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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.7 update for Headphones! Read the Noise isolation R&D Article to learn more.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Review updated Dec 05, 2023 at 05:03 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Feb 28, 2024 at 03:42 pm
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Picture
8.1
Neutral Sound
4.7
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
5.4
Office
4.4
Wireless Gaming
6.4
Wired Gaming
2.0
Phone Calls

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are closed-back, over-ear headphones. The manufacturer has a reputation for making well-built products that are well-suited for both professional and home use. Thanks to their closed-back design, comfortable fit, and detachable cable, these headphones are a versatile choice for a variety of listening applications, and they remain a mainstay in studios around the world.

Our Verdict

8.1 Neutral Sound

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are great for neutral listening. They offer a well-balanced audio reproduction suitable for recording and general listening. While they don't produce a lot of low-bass, their over-emphasized high-bass compensates for this somewhat, and there's plenty of warmth and boom in your mixes. They have a decently balanced mid-range that reproduces instruments and vocals accurately, and their treble doesn't sound too sharp or recessed. However, their closed-back design makes for a poor soundstage performance.

Pros
  • Well-balanced and pleasing sound.
  • Sturdy and comfortable build.
  • Detachable audio cable.
Cons
  • Prone to leakage at higher volumes.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
4.7 Commute/Travel

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are poor for commuting and travel. They only block noise passively, which won't be enough for the noisy environments involved in commuting. They're also bulky to carry around on your person at all times and have no control scheme to change tracks on the go.

Pros
  • Sturdy and comfortable build.
  • Detachable audio cable.
Cons
  • Prone to leakage at higher volumes.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • No buttons or audio control options.
5.3 Sports/Fitness

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are poor for sports. They have a decently comfortable design, but they're a bit too bulky and unstable for sports. They also have a thick audio cable with no control scheme to change tracks while working out. They make your ears fairly warm under casual conditions, making you sweat more than usual during more intense activities.

Pros
  • Sturdy and comfortable build.
Cons
  • Prone to leakage at higher volumes.
  • No buttons or audio control options.
5.4 Office

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are disappointing for office use. They don't leak too much but will be audible to the people around you at higher volumes. Unfortunately, they also don't block enough noise to use in noisy environments, so you'll hear the ambient chatter of a lively office.

Pros
  • Sturdy and comfortable build.
Cons
  • Prone to leakage at higher volumes.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • No buttons or audio control options.
4.4 Wireless Gaming

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are wired headphones; you can't use them wirelessly.

6.4 Wired Gaming

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are passable for wired gaming, so long as you don't need mic support or have a standalone mic. Their wired connection ensures a virtually latency-free gaming experience. These comfortable headphones also have a well-balanced sound, ensuring that dialogue and instruments sound clear and accurate in cinematic cut scenes.

Pros
  • Sturdy and comfortable build.
Cons
  • Prone to leakage at higher volumes.
2.0 Phone Calls

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x don't have a mic, so you can't use them for calls unless you have a standalone mic. They also struggle to block out background noise, so you may find your conversation hard to hear if there's a lot of ambient sound around you.

