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Product Review

Audio-Technica ATH-M50
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$199.00
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Product Reviews

Top Ten Under $500 With the ATH-M50, Audio Technica can boast of designing one of the best closed-back headphones anywhere near this price. The M50 stokes any listener seeking richly textured bass response with well-rendered vocal midranges and smoothly extended, clear upper treble detail. Solid build plus good wearing comfort satisfies those expecting a headphone to work and play as hard as they do.

 

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Great headphones, poor materials

Posted by Gal on 2013-06-27
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: No
Pros:
Cons:

Top and pads wear off fast!

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24 out of 35 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?

Best headphones for under 100 bucks

Posted by flopyu from Santa Rosa, CA on 2013-06-16
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, stays true to the audio
Cons: they don't have the open soundstage others have for the same price

These headphones will let you hear everything a song has to offer you. The only bad thing is that these headphones will give you everything the song is. If you have a low bit rate mp3, these headphones will let you hear it. On the other hand, if you have a cd from an artist or flac file that was well recorded, these headphones will give you the purest form of that song. While they have clear, strong bass, it may not be the most powerful for major bass heads. However, the bass is definitely cleaner than other headphones (beats???).

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20 out of 21 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Sound!

Posted by lomarica from Mountain House, Ca on 2013-03-02
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Accurate sound. Crisp highs, decent base, excellent mid range.
Cons: None

Let it be said that these cans are an excellent choice for great quality sound, comfort for long listening, and excellent build quality. I've had mine for almost 2 years now and they still look like new. Construction is top quality, and sound reproduction is what you would expect from much more expensive headphones. Sound leakage is minor, but please remember that these are "passive" noise canceling. They just might be the best overall over ear headphones you can buy for under 250.00, and sound much better than many more popular headphones such as Dr. Dre Studio Beats which cost twice as much, or more.

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29 out of 32 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Excellent Monitoring Headphones

Posted by nabbun from Bergen County, NJ on 2013-01-17
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, Collapsable, Clear sound
Cons: Bassheads will find that it might be a little lacking in the boom department.

I've had these headphones for about 3 years and they are phenomenal. I was used to listening to my mp3 players with the provided ear buds then moved on to Skullcandy when they became more readily available. Now that I've had my hands on some entry level audiophile headphones, I haven't looked back. I wish I could keep these forever but, my sister wants them! I ended up moving up to a pair of Beyerdynamic headphones and I'm in love all over again. I'm going to miss cans.

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14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Headphones

Posted by captzed from Montreal, QC on 2013-01-06
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Very nice sound, comfortable, very good value
Cons: They swivel in every direction.

I bought my ATH-M50 about a year ago and after extensive use they are still the best headphones i bought so far. Very clear sound, good isolation, great price, they are solid and the twisted wire is very convinient. There is only one annoying thing, the earcups can swivel in a lot of direction and when you store them they always finish up in a weird position.

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10 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Purchase

Posted by Michael from Denver, CO on 2012-10-13
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Excellent Sound, Good Value, Comfortable
Cons: Sweaty Ears

I bought these to replace my Sennheiser PX-100's (which I loved) when they broke and I thought I could repair them. From the first time I put these on I was completely in love. I'm not at all an audiophile, but my ears didn't deceive me. The sounds was great. Good bass, good treble. I've used them with a portable CD player, iPod Classic and even my home theatre receiver. With each one the sound was marvelous.

I pack these up into the nice carrying case each day after work and throw them into my backpack. I'm not worried about cord issues as the cord looks very durable and well built. I wear these all day, with the occasional break to let me ears cool off. They are closed-back so there isn't any ventilation at all. However, I work in a cubicle with 3 other people and no one has complained about my music being too load which I think is a testament to how well these headphones are sealed (Slayer demands to be listened to at high volumes). I knocked one star off of comfort because they are closed-back and sweaty ears aren't very nice. I knocked one star off of look & feel because they are a little big and will mat your hair down if you use them for too long. Those are minor annoyances.

Bottom Line:
Would I buy these again? In a heartbeat.
Would I recommend these to someone else? Absolutely.

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31 out of 32 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Awesome.

Posted by MC from San Francisco, CA on 2012-06-18
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, fantastic bass and highs, incredible sound
Cons: Bit heavy, tight at first

My friend got me these for X-mas...my entry into audiophile phones. (Always had full, over the ear, but from years ago.) Not sure where she got them, but I learned about them here so wanted to post here. As everyone's said - they are incredible. They don't just make music sound unbelievable, they even make COMMERCIALS sound great. (The music, soundscapes etc.) Of course you get tremendous sound and hear things you never heard before, but with the bass that's prominent but not overbearing, you get the sense you are hearing EVERYTHING the engineers intended. Mids are a bit recessed, but you still get everything out of them. Highs are sparkling and detailed. They're a bit heavy and pretty tight at first, but after they break in, they're just fine and isolate well. For $160...what you get which is a whole world of sound you never got before, it's just not a debate. Sturdy, portability and carrying bag a very nice plus. Thank you to all the previous reviewers here for turning me onto these works of art.

