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The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x have the been the go to headphones for both normal consumers and professionals just looking for well built, and good sounding headphones. But now we have the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT… they have the same styling as before but now they’re wireless, they have a touch pad, and they have on board media controls.
And these headphones are so good that they’ve joined the Sony WH-CH700N in my most recommended $200 headphones club. But I like these for a whole other set of reasons and would recommend them to a very different type of person than I would recommend these to. And we’ll find out which of these two headphones are right for you after a word from one of our partners.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT currently retails for $200, which isn’t that bad cause the non-wireless version typically retails for $150. Meaning that going wireless is just a $50 premium. Unlike the Hyper-X cloud mix which carries a $100 premium over its non wireless version. And for comparison the Sony WH-CH700N’s also retails for $200 but routinely goes on sale. If you want to pick either of these headphones up I’ll have links in the description below and if you use the links I really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause Sony’s headphones routinely go on sale so you’ll might get lucky.
So first lets go over what comes in the box… the M50x’s come included with a pleather carrying pouch. Which admittedly is a pretty snug fit for these headphones. Even though these headphones are built like a tank, I still suggest you invest in a hardshell carrying case if you plan on traveling or working with these headphones if you’re a content creator. The M50x’s also come included with a Micro USB cable for charging. Now yeah it does suck that these headphones have micro Usb in late 2018 but I think Audio Technica did that as a cost saving measure. These headphones also come included with a 3.5 to 3.5 millimeter audio cable with an inline mic and play pause button. But I also wish these headphones came included a coiled audio cable or 3 meter audio cable like the Base M50x’s do for those who actually plan on working with these headphones.
Now like I just mentioned… these headphones are build like a tank. Even though the majority of their construction is plastic, the ear cups pivot and swivel 90 degrees very smoothly in every direction, when you adjust the sizing of the headband theres a very satisfying and sturdy click to it and when you actually flex the headband there isn’t any excessive cracking. Cause for comparison, even though I really like the Sony WH-CH700N’s cause they pack a lot of features for their price… their build quality isn’t amazing and its definitely not on par of that of the M50X’s. Now when it comes to fit, the M50X’s have a loser snug fit. As in they hold on pretty well on to your head but they aren’t as snug as the WH-CH700N, but they aren’t as loose as premium ANC headphones which tend to have very little clamping force for maximum comfort. But obviously the ATH-M50xBT’s are big head approved.
But even though I am a fan of how these headphones fit… I do have some complaints about the padding on these ear cups. These headphones are pretty large compared to a lot of other headphones out there. And I would have liked to seen the padding on these ear cups to be a little more spacious relative to their size. When ever Im editing a video or listening to music with the M50xBT’s I cant help but feel my medium flushed ears feel a little cramped. And I want to point this out cause even though the WH-CH700N’s are smaller and more low profile than the M50x’s… their ear cups are significantly more spacious. So even though the ATH-M50x’s are great… I do think Audio-Technica should redesign their ear cups to be more spacious especially for professionals that have to wear these headphones for hours on end. But given how easy it is to remove the ear pads on these headphones, you can easily get upgraded ear pads on line.
Regarding tech specs, the M50X’s are rocking bluetooth 5.0, have APTX support, and if you’re an iPhone user they’re good for watching youtube videos on your phone cause they have very little latency. Where as the Sony WH-CH700N are only good for watching videos if you have an android devices cause they do have a little bit of latency when used with an iPhone cause apple still insists on using the AAC codec. But bad news for both of these headphones… they can only be connected to one device at a time which does suck for power users.
But when I comes to battery life both of these headphones are monsters… Audio-Technica advertises a 40 hour battery life on their ATH-M50XBt and Sony advertises a 35 hour battery life on their WH-CH700N’s with ANC turned on, but if you use them with ANC turned off you should be able to get a longer battery life. But still these headphones should be able to easily last you 2 weeks in between charges if not more.
