Audio Technica ATH-M50 vs Bose AE2?
May 29, 2012 at 6:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

sgtpepper64

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Im looking for a new pair of headphones, and have rounded it down to these two options.  I was originally planning on getting the AE2's, but I have been reading that they are not as good as the ATH-M50's.  Im using these headphones mainly for music that doesnt require much base (The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, ect.).  I will probably also be using these with my amp for guitar, but not as much as for casual listening.  I do prefer the look of the AE2's over the M50's, but I care much more about quality.  Which of these two headphones should I pick?  
 
May 29, 2012 at 7:44 PM Post #2 of 12

sgtpepper64

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I should also add that I do not listen to any techno, rap, hip-hop, or any base driven genera.  I know that Bose has a bad reputation online but I listened to them a few months ago and thought they sounded great.  I have never heard the ATH-M50's, but I have read a lot of good things.  However, the best pair of headphones I've ever owned were a 30 dollar pair of Sennheiser headphones, so I have very little experience in this subject. 
 
Jun 2, 2012 at 11:56 PM Post #3 of 12

branqazwsx

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If you plan to use these headphones with a guitar amp I would recommend the M50's. I feel they are a better all around headphone then the AE2. If you decide to go with the M50 get the "M50s" with the straight cable.
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 5:27 AM Post #9 of 12

obobskivich

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I'll qualify that I haven't heard the M50, but have spent time with both Bose headphones (so I'll talk about them):

- If build quality/durability is a concern, I would pass on them. The AE2 improves on the original in terms of overall durability, but they still feel somewhat fragile (they won't survive abuse).

- The AE and AE2 have relatively small ear-cups compared to most true full-size/around-ear cans, and this can make long-term comfort a concern depending on your head size, ear size, etc. They also seem to heat up with use (but I've heard the same about the M50).

Those negatives aside, I think they're one of the better sounding headphones in their price range (there, I said it). They aren't giant-killers, and they aren't the final word in fidelity, but they're not bad at all. They have good sound-staging (something that is unfortunately rare in cheap headphones) and tonality, but aren't the most accurate thing. They're "happy" or "fun" and do alright with a wide variety of genres. Finally, my biggest complaint is how "live" the enclosures and cabling are - they're very microphonic, and this gets quite annoying. Overall I'd say they're "fair" for their price. Basically, build quality aside, they're not bad headphones at all (and this is overall, not against anything specific). If you dig around enough I'm sure you can find my review of the AE.

FWIW, here's measurements for both:
http://en.goldenears.net/index.php?mid=GR_Headphones&document_srl=11751
http://en.goldenears.net/index.php?mid=GR_Headphones&document_srl=10034

If you're able to spend a bit more, and are intending to use these at home (so isolation isn't an issue), I'd also consider the Ultrasone HFI-2400 and AKG 70x - the AKG's have less bass and less clamp, but both are very good (they have excellent sound-staging and separation, and are both well built). They do cost somewhat more though (and are both open). If you can't really stretch your budget, or need a closed can, I'd also suggest the Sennheiser HD 280.
 
Jun 3, 2012 at 10:45 PM Post #10 of 12

Trance88

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Obobskivich, you really need to get around to trying the M50s. I have no idea how these might sound to someone who has experience listening to headphones at 3 to 5 times the price of the M50's. All I can say is within the first 5 seconds of using these, I knew they were winners.
 
I've tried several Bose headphones at those trial stations located at many big box stores. I thought they sound decent, but for the price, I think there's better out there.
 
Jun 4, 2012 at 12:32 AM Post #11 of 12

obobskivich

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Obobskivich, you really need to get around to trying the M50s. I have no idea how these might sound to someone who has experience listening to headphones at 3 to 5 times the price of the M50's. All I can say is within the first 5 seconds of using these, I knew they were winners.

I've tried several Bose headphones at those trial stations located at many big box stores. I thought they sound decent, but for the price, I think there's better out there.


See, I think the "trial stations" do something wonky to them - I may be imagining things, but I feel like they apply some sort of EQ curve to try and make them more "impressive" at first listen (or at least they're running super duper loud). Then again, their speaker demos are usually pretty fair, so who knows. Again, I'm not trying to say the AE/AE2 are "best in class" or to make any comparisons to the M50, just offering my take on them. I think they're "good" in their respective price range, and "good not great" overall.

And yeah, I really do need to try the M50s at some point, the scruple is what do I do with them afterwards...
 
May 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM Post #12 of 12

alntng

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Sorry for gravedigging, but I thought this would be better than making a new thread.

Recently I've decided between these two headphones and am having a hard time deciding. I will be using these mainly on my commute to school /work on the train so I don't want phones that leak (you'd be surprised how loud some headphones can be even on a crowded train). Occasionally I will also use these when watching movies on my laptop as well.

I listen to a wide range of music but a majority of it will be hip hop, aand indie rock.
 

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