Audio-Technica ATH-M50s/LE Professional Studio Monitor Limited Edition Headphones
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- Special 50th anniversary edition in silver-colored metallic finish
- Exceptional audio quality for professional monitoring and mixing
- Collapsible design ideal for easy portability and convenient storage
- Proprietary 45 millimeter large-aperture drivers with neodymium magnet systems
- Closed-back cushioned earcup design creates an outstanding seal for maximum isolation
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To celebrate Audio-Technica's 50th Anniversary, A-T has introduced the Audio Technica ATHM50SLE Limited Edition Studio Monitor Headphones. Designed especially for professional monitoring and mixing, the ATHM50SLE studio headphones feature an efficient collapsible design for space-saving portability and storage. Circumaural ear pieces swivel 180 degrees for easy one-ear monitoring and luxuriously padded ear cushions create an outstanding seal for maximum isolation. These limited edition headphones also feature an adjustable headband that is generously padded for ultimate comfort during long mixing sessions. A straight cable at the left earpiece terminates to a gold-plated mini-plug with included screw-on 1/4-Inch adapter. Audio-Technica's sophisticated driver technology and superior components deliver exceptional power handling and very high SPL capabilities while maintaining clarity of sound throughout their extended range, with deep, accurate bass and outstanding high-frequency extension. The ATHM50SLE Limited Edition Studio Monitor Headphones feature proprietary large-aperture drivers with neodymium magnet systems for ultra-efficient signal transfer.
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I then recalled seeing a post on some forum that said they require at least 50 hours of "burn in". I did not even know this was a real thing, I figured it was some douchie audio-phile talking smack. Boy was I wrong!!!!! I kept listening to different music, and after only about 5 minutes I noticed a difference. The bass started to show up, and no longer were the highs sounding like nails on a chalkboard. After about 2 hours I was very happy to have spent the $120 for these headphones. With this little FiiO E7 DAC I scooped up for $60 and the line out dock for the iPhone it was under $200, and to me, WELL worth the price. Now I have been wearing these for almost 8 hours straight and have listened to everything from Ray Charles and Slayer, to Dr Dre, Prince and Egyptian Lover. I have heard things on these songs that I had not noticed before. The stage has even opened up a little, the bass is thumping, but does not sound like my daughters "beats" headphones with that garbage sounding bass, that sounds almost fake. The bass that these headphones provides is almost warm sounding, punching you in the chest. I actually heard the kick drum pedal squeaking on the Sheepdogs song "Warmer Love" it tripped me out. I could also hear a door close on Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" and heard Stevie Nicks actually hum in a spot I never knew she hummed! The bass from that record is actually shaking my head. Now listening to Pantera and all sounds amazing! Tight clean bass and great highs, the mids on these are not the greatest, but for the price you can't go wrong.
As far as portability I don't think they are that great for lugging along with you. They are kinda big and gawdy, and would probably look goofy wearing them in public. They come with a cool pleather bag though. The chord is also like 75ft long, so that about kills it for me on the go.
In conclusion, for $120 shipped, buy these. Actually I just looked at the price and they went up to like $150 for some reason. Maybe they are cheaper on the weekend or something as I bought mine on Sunday and got them today which is a Wednesday, so wait til the weekend. Also it's amazing how much the FiiO E7 helps these, you will notice a difference for sure. So you may wanna spend the extra $60 for that as well.
The headphones are grey with a black headband and a durable straight cable with a standard 3.5 mm plug and metal 1/4 in screw-on plug. The end of the cable with the plug is reinforced with metal coils. The headphones do fold, but it doesn't seem possible to fold both ear cuffs at the same time. The ear cuffs are fairly large and fig comfortably over the ears without pressure, forming a seal that blocks out much of the noise outside of what you are listening too.
The sound is incredible. Everything is crystal clear with nice base response. The quality really adds a lot of reality to in-game audio that brings out the realism of the environment. The one thing missing from these studio headphones that you would usually find on a gaming headset is an inline volume, but since the sound is so clean it is not unnecessary to adjust the volume frequently as the sound varies between too loud and too soft.
They also sound great with streaming videos on an iPad with Amazon Instant Video.