  • 8.1 Neutral Sound
  • 4.7 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.4 Office
  • 4.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.4 Wired Gaming
  • 2.0 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Feb 28, 2024: This review was updated to compare the Stability with the Sennheiser HD 25.
  2. Updated Dec 05, 2023: We've updated the text to ensure it remains accurate and consistent with new methodologies. We've also added some relevant comparisons.
  3. Updated Nov 02, 2023: The following test group has been updated following TB 1.6: Wired Connection and Bluetooth Connection. There have also been text changes made throughout the review, including to the usages to match these results.
  4. Updated Nov 02, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.6 , which updates how we measure latency. We've updated and renamed the following test groups: Wired Connection, Bluetooth Connection, and Wireless Connection (Dongle). We've also added new codec latency measurements and provided an audio sample of recorded latency.
  5. Updated Mar 01, 2023: We've included a comparison to the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X in the Comfort box.
  6. Updated Jan 23, 2023: Added a comparison between the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x in the Comfort box.
  7. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  8. Updated Feb 05, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  9. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  10. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  11. Updated Sep 09, 2019: We've updated the Build Quality score of these headphones.
  12. Updated Feb 16, 2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  13. Updated Aug 10, 2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  14. Updated Mar 01, 2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  15. Updated Apr 21, 2016: Review published.
  16. Updated Apr 19, 2016: Our testers have started testing this product.
  17. Updated Apr 11, 2016: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x come in two color variants: 'Black' and 'White'. The manufacturer holds a poll every year to pick a new limited edition colorway, so you might see other colors like 'Ice Blue', 'Purple and Black', 'Deep Sea Blue' and 'Lantern Glow' available new or on the secondhand market. We tested the 'Black' variant, but we expect all colorways to perform similarly. If you encounter another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are closed-back headphones well-suited for both audiophiles and audio professionals. Their closed-back design and sturdy construction resemble the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. The Audio-Technica have a conveniently detachable audio cable, but otherwise, preferences between the two in terms of sound and comfort will come down to personal taste. The manufacturer also offers other headphones in the same series to suit a range of budgets, like the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, which offer a similar design and fit at a more wallet-friendly price. That said, they don't sound as neutral, and their build quality isn't as good. Audio-Technica has also since released a Bluetooth-equipped, wireless variant: the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2. While they're more portable and feature an integrated mic, they lack the wired version's boomy bass.

See our articles on the best headphones for music, the best DJ headphones, and the best headphones for studio use.

Sony MDR-7506

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better headphones for neutral sound than the Sony MDR-7506. The Audio-Technica will be more comfortable to wear during long listening sessions and they feel better-built. Their sound is very good and more accurate than the Sony, especially in the treble. Apart from that, the headphones are fairly similar, but you might be able to find the Sony at a cheaper price point, so they might offer better value.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO have very similar performance, but some might prefer the better build quality of the Beyerdynamic. Their metal frame feels sturdy, and the soft padding fabric feels nice on the skin. However, they can be tight for some, especially if you have a larger head. They might also sound a bit sharp for some and don't come with as many cable options as the Audio Technica.

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x are very similar to the Audio Technica M40x, but they have a slight edge over them. They feel a bit sturdier and better-built than the M40x, and their audio reproduction is slightly more accurate and neutral. Also, the M40x have elevated distortion, so they might sound a bit impure at high volumes, while the M50x will sound cleaner. Both headphones will give you great sound and are also great options for critical listening, but the M50x offer one of the best values on the market due to their great price-to-performance ratio.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are better headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, especially if you listen in a quiet room where you can take advantage of their open-back design. The Beyerdynamic are also better-built and feel sturdier thanks to their metal frame. On the other hand, if you need good critical listening headphones for your commute or if you like to listen to music in quiet environments like a library, the closed-back Audio-Technica will be a better option since they isolate more and leak less, thanks to their closed-backs.

Audio-Technica ATH-M70x

While the Audio-Technica ATH-M70x are more comfortable than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, they might not be the better choice for most people. The M50x have better audio reproduction on top of being more affordable, meaning they’ll offer great value for most people. The two headphones are very similar and the extra investment necessary for the M70x might not be worth it.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better for neutral sound than the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless. The Audio-Technica are wired headphones with a much more neutral sound profile and a significantly better passive soundstage performance. On the other hand, the Sony headphones are better for multi-purpose use. You can use them via Bluetooth or a wired connection, and have a more comfortable, stable fit, onboard controls, and an integrated mic. They also have a very effective ANC feature.

Sennheiser HD 600

If you prefer a closed-back design for your critical listening, then the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x will be the better option. If you want an open design, then go for the Sennheiser HD 600. The Audio-Technica have a deeper bass that some will prefer. Also, since they have a closed-back design, they're a bit more versatile to use outdoors. They're suitable for commuting and the office since they do not leak as much as the Sennheiser  and block more noise. On the other hand, the Sennheiser  have a more spacious-sounding audio reproduction. They also have a more accurate representation of the mid-range.

