Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Rating:
4.36/5,
  1. SMLeaves
    These are sooo good!
    Written by SMLeaves
    Published Sep 15, 2014
    5.0/5,
    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!
    1. Amberlynn
      Wow these are some sexy headphones lol
      Amberlynn, Sep 15, 2014
  2. twister6
    Takes M50 to the next level, and I like it!!!
    Written by twister6
    Published Jun 8, 2014
    5.0/5,
    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.
     
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    With Slappa Case.
     
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    1. Nelson Soong
      Is the improvement in sound quality significant enough to warrant an upgrade from M50s?
      Nelson Soong, Jun 3, 2015
    2. twister6
      @Nelson Soong : not enough, only marginal improvement.  It's a removable cable option which enables you to use higher quality aftermarket cables (and being able to replace cable if it breaks) that justifies the upgrade :wink:
      twister6, Jun 3, 2015
  3. G2F
    Very comfortable with thoughtful design
    Written by G2F
    Published Mar 14, 2014
    4.5/5,
    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. 
      De_klusjesman likes this.
  4. De_klusjesman
    Great headphones, slightly improved sound quality when compared to M50/M50s
    Written by De_klusjesman
    Published Mar 10, 2014
    5.0/5,
    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.
      H T T likes this.
    1. Blinxat
      I never owned the original M50's but I got the X today and think that the stage sounds nicely differentiated, perhaps not wide, but 3D enveloping around you. Maybe the slightly floaty bass helps that. The bass is not as tight something like I had before (Senns Amperior) but the stage at least compared to that headphone is substantially better.
       
      I don't find them strident or sibilant at all. (the amperior however is sometimes on some vocals).
       
      If anything there is a hint of nasal-ness sometimes, a bit metallic sounding. But nowhere near some cheapo headphones that are disastrous in this area like Sony V55 DJ.
       
      The treble is not crude but somewhat less refined that some super high end phones, but for the price it's great. I guess they need this kind of treble to be labeled Pro/Monitor/Studio. AT seems to have rise to peak treble, Shure seems to prefer one that drops down, sound more layered perhaps.
      Blinxat, Mar 11, 2014
    2. H6916
      How comfortable are these headphones? I want headphones that can used at home and when traveling, and the headphones should be comfortable for a long duration. 
      H6916, Mar 11, 2014
    3. GL1TCH3D
      Good to hear soundstage was improved. That was one of the worst aspects of the M50
      GL1TCH3D, Mar 12, 2014
  5. Harlynn
    Not worth upgrading but amazing first headphones
    Written by Harlynn
    Published Feb 28, 2014
    5.0/5,
    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.
    1. ianskie1
      I guess I'll hold off on buying an M50 and wait for this to be available in my country. Thanks for the review, I have a question is this more comfortable that the M50? Thanks!
      ianskie1, May 1, 2014
    2. Cirkustanz
      Sennheiser 598 cable works with them perfectly.  (Some sites even sell the same cable for both headphones)

      Also, I've seen a cable for these that does include a mic/headset button on amazon for about $20.00   I've purchased lots of cables from that same seller, they do good work for what they charge.
      Cirkustanz, Feb 26, 2015