It’s likely that you’ve heard of the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. They are widely acclaimed and are fairly well known across the internet as the go-to pair of headphones to get if you’re looking for solid sounding headphones without spending a ton of money.
The design of the Audio Technica ATH-M50X’s are fairly portable as I can fold them down and chuck them in my bag, this is great as I take them to college and allows me to still have space left in my bag. This was the main selling point for me to buy these over the BeyerDynamic DT 770, which I was also looking at purchasing.
The headphones are constructed from a high quality plastic, and the plastic is matte black which is good as it means that the headphones will not be a fingerprint magnet. The plastic is great too as it just helps the headphones look sleek overall.
The earcups and headband are also great, they’re super soft and make the headphones comfortable to wear for long periods of time without feeling uncomfortable. The padding is somewhat firm initially but it loosens up and becomes more comfortable after using the Audio Technica ATH-M50X headphones for around a month. Just on the topic of timeframes also, you’ll want to give the headphones aro
und a month or so to reach their full sound potential and then after that they will sound great.
Overall, the design is sleek and don’t stand out too much in public apart from the silver ring on the side of the headphones and the large Audio Technica branding on the top of the headband.
As some of you reading may know, there are the Audio Technica ATH-M50’s which is the older version of these headph
ones and then these, the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. The difference between the two is that the newer version has removable cables.
The Audio Technica ATH-M50X’s ship with three different cables, one being a standard 1.2m cable, a 3.0m coiled cable and a 3.0m straight cable. I personally use the coiled cable the most as I get the choice of having plenty of length but it isn’t a hastle to store as it is still in a smaller form factor. The 3.0m cables have the screw on option for the included jack adaptor so you can use the headphones on things such as audio interfaces. The cables also lock into the headphones so you don’t need to worry about the cable falling out.
These are studio monitor headphones so they have a fairly flat response rate, this means that the headphones aren’t bass boosted like “DJ” branded headphones. The headphones sound very clean and produce the sound excellently for vocals and instruments generally and they also sound warm, so there is still bass present in songs.
Personally, I listen to a lot of electronic music and they sound great for this – and they also sound great for other genres too. But just because these are not “bass boosted” it shouldn’t mean that this statement puts you off buying them as these is bass there but it’s the amount of bass that the song was made to have, and once I’d used these headphones I have very rarely gone back to my MDR-V55’s, which are bass boosted.
The headphones also have a very good soundstage for closed headphones, and stereo recordings sound very good and it reproduces sound stages very well, but if you are looking for a very open soundstage you may want to look at open-backed headphones, although I have never personally tried open-backed headphones.
Another important consideration is noise isolation, especially if you are planning to wear the headphones on public transport or in loud places. These headphones have great noise isolation, I can’t hear people next to me or even shouting at me across the room, and the headphones don’t leak sound drastically either and they are pretty good at containing the sound so you don’t have to worry too much about turning up the volume.
Overall, the Audio Technica ATH-M50X are a good step into the higher end spectrum of headphones as they do not cost a ridiculous amount of money and still sound great. The price tends to be around £100 but it does fluctuate a bit so you might see the price up at £125 or down at £75, so just keep an eye out. Also, if you aren’t a fan of the carrying pouch that comes with the headphones I picked up this hard shell case on Amazon, and it does a great job at protecting the headphones.