Sennheiser HD 650

The Sennheiser HD 650 and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are similarly performing headphones for critical listening. While the Sennheiser are open-back, which helps them to create a more spacious and wide soundstage, they lack low-bass. However, the Audio-Technica are closed-back headphones that deliver a more even bass, have slightly better build quality, and leak less sound overall.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better headphones for neutral sound than the Beats Studio3 Wireless. Although they're both closed-back, over-ear headphones, the Audio-Technica have a more neutral sound and a slightly better passive soundstage. However, unlike the Audio-Technica, the Beats are wireless, and they have controls, a microphone, and active noise cancelling, making them more versatile headphones overall. They're also slightly more comfortable, and their battery lasts up to 23 hours.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are two different headphones that are targeting different uses. The M50x have a more neutral sound profile and are great for mixing or simply enjoying music the way it was supposed to be heard. The Sonys are noise cancelling headphones that have a more bass-heavy sound profile, but are great to use in noisy environments like your daily commute.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Wireless

You may prefer either the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2, depending on what you're looking for. The ATH-M50x are wired headphones with much better build quality and a similar but more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. However, the ATH-M50xBT2 are more versatile Bluetooth headphones with long continuous battery life. They have an integrated microphone and a great companion app with sound customization features, unlike the wired version.

AKG K371

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better over-ear studio headphones than the AKG K371. The Audio-Technica have a more stable fit that feels much better built, and their frequency response is more consistent among users. On the other hand, the AKG's sound profile is slightly more accurate and leak less audio.

Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are slightly more neutral audiophile headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X. Both headphones have similarly warm and full bass ranges, but the ATH-M50x have a better-balanced mid range and less piercing treble. However, the 700 PRO X have slightly better passive noise isolation performance and are just a bit more stable on-head.

Sennheiser HD 599

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Sennheiser HD 599 are both great-sounding headphones but they have different strengths. The Audio-Technica pack a bit more bass, which is due to their closed-back design. They’re a better option than the Sennheiser if you’re looking for great sounding headphones to bring on the go. On the other hand, the open-back design of the Sennheiser is better-suited for quiet environments, and they are very comfortable for long listening sessions.

Philips Fidelio X2HR

The Philips Fidelio X2HR are better headphones for neutral sound than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. The Philips are open-back headphones with a more comfortable fit, a more neutral and accurate sound profile, and a significantly better passive soundstage performance. However, the Audio-Technica are still a suitable choice if you prefer a closed-back design that's better-built. 

Audio-Technica ATH-M60x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are overall better-sounding headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x. The M50x have a slightly more durable build quality and a more comfortable over-ear fit. They also sound a bit better balanced with a warmer sounding mid-range and more bass than the M60x. However, the M60x are a bit more compact with a modern on-ear look that some will prefer when compared to the M50x. They're also a bit more lightweight and better sounding than most on-ear designs.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

Both headphones have a similar design and performance, but the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT are better mixed-usage headphones than the regular wired Audio-Technica ATH-M50x which are better for studio use. The M50xBT are wireless, which makes them more convenient to use, and they have a decent control scheme on the ear cups, while the wired model doesn’t have any. On the other hand, the regular M50x have a more balanced audio reproduction, and you don’t have to worry about latency or battery life thanks to their wired design, but the 38 hours of playback time you get with the M50xBT is excellent.

Sennheiser HD 25

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Sennheiser HD 25 are both popular wired headphones for enthusiasts and DJs alike. One distinction is that the Audio-Technica are over-ear headphones and weigh much more than the lightweight Sennheiser. They supply a more neutral amount of bass and can fold down smaller with a travel bag. You get two extra detachable audio cables, and both use different but proprietary cable connectors. In contrast, the Sennheiser fit on-ears. They feel comfortable and don't clamp as hard as the Audio-Technica. The headband can split, which is unique and helps to stabilize the fit. Their bass response is notably more prominent than the Audio-Technica.

Sennheiser HD 560S

The Sennheiser HD 560S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. The Sennheiser are open-back headphones that are more comfortable, have a more neutral and accurate sound profile, and a significantly better passive soundstage performance. However, the Audio-Technica are closed-back headphones that are better built. 

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are the more budget-minded variant of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. As a result, they're not as comfortable or well-built and have a less neutral sound profile overall. They also lack a detachable cable design. The M20X have a more consistent audio delivery and a more accurate mid-range response than their more premium sibling. 

