If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. However, you can update and improve it over time. I’ve done that with my wives or upgraded them to new models if they didn’t have the latest software to update.
But we’re talking headphones here…
Audio-Technica’s M50 headphone designs have been going strong for over a decade with no signs of slowing down. They are regarded as some of the best studio and audio monitoring headphones in this price range. But there’s always room for improvement.
You might not reinvent the wheel, but you can add spinning rims. This Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 review just goes to prove why they are an industry-leading audio equipment manufacturing master that constantly gives you what you want.
So, let’s take an in-depth look at these classic headphones and their latest upgrade.
What’s It All About?
Every couple of years, Audio-Technica tends to make some tweaks and changes to their already-popular headphone models. That’s why we love them and keep coming back for more.
Sure, there have been more M50 upgrades than I can care remember over the years. But, this BT2 upgrade is an improvement on the ATH-M50x model that was originally launched in 2018.
This BT2 model is an upgraded Bluetooth version of the classic design, but there’s so much more to it than that. They are ultra-comfortable over-ear headphones that have long-lasting batteries, high-res audio, a vast range of personalization options via the app, and a bunch of multi-pairing features.
Audio-Technica is a market-leading manufacturer of audio equipment that was established by its founder, Hideo Matsushita, in 1963. But enough of the history lesson. Let’s get down to brass tacks.
What’s in the Box?
The box and packaging are not anything special. It’s all about what’s inside. Here is what I found when opening the box for the first time:
- ATH-M50xBT2 headphones.
- USB charging cable (USB Type-A and Type-C).
- Audio cable (1.2m/3.5mm stereo mini-plug).
- Carrying pouch.
- User manual.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 – Features
Generally speaking, headphone features are not as complicated as recording studio consoles and mixers, but there is still plenty to get your teeth into.
First of all, the BT2 model looks very similar to the company’s other wireless headphones, like the ATH-M50BTx and the decade-old M50x models. They are from the same lineage, so it only makes sense.
Main differences and upgrades in the BT2…
Those are the remodeled volume buttons, the dedicated Bluetooth buttons, and the multi-functional options. Aside from those, these headphones are similar to all M50x versions from over the years. Like I said earlier, if it’s ain’t broke.
But, don’t get the idea that the BT2 is not worth buying because it’s the “same as the old models.” You would be way off thinking that. Let’s take a look at the best features of the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones to see what makes them tick.
Are They Comfortable?
Oh yeah, they are very comfortable. Some might say these are way comfier than their previous incarnations, and I’m one of those proponents. The lavish over-ear headphones have a lightweight design, so when you pop them on your cranium, you barely know they are there. Apart from the deafening silence, of course.
They are not too tight or too loose, even on a big head like mine. I wore them for several hours in one sitting and didn’t feel uncomfortable or get any itchy rashes, so that’s a good thing.
But that’s not all…
The folding ear cup design tilts and swivels with your movements. So, it always seems to be counterbalancing everything to make it more comfortable. The headbands are well padded, and with size-adjustment features, they can fit any head, large or small.
I had an older pair of M50x headphones, and my head used to get warm after wearing them for a while, but not with this BT2 upgrade. I have no problem calling the BT2s some of the best-fitting wireless headphones you can buy.
Best Battery Life
There is nothing worse than buying headphones that have weak battery life. It’s very irritating. And, when using Bluetooth functions, you’d expect that to drain the battery even more.
Surprisingly, the BT2’s battery life was excellent, even when using them in Bluetooth mode for hours. Furthermore, you get around four hours of runtime if you use them at a high volume level.
They can charge in just under three and a half hours by using a USB-C port. Additionally, you can get five hours just by using a power supply for ten minutes. You just don’t have to worry about battery life with this model.
Bluetooth Codecs Support
You get loads of Bluetooth codec options that include LDAC, SBC, AAC, and even a video mode that uses low latency.
If you happen to be an Apple user, I would suggest using the AAC mode for the best results every time. But if you use Android devices, you get the option to choose the LDAC option that suits hi-resolution audio. Although, this codec can be inconsistent.
