Peekaboo, my little Audio-Technica fans. It’s time to come out of hibernation. Yes, it’s winter, but you need new earmuffs. The M50xBT Wireless is finally here. So, we’re here to answer your most pressing questions in life. Does the M50xBT Wireless sound any good? And does it retain the sweet sound signature of the famous M50x wired headphones? Let’s find out in this Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Headphones Review.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Headphones Review
IN the BOX
Good stuff. Though the size and shape of the M50xBT is the same as the classic M50x, it’s a bit heavier and more snug around the ears. But Audio-Technica has found a nice balance between comfort and effective sound isolation. My colleague mentioned that the earpads feel a little more cushiony than the wired M50x, but unless you hold them side to side, it’s difficult to tell the difference. And yes, the earpads are replaceable.
The great thing about this headphone is that it avoids the unnecessary bells and whistles that make some wireless headphones so expensive. There’s no noise cancellation or touchpad control except for the left earcup that allows you to activate Siri and Google Assistant. But in general, it’s just the sturdy, flexible, flippable and foldable DJ design that Audio-Technica fans have become accustomed to. For the price, I don’t think I’ve encountered a more solid looking wireless headphone on the market. (The Sennheiser 4.4 and 4.5 BTNC are the only other ones that comes to mind).
The battery will provide you with about 40 hours of playtime, which is damn long, folks. In fact, considering my lifestyle choices, I could very well die before having to recharge these things. There are three buttons on the right earcup that allow you to play, pause, skip and adjust volume. Once you turn the headphone on, it will automatically go into pairing mode. And after you’ve paired it for the first time, it will connect as soon as you’ve turned it on.
Call clarity is decent. Perhaps it’s a tinsy bit muffled, but I had no problem communicating, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything better for 200 bucks.
If you you run out of juice, you can use the included cable with remote, which allows you to use the headphone in passive mode. The connectors also look sturdy and well insulated. The M50xBT uses a micro-USB connection to charge, and the cable is included in the box, of course.
The M50xBT supports AAC and aptX. I don’t want to bore you with technical details, but I’ll quickly mention that there’s an accompanying app that allows you to switch between codecs if your signal starts to drop.
ALSO, if you’re the forgetful type or you get wasted a lot, the “Audio-Technica Connect” app can help you locate your headphones. If you allow it follow your location, you can find out where you last left them. Bottoms up.
Overall Impressions: Clean, playful and very M50xish.
Those of you already familiar with the classic M50x can expect a slightly thicker, more forward leaning bass. But it’s in no way overpowering, so folks who suffer from bass anxiety can relax. Still, it’s a bit warmer in the low-end than the wired version, which some people might prefer. I don’t want to say “cloudy,” but it doesn’t match up to the clarity or tightness of the bass on the wired version. No surprise. But if the M50x does anything really well, it’s pop music. Punchy without sounding heavy, MJ and Bruno Mars songs had great snap. It’s a really fun sound profile that stays true to the brand.
Like the wired M50x, the midrange is a bit scooped out to bring out the low and high frequencies. Vocals lean a little forward, leaving the midrange instrumentation on the lighter side. So, it’s not a particularly full-bodied sound. But that slightly weightless feel is part of what makes it sound like an Audio-Technica headphone. And this quality lends itself beautifully to folk music. Acoustic guitars are clean and sparkly with well separated notes. Pianos were radiant and classical strings were a pleasure as well. Again, the M50xBT can’t possibly be as transparent as the wired version. But there was a pleasing smoothness and airiness to instruments, conveying a playful and easy sound that M50x fans are sure to recognize.
Even though we’re dealing with a Bluetooth headphone, I was impressed with the level of detail offered in the high frequencies. Violins, for example, had a nice amount of texture and nuance. And part of what makes these cans so ideal for pop is the crispy sound of percussion instruments in this range. Don’t worry; though the highs are very present, it’s not too bright or sharp for sensitive ears.
The soundstage on the M50xBT is more compact than it is on the wired version. But there’s enough depth to give you some sense of dimension with respect to instrument placement.
Yes. This is definitely an M50x in terms of sound and build. And Bluetooth 5 brings these cans to the head of the pack in this price range. If you’re a fan of pop, electronica or any genre involving acoustic instruments, these babies should make you a happy camper.
You can find these cans for the best price at:
Audio 46: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
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Type: Closed-back dynamic
Driver Diameter: 45 mm
Magnet: Rare earth
Voice Coil: CCAW (Copper-clad aluminum wire)
Frequency Response: 15 – 28,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 99 dB/mW
Impedance: 38 ohms
Battery: DC3.7 V lithium polymer battery
Battery Life: Approx. 40 hours continuous use
Charging Time: Approx. 7 hours (for 0-100% charge)
Weight: 310 g (10.9 oz), without cable and connector