The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones are full-size headphones with a DJ design. These headphones are built to withstand shocks, drops, and scrapes. And the exterior design appears to have remained relatively unchanged since the series began 14-15 years ago. They sound fantastic as well, and are among the best you’ll find for the price.
It’s laudable that Audio-Technica hasn’t forgotten what made the M50 series so great in the first place. However, when compared to the Sony WH-1000XM4, they don’t appear to be as comprehensive a package.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 lacks active noise cancellation, which is more of a problem now than it was previously. It’s no longer simply Bose that makes fantastic ANC headphones, and practically all of the problems with prior models have been resolved. This pair isn’t great for phone calls, though, because the ability to block out background noise for the person on the other end is lacking.
These aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, in my opinion. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 compare favourably to the Sony WH-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort 45, and other comparable priced pairs when it comes to music. This set is less expensive. You simply have to accept that there isn’t quite as much technical glitz here.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Headphone Performance
- Bass control is better than the previous generation.
- Sound that is involved is provided by strong imaging.
- Sub-bass conservative
Have you ever redecorated a room by rearranging the furniture, only to change it back a week later? The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones are similar.
To date, I believe I’ve tested every iteration of the M50 series. They’re all fantastic. However, Audio-Technica increased the bass emphasis on the previous-generation Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT for a more mainstream sound. The ATH-M50xBT2 sounds more like the ATH-M50X now that Audio-Technica has dialled it down.
As a result, these headphones are more balanced and have a flatter (albeit not completely flat) frequency profile. However, they still deliver the series’ trademark sound width, energy, and power.
I’ve always liked the M50 series headphones’ relative expansiveness, finding them more engaging than a number of their competitors, and that’s true here as well. This is due to their excellent imaging, which helps to compensate for the fact that closed-back headphones lack the real open soundstage of open-back headphones.
When I watch movies at home, I frequently use open headphones, but they’re useless for listening while walking down the street. In their ability to clearly break out elements of the stereo sound field, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 deliver some of the character I look for in an at-home pair.
They also have a little more treble clarity than others in this class, which helps to give music more energy without relying on emphasised bass. But, with less bass, are they any less enjoyable than their forerunners? A bit more sub-bass punch would be nice, but the rest of the upper bass flavour is fantastic.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Headphone Design
- DJ headphones in the classic style
- Cups that fold in
- Over-the-head style
Each year, Trusted Reviews reviews a large number of headphones. But I’ve had a pair in my reference pile that looks a lot like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 for almost the whole time I’ve been reviewing headphones.
The design of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 is remarkably similar to that of the previous generation Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT, as well as the original M50. This style has evolved into a low-key headphone icon. It’s never been the most popular set, but it’s also never been trendy enough to truly age.
The exterior frame is made of strong plastic and features a large hinge that allows the cups to fold into the headband. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 aren’t as stylish as the more expensive Sony and Bose models, but I find them to be just as comfortable for extended periods as they are for jogging. However, their cups aren’t extremely deep, which may not be suitable for all ears.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Headphone Value
You’ll be lucky to find a pair of $199 wireless headphones that can fulfil all of the must-have criteria (battery life, connectivity, and sound) like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2. The audio is beautifully balanced, with a clear and genuine delivery that some critics claimed was lacking in the original. There are no issues with up to 50 hours of playtime. And the addition of contemporary wireless technologies such as Alexa voice activation, LDAC, and multipoint technology demonstrates the company’s commitment to upgrading each iteration while maintaining their elegant and nostalgic looks.
The ATH-M50xBT2 isn’t perfect, though. These headphones could have received a perfect grade if Audio-Technica had spent more time improving the call quality and companion software, as well as adding effective ANC.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones have a superb sound, are long-lasting, and are durable. There is one aspect with which you must come to terms before purchasing. They don’t have active noise cancellation, which is a crucial feature in today’s wireless headphones.