on 10 December 2014
I did a lot of research before I bought these cans. My final shortlist included, besides these, the Sony MDR-V7605 and the Sennheisers HD280 and 558 pro.
Although I couldn't get a hand on the Sony's, these cans sound better than the Sennheisers and better fit my allround & travel purposes.
As said, these cans sound really good, and this for all kinds of music (classical, jazz, soundtracks, rock, pop, etc). At a first listening I was amazed with the sound quality. Everything online reviewers say about it is true. In addition: soundstage is excellent, bass is good. There is some sound leakage but truly it's minimal.
I must add that I use the equaliser on my ipod to modify sound depending on the kind of music I'm listening to. That makes a considerable difference. Also important: volume possibilities are also fine with these cans. I don't have to put my ipod on maximum volume in public spaces all the time to enjoy my music.
As to clamp, in the beginning it got a bit tight for me after about 1h30 - 2h of listening but then I put the cans between books about the width of my head for a night. Now they sit very nicely. The surpluss clamp seems to be gone.
What I also like about the M40x is that they are lighter than the M50x.
My only remark is that passive noise cancelling could probably have been better. You still do hear what happens around you. If this is normal level noise it cancels out once you put on a decent music volume. In especially busy public spaces and busy traffic streets, though, the cans are struggling to keep up. If that's what you want to buy the M40x for maybe you could (also) consider active noise cancelling headphones. In the train it doesn't bother me.
I don't know what's the reason for the fact that passive noise cancellation is probably not the best out there, although I didn't really do comparative research. Maybe it's the use of materials, for instance on the pads. I also read somewhere that soundstage is related to the level of outside noise shielding. Maybe a balance was struck. I don't know. I am not an expert.
Conclusion: Overall these are fabulous headphones. In the store the Sennheisers and all the other cans, even at a much higher price-point, at no moment matched up to the intimacy, the directness and the balanced nature of the sound of the M40X. Within seconds I felt that the M40x were clearly superior tan every alternative I tried out. When listening to old jazz albums (Bill Evans Trio) the soundstage is so good that I can actually hear where everybody was situated in the room to a degree that I would -by way of speech- hear a wallet drop to the right side of where in the room I seem to be.
With all the above in mind I find it hard to find arguments against the M40x, especially if you use them in a variety of situations and for a variety of musical styles. For such a soft price-tag they simply rock big time.
Addendum: if you want a hardcase for the M40x don't buy the Slappa case, it's too small. The UDG Creator case Small is perfect.
on 8 December 2014
Bought for £69 (not expensive)
Quality product and well build
Minimalistic in terms of accessories
Very big packaging box
Box comes not sealed with a tape (!!!... this is normal... checked on youtube)
2 good gold-plated cables, a fake leather pouch, cans and some paper to lose
Excellent clear and balanced sound
Lows are not overpowering
Highs are not screechy
Mids are crips
90 degrees rotation is useful although a weakness in the build
Neutral in style
Sits comfortably on the head
Not for big heads
Not for small heads
Poor noise cancellation
Some sound leakage
No case included
Value product with flagship build quality and sound
on 4 October 2014
I recently bought these as well as a set of Grado SR80e headphones. These are the ones that I have ended up using most of the time. While the Grado has a very upfront and engaging sound, the M40x sounds so much more natural - they give the impression that you are hearing the music much more like the artist and producers intended it to sound. The bass might be a slightly elevated but overall they just sound accurate and revealing. I have found that the sound improves significantly with good quality audio files, equipment and cables, and I suspect that negative reviews are more likely posted by people who have no understanding of the importance of paying attention to this.
on 4 September 2015
The ATH M40X are not a downgrade of the M50X. They are inequal in quality; yet quality equalisation makes up for the difference in driver size of 5mm. The 40s offer a flat, precise playback with less than astounding bass. The 50s offer over-equalised, excellent quality bass (which does not necessarily mean they are superior; in specific respects).
The downfall of an otherwise perfect headphone. Understandable and forgivable due to price limitations. The bass is of excellent quality, yet lacks the driver size required to properly offer a powerful and distinguishable tone. Extremely (note, extremely) heavy bass will become noisy and distorted; which is highly irritating. The M50X will take the same bass tones and deliver them free of noise and distortion.
The bass as a whole is very good, and will impress anyone. It offers decent strength; and is undoubtedly an inspiration to other creators for what should be bass quality at low price. Does not match the fidelity of the ATH M50X.
