Need an upgrade from my Audio Technica ATH-M50x

I’ve had my m50x’s for nearly 5 years now but want to try out better headphones now and more specifically get into open back headphones. Where I’m at, massdrop/drop doesn’t deliver, so unfortunately will have to leave all their products out of the mix.

I’ve been leaning towards the 600ohm DT 880 but am worried whether it’s good for a wide range of genres and whether it’s good for an enjoyable listening experience or is it too analytical for that sort of role? If so, what are alternatives that are at the same price or even higher that I could choose from? I have a budget up to 350$/R6500 max if I’m pushing my wallet.

Thanks in advance.

Can you get Hifiman? The Sundara’s are dynamite and they cost 350$. And a much better headphone to the dt880. big upgrade actually

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I can check if that’s possible, the hifimans have definitely had my interest for a while. I’ve heard of the recent release of hifiman deva, not sure if they’re an upgrade or downgrade to the sundara and if they’d cost less?

Actually they dont sound as good from teh reports ive heard. But the Sundara is one of those headphones that has become a reference. They’ve really blown everyone away and used to retail at 500$ they punch way above their price point. They sell them off the hifiman website:

And would the sundara’s scale well with amps?

Oh yeah. and it will work fine off of phones and comp onboard audio

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That’s great

Sundaras are planars so they scale with solid states and hybrids but OTL tube amps won’t work well with them. Aside from that excellent headphone. The 880 600 ohm is this forums choice can for gaming and general all rounder for under $200. I say it’s scales better with amps than the sundaras due to the fact that it’s a dynamic and is hard to drive as well as just sounding great with tubes.

I know people don’t really like the 990’s but have also seen that it depends on the version that you get. What do you think of the 600 ohm 990 premium/edition that DMS says the treble is not as bad as the 990 Pro, it doesn’t sound like a terrible choice either or am I missing something?

Besides open back, what are you looking for from the sound? What do you like/dislike about the M50x? What will you be using as your dac/amp? What are your primary use cases?

Well my opinion isn’t exactly the best in this respect as I’m pretty partial and biased towards the 990 pro and are my daily drivers. But in restect to gaming and most applications they are a upgrade to the m50x but I’m also in the camp of the m50x kinda sucks. The 990 even 600 ohm isn’t exactly what we call a all rounder the increas bass and treble lends it to some genres and applications. The 880 600 ohm due to the more neutral nature of it just tends to be the better all-rounder headphone overall. But due to the high impedance you will need an amp to drive them

My advice, buy used headphones. Ebay, Head-Fi and Reddit or this forum are your friends.

My current Audio Technica duo in my collection are the A990z and R70x. I love em both.
A990z I got for $140.
R70x for $250

Both with free shipping, both Ebay, both in immaculate condition, barely used. I modded my A990z with car audio dampening material and poly fil. Works for me.

If you want to buy new and can only buy 1 headphone, I recommend HD650. It’s the jack of all trades headphone, it’s jus really great. I personally think R70x is superior is every way, but HD650 is forgiving and generally sounds amazing to everyone.

If you want more of that treble that you got used to with M50x, I’d go with K712. K712 has more bass than both DT880 and HD650, but not as much as R70x. R70x doesn’t have the treble like M50x or K712 though, it’s more balanced. But I think you may like more colored sound.

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I find the m50x pretty fatiguing because of the clamp and I believe the highs also. Not sure if you can be fatigued from boomy bass but since I put an eq on them about a week ago, it has had tighter less thunpy bass and the highs haven’t been as sharp so now I only get annoyed by the head comfort. If I can explain in a different way, the m50x is very in my face and it’s just overwhelming.

I will use these at my desk for my laptop playing through the Onkyo hts-3910 AV reciever which has a headphone out supporting headphones from 8 - 600 ohms.

The use case will be for music (a wide range of music from rock, classical, pop, hip-hop, electronic, edm, indie rock and not sure of the names of the other genres but acoustic guitar stuff) , YouTube movies and little bit of gaming. So kind of an all rounder. Also since the m50x is so in your face and has a small soundstage, I want to experience a good soundstage. Not a bass head but also don’t want the sound to be too thin, full sound would be nice

Not sure if these requirements contradict each other?

I guess then neutral is what I’m looking for, what’s the difference between natural sound and neutral sound?

Funny thing is I don’t like the high treble of the m50x, so would the 650 be better for having less treble sharpness than the m50x? What is the price of the r70x when new?

its different for a lot of people to em natural has a lot more to do with the timbre and how lifelike it sounds. and neutral is more frequency response. the more neutral the more flat it sounds.since the 880 has less bass and and treble than the 990 it is a more neutral sounding headphone .

The 650 would be better in most respects, including treble, but also have a pretty tight soundstage. R70x is generally $350 new, and is reputed to be a very strong reference performer.

While not fully open, sounds like the Nighthawk might be a strong contender if you can find it. It’s a semi-open with nice soundstage and great ability to recreate space and provide very satisfying bass extention without getting boomy. Good option for gaming (from what I’ve read) and I think sounds pretty amazing for my similarly wide range of music preferences, but especially for natural instruments and vocals.

I don’t have much experience with the Beyers outside of some brief in-store demos, but if you don’t like the highs on the M50, you may have issues with them as well without EQ or getting the 600 ohm version, which may push the limits of your amp.

Chipping in for the Sundaras at $350. Solid

Almost mentioned them too purely on reputation…just don’t have any direct experience for comparison.

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