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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

  • The Ath-M50X Features The Same Coveted Sonic Signature, Now With The Added Feature Of A Detachable Cable. The M50X Provides An Unmatched Experience For The Most Critical Audio Professionals

Recent Reviews

  1. Shoujo Ramune 1
    5 years after the hype...
    Written by Shoujo Ramune 1
    Published Jul 4, 2019
    Pros - Serviceable Build
    Cons - Everything else
    5 years have passed since this piece of **** was hyped up by the likes of tech****s like Markass Brownlee and later pissed on 2 years after by the god of headphones himself Z Reviews. I sat down with this headphone with high hopes years ago when I first got into the hobby, left the store with nothing but disappointment and confusion. A pair was loaned to me by my dear friend Sultan Mohammad Najib bin Abdul Razak a week ago, so I gave it another go.

    Build: (7/10)
    Nothing special, what you would expect from a $130 headphone, faux leather pads and headband, full plastic build with the exception of the headband adjustment. Seems durable enough, not exceptional, not ****, the only thing that's decent about this headphone.

    Comfort: (4/10)
    Becomes hot and painful after >30 min of use because of high clamping pressure and sub-par pads.

    Bass: (6/10)

    Bloated, bleeds into the mids, excessive in quantity, lacking in quality

    Mids: (3/10)
    Muddy, feels like a cum rag was blanketed over the drivers

    Treble: (5/10)
    Like the bass, it is excessive and lacks nuance and control, also has a peak at around 10K. Makes the sound shrill, sharp and rape for the ears

    Clarity: (4/10)
    Muddy, veiled, or any of their synonyms.

    Soundstage: (4/10)
    Narrow, almost to the point where it sounds linear. Imaging is serviceable.

    Overall Sound: (4/10)
    The sound has an obvious v-shape characteristic to it, albeit too exaggerated on the low and top end. Individually, the components which form its sound are not the worst at this price point. However when coupled with the immensely narrow soundstage, it simply creates an unpleasant listen, amplifying the overly aggressive treble and making the lack of clarity and fullness of the mids more noticeable.

    It is as much of a ****ter headphone now as it was 5 years ago. Still sounds like a turd with needles being force fed into your ear. Don't buy it.
      St3ven likes this.
    1. Markolav
      How is dissing M50 still a thing? This is not 2016 anymore.
      Markolav, Jul 6, 2019
  2. mokler
    Fantastic entry level headphones!
    Written by mokler
    Published Jan 23, 2017
    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.
      rav88 likes this.
    1. MMeirolas
      thx for the review
      i played Dilate by Ani DiFranco and it sounded sweet on the m50xs.... every detail was present, and this was a regular 16/44khz, 30mb flac file.
      after that: 24/96khz flac, SACD 400mb in size, HDTracks.... i can't get the same detail. some were really bad
      now i dont know: is the m50x a "picky" headphone?
      where do u guys get your hq audio files from?
      i'm running them from my PC and smartphone with onkyo player... would a dac make any difference?
      MMeirolas, May 5, 2018
  3. theminstrel
    A durable introduction to the world of high fidelity
    Written by theminstrel
    Published Jan 17, 2017
    Pros - Comfortable, durable, sensitive, "musical", overall neutral tonality, good resolution, Not Pricey, stylish...
    Cons - Narrow soundstage, slightly metallic treble,
    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.
  4. Dorstlesser
    So much treble
    Written by Dorstlesser
    Published Dec 21, 2016
    Pros - Comfortable
    Cons - Treble, taken my ears, taken my thoughts, absolute horror!
    Motivation for purchase
    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.

