke, was speculate about it if it was going to be better than the beats, i was right,  they was far better than the beats. ever time i have friends who have there beats on , i told them to listen to them and then they ask me where can you buy them. these headphones are really good for beginner who have that ears and want get ready for more in the headphone world . these headphones are like training wheels, for what choice of headphones you prefer (high,lows,and mids), like which you prefer to have far greater but slightly lack the others once you get the audiologist headphones.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Decent sound, good comfort
Cons: Heavy and bulky
Worse then HD600, HD650, AKG 701, Ultrasone 780, HD595..So theres better. Its good for the price...Anything above 150 is getting very high.
I'm not the biggest fan of the M50, but I think your comparisons are a bit unfair to be honest. The ones you listed are either open, much more expensive and/or discontinued. Plus your review is just plain empty.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Frequency Response, Detail, Build Qual.
Cons: Treble, NO soundstage, Bass is too boomy, Aggressive and unforgiving
A headphone originally designed to monitor, Yet has been pushed to audiophile territory as a beginner headphone.
Although recommended, The ATH m50 is actually very boomy in it's presentation and will always be aggressive. It's primary goal is to give you an adequate amount of detail during mixes in a studio and NOT  to enjoy/listen to music.
Yet people STILL recommend it, claiming it competes with headphones at twice its price range, and offering it to people that don't know any other headphone but their skullcandy earbuds or Beats by Dr Dre.
When coming from a headphone as bad as BEATS or skull candy, the M50 sounds like an open-aire headphone. In my opinion, This is where all the hype comes in. Since you have never heard a halfway decent headphone in your life you tend to assume this thing sounds like it's 300$. But it's really not the case.
In the world of audio fidelity, The more you pay for something, The better it sounds (well, usually if you buy from a good brand). My un-amped  HD600 does a better job than the ath-m50 for casual music listening...But that headphone IS actually double the price of the M50.
I know, comparing it to a headphone double it's price is not really fair, But In my opinion there are better options for 100 bucks. You can get a  Sennheiser HD 558, or even a GRADO sr 80i which are both better options. 
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GoldenGuy66 always had different taste than me, that's why I take it with a grain of salt...
If you put the bigger aperture Shure HPAEC840 Replacement Ear Cushions on the ATH50x the sound is completely different sounding-all the muddy flabby bass goes to a precise sound (in fact all the ranges become more precise). As soon as I replaced thestock pads the sound was so neutral and precise. I have a Fiio E07K amp with it and only tweak up the bass and it's fantastic.
This is truly one of the most ignorant comparisons of any headphone I have ever read.  Not only did you make apples-to-oranges comparisons between price to such an extent that you were comparing the m50 with headphones that cost twice or even triple the price, you were making apples-to-oranges comparisons in the type/kind of headphone as well.  You didn't compare the m50 to a single other closed headphone.  Why are you even here?

What you've written does more to confuse and deceive than it does to educate.  Honestly, what you've written is a detriment to the reader.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Nice bass, comfort, durability
Cons: sweaty ear pads, a bit bright, treble can be fatiguing at times
The ATH-m50 is my first ever headphone, not including the $2 ear-buds of course.  Before the m50, I was just listening to ear-buds and didn't have much affection for music reproduction.  However, this has changed once I had the m50 in March 2014, which made my wallet quite unhappy as I made several other purchases such as the AUNE T1 DAC/AMP and the Focal Spirit One.
I think the m50's overall comfort is not bad, especially compared to my Focal spirit One.  You do feel the clamping force on your head as soon as you put it on and it does not disappear even after six months of use.  The clamping force didn't annoy me much, but when I listen to it for long session, I had to take them off every hour or so as the ear-pads were too sweaty and uncomfortable.  Another reason for this, is that the pleather ear pads are not very soft and changing it to the velour ear pads may be better.
Build Quality:
The m50 is build like a tank although it is full of plastic.  I do take a lot of care for my headphones, but after six months of use, there are still no dents or scratches that I can find!
The bass is definitely emphasized which can be good or bad depending on the genres you are listening to, although emphasized, it is not bothering and is very enjoyable.  The treble is sometimes fatiguing as it reaches the higher notes, which is quite disappointing for me as I found the spirit one to be much better for my taste and music.  Soundstage is better than the Spirit one, and good for a closed back.  The soundstage is not mind blowing, but it does give a good overall presentation of where the music are coming from.  I THINK they do burn in, as I found the bass to be much tighter after a few months use, however it may just be more perception.
The m50 is definitely a good entry to Hi-Fi although it is not a Hi-Fi headphone, it gave me an enormous difference in listening to music.  I can be sure of one thing, once you listen to the m50, you can never ever go back to your $2 ear-buds again!


