Audio-Technica has an extended historical past of manufacturing high-quality headphones, microphones, and turntable equipment, and with the discharge of the ATH-M50xBT wi-fi headphones, it guarantees studio high quality audio with out the wire. The unique ATH-M50x headphones have been designed to bridge the hole between skilled studio headphones and those you plug into your cellphone for informal listening, and with the addition of Bluetooth connectivity, the up to date mannequin must be even higher for listening on the go.We have been residing with the ATH-M50xBT headphones for some time now, and have been mightily impressed. Learn on for our full verdict.Value and availabilityThe ATH-M50xBTs are that can be purchased for $199 (£179 / AU$379), which is an honest worth to pay for high-quality wi-fi over-ears – typically you’re spending from round $80 / £60 / AU$110 proper as much as $700 / £699 / AU$999 for actually excessive finish fashions just like the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wi-fi.They’re somewhat pricier than the unique ATH-M50x headphones, however that’s to be anticipated with the inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity, and in comparison with related fashions, they’re positively on the decrease finish of the worth scale.DesignThe new headphones look just about equivalent to their wired predecessor, in that they’re a hybrid between skilled studio headphones and ones for informal listening. This implies the ATH-M50xBTs look suitably industrial, with a chunky padded headband and a thick hinge the place the cups connect with it. If you happen to’re after a delicate design, these headphones in all probability aren’t for you, however the heavy obligation design does include some advantages, notably as you possibly can deal with them fairly roughly with out worrying about them breaking. They function a collapsible design, with the ear cups in a position to rotate 90 levels, which implies you possibly can fold them down and pop them into the included carry pouch while you’re completed with them. This implies you too can put on them round your neck with out the headphones’ cups feeling uncomfortable in your chest. The ATH-M50xBTs are available in a glossy black and silver shade scheme, with a silver ring encircling the Audio-Technica emblem on the again of the left and proper casing – total they appear fairly good. Proper now, that’s the one shade scheme obtainable, however it might be nice to see them in a lighter impartial shade like tan or white, which can make them look a bit much less unwieldy. However that is a matter of style, in fact, and so they actually do not offend of their present type.Options and performanceThe ATH-M50xBTs are designed for actually high-end audio efficiency, with 45mm drivers and a frequency response vary of 15-28,00 Hz, and it exhibits – we have been very impressed with the nice and cozy, well-rounded sound these headphones present, notably as wi-fi headphones don’t at all times measure as much as their wired counterparts. You may as well plug them in with the accompanying 1.2m cable in the event you desire. Mid-frequency audio, like vocals, is the place the ATH-M50xBTs actually shine, with a clean, detailed sound. To essentially put them to the take a look at, we needed to strive them out with some advanced vocal concord – we listened to ‘Ragged Wooden’ by Fleet Foxes, and have been blown away by the readability of its textures and sonic layers when reproduced by the headphones. Closed cup headphones just like the ATH-M50xBTs can generally have a boxy high quality to the mid-ranges, which makes it sound as if you’re listening to music by means of cupped palms, however we didn’t have this drawback in any respect, and located they supplied a superb stage of precision. The bass frequencies are punchy, and don’t linger for too lengthy within the soundstage, nevertheless in the event you’re an actual bass-head you won’t be solely satisfied – they aren’t thumpy sufficient to really feel the sub-bass reverberate all through your physique. Nevertheless, that is largely a matter of style, and in the event you’re on the lookout for sonic readability, you’d in all probability wish to keep away from overly bassy headphones anyway. The purpose with the ATH-M50xBT headphones are to ship as shut as attainable to the studio intentions of the unique recording, in order little extra audio tweaking as attainable is right for these on the lookout for a devoted replica.We felt there could possibly be somewhat extra sparkle within the highest frequencies although, particularly when listening to the clattering percussion in Yosi Horikawa’s ‘Bubbles’. That’s to not say the upper frequencies don’t come throughout properly, it’s simply that they really feel somewhat relaxed. That is fairly frequent in business headphones, as an excessive amount of treble may cause listening fatigue, and also you solely actually need it for tremendous detailed listening – for instance, if you’re a sound editor or producer. Saying that, because the ATH-M50xBTs have been modeled on skilled studio headphones, it appears unusual to remove the choice for this sort of analytical listening expertise.They ATH-M50xBTs are fairly snug to put on for lengthy durations of time, with tender ear cushions and a light-weight headband. Due to the closed cup design, the sound isolation labored rather well, so that you received’t disturb individuals round you even while you’re listening at excessive volumes. Bluetooth connectivity was excellent, and we had no points connecting to our gadgets rapidly, and didn’t expertise any drop outs. The utmost communication vary for the Bluetooth connection is round 10m. Battery life appears to be excellent – Audio-Technica says they need to final for 40 hours on a single cost by way of the micro USB connector (which takes seven hours to go from Zero-100%), and you may at all times plug them in by way of the three.5mm jack do you have to run out of juice on the go.Holding your finger on the left housing for 2 seconds prompts your smartphone’s voice assistant, and it’s appropriate with Google Assistant in addition to Apple’s Siri. We used the headphones to name a pal by way of Siri on an iPhone 6s, and though we might hear them advantageous, they discovered our voice was barely muffled and troublesome to listen to. So, we wouldn’t suggest making essential cellphone calls with the ATH-M50xBTs, however in a pinch they’d be okay. Ultimate verdictOverall, the ATH-M50xBTs are a unbelievable pair of headphones, with spectacular sound high quality, connectivity, and luxury. In comparison with related high-spec fashions, they’re fairly good worth for cash at $199 (£179 / AU$379), notably as they’ve wi-fi performance (which might normally push costs up).We have been very impressed by the audio high quality total, though in the event you like your music actually bassy you might be dissatisfied, and we felt the treble frequencies might have had somewhat extra sparkle. Additionally they look nice – however they aren’t delicate, and in the event you don’t just like the clunky studio look, you in all probability received’t like the commercial design of the ATH-M50xBTs. That stated, they’re very snug.The Audio Technika ATH-M50xBT headphones additionally carried out properly by way of battery life and Bluetooth connectivity, nevertheless the microphone isn’t notably sturdy, and you might battle to make cellphone calls utilizing them – nonetheless, that’s in all probability not the explanation you’d buy a pair of studio grade headphones within the first place.
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