Audio-Technica ATH-M50S

  1. aangen
    Sweet Sound for a great price
    Written by aangen
    Published Jan 16, 2011
    Pros - Nice sound, comfortable
    Cons - Nothing comes to mind.
    I opened the box when these arrived and spent the next four hours listening to these. I was quite impressed right out of the box. My normal phones are Shure SE 530 and 535 IEMs. I bought these mainly due to the buzz that these are great cans for a low price. I am very pleased with them! I have been running them in for the last couple of days. I hooked them up to a Squeezebox and let them play. I have read that them warm up nicely after 40 hours or so. I liked them just fine out of the box, if they improve I'll call that a bonus!
  2. audire
    Sweet Surrender
    Written by audire
    Published Dec 25, 2010
    Pros - all instruments of various frequency are well heard, natural response and excellent sound reproduction, balanced.
    Cons - leather becomes warm after listening for some hours
    I am satisfied for investing on these cans. I appreciate the most the natural response and sound reproduction unlike with other cans, of this type, who seems to be to hypey with their base. These are able to capture other flaws of a mp3 file like (sibilants, plosives, crackles and hisses) which might have slipped through  the recording process. One of the things i appreciate on these cans, you could hear all the sounds even the smallest ones like egg-shakers and other small instruments. Also, i seem to get the feeling that i am just inside a studio watching and listening to singing artist. further, it has good clamping force which it wouldn't fell or slip off from your head when you bend over or do a little bit of head banging. good job Audio Technica. 
  3. attenuated 3db
    Excellent introduction to high-end sound on low-end budget
    Written by attenuated 3db
    Published Dec 17, 2010
    Pros - Crisp, clear detailed sound, with excellent (not excessive) bass
    Cons - Not the most comfortable phone for extended listening.
    After scouring the Head-Fi forums, and noticing that included the ATH-M50S in their "ten best" list with the next best headphone at a much higher price point, I pulled the trigger on these for $110 new from an eBay seller that was a large professional music equipment dealer (an excellent source for good prices on headphones apparently, because they carry the full manufacturer's line - including microphones - I have a pair of new Sennheiser 650s coming from another pro music audio dealer that I got for $319), and have been overjoyed with the ATH-50S coupled to a tiny NuForce uDac-2 HP ($99 headphone-only DAC-amp) ever since.
    I am new to Head-Fi and digital audio generally, so I can't compare the M50 to any other headphones, but based on my long-ago experience selling really high-end audio, they are like experiencing the sound of an excellent pair of full-range, expensive loudspeakers, except they take up a lot less space, are more portable, cost much less for a comparable degree of sound quality, and allow private listening.  I really needed a closed-back headphone because I listen in a lot of circumstances where I can't disturb those around me, and the ATH-M50S are excellent at containing sound "leakage" while not being as insulating from allowing you to hear outside sounds (like fire alarms, doorbells, etc.) as an IEM would be.  I listen to the the M50s in the public library at what seems like a really robust volume to me, and people sitting just a few feet away from me never glare or look askance at me.  They are easy to drive (I can actually play them quite acceptably from my tiny Rockboxed Sansa Clip+, and the disparity of size between the source and the cans and sound eminating from them is kind of amusing.  With the Nuforce uDAC-2 HP serving as a replacement for the internal sound card in three different notebook computers (a Sony i7 running Windows 7, an old HP dual-core and an Asus Atom netbook - both running Ubuntu Linux), they can be driven to deafening levels without a hint of distortion at any frequency, even what we used to call "bass doubling" coming from speaker woofer cones breaking up from the cones not moving linearly trying to push large volumes of air quickly.  Another advantage of headphones with a small enclosed acoustic cavity over trying to fill a room with high-quality sound.
    The closed-back design does lead to a smaller soundstage, which is why I have the Sennheiser 650s coming, which I will use only at home where I can afford to "bleed" some sound to the area around me.  The only real complaint I can make about the M50s is comfort.  The build quality is excellent, and even though high quality plastic is used to keep them relatively lightweight, they are still a tad heavy, and the clamping force is strong, but tolerable.  Helps for a good acoustic seal, so I would be wary of trying to stretch out the headband too much.
