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Pavel Tsvetkov (Bulgaria)
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Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Studio Monitor Professional Headphones - Black
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Studio Monitor Professional Headphones - Black
Price: £103.06

107 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner!, 9 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
PROS
1. Sound quality. Highs are crisp, but not too bright; mids are good; bass is punchy and tight. It is difficult to find *better* sounding headphones in this price segment.
2. Build. They are very solidly built and ergonomics are great. There is no complex suspending system, so there is nothing to break.
3. Very comfortable. These are over the ears (as opposed to on-ears) headphones, so there is no unpleasant pressure. The new ear pads are very soft, and the headband is enveloped in the same soft material.
4. Portability. Both cups rotate horizontally 180°, and they fold vertically, to make the headphone's dimensions quite small and portable-friendly. The supplied pouch comes in handy.
5. Unlike their predecessors, the ATH-M50X arrive with three detachable cables: a long straight one (you can use it to connect to a source that is further away), a short straight one (very handy when connecting to a smartphone, or if your computer is located very near to where you sit), and a medium-length coiled one (for mixed purposes). The insert-and-turn locking system secures the cable to the left cup.
6. No sound leakage. These are closed-back headphones, so you can use them in a room, filled with people, or while commuting, without the need to worry that you might disturb someone.
7. With an impedance of 38 ohms you do not need a headphone amp to drive them.

CONS
1. Cable connectors are proprietary. But then again you get three cables in the box, so it is unlikely that you will be looking to buy new cables any time soon.
2. At 285 g (10 oz) plus the cable, the ATH-M50X are a little heavier than similar-sized headphones I have owned. But making them lighter would most probably affect build quality.
3. I have watched video reviews, making the argument that the ATH-M50X are not exactly audiophile quality (that is, their response is not as 'flat' and 'neutral', as it should be). This could indeed be the case, as Audio-Technica has other models (like the ATH-A900X), positioned in the higher and more expensive segment, but the latter are not meant to be carried around or enjoyed in the street. In my opinion ATH-M50X have been built to produce enjoyable (rather than analytical) sound. Consider this carefully.

CONCLUSION
When all of the above have been taken into consideration, Audio-Technica ATH-M50X might be the best value for money headphone on the market today.
1. They may not sound as neutral as AKG 702 (but the latter are not portable, there is serious sound leakage, and you cannot drive them adequately with your smartphone).
2. They are not cable-free or as light as the Bluetooth Sony MDR-1BT, but the ATH-M50X sound much better.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is the overall winner if you are looking for enjoyable full-bodied sound, sturdy build, detachable cables, and a no-nonsense look. You simply cannot go wrong with them!
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2014 8:44 PM GMT


Sony MDR1RBT Wireless Bluetooth Prestige Headphones - Black
Sony MDR1RBT Wireless Bluetooth Prestige Headphones - Black
Price: £241.66

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall the Best Bluetooth Headphones to Come Out in Recent Years, But Beware..., 29 April 2013
With the boom in smartphone production the need for quality Bluetooth headphones has increased dramatically. All the big producers of headphones have started to offer quality models in the upper price segment: Sony MDR1RBT, Philips Fidelio M1BTBL, AKG K845 to just name a few. So how does Sony's flagship Bluetooth model fare in this segment?

PROS
1. Sony MDR1RBT look splendid. They are also very light.
2. Bluetooth connectivity works like a charm. Once switched on the headphones will try and retry to connect until successful (most Bluetooth gear will only try once).
3. Sound quality is superior if you compare it to other Bluetooth models (for example: Philips SHB9100). Bass is very good (although not tight enough in my opinion).
4. Battery life is currently the best in the Bluetooth segment, and this is a very important consideration, if you are planning to spend time away from your home. You can literally use these for months without having to re-charge.
5. The position of the different control buttons is logical and operation is easy.
6. You can use these with your smartphone or bluetooth-enabled computer.

