We have chosen two great, popular headphones to compare for studio use, as well as everyday use.
Sennheiser and Audio-Technica offer some pretty great headphones. A good pair of studio headphones completely changes everything, especially if you are using them for editing or mixing.
Today we’ll be comparing the Audio-Technica ATH M50x and Sennheiser HD 25 headphones. They are both amazing, but which is better? Choosing the right headphones can be difficult, but we’ve made it easy to compare the two. In this post, you will learn which headphones have better sound quality, comfort, and overall use for your preference.
|Sennheiser HD 25||Audio-Technica ATH-M50x|
|Connectivity||3.5mm Wired||3.5mm Wired|
|Type (closed back or open)||Closed Back; On Ear||Closed Back; Over Ear|
|Frequency Response||16Hz – 22kHz||15Hz – 28kHz|
How to Choose the Best Headphones for Podcasting & Voiceovers
Check out our guide, The Best Headphones for Podcasting & Voiceovers. It covers everything you should know about headphones and how to choose the right ones for you.
Which headphones offer you the best features for your money? That is the big question when it comes to comparing Audio-Technica and Sennheiser.
Neither of these headphones offer Bluetooth, which is not a dealbreaker. Because of the inherent advantages of wireless connectivity, many companies are changing over to Bluetooth. However, while Bluetooth is super convenient, it’s not without its tradeoffs. When it comes to getting the top-notch sound quality that audio professionals need, Bluetooth is not recommended. Plus, there’s a chance that the sound will lag, which can get annoying. Wired headphones will perform better than Bluetooth; Bluetooth just does not have the bandwidth or sound quality that wired headphones offer.
Both Sennheiser HD 25 headphones and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones come with a 3.5mm wired jack plug. This type of jack is most common with headphones. The 3.5mm jack sends stereo analog signals directly to the headphones, so you are getting live, high-quality audio. It is well suited for low-frequency things like audio and electrical power.
Both headphones also offer a 6.3mm adapter that screws on to prevent disconnections. The HD 25 headphones cable is straight, not very long (1.5m), and only connects to the right earpiece. The ATH-M50x headphones come with three different detachable cables: a 1.2m coiled lead that extends to 3m in length, a 1.2m straight cable, and a 3m straight cable. The advantage of having multiple cables is the ability to adapt to studio use or on-the-go listening. The only downside to the ATH-M50x headphones when it comes to cables is that you insert the cable in the left earpiece and twist it to lock it in, so if you lose or break a cable, you’ll have to order a replacement. But, with that said, the HD 25 headphones have the same issue.
One of the great features of the ATH-M50x headphones is that they come with a carrying case and are easily portable. You can get the case with the HD 25’s, but it will cost you extra — you have to buy the “plus” version.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones have a foldable design, while the Sennheiser HD 25 headphones do not.
Comfort & Design
Audio-Technica and Sennheiser both make pretty comfortable headphones. Your choice might depend on whether you prefer an over-the-ear fit or an on-the-ear fit. You should also consider the weight of the headphones and how adjustable they are.
Weight Makes a Difference
The ATH-M50x headphones weigh 285g, while the HD 25 headphones only weigh 140g. It makes a big difference — trust me — your head will thank you. Both headphones offer an adjustable head band, which helps with comfort.
Over the Ear vs. On the Ear
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are over the ear, while the Sennheiser HD 25 headphones are on the ear. This could mean a world of difference if you have a strong preference for your headphones to be directly on your ear or over it.
The HD 25 headphones are a bit firm, so they could get uncomfortable for your head and cause “squashed ear syndrome.” These headphones have great padding, but when it comes to wearing them for several hours at a time, your ears might need a break from time to time.
The ear pads on the ATH-M50x headphones are thick and soft, enclosing the ear completely. This is a plus if you want to block out any outside noise. The ear pieces are also marked for each ear, left or right. The HD 25’s do not have designated left and right earpieces — you just have to do what feels right.
The quality of the build is great with both headphones. There are some advantages and disadvantages to both, though…
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a little chunky, but only because they are over-the-ear headphones and boast a lot of padding on the earpieces. The Sennheiser HD 25 headphones are known to be slim, weighing way less than the M50x’s. The HD 25 headphones split headband can be opened or closed for fitting just right and they have just enough padding on the earpieces for a generally comfortable fit.
Both headphones sound amazing, so comparing them is difficult. Overall, the sound of the ATH-M50x is better than the HD 25 headphones in my humble opinion, but again, they both offer excellent sound quality.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones offer a powerful bass with extremely clear and accurate sound. This can be very important when editing. The Sennheiser HD 25 headphones offer a great bass too, and the treble is extremely clear and crisp. Everything is layered just right.