    Supply and demand tells you a lot about the quality of any product.  When I got my pair for $110 new on eBay, the Amazon price was about $129.  Now, they are going for almost the full retail of $199 on Amazon, and the number of five-star reviews of them grows daily as people take delivery.
    Definitely a keeper.
  4. yifu
    Very good for around 110 or because of supply demand, 130
    Written by yifu
    Published Dec 13, 2010
    Pros - Very good bass punch and detail retrieval.
    Cons - Recessed mids and relatively small soundstage.
    These are very good headphones which have similar sound with the beyerdyanmics DT770. However, when u first put them on, you'll be greeted with extremely hot and harsh treble, very weak bass and less than satisfactory midrange. These qualities change however, and i find them refining after 2 weeks of use. These have very good synergy with the Fiio E5 and E7 since they offset the recessed mids. one more thing to note is that the details that these put out are real details, not like the RE0s which i find having too much of a faker detail retriveal by highlighting the high trebles. Im not saying the RE0s have bad detail at all just that the treble sounded a bit wierd to me. In all essence, if you're not seeking high end Stax equipment, and like most mortals have only around 200 to burn on audio products, get these along with a fiio E7!
  5. Noyan
    No amp, no problem
    Written by Noyan
    Published Dec 3, 2010
    Pros - Decent treble, mids, and bass
    Cons - Muddy bass at time, as scratchy treble
    For the price, you probably won't get a much better over the ear headphone. Any headphone worth buying over $200 needs an amp. There are Sony brands around the same price that are good as well, but I've found these deliver an overall better sound. At a REASONABLE volume, these have a sweet airiness to them; almost as if you're mid row at an outside concert. They deliver decent bass (although not as much as I like), some good mids (which personally I think are the best part of these), and a clear treble. Now, its not CRYSTAL clear- it does get sloppy at times, but mostly when listening at high volumes. I think what they tried to do with these is balance out the high, mids, and low as best they could, making these cans a jack (or an apprentice :D) of all trades, but a master of none, if you will.  
    On the comfort end, these are very comfortable. Now, if anyone has ever tried the Bose Quietcomfort, these are a couple notches down on the comfort rating. None the less, I've worn them for hours comfortably. 
    For 115 dollars I was very pleased with my purchase, and I believe now that they are even cheaper (at B&H photo online). 
    One side note though, is that for me, these phones needed burn-in time. About 20 hours worth I would say. The treble was very overpowering when I first got them, but after leaving them on all night, they sounded much better. (or perhaps I got used to the sound signature, or whatever you believe [​IMG]
  6. sid1712
    Amazing cans for the price
    Written by sid1712
    Published Oct 26, 2010
    Pros - Price, isolation, bass, non fatiguing sound
    Cons - Could have been a little more comfortable and the mids could have been a tiny bit more pronounced
    For $100 these are a steal
  7. TyRanT-22
    Written by TyRanT-22
    Published Oct 7, 2010
    Pros - Everything
    Cons - None?
    I'll update this at a later date.
  8. sonorsnoopy
    Outstanding unamped performance for little Cash
    Written by sonorsnoopy
    Published Oct 5, 2010
    Pros - PRaT, Fullbodied Imaging, Bass Quantity & Quality, no extra amp needed, shows the qualities of higher end D/A
    Cons - recessed mids
    Preferred them to :
    SR225 - little bass quantity, uncomfortable
    SA5000 -  body missing, little bass quantity, resolution is too much,  great for electronia
    T1 - M50 had a more fullbodied sound while having less resolution
    Cans that were close:
    HD650: veiled,great tone&mids, better resolution, less bass, needs top amplification, better comfort
    DT990: great treble energy, better resolution, but bass & treble can get tiring/ too much quickly
    recessed mids excepted - the m50 have a much better balanced sound with better imaging, body and prat. while the higher end cans were technically superior in some ways (resolution & speed), i had more fun with the m50 over time and thougt that extra cash would be better spent on the best D/A  one could afford.
    SOURCE FIRST ! Nuforce, Centrance, PS AUDIO, LINN...