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28 out of 30 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Solid

Posted by Phil Jenkins from Dallas, TX on 2012-05-23
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great value, comfortable, sound quality, isolation
Cons: none (a bit more than i'd like to pay for headphones personally, but they're worth it!)

Been looking at many reviews online and these were exactly as described, great response at a low price. Good isolation and comfort.

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22 out of 24 people found this review helpful. Did you?

decent purchase

Posted by dedicatedlistener from marysville, WA on 2012-05-11
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: good quality sound, good price
Cons: doesnt handle as much sound as i imagined, crackling after a week or so

i bought these after reading the review knowing they were not bass head style headphones which was fine. unboxed and used them loved it but for some reasson these are already crackling and i have been taking care of them as well. not sure what to do but im pretty mad, gonnna try using my one year warranty and getting a knew pair


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19 out of 27 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Early Thoughts

Posted by moses667 from Washington, DC on 2012-03-27
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great Sound Detail
Cons: Less warm sounding, a bit heavy on my (big) head

Note: I'm writing this after about 20 hours of listening, I'm not sure if they're fully broken in.

For the price, I can't imagine a better set of cans. They blow away the cheaper headphones I use with my iPhone on a daily basis (Sennheiser PX100, Klipsh S4i) and are comparable to my Vandersteen speakers (2 sig) but with better detail. The sound is very detailed and crisp. The high end is, for my taste, a little pronounced and makes the overall tonal quality seem a little less warm than I'd like, especially for classical and jazz, but the detail and crispness makes up for it. And I am NOT saying there isn't plenty of bass; they kept up with trunk rattling hip-hop tracks quite nicely, and without distorting.

I wanted to use these unamplified out of an iPhone so I've been testing between my Denon amp and iPhone and (in the short sessions I tried with 192kbps mp3s) haven't found any significant differences that cause me to wish I had an amp to drive the cans from the iPhone. As a side note, the casing for the terminator is large. It barely fit through the opening in my Otterbox Defender case for the iPhone. Many of the iPhone cases won't allow this plug to fit without an additional adapter (or taking off the case).

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21 out of 22 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Quality and Very Affordable

Posted by Keenan from Ontario, Canada on 2012-02-20
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, Affordable, Great Sound
Cons: Not immediately in stock

I'm not going to go on about the sound and quality because that has been covered here a lot. But for a guy like me (and you may be the same) I was using low end skullcandy's and stock apple earphones, and thought they were alright because I had never tried an actual quality pair. I decided to buy these because of the great reviews it got, and I for sure was not disappointed. Overall a great buy for anyone looking to get an affordable and excellent pair of headphones.
**Note**
If anyone has been looking at the beats and these I would definitely say these because of better quality and WAY better price

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13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Quality and Very Affordable

Posted by Keenan from Ontario, Canada on 2012-02-20
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, Affordable, Great Sound
Cons: Not immediately in stock

I'm not going to go on about the sound and quality because that has been covered here a lot. But for a guy like me (and you may be the same) I was using low end skullcandy's and stock apple earphones, and thought they were alright because I had never tried an actual quality pair. I decided to buy these because of the great reviews it got, and I for sure was not disappointed. Overall a great buy for anyone looking to get an affordable and excellent pair of headphones.
**Note**
If anyone has been looking at the beats and these I would definitely say these because of better quality and WAY better price

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8 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Fantastic headphones

Posted by tparsons47 from Providence, RI on 2012-02-07
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great sound, comfortable
Cons: warranty could be longer

These headphones are pretty close to perfect in my opinion. I love the way they sound - nice bass response and decent highs. Overall, a nice warm sound. They are pretty comfortable too. I typically have them on the whole work-day, and they don't bother me. I also find the looks to be pretty good, and the carry bag they come with is handy too. The plug has a nice weight to it, and indicates a high level of quality.

The one concern to me is the warranty - it's only one year. I've only had these for a few days, and I haven't had any issues at all, but I'd like to see a longer warranty. Hopefully these last as long as my old Sennheisers, which lasted seven years.

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11 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Only one issue and it's all my fault

Posted by Barry from Narberth, PA on 2011-12-14
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros:
Cons:

These headphones have been amazing. Before these I had Denon D2000's and I like the sound of these much better as well as the build quality. Only issue is that I bought the straight cord and I wish I had gotten the coiled. I hate coiled cords but this straight cord is just too darn long if you are traveling with them. Still a great set of headphones.

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20 out of 23 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best Headphones Under 200 Dollars

Posted by LazBro123 from Montreal, QC on 2011-12-09
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Sound quality, bass response, comfort, durability, construction, style
Cons: No detachable cable, cable is a bit too long

These headphones are incredible. Fantastic sound quality. The bass response is really, really nice. It's well defined, accurate and strong, but it's not overpowering. The mids and highs are awesome too. Very crisp and I heard things in my music that I haven't heard with my other headphones. As well, these headphones look really nice and are really comfortable. The only things I do not like about these headphones is the very long straight cable. I always have to hold a bit of the cable when i'm listening to music on my iPod or my computer. Overall, amazing pair of headphones, for an amazing price! I would pay more than 200 dollars for these headphones. They are that good. Buy them.

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16 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Pretty nice cans, but they apply some pressure on the eardrum

Posted by Mishalex from New York, NY on 2011-10-07
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Clear sound, punchy, well-presented bass
Cons: Poor spatial definition, slightly recessed mids, a little bright in the highs, and TOO TIGHT!!!!

First of all, let me clarify that while I marked the "yes" button for recommendation, that "yes" is a highly conditional "yes."

First off, the negative. If you have a larger head like me, you may well find these headphones to be too tight. Sorry for the overemphasis on that point, but really, when the headphones are so tight that they actually apply quite a bit of pressure on the eardrum, I can't really recommend them unconditionally in good conscience. Sure, the sound quality is actually pretty exceptional for closed cans in this price range, but when they are as uncomfortable to wear as these are, they really aren't the best for long-term or portable use.

With a headphone as highly endorsed by so many as this pair, I am reticent to just dismiss them offhand, so I will say that if your eardrums aren't excessively sensitive or if you have a head smaller than 7 1/4 (american hat size; 23inch circumference), you may find them to be great. The sonics are clear and well-presented, and overall pretty well-balanced (though hardly neutral; personally, I found the bass to be overwhelming at times, the mids to sound a little recessed, and the highs to be a bit biting and strident on certain tracks (I'm very sensitive to bright headphones), but on the whole I wasn't aware of any distortion, so it isn't that big a deal). These are certainly way better than any of the popular Beats headphones, with the exception of the ridiculously overpriced Beats Pro (which of course pale in comparison with similarly priced Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, Denon, Grado, Audiotechnica and AKG headphones).

On the whole, I would say that I would still recommend these headphones for most people for personal, home use, but my major complaint about them with regard to their comfort and sound quality has to do with their self-proclaimed status as "Pro Studio Monitor Headphones." The sound on these, while good, is undeniably quite colored, and this issue, coupled with their lack of comfort, really makes them a poor choice for long listening and music editing sessions, in my opinion, and their long cord (either version) and need for proper amping makes them not the best choice for portable headphones either.

In conclusion, I would say that these are a great lower-mid level headphone for someone buying their first set of high quality cans, but don't expect them to be a studio-grade headphone, or to listen with them for more than three hours at a time. Get yourself some AKGs, Sennheisers or Beyers for a hundred bucks more if you're planning on long listening sessions or audio editing.

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30 out of 49 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Unnaturally bassy

Posted by sonofthesun from vancouver,canada on 2011-05-02
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: No
Pros: tight bass
Cons: uncomfortable, vague spacial definition

I got these headphone for my birthday to replace some Sennheisers which had broken due to age and lots of wear. After looked at all the reviews I was pimped and thinking they would be awesome but after a few days Im still left wanting and puzzled how so many people think these are good. My biggest concern is the unnatural base response. Sure the bass is punchy tight and snappy but its in every recording even where the bass shouldn't be. Basically its very coloured and unnatural as opposed to a flat sound. Headphones shouldn't be adding bass where there is none especially when they are supposed to be studio monitor quality. This unnaturalness creates lots of fatigue and one big muddled mess of base. What is missing from is the exceptional spatial definition I got with my Sennheisers. Every instrument could be placed on the sound stage accurately as opposed to the M50s which were just one muddled mess of bass with no spatial definition. To make matters worse, they become painful to wear after an hour or two. I am sending them back and will shop for some new Sennheisers.

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118 out of 191 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?

I love these headphones. ..thank you Josh!

Posted by Micky from HB So Cal on 2011-03-12
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: great sound and durability
Cons: a little weighty for the smaller head.

I bought these headphones on a recommendation from one of the guys here at headroom and I am so happy with the amazing sound qaulity. I am usually a Sennheiser chica but decided to expand my horizons and Josh did not steer me wrong. I do find them to be a bit heavy for my head but these are worth getting used to the weight and it goes away after about 15 mins. I would definitely and have recommended these to my friends. I find that they have just enough bass response and the mids and highs are clear without being fatiguing. Great buy and worth every penny!

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27 out of 30 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Pretty Good Headphones

Posted by Alazandar from Harrah, WA on 2011-02-21
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great Sound
Cons: uncomfortable

I bought the Audio-Technica ATH-M50s roughly two years ago and I do not regret the purchase. The sound these headphones provide is amazing. Though this opinion is coming from a guy who has not owned any really top of the line headphones. I do have a few complaints. 1) After a couple of hours my right ear feels like it has needles stabbing it. I'm not sure why but it only happens when I am wearing these headphones. It is easy to counter the pain by swiveling the right side. 2) after two years the padding around the ear is starting to crack and come off. Maybe i'm just stingy, but i would expect these headphones to last longer.
Both my complaints my just apply to me, but if you want a pair of great headphones that provide amazing sound I would most definitely recommend these. I got mine for 80 dollars and it was the best purchase I have ever made.

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20 out of 21 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Gets the job done

Posted by grundy6309 from Moorhead, MN on 2011-01-11
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Good value
Cons: can be uncomfortable when listened to over an hour

These sound great. You wont be disapointed.

Get the coiled chord if you plan on taking it anywhere.
Sound issolation is amazing and it is well balance and tight

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7 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

More than Words

Posted by audio boy from philippines on 2010-12-18
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Well crafted/engineered, portable, robust design, durable, sturdy and clamping force
Cons: the manufacturer needs to put an information: Burn-in process is needed.

After a long waiting period, i finally got these cans. I felt contented that i invested on these cans. It taught me to listen more and be critical on what i hear. The highs and lows are well defined. They brought all the sounds into life (reincarnating what are not being heard-crackle sounds, noise, sibilants and plosives) after 50-100 hours burning in. These were confirmed on the 10 people(musically inclined) i asked to evaluate. I received the same line of thought. I could see on their face the "Wow" looked. They even jokingly said that they don't want to return back my ATH-M50. Further, I and they noticed that the sound is WELL BALANCED. Further, they said that having too much highs, it one could give you a feeling that your ears are like being pricked and too much bass it could give you slight hearing loss. But for ATH-M50, it focused more on the philosophy of Balanced and giving all the sounds the opportunity to be heard and corrected. Before i end, I recommend for those who seem to buy ATH-M50 try to download burn in wave generator or mp3s of pink/white/brown noise. Well, ATH-M50 could be compared to "Pinocchio". It had no life before. When a fairy godmother gave him life, Things change. Job well done Audio Technica.

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19 out of 28 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Another look

Posted by acldesmith from Tokyo, Japan on 2010-12-05
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: build, initial comfort, build, unamped volume
Cons: long term comfort, hard on long sessions

I had to edit my first review. These were recommended to me by HeadRoom staff when I asked for them for a headphone that can produce deep bass. Mid and high detail are fair. Longer listening sessions are hard on the eardrums. I have Sony Studio Monitors that are a bit easier on the ears, but don't have the mid and highs covered as well as these do. All-in-all these headphones are decent. While these won't produce the exaggerated rolling bass I was looking for, they have improved with a break in period. Much better than the Sony Studio Monitors in terms of sound and build, but they cost a bit more.

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33 out of 50 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?

Best For Music Listening

Posted by RadioGuy from Washington D.C. on 2010-09-05
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Highest Quality Sound
Cons: Heavy, Uncomfortable, Not Good for Radio Work

I have been working in radio for 30 plus years and I wanted to try another brand of headphones besides AKG, which by the way in my opinion are the best for radio work. I found this Audio-Technica ATH-M50 to be the best I've tried in sound quality for music. Regrettably they're also heavy and uncomfortable. The head arch has little cushion and it feels hard on your head. When used to voice radio shows they're not as good. After many years working with headphones in radio I can say with all certainty that AKG are made for radio professionals. So I'll be returning this Audio-Technica and probably ordering another pair of AKG's pretty soon. My recommendation is a "conditional" yes...

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27 out of 35 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great cans

Posted by Iheartgreatcans on 2010-08-26
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros:
Cons:

These things sound awesome! Super tight, punchy bass without being overkill. Great trebles and solid mids. Really great at capturing every detail of a track. Was skeptical before trying these out as to whether or not they'd be that different from my Apple and Skullcandy phones but they far exceeded expectations and perform very well. Very happy! They're rather large but that's a small price to pay for the sound these phones drive.

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5 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Excellent Headphones for a reasonable price

Posted by aflocka from Minnesota on 2010-08-20
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great Value, Solid quality in build and sound
Cons: Little Bulky, Long cord gets in the way occasionally

I found out about these headphones on this site, but found that they can be bought for far cheaper on ebay and the like - $104.00 shipped. Doesn't mean I won't come back to this site for future purchases though!

As for the phones themselves, I can say that I love them. They are my first quality headphones, so I don't have much to compare them with, but I feel that they do their job remarkably well. They get a little uncomfortable after long periods of wear, but not unbearably so. They fold up, which is cool. They look and feel sturdy, and while not super stylish, they say "serious headphones" The cord is long, but actually, it came twistie-tied up and I've left it like that for the time being, which has kept most cord problems away. Plus the long cord can be useful in the future.

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9 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Solid Performance - Durable - High Quality

Posted by JHR from Michigan on 2010-08-12
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Excellent sound - durable form - oozes quality
Cons: They cost money. I was told all the great things in life are free, but it just isn't so.....

I am very pleased with these headphones. They sound good on the stereo system, on my portable MP3 player, and even on an old portable CD player - also sound good on my ham radio station. Very durable, solid feeling, well built. Nice smooth and crisp highs; punchy, full bodied bass; and even handed mid-range. Well balanced over the entire listening frequency range. I use this set listening to classical music, classic rock, and especially 1970s vintage jazz... with sizzling cymbals, thick bass, and well articulated mid range - both electric and acoustic guitars sound like they should, and bass guitar is realistic and accurate - I should know, as I play all these instruments and know how they really sound. I hate it when the bass sounds thick, dull and phony - having a lot of bass does not meani it sounds realistic - and these cans sound realistic.

Well pleased, I am, James R. in Michigan.

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18 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Exactly What I Wanted

Posted by Jon from Davis, CA on 2010-07-27
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great Sound, Comfortable, Durable, Stylish, Isolating, etc. Great Value!
Cons: None to speak of

This is exactly what I wanted. I really can't see how anyone could be disappointed by this headphone, i am thrilled with how great they sound, as well as their other features like durability, isolation, and comfort. For reference, I have the Sennheiser IE8s, high-end sennheiser earphones, and I still love these headphones. If they broke, which they don't feel like they will, I would buy them again in an instant. Buy them on ebay and save yourself $50! My order was only $110 with shipping. Be sure to get the coiled cable though, the straight one is way too long and the coiled one is super convenient - makes them usable as portables.

