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on 1 January 2014
Researched a lot of headphones and had these recommended to me. Really impressed with the sound, definitely the best headphones I have ever owned.
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on 20 June 2017
Without doubt, one of the best!
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on 7 July 2011
I seldom review anything on Amazon, but I thought these headphones deserved the extra effort.

I'm a musician. I listen to and produce a lot of music. These headphones have a wonderful crisp and accurate sound. Although many people have mentioned that the bass is not particularly strong, this is because the M50s give you the closest thing to a flat mix that you can find. If the music you are listening to is not produced to be bass-heavy, it won't sound bassy. The really excellent thing about the M50s is that you hear as faithfully as possible the producer's mix (as close as you can get without speakers). On no other headphones have I ever picked up on so many fresh details in my favourite music. You'll hear things when using the M50s that you've never heard before. Any insufficiency in the mixing is blindingly obvious, weak mixes sound terrible, etc. but you also hear almost inaudible subtleties that really bring the music to life.

If you are looking for a bass-heavy headphone that's going to rattle your teeth, these aren't for you. Although the M50s can handle very heavy bass, you'll find yourself having to EQ it yourself. These also aren't for people who want headphones that are generous to all music.

These ARE for people who want to hear music as true to its production as possible. You'll find certain albums which are an absolute miracle (for me, Imogen Heap's 'Ellipse' - everything sounds in its perfect place and the result is mind-blowing) and you'll come back to again and again. As far as studio work goes, these are the best headphones you're going to find in this price-range. I mix on these all the time and have been extremely satisfied with the result, even listening back on my powerful studio monitors. Furthermore, they are wonderfully comfortable; so much so that you'll sometimes forget you're wearing them. The sound leakage is minimal - no problems on the bus or tube.

Cons are the noise-isolation: you're going to have to turn these up quite a bit to hear them on the tube. Also, I had to replace the headphone jack after about six months as the connection was damaged - it's not particularly sturdy and this is disappointing in such a quality headphone.

However, I can't recommend the M50s enough. I spent a long time reading review after review online before I finally settled with these. They have great reviews and for good reason. They will transform your listening experience.
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on 29 December 2013
Better than Bose, i'm told!
My son has these and finds them more clearer than the Bose kit, which has too much bass, this Bass loses something in the reproduction of the songs when heard.
He has proved the difference to me and he is right, with these you can pick up subtle tones, that are drowned by other brand!
The price was good too
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on 29 December 2008
These are by far the best headphones I've ever used. The sound is very neutral and resembles high-end monitor speakers heard in near field conditions. They are very comfortable and isolate well. I found that other headphones, that are more expensive (Beyerdynamics and Ultrasone), colour the sound in the top and bottom ends. These are the closest to a flat response that I've heard yet. Also, the impedance is not too high and can be used with an mp3 player. Truly excellent -- they're worth more than the price.
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on 20 January 2013
After a lot of research online, I ended up ordering the Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones. They sound absolutely marvellous. Once you get used to the sound quality, most other headphones will sound worse, even those you earlier thought were good. The volume is quite high on these, i.e. I do not have to turn up the volume on my music player very high. This has the added benefit of saving the battery. I would describe the sound isolation as decent. Outsiders will not be able to hear anything, unless you are listening at very high volume. However, you will be able to hear outsiders, unless you turn the volume up. I felt like I had an enjoyable listening experience on the airplane, where I turned up the volume on my player to about 20 out of 30 and manually adjusted the EQ. The sound quality does not seem to suffer at higher volumes. The ATH-M50s are great value for money, I'm sure (I have not tried high-end headphones). Still quite pricey if you are like me (not an audiophile) and taking the leap is difficult due to the price.

The only downside with the ATH-M50s is that they get a bit hot and sweaty after prolonged listening. This is mainly over and around your ears, but also beneath the headband. I have gotten used to this, though. The brilliant sound quality got me through the adjustment/adaptation period of some weeks.

I have been listening mostly to metal music on these so far, but also some electronic and rock music. My source is my computer (Terratec Aureon USB sound card) or my Sony A-818 player (soon to be replaced by a Cowon C2) with MP3s encoded at 320 kbps or lossless FLAC. If you are listening to 128 kbps MP3s, your experience might suffer because the M50s are of such high quality. Hissing and other flaws will be audible. In other words, I suggest listening to music that is not very heavily compressed.

Overall, I can't imagine my research process could have turned up a better result. I can easily recommend these to anyone looking to upgrade.

NOTE: there are two versions of the ATH-M50 headphones. The ATH-M50 has a curled cable. The ATH-M50S (with an 'S' at the end) have a straight cable.
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on 11 May 2012
I am no audiophile or expert. I am just enthusiastic about good sound quality at reasonable prices. I also own a Radius HP-TWF11 Pro DDM (awesome IEMs).

These are headphones I have auditioned before deciding on the M50:

1. Audio Technica ATH M50 - £135
2. Audio Technica ATH PRO700 MKII - £150
3. Sony MDR 7506 - £135
4. Dr Dre Beats Pro - £280
5. Denon AHD1100 - £100
6. Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO - £130
7. Sony MDR XB700 - £64

Now onto some characteristics of the ATH M50:

The highs are smooth and crisp. They sparkle when they need to and are smooth and relaxed when the need arises. It is not fatiguing at all. Vocals and cymbals sound very good.

In my opinion the mids have quite a lot of meat in it. It has a thick and creamy quality but not over-emphasised.