    [edit] typo

    [edit] So, were'e more than 2 years later and I've had the opportunity to compare my experience with the M50x to another pair of M50x which a friend of mine swears by. Several people here said they believed I might have purchased a defective or counterfeit pair and I can now counter that with some certainy. The other ones I've tried sound the same as the pair I wrote the above review about; harsh treble and disappointing bass. I will say again that the disappointing bass is less of an issue than the harsh treble, for me personally. To my ears, the treble is so bad they are actually unpleasant to listen to. Blame it on my ears, but I can't change how it sounds to me. I've been using the cheaper AKG 181 DJ UE daily with the infamous bass boost turned on and those put a smile on my face every single time. So, this illustrates how widely different people's ears are! I'm honestly surprised by this since of course I'm willing to believe the people who enjoy these cans (including my friend who loves his M50x); that just means there's big differences in the way some of us perceive sound!
      caenlenfromOCN and cpauya like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. cpauya
      Sorry, just re-read your post and verified that you're using some amps already. :)
      cpauya, Dec 28, 2016
    3. Music Alchemist
      @cpauya I wouldn't be surprised if it's the DACs that make many headphones sound harsher. I know Chord DACs are less harsh than many others. And my computer's onboard DAC is less harsh than at least one DAC I've had.
      Music Alchemist, Dec 28, 2016
    4. Redcarmoose
      Reviews try to be complete and fair but in the end many become only half correct. It's the fact that we are all talking about such small aspects of the sound signature and everyone is coming from their own listening history. Once you read the graphs and take the personal perspectives into account then a pretty good understanding of a heaphones sound signature can be surmised here from reading.

      Of course adding a $500 Mojo DAC could help the treble because Mojo has a warm and detailed signature. The cool part is the $122.00 M50s can scale to a better place with the Mojo.

      Of course I understand the difference between bass detail and bass extension. In fact the M50s are bass heavy and offer a V curve though don't go as low as some bass heavy headphones. Also I seem to hear an area of bass detail in the lower area of the response which seems to have very little detail. It's just a thump and does not show the nuances in that area like some headphones do. The article should be understood as to the writers preference in the end and in relation to the other headphones in his possession. Both he and I are saying the same thing in our reviews. It's just that the M50s have their place today just as much as they always did. They are not a flat headphone but for the money they offer members a closed back headphone which comes off as fun, which does a service to what's in front of it.

      They are good for people who need the benifit of a closed back headphone while on the subway and need the robust fold ability and build quality. They maybe get a little heck due to how often they are recommended here. That's OK and reviews like this show that they truly are not the end-all purchase at their price point. They still offer a value but have their own character and areas of plus and minus.
      Redcarmoose, Jan 1, 2017
      gazzington likes this.
  5. capac
    Really nice headphones
    Written by capac
    Published May 10, 2016
    Pros - versatile, easy to drive, comfortable
    Cons - too much bass
    Why I like these is because they are really versatile; with many headphones in this price range, you'll need an amplifier to get them to sound really good, but M50x don't need an amp and still sound good. They also look nice, are nicely foldable and are quite comfortable. They are well built and look pretty sturdy, so they don't seem to fall apart any time soon. Soundwise, pretty good even with my iPhone, it's just that they are not flat enough for mixing IMO (too much bass).If you are looking for a nice set of headphones for general music listening and you don't want to carry an amp with you, there's good chance you are gonna get these especially, if you want closed-back headphones.
  6. Aornic
    Good for listening but not neutral enough to be called studio monitors.
    Written by Aornic
    Published Mar 18, 2016
    Pros - Good mids. Slight bass boost for more "fun" listening. Three removable cables included. Does well with every genre.
    Cons - Not studio monitors unlike label. A bit uncomfortable. Not very isolating despite being closed. Bass disappears outdoors leading to tinny sound.
  7. Emmett62
    GREAT studio cans, for everything else not so much
    Written by Emmett62
    Published Feb 22, 2016
    Pros - removable cable (although its flawed) lightweight, semi-decent comfort, accurate but shallow sound stage
    Cons - high treble, severe distortion with hard bass, cable locking mech and 2.5mm plug, earpads SUCK, and sound leakage.

    they are what most people say they are very flatish BUT with a severe (almost painful) bump to the highs and a slight reduction to the bass. they have almost no physical bass (w/o amping) its "heard" but not felt. they have good detail and surround i can close my eyes and accurately point out where a sound come from but asides from being great studio monitors its not great at much else. it does play nice with a EQ to try and cull the treble a bit, but turning up the bass causes extreme distortion. they work great on a phone but amp really well with the fiio e6 almost to a fault since it can be really easy to distort these headphones. my biggest cons tho are comfort, the pads are thin and get very hot for long hours of use causing my ears to sweat. the top padding could have used a little more padding and the way the cable connection juts down from the left ear is annoying since it makes it hard to lean my head to the left. Also the mobile cable not having a 6.3mm connector set up like the other cables is dumb since i and many others do not like having a mass of excess cable on their desk. another minor thing i dislike about them is the have lost a lot of their clamping force on my head to where if i lean my head back they will fall off my ears or the band will slip backwards.

