What is Audio Technica ATH M50x?
Audio Technica has been routinely creating exceptional headphones with sonic excellence for decades now. Their sonic performance is lauded by several studio professionals like audio engineers, professional headphones experts, and musicians around the world which already speaks enough for itself on the company’s credibility. While most of their headphones are designed for professional market or studio use, there are a few of them that are designed to fill the gap between professional and consumer use. Before we Dive into the Audio Technica ATH M50x Review, we need to take a look at what it is and what it is used for.
ATH-M50x is one such audio gear that has been designed keeping in mind those professionals and users who need solid headphones to use on the go, be it for mixing, DJing, monitoring, or engaging in casual listening.
What is it used for?
Yes! Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones are, as the name implies, studio monitoring headphones but have been made compatible to use in smaller devices like mobile phones, tablets, etc. Unlike the robust studio-grade headphones that often need an amplifier for sound control or bigger devices to be connected to, you can just plug in ATH-M50x to your mobile phone or laptop and get going. That’s easy, isn’t it? These headphones gained huge popularity as soon as they were released in the market, and they are still hitting the tops on most of the best headphones lists even today.
Its Uses Today…
Even though the company has eliminated the wire from these headphones completely, and come up with the wireless version, Audio Technica ATH M50xBT, the ATH-M50x still finds itself important in numerous circumstances. But, you should remember that, though the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones are titled “studio headphones”, they are not super balanced to be an audiophile choice. However, they do have a gorgeous sound profile that you cannot deny either. Now, A few things before the Audio Technica ATH M50x review.
Who should buy these headphones?
So who are these headphones meant for? Well, while Audio-Technica ATH-M50x review professional studio monitor headphones can be used by anyone and everyone, there are certain groups of people who would find them more useful-
- Podcasters who have just entered into the field and need to get hands on with the whole process of production. These headphones are great for both audio and video production.
- They are a great pair of headphones for YouTubers as well, both in case of a beginner or a professional.
- Students who are learning and practicing the production work can benefit from this pair greatly. These headphones offer a good sound stage and an accurate sound profile that enables them to hear every sound and understand what requires to be edited.
- A great option for the commuters because they can easily add the headphones on their mobiles or tablet and use them on-the-go. The thick ear padding and the closed back design do a great job in reducing the background noise, so you can use them comfortably while travelling on a train or a bus.
Now if you are in a work-from-home situation and wondering if you can use these, then you probably cannot, because they do not have a microphone integrated into them. However, the wireless version of it, Audio Technica ATH M50x review BT, can be used for this purpose. These headsets come with an audio cable that has an inline mic for making calls.
More About the Audion Technica Headsets
Through the next course of the article, we are going to be doing a detailed Audio Technica ATH M50x review that will include Audio Technica ATH M50x professional studio monitor headphones specs, performance, price, Audio Technica ATH M50x frequency response and audio quality, and more. We will also list down the pros and cons of this pair of headphones, so you can weigh them and see if this is something that would suit your needs.
Later on, you will also get a brief review on Audio Technica ATH M50xBT in case you have the wireless option in mind as well.
Audio Technica ATH M50x Review:
Designed to suit different types of audiences, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones are a complete package of design, comfort, style, and performance. So let’s first begin with what you should expect in the box:
The box includes:
- A pair of ATH-M50x headphones.
- 3 different removable cables (1.2 to 3.0 m coiled cable, 1.2 m straight cable, 3.0 m straight cable).
One 6.3 mm adapter.
- One soft carrying case.
Design and Build:
What do Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones look and feel like?
Audio Technica has done a great job in how the headphone looks and has received a positive Audio Technica ATH M50x review from other users. Although the headphones do not have the ultra-sleek design as in the case of some of the premium products from Bose or Sony, ATH-M50x has still managed quite a bit of sophistication. With the appearance of the studio monitoring headphones, this pair of cans has a visually appealing look with oval-shaped ear cups, and silver accents encompassing the company’s logo.
You get three color variants to choose from- Black, white and metallic orange, so you can select what suits your personality the most.
Other than the stylish look, the headphone’s overall construction has been done keeping in mind the extensive usage a headphone undergoes in a studio environment. Most of the headphone has been made using high-quality plastic. While this may take the ‘premium’ factor away from them, they have their benefits. The dense plastic build makes the headphones extremely sturdy and comparatively lighter than the metallic-built ones, which is one of the major things that people look for while purchasing headphones.
