Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50 and subsequent ATH-M50x have always been one of the better sounding headphones your money can buy with a cost tag of around $150 online. Even though the company has a good amount of other headphones in its line, it hasn’t had a killer step-up model to move up against popular “premium” closed-back over-ear headphones in the $250-$300 range.

The ATH-MSR7 that are that headphone. Coming in at $250 (£199, AU $349) and obtainable in a few different color options, it features rich, highly detailed sound, is well-built, should fit most of the people comfortably and includes three cables, including the one which comes with an inline remote/microphone for cell-phone use. Are you getting best black friday & Cyber monday deals? If not then this is the right page for you to get amazing deals, and share this page with your friends so that they can also have fun.

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The ATH-MSR7 will come in black and some other colors. Sarah Tew/CNET
Design and features
The ATH-MSR7 shares some familial resemblance with the ATH-M50x, but it’s a sleeker-looking headphone and has more plushly padded earcups. In conditions of competing products, its design is in the same vein as Sony’s MDR-1R and MDR-1A, but those two models are lighter and convenient to wear over long sessions. The ATH-MSR7 weighs 290 grams, as the MSR-1A weighs 225 grams.

The ATH-50x includes a detachable cord and includes additional cords of varying lengths. However, staying true to its studio monitor roots, it generally does not have a cord that has a remote and microphone, whereas the ATH-MSR7 does. Additionally you get two standard straight cables 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) and 3 meters (9.8 feet) long.

Additionally, the headphones include simple black protective vinyl carrying bag that’s like the the one which ships with the ATH-50x. It’s nothing fancy, nonetheless it serves its purpose.

What you enter the box. Sarah Tew/CNET
Performance
There’s lots of energy and life to the sound of the ATH-MSR7. It is the type of sound that gets strong reactions from listeners. There’s lots of clarity, which means you feel a strong link with the music, but it is also the sort of headphone that isn’t shy about revealing harshness or distortion in recordings.

The best recordings take advantage of the ATH-MSR7’s vivid character, so with bluesman Doug MacLeod’s new “THE SAME AS This” album sounded utterly live and the ATH-MSR7 could do no wrong. Directly after we listened for a around 30 minutes we started to believe that the ATH-MSR7’s earpads’ pressure was a touch too high. Once we said, it isn’t as comfortable a headphone as Sony’s MDR-1R, which includes softer, more laid-back highs and fuller lows.

The ATH-MSR7 has more energy and livelier dynamics, also it projected wider, more outside-the-head stereo imaging. Still, some listeners will choose the MDR-1R’s warmer balance that flatters a wider selection of music genres. (Sony’s MDR-1A, which we’re along the way of reviewing, is somewhat of an improvement on the MDR-1R, however the newer MDR-1A costs about $75 more).

The strong L-shaped is tapered so that it fits it works together with most smartphone cases. Sarah Tew/CNET
We found the NAD Viso HP50’s bass slightly leaner and the treble less bright compared to the ATH-MSR7’s, nonetheless they were pretty close overall. Sennheiser’s Momentum 2.0 headphone was also in the running with the Viso HP50, however the ATH-MSR7 was the clearest of the three.

Acoustic guitars’ tonality and texture sounded more realistic on the ATH-MSR7 compared to the Momentum 2.0, which slightly blurred and softened the sound. The ATH-MSR7 also had the clearest, best defined, but not at all over emphasized bass of the three headphones.

Lastly, we were curious to observe how the ATH-MSR7 weighed against company’s popular ATH-M50x headphones while hearing Beck’s “Morning Phase” album.

The string orchestration that sounded so lush and opulent on the ATH-MSR7 was less etc the ATH- M50x. That MX50x is less clear yet more forgiving of harsh-sounding recordings. Just what exactly we’re saying this is actually the ATH-MSR7 will delight audiophiles seeking oodles of detail and do not crave added fullness and warmth.

It’s worth noting that people did the the majority of our listening having an iPod Classic, Sony Walkman NWZ-A17 and iPhone 5S, however the ATH-MSR7 sounded even sweeter and richer, without loss of detail whenever we switched to a FiiO X5 ($349) very good music player. Bass definition and low-end drive also improved with the X5, which only would go to show the ATH-MSR7 advantages from being partnered with better headphone amplifiers.

Conclusion
The Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 is really a great-sounding headphone with the main one caveat that it provides such impressive detail that it not merely brings out the very best in recordings but additionally the worst. But if you’re detail hound, it is a delight.