Detailed review: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones

Original author: David Carnoy, Steve Guttenberg
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Advantages: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x studio monitor headphones offer very balanced, detailed sound of excellent quality with deep bass. They sit very comfortably on the head and (in comparison with their predecessors) have slightly softer ear pads, as well as a detachable wire (3 different wires are included).

Disadvantages: The lack of a built-in microphone makes it impossible to make calls, and the bulky design makes it difficult to use headphones on the go.

Bottom line: Speaking seriously, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a slightly improved version of the impressive ATH-M50 , which was rightly considered one of the best headphones in the price range up to $ 200.

Here and below a photo of Sarah Tew

One of the reasons why the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones became popular was because they were created as “killers” of Beats. Or, to put it another way, these were headphones for “smart” listeners who looked down on people overpaying for a brand and completely mired in a Beats marketing machine.

For money, almost half the cost of the original Beats from Dre Studio for $ 300 (subsequently the studio was renamed Beats Studio), the ATH-M50 sound much better, and they are better assembled. There is only one small problem. In the name of the ATH-M50 headphones, the letter “M” means “monitor”, and although they are intended for studio use, many people use them outdoors, so a built-in microphone and volume control on the wire would be useful.

At first glance, the new 2014 ATH-M50x look like headphones that are more suitable for portable use. They are almost identical to the ATH-M50, but have softer ear pads and a detachable cord. Headphones are available in black, white and blue. In a box with headphones, the color of which matches their color, there are also three different wires.

Buying headphones with three wires, you expect that at least one of them will be equipped with a built-in microphone and volume control, but it’s a strange thing - they are not on any. Instead, you get a long 3-meter straight cable, a short one - 1.2 meters and a long twisted wire with a length of 1.2 to 3 meters.

Audio-Technica explained the absence of such a wire in the Q & A section on the product page:

Unfortunately, the ATH-M50x headphones do not support the built-in microphone or volume control. Like other Audio-Technica M-Series headphones. At the moment, there is not a single adapter that would provide both.

Well, it happens. In any case, the ATH-M50x remains an excellent headphone model, with enough add-ons, which justifies the fairly high price of $ 169 in the United States, £ 126 in the United Kingdom and $ 249 Australian dollars in Australia.

Before you purchase the ATH-M50x, you should be aware that this is only one of the four models in the line of headphones from The Audio-Technica that have been improved. The early models ATH-M40x , ATH-M30x and ATH-M20x are also worth the money.

Features and Design

As we said in our review of the previous model, the ATH-M50x headphones are also well assembled and have a reliable design, and, as it seems, will last a long time. The headphone cord is thick, at the end of it is a credible connector. Thick, soft ear pads rotate in two directions, thanks to which the headphones fold up and are convenient to store, although it is worth noting that the simple soft cover with which they are delivered is nothing more than a bag.

The ear pads are a bit softer than the ATH-M50

By the name of the model, you can understand that these are monitor headphones, and they sound and look like headphones at recording studios (some use them for this purpose). Weighing less than 283 grams, they are not light, but they sit perfectly on the head and do not cause discomfort. Naturally, since these are full-sized headphones of a closed type, then on hot days your ears can sweat in them.

Despite the fact that they do not have an active noise reduction system, as in the Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise-Cancelling or Beats Studio (2013) headphones, they isolate the noise of the surrounding world quite well, although a little worse. The ATH-M50x is a great alternative to the QuietComfort 15 headphone for people who are susceptible to light pressure due to active noise cancellation - and they sound better.


In terms of sound, the ATH-M50x is hard to reproach. The sound balance is very accurate, stereo sound (for a closed type of headphone) is incredibly voluminous, and the sound dynamics are beyond praise.

Although Audio-Technica claims that there is no difference in sound between the original ATH-M50 and its improved version, we think that the ATH-M50x sounds cleaner and the bass, mid and high frequencies are more detailed. The headphone ATH-M50 sound is not so clear and it is heard a little muffled. We came to the conclusion that the old and new, improved versions sound very similar, but not identical.

Twisted wire and two straight lines come with headphones

Although we are confident that the ATH-M50x is better, we are also sure that there are people who prefer the ATH-M50 because of its richer, quieter tone. But each time when it comes to sound, notes of subjectivity are always present in the discussion.

Comparison of ATH-M50x with V-Moda M-100 On-Ear Headphonesrevealed clear differences. Firstly, the M-100 focuses on high frequencies and has a less saturated sound in general, while the ATH-M50x sound is richer, with deep bass that has become more saturated. We felt that the ATH-M50x more accurately transmit sound. Both models are winners, but if we chose one among them, the ATH-M50x would have won, since these headphones perfectly reproduce music of all genres. The M-100 focuses more on electronic music, rather than acoustic.


It is unfortunate that Audio-Technica did not include a wire with volume control and microphone in the package of professional monitor headphones ATH-M50x, which, most likely, audio purists will not attach importance to. The ATH-M50x costs more than the ATH-M50, but they have something to offer, for example: excellent sound quality, a slightly more convenient design and additional replaceable wires.

Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

Are you using this Audio-Technica headphone series?

  • 12.2% Yes, upgraded to ATH-M50x 32
  • 4.5% Yes, using earlier models, I plan to update 12
  • 15.3% Yes, using earlier models, until I plan to update 40
  • 14.9% No, I use headphones from another series of Audio-Technica 39
  • 52.8% No, I am a fan of other brands 138

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