Test report on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2023)

TheAudio-Technica ATH-M50xWidely regarded as one of the best deals in studio headphones, it offers professional listening pleasure at a reasonable price. Still, some people find the price a bit excessive and to accommodate customers,Audio-Technicaoffers cheaper options like the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. Although the price is lower, the quality remains the same, with many claiming that the ATH-M40x sounds almost as good as its more expensive relative.

We tested the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x for two weeks to find out if this popular belief is true.

Editor's Note: This Audio-Technica ATH-M40x review was updated on July 7, 2022 to match our new formatting and ratingStandards. We've also added information on how to adjust your headset's EQ to match our studio curve.

  • producersThose on a budget should check out the ATH-M40x for its more muted bass and studio-friendly features.
  • EveryoneWho cares about sound?Gimmicks aside, you can have peace of mind knowing that the majority of your bills will be spent on sound quality with this headset.

What is the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x?

Test report on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (1)

Audio-Technica's ATH-M40x may have a smaller model number than the M50x, but that doesn't mean they're inferior headphones.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is a large, oval-shaped headsetheadphones, each equipped with a dynamic 40 mm driver. Even those with larger ears will find the ATH-M40x comfortable, although the synthetic earcups retain heat and aren't suitable for those who wear glasses. While the ear cups feel premium, the manageable clamping force is a nice touch that makes wearing the headset for hours easier. But remember: anyone too close can hear a hint of what you're hearing.

You can twist and turn the ear cups freely, making the ATH-M40x almost feel like an oversized fidget spinner. While this level of gaming can curtail common sources of error, the ATH-M40x proves to be a solid headset that can withstand a fair number of drops. Still, some will find that the case that comes with it doesn't offer enough protection. If you're concerned about keeping your headset intact, there are plenty of themrobust headphone casechoose from.

Test report on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2)

At first glance, you wouldn't be the first to confuse the ATH-M40x with the ATH-M30x.

Considering the low price of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, you don't get too many accessories with it. The company supplies two 10-foot 3.5mm audio cables (one straight and one coiled), a 1/4-inch adapter, and a drawstring pouch. Audio-Technica uses a proprietary locking mechanism to secure the cable to the headset. This convenient design prevents the cable from being pulled out, but also makes replacement a bit more expensive.

How do I connect the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x?

Because the ATH-M40x is built withmonitoringRemember that connection to the source is only possible with the supplied cables. If you e.g. B. want to connectAudio-Interface, you can use a 1/4 inch adapter. That's it. It's a hassle-free affair designed solely for audio playback and editing.

Test report on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (3)

From left to right: microphone, USB-C port, headphone jack, volume down, power on/play/pause, volume down, and Bluetooth pairing.

Yes, the company actually has quite a few options when it comes to Bluetooth headphones (and earbuds). If you're looking for something similar to the ATH-M40x in Bluetooth form, check this outAudio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2. This is virtually identical to the wired version but with Bluetooth capabilities. The ATH-M50xBT2 supports USB-C fast charging and has a battery life of almost 65 hours.

You can connect the headset via a proven 3.5mm cable connection or use Bluetooth 5.0 and choose between AAC, SBC and LDAC. Unlike the ATH-M series wired headphones, the ATH-M50xBT2 has a built-in microphonecalls on the go.

Demonstration of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 microphone (non-standard):

How does the microphone sound?

3971 votes

How well does the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x block out background noise?

The passive isolation of the ATH-M40x dampens random noise, but hardly affects low-frequency noise.

PassiveinsulationPerformance is what you would expect from a headset with synthetic earcups. High-pitched random sounds (6-8 kHz), such asKieferDishes or a baby's cry account for one-sixteenth of what you hear without headphones. This headset has trouble canceling out low-frequency sounds like the roar of an airplane engine or the hum of a train car. For similar isolation to the table above, adjust the earmuffs to your ears to block out background noise.

If your goal is to significantly reduce your commute, consider checking out a pair insteadNoise canceling headphonesHowSony WH-1000XM5 oder Bose QuietComfort 45.

