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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x VS Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is probably the most common comparison that we are asked to make every day here at Headphone Zone.
That is because both of them are used by thousands of recording artists, musicians, studio professionals, and even budding audiophiles around the world.
These two headphones are very popular for professional flat sounding and studio headphones under 10000.
BEYERDYNAMIC DT 770 Pro
Designed in Germany
Designed in Japan
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro are reference headphones with slight bass that are extremely comfortable and offer great noise isolation.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x offers you the most detailed and crisp audio experience, delivering a natural sound signature.
Studio Monitor Headphones
Right at the onset, we should tell you that studio monitor headphones are very different from virtually every other kind of headphone that’s out there today.
That’s essentially got to do with the kind of sound characteristics that you should come to expect from these headphones.
In fact, most headphones are designed to give you a very pleasurable music listening experience.
To do that sometimes you’ll find that they’ll turn up the bass or the treble or they might add a little more emphasis to the vocals.
Monitor headphones are designed to do the exact opposite.
They are made to produce music as accurately as possible. The reason they need to be accurate is because if you are a musician you need to listen to music the way it was recorded.
It will allow you to listen to it with all the nuances that it should have. Thus helping you identify any problems that your recording may have.
That's why studio monitoring headphones have been designed to give you a very flat sound signature.
One more reason flat sounds are preferred is because they allow the producer to listen to all the frequencies at the same level of emphasis - a much-required feature.
Both the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro are what we call closed-back studio monitor headphones.
This means that the backside of the ear cups is closed off to external noise. Outside sound will not disturb what you are listening to and vice versa.
This is very important if you intend to use these headphones not just while you are on the move or when you are in a public place but even in the studio.
Having set the premise, let’s begin the shoot-off!
Comparing the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Beyerdynamic from Germany has been manufacturing these headphones since the early 80s. Over the last 30 years, the classic design has been consistent for the most part.
The reason being the popularity which is enjoyed by the brand among studio professionals and musicians world over.
They are really nice, large, comfortable headphones and they come with plush earpads. They are very well-built and are made to be very durable.
The important part here is that the DT 770 Pro comes in three different variants. Based on the requirement - it comes with a 32 Ohm, an 80 Ohm and a 250 Ohm impedance rating.
The 32 Ohm variant is the cheapest variant and can be easily driven by most sources. It needs very little power for the full potential of the headphone to be experienced.
You can even plug these into your mobile phones or your laptops and they should work just fine. Thus, the 32 Ohm version enjoys the most popularity among folks.
The 80 Ohm variant has a little bit more detailing, a little bit more resolution but it needs a little more power. So they are essentially made to be used in a studio setup.
Therefore, to bring out its A-game you’ll need a good sound card, mixer or an amplifier to go with it. Accordingly, a common source like a smartphone might not be powerful enough to drive these.
The 250 Ohm variant sounds the best of the lot but it needs a dedicated headphone amplifier for it to work really well. Without it, this variant is almost impossible to use.
So they are best used by people who want to listen to music at home or audiophiles who want to have nice high-end setup or used by mixing artists who are looking to mix a sound inside a high-end studio.
These headphones are one of the most recognizable headphones available in the world today. They are the flagship headphone from the Japanese AudioTechnica’s M-series or their monitor headphone lineup.
They are very popular with musicians and studio professionals.
The M50X is very similar to Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro in many ways. They are comfortable, durable and they are made to be used in the fields that have a demanding requirement for audio accuracy.
The M50x has large, plush earpads as the DT 770 Pro. The M50x earpads are oval-shaped whereas the DT770 Pro are round in shape. It makes the M50x look a little more compact.
The M50x has only one variant, unlike its competitor.
Another significant difference is that it comes with a detachable cable. The box actually comes along with three different cables that allow the user to use the headphones in different scenarios and applications.
You’ll also find that the M50x has hinges that help the M50x to have a collapsible form that allows for better portability. This feature, along with a sturdier case, makes the headphone easier to carry around.
The M50x has an impedance of 35 Ohms. Thus, they’re mostly compatible with most smartphones and laptops.
However, to truly bring out the brilliance, you’ll need an amplifier.
They also work beautifully with professional sound setups that have a sound card or amplifier or both.
Comparing the sound
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro has had the exact same sound signature for the last 30 years. It has a very flat sound with a lot of detail and accuracy.
The Audio-Technica has taken a slightly different approach. You'll find that it doesn't feature the classically flat output of the Beyerdynamic. It's got a little bit of extra bass that has been added to the low end.
The reason - Audio-Technica believes that nobody records or listens to music the way they did 30 years back. Bit of a cheeky gamble that seems to have paid off for the Japanese brand.
Almost everyone these days listen to music that has prominent bass in it.
Be it genre or recording style, the bass is evident.
Car speakers, headphones, and even the best home theatres don’t shy away from some chubby bass in the output. Hence, it makes sense that the music that needs mastering must reflect that new reality.
Hence the ATH-M50x has a little extra bass and punch but without sacrificing the separation and detail of other frequencies.
Just a little bass though, enough to make the headphones sound as close as possible to the way most people are going to listen to music.
Now Beyerdynamic considers this a gross violation of what is a very sacred flat sound signature.
But the popularity of the M50x reflects the new reality.
Moreover, Beyerdynamic has positioned its speakers a little farther from your ears so as it gives you a nice wide sound signature. This is to replicate what you would expect in an actual studio.
The M50x sounds a little bit narrower. The music comes almost as if it’s in the middle of your head.
So there's a little bit of a trade-off between both of these headphones.
You’ll find that purists will drift towards Beyerdynamic DT 770 naturally. It's been the exact same sound for the last 30 years and it's the one that they're most familiar with.
Relatively modern-day producers or people who agree with Audio Technica’s ideology subscribe to the M50x’s low-end a little bit more. This appeals especially to folks that are listening or composing music that's got a little bit more bass.
The one for you
What's the right choice between the two for you? Now that's a tricky question! You can't go wrong choosing between the M50x or the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro.
If you're somebody who values the foldable ear pads, a slightly more compact look a detachable cable with the option then the M50x should be a no-brainer.
If you're not bothered with portability and detachable cables and love a very flat sound output and a slightly wider soundstage then the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is your chosen one.
Of course be careful to choose the right variant for you depending on how you want to use it between the 32, the 80 and the 250 Ohm.
We can cut to the chase and tell you our favorite of the two.
However, do understand that a ‘favorite headphone’ is a bit of a myth as it harbors heavily on very personal preferences.
Depending on the way that you like to listen to your music, compatibility and other factors, you may choose either.
Hence, we’re going to keep this contest open and let you choose the ‘winner’.
If feasible, you could come down to our experience studio in Mumbai and listen to all of these headphones yourself to figure out which are the right ones for you.