Get them. They will be your new best friend. Promise.

HeadRoom Response:

Buying from eBay, or anywhere the price is well under MAP pricing, means you are probably buying from an unauthorized dealer.  There is no warranty on the headphones and could even be a counterfeit product. HeadRoom is an authorized dealer for all products we sell, and we offer a Price Match Guaranty when we're able.

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11 out of 15 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Seriously good headphones!

Posted by Trevolution from Minneapolis, MN on 2010-06-16
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great value, comfy, solid feel/construction, amazing sound
Cons: Not a great fit with glasses, large/heavy

As a budding audiophile, I have found these headphones to be downright amazing! I have just spent an afternoon surfing through my music library and rediscovering my favorite songs as they should be heard. I think that a lot of good headphones reveal sounds in the musical landscape; these take sounds you've heard a million times and bring them to life! Only potential downsides are that they are on the big/heavy side, and if you wear glasses with rigid temple pieces, you might want to just take them off for comfort's sake, as the heavy earpieces press them awkwardly. But with sound like this, who needs to see?

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8 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Buy

Posted by Len from Las Vegas, NV on 2010-06-15
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Very Balanced Sound
Cons: Ear cups a little too small for me

I use this to listen to my home theater when my wife is asleep.
Plugged in to my Denon AVR-1910.
The overall sound is very balanced and the bass is strong but accurate.
The mids are clear and not recessed.
The highs are extended but not harsh.
The ear cups are a little small for my ears and also make my ears sweaty after awhile.
Otherwise no obvious flaws.

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7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Excellently Priced Headphones

Posted by Mayzei from Colchester, UK on 2010-06-11
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Solid Sub-bass, Good Isolation and Soundstage
Cons: Pleather Pads= Sweaty Ears!

I bought the ATH-M50's for Electronic Listening (Dubstep), having owned other headphones such as Sennheiser HD600's and Grado SR80's, i was pleasantly surprised at the hard hitting Sub-bass slam. These really are in a league of their own in the bass department. It's not bloated, it's not muddy, it's just massive! The great thing about their bass is that it doesn't affect any other part of their frequency response, the high's and mids are completely left alone. The soundstage, image placement and isolation are all top notch, great for gaming and movie watching.

This is my first coil-cabled headphones, I originally didn't know how I would get on with them, but they are easy to live with. The cable is exactly the right length without being stretched for easy listening to an iPod or other portable source.

They are fairly low impedance and I have not found much of an improvement with amping (albeit poorly- iBasso D2+ Boa), they are the perfect portable music player headphones, especially for people that like electronic music.

My only gripe is that, probably due to manufacturing costs, Audio-Technica have had to use a Plastic Leather on the pads, which really makes my ears sweat (and i am not a sweaty person!), it isn't distracting or annoying and is only noticeable once you take the headphones off.

These cans are great performers for the price, they should always be considered when upgrading (or side-grading like me), they offer unprecedented amounts of quality bass!

Tom.

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9 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Was very pleasently surprised!

Posted by plonter from israel on 2010-05-08
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: very good balanced sound,comfortable,nice isolation
Cons: may be too bassy for certain listeners

The headroom review nails it pretty good but I will add my thoughts on these. I had a few bucks to spend some time ago and i decided to spoil myself in a nice,rather cheap headphone. just for the record I also own:denon D5000,sennheiser HD650 and grado RS1 which are all consider mid to high end headphones.
In short,after reading some very good reviews on the M50 i decided to get them and I must say that what I got is WAY more than i expected. the sound is superbly balanced overall,the highs are well extended but without a hint of sibilance or harshness and the midrange is also "ruler flat" which means not too farward and not too much in the background also.
THE BASS...well,from the first second you listen to them you notice the deep and authoritative bass response,this is sure a great pleasure for dedicated bassheads like me! I just want to comment that the bass is far from being boomy or muddy and it doesn't effect the midrange like some other bass heavy headphones i know of. the emphasis here is on the low deep bass and less on the midbass (which can cause muddy sound).

They also isolate very well from outside noise,much better than the denon D5000 i have. the comfort is superb,they stay pretty tight on the head without moving or sliding but they are not overly tight by any means,the kind of loose but sit well on the head in the same time.
well...what can i say,I was expected a nice headphone that will sound nice but not more than that,at the end I got a headphone that I think is on par with my much more pricier denon D5000 and even surpasse it in some areas.
I love them very much and I recommend them for anyone looking for an affordable closed headphones with great balaced sound but with a little bit of weight on the bass. ENJOY!

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30 out of 31 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Thrilled out of the box...

Posted by Dan from Mount Kisco, NY on 2010-03-04
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Very comfortable, well isolated
Cons: none so far

Avenged Sevenfold sounds wonderful. I have a pair of Grado SR60i 'phones that I love, but I live in an apartment with my girlfriend, and when she's watching TV while I'm listening it drives me nuts due to the open design of the Grados. I just put these M50s on an hour ago and Jeopardy sounds like it's 10 miles away instead of right behind the band. They sound great already and I'm sure they'll only get better as they break in. Thanks HeadRoom!