How does the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x sound?

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (Cyan) slightly underemphasizes the sub-bass notes compared to our consumer curve (Pink).

The frequency response of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is exactly mimickedour study curve, with a slight deviation in the bass and midrange (200-600 Hz). All in all, the sub-bass bias is relatively low. If anything, you might want the headset EQ to compensate for midrange roll-off. While the sound it outputs isn't exactly what some audiophiles would describe as "flat," those whose musical tastes span a wide spectrum of genres will appreciate the sound of the ATH-M40x. It emphasizes the highs nicely, allowing you to bring out the details of your favorite tracks.

Test report on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (6)

Orienting your headset similar to the table above will give you a matched soundGood peopleStudiokurve.

While not all EQ apps allow for such precise alignment with the graph above, if you trace it a bit you should be able to find yourself in the area of ​​our studio curve. This requires boosting the sub-bass by about 8 dB at the lowest frequency and then increasing the volume by about 6 dB at 350 Hz. You can then adjust other settings accordingly.

Low, medium and high

When I hear a Grant Green songEisenstadtThe bass is audible but doesn't rattle in my skull. While many people prefer a sound with powerful bass, this more muted rendition works well for tracks that feature a wide range of instruments, as there's no risk of serious listening masking here. The upper midrange is clear and precise, and lower voices are easy to hear thanks to a slight boost from 100 to 200 Hz. Mixes that make good use of left-right pan movements sound very good with these headphones.

Should you buy the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x today?

The ATH-M40x features a locking mechanism that keeps the cable in place.

If you had to choose a headset that would cover all your needs, the ATH-M40x is a great buy, thank youPrice under $100, pleasant sound quality and accessories. Whether you want to use it for live monitoring, a midnight editing session, or to highlight your campus walk, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is the perfect companion.

Not everything is perfect with this headset: the earcups get a little warm and the large footprint isn't for everyone, but at $99 it's a great deal. If you want a similar headset with a boom mic, give this one a tryAudio-Technica ATH-G1Chance; that isGaming-HeadsetBut you can use it to listen to music and make conference calls.

Test report on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (8)

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

All prices are in USD unless otherwise noted. Prices may change over time and may vary by region. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide Amazon prices on the website as they vary greatly depending on the currency.

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x vs Audio-Technica ATH-M30x vs Audio-Technica ATH-M50x: What is the difference between these headphones?

Test report on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (9)

The advantage of closed headphones is the ability to track instruments without loss of sound.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x, ATH-M30x and ATH-M50x share a similar silhouette, with the logo size and accent being the most noticeable aesthetic difference. The frequency response of each Audio-Technica ATH-M series headset exhibits minor variations that affect sound quality. As the number increases, the price increases; However, all of these headsets are on sale frequently, so it shouldn't be difficult to find a bargain.

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x features two 45mm dynamic drivers, which are slightly larger than the ATH-M40x's 40mm dynamic drivers. Larger drivers produce more exaggerated bass response with slightly less emphasis on the highs and a similarly under-emphasized midrange. Unlike cheaper headsets, the ATH-50x comes in a variety of colors (white, black, red, and custom colors). Audio Technica ATH-M50xIt retails for $149$50 more than the ATH-M40x.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (cyan) is slightly more accurate than the ATH-M30x (yellow dashes) and ATH-M50x (white dots), but it's a bit like ignoring hair.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (cyan) is slightly more accurate than the ATH-M30x (yellow dashes) and ATH-M50x (white dots), but it's a bit like ignoring hair.

TheAudio-Technica ATH-M30x, on the other hand, costs just $69, and that price drop means thinner earcups, a less slim design with visible headphone wires coming out of the headband, and just one straight cable. Both headsets feature 40mm dynamic drivers, but the ATH-M30x is both lighter and smaller than its big brother.

While the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x and ATH-M30x share more similarities than differences in frequency response, the ATH-M40x sounds slightly better than the ATH-M30x, although both sound good. The emphasis on the bass and midrange (150-800Hz) on the ATH-M30x is more dramatic than the similar understatement on the ATH-M40x. In music, this makes it a bit harder to hear the higher registers, especially with a loud percussion section. Overall, you're unlikely to notice much of a difference in height between the ATH-M40X and ATH-M30x headsets.

