Below, we will compare Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Both products are widely considered as high-quality headsets. However, they do offer different benefits. The Audio-Technica headphones are good for monitoring, whereas the Bose headphones are preferred for active noise cancellation. So, you need to consider carefully what features that you need before making a decision.
Continue reading below to learn further about:
– The design and build quality of each headset
– Which headset that is generally more comfortable to wear
– The features and connectivity options on each model
– The comparison of their sound and battery life
– Why Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is great for monitoring
– Why Bose QuietComfort 35 II is better for casual listening
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT: Design
You probably have heard about the original Audio-Technica ATH-M50X, which is a popular headset among musicians, sound engineers, and audiophiles. Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is a similar headset, but with added wireless connectivity and smart assistant support. By the way, we have also discussed the comparison of Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Sony WH-1000XM3, so make sure to take a look!
Design-wise, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT has many things in common with its predecessor. It still has a lightweight yet solid plastic construction. Some people may have doubts about the plastic hinges, but they are actually very durable and able to withstand the typical usage abuse. Despite being known as a studio headset, the ear cups of Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT are still slim enough to make it suitable for casual listening as you go about your day.
In terms of comfort, both Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II are great. But there are indeed a few notable differences. So, depending on your preference, one may be better than the other.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT fits well without being too snug. The headset will stay on your head, but it may move a bit if you shake your head too hard. The headphones sit on your ears without really pressing onto them. As the effect, people who don’t like wearing tight headphones will find Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT very comfortable.
The headband and the ear cups are padded with thick leatherette. They feel soft and comfy. However, it is a good idea to get the optional velour ear pads, which generally feel more breathable and even more comfortable than the standard ones. Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT have swiveling ear cups to allow easy one-ear monitoring, and the headset is also collapsible for compact storage.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT: Features & Connectivity
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT has built-in Bluetooth which will allow you to use the headphones wirelessly with your computer or mobile device. Controls like the power switch, play/pause button, and volume are placed on the left ear cup to allow easy access. Meanwhile, the right ear cup features a touch-sensitive panel for activating Siri or Google Assistant if your smartphone supports it.
The headset always gets into the pairing mode if it can’t find a paired device when turned on. This may feel a bit weird at first, but it is very practical once you get used to it. The pairing process is quick and reliable.
The headset supports aptX and AAC audio codecs. It doesn’t support aptX HD, but this is not a real problem as aptX HD is backwards-compatible with aptX. You probably won’t notice any difference between the two.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is also equipped with a standard 3.5mm input jack. However, unlike the original model, this headset doesn’t come with the proprietary locking mechanism. It is just a regular jack, and the audio cable may get pulled out if tugged too hard. You can continue using the headset with an audio cable even if the battery is dead.
Keep in mind that Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT doesn’t have any sort of noise cancellation. It is a pair of closed-back headphones, so it can naturally attenuate outside noise to some degree. But it won’t give you complete isolation. You need to go with Bose QuietComfort 35 II if you need active noise cancellation for blocking loud noise from the outside.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT: Sound & Battery Life
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is a great choice if you want to use the same headset for professional use and for casual listening. When used with an audio cable, the performance is similar to the original, with an analytical sound that easily shows the flaws in your mix. When used wirelessly, there is a noticeable reducement in power and detail, but still good enough for enjoying some music while you are commuting.
Bass and treble are really pronounced on this headset. Midrange presence is slightly reduced, but still with good clarity and detail. Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT have wide enough sound stage and separation to allow you to distinguish different sounds, without making them too far apart from each other.
Although the bass is emphasized, it is still tight and controlled. As a result, you can hear precisely whether the mix has enough bass or not while still getting clear, accurate mids and highs. This is why Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is excellent for monitoring music that has heavy bass.
One advantage of Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the battery life. If you want the longest battery life, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is the way to go. This headset can last for twice longer than its competitor, up to 40 hours per charge. It takes about 7 hours to recharge from empty to full.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Design
Now, let’s take a look at Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Some people claim that it is of the very best headphones in the market. This is not without reason. It provides great, enjoyable sound; it works with Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa; and, more importantly, it has the most effective noise cancellation.
The design of Bose QuietComfort 35 II is quite simple, unassuming, and straightforward. It also has a plastic construction with a black finish, though the ear cups do have metallic caps. The build quality is great, as all the frame and hinges are solid and durable. Like Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT, Bose QuietComfort 35 II features swiveling ear cups and a collapsible form.
The power button doubles as a pairing switch. It is found on the right ear cup, along with the playback button and volume controls. Meanwhile, the smart button for voice commands is located on the left ear cup.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides a snug fit. It is incredibly comfy, thanks to the soft ear pads and thick headband padding. The grippy fit will ensure that the headset remains on your head no matter what. Even so, the ear cups won’t squeeze your ears or create uncomfortable pressure points.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Features & Connectivity
Bose QuietComfort 35 II connects wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.1. Unfortunately, there is no support for aptX or aptX HD, as the headset lacks the necessary hardware for that. On the good side, the impressive sound quality can already astonish you without such codecs.
There is a companion mobile app called Bose Connect. Through this app, you can easily manage paired devices, adjust the noise cancellation level, access firmware updates, allow music sharing, and enable Bose AR. The company describes Bose AR as an audio augmented reality platform which provides new ways to learn, travel, play, and exercise. It will be very interesting as more apps and services utilize the platform in the future.
Of course, when choosing between Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II, you need to think whether you need active noise cancellation (ANC) or not. The ANC on Bose QuietComfort 35 II is really great. It will block most outside noise, hence allowing you to focus on your music and job. It is particularly effective for blocking low-frequency noise, such as the sound of an airplane and loud engine.
The headset is also equipped with a standard 3.5mm input jack. But keep in mind that you still need battery in order to activate the ANC, even when you are using an audio cable for listening.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Sound & Battery Life
Low-quality ANC headphones often generate a layer of annoying buzz when playing music. Bose QuietComfort 35 II doesn’t have any issue like that. It plays music with good detail and clarity, without any buzz.
The overall sound is very enjoyable. Bose QuietComfort 35 II provides meaty bass that doesn’t muddle the mids and highs. The midrange is crisp yet smooth, hence giving you accurate and detailed vocals. The treble has good presence, but it is not overly shrill or scratchy. Bose QuietComfort 35 II is great for easy listening.
However, Bose QuietComfort 35 II isn’t as good as Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT when it comes to monitoring and highlighting flaws in a mix. The sound is not really accurate, as it has been designed to be enjoyable rather than analytical. Bose QuietComfort 35 II can last for about 20 hours when used wirelessly with the ANC activated. If you use the audio cable, still with the ANC activated, the battery life is about 40 hours.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- Wireless, on-the-go design delivers the same critically acclaimed sonic performance as the original ATH-M50x professional studio headphones
- Touch control provides convenient access to voice assist
- Mic and button controls built into the earcup allow for easy handling of calls, music playback and volume adjustment
- Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers deliver exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response
- Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
- Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
- Balanced audio performance at any volume
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In general, Bose QuietComfort 35 II is more recommended for casual listening. It is a great headset if you want to listen to your favorite music while commuting or working. The ANC will allow you to tune out from the noisy outside world. The sound is nice and enjoyable. Meanwhile, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is more recommended for monitoring and mixing.