The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 model has long been a staple of the low price bracket monitor headphones, known for their no nonsense aesthetic, excellent sound and durability. The updated ATH-M50x hasn’t dared mess with the successful formula too much but there are some notable improvements.
IN THE BOX
Now included (in a schmick redesigned box) are 3 different detachable cords, a coiled 1.2-3m cable, a 3 metre straight cable for studio use, and a more portable 1.2 metre straight cable. Each cord is fitted with a locking mechanism for attaching to the headset. Detachable cables are a great addition to an already good product, extending longevity and flexibility. Also included is a threaded 1⁄4 inch stereo plug adapter for your standard mixers, studio gear etc.
When I was shopping for a new pair of cans, I remember trying the M50 and finding them slightly uncomfortable compared to some competitors - the padding being somewhat utilitarian. If you’re anything like me and spend countless hours and late nights tinkering with songs and sounds, you’ll be pleased to know that (in my opinion) the padding on the M50x seems dramatically better. The soft leather pads fit snugly over the ear with a comfortable amount of pressure and just the right amount of sound isolation.
Audio-Technica claim to have left the sound profile unaltered from the previous model, maybe it’s the improved comfort or maybe I got a weary demo pair of M50s in store, but to me the M50x sound cleaner - more precise. Perhaps the new ear pads required the cups to be retuned and improved? Either way, the 45mm drivers provide excellent bass response without being over exaggerated or muddy, and the mids to highs are crisp and clean without being harsh or overbearing. Many brands struggle to update a legendary model without upsetting the masses, but I think Audio-Technica have pulled it off here. The updates are subtle but welcome and certainly add value to the product in a busy marketplace.
Hits and Misses
Better earpads and comfort level
Great, at sound
3 cord sizes included
Some may be bothered by the proprietary cord locking connector