Philips SHP9500

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Philips SHP9500 are both very good headphones for fans of a neutral sound, but they have different enclosures, which offer different strengths. The closed-back design of the Audio-Technica results in better noise isolation and punchier bass, but makes the headphones sound more closed-off. The open-back design of the Philips gives them a much more natural, spacious soundstage, but they leak a lot of sound and lack quite a bit of bass. The Audio-Technica are better in a noise-sensitive environment, like recording or commuting. However, the Philips provide a more open listening experience if you're in a quiet space.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 2016

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 2016 for most uses. They're better built, noticeably more comfortable, and have a more balanced sound profile overall, with a prominent bass and detailed mids. The treble response is a bit more even than the Sennheiser, so the high-end doesn't sound as veiled. The Sennheiser also get very hot and aren't particularly breathable. Overall, the Audio-Technica offer better value, even at their higher price point.

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x are different kinds of audiophile headphones, and your preference for open or closed-back designs will determine which is best suited for your needs. The closed-back ATH-M50x have more bass overall, which will make EDM and hip-hop sound thumpier and more full. However, the mid-range isn't as well-balanced as the ATH-R70x, which also have better frequency response consistency. While the ATH-M50x have a sub-par passive soundstage due to their closed-back design, they block out slightly more noise and leak a lot less audio, making these more suitable for podcasts or casual listening. 

Rร˜DE NTH-100M

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better headphones for neutral sound than the RØDE NTH-100M. The Audio-Technica are better-built, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and deliver audio more consistently across different reseats. They also leak less audio at high volumes and can block out a bit more ambient noise. However, the RØDE's '100M' model come with a detachable boom mic for wired gaming.

Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO are better-built critical listening headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, but they come at a much steeper price. The sound quality is about the same, but the Audio-Technica have less sound consistency issues than the Beyerdynamic. On the other hand, the padding of the Beyerdynamic headphones is softer and feels more comfortable, but they are tighter on the head than the Audio-Technica. The Beyerdynamic also isolate passively a bit more, but they leak more than the Audio-Technica. The more low-profile design of the Audio-Technica might be better for outdoor use.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are better for most uses than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. The Bose are wireless headphones with ANC. They have a fantastic noise isolation performance, a much more comfortable fit, and a more thumpy, punchy sound profile, which some may prefer. On the other hand, the Audio-Technica are wired headphones intended for audiophiles. They're better-built, their bass response is more accurate, and their passive soundstage is perceived as more open and spacious. 

V-MODA Crossfade M-100

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better headphones than the V-MODA Crossfade M-100. The Audio-Technica are more comfortable and have a better sound quality, which makes them better for critical listening. On the other hand, the V-MODA feel sturdier thanks to their metal frame. They also have an in-line microphone for calls, which the Audio-Technica lack. Overall, the Audio-Technica will be a better option since they offer better value than the V-MODA.

Sony MDR-7520

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are a better value and better-sounding critical listening headphones than the Sony MDR-7520. The Sony have a better more premium and durable build quality when compared to the Audio-Technica. They also have a lower profile on your head and an understated look and feel that some may prefer over the slightly plasticky design of the Audio-Technica. On the other hand, the Audio-Technica sound more balanced. They have a deeper bass and better high frequencies that make them sound more exciting without losing too much detail in instrumentals and vocals. The Audio-Technica are also a bit more comfortable.

Focal Elegia

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x are better headphones than the Focal Elegia, and they are a fraction of the price, too. They have better and more neutral audio quality to reproduce tracks accurately. However, the price difference shows in build quality and comfort, as the Focal are superior in those categories. The cups of the Focal are bigger and deeper, which will also fit most ears better.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear/HD1 On-Ear

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are a better headphone than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear/HD1 On-Ear. The Audio-Technica have a more comfortable over-ear fit than the Sennheiser. They're also better built and have a much better sound quality that delivers a more powerful bass without drowning instruments and vocals or sounding boomy and cluttered like the Sennehiser. On the upside, the Sennheiser are a bit more portable and easier to carry around. They also come with an in-line remote which makes them a bit more suitable to use with your phone while commuting, even if their isolation performance is not great.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017

For gaming, the Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro 2017 will be a better option than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x thanks to the boom microphone and its dock, which offers plenty of controls. The Astro are also more comfortable and have a good app that lets you EQ their sound profile, though some users have experienced issues using it. The Astro are open-backs, so they’ll feel more open-sounding, and won’t be great for everyday casual use. However, the Audio-Technica are very versatile. Also, if you have a stand-alone microphone, the Audio-Technica can be a good choice for gaming, thanks to its very accurate audio reproduction.

