Audio-Technica’s trusty M50s are the closest thing you’ll find to an industry standard headphone. They’re up there with the most recommended things of all time, like reading To Kill A Mockingbird or getting eight hours sleep. The design has been a winning formula for over ten years, but now Audio-Technica has done something drastic, cutting the cords altogether for their new ATH-M50xBT headphones.
Audio-Technica have set free their ever-popular ATH-M50s, revealing the untangled and unwired ATH-M50xBT studio headphones.
Audio Technica’s M50 series are most people’s first step into the world of pro audio, a step usually taken after the realisation that you can’t mix with earphones or the Beats you got for Christmas three years ago.
Released in 2007, the original model was a huge success and was basically unchanged until a minor upgrade in 2014, the M50x, saw a removable/interchangeable cable. Audio-Technica are now giving you the option to throw that whole tangly thing out, opting for a new Bluetooth system for their all-new ATH-M50xBTs.
This set of cans was developed by the same engineers who brought you the original, however, optimum wireless performance was a design priority. The company claims that the Bluetooth system sounds more or less identical to the wired version, and to my ears, it’s true.
The top end sounds crisp and the bottom end both punctual and detailed. I usually use a standard set of M50xs to produce, and when I listened to an old mix through these, there was a familiar level of depth especially apparent in the clear higher end.
But how could a wireless pair of headphones sound so legit? Apparently, each of the 45mm large-aperture drivers have been tuned to match the coveted sound signature of the M50x. They’ve been tuned so that they possess the same overall clarity and accurate bass response that everyone loved in the wired version.
Though they might sound like it, these headphones aren’t just made to sit in a studio. Audio-Technica has designed them to work for producers on the go and have included a host of modern features including 40 hours of battery life, as well as built-in controls for volume and music on the outside of the cup.
I can tell you these functions are super easy to reach and are actually pretty handy. You don’t have to grab your phone out of your pocket and then stuff it back in again to change songs, it’s just a flick behind the ear, which lets you remain in your uninterrupted audio space.
Another added convenience for modern lifestyles is the M50xBT’s ability to take calls, yep they have a built-in microphone – one that actually works really well. I performed a bit of a test on a busy street and was heard with ease. Not a single “hey, are you there?” was uttered.
These headphones also have a touch assistance function that enables you to wake up Siri with the rise of a finger. I’m not usually a fan of voice assist, but in a system like this, I think there are actually some great applications, practically speaking.
For example, you can be typing an email and ask Siri to “call Dan” or ask “how do I get to Central station?”, and all that’s required to summon her wisdom is a touch of your finger on the ear cup.
Despite all the new fancy tech that these headphones pack in, if you miss your wires, or you’re low on batteries, you can always go old school. Audio-Technica has included an analog cable with a 3.5mm plug.
Structurally, these headphones have just about the same design as their predecessor, minus the wires and plus the added buttons. This means they feel incredibly tough and they curl up into a nice compact ball, kinda like an armadillo, except with these you don’t have to worry about winding up the cable.
If you think your ready to get un-wired, head on over to Audio Technica’s website.