Editor choice

Audio Technica ATH-M50x Studio Monitoring Headphones Review

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x is the most critically-acclaimed model in the company’s M-Series line, which is a line of closed-back studio monitoring headphones under Audio Technica’s professional headphones category (ATH). It is the upgraded version of the ATH-M50, another critically-acclaimed model that’s recommended by audio magazines and professionals as one of the best sounding headphones in the world. Designed for use in studio tracking, mixing and DJ monitoring, the ATH-M50x headphone monitors are used by sound engineers, DJs and even audiophiles.

Features of the Audio Technica ATH-M50x studio monitoring headphones

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x monitoring headphones are large over-the-ear headphones that are very sturdy and well built. At 285g (10oz), they appear durable and made up of high-quality parts and material. They don’t make any unnecessary noise when opening or closing them. Making them lighter would probably just affect the build quality.


These headphone monitors have 45mm Neodymium drivers that give a frequency response of 15Hz to 28kHz. With an impedance of 38 Ohms, you’ll no longer need a headphone amp to drive the ATH-M50x.

Meant to provide long-lasting comfort to users, the ATH-M50x studio monitoring headphones have very soft ear pads and a headband enveloped in the same soft, high quality material. The company claims that they’re perfect for long sessions both on the go and in the studio due to the extreme comfort they provide.

The ATH-M50x’s contoured ear cups are designed to offer excellent sound isolation even in loud environments and Audio Technica claims these headphones have very minimal bleed. Both of the ear cups can be rotated over 180 degrees, allowing users to do single-ear monitoring, and can also be swiveled 90 degrees, allowing them to be folded flat in a bag. As the headphones can be folded vertically, their dimensions become pretty small when folded, making them storage and portable-friendly.

While the original ATH-M50 studio monitoring headphones make buyers choose between a straight or a coiled cable which was hard-set into the left ear cup, the ATH-M50x comes with three cables: a coiled cable, a short straight cable and a long straight cable. These are all detachable, so you can swap modes as necessary. Apart from the detachable cables, the ATH-M50x also come with a nice leather padding and is available in a few different colors.

Performance

The ATH-M50x may be an upgrade on the original ATH-M50, but the sound profile remains essentially unchanged. It still has all the qualities that made its predecessor a great headphone model. Some users have commented that while they sound similar, the M50x actually sounds better in some ways. The sound is detailed and balanced, and there is very minimal distortion. It offers a lot of bass, but some have claimed that it’s more than what’s actually accurate. The high end is detailed and smooth, and the midrange is also pleasing.

The M50x has little to no sound leakage according to users, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone when listening to music.  When tracking vocals there was no noticeable headphone bleed that could be heard through the microphone.  DJs and drummers will also appreciate the combination of good isolation and its high output level, perfect for monitoring over loud instruments and music.  They are also comfortable and don’t cause headphone-induced fatigue even when conducting long all-night mix sessions.  Overall, it’s hard to fault the ATH-M50X for recording, mixing or DJing purposes.

Another nice feature is the replaceable cable and the cable options that come with the headphones.  Other competing studio monitoring headphone models may have cables that are either too long or too short for the intended application, but you won’t have that problem with the ATH-M50X.

Other Feedback

Soundwise, the ATH-M50x headphones are hard to fault. The tonal balance is accurate, stereo imaging (for a closed-back design) is spacious, and dynamic impact is excellent…While Audio-Technica claims there’s no difference between the sound of the original ATH-M50 and the updated version, we think the ATH-M50x model sounds clearer with more detailed bass, midrange, and treble… David Carnoy and Steve Guttenberg, CNET

The style, comfort, and overall great sound is what makes these headphones a great buy. During my time with these headphones, I actually purchased some for myself. I had let several people wear the headphones, and I never heard one negative thing in regards to the comfort or the sound. Price considering, these are the king of over the ear headphones. There is nothing within this price range at sub $200 that even comes close… Soundguys.com

Technical Specs

Open/Closed: Closed
Frequency Response: 15 – 28,000Hz
Impedance: 38 Ohms
Cable length: 3.9-9.8” coiled, 9.8” straight, and 3.9” straight
Weight: 285g (10 oz)

For more information, go to Audio Technica’s website

Conclusion

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x is definitely one of the best studio headphones on the market. In fact, we’ve been using them for recording and mixing for about a year and have not yet found any reason to upgrade.  While it is a little more expensive than some of its competitors in the budget segment, the build and sound quality are at a level that represents excellent bang for the buck. In fact, it’d be difficult to find better sounding headphones in M50x’s price range. Their features rival those of headphones that are twice the price, making them an ideal choice for recording, mixing, or DJing.

Do you already have these studio monitoring headphones? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments section below!

9.5 Total Score
Our Pick!

The Audio Technica ATH-M50X studio monitoring headphones provide pro performance at a very reasonable price.

PROS
  • Great sound quality
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Good isolation
CONS
  • None.
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