1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

Ultrasone DJ 1 Pro vs ATH-M50 Review

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by voltmod, Oct 10, 2011.
  1. Voltmod
    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 :wink:
    > 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. 
    > 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:
    > 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. 
    > 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.
    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.
  2. rezel
    Thanks for the comparison Voltmod!
  3. Voltmod
    Couple other things... The DJ 1 Pros are less prone to sweating since they have a looser feel, so that's a plus for some. I also compared the M50s to a friends Sony MDR-V700DJ, and we both agreed the M50s were much clearer and in my opinion, more comfortable. The sony's sit a little flat on your ear and don't have deep ear cups, so your ears don't feel much surrounded. They do still manage to have good isolation though. They also have a plastic 1/8" jack which I tend to like because the wires are really glued/soldered/supported in the plastic jacks. 
    They come with a coiled cable and I like the silver and black combination, but they do seem to have a bit of a smaller headband. The way my friend said it was that with the MDR V700, you had to be more alert and listen for more sounds; but with the M50s, they are just saying here listen to every little thing in this song no problem. 
    I'm really curious to see what would beat the M50 in their price range. Any suggestions? 
    The PIoneer HDJ-1000 is around that range, but I have not ever heard anyone serious about audio recommend these; only people who love everything about Pioneer because of their CDJs and mixers. I read around about hte HDJ-2000s before I bout the DJ 1 Pros, and it seems the HDJ 1000s had some common wiring issues that made people send them back. Some believed the same issue existed in the 2000s, but this could be all rumors. 
    The allen heath XD 53 looks like a nice pair of headphones, but the sound quality seems to be a little muddy. This makes since because it's targeted for DJs, but I don't see why a DJ wouldn't want lots of bass AND clear highs and mids. Just because it's a DJ headphone is not a valid excuse for muddy sound imo. 
    What do you guys think about Denon headphones? I have a denon DJ mixer which is really nice and they've been around for a while, so makes me wonder.
  4. Dsnuts Contributor
    Here is a little unknown fact.. AT makes the Allen Heath Xone 53 and the Denon DN-HP1000.. Both of them are the exact same phones. AT has their own version I believe the pro750.. All 3 are the exact same HPs. 
    I think the phone you might like is actually the Denon HP700s.. I like the HP700s better than the HP1000 and they cost less as well.
  5. Voltmod
    Interested information man, thanks. I guess that makes sense, haha.
    The Denon HP700s look awesome, that Denon logo looks particularly slick with the all black design, very similar appearance to the M50. You really can't go wrong with all black with a classy logo on the ears.
    I'd like to know if they have more padding than the M50s on the top headband area and how the ear cup size compares to the M50. 
    They come with a coiled cable, so that's definitely a pro for DJing.
    How do you think the sound compares to the M50? 
    If AT makes the Xone XD-53, how does the sound compare to other AT headphones such as the M50 and 700mk2, since that's designed toward DJs?
  6. Dsnuts Contributor
    They have a very similar build and the band is almost the same on top with same material and thickness to the M50s. The M50 cups are more oval shape so they are a bit bigger than the HP700s but where is counts is the sound. Definitely more balanced than the M50 with a bit wider stage to boot.
    I like the SQ better on the HP700s to be honest.. Yes I own both. You can read more about the HP700s on Jokers portable shoot out thread. For DJ use they are indeed an overlooked gem of a HP..The sound quality is actually better than the more expensive HP1000 imo.. Where the M50 has recessed mids the HP700 don't with similar rolled off highs and full impact bass and clean extension. Around $100.. Very overlooked gem of a phone. http://www.head-fi.org/t/433318/shootout-94-portable-headphones-reviewed-audio-technica-ath-es10-added-10-8-11
  7. Voltmod
    So you're saying the oval shape of the M50 cups are larger than the rounded shape of the HP700? I would definitely like to have a listen to them, but they are geared for DJing and if they have a more balanced sound as opposed to flat, then that makes sense and is something I would very much like.
    But the question is, would these be that much of an upgrade from the M50 to justify. I'd have to listen to them myself to find out if I like the sound and comfort. 
    I think since these two are on a very close level, my next upgrade should be something that is a definite enhanced set of headphones. How would you compare the XD-53 to the HP700 if you've heard both? And where would you place the AT 700MK2 in these discussed headphones? 
    I love headphones, haha. This is a rather lovely discussion. 
  8. Clownzor

