Audio-Technica’s Classic Studio Headphones Get A Great New Bluetooth Makeover – Forbesby August 21, 2022
The new ATH-M50xBT2 are the latest wireless version of the company’s ATH-M50x. They’re great studio … [+]
I first used the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x studio headphones many years ago. At the time they were some of the most neutral and clear headphones I’ve ever heard. They were perfect for mixing, recording or simply listening to great music.
Audio-Technica has now announced the launch of its ATH-M50xBT2 wireless headphones, the latest wireless version of the legendary ATH-M50x studio headphones beloved by many recording engineers. This is the second iteration of Audio-Technica’s widely acclaimed M-Series wireless headphones and this new version features a number of exciting enhancements that should improve their sonic performance as well as usability.
The M50xBT2 retain the same great accuracy and dynamic sound that M50x owners have come to love thanks to Audio-Technica’s 45mm, large-aperture drivers that deliver exceptional clarity with a deep and accurate bass. This new version offers the same Bluetooth freedom and EQ adjustment of their predecessor. In addition, the new version has some exciting improvements.
The new Audio-Technica STH-M50xBT2 now support AAC and LDAC audio codecs.
The M50xBT2 now include an AK4331 advanced audio DAC as well as a dedicated internal headphone amp that can decode and reproduce music transmitted over Bluetooth with clarity and high-fidelity sound. In addition to support for Bluetooth’s basic SBC audio codec, the M50xBT2 now support AAC and LDAC premium wireless audio codecs for high-definition sound from hi-res music services like TIDAL and Qobuz.
Also built-in to the M50xBT2 is a new low-latency mode that eliminates the audio lag that sometimes occurs when watching videos. With low-latency turned on, sound and vision stay in sync for smoother streaming and more realistic gaming.
Thanks to the addition of dual microphones with beamforming technology, the M50xBT2 should offer clearer phone calls and communication with the built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant. The sidetone circuitry of the M50xBT2 enables users to hear their own voice in the headphones when making calls on most smartphones. This sidetone function makes it easier to enjoy more natural-sounding phone and video conversations.
Like the original ATH-M50x, these new Bluetooth version of these headphones fold up to a convenient … [+]
There’s now a dedicated mute button as well as controls for volume, music and voice assistant using buttons built into the M50xBT’s left earcup. All the popular voice assistants are supported so users can choose between Amazon Alexa Built-in, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri.
Audio-Technica has added multipoint pairing to the new M50xBT2, enabling user to connect with two Bluetooth devices at the same time so music can be played on one device while still able to receive calls from a smartphone. Google Fast Pair enables users to quickly pair the M50xBT2 headphones with an Android smartphone or other device with a single tap.
A full charge of the M50xBT2 via the USB-C connection delivers up to 50 hours of continuous playtime while a swift 10-minute burst charge can rejuice the headphones with a useful three hours of playtime. Also included is a 1.2m (3.9″) cablefor users who want don’t want to use the headphones wirelessly
The ATH-M50xBT2 have a low-latency mode so they are ideal for watching movies wirelessly without … [+]
Finally, there’s the free A-T Connect app for iOS and Android devices that can be used to activate the M50xBT2’s low-latency mode, adjust EQ settings, change L/R volume balance, select a preferred voice assistant, locate misplaced headphones and even change the preferred audio codec.
This latest iteration of these much-loved headphones tick all the boxes that were unchecked at the launch of the first version of the original M50xBT. These improvements bring the headphones bang up to date. The lack of support for Qualcomm’s aptX HD codec may disappoint some people but that’s about the only criticism I can level at what should be a superb pair of wireless headphones.
Pricing and Availability: The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones are available from August 18, 2021 for $199 / £179.99 / €199.99.
More info: www.audio-technica.com