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Putting the M40X through their paces on lossless audio streaming, they respond with a wide frequency response and excellent sound quality. For music playback, I found the sound to be crisp and detailed, with a punchy but not dominant bass and solid detail in the mid-range. There’s no bass boost, so casual listeners looking for a bassier sound may want to check out the M50 range instead.
However, these are designed as monitoring headphones, so where the M40X really shine is in the mix. They are flat-tuned and provide a neutral signal, letting you mix and master your tracks with high accuracy. Their wide frequency response and superb clarity makes them an excellent addition to any studio.
The build quality is solid, with the plastic frame seems sturdy and well-built. Without putting them through serious stress-testing, they seem built to last. A foldable design, detachable cable and supplied soft pouch mean they are ‘semi’-portable. Audio-Technica has made an effort to cut down the footprint, but they are still relatively bulky. In any case, the imperfect sound isolation and leakage means you probably won’t take them on your commute. The cables are replaceable, but due their proprietary locking connector, may prove difficult to re-purchase in the future.
The sound quality of the M40s is what makes them a great bargain purchase. They compare favourably in clarity and response to the M50 series, with only a slight loss in bass response. Not bad for half the price. If you’re prepared to accept certain limitations due to their price point, the ATH-M40X offer excellent value for money.
Wearing these headphones for a day’s worth of mixing isn’t a problem, as they avoid overheating around the ears. The fit is loose and avoids the head-crushing tightness of competitors in favour of a more relaxed design. This does mean that sound leakage is a slight problem, but mixing alone in my studio, it’s not an issue. Results may vary for those with larger ears, as the pads are relatively small, but they fit pretty well for me.
Check out the Audio Technica ATH-M40X in our store.
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