We’ll kick off with the fabulous Audio Technica ATHM-50X because if you were going to get one pair of headphones and you get bamboozled by “Best of” lists then get these — job done!
The ATH-M50x have everything you’d expect from a pair of professional monitoring headphones. They look the business, all padded ear cups and headband. They are also available in white but no one in their right mind would get them in anything other than black. They have solid low-end definition, a reassuring amount of clarity across the frequency range and are regarded as being pretty extraordinary, considering the price.
They have excellent isolation, making them perfect for recording and monitoring. The earcups can easily rotate so you can push one ear off for single-ear monitoring and still have a comfortable fit on the other. The cables are detachable, which for many people is a critical feature in an environment where cable tangling or stretching can be a problem.
Despite the great isolation they are also great all-rounders, being favored by DJs, and are often used for mixing and personal listening.
Street Price: $149