Audio Technica’s earthquake in the headphones market started with ATH-M50x. This model has proven times and times again that it packed incredible performance for the money. It is easily one of the most capable studio headphones you can get right now for less than $200.. Let’s take a closer look.
ATH-M50x belongs to a whole family of headphones designed by Audio Technica. One thing that they all share is the design, with limited differences here and there. In case of M50x, we are looking at a very functional set that comes with plenty of padding in all the right places. Audio Technica didn’t skimp on anything. The frame is fairly solid for what is mostly a composite design, which was probably done to reduce the weight. Speaking of which, M50x also happen to be the heaviest headphones in the entire series. Even so, they are lighter than many of their direct competitors. In terms of pure aesthetics, there is something about M50x that makes them look so comfortable. Maybe it is the abundance of padding, with wrinkled vinyl in specific places. Add the stylish all-black exterior and you end up with very classy set of headphones.
Despite what many think, M50x pack a set of two 45mm drivers. These are actually the largest drivers Audio Technica uses for the entire series here. In terms of raw specs, M50x offers a frequency response range that goes from 15Hz to 28kHz, max SPL set at 99dB and an impedance of 38 Ohms. What this translates to is plenty of volume over a very wide frequency range. On top of that, the relatively low impedance means that you can use ATH M50x with mobile devices without suffering any volume issues. When it comes to cables, Audio Technica offers three. You get a coiled one that is 4 feet to 10 feet long, a 10 foot straight cable and a shorter, 4 foot straight cable. However, the most impressive thing about M50x is the fact that they’re collapsible while both cups are capable of rotating 90 degrees in both directions.
So far we have seen a comfortable frame design and solid features. As great as these things are, something else has brought ATH M50x its fame. When you plug these in, the first thing you notice is the detail. For the amount of money you are asked to pay, the definition and attention to detail is impressive to say the least. There is plenty of transparency with a flat enough signal to accommodate for proper studio use. It is great how you can experience the full range that is devoid of bias. Even with aggressive EQ curves, everything sounds very tight. When it comes to comfort, M50x sits well on your head. Instead of experimenting with different padding patterns, Audio Technica pretty much just padded everything they could. Even though this approach might be a bit inefficient from a manufacturer’s point of view, it definitely delivers that much needed comfort.
Audio Technica ATH M50x and the rest of that series are proof that you don’t have to spend lots of money in order to get decent monitoring gear for your studio. M50x probably drives that point home the best. Bang for the buck, you can’t do much better than this.