Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Review
Great set of cans for the price, Audio-Technica's ATH-M50s are a classic.
The ATH-M50s are a middle-of-the-road set of over-ears that offer comfort, decent sound quality and a fairly rugged exterior for a price that won’t break the bank. While they aren’t going to compete with the super-expensive studio headphones reviewed in the past, these cans are a decent buy if you want to take them into the outside world.
Comfort Design & Features
Very durable, slick-looking headphones made for serious listening.
Exploring these cans, you'll notice the band of the ATH-M50 is adjustable and very comfortable, not to mention the fact where the ear cups meet the band, you can swivel them a total of 180 degrees if you don’t want to wear them, but still listen to one channel. Leading out the left ear cup is a cable that is as beefy and durable as they come. Not only does it have significant wire insulation, but it also even has a section of spiraled cable, allowing some give before it is pulled taut.
Terminating that cable is the plug of the ATH-M50, which is not your standard 1/8th inch affair. Included in the package is a 1/4th inch adapter screwed onto the threading of the plug to keep it secure. In addition, the entire assembly is constructed out of metal, which should withstand several gigs or shows. These cans are very durable: they're made of high-quality materials, and much attention is paid to commonly-broken features.
The ATH-M50s are extremely comfortable to wear when you first slide them on your head, as they firmly grip your skull, but are soft enough that there isn’t much pressure. They are a bit heavy, but tolerable, and the fit doesn't change much over time. Still, despite our assessment of the ATH-M50’s comfort level, you may have a different experience with them as you have different heads, so you may want to try them on before you buy so you can know exactly how they’ll feel when you listen to music.
Great audio quality for the price, and super low distortion.
These headphones are among the best at their price point when it comes to reproducing the sweet, sweet melodies of your music. Not only do they do a relatively good job of reproducing your music in the way that it was created, but these headphones also have a very low distortion level, meaning that there won't be any annoying crackling or fuzz added to your music.
They're not perfect, but then again no headphones are. There are minor imperfections in the performance of these headphones, but overall they will provide bass fans with a decent bump without overpowering the rest of their music, and will give you some of the best audio quality you could ask for below $200. The closed backs mean that the ATH-M50s will prevent a certain amount of outside noise from pestering you while you listen, as well.
Durable, high-performance headphones for a low price.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50s aren’t a bad set of over-ears, although they aren’t studio or monitor headphones by any stretch of the imagination (as their branding claims). Still, if you’re using these at home or at a show, you shouldn’t be disappointed with them for the amount of money they’ll set you back. They have their ups and downs (specifically in frequency response) but they are above average in their price range. They dazzle in some places, and they definitely won’t disappoint.
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