Audio-Technica were established in the hip and tech savvy Shinjuku of Tokyo, Japan, in the early 1960s. From record player cartridges to microphones to turntables and headphones the brand has gone on to become a major force in the music tech industry. Adding to their impressive range of headphones, the ATH-M40x sit somewhere in the middle of their pricing and are marketed as a versatile set of cans for a range of applications.
Audio-Technica have designed the M40x’s to be versatile enough for a range of applications such as studio monitoring, personal use, gaming, broadcast and sound production. Featuring 40mm drivers, the headphones have been tuned flat for a balanced sound, which again, means they are great for a range of uses. From an aesthetic perspective the M40x look slick, coming in a limited edition matte grey finish with contrasting black for the padding. Coming in the now standard folding design they are portable and also offer a 90 degree swivel with the ear cups for easy monitoring and swapping between monitors and headphones. Adding a little extra to the package both straight and coiled cables are included along with a ¼” adaptor and carry pouch. I’m a fan of the locking/detachable lead which allows you to completely remove and roll your lead as you wish meaning it doesn’t have to be stored with your set of cans in an awkward, squashed manner, plus the spin/lock mechanism feels solid.
Running through some favourite tunes I tried out everything from heavy detuned djenty metal to country, pop, rap and jazz. I instantly liked the detail and clarity and found the M40x comfortable and light to wear. Some headphones just won’t sit properly no matter how much adjusting but these ATs had enough substance to sit tight but weren’t restrictive and overly noticeable, allowing you get on with listening/mixing/monitoring.
Like most music/pro audio gear, opinions can be highly subjective and headphones are no different. Fit, response, feel and sound can all vary from user to user. Having said that, the ATH-M40x felt really comfy, didn’t seem to cause much fatigue and had a clear and concise response. In fact, in testing I had a couple of those ‘I’ve never had that!’ moments when listening back to some recording mixes. Parts and ideas I previously hadn’t heard on other monitors and headphones jumped out which was a cool surprise. Anyway, my particular experiences aside, the phones seem really well made, comfy and detailed with a nice selection of features and inclusions. The ATH-M40x could easily be mistaken for being much more expensive.
Thanks to our friends at Audio-Technica Australia, we're giving away a pair of these incredible headphones absolutely free. Find all you need to know here.
Hits and Misses
Clear and detailed
Comfortable head band and ear pads