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ATH M50 Questions

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by xenopenguin, Aug 19, 2011.
  1. XenoPenguin
    Hi everyone, before I start, I'd like to mention that I ramble. A lot. If you can't tell already. Also, I have a ton of questions... so this might be a lot of reading.
    So, after a few days/weeks of researching for a good pair of headphones under $200, I found the ATH M50s. I've pretty much settled on them, and you can talk about your Denons, Ultrasones, Shures, or Grados, but I'm still buying the ATH M50 headphones (... I might still look at your headphones though).
    First of all, I noticed that a lot of M50s are priced around $159. In fact, almost all M50s are priced at $159, as of August 2011. However, I found a pair at the Sound Professionals for $109 and about 10 bucks shipping. I know that they're an authorized dealer, and I know that there's one source saying that they offer good service - however, does anyone here actually have any experience buying from them?
    Second, I've heard that the M50s aren't all that great out of the box (and take a good amount of burning in). I'm not an audiophile, however, and I'm transitioning from years upon years of using in-ear earbuds - pretty much everything was under $25, and they were from Koss, Skullcandy (Ink'd), Sony (cheap ones), and a few other small companies that I haven't really seen on these forums. My current pair of earbuds are Phillips/O'Niell Specked earbuds, which have treated me pretty well since I got them, other than the fact that the microphonics are so bad that it feels like the wire is a microphone, and the bass is a teensy little bit lacking (I'm not a basshead though). So, I'm entirely new to the idea of burning in headphones - I'm planning on just using them regularly and listening to the changes as they happen, but roughly how long does it take to burn in the M50s?
    Also, I've tried my friend's Bose AE2 for a few minutes, and I must admit that they weren't all that impressive. However, I'm coming from in-ear buds which deliver music straight to my ears, so headphones sound pretty different to me. What exactly should I expect of the M50s, compared to the AE2s?
    Third, I know that care and how you treat headphones affect how long they last, and I also know that earbuds don't last nearly as long as headphones. However, the last few pairs that I've used have all broken because of the cord. I treat my earbuds well (if I say so myself) and recently I've been able to get my Ink'd to last for almost a year, maybe a little more. I'm getting the straight cable version of the M50 headphones, but I plan on winding most of the cable up and keeping a rubber band on it (I'm not a big fan of the coiled version). As for usage, I'll probably be using it at my computer, relatively stationary, for somewhere between 1-5 hours a day. I've heard that people have made their headphones last for years, even decades, but how long should I expect these to last me? Also, how long will they last until I need to repair any part, like the ear cup padding, and how much would it cost to get the whole thing repaired without warranty?
    Fourth, I've heard a lot of mixed opinions about the M50s being amped. I'm primarily going to be using these headphones with my laptop with no other sound equipment, but I also know that I will be using them with my iPod touch 4g on the road now and then. To a non-audiophile, completely new to full size headphones, is the amp necessary? If anything, I might build a CMoy amp, but that's still iffy. 
    Finally, thanks to everyone who responds to this post for putting up with my questions - I've done a ton of research (primarily on this site) and I THINK I know the answers to my questions, but I just wanted confirmation for my specific case. 
  2. Player1josh46

    I can tell you my experience with the M50s(also my first headphones ever)
    1. I can't answer your 1st point because I got mine from Guitar Center for $170
    2. Yes they do require at least 100 hrs of burn in. Out of the box they sound good but certainly not its full potential. I MUST STRESS THIS THOUGH: TRY TO GET THE BEST POSSIBLE QUALITY VERSIONS OF YOUR SONGS!!! The M50s will sound incredible to you if you have 320kbps songs or FLAC files or CD quality.
    3. They are very durable. You can stretch the headband alot without it snapping so don't worry about that. The pads do get sweaty so they will get messed up a little over time before you have to replace them. They do clamp rather hard but just stretch the headband to loosen it. NOTE: If you have big ears, the inside of the earcups might not give you enough space, but that's just my experience.
    4. I was considering getting an amp for them but I heard that they didn't require an amp. An amp will only SLIGHTLY make it better and cleaner so it's up to you. That's just what I heard on the forums.
    Final Points: What I want to tell you is that the M50s have alot of potential. It's really up to you to provide it with the best quality music and devices in order for it to provide you with great sound quality. Don't set your hopes so high because when I got mine I was coming form apple earbuds so I thought they would sound Godlike. They disappointed me for a little bit, but over time I increased the quality of my music and therefore the M50s got better over time. With the right source and quality, The M50s I think will make you happy.
    Final Final Points: I suggest getting an equalizer for either your laptop or ipod or both because the M50s has some things about it that I personally don't prefer. They are pretty balanced-more towards bass though. I prefer mids/vocals to be more of the focus of the song and people will tell you that the mids are recessed in the M50s. If you search in the forums, there are mods you can do that may change the M50s to your liking, but it's totally up to you. So this is my advice. sorry for such a long post but trust me you'll know what I mean about these headphones in time. I hope I helped and enjoy your M50s :wink:
    Player1josh46 [​IMG]
  3. yd2zhang
    1. I bought from the sound professionals, had it shipped to canada for about 140 (including duties... unfortunately). They were fast shipping the order, but it overlapped with the Canada post shipping strike, so I didnt get them for 4 weeks :frowning2:. They came nicely packaged and sealed, everything is as you would expect.
    2. I found almost no difference burning them in. They sounded great out of the box, but I have noticed very little change throughout the weeks that i have been listening to them.
    3. I would estimate that the pads will only last for about a year and a half at most. The headphones will last fairly long if you take good care of it. The cable is very sturdy and won't snap or anything like that.
    4. Never tried them with an amp, so can't say much.
    I dropped the m50's after finding a pair of grado sr325i's at a fairly decent price. They didnt have the bass response I was looking for (wasn't as tight as I'd hoped.) They do however sound very good if you are coming from 20-30 dollar headphones. There are also a fair amount of mods you can do in order for them to sound better (search the forums). Even though I moved on I still think they're great starter cans for people wanting to try out mid-fi.
  4. SennheiserHD
    the sound pros has terrible customer service, it's expected with their prices so low they have to cut corners somewhere.

  5. JudgeDreadLocks
    I purchased from soundprofessionals and had no problems that I can remember. 
  6. 88jwong88
    i just ordered mine from sound professionals and got them for 110 plus10 shipping and it got here in 2 days! i am only a state away though but still! and i literally just opened the box so i cant answer ur questions but they are pretty nice
  7. Redtoo
    I love my m-50s, I use them as my go everywhere headphones, I have seen several people out on the street with them. I recently got the Ultrasone pro 900s because for some reason i wanted more, but even at the moment i still like them better for music than the Pro 900s. Thing i noticed the most was that the sound stage widened a lot after 100+ hours sibilance starts to disappear, i also noticed they got louder to me as the burned in more, they will sound there best about 300 hours, keep in mind that these are my own opinions. I tried them with my FiiO e7/e9 combo. The amp will make them louder/bass to be a little tighter, but thats about it.    
  8. Optimus Praim


