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If you're looking for a set of over-the-ear headphones and don't want to break the bank, take a look at the Audio Technica ATH-M50X. These are at a great price point (under $200), sound great, and will give you a taste of what over-the-ear headphones can do for you. This is a great entry-level set of earphones to get before you commit more high-end listening material.
The first thing you notice with the ATH-M50Xs is how soft the ear cups are. They're very well padded. When you place them over your ears, they feel nice and soft. The thick pads also aid in sound isolation. Ambient sounds around you become softer. While music is playing, noises seem to be gone.
Keep in mind, however, that these are not active noise cancelling; instead, they are passive noise isolation. The headband is also padded and comfortable. My head is not as large, but the headband does hit the top of my head, and I didn't find it to be obtrusive at all. The headband is padded well enough for me to not notice it as an intrusion.
After wearing these headphones for awhile, however, you will feel some heat or even sweat build up around your ears.
The clamping sensation when brand new was something to get used to. However, the clamping force was never tight to give me any discomfort or headaches. After a few listening sessions with them, the force doesn't seem tight at all.
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The design of these earphones won't be trendy or scream out at you. But they are very functional.
The earphones fold up smaller so you can place them in a bag (if you going to the gym or traveling, etc.). And it's this convenience and the smaller form factor when folded that was a positive in my book.
The padded ear cups are large. They are large, but this has generally been acceptable for fashion as more and more people are seen wearing this style of headphones.
The padded headband is also comfortable. You won't get a headache from wearing these.
On the left ear cup, there is an input for a detachable cable. The M50X ships with 3 cables: a 1.2-meter straight cable, 3 meters coiled, and 3 meters straight. A great benefit of these headphones is the detachable cable.
Pros and Cons
Clamping force can be uncomfortable in the beginning.
There are other competitive earphones at this price point.
Good noise isolation
Not neutral or flat response (for those that require this)
Excellent bass response
Excellent w/variety of genres
Not noise canceling
Excellent price point
Tried and tested product cycle
Ear cups swivel 90 degrees
Sound quality is excellent for these headphones at this price point. Music will sound great no matter what is tossed at them. Keep in mind, however, that it's only as good as your source material. So if your recording is less than stellar in quality, you'll notice it on these headphones.
While other reviews state that these are "neutral" or "flat" sounding headphones, I'll have to disagree on that. You have more of a "V" shaped curve. The bass is there as well as the treble. For that reason, I'm not sure if you would call these "monitoring" headphones or even DJ recommended. The music, in my opinion, is well balanced. Bass is there, but not in your face and not overpowering the rest of the music material. The treble is there as well.
When listening to female voices, however, some listeners may feel that the treble is overpowering and harsh. Again, depends on the person and how they perceive those higher notes. I didn't find any issue with this.