    The DJ1s are the same as HFi 580s. The DJ1 pros are closer to the Hfi 680s, iirc. The DJ1/580 are much more upfront, bassier headphones. They still have a big soundstage, but have a much more aggressive sound signature which gives them a more up-front sound.
  9. Dsnuts Contributor
    Hmm well The Pro700Mk2s have BIG bass but not much else. In fact I returned my pair as they are perhaps the most uncomfortable HPs I have ever put on my head. I have a normal sized noggin to boot.  There are Bass heads around here that like them a lot but in all honesty you want clarity with your Bass. Those are great for slower bass heavy tracks but anything with attack and diversity in the bass and you get Mud. They look like they would be an "upgrade" from the M50s but I don't see it that way. They have big bass but so does the phone that is on my signature. the Panasonic HTF600. But what my HTF600s have over the Pro900MK2s  is everything else. Fully defined mids and smooth highs with your fully rounded bass and sub bass that make owners of Bass heavy phones take notice.  But they cost $30.
    Back on topic the Allen n Heath 53 is not muddy in any way. I don't know where you heard that but they aren't they are proper DJ cans and sound fantastic actually. The sound stage on them are good for closed design and is fully balanced and clean sounding. The HDJ2000s and the Xone 53s are considered tops for DJ cans for reason.  The HP700s. The reason why those are overlooked is every one thinks because they are lower in the number scheme to the HP1000 that they are inferior. Not the case at all. Smaller 40mm drivers but not lacking in one bit. More better balance than the M50s If you are looking for cans for DJ use. Get the Denon HP1000 instead of the Allen n Heath Xone53.. For 2 reasons.. Cost and looks. They are exactly the same phones but cost $30-$60 cheaper. .I should know as I owned both. I kept the Denon and sent back the Allen n Heath. .The AnH Xone53 look kinda clownish imo.. I saw some cheapo american Dj cans that look exactly like them. All the wording on the AnH Xone53 make em look retarded imo.  The Denons are much more pro looking and they are actually cheaper too.. Either Denons would be an upgrade to your M50s.. Heck my Panasonics are a upgrade to your M50s. No kidding.
  10. Voltmod
    Thanks for the clarification clownzor.
    How would the Panasonic HTF600 sound better than the M50s when costing $30? That doesn't seem to add up, lol. 
    The XD-53s are $13 more than the HP-1000 on Amazon, so there's not a huge cost difference on amazon, making both appealing. You're right about the writing, the 1000 does seem to be a little more classy and professional, but it all comes down to the size and comfort imo. They might both have the same technical specifications, but the comfort is surely different. 
    And what's the deal with this... So Audio Technica makes the electronics for the XD-53 and HP-1000 and then Denon and A&H choose the style/build material? And are these two the exact same AT technology?
    EDIT: Found this when checking out some reviews
    Perhaps the XD-53s are more expensive for a reason... durability.
  11. Graphicism Contributor

    I wouldn't pay much attention to the price... I don't think the $1300 flagships are better than the $300 predecessors. Also the MSRP of the HTF600 is around $80, and when the M50s first came out they were priced under $80... when headphones become popular the price goes up.
  12. Dsnuts Contributor
    The HPs were designed by AT I am sure the design on them were done in conjunction with the companies.. Allen n Heath and Denon. . The Drivers are the exact same and they both sounded exactly the same to my ears. No difference what so ever.  Not only the same specs but same packaging as well.. Same blue box. Same inserts. The cost might have changed since I bought my AnH.  I bought my Denons at the time was $30 cheaper.
    Oh yea as for the HTF600s. It makes no sense I know. How can a $30 HP compete with a legendary HP to the likes of a M50.?  The M50 may be a bit more technical but I can assure you for just the joy of listening to music... Read this review. http://www.head-fi.org/products/panasonic-rp-htf600-s-step-monitor/reviews/5665    It sounds like BS. .But believe me I have guys on my thread that own HD650, Ultrasone Pro900s,  Beats Pros, Shure SRH940s that all end up being big fans of the Panasonic HTF600.. I prefer the sounds from my HTF600s.. Not just over the M50 but also my Sony XZ700, Shure SRH440.. They all sound kinda boring in comparison.
  13. Voltmod
    Well damn that's pretty cool then. I just put this as an edit in my last post, not sure if you saw it in time:
    EDIT: Found this when checking out some reviews
    Perhaps the XD-53s are more expensive for a reason... durability.
    A reviewer on amazon says the XD-53s are rather large and therefore a loose fit, especially when head nodding during a set. And supposedly the HP-1000s might not be the best in terms of durability, but that definitely needs some more research. As for $30 Panasonics for awesome quality, I might have to get a pair just to see if I can trust you, haha. 
  14. Dsnuts Contributor
    I have read that too. The AT pro750 and the Denon HP100 are exactly the same even the materials the AnH does have aluminum sliding arms so you are right in that they look more better build. I don't DJ I just like the hear music on them so they will do fine for me but for Djing I suppose the AnH would be better for better build. The Pioneers HDJ100s have that band snapping issue as well.
    Ya one word of warning on the Panasonics.. There is a good chance you might not listen to your M50s any more after you get them. Lol!!  Ya look for them on Amazon. I have been recommending them to everyone around here and there are starting to amass a big fan base and guys are even modding them for bigger bass and wider stage.  My thread on them.. http://www.head-fi.org/t/571005/the-panasonic-rp-htf600-s-headphones-more-fun-than-the-hd650
  15. Voltmod
    Yea I've heard the HDJ1000s have some build quality issues including the wiring. I read that in multiple reviews when researching. I think the A&H XD-53 is the top pick for DJing. I wish I had gotten them instead of the DJ 1 Pros to begin with, but I was very weary about them before you told me they were made by AT.
    I returned the DJ 1 Pros for a refund, so I think I'm going to save some money and chill with my M50s for a while until I can't resist buying some new ones. I also need to try the XD-53s on in person since the only con I can seem to find about them is that they are too big for a lot of people. 
    Anyone know the greatest headphone shops in Chicago?

Share This Page