But now lets talk about sound quality, just like before… the ATH-M50XBT’s have a neutral sound signature which is great for professionals who actually plan on working with these headphones and its just good for people who just prefer a neutral sound signature when ever they listen to music. The highs never peak, the mids have good detail and separation and the bass gets deep. But it doesn’t kick you like some other headphones, specifically the WH-CH700N. For some people whenever they listen to music with their headphones they don’t just want to hear the music… they also want to feel it. thats why some people gravitate towards bass heavy headphones and that’s why other headphones like the Skullcandy Crusher 360’s are so popular. The WH-CH700N’s give you that kick you’re looking for but their audio fidelity definitely isn’t as good as the ATH-M50xBT’s. Even if you were to go into the WH-Ch700N’s app and give them a neutral sound signature similar to the M50X’s… their clarity and instrument separation just isn’t as good as the Audio-Technica’s… but they still sound decent. So thats why I feel the Sony WH-CH700N’s are better suited for normal consumers that want to have a good time with their headphones and the Audio-Technica are better suited for people and pros who want or need a more accurate reproduction of their audio but still want headphones that can take on the go with them.
But just so that there isn’t any confusion cause this question has popped up a lot lately… these headphones don’t have Active Noise Cancelation.
But still you aren’t missing much when it comes to ANC on sub $200 headphones compared to more premium ones. ANC on cheaper headphones is really only worth using to block out a small amount of constant road noise and you’re still going to get a lot ambient sound when wearing either of these headphones out doors.
But expanding on this whole “I like both of these headphones but would recommend them to very different types of people theme”… The ATH-M50XBT are geared towards people who want to work with them in the studio, in the editing bay, or on a set… but then wear them on their commute back home. One of the most important things I want to point out about the ATH-M50XBT’s is that if you try to use them with a wired connection, they can only be used passively. As in they automatically power off. But when they’re used passively they still produce a very clear and accurate sound. Cause for comparison, most ANC headphones can be used passively but they don’t sound good. The bass and highs are there but the mids aren’t, so they sound very shallow. So if you want to use a pair of ANC headphones to monitor the audio in your project you have to use them while powered on. So if you’re on a set with a lot of moving parts, thats one more thing to remember to keep charged. So thats why lots of people still prefer to use wired headphones or bluetooth headphones without ANC. So thats one of the small details as to why I would recommend these Audio-Technica’s to professionals.
And then when you’re done with work you can leave the wire behind and enjoy the great sound quality the ATH-M50XBT’s have to offer wirelessly. Now one of the things Im glad Audio Technica didn’t include with these headphones were the touch controls found on the their ATH-ANC700BT Quiet Point headphones. The touch pad was so bad on those headphones it actually ruined them for me. Instead, the M50xBT’s have your standard volume up volume down and play pause button set up on their left ear cup. Besides being on the left ear cup and having to press and hold the volume up and volume down buttons to skip through your music… I like them and they get the job done. But the M50XBT’s still have a touch pad on the left ear cup that you can press and hold to summon your voice assistant. I don’t get why you cant just press and hold the play pause button to this like on most other older headphones. And I would have personally preferred to not have a touch pad if it meant that that money could have gone towards upgrading these headphones to USB C. And if Audio-Technica is using the touch pad feature on the M50XBT’s look more “impressive” or “high tech” then I wish they also had direct voice assistant integration which is increasingly becoming more popular on headphones these days
But just going off of their software and just how unimpressive their Audio Technica Connect app is I don’t have any high hopes of seeing google assistant integration making its way to these headphones in the future like it did on the Sony WH-CH700N.
But over all, like I said at the beginning of this video… I like and recommend the new ATH-M50XBT over the Sony WH-CH700N for a very different set of reasons. Just like before, the ATH-M50XBT’s have very good build quality, fit very well, and sound very good. They’re a great option for people who want or need a neutral sound signature and they’re a great option for professionals who want a pair of headphones they can work with and continue to use throughout the rest of the day. Although the ATH-M50XBT’s aren’t as featured packed like newer Headphones that have an adjustable EQ, Active Noise Cancelation, and voice assistant integration… they do exactly what they need to do, and thats sound good.