  8. theflazy
    Top of the class for closed-back headphones.
    Written by theflazy
    Published Dec 13, 2015
    Pros - Wonderful sound for closed-back headphones. Worth the price.
    Cons - Could have a better cushion. Lacking the noise isolation.
    I'm just gonna get to the point. This isn't a review from an audiophile, just a normal average consumer. So there won't be any statistics. And also since this is a closed-back headphones, I will only be comparing this to another closed-back headphones. Because some people actually buy closed-back headphones for different reason to the open-back headphones.
    I must say that I'm actually pretty pleased with the performance of this headphones. It's a little bit bass oriented pair of headphones, but it doesn't block the trebles, which some people might like and the others might not. Now keep that in mind that this is a closed-back headphones, so the sound stage is pretty narrow. The sound isolation is not that good, because this headphones isn't actually made for that. It also takes sometime for me to feel the comfort of the cushions. Though you could buy the replacements if you want to. For the price of around $160, I gotta say that spending that much money to this headphones is actually worthed.
    The sound quality for this price point actually pretty good, considering that ATH-M50X is a closed-back headphones. This headphones is good but not perfect, there are some areas which can be done better. Like the cushions, and the noise isolation. The other alternatives for this headphones are Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro and AKG K550, which has the similar price point. Now it's up to you to pick which one is the best for you!
  9. RavenPH
    Great sounding headphones for starters in the audiophile world
    Written by RavenPH
    Published Dec 8, 2015
    Pros - Detachable capable, Design (I love the fact that it is portable), Transparent SQ, Great sound production, Good sound stage.
    Cons - Shallow padding, Poor sound isolation
    This is my first review and my first over-ear headphones. 

    I have been contemplating about buying the ATH-M50x for some quite time after discovering that Beats are a sorry piece of headphones fueled by celebrity marketing to lure its customers (I heard that the new Beats improved in terms of sound quality, but the price is still.... ugh). I just bought the limited edition dark green color. The unit is 2nd hand (Thus, there is no need for burn-in) but still looks and feels new. 

    Design and Build - Audio-Technica went for a simple but professional looking headphones IMHO. It is mostly made of plastic but you could see the metal part on the rocker. The color combination (Chocolate brown and Dark Green) has a classical beauty in my eyes. It does not scream "LOOK AT ME!" when wearing them, which is perfect for me. The hinge on the right side of the headphones creaks from time to time. The pads on the ear cups and headband are soft and are probably made of the same material. The M50x is heavy when I first held them but after wearing them I did not feel that much weight in my head. At first, the clamping is tight and uncomfortable that I stopped wearing them to relieve the pain. But after a few days wearing them for longer periods of time they became very comfortable.
    Sound Quality - Now to the most important part, how does it sound? While writing this, I am still using the headphones. The bass is there when it is needed to be. Sometimes it is subdued in some of my tracks but most of the time the bass is solid. The treble is very good. The sound production.... wow it blew my mind. It felt like the artists and musicians are performing in the room. The sound stage is great, never expected it from a closed back headphones. You could place every instrument you heard and identify it. It is very detailed.
    Price - Priced at 7,000 PhP (around $136) with the solid build and great SQ, it is a great buy.
    The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a great choice for people who wants to venture on over-ear headphones.
    1. jriano
      I agree with your "Cons", my ears hurt after long listening sessions, I tried them with other pads, but then sound suffers.
      jriano, Sep 27, 2019
  10. Audioholic123
    Audio Technica ATH-M50X
    Written by Audioholic123
    Published Nov 11, 2015
    Pros - Decent Highs and soundstage.
    Cons - The bass is Overpowering, not studio quality. Earpads are an awkward shape.
    The audio Technica ATH-M50X is a good headphone to listen to bassy music. However, I do not think they are studio quality. Soundstage is good and the high's are quite accurate. Mid's are ruined by the overpowering bass.
    The earpads are an awkward shape and can be very uncomfortable.

    Better alternatives exist.


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