Pros - Extreme clarity for both his and lows, good ear coverage, can handle a decent amount of power, mobile.
Cons - Not the comfiest on the top of my head. (Might be my headhsape.)
I purchased these headphones based on reviews, specifications, and looks and I am not disappointed in the least. The initial comfort for the headphones was good, but it took some adjusting to stop the headband from applying too much pressure on the top of my head (might be my head alone that has this problem). Listening to Santana Abraxus DSD 2.8MHz on my Fiio X3 II, My first impression of sound was the amazing clarity and definition on high notes. Crisp and clear without sounding too high. I would like to know if those complaining about emphasized highs are using equalizers as I tend not too. The lows are extremely well handled as well without overpowering the track. I enjoy listening to a mix of classical, rock, alternative, and jazz and these seem to be very well balanced enough to handle all sorts of genres. I do not have much hi-res music in the heavy metal realm, so I do not have a feeling for that. For the price, these are a fantastic deal for entry level headphones and the build quality and sound at this level makes me want to try there higher end phones if I can ever save up for them.
These headphones are much recommended online as a relatively cheap introduction into the world of high fidelity. They are functional and do not excessively grab attention visually. They are extremely comfortable and adjustable for all head sizes and shapes, the build quality is top notch and they are hard wearing. They come with a range of cables which is useful for home and portable listening, though none have a mic or handsfree buttons. These can be driven to enjoyable volumes even with a weak input source. The sound quality is very good. They are overall tonally balanced as both bass and treble are slightly emphasized over middle frequencies giving a "lush" or "vibrant" sound to the music", though it's not too unnatural . Individual sound elements come through clearly and with great detail. However the stereo sound stage is slightly lacking width and precision compared to many other high end headphones, although they are still a huge step up from regular "consumer" headphones or In-Ear monitors. Overall, a solid purchase for a budding audio enthusiast who is too smart to waste their money on an inferior product.
Cons - Treble, taken my ears, taken my thoughts, absolute horror!
At work I'm moving from my own office to a space I share with colleagues. I love my Grado SR60e's but they are very leaky so I was looking for a closed pair of cans. I was undecided between the Audio Technica M50x and the AKG K181 DJ UE. The AT got better reviews but was also €50,- more expensive. So, I ordered them both to compare.
I'm using them in combination with an Audioquest Dragonfly Black 1.5, Audioengine N22 desktop amp and I'm playing MP3s and FLACs through Foobar.
Build and comfort
They seem solidly built and fit very comfortably over my ears. I have a fairly large head (not huge) and fairly small ears.
What immediately struck me about the sound was how much treble there was. It is seriously uncomfortable how much (high) treble there is compared to the rest of the spectrum. Maybe this can be solved with equalization but simply crushing the treble (which I tried) did not make them sound much better; because other holes in the spectrum quickly became apparent. The bass is lacking across the board; there's a bump somewhere in there but there's no subbass and the higher end of the bass/lower mids is not smooth at all and sounds very hollow or just absent. I tried them with all sorts of hiphop, rock, techno, folk, pop, classical, jazz you name it but the treble was just completely overpowering everything else. I switched cables to see if that was the problem, but no.
Compared to the Grado SR60e
Even though the Grado is less than half the price, the AT can't hold a candle to it. Not even remotely. The open Grado's even have more bass across the entire range, smoothly rolling into the mids which are super fluid. If anything, these M50x's have shown me just how damn good those Grado's sound. Of course the Grado's aren't nearly as comfy and they are super leaky.
Compared to the AKG K181 DJ UE
When turning on the 'bass boost' (which is just the opening of a vent, mind you), the K181s have the pumping bass they are apparently known for. Without the bass boost on, there isn't much; less than the Grado's in any case. The mids seem more fluid than on the M50x, although they don't come close to the Grado's. The treble is much more comfortable, so even though the K181's are not nearly as comfortable to wear as the M50x's, I'm sticking with the K181's as my closed cans. They look better too.