With around 10 ounces of weight, these headphones aren’t very light, but their make is such that they feel comfortable when worn.
The ear cups have a closed-back design with soft thick padding made of synthetic leather for superior comfort and good noise isolation. The padding also helps absorb excessive pressure from around the ears that can be caused due to the clamping force. This means that you can wear them for several hours without hurting the ears.
Additionally, the thickly padded headband reduces compression on the head making it ideal for long time use. The metal frame running through the headband under the padding makes it more strong and hard-wearing. You can pull the headband sliders out to fit them according to the size of your head.
The ear cups are swiveling which allows single-ear monitoring if needed. The headphone can also be folded into half the original size to make them compact for easy storage and portability. Being able to turn 90 degrees enables you to place them flat around your neck or on the surface when not in use. The detachable cable is placed on one side of the headphone for ease of use. Since the cable is designed for the plugin, even if it gets pulled while using it will not tear or break like in the case of the fixed ones.
Disadvantage of having a closed-back design
The only issue is that the closed-back design doesn’t allow the air to vent, and this combined with the leatherette fabric of the ear padding can produce heat for long hours of wear-causing you to sweat. In case you are living in a place with a warm climate, these headphones may not be very comfortable to use unless for a properly air-conditioned room. Know about AKG Q701 replacement ear pads from here.
Remember that the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones do not have a water-resistant construction which means that they need to be kept away from water and moisture. They are not fit to be used during the workout sessions either as they may slide off with rigorous movements or jerks when running or exercising.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones aren’t huge feature-rich headphones. The headphones are pretty straight forward with the only special feature being detachable cable which allows them to hold up well against wear tear.
The different sizes of cables- one for outdoor use while commuting or traveling, and two other longer ones (one coiled and one straight) for indoor use. The different sized cables for use in different situations also increase the life of the headphones to a great extent. It is also easy to replace these cables when damaged because you can easily find them online or in a headphones accessory store.
There is no noise-canceling feature, sound adjustment/ EQ settings, or a DAC integrated into these headphones. Neither do they have an in-line mic with any of the cords provided? This is a bit disappointing because if it is designed to be connected and used with phones, an integrated microphone could have been really useful in taking calls.
All that said, the over-ear design of the headsets does a decent job in forming a seal around the ears which prevents sound leakage and offers pretty impressive passive noise isolation.
The headphones can be easily connected to the source audio device with the cable provided. All the cables have a 3.5 mm jack. As stated earlier, you will also get a 6.3 mm adapter that will help you to connect the headphones seamlessly with any higher version devices or any audio interface.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones do not have the wireless connectivity option. But, do remember that even though this is wired, it has its advantages especially when it comes to sound quality. In the case of Bluetooth wireless technology, even though it gives you freedom from dealing with the cables, depending on the codecs and your phone’s compatibility the audio quality will differ.
However, if you still prefer to go for the wireless option, Audio Technica ATH M50xBT will work great. These headphones also have some other additional features that we will discuss a little later.
Audio Technica ATH M50x frequency response, sound quality, and performance:
Sound quality is one of the most important things that people see in headphones and one of the most loved qualities of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones is its sonic capability. The headphone has earned a good Audio Technica ATH M50x review and appreciation because of their sound performance.
If you notice, in the model name- ATH M50x, the letter ‘M’ stands for ‘monitoring’ that is done in the studios. Now, even though these headphones are designed for studio use, there is an elevated bass response that may not be preferred by critical listeners while working on monitoring or mixing projects. This is because you can achieve accurate results in these scenarios only with a completely neutral sound presentation without any over-emphasis at any frequency level.
Overall, these Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones sound amazingly energetic offering an immersive listening experience. If you use these headphones for music, you are sure going to enjoy every bit of it irrespective of the genre. When it comes to Audio Technica ATH M50x frequency response, it has an extended range of 15 Hz to 28 Hz. This combined with 45 mm large drivers and 98 dB sensitivity, the audio is delivered with ultimate precision.
Why should you buy this?
