Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X are highly touted online as excellent headphones for studio and casual use. They are certainly some nice headphones when considering the sound quality and features. How do they pan out after trying them out?

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Sound Quality

Listeners who have used these headphones are somewhat split on the sound quality. Those that have experience with higher-end studio headphones might find the sound to be overrated. Those who are used to lower-priced headphones might find the sound to be quite nice. Personally, I like the sound of these headphones, but can see how people might not.

RAA Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Frequency Response

Image courtesy of Reference Audio Analyzer.

How does the sound compare with the frequency analysis? I found it to seem pretty close to what’s shown there.

The highs are very clear and very forward. When compared to the ATH-M40X, for example, the highs are much more pronounced, but they remain very clear and don’t feel harsh or problematic. Cymbals and hi-hats sizzle on these headphones and sound very crisp. People who like a lot of presence in the high end will like how these sound.

The mids are also very clear and pronounced. They aren’t overly pushed, but certainly stand out. Vocals in music come through with good presence. Snare drums and other percussive instruments also have a good presence and don’t feel like they’re hiding behind anything.

The low end is clear but doesn’t feel as forward as the highs and mids. When I turn up the volume to get more punchiness, the mids and highs start to take over. It will take a little EQ magic to push the sub bass and lower end on these headphones if you like a bass heavy sound.

The sound is fairly spacious. It’s good enough to hear what’s going on around the sound stage and to separate instruments that are panned from left to right. The sound stage is great when using these with electronic drums.

For those that are going to use these for mixing in the studio – these can work well for mixing once you get a feel for characteristics in the sound. If you like a better presence in the low end and more balanced highs and mids the ATH-M40X headphones might be more suitable for mixing purposes.

For monitoring while playing or tracking – they can work well sound-wise and shouldn’t disappoint. Indivuual instruments sound great on these and the clarity is great for playing along with a mix.

For casual listening – it’ll come down to your personal preferences here. I like these for casual listening purposes, personally. Music sounds really good on these. People who prefer boomier bass might not like these as much, unless you have a way to EQ your sound to compensate for their natural frequency response. People who are easily fatigued by overly strong mids and highs might not like these either.

Specifically for electronic drummers – those that have used these headphones with electronic drums tend to like how they sound. I really like how these sound on electronic drum personally. They sound clear, crisp and don’t bury any instruments in any parts of the frequency range. Along with the longer cord, the good noise attenuation and good comfort, these check all the boxes for electronic drummers.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones on Snare Pad

Closed Back Design

The closed back design on these headphones will help block out environmental noises even though they are not true noise-cancelling headphones. The closed ear design makes for a less airy sound stage – which may or may not be ideal depending on what type of sound you prefer. This is great for electronic drummers and those who want a more consistent sound when working in different acoustic environments.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Top View


These headphones are quite comfortable in my experience and I can wear them for longer periods of time without issues.

They do have a little bit of weight to them, and it’s noticeable more if you are coming from a lighter, cheaper pair of headphones. The weight doesn’t have any negative affects on comfort.

The ear cups are just big enough for my ears, and I’m on the larger size as far as heads are concerned. I could see how some people with larger ears could find the ear cups to be just a bit too small, though. They depth of the ear cups feels good for me, but once again I could see them feeling shallow for people with wider ears. Ear cups can be replaced on these, and there’s plenty of aftermarket options for people that might want different ear cups.

The headband doesn’t have much padding but it’s shaped well and doesn’t create any hot spots when I wear them.

The fit is snug but not overly tight. These do a good job of keeping a tight seal around your ears which can help with noise attenuation while not feeling like their clamping hard on your head.

These are also easy to keep around your neck with the rotating ear cups. They can lay flat when around your neck and not in use, which helps with comfort even when not on your heard.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Ear Cups

Collapsible Design

These headphones can be collapsed and folded up. This comes in handy if you need to transport these around. They’ll fit easily in a backpack and don’t take up much space when collapsed. The hinges on the collapsible ear cups could be prone to wearing out over longer periods of time. It’s best to not stress them and to only collapse these when you need to if you’re wanting a long life from them.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Collapsed

Build Quality

The build quality is good for headphones in this price range.

They use a good amount of plastic but they don’t feel cheap. They aren’t necessarily indestructible, but they are certainly well-built. They will hold up to getting knocked around and falling on the floor for the most part. Of course, if you treat them better they will likely last longer, like any pair of headphones.

There’s no creaking or anything like that when you have these on your head, which can be problem with cheaper headphones.

People who own these have also had good luck with Audio-Technica fixing worn or broken parts, even when out of warranty and having to pay for the repairs. So they are fixable, which is good.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones in Hand
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Head Band
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones on Snare Pad 2

Removable Variable Cables

These headphones come with removable cables and they also package three different cable types. You will get a 1-3 meter coil cable, a 3 meter straight cable and a 1.2 meter straight cable.

This is actually quite nice as you won’t feel the need to purchase extra cables to match your listening use. For example, studio users will prefer the longer cables while those using these to listen to music on a smartphone may prefer the shorter cable.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Coiled Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Long Straight Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Short Straight Cable


In addition to the cables, you’ll also get a carry bag. It’s a decent bag, just big enough to fit the headphones and cables. It can come in handy if you transport these often.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones Storage Bag

Technical Specifications

Use Application

Mixing, Tracking, DJ, Casual Listening




45 mm


98 dB

Maximum Input Power

  1600 mW


38 ohms

Frequency Response

15-28,000 Hz

Earcup Swivel

90° Both Directions




Detachable 1.2 m – 3.0 m (3.9′ – 9.8′) coiled cable and detachable 1.2 m (3.9′) straight cable


  • Fairly flat frequency response suitable for studio usage and sound design
  • Good headphones for electronic drummers
  • Comfortable for longer sessions
  • Three types of cables included
  • Loud and punchy
  • Collapsible
  • Full 90 degree ear cup rotation in both direction


  • Highs and mids can sound pushed and be fatiguing to some people
  • Bass might not be strong enough for casual listeners
  • Ear cups might be too small or shallow for some people but can be upgraded or changed

Overall Rating

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Sound Quality

4.0 out of 5.0 stars


4.0 out of 5.0 stars


4.0 out of 5.0 stars


4.0 out of 5.0 stars


4.0 out of 5.0 stars


4.0 out of 5.0 stars

The Verdict

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones may or may not be good for you. If you are looking for a fairly flat frequency response, forward mids/highs and tight low end, these could be a good pick. They sound really good with electronic drums.

These can also be a good multi-purpose pair of headphones if you want something to use in and out of the studio. The changeable cables are a really nice touch for multi-purpose users. Overall, the most discerning listeners may find things about the sound that they don’t like, but there’s also plenty of users out there that really like these headphones as well.

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