New Head-Fier
Pros: quality for money, top sound, robustness
Cons: fatigue that comes with extensive usage
Excellent product. Used mainly with McBook/ipod/iphone with external DAC (ESI Dr DAC Nano) or with Audio technica portable amp (ATH-pha30i). Used in flight as well as at home, in public transportation, ...
Bass are present, trebbles are crisps and mediums are beautiful. Those cans are very well balanced. I would not say bass are muddy or whatever audiophile term is used for sloppy engineered devices. Digital sound makes our ears very sensitive to exactitude and flaws in recordings. Recording techniques are incredibly more accurate than even 15 years ago. Also, the current preference for music/sound is a lot of low meds (not even talking about bass, except for night club sound). Just listen to Al Schmitt's recordings of Dianna Krall and compare that with Sinatra or Billie Holiday or even Harry Connick's from another time. So, in the end, a pair of cans must be able to address 1920's jazz, Mahler or Beethoven, as well as LMAO, DJ mixing or high milage music (electronic lounge stuff). If you listen to noise rather than music (I mean natural instruments), you can use a Monster Dr@$¨!, but if you want to listen to music in any situation, at a good price, then the M50 is the deal.
I wanted the best product for the money. I already was using in ear ATH CK10, after wearing off Shure, Koss and a few others. I also wanted to replace my AKG 240 monitor. I wanted a studio/pro device because if those guys chose such products it means it cannot be all bad, especially in terms of robustness, reliability, value for the buck and neutrality. I checkd the AKG, but finally ended up with ATH.
I listened to better stuff, like Stax or Sennheizer HD 700, 800, 650 with dedicated amplifiers (by Sennheizer), but in the end, considering my usage and (again) the value for money, the M50 came as an obvious choice. I'm not a ATH freak, but I know that japanese take pride into desiging high quality stuff, even if manufacturing in China.
I'm not putting 5 stars because the ratio price/money could even be improved, but I'm not being obnoxious.


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: price ,build qualty, and incredible sound
Cons: no removeable cord
I have passed on buying these because i generally do not play follow the leader well,so I was bidding on a set of Sennheiser HD 598s and was outbid at the last minute but wanted something new so after searching ebay i made an offer on a like new pair of ATH-M50s.
I should have gotten these years ago because they do everything well ,I have headphones that are better in certain aspects but none this well rounded
i got mine yesterday , these guys bow down to hd 380 pro imo , these are nice though , better then zx700 , she440 is a different story , i have to pit them against each other .
burn them in for some time before you pass judgment