    Clamping force will get comfortable if you store your cans on a box that is a few inches wider than your head. Some users report increased comfort with Shure 840 Pads. I have the coiled cable version as i use them on my mobile aswell.
  9. OmegaSwitch
    Excellent high-end headphones for a reasonable price
    Written by OmegaSwitch
    Published Sep 8, 2010
    Pros - Stellar sound quality, good build quality
    Cons - Maybe a little pricey?
    After my Sennheiser HD 595s ended up being slightly damaged- resulting in some annoying background distortion-, I went a few years without a higher-end set of headphones. The ATH-M50S caught my eye initially, and I was going to purchase this or a set of Beyerdynamics that cost twice as much but were said to be really worth it. Needless to say I chose these, mainly due to the price, and I am certainly pleased with this purchase. In terms of sound quality, these are arguably better than my HD 595s, as the ATH-M50S rivals the HD 595 when it comes to mid/high frequency range, but the ATH-M50S also produces lots of bass. The soundstage produced by these headphones is excellent, as the sound frequencies across the board are finely balanced- the high frequency range is not quite as clear as with the HD 595s, but this is most likely due to these Audio-Technicas being closed-end headphones. They are comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time- I've worn them for 4-5 hours without experiencing any discomfort-, and I have become impressed with the build quality and the materials used. My pair has withstood being carried around, and the fold-in design makes these large headphones easy to move around- in comparison with the HD 595. Unfortunately I do not have any other high-end headphones to compare these to, but the ATH-M50S is arguably the best set of headphones I have had the pleasure to own. I highly recommend these to anyone looking for relatively affordable high-end headphones- if you're looking for high-end Bose or Shure headphones, please check out these!
  10. andtobis
    Impressive- ATH-M50s
    Written by andtobis
    Published Aug 17, 2010
    Pros - Stylish, comfort, great sound, value, good quality
    Cons - long cord, pressure may cause headaches or make your head hurt
    This is a review by a person, with little headphone experience.  The best headphones I have had before these would have to be the v-moda bass freq. I've had the skullcandy crushers, and some other of $20 or less phones.  This is probably a review for those who are on this forum and are noobs, since their ears are probably not as developed and won't appreciate the gifts of a $500 pair of headphones(good ones). At first I considered the Monster Studios as they were probably the only pair of headphones that i had heard of due to advertising and huge stores, and since they had such a high price tag i thought they had to be amazing.  I did try them on and they sounded good at first, but after thinking about the listening experience, the bass was muddy, and the sound was muddy as well. It just felt condensed.  Anyways, thanks to this site i saved 200 bucks, and got these babes.
    Main things I noticed:
    -These actually isolate very well, i was quite surprised with how well they do.
    - These have great bass, quantitively less than the Studios but not by much.  Quality wise they are way better.
    - The pleather and the design of this heapdhone was crazy good.  They were comfortable for me, and they look really good which was a big factor. Ears do swear a little, but you only notice once you take them off.
    - The spinning ear cups don't bother me much.  They are kind of cool cause you can spin it off and you don't have to take off the heapdhones if somebody is talking to you
    - The only two cons of this headphone is that the cable is rather long and that the headphones create pressure on your head but that goes away after a while.  The thing with the cable is that you can wrap it up and its fine. 
    Most people that don't do too much research or just look at price will probably go with the beats studios or bose.  I was quite convinced about those two before i came here.  I was going to buy the studios, because of how i thought they looked good and the noise cancelling feature was good because i could listen to my music and feel alone as if nobody was there.  These are just as good looking, and they are definitely better quality.  These cans are better than than any pair of bose over ears, and the studios with the bose and studios set up at stores in their best conditions.  I play this out of my ipod, and its way better. I listen to hip hop and rap and these are great for those genre's of music.  The bass is perfect and the cans produce crisp and basically beautiful sound.  Buy these if you want a cheap pair of headphones, that perform like expensive headphones that provide good bass, without compromising sound quality and having good isolation.  As you can tell i don't know audiophile terms, but these are amazing.  Everything you could want for 99 bucks
      tigga97 likes this.
    1. evantay26
      Great review. I picked up a pair and love them but i got the coiled which i love because its shorter.
      evantay26, Dec 9, 2011