audio technica headphone question.


Jun 26, 2010
looking at either the ath m50x and the ath 700x / 900x both open and closed back headphones.

i cant find any in stores to test try but im looking to spend 1-150 which all of these fall under if found on sale.

i tend to see more opinions favoring the 700x and 900x over the m50x which i found strange since the m50x where under the pro studio listing but that many people cant be all liars. so just looking for opinions on either and why you chose one over the other if you had the chance to listen to both options.

i plan on using them on my tv and pc and later on the pc with a DAC amp for games and movies.


Aug 18, 2013
It depends on which headphone would be more convenient for you as well as what sound signature you prefer. Despite being from the same company they are actually quite different sounding from each other.

The ATH AD 500x and AD 700x are both open back and have a 3D wing support headband which use a self adjusting headband. While they are more comfortable than a traditional headband which is a curved piece of plastic/metal, they can be problematic if you have a small or narrow head. There is a mod using a rubber band to connect the two parts of the wing which seems to greatly help in that case.They also use velour earpads rather than pleather on the m50x( gets hot and sweaty fairly quickly, harden over time) and should be more comfortable.

Both are open back by design and are known for their airy and detailed sound. They are more like listening to speakers rather than headphones with an "in your head" type of sound. Since they are open back they will leak a good amount of sound and others nearby will be able to hear what you are listening to. Both are light on bass though respond well with an eq. While this might mean less immersion in games/movies positional queues such as footsteps should be easier to identify and pickup and they will work great for FPS games. They have a bright and aggressive sound.

Due to supply and demand and that the fact they're only imported from Japan prices are always subject to change. Right now the AD 500x (slightly lower end than the 700x, though the difference b/t them is small to begin with) are actually the same price.

The ATH A500x and A700x are closed backed versions of the AD 500x and AD 700x. They will have a larger quantity of bass and tamer treble at the cost of detail and soundstage.

The Audio Technica ATH M50x has a similar sound to its predecessor, the m50 and what you are really paying for is the detachable cable. Note that the jack is proprietary and has a locking design, you can't use any 3.5mm cable with it. At its current price nearly $160 on amazon I would look elsewhere. If you are open to buying used the m50 often goes for around $80 or less which is much more reasonable.

They are closed back and will be better at noise isolation. They also fold up and will be slightly more portable. They have a slight v shaped sound signature... bass and treble will be emphasized while the mids are a bit recessed. A common sound that is geared towards your average joe and most would like it. Like they AD series they are very forward sounding... the soundstage is smaller than average and have an "in your head" sound common to closeback headphones. Out of the box they will have a high clamping force and the headband padding isn't the greatest. For longer listening sessions you might find them fatiguing due to their fit and sound. They shouldn't be hard to find in stores like Guitar or BestBuy if you are located in the US.

Both m50x and 700x/900x are easy to drive and you should not need an amp. A DAC will only be needed if you have problems with your onboard such as distortion, crackling, hissing ,etc.

These two reviews accurately describe the headphones mentioned above:



If you're open to other brands besides Audio Technica there are quite a few phones to choose from in that price range.



razer gave a good writeup. to condense that statement above and make it a bit easier to follow heres the short list:

-open design. will leak sound in and out a bit. cooler to wear.
-huge wide open soundstage with good positional audio.
-good treble and mid response and punchy mid bass however completely lacks any substantial lower level bass.
-3d wing headband. either you love it or you hate it. large earcups. comfortable for glasses users.

-closed design. muffles sound in and out. can get hot.
-very small soundstage (things will sound close).
-good but not overly bright treble, recessed mids and good bass response especially low level bass.
-standard headband. earcups are a bit small so will not fit large ears.


the ad-series are typically marketed towards gamers who want a wider soundstage and the lack of deep bass gives you an advantage in gaming. there is an a-series (a700 for instance) as well which are a closed version of the headphones which have slightly different (but similar) signature to the ad-series (a bit more bass and closed isolation). the ad-series is superior however if you do not mind open cans.

not mentioned, the hd518/558/598 series is worth looking at as well. more mellow and laid back sound (easy listening) with fairly open soundstage, neutral sound signature and fair but not great bass response. think of it somewhat of a midway between the two in sound signature. open cans.

if you want the athm50x... i'd look instead at the dt770pro which are all around superior yet similar in sound signature. they also will benefit from an amp more than the m50x would.

if you want great bass, great treble and wide soundstage all in one headphone then the dt990pro is worth considering however you will need a decent amplifier.

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