Audio Technica and Sennheiser are top brands in headphones these days. Both companies are known for their high quality in professional and consumer audio products worldwide as well. Two very comparable headphones on the market today are the Audio Technica ATH-M50x and the Sennheiser HD 569. These headphones have a similar price point and boast a nearly identical frequency range. Both are also designed for high-fidelity listening, monitoring and studio mixing applications. So which one is the better headphone? Let’s take a detailed look and compare them side-by-side.
Audio Technica ATH-M50x
The ATH-M50x is one of Audio Technica’s top selling headphones and for good reason. It’s a solid, durable headphone that delivers a great sound. The ATH-M50x features 45mm drivers, a frequency range of 15Hz to 28kHz with an impedance of 38 Ohms. This headphone also has swiveling earcups for DJ monitoring as well as a folding option for portability. The M50x comes with 3 optional cables in different lengths and a carry bag.
The sound of the Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphone is powerful. It has a generally flat output meaning it’s more true to the intention of the original recording. This is excellent in mixing and monitoring applications because you have the choice to add or subtract frequencies via eq from your source if desired.
- Audiophile quality output with wide frequency range and relatively flat response are a plus for mixing
- The folding and swivel earcup option is perfect for portability and makes it an excellent DJ headphone for even the most discerning audiophile.
- Three removable cables and carrying case included
- Comes in black or white
- The ATH-M50x does not include any cables for use with smartphones or mobile devices
- The sound of this headphone tends to be a little bright in the upper-mid and high frequencies and could us a bit more bass for music listening
Sennheiser HD 569
The HD 5 Series from Sennheiser are headphones designed with comfort and total audiophile quality in mind. The HD 569 sets itself apart because it’s a closed-back headphone yet features a big sound. It has a rather large over-ear design that even Sennheiser calls “around the ear” because it’s so spacious. The HD 569 has an impedance of 23 Ohms and boasts a frequency range of 10Hz – 28kHz giving it just a slight better response than the M50x. The HD 569 is a bit bigger in design. It’s also an over-the-ear headphone but does not fold up and does not come with a carry bag. It does however come with 2 detachable cables (1 x 3.5mm and 1 x 6.3mm). The 6.3mm (1/4″) cable is also a little longer as it’s designed for home listening and studio mixing situations. Most of all, the HD 569 by Sennheiser is very comfortable. Noticeably more than the Audio Technica ATH-M50x. Extended listening or mixing sessions are really a dream when using the HD 569 headphone.
The sound of the Sennheiser HD 569 is incredible. The frequency output is also relatively flat but has a more rounded bass response. This is most likely due to the better isolation and the Sennheiser “E.A.R.” technology known as Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement which is designed to direct the audio into the ear rather than just at the ear. Another noticeable element of the sound the HD 569 is there’s actually a bit of soundstage. Generally this is only found in open-back headphones or headphones using some type of algorithm to “recreate” soundstage. This headphone actually manages to get the drivers just far enough away from the ears causing the sound to feel more spacious. And the fidelity of these headphones is quite stunning. You’ll hear instruments and vocals you never knew were there.
- Full audiophile quality sound. Relatively flat with a well rounded low end.
- Optional removable cables including 1 x 3.5mm with smartphone control and microphone for phone calls
- Amazingly comfortable for hours of use
- Does not fold for easy transport
- No carry case or bag
The sound quality on the Sennheiser HD 569 beats the Audio Technica ATH-50x hands down. Although it’s a bit bigger and is not as transport friendly, the HD 569 has a smooth, full sound with an unexpected amount of soundstage from a closed-back headphone. This headphone is ideal for at-home audiophile listening and audio mixing and has the added benefit of an extra inline mic and control cable. It’s definitely a headphone better suited for a long trip but could still work well for a daily bus or train commute.