Audio-Technica ATH-M50X review

    The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X are DJ headphones reborn to raised swimsuit a mass viewers. They’re huge and chunky, positive, however in addition they provide a number of the finest sound you’ll discover for round $150 (£113, AU$199).

    However earlier than you run to the shop to begin your profession as an audio engineer-slash-DJ, there are only a few factors to notice: The Audio Technica ATH-M50X are easy wired headphones nor do they don’t have Bluetooth or energetic noise cancellation. 

    Most significantly, although, they don’t intention for the ultra-balanced sound you may anticipate from a pair of headphones Audio-Technica calls “skilled studio displays” – they sound good, however they don’t seem to be precisely neutral-sounding. That stated, you most likely wouldn’t need to combine an album on the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. 

    However, for those who’re simply out there for a stable, enjoyable and interesting pair of headphones with an involving soundstage, loads of power and highly effective bass at a value you possibly can truly afford, you possibly can’t do any higher than these.


    The Audio Technica ATH-M50X bridge the divide between “skilled” studio headphones and pairs designed to be plugged into your cellphone. They don’t look as easy and petite because the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but in addition gained’t look as misplaced because the Beyerdynamic DT770 for those who put on them out on the town. 

    Their look gained’t enchantment to everybody, although. The Audio Technica ATH-M50X have a really chunky headband, with a thick hinged half the place the cups connect. Evaluate them to the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 they usually appear virtually industrial. 

    Nonetheless, this isn’t simply an try at a bolshy fashion. They’re designed to be dealt with fairly roughly, with out even a slight risk of injury. The cups swivel round by 90 levels and fold up proper into the headscarf. Throw them towards a wall or drop them out of your desk and this motion will truly suck up numerous the affect.

    With the ability to flip the cups round additionally permits simple one-ear monitoring – a pleasant characteristic for the budding DJs on the market seeking to enter into the world audio merchandise.

    When it comes to supplies, the Audio Technica ATH-M50X are all-plastic except for the band of steel inside the headscarf and some little aluminium highlights. See the ring on the cups and the little silvery circles telling you whether or not the cup performs the left or proper channel? These components are steel. 

    All of the padding is artificial leather-based, which is plastic. We’ve been utilizing the Audio Technica ATH-M50X for a few years now, and in that point they’ve earned a couple of nicks to the pleather. That use case ought to communicate to the sturdiness of those headphones however, for those who could not stand to see your headphones scuffed up, you will discover replacements simply on-line – a pleasant good thing about this pair’s recognition. 

    The Audio Technica ATH-M50X will warmth up your ears after some time for those who stay in a sizzling space. Pleather pads and shallow cups aren’t a terrific combo for retaining ears cool. Nonetheless, that is not often a significant drawback within the UK, the place we’ve been utilizing the pair. 

    Shallow cups are additionally an essential a part of why these headphones work nicely as a pair to put on in your technique to work. Deep cups and a headscarf that stands proud out of your head could make a full-size pair like this look foolish, however the Audio Technica ATH-M50X keep on with the contours of your head as carefully as attainable.


    A detachable cable is likely one of the variations between the unique ATH-M50 and the newer ATH-M50X. You get each quick and lengthy cables, letting them have a double life out and in of the house. There are three cables within the field, one for moveable use and each coiled and straight longer cables for residence listening.

    The cables use a twist-to-lock mechanism, so you possibly can’t simply use any previous three.5mm cable – nevertheless, similar to the pads, you will discover replacements on-line. 

    That’s the begin and finish of the Audio Technica ATH-M50X’s particular options. They don’t have wi-fi, energetic noise cancellation or an built-in DAC. There’s no in-line management on the shorter cable both, which is a disgrace. 

    With out energetic noise cancellation, you are caught with what little noise isolation the headphones themselves provide which, sadly, is not a lot. Another closed-back headphones do a a lot better job of blocking out noisy environments.


    That stated, for those who’re shopping for a pair of the ATH-M50X it is greater than probably since you’ve heard on boards how fantastic their sound is. 

    And, nicely, they’re nice enjoyable, with energetic and vivid sound that delivers music with heaps of power. Like numerous straight moveable headphones, there’s further punch and weight added to the bass. This doesn’t growth or very clearly skew the sound, however does imply the Audio Technica ATH-M50X aren’t your best option if you would like a impartial pair for a house studio. (The open-back AKG K701 are a more sensible choice for that situation. )

    There’s additionally a little bit of a lift within the greater components of the mids. This provides them a brighter sound, though they don’t have very pronounced output within the treble, which helps them largely keep away from any difficult sibilance or harshness. 

    The combo of highly effective bass and zesty higher mids tells us the Audio Technica ATH-M50X have been tuned for affect, to impress. And, not like many pairs that go for this type of strategy, this one isn’t left with a yawning gulf of element or texture within the decrease mids. 

    It’s a enjoyable sound signature that even audiophiles ought to be capable to recognize.

    Evaluating the Audio Technica ATH-M50X with the Sennheiser Momentum, the Sennheisers sound a lot darker, the ATs extra energetic and energetic. Nonetheless, the Sennheiser strategy pays off within the sculpting of vocals. 

    It offers us a extra convincing image of the tonal form of a voice, the place the Audio Technica ATH-M50X’s higher mids take a bit an excessive amount of focus away from the bulkier decrease mids. It’s significantly noticeable when listening to lower-register male singers. 

    The Sennheiser pair additionally has barely higher soundstage width, though the ATH-M50X nonetheless sound huge for a closed-back headphone. And the soundstage is deep too, offering them with a superb sense of scale and an all-round partaking sound.

    Finally, for those who like predominantly digital or different pulse-driven music, there’s little or no to dislike concerning the Audio Technica ATH-M50X sound. 

    It’s additionally price contemplating how the headphone market has modified for the reason that M50X arrived in 2014. We now see far fewer non-wireless headphones, and this has seen a dip in value of some basic fashions which have prevented being discontinued fully. 

    The Sennheiser Momentum are literally the most effective examples. They launched at $349 (£279) however can now be discovered for £169 within the UK, and a considerably much less dramatic $249 within the US. 

    The lesson? Whereas it is a unhealthy time for wired headphones, it’s not essentially a foul time for locating a superb deal on a pair. Conversely, because the Audio Technica ATH-M50X’s viewers is much less more likely to be delay by an absence of techy options, its value has not modified considerably since launch. They have been and are a superb deal, however discount hunters are probably too discover deeper reductions elsewhere.


    If the considered telephones dropping their three.5mm sockets and nearly all headphones going wi-fi makes you sigh, take a look at the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. They’re basic headphones given just a bit tweak to make them play good with telephones. 

    Don’t purchase them anticipating the completely impartial sound of a studio monitor, however the Audio Technica ATH-M50X are nice enjoyable. They’re energetic, have an additional hit of bass and make for a very involving pay attention for those who desire digital music to introspective singer-songwriters.  

    Recent Articles

    Related Stories

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox