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Audio-Technica ATH-M50x vs Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO (2021): Which is the Better Studio Monitor Headphones?

In a sound studio, one of the most important pieces of equipment is studio monitor headphones. Now, when it comes to these headphones, two of the most popular options are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. But which one is better? In this article, we’ll compare both headphones to help you determine which one will suit you best.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x vs Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Comparison Chart

ModelAudio-Technica ATH-M50xBeyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
TypeClosed-back dynamicOpen-back dynamic
Driver Diameter45 mm45 mm
Frequency Response15-28,000 Hz5-35,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power1,600 mW at 1 kHz100 mW
Sensitivity99 dB96 dB
Impedance38 ohms250 ohms
Weight285 g (10 oz), without cable and connector250 g (8.8 oz), without cable and connector
CableInterchangeable cables:
detachable 1.2 m – 3.0 m (3.9′ – 9.8′) coiled cable

detachable 3.0 m (9.8′) straight cable

detachable 1.2 m (3.9′) straight cable
9.8 ft. coiled cable

1/8″ Gold plated stereo jack plug

1/4″ adapter
Cable DetachableYesNo
ConnectorGold Plated Stereo 1/8” (3.5 mm) connector with strain reliefCoiled cable (3.5mm)
MagnetNeodymiumNot Specified
ColorsBlack, Blue, Gun Metal, White, PurpleBlack, Gray


The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has a bulkier design than the DT 990 Pro.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro both have robust and premium builds. They’re made mostly from strong ABS plastic with a few metal reinforcements. At first glance, the major differences you will notice are the outer earcup designs and the earpad materials. The ATH-M50x has leatherette paddings while the Beyerdynamic has velvet earpads. 

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x puts a lot of focus on user versatility. Users can adjust the headband to perfectly fit them. They can also detach the main cable if they want to move around without removing the headphones. What’s more, the earcups are collapsible for easy storage. 

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro also has an adjustable headband to fit a wide range of users. The cable only sticks out of one earcup, avoiding tangling issues when wearing or removing it. The cable, however, is not detachable.


Both the Audio-Technica and Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro boast ultimate comfort for extended use.

Despite its bulky design, the ATH-M50x feels light, thanks to its hard-wearing plastic material. For even more comfort, the headband and ear cups are fully padded with pleather. Plus, these ear cups can rotate 90°, allowing you to position it to whatever feels most comfortable for you. 

As for the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, you’ll be able to use it for many hours without any discomfort. This is possible because it utilizes a memory foam velour pad. Not to mention, the clamping force on your ears is well distributed.

Sound Quality

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has balanced frequency in the low, mid, and high range, while the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro focuses on highs and bass.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has a balanced frequency throughout the highs, mids, and lows. This allows sound engineers and music producers to mix audio without any frequency biases, keeping their output crisp and accurate. The Audio-Technica, with its firm fit and pleather paddings, has excellent noise-isolation. You can immerse yourself in your sounds and not worry about leakage. 

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro offers an 80 Ohms version and a 250 Ohms version. The 80 Ohms version heightens the bass frequencies, while the 250 Ohms version delivers a more neutral sound. The latter is used for critical listening applications such as studio work. The Beyerdynamic isn’t known to have the best noise-isolation. Sound leakage can be expected at higher volumes.

If you’re looking for a pair of headphones perfect for Zoom meetings, check out this article.


Both the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro deliver excellent sound quality at an affordable price.

Amazon product

If you’re looking for an excellent pair of headphones for music production or other studio work, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are great choices. 

Both headphones deliver balanced and unbiased sound. This is critical for all types of sound production work. Additionally, these headphones can fit your head perfectly and won’t give you any discomfort even if worn for long periods of time. 

The best part is that these headphones can be had for under $200! That’s a great value right there.


📌 Are these headphones still a good buy in 2021?

Yes, both headphones possess timeless audio quality and unmatched comfort.

📌 Are either headphones good for gaming?

Since both headphones are aimed at studio monitoring, they aren’t ideal for gaming. That said, the DT 990 Pro has a wider sound and more stereo imaging, making it a better gaming headset than the ATH-M50x.

📌 How does the return process work for Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro?

Beyerdynamic is usually flexible with their return processes, especially if the defect is directly from the manufacturer. To get more info about their return processes, click here.

📌 How does the return process work for Audio-Technica ATH-M50x?

Audio-Technica offers a warranty and repair program for their ATH-M50x headphones. If the product is damaged within the warranty period, the company will take full responsibility. They will provide free repair services to fix any defects. If the problem can’t be fixed, and it was due to the manufacturer’s defect, you can replace or refund the headphones. For more details on this, click here.

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Manolo Martinez

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about music, film, and DIY projects.