In our latest head-to-head comparison, we have two very popular studio monitors that have been laying waste to the competition; the Audio Technica ATH-M50x and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro.
Backed by a solid pedigree in sound, both these studio monitors have been hotly debated among both audiophiles and consumers for their ability to reproduce truly balanced sound that is perfect for mixing, mastering and producing the latest track that'll blow your minds
In this face off, Beyerdynamic's DT 770 32 Ohm Limited Edition is the contender. Let's see who comes out on top!
The first thing that'll strike you is how sophisticated it looks. The materials used are robust and durable. The plastic earcups proudly proclaim the name of these headphones but apart from that, the branding is pretty understated.
Unlike the DT 770, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has a rather old fashioned and functional design. Rather than trying to look sleek, and employing expensive-feeling materials like aluminium and leather, these are largely – and unashamedly – plastic.
Although that doesn't take away from the durability, it does make it feel cheaper than the DT 770. Also, the large Audio-Technica logo on the headband might be a turn-off for some.
The M50x is definitely very comfortable. The large earcups sit on the ears and can be used for long hours. However, they do tend to clamp down on the top of your head which can cause discomfort. That does reduce as when the headphones are broken in, but out of the box, there might be an issue for large heads. Noise isolation is also less effective than the DT 770.
The biggest advantage over the DT 770 is of course the 3 cables that are included. There's a 1.2m straight cable, a coiled cable and another long straight one for use in the studio.
In a word: Brilliant.
The lows are punchy and clean but never go overboard, the bass is punchy, crystal clear, and separated from the mids really well. The sound has a really nice sense of space, where you feel like the bass is surrounding you, as if you were listening to a large stereo system. The sub-bass is quite low and rumbles, but can be a bit on the weaker side on certain tracks.
The midrange is mostly neutral but does have a little bit of sheen that makes vocals sound just a little bright, but not so much that it compromises its accuracy or hinders detail. They can get a little too bright in some tracks, especially in the busy ones, but on the whole the DT 770 is very smooth on the treble with excellent extension
The sound stage is very impressive for a pair of closed back headphones so your music really does come to life while wearing these.
It's very difficult to find fault in the M-50x's sound performance.
Vocals and instruments are have a good deal of texture, and are nicely separated on a well-organised soundstage. There’s liveliness and it's an immersive listen.
Just like the DT 770, tonally, the ATH-M50Xs aren’t quite balanced; they lean a little towards the low end. It’s a warm, controlled rumble that’s just enough without being overwhelming. As for the rest: the midrange is well defined and well assimilated with the treble, which is smooth enough to avoid harshness, even when cranked up.
The imperfections come in with the lack of a more dynamic punch. Also, a little bit of clarity would help the treble sparkle – as it feels a little muted.
Just like the DT 770, the ATH-M50x also has an impressively wide soundstage that you can immerse yourself into.
This is a difficult choice.
If you're looking for a pair of headphones that have emphasized mids, and the ability to be used in different scenarios, then go for the ATH-M50x.
If you'd like to experience detailed sound that is also great on the bass and is arguably one of the best Beyerdynamics you can get, then go for the DT 770 Limited Edition.
Which earphones do you prefer? Do let us know in the comments below!
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