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Why dont I feel what everyone else's feeling with the Audio Technica M50X

Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers

arnprasad

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Sorry about the loooong post and bad english...typing this while listening to the m50x

Few caveats before I give in my first hour review of these headphones.

I am a 40+ male and like calling myself a gadget freak. Freak or not, I do spend a lot of time reading about tech and watching youtube videos - particularly reviews. While I do have a decent salary income...i do skimp on other daily necessities to invest in decent AV gear - nothing like audiophile variety - more like the "middle class' of AV gear.

Now I do spend at least an hour walking in the park and travelling from Vijaynagar to ITPL(30 to 40 kms depending the route)- atleast two hours in a car one way and if I take other modes of transport - like bus+train+metro mix - more than two hours one way to reach home - because of this I always have headphones on. The costliest headphones i owned was a 5K INR Bose in ear ones which I lost. But my daily drivers are couple of Xioami heaphones including their HD pro and am pretty happy.

couple of years back, i chanced upon a great review of the AKG 52s? which i bought for 5k and that included a DAC as well. While the sound had clarity, i wasnt really impressed and gave it to my nephew

Fast forward two years and again I had the itching of buying another premium headphones given the number of hours I spend with them. I finally settled on the m50X given its universally great reviews.

As part of the Amazon prime day I missed out on the 120 dollar Bose QC 25 in US and hence was looking forward to the independence day offer to try the m50x and thanks to a lightening deal +10% off SBI card..I got this for slightly more than 8K - a decent price given its costlier in Amazon US.

Now the box itself wasnt in pristine condition and it didnt have any kind of a seal - watched few unboxing videos and confirmed it doesnt have a seal... a bit strange - since i am worried its a return being repacked and sold to me. The Amazon support guy said its ok to open and return within 10 days. So an hour back i started listening on my phone - its a Mi A1 and source is Amazon music. I am not really blown over by the sound like what every reviewer says. I dont know what a sound stage means. but the bass is really heavy relatively. vocals are nothing like the singer is very close to me physically. I listened to few indian + EDM +rock and feedback is very similar. Now instruments do have better clarity compared to anything i have heard - but again nothing like paying 10K for a pair of headphones and it certainly doesnt sound like the orchestra is sitting right next to me. I cant really pick each instrument apart..its a bit muddled

Following are few reasons why I feel I am not "blown over" by arguably the best headphones under 200 dollars:

(a) I am too old and/or something is wrong with my ears (this is really possible because I like really loud music)
(b) Too high expectations..Maybe the Mi HD Pros are way better relative to their cost
(c) Phone's DAC is not good or maybe the bit rate on Amazon music is not very good for such high quality headphones
(d) I am too naive to understand what "audiofile"or "monitor" stuff mean ( a person who has been drinking maaza which is laced with Sugar will never like pure Alphonso juice with no additives)
(e) I received previously owned and returned headphones which had a defect
(f) They need to be broken for few weeks before they reveal themselves
(g) To appreciate I need to listen to CD or FLAC files

While I dont have much complaints on the percussions - not really impressed with the voice quality. Tomorrow i will try listening on my PC playing some FLAC files

Not sure which one(s) of the above is true - now I am confused whether to keep it or return. Now compared to in-ears this one is a monster and one can clearly feel the load on the head plus this of course cant be taken on walks. decisions...decisions
 
Last edited:

kartikay

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IMHO m50x is quite an hyped headphone in online forums. There is no subbass extension, mid bass is bloaty and boomy, mids are distant and there are treble peaks which can be fatiguing.. I would recommend you to return it if you can.. If looking for closed back, I would recommend HD598cs or Brainwavz HM5 (clamping is quite strong on these). Though i would go with IEMs in this price range as they provide better VFM over entry level closed backs.
 

arnprasad

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Thanks. Can you recommend few IEMs below 5K...would rather buy few of those than one buy one costly one.. I ordered the KZ ZS10 ..costs less than 20 dollars..but would like recommendations below 100 dollars or its equivalent in india..Thx

Also need to check if Amazon policy is refund or replacement or both..Thx
 

manju_rn

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M50x are monitor headphones, which means that it tries to replicate the original recording as far as possible. However, m50x does add a bit of color as well. For pure neutral headphones, check MSR7 ftom same company Audio Technica. All headphones does require a bit of settling in - also called as burn in. I think m50x requires 25 hours or so. However, if you do not like the sound signature initally, chances are that you would not. M50x is also one of the most copied one due to popularity, hence it is easier to find duplicates. The best way is to verify the serial numbers in AT site. Since headphones are quite personal and varied, always invest time on audition and then buy the perfect one.
Although M50x can be driven through phones, then shine with right amp - Fiio A3 are a good start.
 

kartikay

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Thanks. Can you recommend few IEMs below 5K...would rather buy few of those than one buy one costly one.. I ordered the KZ ZS10 ..costs less than 20 dollars..but would like recommendations below 100 dollars or its equivalent in india..Thx

Also need to check if Amazon policy is refund or replacement or both..Thx
For neutral signature i would recommend Tin audio T2, its available locally for 3.6k, and on AliExpress one can get for around $40.
https://hifinage.com/tin-audio-t2.html#.W3KeYJMzZ0s
 

