Audio-Technica ATH-m50x

This review was written based off an actual product the writer owns or has used. 

The Audio-Technica ATH-m50x is an updated version of the company’s ATH-m50 model of studio headphones. Although primarily intended for audio professionals, this previous version proved immensely popular with the general public. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback, the company decided to modify the existing model and offer it in a more consumer-friendly iteration.

It’s easy to see why non-professional audiophiles were so keen on this particular model. First of all, studio headphones utilize better, more durable materials in order to be comfortable to wear for longer stretches of time. Secondly, the products in this line are priced considerably lower than comparable models from other manufacturers, while offering pretty much the same quality.

Design

When aiming their products at a larger consumer base, most manufacturers will use aluminum and leather to sway the customers with the promise of comfort and convenience. However, the ATH-m50x is mostly made of plastic, with metal rings in the back of the ear cups. The thick headband carries the recognizable Audio-Technica logo, and is reinforced with steel to sit more firmly on top of your head.

The design is in line with the earlier models in the M-series. The ear cups are as big as you would expect them to be, but carrying them around won’t make you look like a robot to the unsuspecting public. The ear pads are made of durable, expansive materials, providing better adjustment to your ear. The uniform use of color black only adds to the overall polished style of the headphones.

Like many other professional studio headphones, the ATH-m50x model is also highly portable. The ear cups are jointed and rotate up to 90 degrees in both directions, allowing you to fold them up and take them on the road. To further highlight the portability feature, the package comes with a little black case that fits the collapsed headphones perfectly.

Accessories

In addition to the headphone case, this model comes with a set of three different cables. One is a 3.9 inch straight cable intended for portable use, while the other two are a 9.8 inch straight and a 3.9 inch coiled cable (stretchable up to 9.8 inches) for use in studios or at home. All cables are removable, which helps prevent them from damaging and allows for easier portability of the headphones.

The packaging also includes a1/4 inch plug adapter for use on devices with wider connectors.

Performance

Pros

  • Flat/accurate frequency response
  • Comfortable for short periods
  • Detachable cable(s)
  • Easily portable
  • Durable
  • Excellent design

Cons

  • 1 audio jack adapter
  • Noise isolation isn’t perfect
  • Becomes Slightly uncomfortable for long periods of time

As expected, the ATH-m50x model delivers a rich, vibrant sound. The low-end sounds are perfectly highlighted by the powerful bass performance. The expansive quality of the audio adds a certain layer of surround effect to it, something that only open-end headphones are believed to be able to do.

ATH m50x Frequency response
Credit: Reviewed.com

The headphones flat frequency response make them perfect for monitoring recordings and mixing your music along side studio monitor speakers.  A slight peeve though is the noise isolation isn’t as good as in other, more expensive headphones, so your ears will still be able to register some surrounding sounds at lower volumes. Another issue may be the audio jack adapter which screws into end of the cable that plugs into your audio device. Audio Technica only includes one and if you happen to lose it you’ll find a standard adapter doesn’t quite have the same fit. Getting a replacement from Audio Technica will likely run you a few extra dollars.

Being closed back headphones, as expected the ATH-m50x’s don’t give out much sound leakage. Our findings show that in a quiet environment, such as a library, you can listen at a volume no higher than 40-50 percent, and still be sure that people in your close proximity are not hearing the music from your headphones.

The Verdict

The Audio-Technica ATH-m50x’s are a great set of headphones that combine the top quality features of professional studio headphones with the comfort and sound depth audiophiles will surely appreciate. Finally, it is virtually impossible to find a pair of professional headphones this good at a similar price point.

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