Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Review (2021)

Audio-Technica M40x are professional monitor headphones that I’ve been using in my studio for recording sessions, audio editing, and mixing tracks. I enjoy using these headphones for their accurate frequency response, high quality, and affordable price. Producing, recording, editing, mixing and mastering processes are much easier now with the M40x.

Audio-Technica M40x is a professional monitor headphone, 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.

8

Build Quality

7.5/10

Value for Money

9.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Accuracy of the Frequency Response

9.0/10

Isolation

5.0/10

Pros

  • Robust construction and build quality
  • Affordable price for a high-value device
  • Accurate frequency response
  • Successful sound isolation
  • Detachable cable

Cons

  • The unconsidered need for a short cable
  • The proprietary mount of the detachable cable system may be a con for some users

The M40x is made with robust build quality and cutting-edge technology. In the words of the Audio-Technica team; it is positioned to provide the perfect mixture of good looks, great performance and solid build quality at an affordable price point.

As a producer, I have been using the M40x headphones for more than a month. I will do my best to share my overall thoughts, also probable pros and cons with you in an objective way. I hope that my personal reviews may be useful for you to have an idea about the M40x. 

Overview

To start with, I would like to talk about what comes in the box. When you open the box, you will find closed-back headphones. Right under the headphones, you will get a carrying pouch and the instructions as well. Besides, there will be a 3 meter straight cable, which is ideal for a studio environment, and a 1.2 meter coiled cable, which allows you for varying range. You will also have a 1/4″ screw-on, 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter.

The exterior design of the M40x, is providing an iconic look, and yet, keeping the simplicity with the matte black finish. When you look around the headphones, on each ear cup you will see the silver Audio-Technica logos and also, the Audio-Technica brand in writing on the headband. The outlook of the headphones right away gives you that professional feeling, nearly saying “let’s get to work!”.

After that, I would like to introduce you to the main features of the M40x. The 40 mm drivers with rare-earth neodymium magnets are 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 a better sonic perception, and they provide you an ideal 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. Some may like to see a bit more. 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 and still 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 professionally studio tracking, mixing, and DJ monitoring, just as the other members of the M series since they have been updated by the 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 does not cause a problem for me. I like how the M40x monitors the mid- sounds. I would definitely go for it.

Well, I am not an audio engineer, but I have a well-trained musical ear and I can honestly say that, even though there may be other, more advanced options out there, the M40x will make you hear every single detail of your track during the recording process, during the production process, and also during the post-production process. Still, for every ear, the expectations and needs may change.

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. Additionally, in several cases, you may need a short cable, but it is not provided with the M40x in the box.

Alternatives to the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Monitor Headphones
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

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 slightly larger frequency range. For me, the essential point is that the M40x has a flatter frequency response, compared to the M50x.

Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

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.

Summary

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.

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