Mid (Normals, AKA Vocals) Tones:
Of excellent quality. Slight noise impairment is noticed at all levels by my ear, yet this is to be disregarded as the quality of playback equipment may not have been sufficient - however, if you use a smartphone or average on board motherboard audio, you may hear noise disruption of the signal here.
The quality of these frequencies is close enough to those of the ATH M50X so that I could consider them equal. They once again, surpass the quality expected of such a price point.
Treble (Naturals, highs):
Exemplary. They excel in quality here more than one would expect from headphones at a price point more than double this product. Clear and more than simply crisp: as if existent. The quality is unprecedented at this price point, and the next for these tones (similarly, the Mids are excellent (not to the same scale, however)). I can imagine that this frequency is the clearest possible for this price point.
This is down to personal preference. These are flat.
Note that "flat" does NOT mean that the bass is nonexistent, but rather natural in strength - so it has a relatively strong "push" and the vibrations are not tangible.
These headphones do an exceptional job at being flat but not studio. Seeing as EQ is such a subjective statistic, I can not comment further.
I recommend these for:
GAMING - QUIET (footsteps, ambience) 10/10
GAMING - BASIC (master sounds, primary FX) 10/10
GAMING - MUSIC (music, tracks, background feel) 8/10 (due to distortions in bass, personal preference)
MUSIC: Heavier bass tracks or Treble/Mid based tracks. Otherwise, M50X may offer a personal preference. (personal preference) Extreme bass not recommended at all.
MIXING: Not recommended. Instead, get Studio Headphones.
RECORDING MUSIC: Not recommended. Instead, get Studio Headphones.
For reference (pun intended), these were bought for use as field monitors, requiring thus:
* decent attenuation of external noise
* relatively - lightweight, durable and compact
* flat tuning / no tonal affectation
* capable of performing well without powerful amplification
And these deliver on all counts.
As extras I was less concerned about, but am pleased to say they're also:
* fantastically comfortable
* supplied with a choice of cables
* thoughtfully engineered
* great looking and feeling
They drive perfectly directly from the line-out of my ZOOM H2n allowing me to accurately monitor recording in-situ with a frankly extraordinary level of fine and deliberate detail.
And although I have yet to use them for the purpose, I am supremely confident they'll make editing a breeze!
When researching which headphones to get, I read and watched a lot of reviews, featuring folk describing their experience of listening through the various phones (including these), but every time the words left me still wondering what to expect.
Fortunately I then found a really useful video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udLoAV7YmjA ) from YouTube Channel "SonicSenseProAudio" which demonstrates (by the use of high end technical recording equipment and techniques) comparison of a few popular contenders in this price range and category, so you can hear the difference(s) yourself.
These phones really do what the video suggests - the response is completely flat.
They put out exactly what goes in! Precisely what monitors should do.
I am extremely pleased I didn't go down the Sennheiser path.
These are fantastic! :-)
on 12 November 2014
If you're looking at these, it's probably because you're after a decent quality, affordable, NEUTRAL frequency response set of headphones. In which case, I'd say these are spot on!
I use them mainly for monitoring and mixing and found them comfy for many hours at a time. They seem to have reduced the amount of time spent achieving a balanced/musical mix when playing back over several different monitoring speakers.
Listening to Music: (My musical tastes/collection span most genres)
TBH, I've never been a big fan of listening to albums on headphones, but I've done it a lot more since getting these.
Don't let the 'flat/neutral response' make you think they're dull. There plenty of bass and presence, already nicely balanced.
And, at the risk of upsetting hardcore audiophiles - there's always tone controls and EQing for the few occassions you might want to tweek the experience or go OTT!
I doubt you'll regret buying them. I certainly didn't.
on 26 March 2015
These over-ear headphones are light and comfortable. Both of those features are important to me, as I wear glasses, so the over-ear (covers the whole ear) type of headphones does not compress my ears and glasses into my head over after a long period of wearing the device. Also, the lightness of the headphone is important, again, after wearing it for a while, a pair of heavy headphones does become rather cumbersome and painful.
Regarding the sound production...Well, I am no audiophile, so here are my two cents...I do not like a lot of bass as I find that it gives me sore ears and I want a product that can produce a neutral sound, and the M40X does just that and it does so brilliantly.
I love it!
on 17 November 2015
I use these headphones pretty much daily, for most of the day and have had them for about 6 months. I use them travelling through town and on the train, and I use them for recording/music work (however, only at a student/novice level).
