Wireless headsets are preferred when you don’t want to be restricted or deal with a tangled cable. In this article, we will compare Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Sony WH-1000XM3, two great wireless headsets that are highly recommended to people seeking for the best sound quality. Continue reading below to find out which one that gives a better value for the money!
What we will discuss below include:
– The fit and comfort of each headset
– The connection options available on each headset
– Why Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is still great for studio use
– Why Sony WH-1000XM3 is better if you want sound isolation
– The comparison of their sound quality and battery life
– Which headset that is generally more recommended
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT: Design and Comfort
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is the wireless version of the renowned Audio-Technica ATH-M50X, a very popular headset among sound engineers and audiophiles (see the comparison of Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs ATH-M50X here). The wireless headset feels pretty much like its predecessor. It is a full-size headset with solid build quality and a generous amount of padding for comfort.
The ear cups are pretty slim, making the headset comfortably suitable for casual listening during your daily activities. The ear cups can swivel freely around for one-ear monitoring and compact storage, and are kept in place by chunky plastic hinges capable of withstanding serious wear without breaking or complaining.
Both the headband and ear cups are well-padded. The ear pads are quite thick. Like Sony WH-1000MX3, the padding is soft and really comfortable. They are topped with synthetic leather which feels nice.
If we compare the fit of Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Sony WH-1000XM3, there is a noticeable difference. Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT fits well, but it is not very snug. Obviously, the company doesn’t want Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT to lose its predecessor’s distinctive design and appearance as a studio-grade headset. This is actually a good thing if you don’t like headsets that press too much on your ears.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT: Features
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT comes with Bluetooth connectivity to allow a wireless connection with computers and mobile devices. There are on-board controls on the left ear cup, including the usual power switch, volume up and down, and play/pause buttons. There is also a touch-sensitive panel on the right ear cup for accessing your mobile device’s voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant if available.
The pairing process is a bit different than most other headphones. Usually, a wireless headset requires pressing the power button for a few seconds to enter the pairing mode. However, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT immediately starts pairing whenever it is switched on and it is not being connected to a device. At first, this feels a bit weird, but the pairing process is really stable, quick, and practical once you get used to it.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT supports aptX and AAC codecs when working wireless. However, it doesn’t support aptX HD. This is not a big problem because aptX HD is backwards-compatible, and there is virtually no sound quality degradation when resorting to aptX.
When choosing between Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Sony WH-1000XM3, you should consider whether active noise cancellation (ANC) is of major importance for you or not. If you really need a headset with ANC, then Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is out of the question. It doesn’t have this feature. The padded ear cups alone are good enough to block environmental noise to some degree and prevent sound leaking, but they won’t give you total isolation.
You can still use the headset with an audio cable when the battery runs out. The headset uses a standard 3.5mm input jack. There is a Micro USB port, but this is only for charging. The battery life is about 40 hours, and it requires 7 hours to recharge from zero to full.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT: Performance
In terms of sound quality, both Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Sony WH-1000XM3 are definitely great headsets. But they do have very different sound signatures. Just like the wired ATH-M50X, the wireless ATH-M50XBT doesn’t have strong bass. The midrange and treble are more pronounced.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is armed with new 45mm large-aperture drivers to deliver superior clarity throughout the frequency response range. The company aims to make ATH-M50XBT sound just like ATH-M50X, even in the wireless mode. While there is still a noticeable gap in sound quality between the wired and wireless mode (ATH-M50XBT indeed sounds like ATH-M50X when used with an audio cable), the wireless performance is quite impressive.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT sounds engaging and vivid. The midrange and treble have plenty of power and presence. The soundstage is wide and clear. The dynamics are really pleasing and enjoyable. You can easily distinguish different vocal tracks and instruments in the mix.
The bass performance is solid and controlled. It is not overly boomy and muddy, hence allowing the other frequencies to remain clear. But, if you are the type who prefer heavy bass in your music, you may find Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT to be a bit too weak.
When used with an audio cable, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT offers impressive clarity and detail. This is why it remains as a viable choice for professional use when needed. Wireless, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT tends to lose some levels of clarity, and the bass becomes less controlled, but it is still enjoyable for casual listening.
Sony WH-1000XM3: Design and Comfort
Sony WH-1000XM3 is a wireless headset known for its superior sound quality and noise cancellation. Many people even go as far as saying that Sony WH-1000XM3 is the best noise-cancelling headset in the market right now. The plastic construction is light, yet very solid and durable.
