Audio-Technica expands its range of headphones with the ATH-M60x. A new set of closed-back headphones that aims to deliver a unique offering compared to other ATH-M series headphones. In this review, we take a closer look and see what these studio headphones have to offer.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x studio headphones will appeal to professionals thanks to some studio-centric features. An engaging set of headphones that are ideal for music production, mixing, and tracking.
Studio professionals demand the absolute best. It can be a challenging segment to please, but the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x does an admirable job with some distinct features not available within the ATH-M series of cans.
One of the strongest elements of the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x studio headphones is the dynamic and rich sound profile. This is a pair of headphones with a distinct sound that will appeal to casual and professional applications.
The balance and neutrality are a highlight of these studio headphones. Throughout the full frequency response of 15Hz-28kHz, the ATH-M60x delivers sound with enthusiasm and vibrancy.
The highs are crispy with plenty of detail, and the low Total Harmonic Distortion ensures that the finest details are presented accurately. They offer a little too much sparkle for my ears, but years of DJing have caused my ears to be a little sensitive. Most people will appreciate these cans’ delicate and bright nature.
The mid-range is warm and generous, with only a noticeable dip in the lower mids. This does make them come across as a little recessed in this area but not to the point that it will make it difficult to make accurate decisions in the studio.
The ATH-M60x has a neutral sound profile and low impedance.
Moving into the bass region, the ATH-M60x does offer a sizeable amount of punch. Not quite to the level of the ATH-M50x, but I appreciate the difference here. It is restrained but not constrained, a noticeable and thoughtful application to ensure clarity and precision in the lower frequencies.
Working in harmony, the ATH-M60x presents an engaging and accurate sound profile ideally suited to audio producers.
Despite a solid sound profile, the ATH-M60x is not without some faults. The most noticeable is the cramped soundstage. Much of this is due to the on-ear design that limits the amount of interaction and spatial capacity. Closed cans don’t have the best reputation for soundstage dynamics, but these are even further away from what some may require.
Regardless of the more compact soundstage, the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x deserves its spot as one of the best on-ear options for studio applications. Dynamic and detailed with a healthy dose of neutral delivery and a worthy addition to the ATH-M series.
I’ll be honest right off the bat. I’m not particularly fond of on-ear headphones. Where possible, I always lean towards over-ear alternatives as I generally find them more comfortable for my prominent ears.
Previously the only on-ear option I enjoyed was the legendary Sennheiser HD25. So heading into this review, I had my reservations. Thankfully my concerns did not come to fruition. The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x offers an excellent level of comfort.
The clamping force is the key here. It is casual and relaxed and doesn’t force extreme pressure allowing the on-ear cups to rest on your ears comfortably. The thick memory foam padding also ensures that the ear cups adapt to your ears.
The thick memory foam padding provides a good level of comfort.
The relaxed fit does mean that there are more secure headphones than these. If you move around a lot, there is the potential of these slipping around. But I can’t foresee this issue presenting itself in a studio setting.
The headband also features memory foam padding, but it is noticeably thinner. Despite the more restrained amount of padding, the headband rests comfortably. The headband also adjusts, so you should have no issues finding an appropriate fit.
On-ear headphones are not for everyone, but Audio-Technica has developed an option that might convert some people. Extended sessions are a breeze, and the added airflow from the on-ear design helps keep temperatures down and alleviates the potential for sweaty ears.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x does stray a little from the usual M series design. The frame is all black without a hint of color. With a matte finish, these present well and will not look out of place in a studio setting.
The on-ear design and narrower headband also ensure these don’t look like you have a pair of speakers strapped to your head. I also like the embossed logo as an alternative to printing. It’s a clean and refined presentation that ticks all the right boxes.
The ATH-M60x offers a clean and professional appearance.
Looking past aesthetics, the ATH-M60x also differs from other M series headphones in some notable ways. One of the most evident is that these do not collapse, so while they are slimmer and lightweight at 0.44 lbs. (200 g), there are better options for travel.
The cable connection is detachable and features a bayonet locking mechanism. Ideal for ensuring your headphones remain plugged in. It also allows you to choose your preferred cable from the three options.
Impedance is also low at just 38 ohms. These work well with all devices, and with a sensitivity of 102 dB, you have plenty of headroom up your sleeve.
Exposed wires are also present, knocking it down a few points in my eyes. I’m always fearful of hooking these and causing damage. Much of this depends on how you use them and your environment, but it is still worth mentioning.
