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Looking for an upgrade from ATH M50X

clemendeng

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Jun 24, 2019
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I've had the M50X's for a few years now and I've enjoyed them, but I've started to become underwhelmed by the quality (they're also starting to break down a little). Not sure what the best way to put this is, I'd like to feel the music more, have it be more immediate, closer to my mind (sorry if that's super broad).
I use the ikko OH1's as IEMs and I really like them.
Music: I typically listen to pop, electronic, indie, hip-hop, alternative rock.
Notable artists: Lorde, Lana del Rey, Louis the Child, Kid Cudi, Billie Eilish, Vince Staples, Wolf Alice.
Will be using them from my laptop indoors, maybe phone.
Budget: ideally under $300
Thanks in advance!
 
HifiMan HE400 i around #200
or my favorite headphones the HifiMan HE560... It is being replaced by the Ananda, I think, so you can find it new at < $300. IMHO nothing else screams BARGAIN as loudly... :)
 
If I had to recommend something within your budget, it would be NAD VISO HP50, but their laid back treble might not bring you the presentation you're looking for. They're also not an upgrade in terms of comfort.
My recommendation is Audeze SINE if you can stretch your budget.
 
I've had the M50X's for a few years now and I've enjoyed them, but I've started to become underwhelmed by the quality (they're also starting to break down a little). Not sure what the best way to put this is, I'd like to feel the music more, have it be more immediate, closer to my mind (sorry if that's super broad).

You are looking for open or closed headphones ?
Should it be possible to drive them from a phone ?
Bass heavy, neutral or bass-shy ?
Over-ear or on-ear ?
Low or high clamping force a problem ?
Weight ?
Pleather, velours, cloth or foam pads ?
Wired, Bluetooth, NC ?
 
You are looking for open or closed headphones ?
Should it be possible to drive them from a phone ?
Bass heavy, neutral or bass-shy ?
Over-ear or on-ear ?
Low or high clamping force a problem ?
Weight ?
Pleather, velours, cloth or foam pads ?
Wired, Bluetooth, NC ?
Looking for closed back headphones
Prefer: over-ear, low clamping force, wired, bass-neutral
Less important: phone compatibility, pads
Don't care too much about weight but should be comfortable

Sound signature wise, what do you guys think I would like given the artists I listed?
 
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You could look into the Takstar Pro 82 but build quality wise they are below the M50X.

Another option is the Beyerdynamic DT770/32 BUT there is an emphasis in the treble (which there are solutions for)
Built sturdy and good comfort.

The Sennheiser HD659 could be an option.

Then there is the NAD viso HP50 but getting a good fit is difficult and is overly warm sounding. I had lots of quality issues with mine. If your M50X is already falling apart the HP50 may not be a good idea.

Don't know any of the artists and cannot recommend nor suspect the sound you would like.
The options above all are of good (but different) sound signature and work from a laptop and fall within your budget.
 
Honestly, from a sonic perspective, I think getting inarguably better sound than the M50x in a closed back headphone is a very tough ask.

With that caveat: Closed back, neutral bass, comfy, good for many kinds of music:

I don’t have these but I have tried them and think they are comfy and great sounding, the Sony MDR-1A:

https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/sony/mdr-1a

I also think the Bose QC 35 II are excellent, but I don’t necessarily expect to find much joy here for saying so.

https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/bose/quietcomfort-35-ii-qc35-ii-wireless-2018

https://www.rtings.com/headphones/1-2/graph#565/2031
 
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