Before we get into the ATH M50 vs. Beats Pro comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you today
Today I will outline the similarities and differences between these two bad boys and then give some recommendations towards the end. 🙂
My M50 Review!
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
I’ve had the pleasure of owning the Audio Technica ATH M50 since January of 2013. Since that time, they have served me very well, and have proven themselves to be rock solid in the durability department. They are comfortable headphones for the most part, but you will find yourself adjusting them every once in a while.
I used to mix on these ’til the wee hours of the morning, and I can honestly say I forgot they were on my head. Being a newbie audiophile, I kind of just assumed that since they were marketed as studio headphones, that meant they were in fact studio headphones.
The truth of the matter is that they aren’t. In reality, this is a high end consumer headphone that can be used in studio, but that’s not it’s primary purpose. It’s all marketing man. 😛
The sound is your typical bass head affair, but I never got the impression that it was too muddy, over blown, or artificial sounding. This is what has always made the M50 stand out from the crowd. Sure, it’s mid-range could be construed as recessed, but it’s primary function is to blow you away, not coddle to your audiophile needs. 😛 Wahh there’s no mid-range wahhh. Lol. I love my mids as much as anyone, but let’s be realistic: This isn’t a balanced headphone by any means and it’s not supposed to be. It’s an exciting, fun sound. I would EQ 9k down a few decibels though. Re-visiting them has made me realize that they can sound very “essy” at times.
After a couple of years of heavy use, the ear-cups on mine started to deteriorate, which is pretty standard actually. Expect them to crack, harden, and peel off. Luckily, they are replaceable and I was able to swap them out for the Brainwavz HM5. Just be aware that while it does open up the Soundstage, the bass won’t be as strong. Be prepared for more details! What is Soundstage? If that’s going to be an issue, you could always just get these standard replacements and call it a day. 🙂
The Wire (not the T.V. show)
The other thing to keep in mind with these is the wiring. Over time it will kind of harden and get somewhat stiff, but it’s not really a negative more so than just something that will inevitably happen.
The legendary 3.5mm jack
One of the most impressive aspects of the M50 was the famous 3.5mm jack. I had never seen such a durable component to any piece of gear, and to this day I’m still thoroughly impressed with how it’s held up even after a ton of abuse. Picture to the right was taken around Winter of 2014. The fine folks at Audio Technica really went the extra mile here. Strain relief homie! > > >
My Video Review!
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As far as the Beats Pro?
Unfortunately, they don’t measure up in any category. Let’s find out why.
Both are marketed as studio headphones, but neither actually are. Lol.
Bass (not the fish). While both have plenty of bass, the M50’s is clearer, tighter, more controlled, and much better defined. It’s really not even a contest. I’m not here to trash beats because I do like the Solo 3’s, but the Pro version is pretty horrendous. Learn more:Beats Solo 3 Review! The Beats Pro bass tends to get flabby and loose sounding.
Overall Sound. I would say for the most part the Beats Pro is muddy and lacks definition. I guess you could say they work for hip-hop and more bass heavy genres, but it’s much too unfocused for anything else. By contrast, the M50 will work for a plethora of genres, and isn’t limited to just bass type stuff. I found it satisfactory with Rock, Indie, Pop, Hip-Hop, EDM, and even Jazz. Just don’t buy them expecting them to be your go to Jazz cans. Lol. Please don’t. The best headphones for Jazz!
Comfort. While I mentioned that the comfort factor of the M50’s is very good, the Beats Pro isn’t. They will become uncomfortable after about an hour due to ear ache. You get the sensation that circulation is being cut off. Not fun. While the M50 isn’t perfect in the comfort department, you will be able to wear them for longer periods of time. Note my late night mixing sessions.
Ear-cups. One of the biggest reasons the M50’s have held up for so long is because they are so flexible. The ear cups rotate in a myriad of ways, they fold flat, and they can be folded up completely. The possibilities are almost endless. It’s pretty much the quintessential consumer headphone, regardless of what any audiophile snob tells you. 😀 The Beats Pro swivels but doesn’t lay flat. It’s a lot more limited in this regard.
Cables & Accessories. The original M50 came with either a non-detachable straight cable or a coiled one. The Beats Pro comes with an iPhone cable and a Beats cable. Keep in mind the M50x now comes with 3 detachable cables. Accessories in all for M50x: Three detachable cables including a 1.2 m – 3.0 m (3.9′ – 9.8′) coiled cable, 3.0 m (9.8′) straight cable and 1.2 m (3.9′) straight cable; protective carrying pouch; and 6.3 mm (1/4″) screw-on adapter.
Cable color.Red for Beats Pro, Black for M50.
Color. The Beats Pro comes in different colors, the M50 did not. The M50x does come in different colors however, all subject to change.
Price. The M50’s are more affordable.
Well my com-padre, I’ve got some solutions for you today. While I loved the original M50, times have forged on ahead. The M50x is an upgraded model in a lot of respects, and still remains a fantastic buy to this day.
The M50x’s improvements:
A choice of different colors. Subject to change.
Contoured ear cups that seal tighter for improved isolation.
A tad more bass.
So if you’re a casual consumer who’s looking for the best, I would place the M50x in that category and believe it to be an extremely viable solution to your bass head needs! Interested in learning more?
If you’re looking for a good wireless Bluetooth option, I do think the Beats Solo 3 measures up fantastically well. Good build, good comfort, compact, lightweight, portable, crisp, hard hitting sound all describe this Beats entry. Interested in reading some reviews?
Are you more of an audiophile like me? The solution comes in the form of the V-Moda Crossfade M100. A fantastic sound, this bass head entry boasts a tighter, more defined low end with plenty of sparkle and clarity. It’s extremely durable, comfortable, and really hits the sweet spot. Interested?
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.