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Reviewed on Dec 06, 2018 , Sam Vafaei, Simon Barbier, Jean-Simon Bonneterre, Yannick Khong

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.6
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.4
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.5
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.6
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.8
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.6
TV
Score components:
5.3
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Audio-Technica M50xBT are a good sounding wireless pair of headphones for critical listening. They are the wireless variant of the very popular wired ATH-M50x and perform quite similarly. They have a good audio reproduction, which isn’t as great as the wired equivalent, but their build is practically the same, making the M50xBT quite comfortable and durable headphones. They have an excellent battery life, but their compatible app doesn’t offer much, which is disappointing. They also have too much latency to watch video content, but on the upside, they can also be used passively with the included audio cable and get rid of the latency issues, even if the battery is dead.

Test Results
Design 6.9
Sound 7.5
Isolation 5.3
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 6.3
Connectivity 6.1
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Sturdy and comfortable build.
  • Excellent battery life.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Long charge time.
  • Slightly inconsistent in the bass range, especially if you wear glasses.

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6.9

Design

Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Design Picture

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT are practically identical to the regular wired ATH-M50x when it comes to design, other than the fact they can be used wirelessly. They have the same studio-like look and the same dense plastic build quality that feels solid and well-made. The padding isn’t much different and is still fairly comfortable. The cups are larger to fit most ears, and the headphones don’t apply too much pressure on the head. On the wireless variant, you now get a nice and easy to use control scheme on the ear cups. You can also use the headphones wired with the provided 1/8” TRRS cable, even if the battery is dead.

Style
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Design Picture 2

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT isn’t very different from their wired equivalent ATH-M50x. They have the same bland studio look with an all-black design that some may like. They also still have silver accents on the ear cups around the company logo, and overall, they look good, but won’t stand out. Unfortunately, they do not come in any color variant to fit your preferred style like the wired ATH-M50x.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.8 lbs

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT are built very similarly to the regular wired M50x and are as comfortable. They are larger than the ATH-M40x, which makes them a bit more comfortable and suitable for larger ears, but are on the shallow side. The headphones are fairly lightweight and don’t apply too much pressure on the head and don’t feel too tight. The padding on the ear cups is comfortable but might feel bit stiff right out of the box.

7.2 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Controls Picture
Ease of use : Average
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

Unlike the M50x, the Bluetooth variant has controls on the ear cups for on the fly functionalities. You get a volume control, play/call management button and you can also access your device voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant with a long touch over the logo on the left ear cup. However, it is finicky and doesn’t seem to work consistently. Also, there’s no button to go into pairing mode. The headphones will automatically connect to the last known device, and if you want to connect to another device, you’ll have to disconnect manually on the first device, and then the headphones will search for available devices. There is no way to disconnect Bluetooth directly on the headphones, and this might be a deal breaker for some if you have multiple devices. The control scheme is fairly easy to use, and the provided feedback from the physical buttons is good. You also get audio feedback for track skipping, min/max volume and also play/pause music.

6.0 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 7.1 C

Like most over-ears, the ATH-M50xBT trap heat under the ear cups. These headphones are not designed to be sports headphones, and you should expect more sweat if you’re using them during your workouts. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for casual listening, but breaks are recommended to let the ears cool off.

5.9 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Portability Picture
L : 6.0 "
W : 6.0 "
H : 3.4 "
Volume : 122 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Audio-Technica M50xBT aren’t very portable over-ear headphones, but they do fold into a more compact format and can be easily stored in a bag. They also have swiveling cups to lay flat, which makes them more comfortable to wear around your neck when not using them. They also come with a soft pouch to protect them during traveling.

5.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Case Picture
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

They come with a very similar pouch to the wired variant. It should protect the headphones against scratches and very light water exposure but won’t help much if you drop the headphones.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Build Quality Picture

The ATH-M50xBT are practically the normal M50x, but without a cable. They are made of dense plastic that gives them a durable and well-built feel. The headband is also reinforced with a metal frame and doesn’t feel flimsy. Like most of the Audio-Technica lineup, the joints seem to be the weak spots of the headphones and could be the first thing susceptible of breaking.