New Head-Fier
Pros: Wonderful sound quality, price, and build.
Cons: Most cosmetic: Hot earpads, long cable.
As if everyone and their mother hasn't reviewed these already.
This is coming from a very unbiased source and a non-audiophile, I just listen to music.
Let's get started.
[size=small]​I received these as a Christmas gift after watching reviews nonstop until Christmas. Let's say I was excited.[/size]
[size=small]These did not disappoint. Before using this I had used pretty much in-ears and the dreaded Apple pain canons. (pretty sure you know what I'm talking about :p)[/size]
[size=small]The only "Actual headphones" I had heard were some old Beats Studios (the aluminum ones) and on several occasions Bose QC-15's, a couple times in Best Buy/Bose store and once borrowed from my cousin for 5 minutes. (he kindly asked for them back.) I quite enjoy the sound of those, but the Batteries, price, and cable put me off.[/size]
[size=small]The in-ears I had used up until when I received these were the [/size]House of Marley People Get Ready Jammin'swhich were pretty nice IMHO. (Loved the braided cable.)
Sound Quality.
[size=small]When I first put these on, I was astounded at what I could hear. Hi-hats in the background that used to be muffled now sounded like they were behind me somewhere. The track separation (I guess that's what you call it... [/size]¯\(°_o)/¯) is immense. Awesome. A few of the first songs I listened to were Hey Brother by Avicii and Set Fire To The Rain by Adele. Both sounded awesome, vocals were crystal clear and sounded awesome. Let us get this out of the way, my genre of choice is primarily EDM (deadmau5, Kaskade, Daft Punk, etc.) and really, that's all I listen to. (Listening to "Motherboard by Daft Punk as I type this.) I tried to listen to alot of different things. From Black Metal to Jazz, these are great. I enjoy the "Electronic" EQ preset on Apple devices. (A small bump in the bass, slightly recessed mids, and a slight treble boost.) It sounds pretty good on almost all genres IMO. With that out of the way, lets rate:
[size=small]Bass: 4/5 Not up to "Beats muffledness" not at all muddy, very accurate and punchy; like I've never heard before this.[/size]
[size=small]Mids: 4/5 As stated earlier, I like more "recessed" mids but on a flat EQ, vocals come through super clear. Nice.[/size]
[size=small]Treble: 5/5 To date, best treble I've heard personally. (keep in mind I haven't had much experience :) Very accurate as audiophiles like to say. :p[/size]
[size=small]Style is up to you, but when assessing friends it's been a mixed bag, some like it and some like their puke-green Solo HD's better.[/size]
[size=small]They are made of plastic, yea, but it doesn't feel cheap in any way. They feel very solid in the hand and fit anyone I've let try them. I have [/size]Craniosynostosis [size=small]which has left my head slightly deformed. It is tall and thin and these fit me fine, to be honest they would fit a Pterodactyl the way the ear cups swivel. Speaking of the ear cups, I don't like them. The clamping pressure is absurd when you get them, and mine still are breaking in. After 3-4 hours of music listening, your ears become a bit, shall we say, moist. *gigglegigglegiggle* The metal band in the headband is greatly appreciated though, and hopefully these last a long time. Now to the cable. I own the coiled cable version M50's and honestly, it's not THAT bad. An iPod touch and the coil can easily be stuffed into a nicely sized pocket. Overall, very impressed. [/size]
[size=small]Best purchase I've made in a while. So worth it if you listen to/make a lot of music. (which I do NO SHAME) They have their minor quirks which is why they received 4.5/5 overall, but they are near perfect. I hope a M50 v2.0 comes out with a shorter removable cable and velour ear pads as an option. I've heard so many great things about these and everyone is spot on. Best $100 spent so far, cannot recommend these more as some beginner cans.[/size]
[size=small]Hope this helped, warmest regards,[/size]
[size=small]VeeDees [/size]
Stay cranked! 

[size=small] [/size]


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Solid, strong bass, very linear across the almost the entire frequency band
Cons: Bass can be a little too much of a good thing on certain recordings, not the largest soundstage compared to 'top flight' cans
I almost want to title this review 'the little train that could' as I bought these on a bit of a lark. I was looking for a decent set of cans to primarily take with me on road trips. The unique (and ingenious) method with which these collapse and fold was a big seller for me. So, not really expecting them to keep up with my vaunted Senn. HD800's, I thought "what the heck, lets plug these suckers into my BIG RIG & see what they can do.." Well, to say I was shocked would be an understatement. I NEVER expected them to have the amount of resolution, impact and overall enjoyable 'musicality' that these do indeed possess.
I actually find myself spending a fare amount of 'ear time' listening to these 'phones, despite the dirty looks my Sennheis-ies give me while I'm doing it (kinda similar to the looks my wife gives me while perusing the Victoria Secrets catalog...)
Audio-Technica has always offered a great product, giving more than there share of fun & excitement for the money, and these awesome headphones clearly prove that point (I've owned my share of A.T. phono cartridges and even their Electret Condenser ATH-7 headphones - now I'm aging myself!).
Bottom line - if you are looking for a great set of 'phones in or near this price range, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't give these terrific headphones a listen.
Spot on thoughts for an excellent intro to head-fi. 


