So I've owned my ATH-M50s for 10 months now and recently purchased the Ultrasone DJ 1 Pro. Because these are two popular models of headphones in the same price range, I figured I would give my experience with each and then compare the two. Especially since I hear the DJ 1s are basically a different shelled 580 which also get attention. I only bought the DJ 1 Pros because I ripped the cable out of the 1/8" jack on my M50s and needed headphones asap. I read lots of reviews and decided to purchase the DJ 1s; they were not available for me to check out in any local stores. I will compare features first and then sound specifics. DJ 1 Pro Features: My initial impression for these headphones was disappointment after owning the M50s first. The finish and color scheme just didn't look that great in person. They looked more like wanna-be DJ headphones than a professional piece of equipment. They felt that way too; the M50s feel like heavy indestructible solid piece of equipment. I just throw my M50s into my backpack and don't worry about them one bit, collapsed or not. For the DJ 1s, I would definitely feel more comfortable putting them in the hard case they came with, which is really nice, but a little space consuming and unneeded. There's a reason the M50s came with a leather pouch and the DJ 1s with a hard case Pros: > Comes with classy black hard case > 1 coiled cable, 1 straight, easily changeable. > "Safer" hearing technology > Good sound stage; more open sound. > Pretty good sound. > When changing the cables, they screw in to insure secure connection. > Large circular earpads to fully surround ears. > Pretty good price for the cables and case. Got mine on amazon for $140. Cons: > Felt flimsy and made of plastic. > Rather large; the band is almost completely circular, giving it more of an O shape than a 0 shape. > Can't be secured onto head very well unless your head is very large, even at the tightest headband adjustment. > Pads feel more like plastic than comfy cushioning. The top pad is pretty much pointless because of this. > Straight cable is short to the point of being useless... Does not even reach from the headphones when they are on my head to my iPod when it's in my jeans pocket. I am not tall or disproportional... > Pretty bad isolation for being called a DJ headphone. > This one really pisses me off... they do not swivel all the way around like the M50s, so if you're cueing, it's rather awkward to try and push just one ear up without feeling the other side smashing into your chin or neck. And because of how big the earpads are, it's hard to wear them with one ear on and the other sitting on the side of your head unless your head is big. The loose fit does not help this at all. I had to just completely wear them when I was cueing. Luckily, my mixer has a master/channel split cue function, so it wasn't as much of a problem for me, but it's still quite annoying and something people should definitely be aware of; especially since I believe they are advertised to swivel. ATH-M50 Features: Pros: > Astounding price when purchased through amazon for this quality (sound & build). > Straight cable version is very long; you can get a coiled cable version. I like being able to plug them into my receiver and set back at my desk, and these are the perfect length. Also, if you screw up the headphone jack like I did, you will have plenty of cable length to work with while you mess up the soldering a few times trying to fix it. > Comes with 1/8 - 1/4" adapter. > Very classy style; all black with the AT logo embedded into the ear cups and a simple silver ring around it. They scream professionalism. > Has a nice large 1/8" silver jack and a longish spring to protect the wire from bending. > Comes with classy black leather pouch for carrying. > Fold up nicely. > Stay secured on my head; there's a reason these headphones have a tight headband at first. They loosen up a lot after time. I initially put my over an arm rest on a recliner for 24 hours after first getting them in order to loosen them up faster. The tightness also helps with sound isolation, if you need that feature like me for DJing/mixing/blocking out train sounds. > These can take whatever you throw at them. If you amp them and EQ them, they can pump astounding amounts of bass. > Very solid; seem like they're built like a tank. They feel heavy with quality but not nearly too heavy to hold up on your head. If you work with lots of electronic hardware such as DJ equipment and PC hardware, you can usually feel the difference and quality in some components by how they feel heavier and solid. Cons: > No interchangeable cable. > The spring attached to the jack came out of my pair without using much force to pull it out. It can be shoved back in with a little physics and some force though. > Not a con, but require some burn in time; especially for the bass to fully come to. > Could use a little more padding/cushion on the top similar to the DJ 1 Pros; DJ 1 Pros have top cushion, but the cushioning was the same material as the ears, so it was not comfortable either. I got some velcro strips from hobby lobbie and added some extra cushioning from a pair of Logitech G35s I used to have. Very comfy now for long periods of time. This is completely unnecessary and should not be done if you're using them for straight DJing. Not on your head for long enough periods at a time to justify it; it adds bulk too, so makes taking them on and off slightly more difficult since hairs can sometimes get trapped in the velcro and you rip them out in the middle of a mix. > Not much of a con for me, but they are somewhat sweat-inducing. This is also a good thing though as it helps to isolate sound; that's another reason for the stronger headband resistance. > The oval ( 0 instead of O ) shape of the earpads could be a problem for people with big ears in case they don't completely fit. These are just right for my hears. Fun Fact: What's the