For content creators, a high-quality audio and video setups must include a headset that is specifically created for it. Content creators need comfortable audio solutions that allow them to have complete control over their voice to provide an exceptional experience for their viewers.
Usually headsets have used a single 3.5mm jack for both audio and microphone signals or two separate jacks if compatible with the streaming PC. But Audio Technica has taken it further by introducing the StreamSet ATH-M50xSTS version, which includes a full XLR connection for the boom microphone output signal. This unique and innovative feature is a rarity in headsets, and we will test it to determine its efficacy and ease of use in our practical evaluation.
The StreamSet ATH-M50xSTS is packaged elegantly and includes a 6.3 mm stereo jack adapter, enhancing the headset’s visual appeal. Along with the headset, users will receive replacement ear pads that can be easily swapped with the provided options.
The original ear pads are made of synthetic leather and fabric/mesh, while the alternative ones are made entirely of synthetic leather and have a flatter shape than the originals.
The Audio-Technica StreamSet is built with high-quality materials and has a robust construction, ensuring durability and longevity. Nevertheless, compared to the Beyerdynamic MMX 300, which sits in a similar price range (230 Euros versus 200 Euros / ~$252 vs ~$219), the latter outshines the former in terms of build quality, despite using a more conventional jack solution. While both headsets are aimed at gamers, they differ in their approach to connectivity.
Regarding craftsmanship and material quality, the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 takes the lead with its impeccable construction and use of high-quality materials, such as the ear pad fabric, headband, and casing. Additionally, the headset’s larger contact surface and softer padding provide a slightly more comfortable fit. However, the level of comfort ultimately depends on an individual’s preference and head shape.
While the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 is marginally more comfortable than the Audio Technica StreamSet ATH-M50xSTS, the latter still provides a comfortable wearing experience even for extended periods, without causing any discomfort or pressure points. Moreover, thanks to its foldable design, the StreamSet excels in terms of portability, making it a more travel-friendly option than the larger and bulkier Beyerdynamic headset.
The StreamSet has an expertly integrated microphone that maintains a compact design, making it portable without compromising on quality. Additionally, the microphone has a useful feature where it automatically deactivates when moved upward to its resting position, adding convenience and thoughtfulness to its functionality.
If you only want to use the Audio Technica as headphones, you can connect them to a 3.5mm jack. However, to use the microphone, a bit more setup is involved. For optimal performance, it is recommended to use a USB audio interface. In our review, we utilized either the Focusrite Scarlett Solo* or the WaveXLR* from Elgato. This company specializes in streaming equipment. Although this does require an additional financial investment, the setup process is still relatively easy to handle.
Once the 3.5mm jack is plugged in and the microphone is powered using phantom power through XLR, the user can begin using the Audio Technica StreamSet ATH-M50xSTS. When paired with the Wave XLR, the advantages of the headset’s unique XLR connection become apparent. In just a few simple steps, streaming users can adjust the system volume and microphone signal level, and monitor their audio without relying on software solutions.
The appearance of the Audio Technica StreamSet is similar to that of the Audio Technica ATH-M50 X, which may be recognizable to individuals involved in music production. While Notebookcheck may not be audio experts, they will attempt to describe the sound quality. The Beyerdynamic MMX 300, which is based on the well-known DT 770 Pro, is a suitable device for comparison.
Both headsets are designed for professional use and can reproduce a broad frequency range without excessively emphasizing specific areas. When compared to the Audio Technica, the MMX 300’s sound quality is nearly too neutral, and it sounds thin.
To determine if the Audio Technica StreamSet with an XLR connector is exceptional compared to other microphones, we have included a video in our article where we compare all available microphones, including the professional Sennheiser MKE 600, the Fox USB condenser microphone from Beyerdynamic, and the previously mentioned MMX 300. We also test the StreamSet microphone and evaluate its performance.
This comparison allows readers to gain an understanding of the sound quality they can expect from the StreamSet microphone and how it compares to other microphones. The StreamSet is versatile and suitable for various applications, including streaming, audio and video production, music listening, and gaming.
From the beginning, it was evident that a headset could not compete with the sound quality of a professional microphone. This review aimed to assess the expected level of quality, and in comparison to the MMX 300, the Audio Technica StreamSet ATH-M50xSTS surpasses it. Despite the StreamSet’s sound being slightly compressed, the microphone clearly transmits speech, making it an excellent choice for a 200 Euro / ~$219 headset.