6.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Stability Picture

These headphones were not designed for sports and aren’t stable on the head. During sports and high-intensity activities, they will slip off your ears. This shouldn’t be a problem for casual listening, and since they have a wireless design, you don’t have to worry about a cable getting stuck on something and snagging the headphones off your head.

Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.1 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

They come with a USB to micro USB charging cable and also a 1/8” TRRS cable for when you want to use the headphones wired, even if the battery is dead. This cable has an in-line remote and microphone. They also don't have a twist-and-lock mechanism like the wired M50x, so you can use them with any 1/8" TRS/TRRS cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.5

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Frequency Response

The Audio-Technica M50xBT is a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a deep and punchy bass, a good and well-balanced mid-range and a great treble. This makes them suitable for a variety of music genres, especially bass-heavy ones. However, the bass is a bit overemphasized and might sound boomy, the mid-range is recessed, meaning vocals and leads will sound a bit thin, while the treble is rather uneven, and some S and T sounds are going to lack detail while some sound a bit sharp. Their bass delivery can also be inconsistent, especially for people wearing glasses that can break the air-tight seal around your ears.

8.3 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.47 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.21 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.53 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.97 dB

The bass response is great. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Also, the whole bass response is well-balanced and even but slightly overemphasized by about 2.5dB. This gives these headphones a bit of extra thump and rumble which some may like, especially fans of bass-heavy genres. However, they tend to sound a bit boomy due to the high-bass overemphasis.

7.5 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.39 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.0 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.43 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.55 dB

The mid-range performance is good. The overall response is fairly flat, but with an audible dip in the low-mid and mid-mid ranges. This will make vocals and lead instruments sound thin and pushed to the back of the mix.

8.1 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.36 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.53 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.98 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.02 dB

The treble performance is very good. The response is rather uneven, but well-balanced across the whole range. However, the dip around 6KHz will make vocals, leads, and cymbals lack a bit of detail and brightness. On the other hand, the peak at 10KHz could make the S and Ts sound a bit sharp on already bright tracks.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
6.6 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Consistency L Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.72 dB

The frequency response consistency is average. In the bass range, the biggest deviation measured was 10dB at 20Hz, which was measured on the human subject wearing glasses. In higher frequencies, they seem to vary by less than 5dB, below 10KHz, between re-seats, which is good. When comparing these results to the wired ATH-M50x, consider that our human test subject with glasses wasn’t present during the frequency response consistency testing on the wired variant, and we expect both models to perform similarly.

8.4 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Group Delay Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.36
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.72
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.83
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
5.57

The Audio-Technica M50xBT have good imaging. Their weighted group delay is 0.36, which is very good. The graph also shows that the group delay is almost entirely below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video games effects) in the stereo image.

5.9 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.98 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.84 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
8.37 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.2
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the wireless M50xBT is sub-par. The PRTF graph shows decent accuracy and a good amount of pinna activation. However, there is not a notch present around 10KHz, meaning that the soundstage will be perceived to be located inside the listener’s head instead of in-front.

7.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.565
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.483

The harmonic distortion performance is decent. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produced is not too high, especially in the mid-range. Also, there is not a big rise in THD under heavier loads, especially in the bass range, which is good. However, the peak around 6KHz could make the treble of these headphones harsh and impure.

5.3

Isolation

Score components:

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT have sub-par noise isolation performance. They only block ambient noise passively since they do not have an active noise canceling (ANC) feature. This also means that they won’t block lower frequencies like plane and bus engines and won’t be a great choice for commuting. You can mask more background noise by raising your listening volume but be careful as they do tend to leak a bit and might be disturbing for people surrounding you.

4.8 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-12.75 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.27 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-9.22 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-30.07 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.18 dB

The isolation performance is sub-par. These headphones don't have active noise cancelation and do not provide any isolation in the bass range. This means they will let in all the rumbling of engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they isolate by about 9dB, which is average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they achieved 30dB of isolation, which is good.

6.4 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
43.02 dB

The leakage performance is average. The significant portion of their leakage is spread across the mid and treble ranges, between 400Hz and 6KHz, which is broad. However, the overall level of the leakage is not very loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages at 43dB SPL and peaks at around 54dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is about the noise floor of most offices.

