When it comes to entry-level audiophile headphones, there are a few models that crush the competition. The Fostex T50RP and the Audio Technica M50X are two such headphones. But despite their competition, there are some key differences between these entry-level audiophile headphones. So which one is right for you?
Fostex T50RP vs Audio Technica M50X Comparison Review
Build-wise, both headphones are fairly durable. The T50RP may be a shade heavier, with thicker earpads. However, the Audio Technica is lighter and more portable, be able to collapse or lay flat. Both headphones feature removable locking cables – the T50RP comes with two cables, and the M50X comes with three.
Type : Semi-open RP dynamic
Frequency Response : 15 Hz – 35 kHz
Sensitivity : 98 dB/mW
Max Input : 3000 mW
Impedance : 50 ohm
Weight : 330g (excluding cable)
Type : Closed-back dynamic
Driver Diameter : 45 mm
Magnet : Neodymium
Voice Coil : CCAW (Copper-clad aluminum wire)
Frequency Response : 15 – 28,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power : 1,600 mW at 1 kHz
Sensitivity : 99 dB
Impedance : 38 ohms
Weight : 285 g (10 oz), without cable and connector
As the specs show, the T50RP has a slightly wider frequency range, but a slightly higher nominal impedance, too. So while there might be a little more detail in their sound, you might need a little amplification to the get the full benefit of these headphones.
Meanwhile the M50X offers more volume, while still being easier to use with a smartphone or other portable device.
The T50RP may feature slightly more detail in the low end, but it also suffers some substantial bleeding. The M50X, by comparison, seems a little lighter on detail in the low end, but maintains a cleaner presentation. Both headphones have decent bass, but the earpad design on the T50RP may give it a little more impact.
Where midrange is concerned, the T50RP takes the cake with a clean, articulate, almost-perfect sound. The M50X has decent mids too, but sometimes those mids seem thin and inaccurate, like they’re morphing into higher-frequency notes.
In the high end, the M50X is brighter and thinner, without the same level of accuracy in female vocals as the T50RP. The T50RP offers slightly more detail, but without the bright high end that is characteristic of the M50X.
The soundstage on the T50RP is good, but compressed. There is a sense of space, but no depth to the music. In contrast, the M50X offers both space and depth, with excellent clarity and separation across the entire frequency range, leading to a sound that seems “blown up” – a really wide sound where you can clearly hear the lows, the mids, and the highs.
Both headphones offer excellent starting points for beginner audiophiles. With top-notch build quality, and great sound to boot, neither one of these headphones are bad by any stretch. In comparison to one another, they might seem better or worse at any given task, but comparing two great headphones is like comparing two great automobiles. At the end of the day, it can very much come down to personal preference.
If you’re a basshead, or if you care less about soundstage, the T50RP from Fostex is the headphone for you. While not as open-sounding or as portable as the M50X, the luscious lows and middling mids do much to recommend it to anyone seeking a good beat and a little detail. For most others, though, the M50X may offer a soundstage that is to die for – more than making up for minor deficiencies in sound that most consumers aren’t likely to pick up on, anyway.