For frequency response, Audio-Technica headphones range from 15Hz to 28kHz, while Sennheiser only ranges from 16Hz to 22kHz Though the Sennheiser headphones offer a narrower frequency response range, it’s still impressive.
The ATH-M50x headphones from Audio-Technica offer an impedance of 38 ohms, while the Sennheiser HD 25 headphones offer a much higher impedance of 70 ohms.
Open Back or Closed Back?
There are many different types of headphones, but the most popular are either open back or closed back. It all depends on your preference and what you are using your headphones for. We generally recommend closed back, but in case you’re curious, here is the difference between the two.
Open Back: Air passes through the ear cups, which basically means the sound will be more natural and crisp. But here’s the catch: It will only sound better if you are in an isolated environment with no other sound near you. Also, people around you can hear what you are listening to. Keep in mind this could interfere with recording and your microphone may pick up your audio and could create an echo.
Closed Back: The ear cups are completely covered, only letting sound out into your ear. It doesn’t sound as natural as open-back headphones, but you’ll be able to work in an environment with other people without annoying them or yourself. This allows you to listen to yourself while recording, which is a very helpful feature. With closed-back headphones, one thing I struggle with is my ears getting hot… and a little bit sweaty. I know, gross. But if you’re in a cool environment, you should be fine.
Sennheiser vs. Audio-Technica
For a more detailed brand guide, check out our other post Sennheiser vs. Audio-Technica – Guided Brand Comparison. It breaks down pretty much anything you need to know about both brands, and it even has other great headphone recommendations to choose from.
Sennheiser HD 25 Pros & Cons
The Sennheiser HD 25 headphones are known for their slim design and lightweight feel. Your head will thank you — trust me. Plus, with the on-the-ear design, your ears won’t get as sweaty after lengthy use.
The sensitivity is just right with the HD 25 headphones. You are able to listen to just about anything without your ears being blasted. The sound is extremely crisp and everything is layered just right.
At a whopping 70 ohms, it could not get better than that. Sennheiser offers a great, high level of impedance. This means that the bass definition is way better, and the sound is more surround.
Lower Frequency Response
I’m not saying that the HD 25 headphones have a bad frequency response, but the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones offer a wider range. Sennheiser offers a 16Hz – 22kHz frequency response, which means it won’t have as wide a range as the ATH-M50x’s for bass, mids, and treble.
Not Portable & Collapsable
The HD 25 headphones are not collapsible like the ATH-M50x’s are, which can be really hard for someone who is constantly on the go. You have to buy a case for the HD 25’s, and again, you don’t have to pay for those extras with the ATH-M50x headphones.
Because the HD 25 headphones are on the firmer side, they can become uncomfortable after long periods of use. The headband and ear pads are both harder to break in, and they aren’t as adjustable as the ATH-M50x headphones.
Audio Technica ATH-M50X Pros & Cons
Great Frequency Response
The Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones offer an AMAZING frequency response, 15Hz – 28kHz. The bass, mids, and treble will sound great.
Due to the headphones’ comfortable, soft, and over-the-ear design, these headphones are so nice for those with sensitive ears. The only downside of long use is that your ears may get a little sweaty…
Collapsible & Portable
YAS. For those on the go, the ATH-M50x headphones are both collapsible AND portable… AND they come with a case, unlike the HD 25’s.
After lengthy use, your ears may be a little ~moist~ (had to throw that in there, sorry). If it’s hot, your ears might sweat a bit. But with that being said, they are extremely comfortable.
Low Density Foam
Some say that the foam used in the ear pieces are “cheap” and have low density. This could mean the headphones won’t drown out ALL the sound from outside, but they aren’t advertised as noise-cancelling so you should not expect that from these headphones anyway.
Sennheiser beat Audio Technica on this one for sure! The ATH-M50x headphones only offer an impedance of 38 ohms, while the HD 25’s offer an impedance of a whopping 70 ohms. This just means that the bass isn’t as good, but I can’t really tell the difference. Both headphones offer a great, crisp sound.
Headphones are extremely difficult to compare because they are so subjective, especially comparing these two great headphones. When looking for a pair of headphones, it comes down to your preference and what you are using them for.
After looking at the pros and cons, it is difficult for me to say which pair is better. For my audio editing, I would have to go for the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones due to their overall amazing sound quality.
But again, this guide is strictly to compare the two pairs and it really boils down to your preference and what you are looking for. It is important to keep in mind how much you will be using them, what your primary use is, and your overall comfort while wearing them.