I feel pretty lucky to be able to know other people who share a similar hobby of musical exploration and audio gear discovery. I was able to borrow a pair of these from my brother to take a closer look and review for you guys. The Audio-Technica ATH M50 Professional Headphones performed pretty well in the face of competition. Keep reading to see an in-depth break down of these headphones reviewed and why you might want to consider taking a listen!
ATH-M50 Professional Monitor Headphones
To be honest with you, I wasn’t expecting the level of sound quality that I’m hearing now as I’m typing this out for you to read. The quality of sound is really what sets different pairs apart from one another, in my opinion.
The first thing that stuck out to me, sound-wise, was the crispness. These headphones produce an efficient, tight-sounding, crisp sound signature.
These aren’t as balanced as the Beyerdynamic DT 1350s but more so than your average pair of on/over-ears.
Instrumentation and Vocal Accuracy
The guitar slides have a textured, heavy crunch in addition to their tone and melody. The whispered vocals stick out just enough to be audible while not getting in the way and distracting from the song as a whole. You can hear the small sound effects and overall I would say these have a pretty well-balanced sound signature.
Things like durability and comfort are more secondary criteria in my opinion. If a pair of earbuds or headphones sounds unbelievable I’m willing to sit through a little bit of discomfort. In the area of durability, it’s important to take into consideration but isn’t the end all be all. In most cases, as long as you take care of your gear, it will hold up and withstand accidental incidents like a small spill or one or two times of dropping it on the floor.
How Much Bass is TOO MUCH?
Compared to a more bass-heavy, loud, punch to the face (or eardrums) sound that the Crossfade LP2s provide, the ATH-M50Xs are a little more laid back sound-wise.
Compared to a headphone like the Beats Studio Wireless, they don’t pack the same amount of bassy undertones but they don’t underperform either. Listen to a song like the “Wait a Minute Remix” by Phresher ft. 50 Cent and tell me they don’t give you your money’s worth when it comes to bass reproduction.
Comparisons That Give You a Nice Reference Point
Now while this isn’t a comparison review, it’s always nice to have some sort of reference point before you make a decision.
The bass is powerful in a non-overpowering way. If you’ve ever been to a live show and felt the bass drops or blast beats vibrate through your chest it’s a pretty amazing feeling. Picture that but on a smaller scale and less bassy than the LP2s by V-Moda.
The bass production is more than adequate, unless you’re a die-hard bass head who can’t live without skull shattering bass every time you listen.
The clarity of Landon Tewer’s vocals and the vocal tones of 50 Cent’s voice on the Phresher remix is exactly what you should expect if you invest your hard-earned money in a quality set of cans.
I haven’t experienced any noticeable discomfort yet. These headphones are surprisingly light on your head and the ear cups are comfortable enough to wear for longer listening sessions.
90 Degree Ear Cup Swivel
Another awesome feature on these bad boys is the 90 degree ear cup swivel. This comes in handy especially when you have your studio monitors and headphones plugged in.
Sometimes you need to get multiple perspectives on the sound you’re creating or listening to. With these, you have the ability to swivel one ear and make sure the Left or Right ear is producing the exact sound you need or vise versa.
It makes it especially easy to switch back and forth between a studio monitor and your over-ears without having to take the entire pair off of your head. Once again, convenience doing it’s job as promised.
Durability and Breath-ability
I’m also pleased with the breath-ability of the ear cups. I haven’t noticed any sweating or even light condensation build up.
These are durable and should hold up after years of moderate use. As with most headphones, as long as you’re not throwing them against a wall or sitting on them multiple times without realizing it, they should last a while.
Coiled Cable – No Tangled Mess
One feature that some listeners prefer is the ATH-M50X’s detachable coiled cable. This could be for a couple different reasons.
- It allows for greater range of motion (due to extended cord length) if you need to stand up and adjust something or record a quick vocal part.
- Two, it’s A LOT easier to keep the cord untangled.
- The actual cable tends to me more durable and has a heavier feel to it
Bluetooth Adapter – We’re In The FUTURE!
Audio Technica also offers a Bluetooth adapter for this model so you can listen the traditional way or if you wanna step into the future you have the option to listen wirelessly. Right now it’s being offered at under $50 through Amazon.
Most wired headphones don’t allow you to convert to wireless unless it’s already built-in. Once again, another smart move by a company that listens to the customer’s complaints and responds to help solve the problems that users might experience.
With this wireless adapter, all you have to do is plug the small device into the headphone jack where you would usually plug the coiled cable in. After that, power up your device and pair the adapter with your smartphone or other preferred listening gear that’s Bluetooth compatible.
Convenience is important and adding the ability to convert into wireless is definitely a bonus feature.
Are They Noise-Cancelling?
This is, understandably, a common question worth addressing. Audio-Technica heard the customer speak and responded accordingly. You could use these on the train, a car full of people, walking down the street, or in a crowded room full of people that you’re trying to escape. So to answer that question, YES they are.
I would probably even rate these higher in that area than I would the Beats Studio Wireless. Both have their pros and cons but it’s pretty close.
Compact Folding Design For Easy Storage – Smaller On The Go
The M50s also fold into a small, compact shape that can be easily stored in the nylon drawstring carrying case included. This makes it nice and easy to take your listening on the go. Fold them up, put them in their case and tuck the package away in your backpack, suitcase, or purse.
One thing you’ll start to notice the more that you look at different pairs of headphones is that it’s pretty much 50/50 when it comes to having folding designs or not. Usually it’s preferable to have the folding feature for similar reasons to the ones listed above.
Treat Your Gear Like a Newborn
Audio equipment should be treated like a newborn, in a way. Okay maybe AS IF your equipment is a newborn. Anything you wouldn’t do with a newborn, you shouldn’t do with your audio gear. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow if you plan on getting long term usage from your mic, monitors, or speakers.
Also, since both ear cups have the swivel feature, if you set them down both swiveled towards the table or chair, you’ll be less likely to accidentally sit on them at an awkward position and break them. Breaking a pair of headphones sucks worse than getting a flat on the highway in the middle of winter. Okay maybe not that bad but it’s definitely not fun.
As with a lot of things, if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you.
What Do The Consumers Think?
Out of close to 5,000 customer reviews on Amazon, the Audio-Technica ATH M50 Professional Headphones are reviewed at an almost completely 5 STAR SCORE. One thing you can’t deny is the overwhelming customer satisfaction with this pair of headphones.
We covered quite a bit in this rundown and I hope I was able to answer most, if not all of your questions. If not, please feel free to comment below and ask away. I always do my best to respond in a timely manner and appreciate you taking the time to read through this review.