6.5

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT have an average microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail. The microphone is also prone to lower frequency artifacts and pops. In noisy situations, it will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise, even in moderately loud environments such as a busy street.

6.9 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
5.21 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3517.32 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
14.594
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
23.55 dB

The recording quality of the integrated microphone is above-average. The bump around 50-100hz indicates this mic might be prone to lower frequency noise and pops. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.5KHz means that speech will be noticeably muffled and lacking detail. However, the limited high-frequency extension is a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol and is a problem with all Bluetooth microphones.

6.0 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
11.48 dB

The integrated mic is mediocre at noise-handling. In our SpNR test, the ATH-M50xBT achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 11.5dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud situations.

6.3

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Audio-Technica M50xBT have great battery life but come with a lackluster app that doesn’t really give you any options to enhance your listening experience. Their 38-hour battery life will be more than enough to last you a few days, but their long charge time might be too much for some, especially since they do not have any quick charge feature. The app doesn’t offer an EQ or presets to customize the sound to your liking, which is disappointing. On the upside, they can be used passively, even if the battery is dead, and can be used while charging.

6.4 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
37.6 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
5.3 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

The battery life of the ATH-M50xBT is excellent with about 38 hours of continuous playback. They should easily last you a few days even if you are an avid listener. However, they take about 5 hours to charge fully, which is above-average and might be too long for some. They also don’t have any power saving features to extend battery life. On the upside, you can still use them with the Bluetooth connection while they are charging with the USB cable. Even if the battery dies, you can also use the included 1/8” TRRS audio cable to use the headphones passively.

6.0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT App Picture
App Name : Audio-Technica Connect
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
No
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : No
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : N/A

The companion app for the Audio-Technica M50xBT is lackluster. The app lets you know the last known location of the headphones, the battery life and the option to choose the codec connection. You do not get any customization options to enhance your listening experience, which is disappointing. Also, we had trouble with the Android version of the app, which would take several seconds, even minutes, to connect. It kept searching for a device and restarting the app seemed to solve the issue sometimes.

6.1

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Audio-Technica M50xBT are Bluetooth headphones that can also be used wired with the included 1/8” TRRS audio cable. They support Bluetooth 5.0, so you might experience better range and connection reliability than what we measured. Also, they have excellent wireless range, but unfortunately, they don’t support NFC and can’t connect to 2 devices simultaneously. Latency is also high, but this is common with Bluetooth headphones, and you can use the headphones wired to get rid of latency issues.

6.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

These headphones support Bluetooth version 5.0, so you could get better results in wireless range than what we measured on our test bench which currently only supports Bluetooth 4.2. Unfortunately, they do not support NFC and can’t connect to multiple devices simultaneously. Also, there’s no button to go into pairing mode. The headphones will automatically connect to the last known device, and if you want to connect to another device, you’ll have to disconnect manually on the first device, and then the headphones will search for available devices. There is no way to disconnect Bluetooth directly on the headphones, and this might be a deal breaker for some if you have multiple devices.

9.1 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone

You can use the provided 1/8” TRRS cable to use the ATH-M50xBT passively, which will also get rid of latency issues. You can also use the headphones wired when the battery is dead which is very convenient. The in-line remote works with consoles and PC and the headphones have audio and microphone support.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

9.5 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
69 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
174 ft

They have excellent wireless range, especially when obstructed. We measured one of the longest distances we’ve had so far when the source was obstructed, which means you should be able to leave your desk or your phone at one place and move around with the headphones without hearing audio cuts. They also have a great line of sight range with 174 feet. You shouldn’t have any issues, especially if you keep your audio source on you during workouts.

1.6 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
224 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
198 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

Like most Bluetooth headphones, the ATH-M50xBT have too much latency to be suitable for watching video content and gaming. However, they do support the aptX codec, but the latency issues will still be noticeable. You can use the headphones passively with the 1/8” TRRS cable to get rid of these problems.

