Headphone Hipsters
Feb 28, 2013 at 2:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

Sixth Saturn

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Posts
22
Likes
10
I've been searching this site for some time and one thing struck me: Headphone Hipsters.  I've read many great reviews of the Audio Technica ATH-M50 from CNET to Inner Fidelity to here.  There was even a forum for asking if the M50s were overrated and overwhelmingly people said they were not.  Their popularity on this site has exploded.  I don't own a pair, but I noticed that more and more people had stated that "Now I don't like them."  From what I could tell, Audio Technica hasn't changed their product and the durability of the set is remarkable--so what has changed that "Now I don't like them" besides that they have exploded in popularity?  My answer: The introduction of the Headphone Hipsters. 
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 2:29 PM Post #2 of 29

1-MiC

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Posts
153
Likes
72
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Possibly. Another theory is that if they've become so popular, maybe more and more people make it a point to actually go listen to them. Out of those people, maybe they were expecting more and have become disappointed with them.

Either way every forum ever is basically going to have tons of very opinionated people. You simply have to read through 30 pages of opinions and you'll probably end up reading 5-10 posts that actually matter. 5-10 posts that may actually have unbiased critiques, or at least some kind of experience with the said product. 
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM Post #3 of 29

ninjames

I get people telling me I say dumb things all day.
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Posts
922
Likes
39
Location
Dayton, OH
Quote:
Possibly. Another theory is that if they've become so popular, maybe more and more people make it a point to actually go listen to them. Out of those people, maybe they were expecting more and have become disappointed with them.

Either way every forum ever is basically going to have tons of very opinionated people. You simply have to read through 30 pages of opinions and you'll probably end up reading 5-10 posts that actually matter. 5-10 posts that may actually have unbiased critiques, or at least some kind of experience with the said product. 

There's no such thing as an unbiased critique, especially in something so subjective as headphones.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM Post #4 of 29

streetdragon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Posts
2,911
Likes
157
Expectation: Mid-fi headphone mass killer
Reality: Mid-fi headphone contender

when reality doesn't meet expectation, this will result in disappointment.
A lot of the overwhelming positive reviews about them come from owners who's first good headphone is the M50. They love it, and it is perfectly okay, it's just that when you/a knowledgeable person know and compare the various other offerings out there... they really aren't such a king.
Thus resulting in the overhype issue
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM Post #5 of 29

HideousPride

Member of the Trade: Worthy Audio
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Posts
689
Likes
125
Quote:
From what I could tell, Audio Technica hasn't changed their product and the durability of the set is remarkable--so what has changed that "Now I don't like them" besides that they have exploded in popularity?  My answer: The introduction of the Headphone Hipsters. 

Since the release of the M50, other manufacturers have developed headphones that are very competitive at a similar price point.
 
There probably are people that get a kick out of "going against the grind", but there is a very reasonable and real explanation for the M50 no longer being the "one size fits all" value headphone.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 3:59 PM Post #6 of 29

Tsujigiri

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Posts
1,163
Likes
107
The M50's did change, actually. There was something about the new white box version being really different from the one that got popular. I'd think that Grados would have a more appealing appearance to a hipster, anyway.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 4:01 PM Post #7 of 29

streetdragon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Posts
2,911
Likes
157
Quote:
The M50's did change, actually. There was something about the new white box version being really different from the one that got popular. I'd think that Grados would have a more appealing appearance to a hipster, anyway.

There seems to be quite a lot of debate about the 2 different coloured boxes. Personally I forgot what the result of the discussion was so i can't provide any answers. 
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 4:07 PM Post #8 of 29

SIDWULF

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Posts
216
Likes
16
Uhh people still buy the M50? I thought there was a new revision of them and now don't sound good at all?
 
 
Quote:
I originally wrote this for my site, H4A.
 