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16 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Excellent quality and value

Posted by Rob "Lunatique" Chang on 2010-02-07
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Excellent value, substantial sub-bass , non-fatiguing, neutral/accurate, folds for traveling
Cons: Pleather can get sweaty, rotating earcups annoying if you're not a DJ, soundstage could be bigger

The ATH-M50 is one of those rare products where the quality/price ratio really hits the sweet spot, and in fact is like a small miracle in the world of pro audio. When you get Grammy Award-winning audio engineers and producers like George Massenburg, Frank Filipetti, Al Schmitt...etc singing its praises publicly, you know it's got to be something special.

The M50 pulls off the difficult balance of being neutral, accurate, and detailed while not causing listening fatigue, and that is one of the most important things to get right when it comes to any audio device. If the device hurts your ears with shrill or piercing treble, then no matter how "detailed and revealing" you think it is, you won't be able to withstand the sonic torture anyway. Designed as professional studio monitors, the M50 can be used all day long without any listening fatigue, and it's tonal balance is accurate enough that many respected audio engineers would not hesitate to mix on them. Being sealed headphones, they also are a favorite among musicians and singers when recording, as they do not bleed into the microphone like open headphones (which means you also won't bother the people sitting near you, unlike open headphones where others will hear a tinny version of what you're hearing).

One of the most outstanding characteristics of the M50 is its sub-bass extension (50Hz and below), which is both deep and substantial. For those that don't know what full-sized loudspeakers with proper sub-bass extension sounds like, they might think the M50 is "bass heavy," but that would be incorrect. The extension and amount of bass rendered by the M50 is similar to what full-sized loudspeakers should sound like when the sub-bass is at a proper level. In fact, I would say headphones that have less sub-bass extension/level than the M50 should be categorized as "bass shy." The M50's bass is also punchy and visceral in a way that approximates full-sized loudspeakers, which is a very difficult thing to pull off for headphones.

The mids and the treble are smooth, and the treble never gets gratings like many other headphones. If I must nitpick, I might say that the treble has a tiny hint of metallic timbre when compared to open-back headphones. But it's a very vague impression and in no way gets in the way of the music, and it's only noticeable when doing extensive A/B comparisons. What I really love about the M50's upper mids and treble is that some songs can sound very shrill and fatiguing--especially on sharp snare hits or vocal sibilance--on other headphones that "fake" detail by raising a few to several dB's in those frequency ranges, but on the M50, those tracks sound perfect balanced and natural, never harsh and irritating.

The soundstage of the M50 is smaller than the average open-cans, because of its sealed design. This is perhaps the only thing sonically I wish it could be improved upon, but this does not mean the soundstage of the M50 is claustrophobic or in any way detrimental to the listening experience--it's simply not as open and lush as headphones like the Sennheiser HD6XX/5XX series (and other high quality open-cans).

Physically, the M50 is pretty comfortable to wear, but pleather tends to get a bit sweaty, and is a necessary evil for sealed-headphones. The rotating earcups are a bit annoying when taking the M50 on and off, since sometimes you have to rotate the earcups back into the correct orientation. For traveling, the M50 folds down to about half of its normal size, and that makes it very easy to travel with, not to mention more durable because it's harder to accidentally bend them or twist them out of shape. The overall look of the M50 has a pleasant, no-none-sense professional appeal--they really do look like they were designed to feel right at home in professional studios.

On a side note, the Sennheiser HD280 Pro is often recommended to musicians who need sealed-cans, and I highly suggest anyone considering a pair of nice sealed cans check out the M50, as they walk all over the HD280 in every single way possible, while still remaining very reasonably priced.





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57 out of 58 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great closed-phone choice

Posted by jchandler3 from Ashland, OH on 2010-01-29
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great overall sound, durable, good looks
Cons: Cable seems a little cheap

I needed another pair of closed "monitor" headphones and was planning on just getting another pair of the Shure SRH440 (which I love). I decided to just go ahead and try these out. Boy, am I glad I did!

These headphones sound very nice overall. Personally, I like the Denon AH-D1001k's sound better (for $10 less to boot!), but these ATs sound great. Bass response is terrific; present and well controlled. Punchy yet subdued. Mids are warm. Treble is nice and accurate. The only band of the spectrum I find any issue with is the lower-mid range. Something about those frequencies just sound a little too warm, muffled, stuffy... something like that.

They feel terrific. The pads (ear cups and band) are lush and comfy, they have a metal frame, and they twist, bend, fold, and collapse in every direction you can imagine. The only problem I see is that the circumaural cups are actually relatively small. My ears are pretty small and they BARELY fit in the middle of the cushion.

I don't like the feel of the cable. I'm sure it's fine though. Just seems a little thin and shiny.

Overall, terrific headphones. If you're looking for durable monitor headphones, I'd recommend the Shure SRH-440. If you're looking for great sound in this price range, I'd recommend the Denon AH-D1001k. If you're looking for a combination of the two, this is a terrific option--probably the best under $300.

