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Airpods (3rd generation)
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M50x
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What we think

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The PerfectRec Earbuds or Headphones team Learn more
Updated January 10, 2024·

The Apple AirPods (3rd generation) are more suitable for ease of use with Apple devices, convenience during exercise, and while traveling, thanks to their wireless design and both ear and head detection features; they also have a built-in mic, offer sweatproof certification, and support wireless charging. On the other hand, the Audio Technica M50x headphones offer superior overall sound quality and are better suited for critical listening and TV and video content due to their over-ear design and better soundstage. However, they lack built-in controls and a mic, are not optimized for exercise or portable use, and do not support Bluetooth. Give Feedback

this description is based on the product variant with some specs and product variant with some specs. At the time of writing, the variant with some specs cost some dollars and the variant with some specs cost some dollars.
Advantages of the Apple Airpods (3rd generation)
  • Good for phone calls
  • Good for exercise
  • Very good for air travel
  • Very good for podcasts and audiobooks
Advantages of the Audio Technica M50x
  • Very good for music
  • Good for TV and video

Key differences

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Music

7.1
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
8.5
The Audio Technica M50x is very good for music, while the Apple Airpods (3rd generation) is good.

Gaming

5.4
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
6.3
The Audio Technica M50x is only fair for gaming, while the Apple Airpods (3rd generation) is poor.

Phone Calls

7.6
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
4.4
The Apple Airpods (3rd generation) is good for phone calls, while the Audio Technica M50x is poor.

Podcasts and Audiobooks

8.6
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
7.0
The Apple Airpods (3rd generation) is very good for podcasts and audiobooks, while the Audio Technica M50x is good.

TV and Video

5.5
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
7.8
The Audio Technica M50x is good for TV and video, while the Apple Airpods (3rd generation) is poor.

Noise Reduction

2.5
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
5.3
The Audio Technica M50x and Apple Airpods (3rd generation) are both poor for noise reduction, though the Audio Technica M50x is somewhat better.

Battery

6.0 Hours
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
N/A
The Apple Airpods (3rd generation) has 6 hours of battery life. The Audio Technica M50x does not have a battery.

Cost

$189
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
$121
Product image
Product image

$50

$100

$150

$200

$250

$300

The Apple Airpods (3rd generation) has a price of $189 and the Audio Technica M50x costs $121.

Build Quality

9.0
Airpods (3rd generation)
M50x
8.5
The Apple Airpods (3rd generation) has excellent build quality, while the Audio Technica M50x has very good build quality.
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How the Apple Airpods (3rd generation) and the Audio Technica M50x compare to other earbuds and headphones

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Spec Comparison

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Apple Airpods (3rd generation)Audio Technica M50x
Apple Airpods (3rd generation)Audio Technica M50x

GENERAL

Price
$189
$121
Brand
AppleAudio Technica
Release Date
October 1, 2021January 1, 2007
Form Factor
EarbudsHeadphones
Connectivity
WirelessWired

SOUND

Music Score
7.2/108.5/10
Phone Calls Score
7.6/104.4/10
Gaming Score
5.4/106.3/10
TV and Video Score
5.6/107.9/10
Exercise Score
7.2/104.3/10

PERFORMANCE

Battery life
6 HoursN/A
Wireless charging
YesN/A
Charging time
1.5 HoursN/A
Bluetooth version
5N/A
Case Battery Life
30N/A

FEATURES

Active Noise Cancelling
NoNo
Noise Reduction Score
2.5/105.3/10
Virtual Surround
YesN/A
Android App
NoN/A
iOS App
YesN/A
Mic Quality
7/10N/A

BUILD AND DESIGN

Build Quality
9/108.5/10
Comfort score
7/107.3/10
Size
MediumN/A
Weight (headset or single earbud)
4.3 Grams294.8 Grams
Microphone style
IntegratedN/A

Shopping

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Apple Airpods (3rd generation)

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Dig into reviews and images

Sound Guys

Lily Katz, Christian Thomas | February 2023
"The Apple AirPods improves upon the 2019 model with its more ergonomic, yet unsealed, fit, water-resistant build, MagSafe charging case, and advanced software features. You can enjoy a wholly immersive movie experience with the new AirPods' spatial audio with head tracking, and enjoy HD audio during FaceTime calls. Of course, most of these features are limited to Apple hardware."

Audio Technica M50x

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Dig into reviews and images

Sound Guys

Jasper Lastoria | October 2022
"Good sound is timeless. It doesn’t matter that a number of years have passed since the ATH-M50x came out because it still works well. Since this wired headset doesn’t rely on batteries or Bluetooth technology, it’s bound to outlast its wireless counterparts. The no-nonsense performance, fit, and comfort of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x make it worth picking up."

Get a great deal on the Apple Airpods (3rd generation) or the Audio Technica M50x

About Apple

Apple Inc. is an American technology company, founded in 1976, known for its wide range of premium products, including smartphones, computers, and audio solutions. Apple offers the very popular personal audio line AirPods, highly regarded for their wireless, smart capabilities and their seamless integration with the iPhone, iPad and Mac devices. They provide a high-quality sound, comfort and lifestyle features perfect for all users invested in their ecosystem.

About Audio Technica

Audio Technica is a 60-year-old, Japan-based, professional audio equipment manufacturer. They started off making phonograph cartridges and have expanded their scope of products ever since to include extremely popular models of microphones and headphones. They have been the official audio equipment supplier of several editions of the Summer and Winter Olympics and every edition of the Grammy Awards since 1998.

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Why trust us

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This information was produced and vetted by the PerfectRec earbuds & headphones team. We are a product research and recommendation organization that meticulously reviews and evaluates the latest earbuds or headphones information and makes it digestible for you.

By the numbers

108
Earbuds and headphones evaluated
11,340
Earbuds and headphones stats compiled
15
Proprietary Earbuds and headphones ratings developed
74,900
Recommendations made
11,235
Consumer hours saved

About the Earbuds or Headphones team

Joe Golden, Ph.D

CEO and Earbuds and Headphones Editor
Joe is an entrepreneur and lifelong electronics enthusiast with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Jason Lew

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Jason is a staff expert and software engineer that has been making laptop recommendations for 7 years and moderates one of the largest laptop subreddits.

Chandradeep Chowdhury

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Chandradeep is a staff expert and software engineer and expert in televisions and monitors. He’s been making monitor recommendations for ten years.

Luis Torres

Earbuds and Headphones Expert
Luis is a Mexico-based headphones expert. He’s been making headphone recommendations for five years and has close to 100 pairs in his personal collection.

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