In the box

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT In the box Picture

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • 1/8” TRRS audio cable
  • USB to micro USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Compare Picture

The Audio-Technica M50xBT are good wireless headphones for critical listening. They have a good and well-balanced audio reproduction, suitable for a wide variety of music genres. They are the wireless equivalent of the very popular wired ATH-M50x, and their good build quality is practically the same. They also have wide and well-padded ear cups that should fit most ears. They have controls on the ear cup and can also be used wired with the included audio cable, even if the battery is dead.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Both headphones have a similar design and performance, but the ATH-M50xBT are better mixed-usage headphones than the regular wired ATH-M50x which are better for studio use. The M50xBT are wireless and makes them more convenient to use and 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 issues or battery life, but the 38 hours of playback time you get with the M50xBT is excellent.

Sennheiser HD 4.50

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are better headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT. They have a decent noise canceling feature that the M50xBT lack. Also, even if their treble range is slightly recessed, they are compatible with a great app that lets you EQ the sound signature to your liking and can connect to 2 devices simultaneously which is convenient. However, the ATH-M50xBT have almost twice the battery life, a better microphone for calls, better wireless range and are slightly more comfortable, but do take a lot more time to charge overall.

Sony WH-CH700N

The Sony WH-CH700N are slightly better headphones than the ATH-M50xBT. They are compatible with the Sony Headphones Connect app which allows lots of sound customization options while the Audio-Technica app lacks features. Also, they are noise canceling headphones, but this feature doesn’t actually seem to perform well. The Sonys are also very sensitive to glasses. On the other hand, the Audio-Technicas are better-built headphones and have better wireless range thanks to the Bluetooth 5.0 support.

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II

The Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II are better headphones than the ATH-M50xBT. They are one of the most comfortable headphones we’ve tested so far, and they have a more neutral sound signature. On the other hand, the Audio-Technicas have better wireless range and are better-built than the Bose. They also have a great battery life but take much more time to charge fully. While the Bose SoundLink supports an earlier version of Bluetooth and therefore has worse wireless range, it can connect to 2 devices simultaneously, which the ATH-M50xBT can’t do, but they support Bluetooth 5.0.

Conclusion

6.6Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Average for mixed usage. The ATH-M50xBT have a good and well-balanced audio reproduction that is suitable for a wide variety of music genres. They don’t block ambient noise well so they might not be the best option for commuting but can be a decent option at the office since they don’t leak too much at moderate volumes. The over-ear design isn’t recommended for sports and while they are comfortable for long movies or gaming sessions, their latency is too high for these use cases unless you use the included audio cable to use them passively to get rid of latency.
7.4Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. They have a good audio reproduction with a flat, but slightly overemphasized bass range, even mid-range, and well-balanced treble. Unfortunately, their companion app doesn’t any presets or even an EQ for additional customization options to find the best sound signature for you. They aren’t better than the wired model for this use case but are still good sounding and versatile wireless headphones.
6.5Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Average for commuting. Their isolation performance isn’t the best, especially since they don’t have any noise canceling feature. They practically don’t isolate noise in lower frequencies, where engine rumble sits. They also leak a bit at higher volumes, so you shouldn’t blast your music through these headphones if you don’t want to bother people surrounding you. On the upside, they are comfortable for long trips and their 38-hour battery life is more than enough for flights.
6.6Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Okay for sports. Over-ears aren’t recommended for sports since they trap heat inside the ear cup and could experience more sweating than usual. Also, they feel fairly loose on the head and move around during physical activity. The cumbersome over-ear design might also be too bulky for certain gym exercises.
6.8Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Above-average for the office. If you’re looking for background music while working, they don’t leak too much at moderate volumes and can reduce an average amount of ambient chatter. Their long battery life will last you a few work days without a problem and will be comfortable for long listening sessions.
5.6TV
Score components:
Sub-par for watching TV. While they have great wireless range and are comfortable for long watching sessions, their latency, even with the aptX codec, is too high and what you hear won’t match what you see. You’ll need a cable extension if you want to watch TV from your couch without latency issues and enjoy their great audio reproduction.
5.3Gaming
Score components:
Sub-par for gaming. While they are comfortable, their latency is too high for gaming. If you plan on using them with the included audio cable to get rid of latency, you can expect a better microphone performance than the integrated one that was measured. However, they won’t be as customizable as other gaming headsets we’ve reviewed.

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