For just under $100, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones rival their more expensive competitors in sound quality. The only difference being the included features and aesthetics of the headphones at higher price points. The ATH-M40x headphones were strictly made for listening and are marketed as monitor headphones. As such, they do not have any additional features or upgrades to look forward to. They are focused on bringing high-quality sound and an affordable price.
They have 40mm drivers with Neodymium magnets and copper-clad aluminum voice coils that have been tuned for a flat response and ultimate sound quality. The headphones boast of great frequency response and clear, detailed sound. Their ear cups have minimal bleed and superior noise isolation, enhancing the user’s listening experience.
The headphones lack any type of aesthetic appeal, but they do have ultra-comfortable leatherette over-the-ear cups made for long listening sessions. The headphones bring comfort over style which makes their sound quality even more enjoyable without listening fatigue. To optimize their studio monitoring and DJ capabilities, the ear cups give up to 90 degrees for one-ear monitoring. The headphones also collapse inward for easy portability in their carrying case and have two cables for the user’s preference of straight or coiled cables.
The sound quality on the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones is great and comparative to pricier headphones on the market. The headphones come with 40mm drivers made with rare earth (Neodymium) magnets. The sound quality remains strong when used with mobile devices. Bass is not as strong as in its pricier competitors, but it is still good enough for a $99 set of headphones. Bass does not come off as boomy either, but could sometimes use a boost for heavier songs. Mids are clear and highs are detailed. The ATH-M40x headphones boast of an extended frequency range and superior sound isolation. The headphones are tuned flat to give a more accurate monitoring and frequency range.
The soundstage can feel narrow but does not take much away from the overall quality. The over-the-ear cups do not give a tight seal, so there is a bit of sound bleed that could be bothersome to those nearby. The headphones are great for track mixing and DJ monitoring where sound bleed does not matter. Their monitoring use works well in both professional studios and home studios. The ear contour gives a decent seal to ensure sound isolation.
While the ATH-M40X headphones have slightly smaller drivers than then ATH-M50x headphones by Audio-Technica, their sound quality is almost exactly the same. This is great since the 40s are offered a more affordable price than the 50s, minus a few additional features between the two headphones. The sound in the 40s is clear and impressive.
Design and Features:
The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones come in a black matte color with a silver-gray accent color for the logo. They are also available in a matte grey with similar accent colors, but still looks the same as the black model basically. They are very large and bulky in size. Despite their large size, they are actually pretty comfortable and made of longer wear.
Their over-the-ear cup is contoured for comfort. The ear cups are made of professional grade cushion material, and the headband is also built for durability and comfort. They are not heavily padded on the leatherette ear cup, but that does not take away from their comfort. The ear cups rotate easily, but almost too freely at a 90-degree swivel. Too much swivel can cause pressure on the headphones and cause them to crack after some time. Also, the ear cups may not fit every ear size which could be an issue for some. The ATH-M40x headphones are extremely durable and sturdy in their build. Even with their lower sales price, Audio-Technica did not skimp on the durability of the headphones.
The headphones do fold inward for easy traveling and storage in their included carrying pouch. They also come with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty for any issues or defects. There are also two 3.5mm audio cables included – one cable is straight wired and the other is a coiled cable with a little more flexibility.
While the cable on the headphones is detachable and replaceable, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones are not wireless or Bluetooth capable. There is also no built-in microphone or in-line remote for easy track or volume adjustments. The included cable connector is 1/8”. The two included straight and coiled cables do come with a ¼” screw-on adapter that can be used as needed and will help keep the headphones in place with any tugging, especially when being used with a mobile device.