I’ve owned several pairs of Audio-Technica headphones, and they have never let me down. The Japanese-based brand knows how to make quality hardware that can withstand the rigors of frequent and aggressive use, and the ATH-M60x continues this tradition.
The padding on the ears is dense and durable with a leather-like covering. You can also replace the ear padding. Unlike other options on the market, the pads are very easy to remove and install.
Detachable and replaceable components ensure longevity.
There is also a healthy amount of metal involved throughout the build. This gives the ATH-M60x another layer of robustness, and I can see these handling the odd knock easily. The headband also detaches, making the ATH-M60x an excellent long-term option if you ever need to replace components.
Considering the high level of build quality, I can’t foresee you having to change components frequently. These headphones are a workhorse set of cans that you can rely on. The included cables are also excellent, and the internal 45mm drivers feature rare-earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum voice coils.
Intense studio sessions require a pair of cans you can trust, and the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x fulfills that role.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x headphones occupy an interesting space within the studio headphone market. Studio headphones can be incredibly expensive, and while the ATH-M60x is not cheap by any stretch, it is also noticeably more affordable than some highly recommended studio cans.
The ATH-M60x includes a great selection of accessories.
You’ll also receive a storage pouch and three cables within the box. A 9.8 ft. (3 m) coiled cable, a 9.8ft (3 m) straight cable, and a 3.9 ft. (1.2 m) straight cable provide you with maximum flexibility to choose the cable that suits your needs. As expected, the ubiquitous ¼” adapter is also present.
It is a solid range of extras, and when you factor in the quality of the components and the inviting sound profile, it makes these a viable and reasonably priced option.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x has gathered a healthy amount of positive reviews. The vast majority of customers rate these at 4 or 5 stars, with the few complaints originating from the on-ear design. But as I’ve mentioned, not everyone likes on-ear cans.
It is also worth noting that these headphones picked up the NAMM TEC Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in the “Headphone/Earpiece Technology” category.
Types Of Headphones
Headphones fall into four main categories. Over-ear, On-Ear, In-Ear, and Earbuds. Below we take a quick look at these types so you can make an informed choice of the type that is right for you.
Over-Ear – These headphones engulf your entire ear. Generally, they are the most comfortable type and provide a good soundstage. But they are often bulky and not the most portable.
On-Ear – These headphones sit on your ear, making them a good choice if you wear glasses. They also don’t trap as much heat and are smaller in size. But they often don’t have high isolation levels.
On-ear headphones offer a more compact design compared to over-ear headphones.
In-Ear – These headphones will feature earbud tips that go directly into your ear canal. They provide a good level of isolation but have a poor soundstage. Comfort level can also be an issue depending on your ears and the brand you buy.
Earbuds – These also feature earbud tips but instead rest at the edge of your ear canal, making them generally more comfortable. Due to their small size, they are also ideal for travel.
Selecting the right studio headphones takes a lot of work, and multiple enticing options are available. Below we take a quick look at some alternatives to the ATH-M60x.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Review
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is one of the most recommended options. It features a spectacular sound profile perfectly tailored to a studio setting.
- Incredibly accurate and neutral sound. Ideal for analytical listening.
- Superb ear padding that is ultra comfortable.
- The hardwired cable restricts your choices.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Beyerdynamic DT 150 Review
If you want a reliable workhorse set of studio headphones the legendary DT 150 from Beyerdynamic is worth exploring. Ultra tough and fantastic sound profile has made it a staple choice over the decades.
- Impressive detail and fullness across the entire frequency range.
- Fully serviceable and among the toughest headphones available.
- Not an attractive set of headphones with a dated and bulky design.
Beyerdynamic DT 150
Mackie MC-350 Review
The Mackie MC-350 is a cheaper choice. Despite the lower price, it still offers a comprehensive sound profile and a great range of included accessories.
- Punchy sound that still manages to remain relatively neutral.
- Rugged construction and high-quality components.
- Not as accurate as the ATH-M60x.
Should You Buy?
Audio-Technica continues to impress with its range of headphones. The M series is rapidly becoming one of the best series of headphones on the market. Adding an on-ear alternative is an excellent move and ensures that Audio-Technica has a comprehensive suite of options available.
The ATH-M60x gets the fundamentals right. An accurate sound profile that isn’t bland yet retains all the integrity you need to make informed decisions when composing your latest track. A high level of comfort, excellent cable variety, and dependable build quality seal the deal. The ATH-M60x is a perfect addition to your studio if you like on-ear headphones.