Each of these headsets are very good and really depend on your budget.

What should you buy instead of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x?

In addition to the other Audio-Technica headsets listed aboveAKG K371It's a good, more stylish alternative to the ATH-M40x. The AKG headset has a more studio-friendly frequency response with sub-bass and bass notes with similar outputs, in contrast to Audio-Technica's under-emphasized sub-bass. While no headset is truly neutral, the AKG K371 is better suited for professional use. The earcups move up so you can hear what's going on around you when you wear them.

The Sony MDR-7506 isn't particularly comfortable, but it gets the job done.

TheSony MDR-7506It's a studio staple that's been around for decades. This indomitable headset features vintage style and accurate sound quality. It has a thinner profile than the ATH-M40x, but some people find the thin headband too uncomfortable.

TheSennheisera HD280 PROis another great studio headset that costs less than $100. It's only a few grams heavier than an Audio-Technica headset and blocks out background noise a little better. The Sennheiser headset boosts the bass a bit more and comes close to the sound of the ATH-M50x.

Frequently asked questions about the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

It doesn't have a microphone.



Is ATH-M40x good for listening to music? ›

The sound that comes through these is really crisp and high quality. Because of this, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones are great for a myriad of uses: watching movies, listening to music, gaming, listening to ASMR, recording audio.

Is Audio Technica M40x better than M50x? ›

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x are very similar to the Audio Technica M40x, but they have a slight edge over them. They feel a bit sturdier and better-built than the M40x, and their audio reproduction is slightly more accurate and neutral.

Why are Audio Technica headphones so good? ›

Audio-Technica offers some headphones specifically designed for delivering accurate audio reproduction. Audiophiles, studio producers, and musicians can enjoy models like the ATH-M50x with a well-balanced sound. Affordable. Audio-Technica produces headphones that have a good price-to-performance ratio.

How good is M40x reddit? ›

Overall, I really like m40x headphones, but there are songs that sounds very similar to my bluetooth headset, and with it I don't need to use cables. I'm torn apart between keeping them and returning. Again, some songs sounds fantastic on m40x, and some are flat and unsatysfying.

Is M40x better than M50x for casual listening? ›

Some users say the M40x is a better casual listening headphone than a monitoring headphone for its warmer response. The M50x inevitably has a less hyped bass response perhaps due to the larger drivers which are more capable of handling lower frequencies with a higher degree of accuracy.

Are M40x good for mixing? ›

Audio-Technica's ATH-M40x headphones are perfect for DJs, producers, and audio engineers alike. These 'phones feature 40mm neodymium magnet drivers that deliver a flat, accurate frequency response needed to make sound decisions in your tracks.

Why do people prefer the M40x over the M50X? ›

The difference in sound quality is big and this even makes you wonder how in the world did Audio Technica pull it off with similar looking headphones. The sound of M40x is a little relaxed and has a more neutral sound. It is ideal to listen to all genres and makes for a decent amount of critical listening as well.

Is JBL better than Audio-Technica? ›

The Audio-Technica are wired over-ear headphones with a more neutral bass and mid-ranges, which some users may prefer. They also have a wider and more spacious soundstage. However, the JBL are more comfortable, better-built, and stable.

Is Sony better than Audio-Technica? ›

If great wireless performance is your key consideration, go for the Sony. But for everything else, the Audio-Technica takes it. Whether you are just getting started in the world of turntables, or looking for a confident, assured platter for your hi-fi system, the AT-LP120XBT is the one to go for.

Is Audio-Technica made in China? ›

Audio-Technica Corporation (株式会社オーディオテクニカ, Kabushiki Kaisha Ōdio Tekunika) (stylized as audio-technica) is a Japanese company that designs and manufactures professional microphones, headphones, turntables, phonographic magnetic cartridges, and other audio equipment.

