Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT vs Bose SoundLink 2: Headphone Battle & Review

Between the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT and Bose SoundLink 2; which headphones are the best?

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. Two highly popular over-ear headphones side-by-side facing off. While each pair has its standard ups and downs, they also have their own unique benefits. Depending on what you’re looking for in a pair of headphones will determine which of these might be the best choice for you. After extensive research, personal experience, and reviews; We formulated an in-depth comparison between each one. May the battle commence!  

But first…

What Makes A Pair Of Headphones Good?

  1. Sound Quality: How good the overall audio quality of music, phone calls, or video.
  2. Comfort: The ability to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, or ear pain.
  3. Build Quality: The overall durability and longevity. Able to withstand harsh conditions for extended periods of time.
  4. Noise Isolation/ Active Noise Cancelling: If any at all, how well the active noise cancelling or noise isolating abilities are.
  5. Battery Life: How long the battery life of the pair of headphones is at a full charge.
  6. Added Features: A few examples of added features headphones offer can be Bluetooth capabilities, built-in AI assistant, headphone controls, built-in microphone for phone calls, flexibility, rotatable ear cups, etc.

We compared and contrasted each of these factors for the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT & Bose SoundLink 2

Sound Quality

Especially for music listeners, the overall quality of sound is a massive factor in finding your perfect pair of headphones. There are various factors that impact a pair of headphones’ sound quality.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
Audio-Technica’s 45mm drivers produce exceptional sound quality while wired. Unfortunately, in wireless Bluetooth mode, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT does not sound as good. However, in wireless mode, the quality of sound is still good. Many claim they are unable to tell the difference while audiophiles and musicians say there is a difference in sound. Overall, I give them a 9.4 for sound quality while wired.

Bose SoundLink 2
These are not one of the most popular and highest rated headphones for nothing. Their sound quality is absolutely fantastic. The lows are punchy and fat, the mids are crisp, and the highs are sparkly. The frequencies and instruments are separated well. You can hear each individual note much cleaner than the majority of other headphones. Many say that once you try the Bose SoundLink 2, you are unable to listen to music the same way without them.

Overall, the Bose SoundLink 2 produces better sound quality for listening to music while the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT is better for mixers and DJs.


The ability for headphones to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, pressure, or ear pain. Considering many people use headphones for commute, air travel, or work; Comfort is a vital factor.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones are relatively comfortable. However, in my experience, they become a bit uncomfortable after a few hours. Many others claim otherwise. It just depends on personal preference and your head/ear type.

Bose SoundLink 2
Another thing I love about the Bose SoundLink 2 is its extreme comfort and lightweight. These headphones are one of the lightest pairs on the market, weighing 0.4 lbs (6.9 ounces). Since they are so light with comfortable ear pads, you could wear these headphones for hours without them getting annoying. comfort 8.9

Overall, the Bose SoundLink 2 is more comfortable.

Build Quality

What good are your amazingly sounding headphones if they break in a few months? The overall durability and longevity are crucial for any investment you make. Especially for those who need headphones for commute, it’s important they’re able to withstand vigorous traveling conditions consistently.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
The design and build quality of these headphones are superb. They are robust and tough while remaining lightweight. The materials used are much more robust than the vast majority of headphones in this price range. Overall, you will be more than satisfied with the build.

Bose SoundLink 2
The build quality is decent. It’s not the sturdiest pair for the price but suitable with a nice simplistic look to them. However, they are extremely flexible and do not break when pulling them apart. Something I personally like about the build quality is its compact design. They are relatively small and lightweight as they will not be a nuisance to carry around or travel with.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT has a better build quality than the Bose SoundLink 2.

Noise Isolation/Active Noise Cancelling

Don’t be confused between active noise cancelling and noise isolation headphones. They are both entirely different. Noise-cancelling technology is very unique. Unlike noise-isolating headphones, noise-cancelling headphones do not eradicate outside noise by physical insulation. Within the ear cups, they have a mini microphone that picks up the outside environmental noise. It then triggers a frequency entirely opposite to the outside ambient noise. Thus, canceling out most outside ambient sound.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones do not provide active noise-cancelling. However, they have decent passive noise-isolation. They are not the best, but they are not too bad, either. Overall, I give them a 5.5 out of 10 for noise isolation.

Bose SoundLink 2
These headphones don’t offer active noise canceling, as well. Not only that, the passive noise isolation isn’t that great either. It doesn’t block out too much noise from the outside environment. Fortunately, these headphones don’t bleed too much audio at all. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 10 for noise isolation.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT has slightly better noise isolation.

Battery Life

Battery life is an overlooked subject when speaking about over-ear headphones. Obviously, the only headphones that have a battery life are those which are wireless. Many headphones on the market do not have wireless capabilities. But for those who do, a more extended battery-life becomes a convenient factor.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones provide a staggering 40-hour battery life.

Bose SoundLink 2
The battery life is not as good as the others with only 15 hours.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT has a more extended battery life.

Added Features

Here we summarize each pair of headphones and talk about some of the added features.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones give you the option to go wireless via Bluetooth 5.0. However, you still have the option to use them wired. To charge it for going wireless, you get a USB charging cable with the purchase. Added to that, the headphones also have a built-in mic for phone calls. You can also manually adjust the volume with the headphones, as well. 

Bose SoundLink 2
These headphones have a reliable built-in microphone for making clear phone calls. You get 30 feet of wireless range with them, as well. Overall, the Bose SoundLink 2 is an incredible pair of headphones. I highly recommend them for anyone in need of a lightweight, great-sounding, and extremely comfortable pair with a built-in mic.

Overall, the Bose SoundLink 2 provides more added features and more clear phone calls.

Our Winner

Keep in mind that our opinion is not the end all be all. Like mentioned earlier, everyone has different needs, requirements, and budgets for their headphones. However, our winner is the Bose SoundLink 2 due to its comfort, sound quality, and added features. However, we recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT for DJs and mixers.

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