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Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014)
See Top Ranked Closed-Back Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (2014)

Analysis:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) are both excellent choices at their respective budgets. The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) is among the very best Closed-Back Headphones for $279 and the Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) is exemplary at $169. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can't go wrong with either option.

Two highly trusted sources that perform well-thought-out in-depth testing consider the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) to be a great product - it earned the "Best All-around" title from SoundGuys and "Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound" from Tom's Guide in their respective Closed-Back Headphone roundups, which is a good indication of it being a notable product.

Returning to the Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) - it was really well-received by reviewers at Rtings and SoundGuys, which are among the most highly trusted sources on the internet and are known for their in-depth hands-on testing. It was named "Best Audiophile Closed-Back Headphones" by Rtings and "Best value" by SoundGuys, which points toward the Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) being a high-quality product.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. What Hi-Fi?, TrustedReviews, Techradar, Head-fi, CNET, and Rtings, for example, preferred the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017), while Pocket-lint rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) got reviewed the highest by Digitaltrends - it gave it a rating of 10, while the Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) most impressed reviewers at Pocket-lint, which gave it a score of 10.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Closed-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Closed-Back Headphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) managed averages of 8.9 and 8.3 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs. Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
PCmag
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Wirecutter
Techradar
CNET
TrustedReviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014)
$169
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: a day ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Style
in “Best studio headphones” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Accessories for Daydream” 
Last updated: 13 May 2017
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Headphones of 2014” 
Last updated: 8 Nov 2014
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $250 of 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Sep 2019
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 5 Best DJ Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best value
in “Best DJ headphones” 
Last updated: 7 Apr 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great wired option
in “Best Headphones for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Mar 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 22
in “The Best Headphones Under $200 of 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Feb 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Closed-Back Audiophile Headphones
in “The 7 Best Audiophile Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 25 days ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #14 out of 28
in “The Best Headphones on Amazon of 2020” 
Last updated: 2 Apr 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Audiophile Closed-Back Headphones
in “The 5 Best Closed Back Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #14 out of 23
in “The Best Headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 31 Mar 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones - More Versatile Alternative
in “The 7 Best Over-Ear Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Wired Headphones For Audiophiles - Closed-Back Alternative
in “The 7 Best Wired Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best over-ear headphones 2020: The best Bluetooth, noise-cancelling and wired headphones in the UK” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Cases” 
Last updated: 30 Nov 2014
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Galaxy S10 in 2020” 
Last updated: 26 Feb 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “12 Accessories to complement your HTC One (M8)” 
Last updated: 23 Sep 2014
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Galaxy S10 Accessories in 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Jan 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Samsung Galaxy Note 9” 
Last updated: 28 Sep 2018
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Bass Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 5 May 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Headphones Under $200 - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 30 Apr 2020

Find the best product and price, effortlessly.

Discover deals on products actually worth buyingthe best products

We do the research. You save the money.
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•  100% Free
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