Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) overview: gaming meets the studio

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) overview: gaming meets the studio

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB): Two-minute overview

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) is a good sounding headset. However, it brings up a well-recognized query when gaming headsets – and that’s determining what’s necessary.

After all, among the greatest gaming headsets supply all types of bells and whistles to take gaming audio to the subsequent stage, however don’t fairly hit the mark if you’re simply leaning again and listening to music. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset is undoubtedly one of many greatest wired gaming headsets on the market proper now, however it flips the script. You received’t discover a lot in the way in which of options – there’s not even an app. Yet the sound high quality alone makes up for that.

For me, that sound high quality is extra necessary than with the ability to EQ or use directional / spatial / insert-gimmick audio to course of or change what you’re listening to. Since this can be a headset model of the well-loved Audio-Technica ATH-M50x identified for its outsized efficiency to cost, it’s no shock that the corporate went on this course.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) with accessories

(Image credit score: Future/James Holland)

Before digging too deep into the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset, it’s necessary to level out that there are two iterations: the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS-USB reviewed right here and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS-XLR. 

The solely variations between the 2 are connectivity. The USB model has an hooked up cable that terminates into USB-A (it additionally comes with an adapter for USB-C ports), whereas the XLR model makes use of that sort of connection that requires an audio interface to hook up with your laptop. Plus, it wants phantom energy for the mic.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) USB connector

(Image credit score: Future/James Holland)

The growth mic right here has a handy flip-to-mute perform, however is most noteworthy for utilizing a capsule from a condenser mic versus the dynamic ones most use.

The variations between these two varieties are past the scope of this overview, however the fast model is that condenser mics normally sound higher with a fuller frequency vary whereas dynamic mics are higher at simply choosing up the sound in entrance of them.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) mic

(Image credit score: Future/James Holland)

As far because the aesthetics of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset goes, it nonetheless retains that belongs-in-the-studio all-black look. Though the corporate is advertising and marketing this headset to streamers and players, particularly because the unique model has been really useful as a headphones various to gaming headsets on each different discussion board, there’s no gamer-focused design decisions aside from the inclusion of that mic.

That stated, Audio-Technica does embrace two several types of earpads, particularly material and leatherette, so you possibly can alter the consolation a bit. They do supply barely completely different experiences as I discover the leatherette to be slightly hotter to put on. Whichever one you put in, you in all probability received’t need to commute an excessive amount of as they’re a ache to put in.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) earpads

(Image credit score: Future/James Holland)

When it involves ergonomics, there’s a lot readily available because the earcups can tilt and swivel 180 levels. And, after all, the scarf has loads of extension readily available for various sized heads.

At the tip of the day, the consolation on these headphones are respectable however not superb. Though the clamping pressure shouldn’t be extreme, it’s a little tight. The approach the burden is distributed right here ended up with a lot of the headset’s 330 grams bearing on my cranium. That signifies that after lengthy classes, I did really feel slightly stress the place the scarf sat.

Luckily, the sound high quality makes up for every other points. Not solely did I exploit it for video games equivalent to Starfield, Far Cry 6, and Battlefield 2042, however I truly used them to do some mixing. That’s as a result of the sound high quality right here shouldn’t be solely detailed with loads of decision however pretty evenly balanced. There’s slightly extra bass than probably the most impartial headphones on the market, however it’s not overly pronounced. The mid-range is equally full with out being overbearing. And, the high-end retains all of the readability one might ask for, once more with out being overly shiny.

There’s additionally loads of headroom so audio by no means will get compressed because of the headphones. However, the soundstage shouldn’t be a standout function. Make no mistake, it’s good – simply not particularly large. That stated, the imaging (placement of sound parts inside the soundstage) may be very exact so I all the time know the place one thing is, whether or not it’s a guitar or gunshots.

As far because the mic goes, it has slightly little bit of a double-edge sword. As it makes use of the identical capsule as Audio-Technica’s 20 sequence microphones just like the AT2020USB-XP, it has the advantages of a condenser mic in addition to the drawbacks that means that the speaker’s voice is obvious and uncompressed sounding, which is sort of by no means the case with most growth mics, however any environmental noise will even get picked up.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB): Price & availability

  • How a lot does it value? $229.00 / £199.99 / AU$469.00
  • When is it accessible? Available now
  • Where are you able to get it? Available within the US, UK, and Australia

Gaming headsets are available in all types of worth ranges from ultra-budget to pretty expensive. While they don’t attain the extent of audiophile headphones, asking for as much as $400 for a gaming headset is sufficient to flip most individuals away.

Luckily, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS StreamSet, whereas a bit spendy, continues to be inside attain of most individuals. There are two variations which were accessible because the starting of 2023. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS-USB is the dearer of the 2, going for $229 / £199.99 / AU$469.

The barely cheaper Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS-XLR, with a going worth of $199.99 / £169.99 / AU$399, trades in a digital USB connection for XLR. If you’re a streamer utilizing an interface to attach a number of sources, the XLR might be the higher technique to go. Outside of the connectivity and the truth that the USB one wants a built-in DAC (digital-to-analog converter), the 2 headsets are fully similar.

Though wired headsets go for cheaper than wi-fi as lots of the pricier choices from SteelSeries, Razer, Audeze and the like have a tendency to succeed in above $300 / £300, fashions like this from Audio-Technica are a barely completely different breed than most wired ones. And, that’s as a result of the wired connectivity shouldn’t be a cost-cutting determination, however one to supply the absolute best listening expertise.

That signifies that the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS StreamSet will sound higher than most wired gaming headsets. The fashions that may give this headset a run for its cash are additionally principally centered on the audio expertise such because the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R, which is a wonderful sounding headset that may have an excellent higher soundstage than the Audio-Technica as a result of its open-back design. 

It’s additionally a bit cheaper at $199 (about £150, AU$280), although you might want to consider the truth that it doesn’t include a mic so that you’ll should put money into a USB or clip-on mic. And, because it makes use of an analog 3.5mm connection as a substitute of a USB one, it may not have fairly the constancy of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS StreamSet. For occasion, the mic picked up the fan from my rest room nearly ten ft away.

  •  Price: 4.5 / 5

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB): Specs

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) from above

(Image credit score: Future/James Holland)

Should you purchase the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB)?

Buy it if…

You need glorious audio
This headset may not be as totally featured as different headsets, but the sound high quality alone is purpose to get it, as they provide studio-level audio.

You need to get straight to the purpose
The lack of options is a boon for some as you don’t have to fret about twiddling with something. Plug in and begin utilizing them with the top-notch efficiency straight away.

Don’t purchase it if…

You need numerous options
There’s no encompass sound, EQ, and even an app. If you prefer to finetune or need these particular gaming-related options, you received’t discover them right here.

You have a restricted finances
Though the worth on this headset is greater than justified, it’s not low-cost. For these with restricted funds, there are many respectable choices for half the worth.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB): Also take into account

How I examined the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB)

  • Used commonly for a pair weeks
  • Tested with all types of video games and music
  • Tested the mic

I used the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS Streamset (USB) commonly for a pair weeks. I used it with quite a lot of video games together with Starfield, Cyberpunk 2077, Control, and Rocket League. I additionally used it to observe some streaming video and hearken to music.

I checked out different points past efficiency, after all, equivalent to consolation and ease-of-use. I additionally tried each earpads that had been included.

I’ve examined numerous tech gear through the years from laptops to keyboards and audio system, and so have been ready to make use of my experience in direction of giving an trustworthy and truthful opinion, to not point out a essential eye, to any product I check.

Read extra about how we check

First reviewed November 2023

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November 22, 2023 at 12:41AM

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