Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Review
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50s are easily some of the best headphones you’ll find in the sub-$200 price range. Featuring excellent build quality, detailed sound and a relatively flat frequency response, these headphones are easy to recommend for both studio use and entertainment at home or on the go.
If you do a little research, you’ll find that the ATH-M50s are some of the most highly-praised headphones on the market, and after many hours of use I can safely say that they live up to the hype. They’re quite affordable (around $145 currently on Amazon), and at their moderately low price you get a lot of value for your money. They have a nice look to them – you wouldn’t feel embarrassed wearing these out in public, and they feel incredibly comfortable and durable. Honestly, these are easily the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn in my life. They feel as though they would stand the test of time – if you accidentally dropped, stepped on, or sat on these, they’d probably be fine.
The thick, single cord feels sturdy, as does the reinforced plug that easily transforms from a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch input. They feature padded earcups and can fold flat or even up into themselves for easy storage with the included soft case. I found the coiled end of the cable to be a great solution, as I hate frustratingly long cables, but it does add a certain amount of heft which can be noticeable at times. It does allow for a bit of extra length when you need it, however, without the irritation of stepping on a cable that’s unnecessarily long. If a coiled cable isn’t your thing, there is another version available with a straight cord, called the ATH-M50s. I feel that I should also mention that the 1/8 inch jack doesn’t play well with certain device cases – sometimes you’ll have to remove the case entirely to use these headphones with them.
Although the ATH-M50s do not feature active noise canceling, they do a really good job of sealing out outside noise. In the same vein, you don’t need to worry about disturbing those around you when listening with these headphones, unless you have the volume maxed out to ear-damaging levels.
Obviously the main draw of these headphones is the audio quality, which is stellar. The ATH-M50 monitors offer balanced, accurate sound and tight bass – a sufficient amount that’s not overbearing during long recording or mixing sessions. It’s easy to hear frequencies and details that lesser monitors might be masking, which in turn makes recording and mixing audio a much less grueling process. If you want to use these headphones solely for entertainment purposes, these cans are more than up to the task – they sounded great on a variety of music genres, as well as movies and video games.
For those in the market for full size headphones – be it for professional or entertainment purposes – the ATH-M50 monitors are great for just about anything you can throw at them. They’re a great bargain, very durable, relatively portable, and feature some of the best audio quality for the sub-$200 price range.