What is Audio-Technica famous for? ›

Initially known for state-of-the-art phonograph cartridges, Audio-Technica now creates high-performance microphones, headphones, wireless systems, mixers and electronic products for home and professional use.

Why does my Audio-Technica sound weird? ›

The most common cause of either no, intermittent, or distorted audio on one side of the AT-LP120-USB, AT-LP240-USB or AT-LP1240-USB turntables is improper calibration of the tonearm assembly prior to setting the vertical tracking force for the stylus (needle).

Is M40x flat? ›

There's no real fun or thrill in the sound of the M40X at all. It presents flat, accurate sound with a modest soundstage. That's great for critical listening, but not necessarily the first thing I'd reach for in a casual scenario.

What bit rate is ATH M40x? ›

It is developed by Qualcomm, and supports 16-bit audio at a bit rate of 384kbps.

How many ohms is Audio Technica M40x? ›

35 ohms

Do Audio Technica headphones have bass? ›

The ATH-WS990BT wireless over-ear headphones combine exclusive 53 mm Deep Motion Drivers with large, high-flux magnetic circuitry and Bluetooth technology to deliver vibrant full-range wireless audio with invigorating bass.

Do the M40x have a mic? ›

It does not have a microphone.

Is Audio-Technica good for DJ? ›

Best Upper Mid-Range DJ Headphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are the best headphones for DJing in the upper mid-range we've tested.

What is the best sound level for mixing? ›

While 85dB is the mixing level suggested for larger pro control rooms, when I talked with Grammy-nominated Capitol Studios staff engineer, Steve Genewick, he mentioned that when mixing in a smaller room, stay closer to 75dB.

How loud should you mix on headphones? ›

Here at Sweetwater, we talk frequently about mixing at safe volume levels (the sweet spot is around 70dB–85dB). This is important no matter how you're listening to your mix, but with headphones it's absolutely vital — after all, there are drivers situated less than an inch from your ears!

What Ohm is best for mixing headphones? ›

30ohm headphones are generally best for casual purchases such as listening to music and gaming on portable devices, whereas higher impedance headphones between 200 and 300 ohms will be required for more specialized purposes such as producing, mixing, and mastering music.

Is M40x better than M50x reddit? ›

Theory: The Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones are better for mixing and mastering than the ATH-M40x model because although they are not as balanced due to boosting in some of the bass, they are more similar to typical music-listeners' headphones and speakers, since those headphones and speakers are also boosted in the ...

What is the Sennheiser equivalent to M50x? ›

The Sennheiser HD 650 and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are similarly performing headphones for critical listening.

Is Audio-Technica a good company? ›

Audio Technica has been a trusted name in the turntable industry for decades, and for good reason. Their turntables consistently receive high praise from experts and consumers alike, thanks to their excellent performance, sleek designs, and affordable prices.

Is Audio-Technica good for listening to music? ›

The Audio Technica ATH-M50X is an excellent choice if you want to create and listen to music. It is the best accessory to get for your home recording studio. It is a studio-grade headphone that offers transparent sound.

Does Audio-Technica make good turntable? ›

Best overall turntable

Audio-Technica has a great reputation in the industry, and the LP60X is a perennial best seller at B&H — Steinberg says it's the first one he shows to customers who come in to browse.

Do I need speakers for my Audio-Technica? ›

Yes, you need speakers to connect to your turntable. The speakers are needed to project the sound. You can choose either passive or active/powered speakers. Passive speakers do not have a built-in amplifier and are powered by a separate amplifier, which you will need to provide.

Which country made Audio-Technica? ›

Audio-Technica was founded in Japan on 17th April 1962 by Hideo Matsushita. After operating from a small flat above a ramen shop in Shinjuku, Audio-Technica opened a larger headquarters in Machida, Tokyo, where the company still operates today.

