- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music & Video
Finding the right pair of mixing headphones is a critical part of any home studio build. And hot damn, the new ATH-M50x cans from Audio-Technica may be the finest pair we’ve ever auditioned in this price range.
Our tests ran the gamut from hardcore punk to hip-hop to smooth jazz, and in each case the highs were crisp without being overly bright or tinny, the midrange was smooth and present, and the bass was well-rounded, defined, and in no way muddy or boomy (a common problem with so-called “professional” grade headphones). We also tested a few rough demo mixes and listener fatigue was a virtual non-issue, even after hours at the computer/DAW. Not only were our ears pleased, but our head felt great, too (did we mention the incredibly comfortable, cushy headband?) We even tested them out in a DJ capacity, and the swivel-cup one-ear monitoring was perfect for beat-matching and mixing on-the-fly.
The headphones also come packaged with a beautiful carrying pouch, an assortment of straight and coiled cables of varying lengths, a gold-plated 1/4-inch adapter and they even fold up nicely for easy transport. For our money, we’re hard pressed to come up with another recommendation for under $200 (street) for a pair of headphones that can tackle audio production as well as audiophile listening.