With controlled punchiness in the low frequency, well-sculpted and boosted mids (vocals) and high-spirited treble, the sound is fuller and well-balanced. This also makes these headphones a great choice if you love to listen to classical genres. Even though the bass is deep, it is not super pounding to make you leap or misrepresent the sound. It is just the exact amount needed while maintaining a lot of texture in the vocals and instruments. However, if you keenly notice, you may feel the treble to be mildly masked, but most people usually do have issues with it.
The stereo imaging is pretty impressive thanks to the closed-back design and a good sound stage.
The price plays an important role in deciding whether you can purchase the headphones or whether they are worth investing in or not. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones are a mid-priced pair available at $169.00. Quite reasonably priced,
Pros and cons of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones:
It is always easy to decide on a pair of headphones by weighing their pros and cons. Like every other headphone, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones have some weak points as well other than the advantages. So here’s a table for your ease of understanding:
|Three different size detachable cables.|
Cables can be replaced easily if needed.
Over-ear cups and padded headband for all-day wear.
Closed-back design limits sound leakage.
Excellent acoustics with a good sound stage.
Prominent and accurate bass.
Sturdy design for extended durability.
Decent noise isolation.
|Doesn’t have a completely neutral tone. |
Bass’s tone is emphasized, not an ideal option for professional mixing and monitoring.
Don’t have a microphone option.
Most of the headphone is made of plastic which takes away the premium feel from it.
Not many color options to choose from.
The headphones are large so everyone may not like them, especially those used to using smaller ones like earbuds.
Even though they are foldable, they do take up a good amount of place in the bag.
Audio Technica ATH M50xBT:
If you are an Audio Technica loyal but want to look at the wireless Bluetooth headphone option, then Audio Technica ATH M50xBT is worth considering. The headphones look pretty much similar to their wired counterpart. Where the main difference lies in that the wire has been ditched here, instead, they are powered by a battery.
While the overall performance of these headphones is similar to Audio Technica ATH M50x, the sound quality is not as good and accurate as of the wired version. Obviously, during the digital data transmission, some data is lost in the signal processing which reduces the quality of the sound a bit.
Benefits of Audio Technica ATH M50xBT
That said, Audio Technica ATH M50xBT is a great option for those who need to multitask while listening to music and do not like wires and cables to restrict their movement. They are also great for commuters who can seamlessly connect the headset with their phone or laptop on the go.
Good Battery Life
The headphone boasts 40 hours of battery life on a single full charge, which means that you do not have to worry about the battery draining out if you are out on a long road trip or using them indoors while running your errands. Their headphones are great for anyone who is looking for a step-up in the audio quality through the wireless version.
Housed on the ear cups, the controls are user-friendly and smooth for easy navigation. With 45 mm large drivers Audio Technica ATH M50xBT delivers an accurate sound with a lot of detailing in the mid-frequencies. This makes the vocals sound incredibly well-tuned with a good amount of texture. While there is an in-depth bass response that gives you an enjoyable listening experience it is not heavy enough for a bass head.
The Bluetooth codecs aptX and AAC give lag-free audio streaming, a strong signal, and easy effortless pairing with the audio devices.
Audio Technica ATH M50xBT doesn’t have an active noise-canceling feature unlike many other Bluetooth headphones of its kind which is kind of disappointing. But it does a pretty good job isolating the noise passively ensuring you do not hear the traffic noise or the commotions in a crowded street. However, if you are a frequent traveler and need a pair of headphones to suppress the rumbling noise of the airplane, the headphone, unfortunately, fails to cover that up, and you will have to look for something else.
The good thing about this pair is that it comes with a built-in microphone allowing you to make calls on the go.
If you are looking for a good pair of studio headphones, then there are a few features you should look for. Let’s move on to the next section for more.
What are studio headphones, and what are they used for? What are some of the features you need to look for in professional studio headphones?
Studio headphones, also known as professional monitoring headphones, are the ones specially designed for studio use or sound production work. These headphones are used by audio engineers, musicians, sound editors, etc. who need a good pair of headphones that can reproduce the sound with the same quality as that of the original audio content.
Studio headphones not only ensure the highest quality of sound but also make sure that the headphones reproduce the sound with utmost precision. This helps the professionals to achieve accurate results when editing, mixing, or monitoring sound.
What are they used for?
The headphones oriented for studio purposes have various uses in the professional field- they are used for mixing the audio while editing and for monitoring the recording. Other than that they offer exceptional comfort making them suitable to wear for long hours of production work. Most of them also have durable construction so they can withstand the intensity of usage in this kind of environment.