The headset looks elegant, available in Black and Platinum Silver color options. The ergonomic design is aimed to provide the best comfort to the user. The headband bends quite deeply so that the ear cups become really snug. The headset sits closely to your head, providing a tight yet comfortable fit. Fortunately, the headband has soft padding, and the ear pads are also quite thick and gentle.
Sony WH-1000XM3 is fairly lightweight, so it won’t put a significant burden on your head. Most people find it very comfortable to wear over a few hours. However, if you don’t like a tight and snug headset, you may find it becoming more and more uncomfortable after an hour or so.
By the way, the ear cups can indeed swivel. However, the plastic hinges are not very tough, so you should put more care when rotating or swiveling the ear cups. Though, the headset is indeed collapsible into a relatively flat form for easy storage and transport.
Sony WH-1000XM3: Features
As mentioned above, when choosing between Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Sony WH-1000XM3, you should go with Sony WH-1000XM3 if you need ANC for total isolation from loud noise. Sony WH-1000XM3 is one of the most advanced, feature-packed wireless headsets currently available. The company says that Sony WH-1000XM3 is armed with the all-new HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, which is said to have four times faster and better signal processing performance than the previous generations.
The ANC of Sony WH-1000XM3 is not only great for blocking low-frequency noise such as planes and vehicle engines. It can also deal with environmental noise in the mid and high frequencies, hence allowing total isolation from traffic noise and the typical office conversation noise.
The sophisticated QN1 processor is not only for noise cancellation. It also provides benefits for the audio performance. It can receive 32-bit signals, and is equipped with a DAC and analogue amp for increased signal-to-noise ratio and less distortion. Sony WH-1000XM3 supports most audio codecs including aptX HD and LDAC.
Sony WH-1000XM3 has NFC for quick, simple pairing. Additionally, a 3.5mm input is available. On the right ear cup, there is a touch-sensitive control pad which supports smart gestures for quick commands. You can swipe up or down to adjust volume, left or right to change tracks, and double tap to play/pause. Put your palm over the pad for the Quick Attention mode, which immediately lowers the music so that you can hear sound from the outside.
Sony WH-1000XM3 has decent battery life. It can last for about 30 hours when working wireless with the ANC activated. Sony WH-1000XM3 is already equipped with a USB-C charging port, which enables quick charging. You only need to charge the headset for ten minutes to get five hours of playback. A full charge only takes about three hours.
Sony WH-1000XM3: Performance
Sony WH-1000XM3 has clean and firm sound. It delivers both instruments and vocals with such fullness and definition. The soundstage is wide enough to allow good separation and imaging, yet without making the mix sound too clinical or analytical. This headset is really enjoyable to listen to.
Compared to Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT, Sony WH-1000XM3 has more pronounced bass. The lows are full, solid, and warm. As the effect, the headset can provide pleasant grace and delicacy when playing slow music that has plenty of bass. The mids and highs do have good presence and accuracy, but they are not too sharp or sibilant.
Sony WH-1000XM3 has decent power. It doesn’t have any problem to deliver music at higher volume. The performance remains clear, accurate, and distortion-free even at higher volume levels. Sony WH-1000XM3 is not the best choice for monitoring in a studio environment; but if you are looking for a great-sounding headset for personal entertainment, this is a highly recommended choice.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT vs Sony WH-1000XM3
- 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
- DIGITAL NOISE CANCELLING: Industry leading ANC lends a personalized, virtually soundproof experience
- VOICE ASSISTANT: Alexa-enabled for hands-free voice access to music, information, and more
- QUICK ATTENTION MODE: Cover the right ear cup to turn down your music for instant, easy conversation
- SMART LISTENING: Adjusts the ambient sound to your activity to give you the best noise cancellation
NOTE : Product prices, availability, ratings and save money information are accurate as of the date/time indicated on post time (as seen right bellow the tittle) and are subject to change. Any price, ratings, availability and save money information displayed on Amazon Site or Headphone Authority at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
In general, Sony WH-1000XM3 is more recommended. It has more enjoyable sound, and the ANC is really effective for blocking outside noise. It also has cool features such as NFC and the Quick Attention mode. However, if you need a studio-grade headset that can provide accurate and analytical sound, Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT is the way to go.