M-Audio M50 Over-Ear Headphones

General Information

M-Audio's M50 headphones feature powerful 50mm drivers for outstanding performance that is totally unexpected at their modest price. They feature a comfortable over-the-ear design with great noise isolation, ideal for long hours in the studio monitoring your mix down tracks. With their wide-ranging 28-20 kHz frequency response, the M50 headphones deliver the detail and precision needed for every musical style. The leather cushioning on the flexible headband and ear cups provides a fatigue-free listening experience for even the longest-lasting, most demanding sessions. The detachable cable is 6 ft. (1.8m) long and includes a 1/4 -inch adapter for compatibility with all equipment. The M50 brings M-Audio's industry-leading studio monitor engineering to personal headphone audio.

Latest reviews


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Comfort, Overall sound performance, Build, Design, Price
Cons: Thin cable, Lacking accessories
I was browsing around for travel headphones, and I stumbled upon the M50. Not the Audio Technica one, but this one:




At first look I thought this is might be it. The M-Audio Studiophile Q40 was favoured for its sound quality and value, but the build was far from confidence-inspiring and the pleather pads were awful. The M50 on the other hand seems stylish, has ample paddings and not too bulky. Relatively affordable too, retailing at 75USD on Amazon. There's not much info about its sound quality, but I decided to make the plunge anyway. So here it is!


Packaging and Accessories




The box is nice and simple. There is nothing much to write home here.


Accessories provided are lacking. Inside the box there's the headphone and a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter. That is about it. I know that I should not expect too much from a budget headphone, but a carrying case or pouch would be nice.


Build and Comfort:
For a sub-$100 headphone the M50 is really well built. The soft-touch plastics and textured metal on the earcups make for a classy appearance. The earcup slider is metal and it clicks nicely as you adjust it. My only complaint on the build is the flat cable. It is rather thin and does not seem very durable. Fortunately, the cable is easily replaceable as it uses a standard 3.5mm connector which can be plugged in to either side of the cups.


Comfort is in my opinion the M50's strongest suit. It is the most comfortable 'affordable' headphones I have ever used. It is miles ahead of the old Q40 and also much better than the ATH-M50 and SRH440 in this regard. The pads are roughly 2.5cm thick and very plush. Although they are on the small side of the over ear category, they are still very comfortable. The earcups also slightly rotate around the slider on a ball joint, allowing for better fit to the head shape. The headband padding could be a little thicker, but since the M50 isn't heavy, this is just a very minor niggle.


The M50 is not foldable, so it may not be as portable as the ATH-M50. That being said, it is still compact enough to be snuggled in your daily backpacks.




Songs used:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder

My Immortal – Evanescence

Dream On – Aerosmith

Santeria – Sublime

Let It Go – James Bay

Hello – Adele

Here Tonight – Dash Berlin & Jay Cosmic ft. Collin Mcloughlin


M-Audio billed the M50 as a monitoring headphone, and I’d say that is a fitting description. The M50’s sound signature is rather neutral, perhaps slightly on the bright side.
The bass is adequate to say the least. It has decent, fast impact with good detail which is satisfying for soul, rock and pop music. It is not muddy or bloated at all. It feels accurate. In EDM songs like Here Tonight, the impact and reverberation is lacking for that club atmosphere/feeling, but then again this is supposedly a neutral headphone.
The mids is lush and clear. Guitars and vocals sounds crisp and articulate, free of bleeding from the low end frequencies. They also does not sound overly forward or laidback. It probably can be best described as listening from front row, instead of from onstage or back row.
The top end errs very slightly on the bright side. The hi-hats jump out as crisp and clear. This contributes to an overall excellent detail for a sub $100 headphone.
Imaging and soundstage is where I found the M50 to be performing way above its price range. For a closed headphone, the M50’s soundstage is surprisingly quite wide and deep. The instruments are well positioned and separated, making for a great 3 dimensional presentation.
I have used the Q40, ATHM50 and SRH440 previously, but it was quite a long time ago. If I am to make a comparison now, it would be based on my memory which won’t be accurate. My brain is probably too overloaded with work to remember sound details. So, I will try to borrow/audition these 3 budget monitoring headphones for comparison when I get some free time and then I will update this section accordingly. If you have any suggestions for comparisons, please shoot away in the comments.
The M50 is a very well built, stylish, comfortable headphone that is no slouch in terms of sound quality. Bass heads should look elsewhere, but those who seek a more neutral response will be satisfied with the M50’s signature and performance. Details are great and presentation is excellent. It also undercuts the popular budget monitoring headphones (ATHM50, SRH440) too in terms of price.
My gripes would be cable durability and the lack of carrying case. And perhaps they shouldn’t have given it the same name as that of one of the most recognisable headphone in this category.
These are minor niggles though, and I would definitely recommend this headphones.
Isolation is great for what can be considered a portable headphone. I used it during a flight 2 days ago and it managed to block out the crying baby seated a row in front. I can still hear the cabin crew announcement though. My JH5 which I already sold still isolate better. but the M50 is still not bad at all.
+1 for isolation, after hearing the Q40s I really would like to try another set from this brand
Are these headphones truly over ear? From the pictures they look about the same size as the Beats Mixr. Can someone measure the ear pad opening?


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