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Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

4.75 4.75 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Good sound, very good value.

11th July 2015

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x by keystation

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

True confession: The original reason I bought the ATH-M40x's was because I was cheap.

I went to Guitar Center with a $100 gift certificate in hand and looking for a pair of cans. Once finding the rack with the phones, a young GC employee approached. Naturally, he tried to sell me up to a $300 pair of Beyer Dynamics. But that sales job just woke up my inner miser.

To silence the GC kid, I shuffled around the headphone display rack where I found the ATH-M40x's. Looked good, $99 - matched my gift certificate, I was sold! At checkout, the GC kid allowed that "you should be happy with those, they do sound pretty good."

Turns out, he was right.

Now, I've had these things for the better part of a year. Overall, the ATH-M40x's offer clean, semi-colorless sound, with imaging and detail suitable for tracking and mixing. Here are the bullet points of my findings:

1) Overall Frequency Response: Since all headphones claim 20hz-20KHz, +/- whatever the manufacturer claims, let's just say these do too and move along...
2) High Frequencies: Clean, not peaky or smeared.
3) Mids: Very good imaging and detail - important stuff does not get lost in the mix. Conversely, bad stuff in your mix doesn't get lost either, which is a good thing.
4) Lows: I guess Audio Technica had to throw a fish towards the EDM crowd, because there is a definte, slight "bass enhancement voicing" going on with these. Tolerable and work-around-able, but still there. Otherwise, the bass detail holds together very well.
5) General good things: The comfort, fit & finish, the two removable cables, the 1/4" screw-on adapter, the nifty little leatherette pouch to carry this stuff in.
6) General not-so-good thing: Some fumble-fingered folks (like me) can find ways to twist and turn the cans in bizzare ways. A simple fold-up hinging to fit into the case would have been good enough for me.
7) Isolation: Some say these don't isolate sufficiently, but I have not experienced a sound bleed problem tracking voices with these as monitors. However, these are not "The Cones of Silence" - if you track north of 96dba coming out of your monitor mix, you are on your own.

In summary, I recommend the ATH-M40x's. These compete well with other (very good) headphones in the sub-$100 price range, such as the Sony 7506s, Sennheiser 280s and AKG 240s.

  • 1
10th December 2016

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x by amir30213

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

The Audio Technica ATH-M40x is the best bang for buck headphone out there and I say that proudly as an owner of them. This headphone only costs $100 but beats some headphones out there that cost far more. This is a closed back headphone for those who don't know. Basically, to give an overall summary of what I think...if you want headphones that are capable of doing everything from tracking, recording, mixing, mastering and more...get these headphones. They will not disappoint. I honestly can't even begin to imagine why someone would not want these headphones or have anything to dislike about these headphones except one thing.

The ear pads are the worse part about this headphone. While I still have them on and they are actually pretty good to me after they have some wear on them (because when ear pads get used and get older, they soften up), brand new stock m40x pads are annoying. I can bare them but they suck. The headphone is pretty tight which serves a purpose for it's noise isolation but the ear pads don't feel completely comfortable when you get them brand new. I think most can deal with this issue because if you stretch out the headphone band a little bit every time you use them, you can make the headphones have a little less grip on your face while still maintaining that good noise isolation. You can also replace the pads with better ones.

Noise isolation on these is GREAT! Perfect for tracking! For some, the tight press may be slightly uncomfortable but all you have to do is stretch out the headband every time you wear them and they will loosen up a considerable amount. They are very effective at isolating noise and GREATLY reducing headphone bleed.

These have detachable cables which is GREAT. Because if you break a cable, you can simply take it out the headphone and replace it with another cable. I think all headphones should have this feature. The cable turns and locks in the headphone sort of like the Shure SRH440s.

How do these sound? Quite impressive for a $100. You would think that you would get something that sounds more like a Sony 7506 for a $100 or something that has the build quality of the Shure SRH440's which has a crap build quality but these babies here...they are worth double it's price. They are worth the price of the Beyerdynamic DT770's and yet they are half the price of those and it can be argued that they are better than those depending on what you want in sound. Also the DT770's do not have detachable cables and they lose points against these for that. While these headphones aren't what I call bass monsters, they have good extension in the lows and you can hear just about anything you need to hear. I will say that the bass in these is a little excited though. The bass on these is powerful but not too abundant. They will cloud your judgement in the low end if you aren't familiar with this fact so be mindful of that when mixing/mastering with these. When just using these for regular music listening, it tends to give power to lots of elements in songs but mainly 808's and kick drums. The bass in these headphones is really there. I wouldn't call it highly exaggerated but it's THERE and I mean it's THERE beyond the lines of flat. Whoever complains about these not having enough bass...I don't know what to tell them. Haha The mids...the mids sound pretty neutral to my ears. If anything, maybe a little forward. The treble is great to me because it is never piercing unless the track itself has piercing treble. The treble sounds just right to me.

I would recommend this headphone as a beginner's first studio headphone because they will love it forever. It is capable of any and everything. One other thing I forgot to mention is these things have soundstage. It isn't large but more than what you think they would have. That is another reason why I love these.

Also, these things are pretty portable. They can fold up and the ear cups can flip and be adjusted to fit one's ears. It comes with a huge headphone bag, a regular cable and then a coiled one. So you get...

Amazing build quality
Excellent and honest sound
Great reduction of headphone bleed
Useful for more than one music or sound application
No worries about breaking a cable and not having a headphone due to
detachable cables.

All that for $100? That is a SICK deal. On top of that, if you want to get an even sicker deal, you can get them off ebay for darn near half the price of that. The only thing about that is when I got them off Ebay the first time, I got them from a random person and I payed for that dearly because one side of the headphones were louder than the other. I ended up getting rid of those and buying another pair from Guitar Center. I also bought another pair shortly after as a gift to someone off Ebay and those worked just fine because I bought them from an AUTHORIZED DEALER. I capitalize that for a reason. Haha

Seriously though...GET THESE.

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