HIGHLY COM­MENDED:

au­dio-tech­nica ATH-M50xBB

Sound+Image - - Headphones -

This is the lat­est ver­sion of the ’phone cre­ated for au­diotech­nica’s 50th cel­e­bra­tions back in 2012, since when not a year has gone by with­out a spe­cial or lim­ited edi­tion ar­riv­ing with tweaks and/or some new colour scheme — last year the M50x went red, but this year’s colour is blue. Th­ese are closed head­phones at $279, us­ing large 45mm driv­ers backed by cop­per-clad alu­minium voice coils and neodymium mag­nets. Their first achieve­ment is their high level of pas­sive iso­la­tion to shut out ex­te­rior noise, but even bet­ter is the de­liv­ery of a pow­er­ful and punchy sound that’s very well sup­ported in the bass; they of­fer a stu­dio-style flat re­sponse to a per­cep­tual sweep but their de­liv­ery of mu­sic is nev­er­the­less no­tably full in the bass up to the lower mids. This gives great sub­stance to all man­ner of ma­te­rial, along with open but smooth tre­ble al­low­ing full sound­stag­ing and a fine tone. To­tally solid, highly en­joy­able. www.au­diotech­nica.com.au

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