As recently as a few months ago, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 was at THE headphone to recommend to new audiophiles. However, due to factors like price hikes, a design change, and new players in the headphone game, it has now been displaced at the top. How did this happen? H4A takes a look:
 
On Head-Fi, the world’s largest online community of headphone lovers, there are 346 registered owners of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and ATH-M50S (The M50S simply denotes a straight cable). Compared to the Ultrasone HFI-580, one of its original competitors (which has 27 registered owners), that number is astounding. In a spiral of recommendations to inexperienced owners to more recommendations, it gained the lead for a long time. However, many factors have lead to its demise as one of the top recommendations. They are:
 
1. Many more senior voices in forums such as Head-Fi have come out of the woodwork to fight the vicious cycle of first-time headphone buyers immediately recommending their only headphone to other first-timers. Up until recently, whenever a question was asked to an online audiophile community, newer members who had only owned the M50 jumped into the conversation and claimed the M50 as the best thing ever until other voices were simply drowned out. Since they’d never tried any other similarly-priced can, these people had no frame of reference and were more likely to overhype (think Beats). Now, many dissident members have taken back control of these discussions and lead to a more educated decision based on each person’s preferences.
 
2. A redesign has made the M50 obsolete at its original use. When it first came out, it was known as a very satisfactory can for budget-minded bassheads. However, the new white-box version of the headphone approaches the situation with a more neutral sound. While it is, on the whole, still bassy, it has nothing on headphones from Ultrasone or other basshead brands. Since it is still not quite neutral, though, it cannot truly compete with true monitor headphones employed in studios.
 
3. Audio-Technica, in conjunction with the redesign of the M50, increased the price of the headphone. This opened it up to a slightly higher level of competition and made many of its peers in the lower price range seem a better value. Now, instead of the M50 being suggested for a budget audiophile, now competition from other established brands has effectively shut down its cause.
 
4. Finally, new competition from previously-unknown manufacturers has been in vogue recently, with the wealthier members of the forums going out and trying almost every no-name brand they can find. Companies like KRK and Fischer Audio have managed to excel at everything the M50 was known for, often even besting it at a lower price.
Don’t get me wrong. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 is still a great headphone. I own one that has over 1200 hours of listening time on it and is still used regularly. However, a combination of many factors has seen to its value becoming less and less as time goes on, and there are now other cans out there that beat it for the same price or are on par at lower. Most importantly of all, the hype train for the M50 has been slowed, with lots of response to any recommendation of it.
 
The old king is dead.

 
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/591059/a-concise-view-of-why-the-ath-m50-is-no-longer-king
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 4:53 PM Post #9 of 29

DivergeUnify

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Posts
669
Likes
39
Yeah the one time I heard the M50s I thought they sounded pretty great.  But I also thought the AKG K240 sounded better( which doesn't really fit the same application), and so did the Shure 840( but if you're a basshead, the M50s are probably superior)
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 4:54 PM Post #11 of 29

streetdragon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Posts
2,911
Likes
157
Not to mention the HD558 as well, far superior soundstage and vocals.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM Post #13 of 29

HideousPride

Member of the Trade: Worthy Audio
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Posts
689
Likes
125
Quote:
Not portable
 
The M50 is really popular because it's a closed, fold up can that can be used at home or on the go 

Portable is not the word I would use to describe the M50 unless you live somewhere cold and you don't mind feeling sluggish. The thick earpads under sun make for a very unpleasant experience. The weight and the unwieldly cable just add to the problem.
 
IEMs and on-ears, even several over-ears, are much more reasonable than the M50 for use out and about.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM Post #14 of 29

streetdragon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
Posts
2,911
Likes
157
Quote:
Not portable
 
The M50 is really popular because it's a closed, fold up can that can be used at home or on the go 

True, forgot about that. Too used to owning only open cans.
redface.gif

 
Feb 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM Post #15 of 29

DivergeUnify

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Posts
669
Likes
39
Quote:
Portable is not the word I would use to describe the M50 unless you live somewhere cold and you don't mind feeling sluggish. The thick earpads under sun make for a very unpleasant experience. The weight and the unwieldly cable just add to the problem.
 
IEMs and on-ears, even several over-ears, are much more reasonable than the M50 for use out and about.

I live in Florida, so  what do I know lol
 
I've seen a few people using them portably, and it's normally a go-to can because it can fold up and be thrown in a backpack, and easily used at a library. 
 
I'm not saying they're the best, but all of that combined with a bassy sound signature makes it an easy recomendation.  People recommend all sorts of headphones here.  The M50 hasn't become OBSOLETE in 2-3 years time.  Very few headphones seem to become obsolete when I really think about it 
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top