The Best Audio-Technica Headphones In 2024

Audio Technica headphones are a worldwide favorite thanks to fantastic sound and dependable build quality. This guide looks at the entire selection to help you determine which one is right for you.

Our Editor’s Choice is the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. A firm favorite thanks to rich tonality, high comfort, excellent included accessories, and dependable build quality.

We’ve used several lackluster pairs in our over 15 years in the industry. It led us to develop this site to help ensure you never have to feel disappointed when buying your next piece of gear.

Analyzing the entire range of Audio-Technica headphones involved hours of research to judge each set in an increasingly competitive market. Our next step was a detailed evaluation based on hands-on testing and corroboration with our broad network of contacts in the industry. The result is this definitive guide to Audio-Technica headphones.

Three quarter view of a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Best Closed Back

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x

Best Open Back

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

Best Budget Choice

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2

Best Wireless

Table of Contents

While Audio-Technica offers a broad range of headphones, this guide will pay specific attention to its over-ear and on-ear options range. But if you are looking for earbuds, Audio-Technica is a well-regarded option in the audio community.

Product Reviews

Audio-Technica features an impressive lineup of headphones with something for everyone. Superb closed-back headphones for recording sessions or DJing. Highly accurate studio headphones in closed-back and open-back configurations and consumer-friendly offerings featuring Bluetooth and warm sound profiles. Below, we take a closer look at each option in more detail.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Review

Specifications

Pros

  • Satisfying Bass – The M50x offers a rich and punchy bass response, which makes it an ideal choice for DJs and casual listening.
  • Clear Audio – The bass is outstanding, but the mids and highs also offer ample clarity and definition. Excellent audio quality.
  • Dependable Quality – Speaking of quality, the M50x offers excellent durability. The thick plastic frame and high-quality components can take a beating.
  • Flexible Inclusions – Access to a range of cables for maximum flexibility and additional pads combine to deliver a value-packed offering.

Cons

  • Not For Studio Use – These headphones feature a consumer-friendly sound profile. While excellent for day-to-day listening and DJing, these are not ideal for critical listening.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is one of the most popular closed-back headphones on the market. The rich bass response and pleasant sound profile have helped make it a favorite among DJs and EDM lovers.

The ambient noise reduction is also excellent, as is the robust build quality. While these might not be a great choice for critical listening, they are superb in nearly every other setting.

If you want added flexibility, Audio-Technica also offers the ATH-M50xBT2 Bluetooth headphones, which add wireless functionality into the equation but lack all the additional cable accessories and pads that the base M50x offers.

If you are a hobby DJ or enjoy headphones that have meaty bass, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is an excellent choice and ranks as among the best Audio-Technica headphones available today.

Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M50x review for more detailed information.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Review

Specifications

Pros

  • Ample Thump – Much like many other Audio-Technica headphones, the ATH-M40x features engaging bass that will bring a smile to lovers of bass-heavy music.
  • Warm Audio Quality – The mid-range is also lush and inviting with definition and a healthy dose of warmth within the sound profile.
  • Versatile Design – The M40x features detachable cables and a foldable design. A solid choice for travel with high customizability.
  • Excellent Value – With a high-quality carrying pouch and the choice between two cables, the ATH-M40x is a complete package without a huge price point.

Cons

  • Weak Isolation – External noise and sound leakage are more pronounced with the M40x compared to some of the other options in the Audio-Technica lineup.
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x ear cups
Click for High-Resolution Image

Stepping down in the M series is the Audio Technica ATH-M40x. This solid pair of headphones features slightly smaller drivers than our top choice, the ATH-M50x, but still packs a mighty punch. Based on our detailed testing, the rest of the frequency response is also inviting and engaging.

Comfort is another critical element we check in our hands-on testing, and the ATH-M40x did not let us down. The padding was generous, and the fit was firm yet comfortable. The adjustable headband also ensures a comfortable fit on top of your head with no uncomfortable pressure points.

Throughout our testing, the major issue that became apparent was the lackluster isolation. While reasonable enough for DJ sessions at home, these headphones are not a great choice for a noisy club environment.

