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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
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- Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
- Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
- Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response
- Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
- 90° swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring, professional-grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort. Detachable cable
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Top Customer Reviews
The price/performance ratio is excellent, as with the previous M50s. The removable audio cable is the biggest difference, and the color choices are awesome. Worth checking out, for sure!
Enjoy the video!
The headphone cushions are also noticeably more comfortable for extended periods of use. As comfortable as the previous model was after extended use I would get this feeling that my head was being suffocated and gripped which would lead to a headache and while I don't think that feeling can ever be removed these headphones do a great job of prolonging that feeling.
For those asking about the cable connection going into the LEFT headphone, it is a snug connection so you won't have to worry about the plug coming out.
All in all if you own a pair of ATH-M50's I wouldn't go rushing out the door to replace them with these unless removable cables are that big of an issue to you but if you don't own the M50s this is definitely the way to go since you won't have to choose between coiled or straight cables when you can have them both.
M50 - look for deals online and you can find a brand new one for under $100 easily (I bought mine brand new for $80) with a deal alert on Slickdeals.
M50x - $169-189. Since they are relatively new there has not been any price reduction or deals yet and won't be for quite sometime.
Sound quality -
Same as M50, i.e. excellent and the best you can get for this money. Tons of reviews covering this so I'm not going into details.
Sound isolation i.e. noise cancellation -
Same as M50, i.e. very good. These aren't active noise cancelling, but its good enough for using in airplane, train, library, public transit or any other quiet environment. A very big plus compared to a lot of headphones that leak sound and renders it useless in such environments or in bed at night.
Build quality -
Speaker components - same
Band - same
Padding - uses a slightly better material, but Audio-Technica won't give out the exact specifications.
Both these are made in Taiwan.
Convenience - (I found this to be a big deal)
Connectors and wires - M50 comes with only 1 attached coiled/straight cable with a 3.5 mm plug and a 1/4" adapter; M50x comes with 3 cables plus its removable. When I first bought my M50 I didn't realize that out of the box it won't really work cell phones or tablets if they're in a case. They work fine with laptops. The 3.5 mm plug on M50 is not a step-down version, its rather flat and wide, suitable for professional equipment, amplifiers etc. Most cases won't have such a wide opening and this will prevent it from fitting properly to the 3.5 mm audio out. The headphones will work fine with any cellphone or tablet when its out of the case, but with a case the wide plug just won't fit in completely. The only way around it is to
a) remove your case,
b) buy another audio 3.5 mm cable/adapter with a step-down design with a female/male connector and use it (which is not ideal since the straight cable is already 3.5 m or 11.5 ft long, even the coiled one is long) or
c) do a mod to make the M50 removable cable. Search on head-fi and you can do it yourself or get it done by a company for $40.
This is very important. The 3 cables that come with M50x, especially the 1.2 m with step-down plug makes it useful right out of the box for phones and tablets.
In some sense making the removable mod is better since it will provide you with an option of using your choice of 3.5 mm cables, whatever length you want, including the ones with mic attached to it. Read more about it and buy keeping this in mind. The M50x comes with proprietary cables so you can't use any other off-market cable, at least as of now.
Convenience - fold-able and comes with a case.
Both fold and makes it easy to carry. Comes with a pleather case (looks same barring a logo print on the new one).
Comfort - decent and not as great as an open can with velour pads.
Comfort wise these aren't the most comfortable headphones, but obviously this depends on your head size, preference wrt velour vs. pleather pads etc. They are pretty tight fitting when they're new and will flex as you use them and will become more comfortable later. However, the pleather will make your ears warm and after continuous usage of over 2-3 hours you will have to occasionally remove them or readjust them. The new one uses a different material for the ear pads, slightly better and hence M50x is slightly softer and more comfortable.
Final conclusion - these are one of the best headphones you can buy at this range of money (less than $200), considering all the above aspects. If you are technically inclined and comfortable doing the mod definitely get the old M50 on a good deal for under $100 (this is what I actually recommend).
1. Sound quality. Highs are crisp, but not too bright; mids are good; bass is punchy and tight. It is difficult to find *better* sounding headphones in this price segment.
2. Build. They are very solidly built and ergonomics are great. There is no complex suspending system, so there is nothing to break.
3. Very comfortable. These are over the ears (as opposed to on-ear) headphones, so there is no unpleasant pressure. The new ear pads are very soft, and the headband is enveloped in the same soft material.
4. Portability. Both cups rotate horizontally 180°, and they fold vertically, to make the headphone's dimensions quite small and portable-friendly. The supplied pouch comes in handy.
5. Unlike their predecessors, the ATH-M50X arrive with three detachable cables: a long straight one (you can use it to connect to a source that is further away), a short straight one (very handy when connecting to a smartphone, or if your computer is located very near to where you sit), and a medium-length coiled one (for mixed purposes). The insert-and-turn locking system secures the cable to the left cup.
6. No sound leakage. These are closed-back headphones, so you can use them in a room, filled with people, or while commuting, without the need to worry that you might disturb someone.
7. With an impedance of 38 ohms you do not need a headphone amp to drive them.
1. Cable connectors are proprietary. But then again you get three cables in the box, so it is unlikely that you will be looking to buy new cables any time soon.
2. At 285 g (10 oz) plus the cable, the ATH-M50X are a little heavier than similar-sized headphones I have owned. But making them lighter would most probably affect build quality.
3. I have watched video reviews, making the argument that the ATH-M50X are not exactly audiophile quality (that is, their response is not as 'flat' and 'neutral', as it should be). This could indeed be the case, as Audio-Technica has other models (like the ATH-A900X), positioned in the higher and more expensive segment, but the latter are not meant to be carried around or enjoyed in the street. In my opinion ATH-M50X have been built to produce enjoyable (rather than analytical) sound. Consider this carefully.
When all of the above have been taken into consideration, Audio-Technica ATH-M50X might be the best value for money headphone on the market today.
1. They may not sound as neutral as AKG 702 (but the latter are not portable, there is serious sound leakage, and you cannot drive them adequately with your smartphone).
2. They are not cable-free or as light as the Bluetooth Sony MDR-1BT, but the ATH-M50X sound much better.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is the overall winner if you are looking for enjoyable full-bodied sound, sturdy build, detachable cables, and a no-nonsense look. You simply cannot go wrong with them!
Recently, I have come across a new product that will help you turn Audio-Technica ATH-M50X into wireless headphones, so that you can take advantage of their sturdy construction and great sound quality – on the go! It is a Bluetooth dongle, called "BTunes VXB-25 2.5 mm Model" and can currently be bought from http://www.amazon.com/ (the US version of the site) for $99.95 USD. You can read my full review here: https://www.amazon.com/review/RIBVICOEOMXG2/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B014HX2T04