Audio Technica ATH M50x Review: Still GOOD in 2024?

Odi Productions Mar 19, 2024
79 People Read
Audio Technica ATH M50x on headphone stand

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

Here is my honest Audio Technica ATH M50x review, for those who are wondering if they're still good or worth it in 2024. If you’ve ever shopped for a decent pair of headphones before, chances are you’ve heard of these as they have just exploded in popularity in the past decade. I’m here today to give you my honest review in order to reveal the truth, without any of the hype. Stay tuned.

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Order the Audio-Technica ATH M50x HERE for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE (Do NOT pay retail): 

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The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x needs a little introduction, but I’m going to give you guys just a brief background about this particular model and its rise to fame.

The M50x is actually an updated version of the legendary ATH-M50, which trails back all the way to the early 2000s. The “x” model was just released in early 2014, and with it, came a lot of necessary revisions and improvements.

For example, the original M50 came with a 10 ft cable that was not detachable, so they weren’t exactly practical. Also, the original M50 was rather uncomfortable with too much clamping force, so the “x” model comes with less pressure and better comfort. One of the most important differences is that the sound has been tweaked for a more modern sound signature, and I think it is a noticeable improvement over the originals, which still sounded great in their own right.

For as long as I can remember, the ATH-M50, and now M50x, have consistently been hailed as the best value in consumer headphones. Today we’ll find out if that’s true.

Now let’s jump into the unboxing and discuss the features and overall design of these headphones.

Features + Unboxing

The M50x comes in a nice big box that opens up to reveal the headphones wrapped in plastic. Along with the headphones, you get 3 choices of cables including a standard 3 ft cable much like any other headphones, a 10 ft studio cable like the original M50’s had, and a coiled cable with a 1/4 inch adapter that can be used for studio purposes. Along with the cables, you get a nice little leather carrying case pouch.

As far as features go, these really are just a good old-fashioned pair of headphones with no frills. These aren’t noise-canceling and they don’t have Bluetooth wireless, so if you need those amenities then unfortunately you’ll have to look elsewhere.

But if all you need is a traditional pair of wired headphones, then the M50x gets the job done well. Although they aren’t noise-canceling, the closed-back design provides some passive noise isolation to help keep ambient noise out. Also, the cable is now detachable and locks into the earcup, so you can always replace it if it ever goes bad, which cables seem to do these days.

The earcups swivel 90 degree to lay flat, providing some room for motion. Also, the earcups are collapsible in-between the headband for more portability.

As far as the overall design is concerned, I think the ATH M50 has aged wonderfully from its introduction over a decade ago. My favorite part of the headphones is the metal ring on the earcups surrounding the Audio-Technica logo. It’s such a small detail yet makes the look of these heaphones so iconic and instantly recognizable.

Now, these definitely aren’t the most stylish headphones on the market, as they’re rather big and somewhat clunky-looking. They can look a little goofy when worn because of the wide headband hinges sticking out past the earcups. Compared to some of the more modern headphones on the market, such as the Beats Studios and V-Moda Crossfade M100’s, the M50x starts to look a little outdated.

Nonetheless, the M50x is far from ugly and is still one of the better-looking headphones on the market today, despite its age.

Build Quality

The build quality on the M50x and original M50 has always been a strength of these headphones. They’re built like a tank and will easily withstand years of abuse without a problem.

They have a metal headband that flexes easily, which is usually a weak point for a lot of other headphones.

My only knock is that a lot of the material on these is made of plastic, so they may not feel as expensive as some other headphones, but the rest is metal along with a nice leather headband.

They also come with a 2-year warranty for some extra peace of mind.


Comfort is one category where the new “x” model receives a big upgrade from the original M50.

Back when I had my M50s, the one thing I hated about them was that they were just plain uncomfortable. In fact, the lack of comfort was the reason I sold my pair. The originals used to have way too much clamping force that would apply a lot of pressure to the side of your head, and the padding wasn’t enough to offset the pressure. On top of that, the closed-back design meant that your ears would quickly get warm and even start sweating over longer sessions. The result? I couldn’t wear the M50s for more than 45 minutes at a time without taking them off and letting my ears breathe.

