Audio Technica has been in the audio equipment game for decades ranging from microphones to turntables. One of their most popular and often seen devices is their M50x series of headphones. As we move onto a wire free listening world Audio Technica has decided to arm their M50x headphones series with Bluetooth and cut the cord.
If you ever seen a pair of ATH-M50 before you notice they have that studio look and feel. They are part of Audio Technica’s Professional line of headphones which are generally used for recording, mixing and mastering and this is attributed to its closed back design. But that’s all preference realistically. Aesthetics wise the M50x is comprised of mostly plastic with foldable and collapsible earcups. The AT logo is etched on each cup surrounded by metal circling. The earcups themselves feature memory foam padding which have felt comfy on the ears even for extended periods. The headband itself underneath has slight cushioning for the head but overall has a hard exterior. On top of that is the name embossed in huge wording.
For controls Audio Technica has put all the emphasis on the left earcup. There are music controls, Volume buttons, and a power latch. A 3.5mm headphone jack is available if you decide you want to be wired or the battery is drained on the headphones. Interestingly what’s hidden in plain sight is the left AT symbol doubles as a voice assist. MicroUSB is available for charging the device as unfortunately Type-C isn’t available. I like that Audio Technica has all the controls on one side and pretty much within a thumb reach.
Included with the M50xBT is a 3.5mm audio cable, leather pouch, and micro USB cable to charge up the headphones.
Audio Technica for the most part keeps its pretty traditional regarding features besides throwing in voice controls which you can use with Google Assistant. To activate it just press and hold your finger on the left AT symbol for five secs. It will activate on your phone and you can give it whatever commands. I didn’t use it often but it’s great to have the option. Also, I like the fact you had to hold it for a couple of secs. I felt on the JBL 650BTNC it was super sensitive, and a slight finger tap would activate it.
The Connect App gives you info such as the battery percentage and what audio codec the headphones are playing in. It’s on an auto setting but you can change it to your preference. M50xBT support Qualcomm aptX, AAC, and SBC. I been using it with the OnePlus 7 Pro so I was getting AptX. App also lets you update the firmware on the headphones. Its available for iOS and Android. There is also a locator feature if you misplace your headphones and need to track them down.
Battery is slated at 40 hours and frankly I haven’t charged except the initial time I took them out the box a few weeks ago. It does take a while to charge with it stating 7 hrs. I left them on the charger, so I didn’t monitor the time unfortunately.
So, this is my first-time using Audio Technica’s M50 series of headphones and I was rather impressed. M50xBT is equipped with 45mm large aperture drivers. Sound is so balanced. Nothing is taking presence over the other and it’s a sublime listening experience. It’s not bass heavy but there is just enough in there to satisfy my ears and not take away from the music. Some might want a bit more thump though. Mids are really smooth on it. Vocals can be heard clearly over the tracks. Highs aren’t bad, but it really depends on what you are listening to.
I rocked out with the M50xBT for the past weeks transitioning from my daily Sony XM3s. First off, the M50xBT don’t have noise cancelling which I thought would be a negative, but I didn’t miss it too much. The M50xBT I found were great at isolating noise and I didn’t feel too much interference from the outside world mainly on my usual loud train commutes. This is due to the fact the M50xBTs have a tight concealed fit. Earcups wrap around my ears and kept me in the zone.
Because of their structure though they aren’t the most comfortable over the ears but also not the worst. Ones like the Sony XM3 are comfier but also more expensive as well. I had no issues using them over Bluetooth whether it was with distortion or disconnection except maybe one occurrence. M50xBT are using Bluetooth 5.0.
Given this is my first go round with Audio-Technica I have to give the M50xBT headphones a nice thumbs up. I appreciated the sound profile these created and at times favored them over my Sony XM3s depending on the tracks. There isn’t any noise cancelling but in this case it’s not a deal breaker. To me I felt they could have been more comfortable. Battery life is incredible and the fact I haven’t charged them over the past few weeks says something. For $199.99 these are some of the best I have listened to in this price category in some time and highly recommend you give them a listen.