Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Review (2024)
The Audio-Technica M40x are professional monitor headphones for recording sessions, audio editing, and mixing tracks. These headphones feature accurate frequency response, are high quality, and come at an affordable price. They are great for producing, recording, editing, mixing, and mastering.
The Audio-Technica M40x are professional monitor headphones, specially designed for music producers, audio engineers, and DJs. The headphones are built to monitor an accurate frequency response that you need during both production and post-production processes.
Value for Money9.5/10
Accuracy of the Frequency Response9.0/10
- Robust construction and build quality
- Affordable price for a high-value device
- Accurate frequency response
- Successful sound isolation
- Detachable cable
- The unconsidered need for a short cable
- The proprietary mount of the detachable cable system may be a con for some users
As a producer, I have been using the M40x headphones for a while now. I will do my best to share my overall thoughts, also probable pros and cons with you in an objective way.
What’s in the box?
- The M40x closed-back headphones
- Carrying pouch
- Instruction material
- 3-meter straight cable
- 1.2-meter coiled cable
- 1/4″ screw-on, 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
The exterior design of the M40x is quite iconic and yet fairly simplistic with the matte black finish. On each ear cup, you will see the silver Audio-Technica logos and also, the Audio-Technica brand in writing on the headband. The aesthetic look of these headphones is downright professional.
When it comes to features, the M40x has 40 mm drivers with rare-earth neodymium magnets, tuned for a flat response (15Hz- 24kHz). The drivers are also built with copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils. It offers you precise audio monitoring across the entire frequency range. The maximum input power capacity is high.
The ear cups have a circumaural design for better sonic perception, and they provide good sound isolation. The ear cups also swivel 90 degrees, so that one-ear monitoring gets easier. They rotate on both axes, but they go back by around 15 degrees. Another useful feature of the ear cups is that they fold all the way flat forwards.
The durable materials of the headband and the earpads prove the high build quality in a visible way. The basic construction is plastic yet long-lasting. The headband is extremely flexible and suitable for any size of head. The earpads are made of a padding material so that they don’t hurt your ears. The headband also has partial padding material, only on the interior side, where it touches your head.
In addition, the M40x has space-saving portability with its foldable construction and the single-side exit detachable cable. It is practical for sure.
How and where to use the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x?
The M40x is principally designed and built for professional studio tracking, mixing, and DJ monitoring, just as the other members of the M series, since they have been updated by Audio-Technica experts. The places where you will get the most out of these monitors are probably, home recording studios, project studios, and tracking rooms.
Personally, I use the M40x also for recording for my vocal and instrumental parts. It is functional in many ways for professional use.
Still, you can use the M40x to simply listen to music as well. It will make a huge difference to listen to your favorite songs with professional monitor headphones. In this case, you will probably need to use a short cable.
What’s it like to create a track with the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x?
Considering the main features of the M40x, when I listen to my tracks for sound decisions, I hear that the flat frequency response in the low frequencies is more noticeable compared to the frequency response that I hear in the high frequencies.
This is very similar to quality studio monitors as it gives you a good picture of how the track sounds in general so that the editing process is more true. Afterward, whether you play the track on headphones, studio speakers, radio, etc. it will sound more well-rounded on each platform.
Drawbacks of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
- Even though the ear pads are very comfortable, they get warm when you use them for long hours.
- The rotation of the ear pads in both directions could be a little wider.
- The detachable cable system has a proprietary mount and this may be impractical for some users.
- In several cases, you may need a shorter cable, but it is not provided with the M40x in the box.
Alternatives to the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
The M50x is a more critically acclaimed and a little more expensive alternative to the M40x. They have almost the same features, especially after the last updates of the M series. The M50x has the same build quality with a slightly larger frequency range. For me, the essential point is that the M40x has a flatter frequency response, compared to the M50x.
MDR-7506 is a popular and yet affordable alternative to M40x. They have similar features, such as the build quality and the principles, but their designs are a little different. MDR-7506 is wired, its frequency response is slightly more limited, and the M40x provides better isolation.
I really enjoy using the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones. However, the one that is good for me may not be ideal for you. So it’s best to test as many options as possible. The M40x has more pros than cons for sure. It’s priced very affordably for what it offers.