I studied music in college (#questionablecareerprospects, I know), and as I didn’t have a good pair of studio monitor speakers in my dorm room (and nor could I have used these at a healthy volume, anyhow), I needed a good pair of closed-back headphones for use mixing and transcribing music. I remember the first time I unwrapped these ATH-M50s from the plastic and played one of my favorite funk tracks from Tower of Power – I suddenly heard things in the mix that I’d never heard before in years of listening to that band.
Are there fancier open and semi-open back (as opposed to these closed-back models), reference-quality headphones out there that are more suitable to checking mixes? Yes. Are there more comfortable headphones out there? Yes. But can you get this level of quality and comfort for $112? Probably not. After a decade+ of using these cans (thank you to 4 years at Berklee College of Music for ingraining all that studio slang in my brain), most of the lining on the headband has finally worn away, and yet I still haven’t upgraded. And lucky for you, on this generation of the headphones, the wire detaches – back in my day we never had such fancy-shmancy technology as detachable wires (read: in the year 2007).
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