Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Review – Budget Headphones That Rock

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HRS
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Selecting the right budget pair of DJ headphones is not as simple as it seems. There are plenty of choices available in the budget space. Unfortunately, many of the cheap choices out there lack the refined features a DJ needs. In this review, we check out an affordable pair of headphones that bucks this trend. It offers great value without skimping on quality.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones

Sound

4.5/5

Comfort

4.5/5

Design

4.3/5

Durability

4.3/5

There is a lot to like about the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x. But while it may appear like the perfect set of budget cans it does have a few small flaws.

PROS

CONS

Features

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x is a budget pair of headphones with a lot going for it. Let’s see where it shines and where it falls short.

Sound Quality 

By far one of the most important elements a DJ needs to consider is the sound quality of their headphones. This is one area where the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x does an excellent job. The tonal range is clean and precise across all frequencies. Clarity is high without any grating tones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Specifications

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x delivers amazing sound quality at its price point.

The high-end is sharp without any tinniness though it does lose some of its tonal range in the high upper end. The mids are well balanced with plenty of body. The lows are also impressive. If you mix bass-heavy music you’ll appreciate the distinct thump the 40mm drivers deliver.

The frequency response of 15Hz-22kHz is on par with more expensive headphones in the market. The sound delivery is also very flat. Possibly a little too flat for some people’s liking. You may prefer a more smiley-faced EQ curve. But the distinct flat response makes these an excellent choice for mixing and mastering.

At this price point, Audio-Technica has delivered an outstanding budget pair of headphones that sound great.

Comfort 

If you play long sets as a DJ you’ll already be aware of how important comfort is. Likewise, if you are a producer who spends hours at their workstation fine-tuning your latest musical creation.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x offers a tight yet comfortable fit. For some, the tight fit might be a little too much, especially if you have a larger than normal head. But for me, the security of a firm fit is something I appreciate. When DJing I’m often bopping my head along to the music. There have been times where loose headphones have slipped off my head.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Cables

The long straight cable allows you to move throughout your workspace with ease.

At 0.49 lbs. (222 grams) they are relatively lightweight as well which further minimizes the pressure on your head.

The circumaural earpads envelop your ears. There is just enough room for them to sit comfortably within. Your mileage may vary depending on how big your ears are. My ears tend to stick out a bit but I had no issues with comfort. As expected with closed-back headphones there is some heat build-up. This can lead to some minor irritation throughout longer sessions. But this is the case for most closed-back headphones.

The overall comfort level is very high but everyone’s head and ears are different so keep that in mind.

Design 

The aesthetics of the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x are excellent. A distinct and clean design that looks smart and professional. But, the all-black look may not be for everyone. If you prefer your headphones to make a statement you’ll need to look at other options.

These headphones also offer a collapsible design which is perfect for travel. It is also great for taking to and from gigs. The added pouch is also an excellent inclusion. Easy to collapse then slide into your pouch for effortless portability.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x collapsed

The collapsible design is perfect for travel.

But there are a couple of key issues with the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x which are worth mentioning.

Firstly the headphone cable is not detachable. This can expose you to accidental damage if the cable gets caught. Once this cable fails you’ll be up for a new pair of headphones. The other issue is the exposed wiring. This is another potential situation where you can accidentally damage your headphones. But with an appropriate amount of care and awareness you should be able to avoid these two issues.

Despite a few unfortunate elements it is hard to fault these budget-priced headphones. Attractive and functional with some excellent features.

Want To View Other Similar DJ Headphones?
Read the following guides:
Best DJ Headphones
Best Budget DJ Headphones

Durability 

For a cheap pair of headphones, the Audio-Technica MTH-30x offers robust build quality. The headband is firm and durable. The hinges are also dependable and secure. The all-plastic build feels tough and looks the part.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Details

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30X strikes a great balance between value and quality.

The leather padding is also high quality. Many cheap headphones suffer from poor quality materials. These quickly wear out leaving you with unsightly exposed padding. I’m glad to see Audio-Technica has not skimped on materials even at such a low price point.

Value 

By far one of the most appealing aspects of the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x is the aggressive price point. It is hard to find a dependable pair of headphones at this price that also sounds this good.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x pouch

The included carry pouch is durable and convenient.

The added pouch also adds to the value proposition. Couple that with the included ¼” adapter and you have a well-rounded package at a great price. By far one of the best value budget headphones available today.

What Others Have To Say

The entire ATH-M range is very popular among both casual users and DJs. The M30x is especially applauded for the cheap price point while maintaining high fidelity.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Reviews

Why Isolation Is Important

One of the most important features of DJ headphones is the isolation level. This is the amount of external noise that they manage to block out. The more isolation the better. As a DJ, you’ll want to be able to distinctly hear the track that you are preparing to mix in. Headphones that offer great isolation allow you to focus on the incoming track and nail the mix.

A pair of headphones sitting on top of a DJ mixer

Headphones with good isolation are crucial for DJing.

Isolation is also useful for DJs in other aspects. If you commute often it is an ideal time to prepare and preview new music. Headphones with high isolation allow you to play the music loud without annoying other commuters. This also applies to when you are at home and don’t want to disturb your friends or family.

Closed-back headphones offer the highest level of isolation. With no vents or grilles, there are few ways for the sound to escape. Thick and secure ear padding that envelops your ear also adds to this buffering. If you are serious about DJing make sure to pick up a pair of headphones that offer solid isolation.

Other Options

There are some other options available if you are on the lookout for budget DJ headphones. Here are some alternatives worth considering.

Behringer HPX2000 Review

If you want to stretch your budget even further the Behringer HPX2000 is a great choice. This dirt-cheap pair of headphones sound and perform a lot better than you would expect.

  • The super-low price point makes these a perfect choice for frugal buyers.
  • The sound profile is distinct and clean with decent volume levels.
  • Material quality is not amazing.
Three quarter view of the Behringer HPX2000 headphones

Behringer HPX2000

4/5

Shure SRH440 Review

The Shure SRH440 is another worthy budget-priced pair of headphones. Great sound quality and good isolation make these worth considering even if they are a bit more expensive than the M30x.

  • High detail in the full frequency range. Clarity is perfect for budget-conscious producers.
  • The long detachable coiled cable is an excellent inclusion.
  • While they are high quality the design is a little dated.

Read our full Shure SRH440 review for more detailed information.

Three quarter view of the Shure SRH440 headphones

Shure SRH440

4/5

AKG K72 Review

The AKG K72 is a budget pair of headphones that offers plenty of value. A clean sound profile along with solid isolation make these a great pair of headphones for casual listening.

  • Super comfortable headband and padding that easily adjusts to various head shapes.
  • Replaceable ear cups add to the longevity of these affordable cans.
  • The low-end response is on the weaker side. Not ideal for bass-heavy music.
Three quarter view of a pair of AKG K72 DJ headphones

AKG K72

4.4/5

Should You Buy?

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x is an exceptional pair of headphones. There are certainly better headphones out there but it is hard to find a worthy competitor at this price point. They offer excellent sound delivery. When you factor in the solid isolation it makes these a great pair of beginner DJ headphones.

Despite a few tiny shortcomings, these are easily one of the best budget DJ headphones available today.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

4.4/5

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Patryk Biernacki

Patryk Biernacki

For over 20 years I've been involved in the world of DJing. Now I want to share my experience so that DJing is more accessible for anyone with a passion for music.
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