Audio-Technica is giving its wireless M50x headphones a refresh after three years, and the new over-ears include some welcome upgrades that bring them into the modern era. The just-introduced ATH-M50xBT2 maintains the familiar design and 45mm drivers we liked so much, but notably adds a built-in Alexa voice assistant and multi-point Bluetooth pairing. It’ll be easier to both ask for help and switch from your computer to your phone, to put it another way.
There are more functional improvements regardless of quality. A low latency mode helps with games and streamed video. Codec support has widened to include AAC, LDAC and SBC, although there’s curiously no mention of AptX. The updated USB-C connection gives you three hours of listening with a 10-minute charge, although you won’t be plugging in too often when Audio-Technica claims 50 hours of use.
There’s still no active noise cancellation, but you do get a cable for wired listening, control over common voice assistants and Fast Pair setup on Android.
The ATH-M50xBT2 is available today for $199. That’s slightly higher than the original headphones’ $180, but that still makes them a bargain if you’re more interested in pure sound quality than ANC or other common frills for over-ear headphones.
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