Are you on the hunt for a set of top-of-the-line, professional-quality wireless headphones? A pair of headphones that will deliver flawless sound quality, whether used wirelessly or plugged in? A pair that can withstand the everyday rigors of life, and do it all in style?
Say hello to the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT, Audio Technica’s wireless over-ear solution for everybody. From the home user all the way up to sound technicians. With the subject of this Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT review, they are able to deliver true top class performance for a price that is considerably lower than many of their competitors.
As the model number suggests, this is the Bluetooth version of highly acclaimed M50x wired headphones, and they live up to the name in more ways than one! To be honest, the designers over at Audio Technica have done a terrific job fitting the Bluetooth components into the original shell.
The Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT are a legitimate hybrid between a set of headphones for the casual listener and a set of professional studio headphones. They have a slightly industrial feel to them thanks to the thick, plush, well-constructed headband (made of industrial strength plastic and aluminum) and a stocky hinge connecting each of the earcups.
With components like these, there is no doubt over their sturdiness. These are not an understated set of headphones in terms of styling, but we love the look! The faux-leather on the earcups are well made, and can also be swapped out for other compatible earpads.
If portability is as important to you as it is to us, then you will be happy to hear that the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT has kept the same handy folding design as its wired sibling. Once packed away, they take up a little less than half the original space. This is thanks to an ingenious folding and swiveling joint and fit snugly inside the provided carry case. This case gives more than adequate protection for daily wear and tear.
Although the ATH-M50xBT does not include active noise canceling, the large, thick, squishy earpads are able to create an effective seal. This produces more than adequate passive noise cancellation.
During the month of testing, we used these for all daily use and found the noise cancellation capable. When in the office, the noise of clattering keys was successfully blocked out. Riding buses and trains proved no problem as well. However, when listening at full volume, there is some small noise bleed.
Looking at the left earcup, we see a simple layout for all of the control buttons. A switch for Bluetooth control and just three buttons. One each for volume up and down, with long presses equaling forward or backward skip, and a play/pause button that also acts as a control for phone calls.
There are also entries for the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB charging cable. These cables are provided with every headphone set purchase. However, with the USB charging cable only being one foot and the AUX cable at four foot long, you may want to invest in slightly longer options.
Weighing in at 10.9 ounces, they are a little heavier than some of the competition, but we didn’t find the weight cumbersome at all. In fact, even after prolonged use, we totally forgot we were wearing them.
You may be wondering, how many hours playback can you expect from a full charge on the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT?
How does 40 hours sound to you? It sounds good, right? Well, we thought so too! That’s right, from just a seven-hour charging period, these bad boys will give you close to two days playback! Unbelievable? Well, believe it, because we tested it and it’s a fact!
Performance & Sound
The guts of the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT headphones are a pair of 45mm drivers. These are Audio Technica propriety drivers, and the company claims they have a frequency response of 15Hz to 20kHz. That makes them more sensitive than many of the competitors in the same price bracket.
And boy, do they deliver or what! We were seriously blown away by just how amazing they sounded, whether we were using them for music, podcasts, calls, or any other application.
As we spoke of earlier, the sound quality is on par with the much acclaimed, wired Audio Technica ATH-M50x. Which has long been know for setting exceptionally high standards when it comes to creating a soundscape that is consumer-friendly.
We tested them with a wide range of music styles and found them to be versatile enough to handle what we threw at them without compromising the clarity of tone.
First up, we plugged in “Thunderstruck” by the iconic Aussie rock band ACDC. Straight away, it was easy to see (or hear) how well the mid to high range is handled, with the ATH-M50xBT having no trouble producing a superb balance of tones.
Switching to hip hop, we had a listen to” Shut Up” by grime lord Stormzy. This song really shows off the range, beginning with the melodic MIDI flute intro, closely followed by the strings fattening out the sound. Finally, and later than you expect, the booming bassline drops.
Through these headphones, you can almost feel the sauce dripping off it; it’s so damn tasty. Even at the highest peak of the track, the rapper’s vocals shine through loud and clear.
Speaking about volume, even though these function amazingly through Bluetooth, for a volume boost, be sure to plug in with the 3.5mm Aux cord provided.
However, the Connect app, which easily talks to the headphones, could use a little work. The equalizer that we expected to see was not there, and neither were any audio presets, All you are given access to change is the codec, which we found a little odd.
Voice & Video Call Quality
The in-built microphone is definitely acceptable, while not be class-leading. We were able to have clear connections for calls during most occasions, with the one exception being in overly loud situations (but this is true of most headphone mics). Video calls worked brilliantly with both the iPhone XR and the Samsung Galaxy s20.
This set proudly boasts Bluetooth 5, which means it’s in the same bracket (in terms of connectivity) as much higher priced offerings. Bluetooth 5 offers the fastest speeds and widest communication range currently available (40 feet of reach).
We connected to both Andriod and iPhone devices, as well as multiple PC’s and Mac’s and found zero issues in connectivity or reach with any system.
The ATH-M50xBT is both the aptX and AAC Bluetooth codecs compatible.
To put it in as simple terms as possible, just as humans use language to convey information, Bluetooth uses what is called a codec. If two people try to converse in different languages, there are going to be some issues, to say the least! But when the same language is spoken, information is shared easily and efficiently.
And it is no different for Bluetooth. When your transmitting source (cell phone, PC, etc.) and receiver (in this case, the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT) share the same codec, better sound quality is achieved through more efficiently transferring the data.
With full integration of both Google Assistant and Siri, you will have more freedom than ever! In a world with ever-increasing penalties for phone use while driving, these headphones have got your back! With the simple push of a button, you have access to all the perks that come with these fantastic systems!
Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT Pros & Cons
- Smart, foldable design.
- Long-life battery.
- Bluetooth 5.
- Beautiful sound.
- The apps features could be enhanced.
More Excellent Options
We clearly love these headphones, but there may be something you’ve read that you’re not so happy with? If so, check out our reviews of the Sony WH 1000XM2, the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless, the Bowers and Wilkins PX5, the AKG N60NC, the Bose Quietcomfort 25, and the Beats Studio3 Wireless.
You! You should, and so should everyone else, you know! Seriously, for the price, there is no better pick right now, and we are not sure there will be any time soon! With top-class sound paired with a durable, stylish body and an extremely long life battery, there is not much else you need from a set of headphones.
Yes, we can agree that these may not suit everyone and every need, but if you are after high range sound quality and features at a mid-range price, the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT Bluetooth headset is most probably the choice for you! So what are you waiting for?