Audio Technica ATH M50 vs. Bose AE2

Greetings friend and Welcome!!

Before we dive right into the Audio Technica ATH M50 vs. Bose AE2, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

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What I will bring you in this review

Today I will outline the Bose AE2, compare/contrast it with the M50, then give a final word!!

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Who this mic benefits?
  8. What you will need?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Similarities & Differences
  12. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Bose AE2



Note: Bose doesn’t like to divulge this information, which is a bit shady in my opinion. Nearly all headphones provide specifications to match, but I digress. What I did find:

  • Inputs supported: 3.5mm
  • Cable length: 1.6m


The Bose AE2’s are a superior set of headphones comfort wise. I’d say around 99% of people came to this conclusion. The unfortunate downside is that 1) The sound quality isn’t up to par. 2) The bass leaves a lot to be desired, and 3) They aren’t worth the price tag at all.


  • Very comfortable over long listening sessions.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Sub bass has punch.


  • Bass doesn’t extend far enough. So many people were disappointed in this.
  • Treble is tinny/sibilant? What does Sibilant mean?
  • No adapter.
  • Definitely not worth their price tag. This was a clear consensus among reviewers. Even the positive reviews had to admit to this fact.

Video Review

Amp/DAC requirements

I wouldn’t worry about an amp with the AE2’s.

How to choose a headphone amp!

Who these headphones benefit?

Endorsed for all of the following:

  • Acoustic guitar.
  • Classical.
  • Jazz.
  • Country.
  • Metal.

Not recommended for

  • Dubstep
  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Hip-Hop

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • Comes with a drawstring case.
  • Chord may need to be replaced after 6 months or so. Sound/bass may cutoff or die in one ear (chord is replaceable).
  • Recommended for casual, but not heavy use.
  • Quite a few people complained of sound leak. These aren’t noise canceling, but should have done a better job of keeping sound out (being closed back). Closed back vs. Open back headphones.
  • Mid-range may leave you wanting more. Saw a number of complaints about this.
  • Ear-cups made of leatherette. May make your ears sweat, and/or the material peel.
  • You may experience distortion at higher volumes?
  • Cable feels thin and is prone to breakage (can be replaced).
  • The build quality on these isn’t outright poor, but it is suspect. The headphones are very lightweight, but feel cheap and flimsy.
  • One guy said the bass convincing. It reaches down to 25Hz, with a boost at 30Hz-60Hz.
  • There is no volume control on these.
  • Packaging is frustrating. It’s the type of package where you have to whip out the scissor. It’s that tough plastic that ends up slicing your finger in half. Lol. You know, the kind where you spend an hour trying to get it open, only to watch it close back up again. 😛


A stellar pair of headphones comfort wise, but the overall sound quality leaves much to be desired. Not worth the price tag.

Similarities & Differences


  • Both are circumaural (they go around your ear).
  • The M50’s ear-cups have been known to peel. The AE2’s will as well.
  • The mid-range on the M50’s is somewhat recessed due to the deep bass response and crispy treble. The AE2’s is problematic as well.
  • Neither are noise cancelling.
  • Neither have volume control.
  • Both come with a drawstring case.


  • Bass. The M50’s have a deep, hard hitting bass (but not bloated). The AE2 by contrast has little to no power behind it’s bass response.
  • Comfort. The AE2 beats the M50 here. That’s not to say the M50’s aren’t comfortable. They are. But Bose is pretty much the king of comfort.
  • Durability. The M50’s are extremely durable. You wouldn’t believe some situations I’ve gotten into with them if I told you. I can toss them, drop them, stuff them in my bag without the case, sleep with them on, etc. They are built Ford Tough. The AE2’s by contrast are a bit flimsy and feel cheap. However, According to most they are relatively durable. But nothing like the M50’s.
  • Price vs. Performance. When you purchase the M50’s, you’re getting your moneys worth guaranteed. They’re worth every penny. By contrast, the AE2’s are NOT worth their price tag under any circumstance.
  • Overall sound. The AE2’s are kind of dull, lifeless, boring, etc. They kind of just give you a blank stare, but not in a good way. There’s nothing really wrong with the sound, but there’s also nothing noteworthy about it either. It’s like eating tofu. The M50’s are exciting and lifelike by contrast. They may make you want to jump out of your seat if you’re new to audiophile type stuff.
  • The M50’s don’t leak much sound at all. The AE2’s are said to leak a bit too much.
  • The AE2’s aren’t good for Hip-hop, while the M50’s are.
  • The M50’s coil is extremely rugged and durable. The AE2’s is a bit sub-par.
  • The M50’s come with a 1/4″ adapter for your professional needs (i.e. plugging into an audio interface). What does an audio interface do?. The AE2’s do not. They only have a 3.5mm jack.

Final Word

I think it would be wise to steer clear of these. I don’t really have any qualms about not recommending them, as I wouldn’t buy them myself. There’s nothing drastically wrong with the AE2’s, but you shouldn’t have to pay full price for a merely decent set of headphones. And that’s what Bose takes advantage of. Their marketing tactics are pretty shady in my opinion. They won’t provide specifications for their headphones, and the strategy seems to be style over substance. Make an okay headphone, and then charge way too much for it? Bleh. I will give it to them in the comfort department. Many were saying that the AE2’s were some of the most comfortable headphones they had ever worn, and are almost worth the price tag based on that fact a lone. Almost. However:

If you’re looking for some hard hitting closed back cans, I would go with the M50’s. No, they aren’t perfect. They aren’t even really audiophile headphones even though they’re marketed as such. Heck they aren’t reference headphones to be honest. They’re just a flat out exciting set of cans that will make you smile. I’ve had mine since Jan. 2013, and they made me look at music in a different way back then.


If you’re looking for a mixing can that is worth it’s price tag, look no further than the Sony MDR V6. A tried and true model, this baby has been around for decades. It’s flat and neutral sound is perfect for in studio, and it has stood the test of time remarkably.


Looking for a jack of all trades headphone? The HD 598 does well with pretty much any genre, can be used for mixing, and excels heavily with gaming/movies as well. It’s pretty much the dopest headphone around!


If you’re looking for an open back headphone that won’t break the bank, the HD558 is the solution for you. The HD598 is a little better overall, but there’s a trick that you can employ to make the 558’s sound really open up. It’s the foam mod, and it’s very simple. So if you don’t want to pay the price for the 598, but want roughly the same sound, go with the 558. Interested in learning all about them + the foam mod?


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Audio Technica ATH M50 vs. Bose AE2.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Are you convinced the AE2 isn’t worth your money? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,





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