When comparing Audio-Technica ATH-M50x vs Sennheiser HD 800S, the Slant community recommends Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is ranked 2nd while Sennheiser HD 800S is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is:
The ATH-M50x are great sounding headphones with a sound that may fall in the neutral category, but with very slight boosts to the bass and highs; a slightly V-shaped sound. The bass is full and has a lot of power. The sub bass has a hint of elevation though, which can make the bass sound a bit loose on hip-hop or EDM tracks. The mids are fairly neutral with no elevation. The highs are also slightly elevated, which does not add harshness but instead gives the sound a shimmery and detailed feel. This sound signature of the M50x makes it versatile. It is neutral enough for monitoring use, yet also has just the right qualities to make it a great choice for enjoying music.
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Pro Generally neutral sounding but with an added kick to the low end
The ATH-M50x are great sounding headphones with a sound that may fall in the neutral category, but with very slight boosts to the bass and highs; a slightly V-shaped sound. The bass is full and has a lot of power. The sub bass has a hint of elevation though, which can make the bass sound a bit loose on hip-hop or EDM tracks. The mids are fairly neutral with no elevation. The highs are also slightly elevated, which does not add harshness but instead gives the sound a shimmery and detailed feel.
This sound signature of the M50x makes it versatile. It is neutral enough for monitoring use, yet also has just the right qualities to make it a great choice for enjoying music.
Pro Lively sounding bass
The bass of these headphones sound full with a slight boost. This makes the bass quite punchy without drowning the mids or highs.
Pro Good value for your money as these headphones are feature packed for the price
You get a lot from what you pay for with these headphones. Aside from the great sound, they are also well built and come with a lot of accessories.
Pro Stellar build quality
The ATH M50x is made from high quality matte plastics which are quite resistant to damage without being too heavy. The hinges move smoothly and do not have unnecessary creaks.
Pro Detachable cables
Audio-Technica finally updated the M50's built in cable to a detachable cable. The M50x even comes with three cables, a 1.2 m - 3.0 m coiled cable, a 3.0 m straight cable, and a 1.2 m straight cable. None of the cables have in-line controls though.
Pro Good passive isolation
The ear cups and pads are able to keep the sound in and block outside noise. These are suitable for a noisy office as even low volume music is enough to drown out those noisy office mates.
Pro Can collapse to a more compact size
The ear cups can be folded into the headband, reducing its footprint. Combined with the carrying pouch and detachable cables, you can easily chuck these headphones into your bag when going out.
Pro Great for tracking guitar
Pro Extremely detailed highs, warm and clear mids with tight and accurate bass
The highs are very clear and revealing, so you will be able to hear even the minute details from the audio that you simply will not be able to pick up with lesser headphones.
The mids are also clear and have nice warmth. They are slightly recessed, yet voices and mid range tones will come out full, so the sound is not lean in any way.
The bass is not boomy but still has enough power for a satisfying thump. Also, due to the bass' tightness and speed, there is no bloat from the lower frequencies.
Pro Highly detailed sound with one of the widest soundstages
These headphones sound very immersive. Aside from the highly detailed sound and powerful yet tight bass, the soundstage is very wide, which only a few headphones can match , if any at all.
Pro Relatively lightweight
Despite the massive size of the headphones, Sennheiser was able to keep the weight down by using a special material called Leona, which is very light yet has metal-like toughness.
Pro Very wide sound stage
The HD 800S has one of the widest sound stages of any headphone today. There is excellent separation and you can easily identify where various sounds are coming from and can be very immersive.
Pro Solid build quality
These headphones do not make unnecessary creaks or flex when moved or held. Aside from the use of Leona on the ear cups and headband, the size adjuster is made of lightweight metal, with fine yet durable stainless steel mesh covering the drivers.
Pro Comes with two high quality cables
Out of the box, you get a balanced XLR cable and an unbalanced TRS cable. If you have a balanced headphone amp, then the XLR cable will allow you to maximize your amp's performance with these headphones without the need to buy a different (and expensive) cable.
Pro Really comfortable to wear
The ear pads feature high quality memory foam as cushions with the surface being premium quality velours. This material combo is also used on the headband. They feel really soft and conform to the contours of your head. Due to the fabric material, some air can move through the pads, minimizing heat and sweatiness.
Con Only passive noise cancellation
If you're looking for a headphone to keep you isolated on long plane rides, the M50x is probably not the right headphone for you. These headphones do not electronically limit exterior noises, it only blocks noise with its physical design.
Con Ear cups may be too small
The ear cups on the M50x are smaller than those on something like the 380HD or the DT 770 Pro. Your ears could end up touching the the inside of the headphones which can be uncomfortable for some.
Con A decent amp is needed to power these properly
These headphones are quite power hungry and will not produce optimal sound or volume when plugged directly to your phone or laptop. You will need to invest in a separate, fairly powerful amp to get the best sound out of these.
Con Leaks a lot of sound
Only a very fine mesh piece covers the large headphone drivers from the outside. These are basically mini speakers so others can easily hear what you are listening to.
Con Can be picky with DACs/amps
Your choice of amp and DAC can have a noticeable effect on the sound of the HD 800S. You may need to do extra research as to which audio equipment can bring out the best sound from these.