These headphones are very comfy to wear and sit on my head with ease, the ear cups also fit round my ears very well with a little room to spare. However I find these not to be all that comfy round your neck as the speakers are quite large, so they can press against your chin. The removable wires that come with these headphones also makes them ery easy to store as it obviously doesn't have a wire dangling from it. However, I can't seem to find a 3rd party wire that will fit with these headphones, so if you break the wires, you might have to splash out a little on new ones, however the wires that come with this seem to be very good.
Sound wise, they are quite good. They don't leak too much sound, but there's still a nice amount of everything there. I quite like how these headphones don't have an added EQ but I know some people that would like that. I can't really comment on how they play genres like jazz, because I mainly listen to metal, but these do cope very well with things like metal. As I said earlier I use these in a studio, so I find these headphones are also good for mixing and using synthesizers with as they pick up most of what you should be able to hear, but are no replacement for a good set of speakers/monitors.
However, looking back now, I think I should have waited a little and brought the M50Xs as they do pick up that little bit more bass, and have a 180 degrees turning on the cups (M40Xs only turn 90) so they would be nicer round your neck, but needless to say these are very good headphones for someone looking for a first pair of proper cans, starting to record/play around in DAWs and just as an everyday pair of headphones
on 2 November 2015
Whilst I do greatly appreciate good-quality music, I would not consider myself an audiophile; and on a budget, I just needed some decent-quality cans for everyday use to listen to music on my laptop with. However, the M40X's completely surpassed all expectations, and having been using them for several months now, they still sound amazing and no signs of wear at all!
The headphones have a very strong, sturdy construction, with a solid, yet comfortably padded headband, with the drivers attached via an adjustable metal band. The cups themselves are high-quality, robust ABS plastic, which has a very nice weight to it! The rubber padding around the cups also feel very soft, but do not feel likely to break for a long time. There are also two cables to choose from - coiled, or an insanely long un-coiled one - both great quality, and locking into the headphones firmly.
The M40X's, as the description says, sound very 'flat', with no particular emphasis on bass, mid, or high frequencies, which is exactly what I wanted (none of the Beats-esque uber-special-ultra-turbo B A S S enchancements, thank god :D). I mainly listen to alternative rock, post-punk, but also electronica and classical, so whether you prefer Modest Mouse, Strokes, The Prodigy, or Hayden, these cans will sound great, delivering every slight nuance in the music you listen to.
However... it doesn't bother me personally, but the sound-stage is very, very "narrow", the sound isn't particularly spatial, or expansive - it has great fidelity, but very in your ear. I guess this is personal taste, but I would not recommend if this is not appealing for you.
Although being fairly heavy (in a pleasant sort of way), these headphones aren't at all uncomfortable, with the pads fitting completely round my ear, and the rubber being very supple and soft - I have literally worn these for 5-6 hours, and forgotten I was wearing them!
All in all, wonderful cans, would recommend to anyone whose fairly serious about sound quality, but not willing to fork out hundreds. Sure, there are obviously much better out there, and the sound-stage will surely put off some, but the fidelity, and crisp detail will give any music a clean, natural quality.
on 3 July 2015
This is my first foray into audiophile grade headphones so as a disclaimer I don't know much about highs/lows/balance, possible alternatives in this price range etc so I'll keep it simple. I'd say I have accumulated over 1,000 hours of use from these headphones and I can say that they are very good with little to no drawbacks. Everything they claim to be from the research I did before hand is true from my perspective. I read somewhere that they were a little on the large side which was something I was concerned about as I have a slightly small head but I still have to extend the arms one notch on either side to get the right fit so unless you have a seriously small head I wouldn't worry about that. The arms extend quite far as well for you folks with larger heads. The comfort is exceptional, I can easily wear these things for hours and hours with no discomfort and I was surprised at how light they are I saw on a review someone mentioned that but it still stumped me. I use these headphones mostly for gaming and listening to music on sound cloud and the quality is incredible, just crisp and clean. I've definitely garnered a new sense of appreciation for music from the detail produced from these bebes. As for drawbacks I'm sure if you were in sound production you'd be able to nit pick but I have yet to run into something that annoys me personally doing what I do and I'm not about to make something up. I haven't gone out of my way to test their durability but I have dropped them a few times from waist height onto wood and they haven't damaged. To sum it up in my opinion this is a high quality product from a reputable company that delivers what it boasts and for the money I spent ~£70 I would highly recommend these to anyone one of my best buys.