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10 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best studio-type headphones

Posted by A HeadRoom Fan on 2010-01-21
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros:
Cons:

These are probably my favorite sealed, "monitor-style" headphones. They sound great, although if I had to quibble, I would say the bass can sound slightly boomy and loose sometimes. Overall though, I have no complaints about the tonality. Other great qualities: supremely comfortable; both foldable and collapsible; fantastic looks; both straight and coiled cable options; and relatively inexpensive. In my opinion, you have to go up the beyerdynamic DT 250 to get the last word in sealed headphones of this variety. But I prefer these over the Sony MDR-V6, the Shure SRH440, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, etc. They even sound great unamped from an ipod, although the cord is a little long for these to be truly portable headphones. You really can't go wrong with these.

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10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Nice headphones

Posted by malarkey from Houston, TX on 2010-01-21
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: snug but comfortable, blocks out noise
Cons: long cord gets in the way

I use these headphones in my open air office. We have cube walls but they are very low. It just takes one person on the phone to break the concentration. I wear glasses and use these headphones for quite long periods of time (2-4 hours) and they are very comfortable. They fit snug and block out a good deal of noise.

I do also have a set of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. These are by far more comfortable and better sounding in my opinion.

My basic set up is these head phones connected to my iphone. The sound is very good and the bass is present but not over bearing. I generally set my iphone EQ to rock or live music. I have set it to bass booster and it still sounds good even though I'm not a big bass fan.

My only complaint is I proably should have gotten the curly cable, the long straight cable often gets in the way. It's very long.


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8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Happy with 'em

Posted by Bix from Pasadena, CA on 2010-01-18
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Sounds good
Cons: Just a bit tight

I have these connected to my television/blu-ray, so I can watch and listen without bothering my wife. They sound great to me. I can wear them for hours, even though they seem a bit tight. I like the way the ear pieces swivel. I usually put the headphones aside when I am watching sports. I can quickly clap one side to an ear when I want to hear what the announcer is saying.

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11 out of 16 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?

I look forward to using these every day.

Posted by This Bryce from US Army, Baghdad, Iraq on 2010-01-16
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great sound to price value. Very comfortable to wear for long hours.
Cons: Very good at isolating background noise. I have missed my alarm clock because I could not hear it.

I am very happy that I purchased these to replace some old Panasonic circum-aural cans. These fit very good and I wear them for long hours when I get off work. The bass sounds good and clean and the highs are distinct. I will be getting an external amp soon to isolate my laptops audio noise. I have some Denon in the ear headphones that also sound great, but they don't have the same long term comfort. These headphones are a joy to listen to and I look forward to using them every day.

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3 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great set of cans

Posted by frqnk from Bowling Green, KY on 2010-01-16
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Single cord, comfortable, good seal, great sound
Cons: None

I have bought numerous headphones over the years, including some that cost a lot more than these. The AT's are one of the best. You get punchy, clear, well defined bass as well as nice clear highs. Everything in between is nice and smooth - no dead spots or annoying peaks. My son is a professional sound engineer and these are his current favorites.

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8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Value and Sound

Posted by Happycustomer from SLC, UT on 2010-01-16
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: These headphones sound fantastic and are relatively cheap compared to their competitors
Cons: None

I have loved these headphones. They sounds excellent. I have found them to be perfect for work as they block out external noise as well. I have a co-worker that has the Sennheiser HD 595 and he has told me that if he were buying again he would go with these for the value.

They are a great size and fold up nicely for carrying.

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3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Highly Reccomended

Posted by EliH14 from Jersey Shore, PA on 2010-01-15
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great Sound, Comfortable, and Cheap
Cons: Long Break in TIme

Put alot of time, and research into choosing the perfect pair of headphones for my recently discovered obsession with sound quality. Finnaly came to a conclusion with these. I got them, and couldn't have been happier. Amazing set of headphones, especially for the price. Highly recommended if you are looking into getting an affordable, good quality set of headphones.

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2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best Headphones I have owned within the price range

Posted by Sergery from Los Angeles, CA on 2010-01-15
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great Sound Quality
Cons: A bit uncomfortable at first during long use periods

I had been looking for a good pair of headphones that had a good balance between bass response and mid and hi ranges. After trying out headphones at different stores and not finding what I was looking for I decided to take my chances with the ATH-M50's. These headphones were exactly what I was looking for. They are well built and have amazingly clear and detailed sound for it's their price.

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Decent Purchase

Posted by MikeB from north on 2010-01-15
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: No
Pros: Quailty, depth of music
Cons: Cumbersome, Heavy.

Very good quality, Heavy on the ears. Good overall, better suited for dj or other studio based activities. Not recommended for personal use, like airplane, or computer.

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15 out of 22 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?

Nice cans

Posted by That Guy P from Sunrise, FL on 2010-01-15
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, solid construction, great sound
Cons: None really

The M50's are pretty much solid cans. Can't really find many faults in these, they have very nice ranges in sound, good bass and really cancel out sound. The coiled cable is very nice to, the option to get a straight or coiled cable was a nice thing to have as well.

