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Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

Over-ear wireless Bluetooth® headphones

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Overview

Our take on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

This has been a long time coming — here's the Bluetooth version of Audio-Technica's most popular headphones. For years, I've recommended the wired Audio-Technica ATH-M50x studio over-ears to friends and customers who are just starting to really get into headphones, and who value sound quality most. The ATH-M50xBT adds the convenience of playing music wirelessly from your phone. I can report firsthand that they share many of the sonic traits that made the originals a favorite choice for both music pros and hobbyists. 

Man wearing Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT plays music wirelessly and delivers studio-caliber sound.

A studio classic goes wireless

This has been a long time coming — here's the Bluetooth version of Audio-Technica's most popular headphones. For years, I've recommended the wired Audio-Technica ATH-M50x studio over-ears to friends and customers who are just starting to really get into headphones, and who value sound quality most. The ATH-M50xBT adds the convenience of playing music wirelessly from your phone. I can report firsthand that they share many of the sonic traits that made the originals a favorite choice for both music pros and hobbyists. 

In fact, I actually prefer the sound of their slightly retooled 45mm dynamic drivers. With some headphones — even really good ones — it takes some listening time for me to warm up to them. From the moment I hit play on my Spotify "Discovery Weekly" playlist, the ATH-M50xBT struck me as an excellent sounding pair of 'phones. They deliver a clear, intimate sound with great detail across all frequencies. 

My listening impressions: exceptionally clear sound with hard-hitting bass

Two things that really jumped out at me as I listened to these headphones: the percussion and vocals. These are areas that I always feel are in danger of getting drowned out or lost in the mix. Not here. My playlist opened with Radiohead's B-side "Ill Wind," and the presence of the drums brought an exciting immediacy to the otherwise laid-back track. When Thom Yorke's moody falsetto kicked in, it brought a cool vibe that I didn't totally pick up on the first time I heard this song.

Next, a Paolo Fresu trumpet solo showed off how well the ATH-M50xBT can resolve upper mids and highs. At times, the song really tested the limits of the drivers. But everything sounded crisp and tactile, without ever bordering on harsh.

I never felt the bass was overemphasized, but if the song called for some oomph, these headphones obliged. The deep low-end punch of J Dilla's instrumental hip-hop track "So Far" was so emphatic and clean, that it ran the risk of overpowering the sampled, sped-up female vocals. Instead, every piece held its own  to create this well-rounded, head-nodding groove. 

Built to travel, and sound good doing it

Audio-Technica built the original ATH-M50x to handle the rigors of the studio, and they've kept the same basic design for this Bluetooth version. This rugged, industrial design works well for taking them on the road, too. Both the earcups and headband yoke are made of extra-thick plastic, while all the hinges and sliders are heavy-duty metal.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT folded up

The ATH-M50xBT's fold-up design makes them easy to take on the go.

The design feels a little more ungainly than some of the sleeker headphones out there. But it fit nice and snugly, so I could move my head around without the headphones slipping off. Soft memory foam lines the flexible headband and earpads. And the earcups rotate a full 90-degrees and flip out — a feauture originally designed for DJs, but I found came in handy when someone needs your attention.

Wired and Wireless playback

The M50xBT offers up to 40 hours of wireless music playback on a full charge. But in situations where you don't need wireless, a cable is included. I've listened this way at my desk.

I connected these 'phones to an AudioQuest DragonFly v1.5 headphone amp/DAC, and the sound was even more dialed in. The soundstage spread out a tad more, and imaging improved. This was a very formidable personal listening rig — with the added advantage that you can unplug the headphones and take them on the go.

Product Highlights:

  • over-the-ear, closed-back design
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for wireless music listening and phone calls with compatible smartphones
    • aptX® decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
  • 45mm dynamic drivers offer studio-caliber clarity across a wide frequency range
    • tuned for detailed, revealing sound and strong bass
  • built-in rechargeable battery offers up to 40 hours of wireless use
  • earcup controls let you answer calls, play/pause music, skip tracks, and control volume
  • snug studio fit
    • soft memory foam earpads and headband
  • folding design for easy storage
  • earcups swivel and rotate
  • 47" detachable miniplug cable for wired listening
    • in-line remote and mic for controlling music and phone calls
  • USB charging cable
  • carrying pouch included
  • frequency response: 15-28,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 99 dB
  • impedance: 38 ohms (wired)
  • weight: 10.9 oz. (without cable)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews
Details

Features and Specs

General
Fit Style Over-the-ear
Earcup Type Closed
Earcup Width x Height
Noise-canceling No
Mic For Taking Calls Yes
iPhone Control Yes
Lightning Connector No
Android Control Yes
Frequency Response 15-28K Hz
Sensitivity 99 dB
Impedance 38 Ohms
Weight 10.9 ounces
Cord Length ---
1/4-inch Adapter Included No
Storage No
Charging Case No
Volume Control Yes
Parts Warranty 1 year
Labor Warranty 1 year
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