Sennheiser HD 820

The Sennheiser HD 820 are a slightly better closed back critical listening headphone than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, but not by much considering their price difference. The HD 820 have a much better and more premium build quality.  They also have more spacious and well-padded earcups that are breathable enough to wear for much longer than the M50x. They come with more high-end cables and accessories and would be the superior headset if their sound quality was a bit more consistent. Here, the ATH-M50x have the advantage. They have a slightly more balanced mid-range and a more pronounced bass but do not have the soundstage of the Sennheisers. The Audio-Technica are also a bit lighter and easier to use with mobile devices.

Sennheiser HD 598 Cs

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 598 Cs due to the great value they offer. Their sound quality is really good, and they are slightly better-built than the Sennheiser. Both headphones perform similarly, but the Sennheiser also have a microphone for calls if you need one. Also, their cups are larger and may feel more comfortable for some, especially since they aren’t as tight as the Audio-Technica.

Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016

The Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016 are the better option if you want to go wireless, but for a wired design, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x sound a bit better. The Bose are a lot more comfortable than the Audio-Technica. They're also wireless and noise cancelling, which make them a lot more versatile to use outdoors, in noisy environments, and at the office. The Audio-Technica, on the other hand, are a more critical listening-focused headphone, with a better-balanced sound and a wired design with negligible latency. This makes them slightly better than the Bose for recording, watching videos, and even gaming if you do not care about having a mic.

JBL CLUB ONE Wireless

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better Djing headphones than the JBL CLUB ONE Wireless. The Audio-Technica have a slightly more neutral sound profile, and their soundstage is perceived as being more natural as well as sounding like it's coming from out in front of you rather than being contained in your head. However, the JBL are way more versatile as they have two kinds of microphone, an active noise cancelling feature, and they can be used wirelessly.

HyperX Cloud Flight

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the HyperX Cloud Flight are headphones with very different uses. If you're looking for something for gaming, check out the HyperX as they have a remarkable boom microphone for speaking to your teammates. You can use them both wirelessly via their wireless USB dongle or wired, although you can only receive audio when plugged into a PS4 or Xbox One controller. The Audio-Technica, on the other hand, are better suited for critical listening, as they have a much more even and better-balanced sound profile. They also feel quite a bit better built and come with a few different options of detachable audio cables.

AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ are passive headphones aimed at audio professionals. The Audio-Technica headphones have a more neutral profile with some bass emphasis, but not a lot, making them versatile in studios and DJ booths. They fit over-ears, with ample padding, and can fold down smaller. The design is fairly bulky, and they feel a bit plasticky. The AIAIAI are on-ear headphones, but they're not more portable because they don't fold. They sound quite bassy, with a lot of boominess, and dull highs. You can change virtually every component including the drivers, but as they are out of the box, their niche sound appeals more to EDM and hip-hop fans or DJs beat matching using kick drums for reference.

TOZO T6 Truly Wireless

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless are very different headphones. The Audio-Technica are wired headphones design for critical listening in the studio, while the TOZO are truly wireless earbuds for casual everyday use. The TOZO support Bluetooth for wireless freedom on-the-go, but this means they have too much latency to be useful in the studio.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Beats Solo Pro Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either one. The Audio-Technica are over-ears designed with audiophiles in mind. They have a more comfortable fit, a neutral and accurate sound profile, and a wider, more immersive passive soundstage. However, the Beats are more versatile headphones designed for casual use. They have a wireless design, which some users may prefer, have an ANC system that does a great job of blocking out background noise around you, and an H1 chip so you can seamlessly pair them with Apple devices.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Transducer Dynamic