I haven't tried this amped but even without it these cans provide very nice and enjoyable sound in a wide range of music. From drum and bass to post rock these really just sound pleasant over all and because they don't really squeeze your head they are very nice for extended listening.

In comparison to some of my Sennheisers they do kind of lack in softer tones, but that is mostly due to my Sennheisers being open cans as opposed to these being closed. I find ambient music sounding a bit more pleasant and open with my 595's but that is mostly a personal preference since with the M50's I feel more isolated and focused on the music which I do like a lot when kicking back and relaxing. But again the 595's just have the upper hand being open cans in this aspect, but again when I got these I wasn't looking for that.

Again I can find very little faults, probably one of the best purchases I have made in a while and wouldn't second guess it if I ever had to buy them again. For the time I have had the I have noticed no problems in the cable or in anything breaking so it seems like buying them again won't happen for a while.

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4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Excellent sound for the price

Posted by The Engineer from Bay Area on 2010-01-15
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, Good Value, Good Sound, No L-R Split Cable
Cons:

I don't have different head phones to compare because I mostly hear through loadspeakers. Since I have family and little kids I can't do this thing any more, so I purchased these head phones. I must say I was surprised about the sound quality. I chose the ATH-M50 after excessive reading of head phone reviews. The amount of detail you can hear is stunning for $150, but be aware you need premium sound source and amps to get the most out of these cans. i found that a head phone amp really improves (I got the NewForce) and also cables and connectors make a difference. I also like to have no split cable for left-right, you just have your face and belly free.



3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best headphones I ever had

Posted by Chris from Quebec, Canada on 2010-01-15
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, amazing sound,
Cons: Shipping to Quebec

Good response in low frequencies. Groovy and precise. Best purchase I ever made for headphones !

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3 out of 4 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?

The supreme king of studio monitors.

Posted by GN3RAL KARL from Colorado Springs on 2010-01-01
Posted on Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Unbelievable sound from closed set, Slick looks, Zero distortion at high volume.
Cons: Soundstage could be a touch larger, Fit may be a little loose for some; a little tight for others.

I'll say this first off: I don't record, DJ, or do any mixes with this headphone (no prosumer work). These Audio Technica M50's (straight cable) are used purely for listening to my music. One phrase comes to mind about these cans: O MiE GaWd!

They sound ridiculously good!

Highs 5/5 - Imagine a dedicated tweeter per cup. The highs are PERFECT. Sirens, cymbals, piano notes, you name it comes in crystal clear with a pristine pitch. No harshness or fatigue comes with it. No roll-off or sibilance either, even if you crank it up to stratospheric levels.

Mids 5/5 - Like 2 miniaturized, mid-range drivers for your dome piece. With the M50's, YOU WILL HEAR EVERYTHING. There were hidden voices and notes in songs that I knew by heart. Voices came out clear and articulate in the butter-smooth mid-range. It also isn't recessed here. It's all up in your grill with pleasing authority and with the natural fullness that is to be expected with your tunes.

Lows 5/5 - I wish I could rate this higher. No other headphone (that I've heard) can touch this. Take two, high quality, sealed sub woofers. Shrink them, and somehow stuff them into the M50's. Then listen. Your brain will become grits. Your eyeballs will shake furiously. Your jawbone will uncontrollably vibrate. The bass in this headphone can resurrect the dead (and then some). The bass notes come in with such passion, that you instantly fall in love. It is highly textured, laser-accurate, and tightly controlled with ZERO distortion. There is no need to crank up the EQ on this. You can, but you've been warned. The bass is the best part about the M50. It is FLAWLESS.

Soundstage 4/5 - For a studio monitor, the soundstage is very good. There is a wide sense of space and depth to the sound. Nevertheless, they aren't as open-sounding as others such as the DT-770 pros, which have a closed design as well. This can sometimes take you out of the "scenario" when watching movies or playing games, which is why I use these primarily for music. I use the DT-770 pro's for movies and games, which those excel in this area.

Detail Retrieval 5/5 - Plain and simple, if it's in the audio track, you will hear it with no problem at all. Every nuance, sound, intricate detail, and background voice will have a direct line to your eardrum for your listening pleasure. No complaints.

Value 5/5 - You need a pair of Audio Technica M50's. These are more than worthy to add to your headphone stable. Comfort is also quite excellent. Other studio monitor headphones pinch too tight for me (I also wear glasses), these are just right. Not too loose or constricted. The Beyers beat these in this area though (those are like Serta pillows :).

The cord is terminated into a slick-looking, metal housing, with a flexible end connected to a 1/8" plug, that also can be mated to a screw on 1/4" adapter. In other words, you can plug the M50's into whatever device you want; Ipod, home receiver, amp, etc., right out of the box. Durability is also the best I've seen yet. Can't see these breaking in any way, even if it's in the hands of a toddler.

Audio Technica M50's = A slice of musical heaven with whipped cream.

Max Sound Level before distorting - 122db

*Burn in definitely changes the sound. Other owners have suggested 40 hours of cooking. The headphones sound more distinct, clear, and the instruments have better separation. Even the bass is more lively and the soundstage is more expanded. All said, don't judge yet until you've pumped tunes through them for many hours. Which then, the end result will surely be a smile on your face.

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63 out of 65 people found this review helpful. Did you?


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