Pros: Solid bass, detailed highs, fairly neutral curve, great for studio mixing, ridiculous price value
Cons: Metallic tint to sound, doesn't sound "real", highs grating when loud
Ahh, the Audio Technica ATH-M50: possibly one of the most positively talked about headphones of all time, and a smash hit for Audio Technica. This headphone really hasn't stopped selling like hotcakes since it's release. Walk into any college and you're going to see almost as many kids walking around with these as Beats (ok well maybe half as many). This is because people have been recommending them to audio noobs pretty much for as long as they've been a thing, so for many people this is the begining and end of their experience with Hi-Fi audio, as many people I've recommended these to say they're good enough for pretty much everything and never buy another pair of headphones until they buy another pair. While I personally think they end up being a bit overhyped when compared to some other headphones (granted, in a higher price range) due to the harshness of the highs, and their overall synthetic, unrealistic tone to my ears. 
Let's go with positives first, these cans have great bass that can really give you that hard-sub feel you want from bass heavy music like rap and house. They have a fairly comfortable fit that has served me well for years, as I use these on the daily to produce everything from hip hop beats, to indie music, to witch house in my home studio that i record many artists in, as well as running from my laptop when I produce hard hitting dance mixing for my DJ sets. They have enough bass to let you hear a general idea of what people listening on headphones that deliver heavy bass are going to hear, while still remaining fairly neutral, making them perfect for anyone who intends to due studio mixing for others to hear. You could also plug these into a smaller end amp and have yourself an great entry-level audiophile setup as well for those looking to dip into the now-crowded premium headphone market. 
There are some downsides to the universally hailed M-50. The first I would say is how harsh the high can be at loud volumes, but I already mentioned that. The second would be that the highs and mids have somewhat "fake" sound to them. They don't quite sound real, and almost come across as being a bit metallic or synthetic. This is probably my biggest annoyance with these headphones, and it is especially noticeable on songs that use the pure highs of something like and 808 drum machine hi-hat, or a loud mixed crash from a drum set. The cord is also a bit long, and they aren't the best for portable use. Overall, however, these are incredible headphones for the cheap prices you can get them for today. I think you can snag a paid for something in the $90 range on amazon now, so if you're looking at getting a great workhorse studio monitor, or your first set of real Hi-Fi cans, these are the way to go for any budget under 200 dollars. 


New Head-Fier
Pros: Great sound, accurate, durable,
Cons: pleather pads stiffen quickly
I've had a pair for about 4 years now wear them daily while working. They're extremely durable, although the oils from your head get absorbed into the ear pads and they stiffen up, not a problem if you're the only person wearing them since they mold to your head.  Occasionally I'll buy new earpads but its not that big of a deal for me.
They are the best bargain out there. They need an equalizer boost around 3.5 kHZ to 5 kHZ, and then they sound as good as much more expensive headphones. Look online, and you can find the frequency response curve for these headphones. They need that slight midrange boost to correct for recessed midrange, but then they sound as good as headphones costing much more. I have them, and they are absolutely fantastic. 