These headphones have the same studio design as the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. They sport a non-descript, all-black color scheme. The flat oval ear cups add a bit more flare to the overall look of the headphones, with silver accents around the logo. They're also available in the 'White' colorway or limited edition color variants like 'Ice Blue'.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.65 lbs
Clamping Force
1 lbs

The Audio-Technica M50x's ear cups are slightly larger than the similarly modeled Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, which makes them a little more comfortable. The additional space easily accommodates larger ears, and they don't feel too tight on the head. Unfortunately, the padding feels stiff and squeaky, especially when moving or adjusting the headphones on your head. For audiophile headphones with less stiffness, consider the open-back Audio-Technica ATH-R70x. However, if you want more plush ear pads, check out the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

These headphones don't have a control scheme and don't come with an additional audio cable with an in-line remote like some other wired designs.

6.1
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.7 ยฐC

These headphones are more breathable than the Focal Elegia, but they still make your ears fairly warm during long listening sessions. They have a closed-back over-ear design that prevents a lot of airflow, so they won't be suitable for exercising or working out.

5.8
Design
Portability
L 5.1" (13.0 cm)
W 6.9" (17.5 cm)
H 3.5" (9.0 cm)
Volume 124.93 inยณ (2,047.23 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

They're on the larger side for over-ear headphones. Thankfully, they fold into a more compact format and can easily be carried in a backpack but will be too large for most jacket pockets. The swiveling ear cups also lay flat, taking up less space but not as much as when folded. The audio cable is also detachable and you can swap it out for a non-braided one, so it takes up less space.

6.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones come with a soft pouch that will protect them from scratches while in your bag, but it won't protect them from falls.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are well-built headphones. They feel sturdy and durable because of the dense plastic used for the ear cups and headband. They'll withstand a few drops without taking much damage. However, like the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, the headphones seem susceptible to breaking at their joints, which feel weaker than the rest of their build. The metal frame used to reinforce the headband is thicker than the one utilized for the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x.

6.5
Design
Stability

These headphones are reasonably stable but easily slip off your ears during high-intensity head movements, like headbanging. Fortunately, they're stable during casual use, even if you often tilt your head. If you DJ or move around quite a bit, the Sennheiser HD 25 can provide better stability with different hairstyles and head sizes with its splittable headband to hold the headphones in place.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • Audio cables (x3)
  • 1/8" to 1/4" adapter

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.2 dB
Treble Amount
-1.45 dB

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x have a relatively neutral sound profile that follows our target curve quite well. These headphones feature a prominent bass response, and although they don't deliver quite the same amount of thump and rumble as the DJ-friendly JBL CLUB ONE Wireless, their extra high-bass adds warmth and body to mixes. However, the small dip in the low-mid makes lead and rhythm instruments sound a little hollow. There's a significant dip in the mid-treble that makes sibilants, like cymbals, sound recessed. This dip in the treble response can be advantageous during long days in the studio, where more piercing sibilants can often induce ear fatigue.

7.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.54 dB

The frequency response consistency is decent. Bass range delivery is quite consistent between different listening sessions. However, there's a bit of inconsistency in the treble delivery, so it's important to ensure good positioning, fit, and seal each time you use them to receive more consistent audio delivery.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.92 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
20 Hz
Low-Bass
-0.01 dB
Mid-Bass
1.11 dB
High-Bass
2.8 dB

They have excellent bass accuracy. The response is fairly flat and neutral, resulting in a deep bass with just the right amount of thump, rumble, and punch. In songs like Aerodynamic by Daft Punk, the kicks and synth bass are present but well-balanced and don't overwhelm the rest of the mix. There's a small bump in the high-bass, which adds some boom to your mixes. If you use these headphones for wired gaming, this bump can also help bring out the sound of footsteps.

8.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.56 dB
Low-Mid
-1.75 dB
Mid-Mid
0.53 dB
High-Mid
1.16 dB

The mid accuracy is excellent. Overall, the response is fairly neutral across the entire range and flatter than the Rร˜DE NTH-100. As a result, vocals and lead instruments are generally present and detailed. There's a slight dip in the low-mid that makes snare drums sound a little thin, but a slight bump between the mid-mid and high-mid that brings out the upper harmonics of vocals.

