M50x sounding too harsh?

Hello, I recently bought the Ath-M50x headphones a couple days ago, but they’re sound way too harsh and bright for me to the point where it sometimes ruins my favourite songs. Sounds like ‘sss’ ‘thh’ ‘shh’ etc. sound really harsh and hurts my ears, and I’m just wondering if they’re supposed to sound like this?
Should I let them burn in first, or do I just have to get used to them?
I’m going from the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BT which I bought a couple years ago, just to let you know.

What are you feeding them with (amp, dac, etc.)

Not to try and dump on them but the M50x never blew me away when I tried them out - advised as decent analytical phones, so good for audio work, but fatiguing to listen to music for general day to day. I noticed a similar harshness to the highs when I demo them at an audio-shop but admittedly I was powering them from my phone, not sure if a decent amp and EQ would fix it. I think Z said something similar in his video review on them. Actually the M40x get much better praise for being a much nicer sound and are cheaper. If you’re within the return window and bought from a good seller I would consider returning and swapping for those.

There should also be an MX50 headphone topic in here somewhere you can see other people’s thoughts on them.

Interestingly, if you google 'M50x harshness, you’re one of the many people who have asked this question online.

That’s just how those sound, put a square of toilet paper under the pads, or just use eq…
I’m sure it can be fixed with pad swapping too but I don’t have them to tell you exactly which ones would lower the peaks.

M50x is a very bright, sibilant headphone with treble that’s more grainy than a Kansas wheat field. The pads also are uncomfortable as hell.

Sorry to piss in your punch bowl, but that’s the sound signature of those cans, which I think are among the most overrated in the marketplace.

Don’t bother with EQ or other tricks. That’s a Band-Aid on an ax wound. Return or sell the M50x. You can do so much better for the money.

Start with the AKG K361 or K371. I bet you’ll like those a lot better, for a similar or lower price. Don’t bother with the M40x. They’re not as bassy as the M50x but just as sibilant and grainy in the treble.

I owned both the M40x and M50x after coming from consumer-oriented headphones – a journey just like yours. I soon learned the vaunted Audio-Technica Mx series weren’t nearly as good as touted. Live and learn!

Good luck, man.

I’m just using a phone or laptop to listen to them for casual listening and watching movies

A proper DAC-amp will do very little to remove the harshness. That’s the A-T “house sound,” at least for the Mx series.

Thanks man, I think I’ll keep the m50x for a week longer to see if anything changes and if not, I’ll return them and get the m40x to see if I like those better, and if not again, then I’ll probably try out the headphones that @pk500 suggested.
Thanks, all!

just return them and get the shure 840a

To each their own, man. But you can save yourself a step by skipping the M40x and buying another brand if you think the M50x treble is crispy and grainy. The M40x won’t be much different. Plus you can do SO much better for the price than the Mx series from Audio-Technica.

Hell, the HiFiMan HE-400se OBLITERATES – can’t stress this enough – both the M50x and M40x, and it’s priced new anywhere from $129-$149. You will not find a better headphone value under $150 anywhere on this planet.

But … the HE-400se is an open-back, planar-magnetic headphone, very different from the closed-back, dynamic-driver headphones you’re sampling. Open backs leak sound in and out, so they’re not great for public places. And nearly all planars require an amp to reach proper volume and fidelity, but the HE-400se is in a different universe in terms of sound quality compared to the Audio-Technica crap.

Good luck in your journey, man.