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New Audio-Technica M50xBT2 headphones add new features, retain iconic design

Audio-Technica has announced the ATH-M50xBT2 Bluetooth headphones. An update to the first-generation ATH-M50xBT launched in 2018, they continue to share the iconic design made popular by the original wired M50 headphones, which have long been a staple sight in recording studios since release in 2007. For this new pair Audio-Technica has updated, rather than drastically altered, the features and technology inside.

Audio Technica ATH M50xBT2 worn on head.

On the audio side support for the AAC and LDAC codecs has been added, increasing the headphones versatility, but there’s no mention of AptX in the press release, which was a feature on the M50xBT. A low latency mode for gaming and video has been added and is controlled through an accompanying app, which also has the option to select your voice assistant of choice. The headphones support Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Also in the app is an adjustable equalizer and a find-my-headphone feature.

There’s great news on the battery side, which was a downside of the first M50xBT Bluetooth headphones. Gone is the Micro USB and in comes a USB Type-C connection, and total use time has been increased to about 50 hours on a single charge, which takes about three hours. There’s also a 10-minute fast charge feature for three hours of use. This is a considerable improvement over the seven hours charge time of the originals. A 4-foot-long (1.2-meter) 3.5mm headphone cable is included.

Audio Technica ATH M50xBT2 held in hand.

Dual beam-forming microphones have been added for clearer calls, plus a single button now mutes calls. It joins other hardware buttons for the volume, music, and voice assistant access. The ATH-M50xBT2 can connect to two different devices at the same time using Bluetooth, and there’s Google Fast Pair onboard to make connecting to an Android phone quick and easy. These new features join the standard, custom-designed 45mm drivers and AK4331 onboard audio DAC, which carry over from the first generation M50xBT.

Audio-Technica has not drastically altered the price of the ATH-M50xBT2 compared to the older models either. You’ll pay $199 or 180 British pounds for them, and they are available to purchase through Audio-Technica’s own online store from August 18.

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