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ShikuTeshi

Audio-Technica M50X Headphones

It's been over a year since I've bought these headphones and they've been the best sounding headphones I have ever used. It serves me so well that whenever I switch off to another headphone, earphone, earbud, etc... they sound pathetic compared to the M50X's.

 

I bought these Headphones for $180 during a Cyber Monday sale, and the current standing price is now $139 listed on Amazon without sales.

Some features to point out with these headphones are...

-These are "Studio Grade Headphones"

-It has a large size

-Circumaural (Fits around the ear) A huge plus from me

-Soft leather earcups and headband (takes awhile to break in)

-Closed headphones

-Varying noise isolation (dependent on sound volume. low offers very little isolation while medium and high volumes cut out a majority)

-Does not bleed (I can blast music and not disturb anyone around me. Now unless you're in something like a silent chamber, you might hear whispers)

-Detachable cable (A HUGE plus because that's usually the broken part)

-3 different styled cables (coiled, earbud length, and a stupidly long cord)

-Carrying Pouch if you need portability safety

-Headphones collapse to 1/2 size

-Near lossless audio quality

You can experience it's performance from the video in the spoiler...

 

My experience...

While in High school I've taken these headphones around with me almost everywhere. I never needed to use the pouch because the headphones fit nicely around my neck. The short cable is earbud length so it's not hanging all over the place. Add that with an HTC One M8 (reviewed as the best portable device for audio) and I had quality music everywhere I went.

 

While gaming, you can advertise your "gaming" headphones all you want. On a competitive level, I can't recommend these enough. While playing CS:GO, I am able to very clearly distinguish individual sounds and their precise locations. Although this part is also dependent on your audio drivers. I'm using on-board audio from an M5A97 R2.0 Asus motherboard that's fairly basic. Chances are that if you have a sound card or a motherboard worth over $70 then you should be able to experience the same thing.

 

For music and video media, I recently completed Tales of Zestiria, a JRPG series with phenomenal music. Having perfectly clear audio made the game feel much more exciting. As for mp3 media, if you have a downloaded audio file in FLAC format, every instrument can be distinguished as an individual and not blended together. And I exaggerate when I say that you can probably count the number of instruments played in the music. This clarity also applies to any video you are watching.

 

The one single downfall is the rather weak bass. As they are "studio grade", they are engineered more for clarity than anything else. And in my experience, having headphones with bass will always hinder clarity. So it's a one-off decision that was made when buying these headphones. I find bass music better with a speaker set and subwoofer anyways.

WaeV, Tucker933, DiSiAC and 1 other like this

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The one single downfall is the rather weak bass. As they are "studio grade", they are engineered more for clarity than anything else. And in my experience, having headphones with bass will always hinder clarity. So it's a one-off decision that was made when buying these headphones. I find bass music better with a speaker set and subwoofer anyways.

Studio monitoring headphones are made to have as flat of a response curve as possible to keep any coloration of the sound out, unlike most cheaper speakers that actually intentionally increase lows because "lots of bass is good" etc.

Also, the headphones are most likely meant to be ran with an amp which could affect the volume of low frequencies.

Skeezix the Cat and DiSiAC like this

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These are my favorite recommendation for people who want a decent set of cans without clearing out the bank account.  Excellent review.

 

How ever, I think you might be the first person to describe the ath-m50x's having a bass deficiency.

Edited by DiSiAC

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Studio monitoring headphones are made to have as flat of a response curve as possible to keep any coloration of the sound out, unlike most cheaper speakers that actually intentionally increase lows because "lots of bass is good" etc.

Also, the headphones are most likely meant to be ran with an amp which could affect the volume of low freqiencies.

Just checked, and the M50X has an impedance of 38 ohms.  That's higher than the usual 16 or 32, but shouldn't make a noticeable drop in power on most systems.  They would definitely still sound better with a decent amp, and you would get more bass out of them but it would probably be underwhelming because Kvasir is right about the studio headphones thing.  I love Sennheisers, but they never really put out much bass even with an amp.

 

edit: just noticed that these use CCAW voice coils.  That means they have higher power handling than round copper voice coil headphones would.  You should definitely get an amp for these, they could probably blow your socks off.

Edited by Skeezix the Cat
Kvasir and Tucker933 like this

oVoXWXc.png

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These just arrived in the mail today, and fuck, the audio is so clean, but it's also really power hungry. I have to turn my 200w amp up to around 15%, which is nuts. They're also great at cancelling noise ..too great, because it's really weird not being able to hear yourself when you talk. Though on the plus side, I can't even hear my mechanical keyboard anymore.

 

I love it so far. =]

ShikuTeshi likes this

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These just arrived in the mail today, and fuck, the audio is so clean, but it's also really power hungry. I have to turn my 200w amp up to around 15%, which is nuts.

Yep. I didn't know that headphone manufacturers used CCAW in their coils. I only ever see them in really high powered speaker applications. Being flat, there's more surface area to dissipate heat and also due to the flatness you can fit more windings on the voice coil former which both contribute to a much higher power handling even though aluminum doesn't handle heat as well as copper.

Tucker933 likes this

oVoXWXc.png

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ATH is always solid. My first recommendation for anyone dipping their toe in the hi-fi world. I have a pair of old M50s that are still going strong after 3 years or so. 

 

Great mixing headphones too - all we used in my old school studio.

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