7.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.23 dB
Low-Treble
0.65 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.89 dB
High-Treble
-5.04 dB

Their treble response is very good, though uneven in certain ranges. The low-treble is quite neutral, which helps vocal clarity and intelligibility. However, there's a significant dip in the mid-treble that veils sibilants like cymbals and S and T sounds.

7.8
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.32 dB
Dips
1.43 dB

These headphones have a very good peaks and dips performance. They follow their own sound profile for the most part, with deviations in certain ranges. A bump in the high-bass affects the left driver more than the right and adds boom to basslines and kicks. This is followed by a dip in the low-mid that makes instruments sound a little thin. Some small peaks across the high-mid and low-treble help bring out the upper harmonics of vocals. Finally, a large dip in the mid-treble causes sibilants to sound dull.

8.7
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.3
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.93
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.55
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.54

These headphones have a great imaging performance. Imaging performance usually indicates a manufacturer's dedication to quality control and ergonomics, and our unit's performance indicates that Audio-Technica's reputation for quality is deserved. However, imaging varies across units. Our unit's group delay response is below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent highs. The L/R drivers are well-matched in phase, amplitude, and frequency, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (instruments, footsteps, voice) in the stereo image. While there's a slight mismatch in phase in the low-mid, this is difficult to hear in real-life audio content.

5.5
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.43 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.73 dB
PRTF Distance
13.24 dB
Openness
5.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.2

The passive soundstage performance is sub-par, which is normal for closed-back headphones. The soundstage sounds closed-off and not particularly spacious-sounding. Audio sounds like it's coming from inside your head, as opposed to from speakers positioned around you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
8.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.113
WHD @ 100
0.067

These headphones have an excellent weighted harmonic distortion performance. Even at higher listening volumes, audio reproduction is still clean and pure, with only a small peak in the low-bass range. Listening at normal listening volumes will be entirely distortion-free.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
No Microphone

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Isolation
4.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.45 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
1.05 dB
Mid
-8.71 dB
Treble
-27.52 dB

The Audio-Technica M50x's isolation performance is poor. There's no Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) system, so these headphones rely on their closed-back design to isolate you passively. As a result, they offer very little reduction in the bass range, so sounds like engine rumble will find their way into your audio. However, they do better at blocking out higher-frequency noises like office chatter or fridge hum.

7.2
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
38.32 dB

The leakage performance is decent. Escaping audio is primarily concentrated in the mid and treble ranges, so audio leakage sounds thin. That said, the level of leakage isn't too loud. People around you can hear what you're listening to, but only if you're cranking your tunes in a quiet office or a library.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic No
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
N/A
Noise Gate
N/A
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
N/A
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample N/A
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
N/A
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample N/A
Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The headphones don't have a dedicated, compatible app for added customization.

Connectivity
9.9
Connectivity
Wired Connection
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable
Yes
Length
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Connector
1/8" TRS
Latency - Analog
0.2 ms
Latency - USB
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Connection Analog

These headphones come with three detachable audio cables, all of which lack in-line controls: two TRS cables with standard 1/8" jacks and a coiled 1/8" to 1/4" TRS cable. There's also a 1/8" to 1/4" adaptor provided. When you connect these headphones, latency is very low, and you'll experience no syncing issues between audio and video.

0
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Quick Pair (Android)
No
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - SBC
N/A
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
N/A
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Recorded Latency Codec No Bluetooth Audio
AAC Support
No

These headphones are wired and don't have a Bluetooth connection. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Wireless are similarly designed wireless headphones, or if you want a good Bluetooth headset for more casual use, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016 are also a solid option.

0
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - Dongle
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are audio-only compatible with PCs when connected via an audio cable. While there's no integrated microphone, you can always purchase a standalone mic to send audio to your PC.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No

They only support audio via their analog connection on PlayStation consoles. They lack an integrated microphone, so if you want mic support, you can purchase a standalone mic.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are audio-only compatible with Xbox consoles when connected via an audio cable. There isn't an integrated microphone, but you can always purchase a standalone mic separately.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

They don't have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.