Professional headphones are designed to meet specific studio needs and often have the sound quality of audiophile-grade and are not usually suitable for gaming, music, or movies unless you like a plain natural sound without any emphasis. Speaking of the gaming, you might want to check out the Strix 7.1 gaming headset from here.
Features offered by the Studio Headsets
Below are a few features that you need to look for in professional-grade headphones and what differentiates these headphones from the consumer ones-
- Monitoring headphones need to reproduce sound with the highest level of accuracy and clarity, which is why these headphones have a flat frequency response across the entire frequency spectrum. Flat frequency means that the frequency response throughout the entire range will remain at the same level. There is no over emphasis anywhere be it lows, mids or trebles.
The flat frequency response prevents any element present in the audio content from getting overshadowed or suppressed by the other boosted levels so you get a natural audio presentation, the same as the original audio content.
- These headphones also have a wide frequency range. The human hearing range is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz which means that you are able to hear the sounds ranging between this. Most of the headphones have a frequency range of 20 to 20,000 kHz but some of them have wider or an extended range as well. The wider the range the better or clearer you can hear.
- Monitoring headphones do not have an elevated bass response. The headphones that you look for your studio or production work do not and should not have enhanced bass levels. This means that they almost sound bland. Bass is one of the important factors that brings life to the music by giving a rhythm and beats to the audio, giving you an enjoyable listening experience.
Aspects you must keep in mind
However, oftentimes, the presence of amplified low frequency conceals the other weaker elements which is fine during casual listening, but not while editing or monitoring. If the audio gets manipulated by the deeper bass presence, you will not get accurate results while sound mixing and monitoring.
Durability and comfort:
The headphones should be made of durable materials to make them sturdy and last long. The headphones for mixing and monitoring undergo the pressure of extensive usage and rough handling by the users. Sometimes you may have to be wearing them for an extended period. Therefore, the overall build of the headphone has to be strong. Check the quality of the materials, see if the wire joints are strong and the cable is hard-wearing. While the headphone should be wear-resistant, you also need to make sure that they are equally comfortable to wear.
The compatibility of the headphone with the device you are going to work on is very important. You sure do not want to invest in a headphone that doesn’t work with your device. In the case of some headphones, you may need to use an additional adapter to connect.
Having a comfortable and high-performing pair of headphones is what everyone wants. If you are looking for a warm sound, exceptional durability, and overall performance, then Audio-Technica ATH-M50X professional studio monitor headphones are a solid candidate. Even though they are missing a microphone, that could have given you a huge advantage allowing you to make calls hands-free while you are outside, it is usually not a big deal for those who use these headphones purely for music listening or home audio production at lower levels. Overall, the headphones deliver exceptional results unless you require a complete neutral-sounding headphone for serious editing and mixing.
We would recommend you to go through another Audio Technica ATH M50x review and see what the users have experienced and what they feel about these headphones before you invest in them. You might also want to check out the Asus Cerberus V2 Review.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):
Most of the studio headphones, as mentioned earlier, have a flat frequency that makes them sound dull or bland. While this kind of sound profile is exactly what is needed for production work, you cannot enjoy listening to music if you need it for casual use.
Yes, absolutely. Be it Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (wired) or Audio Technica ATH M50xBT (wireless), even though they are named studio headphones, they do have a significantly boosted up bass that makes the sound energetic and music listening pleasure. However, if you are a bass-head and need that pounding deep bassline, then this may not be for you. The bass response for this headphone is not at an extreme level, it is just the right amount needed for casual use.
Yes, the headphones come with detachable cables that can be removed and replaced easily. While you get 3 different types of audio cables in the box along with the headphones to suit your needs, in case of any damage, you can easily get a replaceable cable online.
Both the wired and wireless versions have their benefits and downside. Obviously, in the case of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones, the sound quality is more accurate because of their analog transmission of sound. Audio-Technica ATH M50xBT is no less either. Despite the Bluetooth connectivity, there is a very mild difference in the sound quality which many people may not even notice unless for a pair of critical ears. Other than allowing free movement, these headphones can also be connected with 3.5 mm audio cables for those who have wireless needs. Additionally, unlike Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional studio monitor headphones, these audio cables these headphones use have an inline microphone that makes calling much easier.