What is a good record player? ›

Best record players 2023: Treat your vinyl collection to a top...
  • Rega. Planar 3. View.
  • Audio Technica. AT-LP120XBT-USB. View.
  • Technics. SL-1500C. Check Price.
  • Pro-Ject. Debut Carbon EVO Turntable. Check Price.
  • Rega. Planar 1. Check Price.
  • Clearaudio. Concept. Check Price.
  • Audio Technica. AT-LP3. Check Price.
  • Project. Juke Box E.
Apr 13, 2023

Who made Audio-Technica? ›

In 1962, Matsushita founded Audio-Technica with the vision of producing high-quality audio for everyone. And following this vision, he soon created the first truly affordable phono cartridge, the AT-1, in the company's small flat in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

How long do Audio-Technica cartridges last? ›

However, the stylus on your cartridge will wear out after 300 – 1,000 hours of playback depending on its type and shape. There are two main parts of the cartridge stylus likely to wear out: The rubber suspension may wear out due to friction, or it could break if not used and cared for correctly.

Who is Technica owned by? ›

Technics (テクニクス, Tekunikusu) is a Japanese brand name of Panasonic for audio equipment. Since 1965 under the brand name, Panasonic has produced a variety of hi-fi products, such as turntables, amplifiers, radio receivers, tape recorders, CD players and speakers for sale in various countries.

What does the Audio-Technica logo mean? ›

The A-T logo is sometimes referred to as “the meatball.” The circle represents a vinyl phonograph record, while the two triangles represent a phonograph needle and the letter A for Audio-Technica. The simplicity of the logomark design symbolizes the brand's transparency and purity.

Is Technics the same as Audio-Technica? ›

The Technics is an incredibly expensive turntable meant for professional DJs, audiophiles, or those for whom money is not an object. The Audio Technica LP120 is an incredible turntable for the rest of us. What is this? It doesn't come close to the Technics in terms of sound and build quality, but few do.

Why are ATH-M50x so popular? ›

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are overall better-sounding headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x. The M50x have a slightly more durable build quality and a more comfortable over-ear fit. They also sound a bit better balanced with a warmer sounding mid-range and more bass than the M60x.

What do I need with the Audio-Technica? ›

Belt and tone arm setup

You should have: Turntable with dust cover and pre-installed cartridge and stylus. Die-cast aluminum platter with the drive belt attached to the bottom ring of the platter. Audio-Technica slip mat, 45 RPM adapter, two stereo audio adapter cables, and the user manual.

Why is my Audio-Technica record player slightly too fast? ›

This problem is most often due to a belt that is improperly installed. If the belt slips out of the groove when the turntable is played and is able to ride up or down on the spindle, the platter will spin too fast. You'll need to adjust the position of the belt on the inner ring of the platter.

Why is my Audio-Technica turntable so quiet? ›

Every stylus eventually gets worn down to the point where it sounds bad and becomes extremely quiet. Visually inspect your stylus up close with a magnifying glass and check that there is still a distinct point on the tip. If it is worn flat, it needs to be replaced.

Why does my Audio-Technica turntable sound bad? ›

Dirty Stylus/Needle

Perhaps the most common and easily fixed cause of why a record player or turntable might sound distorted is a dirty stylus. The needle (more accurately known as a stylus) is the tiny diamond tip that tracks the record groove.

Are Sennheiser headphones good for music? ›

Sennheiser headphones are a brand of audio equipment that is used to listen to music. They have been around for over 70 years and they make some of the best sounding headphones in the world.

Are audiophile headphones good for listening to music? ›

If you care about audio quality above all else, you'll want a good pair of audiophile-level headphones. While these headphones generally aren't the best option to use daily due to their lack of active features, they're great for fully immersing yourself in your music while at home.

Is ATH-M50X good for listening to music? ›

The Audio Technica ATH-M50X is an excellent choice if you want to create and listen to music. It is the best accessory to get for your home recording studio. It is a studio-grade headphone that offers transparent sound. This clarity is a must if you want to hear every aspect of the sound you are recording.

Are Beyerdynamic headphones good for listening to music? ›

Studio and monitoring legends, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is a perfect pick for aspiring musicians. This is the headset to get if you need something to withstand bandmates or a small studio. Their time-tested sound and durability earn top marks for computer users and people who need something for tracking.


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