Thanks so much for reading and for the question, it’s a good one!
Hmm! Well, the soundstage of the M50X is indeed on the thinner side. There’s no specific objective measurement for this, but you’ll find countless reviews, mine included, that agree with this.
It was originally designed for critical listening in studios and while doing field recordings, and only later did it become a more general- purpose headphone. The drivers are angled, so it’s not like it feels totally squished up against your head…but if you’re used to the Sonys it probably won’t seem quite as spacious.
The M50X typically goes for around $150 these days…in that price range, if you want something that sounds similar and has a wider feel, then my immediate thought is the Beyerdynamic DT770 80 Ohm. The DT770 usually hovers around $160. It’s a more comfortable headphone, with a slightly more dynamic response.
The downside is that the 770 is not nearly as portable-friendly. Its cable doesn’t detach, and it doesn’t come with the three cables and folding capability that the M50X does.
The other big recommendation I usually make is the Pioneer DJ HRM-5. It’s a cheaper pair at $99, and it’s pretty darn great. I find them more comfy than the M50X with the stock pads. You don’t get the short mobile cable but you still get a coiled cable and a long one, and you can buy a shorter one online.
Soundstage is a largely subjective thing, and it’s something you’ll adjust to over time. There’s only so much width a pair of headphones can really achieve, since the drivers are right up next to your head, you know?
If you have your heart set on the M50X, then don’t let comments about the width put you off immediately. If you give yourself a few weeks with it, you might end up loving it.
I’m sorry to fall back on the old “You just have to try it for yourself” thing, but beyond a certain level of quality, that just kind of happens with headphones. Make sure, whatever you buy, that the place will let you return them if you don’t like them!
Thanks again so much for reading. I hope all that helped you out in some way!