Audio-Technica ATH-M50 vs Sennheiser HD 595

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AppleHater, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #1
    For iPad and iPhone, which is better Audio-Technica ATH-M50 vs Sennheiser HD 595? I want good sound stage with balanced sound without too much treble or bass.

    Sony 7506's got sibilance that bugs me to no end now... I don't listen to hip hop so I don't need boomy bass, either.
     
  2. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

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    Aug 13, 2009
    #2
    Those aren't really good headphones to compare because one is an open set and the other a closed set. Not really apples-to-apples.

    Senn 595 - Open headphone. Super comfortable, accurate sound. I find them to be very boring and neutral, though. Bass is lacking.

    ATH-M50 - Closed headphone. Decent bang-for-the-buck, but very fatiguing. These headphones are known for their big bass. IMO, the highs are way too piercing, and the mids are severely lacking. I would consider these "fun" headphones for use with rap/pop/electronic music. Not good at all for acoustic.

    In a similar price range, I'm told these are very good:
    AKG MKII K271
     
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #3
    My best advise would be for you to take your portable devices to a few stores and try listening to any phone's your interested in...

    I have Klipsch, Bose, Sennheiser, JVC, Panasonic, Sony & Apple (on ear, over the ear, ear buds, noise isolating & noise canceling) = they all have their own use for my moods, type of music and use (sports, casual, water resistant & traveling), etc... I also rarely pay full price for anything and luck out on great deals alot...
     
  4. Jethrotoe, Feb 13, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011

    Jethrotoe macrumors regular

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    #4
    Like ls1dreams said: two different items. I would pick your style then go for the sound you want.

    For me I want a set that is a flat as you can get. The source (typically music) started out with a mic or instrument. Mics add tones and textures. Then the pre-amp inputs add more, then it gets some processing (EQ, etc.) before it goes to tape or hard drive, probably more processing in the mix down and re-mixed eventually to master. Usually gets more processing before cutting to CD. This is a sample of the process. There's a lot going on here and I don't want my headset to add more. I want to hear what the artist and producer intended for me to hear in the music. A set of cans should be as flat as possible to hear the source as accurately as possible. Same with my loud speakers.

    This is not to say if you like a kick drum to hit you in the head you shouldn't get a set that adds that for you. The bottom line is it's all in what you like and want. I'm not saying I'm right here. Try em all out with what you listen to most.

    [EDIT, Added this:] When a system or component reproduces all desired input signals with no emphasis or attenuation of a particular frequency band, the system or component is said to be "flat", or to have a flat frequency response curve.
     
  5. tkermit macrumors 68030

    tkermit

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    Feb 20, 2004
    #5
    I used to own the HD 555s which supposedly have the same sound characteristics as the HD 595. As someone who appreciates detailed, natural sound, yet wouldn't call myself an audiophile, I thoroughly enjoyed the headphones. There's really nothing to complain about. If anything, I'd say they could be a tad more honest about the recorded sound and a bit more detailed, mostly in the upper frequencies. On the other hand, that certainly makes the Sennheisers less fatiguing to listen to and less choosy about the quality of the source. And you're really not missing anything, unless you're used to the most high-end of headphones or frequency curves as flat as a board. I wouldn't call them boring at all and I thought their bass response was very natural and appropriate, although their frequency curve is probably still raised a bit in the mid-lows. I'd simply describe the sound as luxurious. :D

    I can't really say much about the sound stage, but I find most headphones lacking in that regard.

    I listen to about 40% classical and jazz, 30% to "neo"-folk/singer-songwriter/indie-pop and 30% to all kinds of other stuff.
     
  6. Jethrotoe macrumors regular

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    #6
    Good review. Thanks.
     
  7. AppleHater thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for the advice. I'd love to listen to them, but don't know where I can listen to those headphones. I don't think I've seen them at best buy.

    I was leaning on m50, and surprised to hear fatigue, which is a big no no for me. I'm not into bass, but apple in ear earphone seems too light on bass making overall sound unbalanced. I was fearing about the similar thing out of 595. Is it a valid concern for 595?

    I listen to pop, piano, and guitar music. Good smooth vocal is important to me. I also appreciate decent soundstage.
     
  8. toxic, Feb 13, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011

    toxic macrumors 68000

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    #8
    I don't know about the M50, but you won't be getting your money's worth with an HD595 on an iPhone. it's a portable device that doesn't supply much juice to the audio jack. I doubt an iPad will be much better...I had an iPad before, but I only used it with my (powered) speakers and some old pair of iPod earbuds.

    edit: the M50 will be better power-wise since it only has 38Ω impedance. the HD555 and HD595 have 50Ω. I've used a 555 on an iPod...I wouldn't spend that much money just for it to be underpowered and sound like headphones that are half the price.
     
  9. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

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    Aug 13, 2009
    #9
    All of these headphones are relatively easy to power. Things start to get tougher once you get to 80ohm+.

    My brother has the 555's, I have the ATH-M50's. Amps help a bit but definitely are unnecessary.
     
  10. Jethrotoe macrumors regular

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    #10
    I concur. With most equipment being high efficiency now the end result would be minimal. I don't know the output impedance of the iPhone but I know mine can blow my brains out with almost anything attached if I let it.

    These are speakers right on your ear. How loud do we want it? I have seen a lot of hearing problems in the business. Mine included from the old days of rock and roll. I get a hearing test once a year to monitor mine. Maybe off subject but a good caution.
     
  11. AppleHater thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I'm new to headphones, but knows a little about speakers and amps. When great speakers get properly powered, it opens up to its full potential. It's not a matter of volume level.

    It looks like I have to go duel paths: closed headphones with good balance and open headphones with open soundstage. For the second, it seems inevitable to get a headphone amp.
     
  12. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #12
    easy or not, the difference is there, and it's not small. I'm not talking simply volume...for whatever reason, there is a large quality difference. obviously not an issue if the iPhone/iPad have remarkably better sound than iPods, but somehow I doubt that.
     
  13. Christian81 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #13
    I've listened to both, and bought the m50's, I did not feel at all that they were overly bass heavy, but extremely neutral, I was biased to the closed however
     

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