When comparing Audio-Technica ATH-M50x vs Sony MDR-1R, the Slant community recommends Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for most people. In the question“What are the best over-ear headphones under $200?” Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is ranked 2nd while Sony MDR-1R is ranked 6th. 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 Gets extra protection when taken on the go from the included carrying pouch
The included carrying pouch of these headphones adds extra protection against dust, scratches, and minor impact. Also, the pouch looks well made and stylish, making it a great inclusion to the headphone package.
Pro Is quite portable as the headphone can be folded flat
The ear cups of the MDR-1R can be folded flat. This gives the headphones a slimmer profile which makes them easily fit in bags for utmost portability.
Pro Detachable cable enhances headphone portability
The cable can be easily detached from the headphone. This makes the wire much easier to organize and makes the headphone much more convenient to take on the go.
Pro Sound quality
The MDR-1R is designed to be a studio headphone and its sound signature follows that design. These headphones are very balanced with little emphasis on either bass, mids, or highs. As a result this headphone will work well for a wide range of music. But if you're looking for an emphasis on bass you may need to look elsewhere.
Pro Impressive soundstage
For a headphone with a closed-back design, the MDR-1R has been noted to have impressive soundstage.
Pro Can be worn all day long because of the comfortable design
The MDR-1 is really comfortable to wear and can be worn for many hours straight. The ear pads and headband feature synthetic leather surfaces, but this material actually feels very supple and soft on the skin. This is complimented by the ample padding which makes these materials seem like pillows on the user's head.
Pro Neutral bass
The bass of the MDR-1R is not overly powerful with a neutral bass response.
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 May not have the oomph that you want from a headphone
These headphones do not have the best bass output. While the bass is present, it may not have the punch or fullness that bass heads may want. This also means that the MDR-1R may not be the best option for hip-hop, EDM, or more bass-centric music.