Music Freak

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(f) They need to be broken for few weeks before they reveal themselves

Yes, you may give them some time. I found my entry level headphones of this M series, the 20x, pretty ineffective as soon as I listened the first time. But, gradually, started liking'em & these definitely do justice to the reviews out there. Of course, the source is the key. Good luck.
 

hifitoaster

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For neutral signature i would recommend Tin audio T2, its available locally for 3.6k, and on AliExpress one can get for around $40.
https://hifinage.com/tin-audio-t2.html#.W3KeYJMzZ0s
Tin audio T2 is very good. Also consider Urbanfun Hifi (DD+BA)from Aliexpress if you want something cheaper. I use a Beoplay H6 as my main headphone, but I can live with the Urban fun or the T2 easily. The new one which I am interested to try out will be the TRN V80 for which I have only found one decent review so far.
 

hifitoaster

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Tin audio T2 is very good. Also consider Urbanfun Hifi (DD+BA)from Aliexpress if you want something cheaper. I use a Beoplay H6 as my main headphone, but I can live with the Urban fun or the T2 easily. The new one which I am interested to try out will be the TRN V80 for which I have only found one decent review so far.
This guy tests lot of expensive stuff , so he can be trusted.
 

arnprasad

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What a coincidence..i too was reviewing some affordable below 50 dollar IEMs and was reading the KZ10 which most are giving 5 out of 5 and one website gave it 6 out of 10. so got curious as to which ones this 6 guy is giving top marks...and T2 was 9.5/10. Then I started reading reviews of the T2 from other reviewers. I have ordered the KZA..once I get them and experience it, will get the T2 - better to have these as they are mobile rather than the m50x. Also any suggestions on an affordable DAC? my AKG 52 came with Fiio A1 and I just didnt understand what they did coz i didnt hear any difference
 

hifitoaster

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May be a zishan dsd player would work. I have not tried it though.The cheapest best sounding device I ever had was a xduoo x3. Xduoo was very neutral/silent for its price class. Only downside was the mid bass lacked body. No experience with smaller dacs other than hifime. Worth every penny IMO. 9018d(now replaced by 96khz version) version easily can compete with my AK 70 on pure sound terms.
 

arnprasad

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Amazon only has replacement and not refund :( so I am stuck with this one..wondering whether to sell it on olx for 7K.. will get the T2 next month.
 

all4music

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hi Prasad,
i would suggest you spend bit more time with the headphone. i see several reasons from the list that you've honestly listed down and which are very valid.

considering you've received a genuine product [try getting it exchanged]:

1. Source: try listening to good quality MP3/FLACs from a DAP or Computer-DAC combo . this will not serve any purpose if your source on the move is gonna be your phone and streaming music only.
2. i couldn't make out if you've used headphones earlier on your commute but IEMs sound much more intimate especially in a noisy environment like yours compared to headphones at the same volume level.
3. personally i've found headphones be base heavy in general. if you are used to neutral sound this might put you off.

finally, getting used to changing sound of the headphone. personally i've experienced every speaker/earphone/headphone i've owned slowly changes it's response over the initial period of ownership and very few of them disappointed me.

all the best for your hunt! :)
 

milestoneseeker

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Prasad,

Try Sennheiser Momentum's IEMs too then though I have clue what is your budget on this one. Did you make it to HiFiVision show post the quiz? They had some nice headphones as I mentioned which might have had you sway back to around-ears :)
 

tusharshukla1991

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Check these out:

https://www.headphonezone.in/collections/in-ear-monitors/products/1more-triple-driver

I friend is having this iem and it is really good. I have listened to these on my OnePlus 5 without DAC and they still sound good to me.

I have a sennheiser598 and they don't sound good without DAC but with DAC or on macbook they shine!

If you use with phone then go for low impedence IEMs.

I bought edifier speakers (because of awesome reviews ) and I didn't like them but there was on option on amazon to refund so I replaced them and when the replacement came I again went to replace/refund option and refund option was there
 

tusharshukla1991

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I keep reading that the 1More IEMs are a tad recessed and mids are not their forte. How true is it?

Hello,

I have listened to them for 15-20mins only and bollywood songs. I find the clarity quite amazing and decent soundstage .
They were bright, but i like bright.
The vocal clarity was good, so I think mids are ok as well.
PS: I am not very expienced with high end gadgets
 

determinus

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I am not really blown over by the sound like what every reviewer says. I dont know what a sound stage means. but the bass is really heavy relatively. vocals are nothing like the singer is very close to me physically. I listened to few indian + EDM +rock and feedback is very similar. Now instruments do have better clarity compared to anything i have heard - but again nothing like paying 10K for a pair of headphones and it certainly doesnt sound like the orchestra is sitting right next to me. I cant really pick each instrument apart..its a bit muddled

The ATH-M series signature is known to have a slight bump in bass and treble spectrum. More like a "U" in an equalizer settings. Hence, for close to neutral/ uncolored sound, many experts prefer an MDR7506 from Sony. And more VFM is 40x than 50x according to many.

Anyway, this is a 6 months old thread, but I was keen to know what replaced the 50x and at what price.
 
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