perfect medium of the M50 and the DJ 1 pros? : The AT 700MK2.... They are DJ headphones but basically M50s with some amped up bass and interchangeable cords. They are slightly more expensive, and I have not heard them myself, but they sound like exactly what I'd want for my DJing purposes. The M50s are better for all around since the cable is so loungeable. Sound: DJ 1 Pro: The sound in the DJ 1 Pros was very open and not at all up front. I suppose you would call this sound stage. Let's just say the stage was enormous. Reminded me more of an open headphone Sennhesier style sound than a closed back electronica/DJ pumping sound. This is a con for me because of how I DJ; the open stage style seems to take away from the isolation and allow for outside sounds to seep in easier. Again, not a con, just not my style. The bass seemed to be a little lacking because of ^ as well. It was more reserved and sounded like it was in the back of my head instead of in the middle and more up front. "Up front" is really the best way I can think to describe this. I'm not sure if the safer hearing technology used in the Pros has something to do with it, but they just didn't sound as powerful as the M50s (driver difference maybe?). Up front and powerful, that's the best I can think of to sum up what it's lacking to the ATH M50. The sound just didn't amaze me at all like the M50s did when I first got them, especially after the burn in time. Walking down the street with the M50s on is like walking through a musical journey book. The pads were not cushiony and because of this, felt like they did not push down and give the extra isolation support by encompassing my ears. I had these headphones for a full 3.5 weeks of heavy use and burn in time, and they didn't seem to change much. I remember reading about people saying these don't get burned in much when I was researching them, so that seems to hold true mostly. They might have burned in more after a couple more months, but they didn't seem like audio-phile/professional headphones; they felt like toys. The black and white didn't work out all that well for me either. The cups more a lot looser than the M50s, making it harder to quickly take them on and off without being careful. I could throw the M50s around and they would probably enjoy it. ATH M50: The sound in these is pretty damn phenomenal. They could really advertise these as DJ headphones, especially the ones with the coiled cable. There seems to be a lot of discussion on the bass of the m50s. The bass kicks a lot harder and punchier after some burn in time. I'm a huge basshead. I'd say these headphones might have a tiny bit more bass than completely flat studio EQ headphones, but I think this is because of how all the sounds are "up front" and in your face. Because of this type of sound stage, it hits harder. But it is very proper, you know when the kick drum hits and it is not muddy at all. The trebles and mids match it perfectly. They are both so crisp and clear, that they accommodate the up front bass very well. I mix with these headphones a lot, and when you have the bass bumped all the way on the mixer EQ, it is very nice for mixing; especially since the isolation is pretty good. I can hard core headbang with these on too. I almost want to get one pair for DJing with a coiled cord and have my straight cable version for chillout listening. I will probably end up getting the 700mk2 for that though. A very important thing about these headphones is that they are made as studio monitor headphones, so they have a very balanced sound for that purpose. HOWEVER; I listen to these straight into my PC's soundcard, which is an Auzentech Forte, and it has a dedicated headphone amp built in. This amp makes quite a difference when you throw an EQ on top of it. My card, unfortunately, has a very low buzzing noise on the headphone amp though, so I usually just plug these into my receiver. I am not sure if the receiver has a dedicated headphone amp as well (i'm sure most or all do), but it still sounds so damn good. It even sounds good through an ipod or portable device, but when I plug it into my PC, i have an advanced EQ for my soundcard, and when I pump the bass levels all the way up with the EQ, it is earth shattering... You know when you're at a bass heavy show and it is just thundering through your entire body and you can't tell if you're breathing because your chest is so numb with bass? That's how these are to your brain when amped up... They can literally pump more bass out of them that you can handle with an EQ. And they do it without getting distorted in the least bit. Now keep in mind, they will get distroted with some EQs, like the iTunes equalizer... That is garbage and will distort the best of any headphones when cranked past a certain level. A dedicated sound card EQ though, does not easily loose quality in the same way. I feel like I'm slightly repeating some of the pros and cons, so I'll stop babbling now, but I hope this helps some people in their decision making. The winner for me is clearly the M50s, hands down. The most surprising part about the differences for these two headphones is that the M50s seem like more of a DJ headphone than the DJ 1 Pros; I couldn't get over that since they are marketed towards DJing. Not sure if I already said this but I sent the DJ 1 Pros back and borrowed a friends soldering iron and hot glue gun and forced myself to fix my M50s. They are really not that hard to solder onto a new jack, it just takes time, patience, and some serious focus for a half hour and it's very manageable. Tons of youtube videos. You should really try to do it yourself; I wanted to get it professionally fixed, but places were charging $50-$60 and I just thought that was madness since it's a third of the price of the headphones if not more. I build computers a lot though, so this might seem like a more daunting task to people who don't get into DIY electronic repairs much.