When comparing Audio-Technica ATH-M50x vs Sony WH-1000XM2, 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 Sony WH-1000XM2 is ranked 12th. 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 Fun-sounding with good details to the audio
The bass has good punch and control which works really well with most genres of music. The mids are slightly forward at just the right levels, which ensures that vocals can be clearly heard. The highs are emphasized and sound great with a lot of clarity and detail, especially on the upper registers.
Pro Right ear cup functions as touchpad remote
Swiping or tapping on the right ear cup's surface can pause or play track, go to the next track or go back to the previous one and can control volume levels as well. Also, the right ear cup has more of a textured surface compared to the old MDR1000x model's smooth, leather-like surface. This makes gesture control much more accurate on the WH-1000XM2.
Pro Quick Attention mode allows easy conversations
If you need to talk while using these, all you need to do is to cover the right ear cup with the palm of your hand. This activates Quick Attention mode which cuts off the music and amplifies voice for easy conversation. To get back to listening to music, all you need to do is to remove the palm from the ear cup.
Pro 4 noise cancelling modes to choose from
Aside from just turning noise cancelling on or off, users can set it to Ambient Sound which offers 2 further options.Normal Mode allows some outside noise through, while Voice Mode allows voice frequencies through the noise cancelling.
Pro Mobile app grants extra functionality and easy tweaking of the headphones
The WH1000XM2 comes with a companion mobile app that allows you to easily tweak the various settings of the headphones including EQ and noise cancelling levels. The app can also take advantage of the accelerometers in your smartphone as you move, adjusting noise cancelling and audio settings on the fly to give you the optimal listening experience.
Pro Good noise isolation
These have great noise isolating properties and can block out a good amount of sound even with the noise cancelling off. The ear cups are closed back, while the ear pads go over the ear and seal well, awhich effectively minimizes sound leakage to and from the headphones.
Pro Can fold down to a more compact size
The ear cups can be folded into the headband. This reduces the headphones' size so that it can easily fit inside bags.
Pro Active noise cancelling is very good
The WH-1000XM2's active noise cancelling is one of the best in the market today. With the mode activated, a significant amount of outside noise is blocked, allowing you to really enjoy your music with minimal distractions. The Bose QC 35 II slightly edges out the Sony in this aspect though.
Pro Built in mic makes taking calls very easy
There is a built in microphone which negates the need to remove the headphones to answer a call.
Pro Can be used wired or wireless
You can use these headphones wired using the detachable 3.5mm cable or you can go wireless with Bluetooth.
Pro Very long battery life
The internal battery can last up to 30 hours of listening to music in wireless mode with noise cancelling on. This number goes up to 40 hours in wired mode with noise cancelling activated.
Pro Carrying case allows for easy and secure transport
This comes with a carrying case that is made from high quality materials. It should provide extra protection to the headphones against scratches and minor impacts, which are quite common when taking these while traveling.
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 Highs can be too piercing
The boosted highs add a lot of detail to the sound that these headphones produce. This also makes it too harsh for some.