ATH-M50 review: the best closed cans I've used

My low-end studio equipment doesn't qualify me to give much of an opinion on such matters, but the ATH-M50s are easily the best closed cans I've ever used.

My trusty Senn 280s have served me well for several years, and I prefer them to the Sony 7506s and ATH-M40s that I've also auditioned in my studio. After reading a series of rave reviews (in Tape Op, Recording, etc.), I ordered the M50s just for comparison's sake.

I was fairly sure I'd send them back after a listen. I never did. Simply put, the M50s are the first closed cans that I feel I can trust for rough mixing, and surprisingly, the first closed cans that make me want to listen just for enjoyment. They clearly live up the street from my old Senns, which I now use solely for tracking.

* detailed yet coherent sound that mirrors higher-end monitor speakers
* particularly impressive bass response (deep, tight) and soundstage (great imaging)
* very comfy fit, with special fake leather that's breathable and durable

* rather short coiled cord, requiring an extension for some applications
* slightly looser fit than the Senn 280s (good or bad, depending on head size)

Speakers of any type are hard to recommend since tastes, physiology, and other equipment vary so much, but you may want to audition these if you need a pair for higher-end listening tasks. They work beautifully for me, and the price seems fair (paid $139 new, shipping included). Then again, with my mostly bargain-basement studio gear, what do I know? Make sure you have a good return policy, just in case.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at Wednesday, December 03, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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