These are the second least expensiveheadphones in this roundup, but arequality, durable performers with asmooth and balanced response. Thanks to the circumaural design and heavily-padded ear cushions, theyoffer great isolation for tracking and remain comfortable for hours at astretch. Further emphasizing its tracking abilities, the earpieces can swivel180 degrees for those into single-earmonitoring. The isolation is very good,as the ATH-M50 offers above-averagenoise rejection from the outside world.
The high end is not as transparentas more expensive models; the overall sonic signature is a bit “warmer” or“darker” (depending on yourviewpoint). But that doesn’t mean youcan’t mix on them—it just meansthere’s a little less “air.” On the low end,the bass is solid and sounds very even,with a midrange that’s both definedand free of significant “peakiness.”
The ATH-M50 can deliver someserious SPL, which is important in atracking headphone if there’s a lot ofambient noise in the studio. And assomeone who’s used an ATH-M50 fora while, I can attest that it can handle a certain amount of abuse and keep on going. Bottom line is that the ATHM50is all about performance/priceratio, where it scores very well indeed.(An alternate model, the ATH-M50s, is available with a straight cableinstead of coiled; neither modeloffers detachability.)