New Head-Fier
Pros: Bass, Treble, Impact, Looks
Cons: Bass bleeds into the mids, is uncomfortable for the first 1-6 months
For the money, these are a great pair of headphones. I love them, and I've had them for years now, but I have since started to search for new cans because I want better detail and transparency while maintaining the basic sound sig of the ATH M50. I've read some extremely flattering, and unflattering reviews of these 'phones, and I intend merely to give my unbiased opinion. 
These puppies have had enough power to grab my attention and enough low end impact to keep me listening for a long time. The sound, to my ears, is indeed very neutral, but the high bass freq tends to blend into the low mid freq giving these 'phones a "wall of sound" effect that is endearing (to me).
Now, I'm a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan, and these headphones do extremely well with their music. That being said, the high's can become extremely fatiguing when listening to Billy's very high and winy voice on some of his less polished tracks. I will say that I don't find these cans fatiguing unless listened to at very loud levels, at which point the treble can indeed start to become harsh, or when listening to music that is already very bright. The sound on these headphones fall somewhere between bright and natural, leaning a little more towards bright, which can be harsh when paired with the wrong type of music, eg: high screaming guitars or lyrics, Now, I don't really mean AC/DC style electric rock, I'm again referring to furious alt rock. 
I've read reviews where people claim that the ATH-M50's are very comfortable. This is a bit misleading. After owning these headphones for years, I have now gotten used to the pressure they put on your head, and the fact that the pleather pads are shallow enough to allow the driver to sit uncomfortably against your ear. The latter can apparently be fixed by swapping out the stock Audio Technica pads with thicker, higher grade options, which I have not done. When first purchasing these headphones, they were extremely uncomfortable, and would have to be removed not long after putting them on. I have since gotten used to them and can wear them for much longer periods of time(about 2-3 hours), after which they still do make my ears sore. 
The real reason I want to replace these headphones is because they are not particularly transparent. The sound stage is small and not particularly open. I haven't owned any real headphones besides these, but I have made trips to local stores where I have listened to Sennheisers, Dennons, Sony's, etc... I find that the ATH-M50's deliver similar results as far as overall bass response, clarity, soundstage and speed are concerned with pricier competition in the closed back variety. But compared to the more open Sennheiser HD 598, the ATH M50's really fall short on clarity and sound stage. Now, when listening to music, clarity IS nice, but I wouldn't sacrifice overall sound quality for clarity. Directly comparing the two headphones, the Sennheisers were a bit more forgiving and transparent, but their bass reproduction is horrible. Listening to acoustic bass guitars produced a sound very similar to the farting routine of South Park's Terrance and Phillip. The Sennheiser 598 retails at 175$ and the ATH-M50 can be found ranging from 85$-150$. In my humble opinion, the ATH-M50 completely out perform the Sennheisers when it comes down to bass. At this price range, from what I've heard, I believe that either soundstage/detail will need to be sacrificed, or good, punchy, extended bass response will. These differing strengths will probably define what people will prefer to choose at this price range. 
My conclusion? If you can find these 'phones for 85$-125$ I say pull the trigger and grab 'em (just make sure they are the real deal). If not, take the time to make a decision about what kind of sound signature you like and how much money you are willing to spend to get it. But either way, these are a great pair of headphones for the 200$ crowd, and I highly recommend them for a pair of great sounding headphones, if you can put up with their un-comfortableness.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Bass, Isolation, Warm sound signature (if you're into that), Easy to drive, Cost, Included accessories
Cons: Sometimes a little sibilance, Not as airy as open headphones, Non-Detachable cable
I ordered the AT-M50s for work less than a week ago.  I wanted something easy on the wallet that wouldn't require amplification beyond my uDAC-2.  My coworker found a $95 special on SlickDeals and I couldn't resist.  I have owned a pair of AT-M40 for a long time prior to my head-fi days and SQ obsession, and I used to think they were "nice".  After getting HD-650s and pairing them with Bifrost/Asgard 2 I realized the HD650s were in a different universe of clarity, soundstage and overall SQ.  I decided to give Audio Technica another chance however.
Initial Impressions:
Great bass, muddy compared to the HD650, treble harshness. For the first few hours I wasn't to happy with the way they sounded, but hey they were still burning in.  I kept listening.  After 8 hours or so, the sound got noticeably better.  Treble harshness had faded away, and the headphones were starting to grow on me.  Moreover, they sound decent amped my iPhone alone, my uDAC-2, and the Schiit stack I use.  This cannot be said for the HD650 I can contrast them against.  The AT-M50s are fun to listen to, and have great isolation.  After doing an A/B comparison I feel the sound quality is definitely at the level of the HD650, just different in nature.  The HD650 has them beat on airiness and natural sound, but really only quite subtly so.
In conclusion: These headphones cost 1/5th as much as the HD650 (my only real point of reference), have nice build quality, are comfortable, and sound great being driven from a variety of sources.  I would highly suggest these to anyone looking to get into HiFi headphones without spending an arm and a leg.  Also for electronic music, rap, and other bass-heavy music these cans really do have excellent bass, much more so than the HD-650.  I wouldn't say the bass is overpowering or overly EQ'd like Beats, just powerful and present.