The only drawback for me is the lack of an aptX codec option. But, to be fair, that codec is never included on any ATH-M50 models, unless you know something that I don’t. That said, you do have loads of other connections for streaming services that I will go into later.
If you like to tweak the sound and EQ, you should go and download the Connect app that is compatible with these Audio-Technica headphones.
These headphones have five different EQ presets shown as sliders on the app that you can easily jog to find the sound you like. You can even create a customized EQ graph in the app to make your own presets.
You don’t need the app to use these headphones…
But, it is great for maximizing EQ sound quality, Bluetooth codec switching, and firmware updates. In my opinion, if you are a massive fan of audio excellence, you should get the Connect app and use it with these headphones.
How Do They Sound?
So, how do the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones sound? Well, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
What makes this model so great is it can be used by normal consumers who are looking for great-sounding headphones, but also by audio aficionados who work in a recording studio or live music setting.
The conservative frequency response is a godsend to me, and it doesn’t have any exaggerations. You do get great clarity via the 45mm proprietary large-aperture divers and the dedicated amplifier. So, there are lots of things to love.
Here’s the deal…
These are essentially consumer headphones that can be used in a studio setting. The mids and upper-bass frequency ranges are a bit under-emphasized, but that’s quite normal, so nothing to worry about.
There are slight bumps at 300Hz, but again, nothing to concern you. If you have any issues because you listen to lots of bass-heavy music, you can fix all that in the EQ section of the Connect App.
Overall, the sound is pretty good and is great for consumer users and more than adequate for studio use. In other words, they are some of the best sounding wireless Bluetooth headphones on the market.
These headphones are available in several colors and as wired or wireless options, so you need to decide what meets your needs best. In terms of general specifications, these are essentially quite a simple set of headphones.
They use Bluetooth 5.0 as the main wireless connection, with ranges of about ten feet outdoors and a bit more indoors. They can also be multi-paired to two devices at the same time. So, you could use them with your laptop or PC and still have them connected to your phone to take calls.
Please take into account that this product is designed to be used with US voltage and outlets. Therefore, if you live outside the US and have a different electrical system, you might need a converter or adapter that suits your location.
In terms of build quality, these are extremely light headphones that weigh approximately 1lbs. They are constructed using only premium-grade materials and have a robust and foldable design that is made from easy storage.
They are solid, dependable, and sturdy, so you should have no problems where build quality is concerned. Remember what I said about Audio Technica products at the beginning? The same things apply here. The BT2s are some of the most reliable wireless headphones out there.
Last but not least, these Audio-Technica headphones have other connection options if you cannot use a wireless setup.
You can use them with a 3.5mm audio input on the left side of the model, which really does extend the range. But please remember that this second-gen model does not have a remote control with the included min-jack cable.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Review – Pros & Cons
- Wired or wireless options.
- Excellent sound quality.
- Ideal for consumers and studio users alike.
- Fast multi-pairing options.
- Can use with Connect app.
- Very comfortable.
- Foldable design.
- Over-ear model.
- Not top-notch recording studio quality.
- LDAC feature is inconsistent.
In the Market for Great Headphones?
We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Studio Headphones For Home Recording, the Best Headphones for Mixing and Mastering, the Best Wireless Headphones for TV, the Best Headphones for Music, and the Most Comfortable Headphones you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Lightweight Headphones, the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad, the Best Headphones for Big Heads, and the Best Headphones Under $200 currently on the market.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Review – Final Thoughts
If you want solid and reliable wireless headphones with Bluetooth functionality and wired options, this is a great set to buy. Even if you work in a recording studio and cannot afford more expensive high-end studio headphones, these are also a smart choice in terms of what you get for your money.
This review should give you valuable information so you can decide if these headphones fit your needs and budget. You can do much worse than this model, that’s for sure. Like all Audio-Technica products, they are very reliable. And you can’t beat that for affordability and confidence.
Until next time, happy listening.