There are a thousand and one reviews on this product, so if you want to read a normal step by step review, you don't have to look far. What I have to say in this review goes for both the old M50, which I own, and the newer M50x. What I want to do is help beginners and first time buyers on the fence to make a decision, because sometimes it can be hard to know what to do with all of the various opinions you get regarding these headphones. I went up to visit some friends in Kentucky and met someone who had recently bought some V-Moda headphones. They are good headphones and a solid option to choose. This fellow had also gone on Head-Fi and looked up what he wanted out of a headphone. All good. When the friend I had come up to visit and was staying with asked what a good choice of headphones are, I wholeheartedly recommended the Audio-Technica M50’s and this fellow recommended the V-Moda’s. I had the M50’s personally for 4 years at the time, and I felt they were a very good choice for him, especially since he listened to so many genres. Then the guy with the V-Moda’s said, “No, I don’t think you want those. They are waaay too bass heavy!” Wait. What? I’ve had these for years. Bass “emphasis” yes. But I would be hard-pressed to call them heavy, especially compared to the “SUPER”, “EXTRA”, “MEGA”, “ULTRA”, Bass headphones at Best Buy. He extolled his V-Moda’s and how good they were. And they are. But the “better” V-Moda’s were at a much higher price point, and although I didn’t have my M50’s handy to compare I could tell that the bass was hardly any less than the M50s. In fact, after a recent demo, they definitely had a higher quantity of bass. I asked him if he had ever actually tried out the M50’s in person before. And of course, he said “No”. But what he said next struck me. “But I read all kinds of reviews on Head-Fi about them and I know what they sound like”. Well, so have I. In fact that’s what lead me to buy them. But the fact is that here, great exaggerations are often made because reviewing sound is akin to trying to describe color. It’s very hard. We often use words that are texture, elevation, or visually related to try. Crunchy, piercing, warm, bright, punching, hot, cold, clear, clean, smooth, dark, fuzz, bite, sparkle, muddy, and flat. Think for a moment. What these actually have to do with sound? Without context, they each describe something very different. To make matters worse, many headphones sound very similar to each other overall, and the differences, while obvious to a listener, may prove very hard to put on paper. So it is no wonder that exaggerations are made. I read tons of reviews before my purchase. I vacillated and vexed over what to buy for weeks. I read about how they have tinny highs, sound terrible with piano, have a ridiculously recessed midrange and yet too much mid-bass, have too much bass in general, boomy, muddy, piercing, how you can barely hear the vocals, are not balanced, have no sound stage, sound like a bad club, and so on. I was worried because of all the negative reviews that I read. After I told all this to an audiophile friend of mine, he said not to worry and just buy them. So I did. After I bought them all of that worry disappeared. I loved them. What did I think of all of those reviews I read? Every single one of them was true. You see, there are many different songs, from many different artists, recorded in many different studios, using vastly varying equipment. Because of that there are huge differences in the way the end product sounds. No set of headphones will be perfect for them all. Even among the Hi-Fi, different setups are preferred for certain sounds. So did it sound terrible on piano? On certain songs, yes. Does it sound muddy and unclear? On certain songs, yes. Does it have “tinny” treble? On certain songs, yes. Is the mid-range way to recessed? On certain songs, yes. Does it “suffer” from not having a soundstage? On certain songs, yes. Is there a lot of bass? On certain songs, yes. Do they sound imbalanced? On certain songs, yes. Do they sound like a bad club? On certain songs, yes. You see because of the vast quantity of music out there, it is inevitable that a lot of it won’t sound good through these headphones. They are far from alone. Many high end headphones costing many times the M50’s price have that problem too. The point is, that they sound good with the “majority” of music. In fact most headphones that you hear in all of these stores have sound signatures that resemble the M50’s V Shape to one degree or another. It is a very popular sound signature, because most music these days are recorded to sound good with it. It’s exciting and fun, and the M50’s give you that with enough of a balance and clarity to be better than most. Which leads me to the point that I told him. The Audio-Technica M50 and now M50x is a Best in Class Headphone. It is not the best headphone. It is not even the best headphone at this price point. But for what it does, at the price it does it at, it is very hard to beat. It has stood the test of time. Studios all over the world use them professionally to monitor tracks and have been doing so for years now. Because of this a great deal of music will sound great with them. Of course there will still be people that disagree with this. Keep in mind however that most of them also own thousands of dollars’ worth of better equipment and have no real need or desire to use these anyway. I’ve seen more than my fair share of “angry” M50 reviews here and elsewhere. In fact I’ve even decided that how someone reviews the M50 is a qualifier for what kind of reviewer they are. So if you’re on the fence about buying these, hop on off that fence. These are great headphones that are used both professionally and for personal enjoyment. They are headphones that have stood the test of time very well. If you think that these might just be the headphones for you, they probably are. Go ahead and read the reviews, but just know that great exaggerations will be made and very personal opinions will be given, even if they say they are not. You can be confident in your purchase and know that you made a sound decision. And PLEASE. Don’t tell someone you know how headphones sound just because you read the reviews on Head-Fi. Go get yourself some great headphones!