Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – Best closed-back headphone under $200

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x


If you could measure the value of a sound against the value of money, then Audio Technica ATH-M50x provides the best bang for your buck. It produces the best/ fantastic sound for a sub $200 product.

And it is not just us who are saying this. Reading reviews across the web from sites like Cnet, head-fi, and rtings confirms a unanimous love for this product. Let’s delve into it.

Soundwise, it is hard to fault. The sound is accurate amongst the highs, lows, and mids with a tight bass to boot. Sincerely, there is a little downplay in the bass and a little bit of variation in the highs, but on the whole, they clinically provide a solid representation of pretty much any soundscape.

The Sennheiser HD280’s provide a more higher-end response, the M50x injects more character into the sound making it more fun to listen to but still within the bounds of critical listening.

Recommend these over the slightly cheaper M50, why? Well, the M50x comes with detachable cords including a 1.2 m coiled cord which contracts and stretches to give you a freedom of movement. It also means that it’s broken cable is easy to replace. On top of this, the ear cups and headband feature a comfortable plusher and softer pleather, making them more comfortable.

In most, everything else remains the same, with the construction being primarily plastic in both the models. Overall, these extensions make the headphone more usable and more comfortable – so we think that they are definitely virtuous of the small price range.

So if we were to choose one thing to nitpick, it would be the sound isolation which is OK in it. It get’s the job done, but if we found deep quality sounds like you may hear on public transport or on a highway may penetrate the ear cups more than in other models. But you will have no issues in a studio, home environment or office. It is also slightly annoying that the cords do not come with an integrated volume controls or microphone. However, this is not a headset, this is a headphone, so we can easily forgive them for this.

Great sound and a sturdy and comfortable construction make the M50x one of our highly recommended headphones. For the price, they are an utter bargain considering the plethora of best headphones that produce worse sound for equal or higher cost.



  • Class-leading sound production
  • Soft and comfortable headband and ear pads
  • Detachable cords including a coiled cord
  • Collapsible design for added portability



  • No inline microphone or controls
  • Mediocre noise isolation


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