I mainly use headphones for editing video and listening to music. At the time, I hadn’t spent more than $100 on headphones and was just using a pair of Sennheiser HD 202’s. Previously, I’ve had KOSS PortaPro’s and Grado SR80’s and found their sound too be good but both pairs were uncomfortable.
At first, I ordered the Audio-Technica M40x headphones and ultimately there were three issues that led me to return them and choose the Audio-Technica M50x instead. Firstly, the M40x’s don’t swivel in both directions, only one. Secondly, the M50x’s were only $50 more in price. Lastly, and most importantly to me, the M50x’s have larger drivers and better low end frequency response.
As far as aesthetics go, compared to the M40x, the M50x headphones are heavier and feel like they’re built better. I really like the unique navy blue and tan color option as well.
I noticed an increased bass response with the M50x. These are great for listening to music but would look elsewhere for something more suited for critical listening.
The M50x headphones come with a pouch and three detachable cables (one coiled and two straight cables in different lengths). I’ve worn them while traveling and there is very little sound leakage from the sealed backs.
Unfortunately, after wearing them for a few hours, my ears began to hurt. Their heavier weight, compared to the M40x’s, made them uncomfortable. I also missed the flatter frequency response that the M40x headphones had. With the larger drivers and increased bass response, I feel like they lost a little bit of the top end clarity and transparency.
At the end of the day, if I had to do it again, I’m not sure I would choose the Audio-Technica M50x over the M40x.F or a pair of quality headphones within the $100-$150 range, I feel like both the M40x and M50x are great choices. If you prefer the look and increase bass and don’t mind the extra weight, go for the M50x. If you want one of the best value headphones the Audio-Technica M40x might be for you.