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A Review On: Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Rated # 2 in Headphones
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Purchased on:
Price paid: $100.00
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Pros: well balanced, good price, comfortable, stylish, coiled cord, portable

Cons: not the best in the world

awhile ago i took it upon myself to listen to as many different headphones as possible so i could get a better understanding of what it sounds like to listen to quality headphones vs. cheap ones. just recently i got my hands on a pair of these and decided it would be worth writing a review on.

i'll try to keep this short since i am aware that this is a computer forum page and not a headphone/IEM review site.
to begin, i try to keep my tests short, and consistent. seeing as most of the time the headphones i test belong to a friend of mine and so i don't have an entire day to test every song i have on them. the good part about this is that most of the time the headphones have already been burnt in by my friends. i have to make a note here that i just took these out of the box so they have had no time to burn in so this is straight out of the box sound.

i begin by testing six different songs in order to get a good idea of how they sound for different styles of music.

the songs are as follows:
1. babs seed (silva hound trap mix) - silva hound
2. bahl fwd - skream
3. illmerica - wolfgang gartner
4. my little changeling - omnipony
5. through the loop - pendulum
6. right this second - deadmau5

all songs used were either FLAC or WAV files to prevent song quality from being a factor.

the first two songs i use are to test how deep of bass it can hit.
it doesn't hit really deep bass notes, which is perfectly acceptable as they are headphones and not subwoofers. just something to keep in mind so if you like to listen to music that has bass that reaches in or below 120 hz such as some rap songs do. for that you would probably be looking for beats by dr. dre anyway. for other songs that don't have quite as much low bass such as bahl fwd, they work great. they can capture all the ranges of sound without distorting or dampening out any of the mids or highs. which is pretty key when it comes to headphones and where brands like beats by dr. dre fall.

the next two songs i use to test just how well balanced they actually are. both songs have a good feel (at least IMO) that can only truely be achieved when each part is being balanced out. sometimes when there are a lot of things going on in the background of a song, the headphones can't accurately play all that noise through a single speaker and you get distortion. it handles both songs quite well, although it is a bit different of a feel from my monoprice mep-933's.

the last two songs i also use as a balance test since both of them have intro's that i particularly enjoy on well balanced speakers. on headphones that don't have good balance, parts start to get drowned out or buried in the background. each headphone is different and it's common to see some that concentrate so much on the mids and highs that the lows get left out. or just the opposite, the low ranges are so excessive that the mids and highs get drowned out leaving you with "muddy" sounding headphones. with the m50's, i never really felt like a certain section was being left out. which is always good.

in terms of comfort and features, i'll reference my audiotechnica ath m40fs headphones as a comparison.
i want to make a note first that the m40's and m50's are for different uses. the m40's are directed for studio use hence 11 foot cord for moving around a desk, while the m50's are aimed more for portability and uses such as queuing another song as a live DJ hence the coiled cord and rotatable ear pieces.

other features of the m50's that the m40's don't have are being able to collapse in on themselves for portability.
lastly i would like to say that based on my experience with the two headphones, the m40's have a pressure point on the top of the head and on the driver thanks to a ring that sticks out of the headphones which i can only assume is to protect the drivers. i have not yet experienced this sort of discomfort wearing the m50's but after i wear them for hours on end i'll be able to make a more accurate statement on comfort.

to summarize all of this, they are great headphones for a relatively cheap price. if you aren't looking for the best headphones in the world, but you still want better quality headphones than the stuff they sell at radio shack and best buy, then these are a great option. i would recommend these headphones to anyone. the reason i'm only giving them 4 stars though, is because simply, there's better headphones out there and it wouldn't make sense for me to rate anything but the best at 5 stars. smile.gif

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