Is Audio-Technica ATH-M50 the right headphones for me?
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igraiman

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Hi Guys,
 
Kinda new here (my first post, although I've been reading tons of posts before writing this one...). 
 
I'm in the market for new headphones, and I'm really not sure which I should buy. 
Currently, I have the Sennheiser PX100 (which I REALLY love) which I use mainly with my iPod (or my PC at work, so no amp is going to be involved). I listen to ALL sorts of music, from Classic to Rock to Electronic.
Lately I was thinking of upgrading my headphones to something better, and after a LOT of reading and searching, I've pretty much narrowed my budget to about 150$, and once I did that, I encountered the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. 
The reviews are pretty much amazing, but some of them left me uncertain that these are the best headphones I can get for my money.
The Biggest problem is that there's no place I can try these (or any other) headphones, so I pretty much have to rely on reviews and forum posts in order to decide which headphones to choose and order.
 
So - Is the M50 a good choice or should I choose something completely different for that price range? any feedback you guys might suggest will be more then welcome!
 
UPDATE: forgot to mention, in-ears are out of the question :)
 
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MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
Reviews by someone who love a product will always sound amazing. M50's are pretty flat, they do well for almost everything, but they're actually not that special outside of their price range and that's only assuming you can get them closer to $100. At $150, I wouldn't bother.
 
I would suggest you look at more options in the $100~$150 price ranges.
 
Look into:
 
Ultrasone HFI 580
Shure 840
Grado SR125
Sony ZX700
Sennheiser HD25
 
I'd go for one of those over the M50.
 
Very best,
 
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irishsammy

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What kind of sound do you like?  If you want something that sounds like the PX100's, the M50's aren't it.  I just passed my M50's off to my little brother because I've kinda moved on from them.  To me, these are their strengths:
 
Accuracy (almost to a fault)
Isolation
Extension (again, almost to a fault)
 
And their weaknesses:
 
Size (just a bit over the borderline of travel-suitable cans)
Comfort (can be a bit clampy unless you stretch them out and the ear cups are a bit small for circumaural cans)
"Boring" sound (see accuracy above)
 
Compared to the PX100's, you'll probably consider the M50's blazing hot in the treble.  But if you get a pair, just run them in at least 100 hours and that will ease up.  And I always thought the M50's were the most accurate cans around...but eventually, that meant I started to find them more than a little bit boring in the grand scheme of things.  They're great cans if you're into their sound but personally, I sorta got bored with that sound.  They isolate like crazy so if you like being alone with your music, they're about perfect. 
 
I can't say too much bad or too much good about them...so I guess this is just another post that reinforces things you've already read.  But I couldn't resist. 

 
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fabio-fi

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X2 on the Ultrasones. They do better than the M50's on different aspects. 
 
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D Rose

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M50's are definitely great headphones if you could get a good deal.  I can vouch for these having excellent quality noise.
 
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yd2zhang

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Do you need portability? Isolation? Comfort? Comfort for the M50's is decent, but portable it is not. Isolation I would rate around a 7/10
 
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joezach

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You can try to audition it at a guitar center store. I'm not sure though, if all guitar center has a pair for audition. I was able to audition an M50 at a guitar center branch here in CA. I'm not really convinced with the bass (coming from a Koss porta pro user,) and the highs seemed a little too bright for my taste. With that said, I will get the HD 25-1 II..I auditioned it with my Fuze+E5 combo BTW.
 
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igraiman

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Thanks for the feedback guys!
 
Portability is not that important to me with these headphones. For portability I will keep using my PX100. I do care about isolation a bit, since I'm going to use them at the office (which in some cases can be quite... loud).
Comfort and sound quality is top priority. I'm a big guy with a big head (the PX100 are just the right size to sit on my head correctly), so if the headphones headband is too short - they headphones wont reach my ears :)
The reason to buy new cans is that I want to step up in sound quality. My PX100 are my first 'quality' headphones, andI love the way they make everything sound better. Now I want headphones that will make the music I listen to (which is almost any type) sound clearer and better. I'm already using mostly lossless formats (or MP3 with sample rate of 320kps or more), so I'm trying to get the best cans I can for my budget.
 
Of course, the best way to choose headphones is to listen to them myself, but this is not really an option for me. I live in Israel, and for some idiotic reason, no store here has any of the cans you mentioned (not the M50, HD-25 or the HFI 580) to audition, so as I said - I need to count on reviews for that (hey - it worked great for the PX100).
 
BTW, the reason I went for the PX100 was because of a friend who had the HD-25. I tried them and all of the sudden going back to my 2$ headphones didn't sound so good. Of course the HD 25 sounds a lot better then the PX100, but eventually my friend replaced them for something else because he said they had some distortion issues...
 
So right now, I've expanded the list (after I almost placed the order on the M50) to this:
Ultrasone HFI 580 (what's the difference between these and the DJ1?)
Shure 840

Sennheiser HD25

Audio Technica M50

 

Votes?

 

Thanks :)

 
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Parall3l

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The only difference between the DJ1 and the HFI 580 is the cable I think, they are both 3m in length and the DJ1 has a coiled cable where as the HFI 580 has a straight cable
 
 

 
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joezach

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Quote:
Thanks for the feedback guys!
 
Portability is not that important to me with these headphones. For portability I will keep using my PX100. I do care about isolation a bit, since I'm going to use them at the office (which in some cases can be quite... loud).
Comfort and sound quality is top priority. I'm a big guy with a big head (the PX100 are just the right size to sit on my head correctly), so if the headphones headband is too short - they headphones wont reach my ears :)
The reason to buy new cans is that I want to step up in sound quality. My PX100 are my first 'quality' headphones, andI love the way they make everything sound better. Now I want headphones that will make the music I listen to (which is almost any type) sound clearer and better. I'm already using mostly lossless formats (or MP3 with sample rate of 320kps or more), so I'm trying to get the best cans I can for my budget.
 
Of course, the best way to choose headphones is to listen to them myself, but this is not really an option for me. I live in Israel, and for some idiotic reason, no store here has any of the cans you mentioned (not the M50, HD-25 or the HFI 580) to audition, so as I said - I need to count on reviews for that (hey - it worked great for the PX100).
 
BTW, the reason I went for the PX100 was because of a friend who had the HD-25. I tried them and all of the sudden going back to my 2$ headphones didn't sound so good. Of course the HD 25 sounds a lot better then the PX100, but eventually my friend replaced them for something else because he said they had some distortion issues...
 
So right now, I've expanded the list (after I almost placed the order on the M50) to this:
Ultrasone HFI 580 (what's the difference between these and the DJ1?)
Shure 840

Sennheiser HD25

Audio Technica M50

 

Votes?

 

Thanks :)


HD 25-1 II would be my vote. You can't go wrong with a senn.

 
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