Bose QC15 vs Audio Technica ATH-M50x?
Feb 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

Semenick96

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I'm new to this forum but I'm looking for a good pair of headphones for university next year. I know that the bose are the only ones that are technically noise canceling but I just need something that'll sound great and block outside noise from my roommate or other rooms while I'm trying to work. I'm open to suggestions, thanks!


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Feb 17, 2014 at 7:57 PM Post #3 of 12

xtroria

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M50's for sure, you pay for noise cancelling with bose qc series and as a result they sound pretty bad!

Bose QC15 is NOT a bad sounding headphone, but for $300, you're paying more for the technology compared to the sound itself. Are you going to use it outside and for flights too? If your environment isn't too noisy, M50X might be a good idea since it's cheaper. But if you're going to use subway everyday and your environment is a bit too noisy, consider getting a noise cancelling headphone (which is not necessarily bose). Sony MDR-1RNC is a nice pair although their NC isn't as good as bose's and I can't really talk about the sound quality
 
Feb 17, 2014 at 8:01 PM Post #4 of 12

mark5hs

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M50. They are very possibly the best all around headphones you can get for the price, while Bose are vastly overpriced and will give very poor performance compared to similarly priced headphones. And the M50s are closed headphones, so they'll give you plenty of isolation when you're listen to them. Active noise canceling isn't worth it because you pay extra for it, you have to worry about replacing the batteries, you often get a high pitched screech when nothings playing, and they really don't make that much of a difference compared to a good closed set. 
 
Though for a little bit less than the Bose, you can get these which will really be a substantial upgrade over the m50s and will serve you well for a long long time. 
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AH-D600-Maniac-Over-Ear-Headphones/dp/B00858I4F2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1392685207&sr=8-2&keywords=denon+headphones
 
Feb 17, 2014 at 8:09 PM Post #5 of 12

mark5hs

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And if noise isolation is really crucial, I'd always recommend going with a good IEM over active noise canceling. In my experience, an IEM with a good seal does a better job of blocking out noise vs an active set, and you'll always get better sound for the price. A $300 IEM will absolutely rip the qc15 to shreds. 
 
This is the set I use: 
http://www.amazon.com/Edition-Dynamic-Isolation-Earphones-Earbuds/dp/B00ATWLG8Y/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
 
And if you want something cheaper, these will give you great sound in any application and excellent isolation. 
http://www.amazon.com/Etymotic-Research-Portable-Earphones-Cobalt/dp/B000XP8DJC/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1392685715&sr=1-2&keywords=etymotic+hf5
 
Mar 15, 2014 at 6:29 PM Post #8 of 12

Superbunny

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Compared to my Denon D2000 and ED8, my Bose QC15 sounds good. It has plenty of bass but a bit muddy. However, if you need noise canceling they are simply the best. Even my Westone IEM Es5 does not isolate as much.
 
Unfortunately the build quality is not there. It almost pure plastic and cables are horrible. So everyday use will certainly break the phones. I just use them for flights.
 
Mar 16, 2014 at 12:21 AM Post #9 of 12

cel4145

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One more: will 50s need and amp, to play with an average phone?


No. You don't need an amp to use them with the average phone. They will sound very good.

However, if you like bass heavy music and like to run your phone very loud, an amp may help with the dynamics.

Another headphone to consider is the DT770. I liked them a little bit better than my M50s when I demoed them. Better comfort, too.
 
Mar 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM Post #10 of 12

Superbunny

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Regarding the Bose QC15 my understanding it that an amp makes absolutely no sense because the phones itself has one which makes music and noise canceling waves. Therefore, you would double amp which could change signature but unlikely to change the dynamic because the diaphragm is being moved by the bose amp.
 
Jun 26, 2016 at 9:57 AM Post #11 of 12

fadzes

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Hey guys, I'm having a hard time deciding if I should get the Bose QC25 that are on a discount (they now cost $276) or the audio technica ath-m50x which cost $182. I have tested the QC25 and they fit great on my head and I loved the sound quality and the Noise Cancelling feature. I have not tested the m50x but I have read that they sound better for more bass heavy music (which I often listen to), the noise cancelling on the QC25 is nice but not 100% necessary.
What do you guys think?
 
Jul 21, 2016 at 1:12 AM Post #12 of 12

elmuano

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I have tried both and ended up with the ATH-M50x. The Bose noise canceling feature was extremely painful on my head, I felt as if magnets were vacuuming my brain; I also tried the IEM version (QC20) and I actually loved them and didn't feel that pressure, but I also returned them because was turned off at the idea of having to use the device that comes attached to the cable and if it breaks it isn't replaceable, which for $300 isn't worth it. 
So did my research and ended up with ATH-M50x. It doesn't isolate sound like noise canceling but it does a good job in an acoustic way. And I don't care about noise anyway. The quality is good, bass is strong and clear, sometimes highs can be screeching but if you amp them and get a good source this shouldn't be an issue. If you need extra sub bass then definitely amp them, like for rap and techno. Even for some classical the bass is just gorgeous.
I also have Sennheiser 598 but that's a different story, and I love them more than the Audio Techs, 100 times better soundstage and quality but the Audiotechs are fun and strong for more modern music. IMO
 

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