This is where the ATH M50 shines. The bass is serious quality bass. It reaches deep, it is punchy, not lazy at all.

Note: I currently only listen to music out of my laptop's 3.5mm jack. My music is mostly in FLAC and in 320kbps Mp3 format. I listen to a wide array of genres like Hip Hop, Rock, House, Electronic, Jazz, etc. I also use my headphones for films and games.

Build quality/comfort

Although made mostly of plastic, the build quality is excellent. I feel well made and well put together. The ear pads are ovals so they fit the natural shape of the ears well. (unlike other round ear pads like on the PRO700s, Sony XB700 and Beats Pros)

Comparisons to other headphones I tried:

The ATH PRO700 MKII is quite similar to the M50 except for more bass quantity. The bass does not reach deeper than the M50, it just has more slam. In my opinion, it affects the mids and highs and makes them sound veiled.

I quite liked the Sony MDR 7506 as it had a very good quality sound. However, upon hearing the M50, I changed my mind. The difference is that the 7506s have very pronounced highs. A treble-head would love it. However, the highs get quite fatiguing after over an hour of listening. These are very good phones though.

I tried the Beats Pro just for a reference benchmark and was also curious how it sounded, as it had such a big price tag. The Pros' sound signature is actually very similar to the M50 except the M50 does everything (highs, mids, bass) about 5-10% better. Highs are clearer on the M50, bass also more controlled and just as punchy and deep.

I only tried the Beyers and Denons briefly so I cannot really comment much. However, I noticed that the Denons and Beyers have a bit more bass bloat compared to the M50. This is the same case for the XB700s, except the bass bloat is even more pronounced.


The ATH M50 is one of the best is not the best earphones under £300. It has everything done right; excellent sound quality, build quality and comfort. It has a slightly better sound signature than the Beats Pros which is more than twice its price. This really is the price to performance champion! I can't wait to get an amplifier/DAC for the M50. Then the true sound quality would be epic!
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on 23 July 2014
I have had these headphones for a couple months now having upgraded from a pair of low-range Philips headphones and I am extremely happy with my purchase. Having researched headphones extensively in search of a great sounding pair which don't cost the earth, I decided upon these and found all the positive reviews and opinions to be true. The have a very clear flat sound with great clarity in highs and mids. The bass is not overwhelming since these are studio headphones, but that is not to say that these headphones can't easily handle very heavy bass from EQ adjustments. The ATH-M50s work excellent with or without an amp, they are plenty loud plugged straight into my iPod/phone/laptop.

In terms of build quality, they feel extremely premium and sturdy with nice brushed metal accents, soft leather cups and headband, and metal sliders on the band and fully rotating ear cups so you can always find a nice comfy way to wear them. They fit my pretty huge head as well as my girlfriend's rather more petite head no problem and are perfectly comfortable for a couple hours wearing and probably more (that's as long as I've ever worn them non-stop).

The coiled cable is excellent for home use, though a little bulky and impractical walking/commuting. If you want something to take about with you I would recommend considering the updated (though almost identical) "ATH-M50x" which comes with 3 interchangeable cables, including shorter straight cables which are far more practical for carrying around/walking about with. For me it is only a minor annoyance I manage just fine with the coiled cable when out and about, but in hindsight I think I would have bought the ATH-M50x simply for the new cable system.
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on 3 September 2011
I'm into my headphones, and even the smallest problem with a pair irritates me to the point I can't use them.
I'm happy to say soo far I have nothing to fault the ATH-M50 with,
they are very affordable, especially when comparing them to Grado labs. However I should say that these are
monitor headphones and so if you play poor music you will hear all of the imperfections in the music.

* moderate insulation, good for commuting, gives you your privacy and others theirs.
* crystal clear sound production, however if your "MP3" doesn't have significant power the bass will not
sound as well rounded as it should. to test this go back and forth between your MP3 of choice and a good amp,
I recommend denon amps, merely because I've always been a fan.
* coiled cable, and the straight version is really a little too long
* reasonable comfort, not quite as comfortable as Grados, but the up side is, they won't fall of your head
* good build quality

*you will need to break them in, aprox (100hrs of loud music (not max) and at your own risk) or 500hrs of normal listening
*the first con wasn't really a con, but I'm trying to seem impartial, but I can't really give you any cons,
although one minor con is that the cable is not easily replaced, but it is of good quality and so will last

In summary, I believe these to be better than a Grado SR325, on all round performance, and would be an excellent investment
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on 18 June 2012
After some deliberation over which headphones to buy, I settled for the ATH-M50's - and what a brilliant choice!
They sounded great straight out of the box, but after 'burning in' now sound even better - especially at the top end where the sound was a little bit tinny to start with.

The bass is strong but not over-powering, and the level of detail across the entire range is amazing.
You can hear the tiniest nuance in the music - and even pick up on mistakes in some tracks.

I don't do DJ'ing or mixing - I use these purely for listening to music and its a real pleasure to do so with the M50's.
Using them with my iPhone they sound superb and plenty loud enough for me without an external amp, although I only wear them indoors and in a quiet room.
I've started using them with my Macbook Pro while watching Sky Player etc. Again, they sound superb.

My only criticism would be that the headband can sometimes become annoying, but that may be because I'm not used to wearing headphones.

Plug them into a good quality Hi-Fi amp and they sound even better!
Remarkable bass with clear definitive mid-range and beautiful highs.

I'd highly recommend these headphones. They are well worth the money.
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