Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 review | Thing
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 takes a few steps towards today’s most popular wireless headphones without going all the way. There is no active noise cancellation, which should rule out the pair for many of you.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on trains or listening to music while strolling through busy streets, a Bose or Sony pair with ANC will work best for you. The latest generation Sony WH-1000XM3s are your best bet when it comes time to review. They sell for around £ 50 more and are brilliant.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 does a decent job of blocking out some noise, but for city sounds you can’t beat good active noise cancellation.
However, they have excellent battery life, rated at 50 hours. When you start them, a little voice prompt tells you if the battery life is “high,” “medium” or “low,” and if you’re using an Android, the percentage also appears in the Bluetooth menu.
These are low maintenance headphones and charging is faster this time around. Audio Technica says that 10 minutes plugged into USB-C gives you three hours of use.
We noticed some improvements in usability within two minutes of using the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2. Pairing is much simpler and more reliable this time around, and there is no power slider. These headphones automatically go into “sleep” mode, like just about every other 2021 pair.
There is one more notable problem, the mind. While the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 has a pair of “beamforming” microphones, designed to eliminate outside noise when making calls, they don’t perform very well.
A lot of road noise gets to the person you are talking to and the flow on your side is also played out by the drivers. You hear those white vans go by as much as the person on the other end. Mutual suffering.
Download the Audio-Technica Connect app and you’ll realize that this is a feature, not a bug. It’s called Side Tone and you can turn it off. But noise reduction for calls is poor at best.
That’s about the one thing we actively don’t like about the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2. Again, you will get a more refined experience with some Bose or Sony pairs.
Other things to note include the dedicated voice assistant button, which brings up Siri or Google Assistant, and the accessories in the box. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 includes a faux leather carrying case and an audio cable. There is a 3.5mm plug on the left cup, so you don’t need to use this wireless pair.