  9. XenoPenguin
    Hi again!
    Thanks to everyone for your replies; they made me plenty more confident about buying my new favorite headgear. 
    Sorry for bumping, but I've had my ATH M50s headphones for a good month now, if not a little more, and I just wanted to answer my own questions and give my own two cents, now that I've had a little bit of experience with them.
    First, The Sound Professionals were awesome. My headphones were shipped before I got back home (I was on a 4 day trip), so luckily someone was at home to take them in for me. Customer service was really fast, responding the same day on some of my emails, and I'd definitely recommend them. Just my opinion if anyone's looking at them.
    Second, since I was nowhere near an audiophile and so had no experience before, the M50s were magical when I put them on my head. The first song I listened to was pretty much all bass, and the M50s went through with them beautifully. I've used these cans for at least 40 or 50 hours by now, and I'm really surprised at how clear absolutely everything is now. I listen to a little classical now and then, and there was definitely a difference from before.
    Third, as I've said I've only had these for about a month. Either way, I'm really surprised at how durable they feel. I kinda loosened the spring on the jack (but it's still attached) and the connection between the cable and the headphone seems only a teensy bit shady - I can only really tell when I bump it and there's a little bit of microphonics.
    Fourth, I found that these headphones have given me plenty of trouble. As I assumed that my laptop's sound out would provide more than enough juice to power these headphones, I listened to my laptop more than my iPod. Guess what? I immediately noticed crackling in the right ear and messy sound. I was afraid that I got a faulty pair - after looking up a few other threads on this site, I found that others had the same problems, and that it was because of their sound output. Of course, I hadn't noticed anything bad with my iPod... and what's this? My iPod's output is better than my laptop's? Yep, even on the same songs, there was no messiness or crackling. I knew my laptop wasn't the greatest, but I definitely didn't expect this. I think I might get some new audiophile equipment... The M50s sure are like gateway drugs.
    Now, I don't have enough experience to really give a full-blown review, but I'll say that these things have excellent sound quality (to the point where they have trained me to be so much more aware of the sounds around me) and have pretty good soundstage (when I listened to a virtual barbershop, I seriously looked behind me to make sure that someone wasn't there). I haven't had any major problems with them, except for the length of the cable, which I just wound up with a rubber band, and the fact that my TV doesn't have a headphone jack, so I can't game with these things. I didn't know what to expect, but they've surpassed what I had imagined. 
  10. TMRaven
    Maybe you have an EQ on your laptop and your iPod doesn't?  That said, the latest iPods I find to have pretty good sound for what they offer.  The same can't be said for a lot of PCs on the market with realtek sound on etcetra.  Finding a cheap external dac/amp is a pretty good option to remedy that.  Probably the M50's most infamous problem is their pads.  The pleather used for them isn't that high quality, and since the headphones clamp down hard and get a good seal, they build up sweat fast.  Make sure to wipe the pads down a lot to minimize sweat, and use oil pads on your face from time to time before you put them on.  This will lengthen the pads' lifespan, but they'll still crack overtime.  The good news is they're only 20usd, decently cheap compared to some companies like Denon who charge 90usd for their earpads (although very good)
  11. NA Blur
    1.)  No experience, but I have purchased them from places like that and mine were real
    2.)  They are really durable and if you put a little hand  lotion on the earpads every couple of months they last for years
    3.)  You really do not need to amp them as they have a high enough sensitivity to be driven my computers and portables.  I would not even recommend an amp for them really, they just do not need it.
    Here are some fun tracks to listen to on them:
    MC Lars - [The Laptop [EP] CD1 #03] Hurricane Fresh
    Maroon 5 - [It Won't Be Soon Before Long CD1 #06] Nothing Lasts Forever
    La Roux - [La Roux CD1 #10] Reflections Are Protection
    Ali Farka Toure - [Savane CD1 #03] Beto
  12. Radex

    I am assuming you are using iTunes which was my problem. It was somewhat annoying because the sound crackles when I play my classical songs. I also noticed significant distortion. Try using a 3rd party music player and see if that works.
  13. TMRaven
    iTunes is perfectly fine unless you're improperly using its EQ.  If the preamp of the EQ isn't set below 0 to accommodate for the highest peaks of the EQ bars, then you'll be clipping it, and the crackling is usually the sign of this.
  14. NA Blur
    On a ton of computers especially laptops there are two problems:
    1.)  There usually is not enough power given to the headphone out to properly drive headphones
    2.)  There is almost always a ton of noise that can be heard through the audio jack because the jack is not separated electrically from the other sources of power like the power supply, USB ports or even the processor.
    I use an external DAC which really cuts out 90% or more of the noise.  I doubt it is the headphones as my M50's can handle just about anything I  through at them.
  15. ElectroGeek007

    This! Also, any track by DJ Manian, I love dance/club music on my M50s, especially when driven by a PA2V2.

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