CONS
1. They look good, but actually everything is made of lightweight plastic, which means that you could easily scratch or break them--and for this kind of money Sony should have done better. Moreover, they get smeared easily, and you will soon find out that Sony has designed these only for customers with perfect hair and skin. This 'fragility' of construction and the materials used ultimately affects the real life usability of the product.
2. To make things worse - none of the 'leather' elements is replaceable. A simple cut to the headband or ear pads will ruin them forever. The rechargeable battery is not user-replaceable and will not be replaced by Sony, when it starts running low two or three years from now.
3. NFC works, but can be a little tricky if your phone is inside a case. You may have to slide your mobile back and forth against the side of the right can until they finally pair.
4. These headphones have the option to be used with the supplied wire, but the wire is extremely flimsy and noisy--the noisiest I have heard on an on-ear headphone and one of the noisiest in any category. Each time it rubs in your ear, your shoulder, your hand, your clothes you will hear an echo in the headphones. It is annoying.
5. Each time you touch the outside of the cans you will hear a hollow echo--a very prominent sound. Also: if you wear them outside and there is some wind, you will hear the sound of the wind rubbing on the cans with a loudness that is probably 30% of the sound of the music. This is because of the openings or vents on the top of each cup.
6. Bass is definitely there, but it is not tight. With certain tracks (e.g. Chicane) it will drown the rest of the music to the point where there is a constant background 'booom', which is actually the opposite of what you want. The culprit is the built-in DSSE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine). Like all other electronic solutions of this kind Sony's DSSE is a hit and miss kind of deal, and its inclusion in such an expensive product, marketed as audiophile quality, is strange to say the least. This makes Sony MDR 1BT a rather unpredictable pair of headphones sound-wise.
7. Highs are a little dull. Sometimes you will have the feeling that you are listening to music through a veil. If you play around with the EQ of your phone or stereo, then you can get better results, but different sound models will be needed for different songs, so in the end you will get tired of trying.
8. There is a creaking sound coming off the plastic hinges, when you walk or turn your head. This is very annoying.
9. Phone function is OK, but not great. People have complained that they cannot hear me well, or hear weird sounds, when I have used the headphones to make calls.
10. When no music is played, there is an electronic sound in the right can: 3-4 seconds of it, then 3-4 seconds of silence. This has to do with the Bluetooth connecting or keeping the connection. This is completely unacceptable. If you are watching a movie you can sometimes hear the sound over the dialogue, etc. I tried a second pair at the store, and it had the same sound, only louder, so this is not a problem with my pair.
11. Comfort is a very subjective category, but you will most probably feel a little pain after using the phones for 20-30 minutes, and your ears will get hot. In summer your ears will get hot much, much sooner. Generally, these headphones are not suitable for warm/hot weather.
12. With all Bluetooth headphones there is a noticeable delay in sound reproduction, so Bluetooth headphones are not a good choice for movies, as you will be watching people speak, but you will be hearing them with a delay.
13. Finally, as of the time of the writing of this review (April 29, 2013), Sony MDR1RBT Wireless Bluetooth are hugely overpriced: £267.08 (UK) or $398.00 (US). At half that price they should be worth it. Please, note that Sony's very own V6 model, which has been around for quite some time, is a much better headphone sound wise and it just costs £58.80 (UK) or $68.95 (US) today. Choose wisely.

CONCLUSION:
1. Although they do have their share of problems, Sony MDR1RBT Wireless Bluetooth Prestige Headphones are arguably the best Bluetooth headphones currently available on the market. AKG K845 sound great, but lack good control buttons and long battery life. Philips Fidelio M1BTBL have a shorter battery life and seem to be uncomfortable to many of their buyers.
2. However, if sound quality is paramount for you (more important than wireless properties and portability), then Sony MDR1RBT should not be your first choice. Further, because of their fragile construction and materials used, they cannot be used as your everyday headphone.
3. The price tag is unfortunately too high all things considered.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2014 10:12 PM BST


Philips SHB9100/00 Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Black/White
Philips SHB9100/00 Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Black/White
Offered by Directory UK
Price: £41.00

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice bluetooth headphones, but sound quality is inferior, 31 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
PROS:
1. Good looks. The combination of a black outer shell and white inside of the headband is eye-catching.
2. I was initially concerned that the white parts may become visibly dirty over time, but they are a combination of white plastic and another durable material.
3. The microphone for calls is good and generally no problems should be expected. You may need to speak up at times though.
4. Ear pads are soft and block a good amount of outside noise.
5. Battery life is good.
6. The size of these is exactly right - you will not be getting any strange looks if you walk around with them in the street.
7. Bluetooth reception is really good - better than with other bluetooth headphones I have tried.

CONS:
1. Highly polished surfaces are fingerprint magnets. Moreover every little scratch shows.
2. Although quite pricey, they do not come with a pouch, so be warned.
3. They do not look as good, as they do on the picture. Be advised that the feel and look is more average than premium, when you actually hold the phones in your hands. There is one plastic part on each side (where the cans turn inwards) that is black, but of a different hue than the rest of the blacks.
4. Switching on and off the headphones requires a long press. Even when 'switched off' they somehow remain connected to the smartphone and you may be surprised that incoming calls have no sound, until you realize it is being re-directed to the 'switched off' headphones, and is therefore mute.
5. My biggest issue - and the reason why I finally decided to send them back - was the sound quality. Sound was flat. I had to really play around with the equalizer on my Galaxy Note II to be able to spice up the highs and lows, but all of this only worked to a point. I know how my favorite music sounds, and Philips SHB9100 simply cannot deliver, especially when you consider the price. It was a real disappointment and a let down. I tried playing *.flac tracks, switched on digital sound processing along the lines of 'extra bass and treble', but nothing seemed to put the life back into the music, so I finally decided to ask for my money back.
6. The price is quite high, especially when sound performance is considered.

THE VERDICT:
This is a nice pair of bluetooth headphones with great looks and portability, but with a high price tag, and most importantly - with disappointing sound. At the end of the day, when one buys headphones sound quality is among the most important considerations and unfortunately Philips SHB9100 will leave you wanting.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 7, 2013 10:12 PM GMT


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