Pros: Powerful bass, great treble, fantastic SQ when amped
Cons: mids can sometimes be recessed, comfort.
Design (4/5):
The design of this headphone is quite plain looking, not flashy in any way. But that's fine as they are monitoring headphones, not a piece of jewelry.
Comfort (4.5/5):
Comfort is quite good, but can sometimes create soft spots. 
Sound Quality (4.5/5):
Powerful deep bass, not overwhelming at all, just the right amount.
These are great, but i can feel that it is recessed on some tracks
Treble is really crisp and crystal-clear, non-fatiguing. No siblance at all, unless you EQ it that way.
These are my first pair of serious headphones and they sound absolutely incredible for this price IMO. I got this paired with a FiiO E07K to use as a DAC on my PC and portable amp for my android phone, and the sound is very much improved. Bottom-line, i would be glad to recommend these to anyone who's looking for a rather cheap headphone with very good sound quality.


New Head-Fier
Pros: flat response signature, sturdy, quality chord
Cons: sub frequency response, comfort
I received my ATH-M50s from Flo Guitar Enthusiast radio show. That being said, how do these cans stack up as "studio monitor" class headphones?
My initial impressions were very favorable so let's take it from the top. Build quality is right where it should be in $150 price range headphones, with some plastic and some metal, soft surfaces being pleather over foam, and black acoustic cloth in the cups. The cups swivel as if aiming for DJs as well as studio mixing. Comfort-wise they have a little too much pressure for casual listening, but I became accustomed to it after a while. The swivels are a distraction for me, I like to just chuck my headphones on. The swivels do however allow you to fold these smaller to fit in the rubber pouch supplied with them. Will the rubber pouch protect these adequately? Let's hope so, you might keep them in you carry-on when flying because it IS just a soft bag around them after all. I have the ATH-M50s with the straight cable, and the cable itself is sturdy, with a spring coil butted against the plug for support in this oft-failing area. Nice touch for durability built in.  The non-breathing ear cups do provide a good isolation experience, but your ears will get sweaty after long sessions. What about the frequency range and signature of these headphones? Amazingly flat if not just a little shallow on the bass end. These are extremely well adapted to recording in the studio. I already use them as a second reference to be certain I'm not relying on the "flavor" of my speakers or other headphones. Putting these on is like turning an equalizer off. They are simply that flat. What about those swiveling cups that DJs will be interested in? Sorry gang, on a tone generator these get flaky in the sub frequencies, the big drop might become merely a big flutter for dub-step. Acoustica Tecnica claim response down to 15Hz, but at 25Hz my smile froze. For everything  lower, you will want to use a different reference. So ignore the 15Hz advertised, and realistically consider these great down to 25Hz because the tones lower than this in the can felt altered, somehow artificial. This is still an impressive number for headphones, and I can only see it as a deal breaker for DJ/ dub-step synth musicians.
Last impression: Who should buy these? Audiophiles will want to put these in their short list to consider for sub $200 'phones. Recording artists should pick these up if they have need of $200 or less 'phones. Just do it. DJs will consider this set based on value, but you guys more than any need to audition these for yourself to see if the lows are respectable for your mixes. The bass is there, mostly.
I hope this helps you make an informed decision.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Clarity, comfort, portability, robustness, value, good isolation
Cons: None so far, except the cord length
I used to have a pair of Koss Portapros before I got my M50s so I was interested in having better headphones than my usual phone earbuds. After reading the reviews here, I managed to get a used pair of M50s for £85 which seemed like a good bargain to me. After around 2 weeks of stretching out the headband and getting used to the flatter sound signature of these as compared to my earlier (bass-heavy) Portapros, I have to say that my lasting impression is one of awe at how these manage to tick all my boxes. 
They're really portable, fold up easily into the bag and can be carried around quite simply in my backpack. I usually listen to music through my Nexus 4 which commuting and my laptop while at work. Both can drive the M50s very easily. Moreover, my music now sounds great!! I love the instrument separation, the decently strong and tight bass and the way electronic music seems to suit these so well. Not being an audiophile of any kind, I'll refrain from commenting on the finer details, save to say that these have a very pleasing sound signature and can make any kind of music very enjoyable (best with electronica though) They're not that heavy which makes them very comfortable and the cord isn't great but you get used to it. 
Overall I'm thoroughly pleased with them, and would recommend them in a heartbeat.