The good news is, Audio-Technica virtually eliminated most of these issues with the “x” model. The clamping force is much more relaxed and the earcups now come with improved padding which has really increased the comfort level. I still notice that my ears get warm in a short amount of time, but it’s not nearly as bad as the originals.

Overall, these still aren’t the most comfortable headphones on the market, but I would definitely rate them as above-average, which is a huge improvement.

Sound Quality

Sound is easily the one category that most people are concerned with, and it’s probably the most subjective category as well.

Now if you’ve never listened to a decent pair of headphones before, the ATH-M50x is probably going to be somewhat of a revelation to you.

The frequency response of the M50x is more neutral than most consumer headphones, but it’s not entirely flat either. With that said, the sound presents a nice balance of bass, mids, and highs that allows you to hear music in the full spectrum.

What impresses me the most, is the powerful bass response from the 45mm drivers, which has been boosted from the original M50s. I personally love bass myself, and the M50x goes low to hit some nice sub-bass, while providing a good amount of boom. The bass can sometimes overwhelm the rest of the song, but I find it to be a decent balance.

These headphones are also a little brighter in the highs than the originals, which results in some added detail. The downside to the boosted highs is that they can sometimes sound a little too sharp and piercing, which means that listening to these headphones will be more fatiguing over time.

Now just to make one thing clear, these are not the best-sounding headphones on the market, but they’re definitely one of the best for the price. Overall, it’s a great introduction to the world of higher-end audio, and the sound quality will definitely impress most casual listeners.

Are the Audio Technica ATH M50x worth it in 2024?

Bottom line, at a price tag of around $150, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is still one of the best values in consumer audio today, thanks to a great overall package of solid build quality, improved comfort, and of course, high-end sound quality.

Are these the best headphones ever? Not quite, but you’re probably going to have to spend at least another $100 to find that out.

I’ll include an Amazon link below so you can pick up a pair at the lowest price available.

Last but not least, please don’t forget to Thumbs Up and Comment if you enjoyed this video. If you have any questions at all about the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, leave it in the comments below.

Order the Audio-Technica ATH M50x HERE for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE (Do NOT pay retail): 

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂

Audio Technica ATH M50x Headphone FAQ

Is ATH-M50x good for music?

Yes, the Audio Technica ATH M50x is good for both casual listening to music and for some studio use like monitoring vocals or instruments. They are a studio staple due to their closed-back nature for recording vocals. I wouldn't recommend them for professional mixing and mastering due to their lack of reference quality. 

Does ATH-M50x have noise cancellation?

No, the ATH-M50x does not have any active noise cancellation, although there is some passive noise isolation due to being a completely closed-back headphone, preventing leakage of most sound.

Is the Audio Technica M50x considered "audiophile" level?

The Audio Technica M50x is not quite mid-fi or hi-fi "audiophile" level in my opinion, and for the current price point under $150, it shouldn't come as a surprise. If I were looking for more "audiophile" headphones, I'd start with Hifiman Sundara or Sennheiser HD650, which both cost about double the M50x.

Is Audio Technica M40x better than M50x?

What does "ATH" stand for with Audio-Technica headphones?

"ATH" is a shorthand version of the full brand name "Audio-Technica" used to describe their product model names, and it doesn't seem to stand for anything as an acronym.

Does Audio-Technica ATH-M50x have a mic?

No, the Audio-Technica ATH M50x does not have a mic built-in, although you can add one on either via a cable attachment or ModMic accessory.

How We Tested and Our Methodology is a 100% independent publisher with over 10 years of experience testing and reviewing consumer electronics and headphones.

We currently purchase the products we test with our own money, and are not paid by any company or manufacturer to influence our opinions or decisions.

After purchasing the product, we conduct up to hundreds of hours of detailed hands-on testing in a controlled, acoustically-treated environment.

ODi Productions is our resident expert and author of this article, with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, tech journalist, and audiophile.

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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.