But beyond the great sound quality, the ATH-40x also stood out in our hands-on review due to the superb balance between features and affordability. Detachable cables, foldable design, and tough construction at a very reasonable price. One of the best Audio-Technica headphones if you prioritize value for money.

While it might not be perfect, the ATH-M40x is still one of our favorite Audio-Technica headphones after having the opportunity to run it through our often demanding hands-on testing criteria.

Read our hands-on Audio-Technica ATH-M40x review for the full testing results.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40X headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M40X

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Review

Specifications

Pros

  • Neutral Sound – The MTH-M20x offered relatively accurate audio reproduction for a budget pair of headphones. It’s a decent entry-level studio headphone option.
  • Budget-Friendly Price – Striking a balance between high-quality audio and price is no small task. The ATH-M20x manages to straddle this line to perfection.
  • Decent Isolation – While it will never compete with active noise canceling, the ATH-M20x does an excellent job of minimizing external noise and offers low leakage.
  • Comfortable Fit – These headphones rest comfortably on your head thanks to a combination of comfortable padding and the right amount of clamping force.

Cons

  • Exposed Wires – The ATH-M20x does have exposed wires running from the cups to the headband. There is a chance you can catch these wires on something, which can lead to damage.

Finding a pair of headphones at this price point that feature relatively accurate reproduction is rare. While not the absolute best sound quality, it outclasses much of the competition at this price.

A wireless version, the ATH-M20xBT, is also available and features excellent battery life and onboard controls. Thanks to the decent built-in microphone, it’s also a solid choice for phone calls.

The more balanced frequency response does result in low bass, which some might consider a dealbreaker. But if you want a budget pair of cans for a studio setting, the ATH-M20x is among the best Audio-Technica headphones you can pick up.

Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M20x review for more detailed information.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X headphones.

Audio Technica ATH-M20x

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Review

Specifications

Pros

  • Impeccable Detail – The ATH-R70x offers superb accuracy and definition. A true reference set of headphones for detailed listening.
  • Wide Soundstage – The open-back design ensures a spacious soundstage and ample air circulation for a natural sounding frequency response.
  • High Comfort Level – The lightweight frame and wing design offer exceptional comfort. Perfect for long listening sessions with no ear fatigue.
  • Unique Appearance – The eye-catching design is a notable departure from what Audio-Technica offers in its M series lineup.

Cons

  • High Impedance Headphones – With an impedance of 470 ohms, you’ll need a high-quality headphone amp to get the most out of these. Not for casual listening.

Unlike other Audio-Technica products, the ATH-R70x focuses on delivering neutral sound for a studio setting. These headphones reproduce sound with unnerving accuracy, making them ideal for detail-orientated listening and music production.

The listening experience is exceptional and delivers better sound quality than many other options at this price point. If you want to buy a pair of studio headphones, the ATH-R70x is among the best Audio-Technica headphones for serious work.

Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-R70x review for more detailed information.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Review

Specifications

Pros

  • Impressive Sound Quality – The ATH-M30x features great sound quality that is both lively and clear. A viable choice for a range of audio content with a strong nod towards music lovers.
  • Lightweight Feel – While not the lightest headphones, the ATH-M30x manages to execute a supremely comfortable fit even over longer listening sessions.
  • Approachable Price – There are cheaper headphones out there, but the ATH-M30x features an excellent balance between build and sound quality that is hard to beat.
  • Foldable Design – Quick and simple process to fold these into a compact profile for easy transportation in the included pouch.

Cons

  • Hard Wired Cable – The ATH-M30x does not feature a detachable cable. If you prefer access to cable flexibility, these headphones are not for you.

There is a lot to like about the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones. The ear pads are comfortable, the sound quality far exceeds what you might expect at this price point, and they collapse for easy transportation.

The sound profile does lean towards a smiley-faced curve, so if you need studio headphones, I’d suggest looking at alternatives. But for music lovers who want excellent sound at a reasonable price, the ATH-M30x is worth exploring.

Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M30x review for more detailed information.

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

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

Audio-Technica ATH-M70x Review

Specifications

Pros

  • High Transparency – The ATH-M70x offers neutral sound with a wide frequency response. Excellent sound quality for a studio setting.
  • Superb Treble Response – With a top-end that reaches 40kHz, there is ample detail and precision in the treble response.
  • Comfortable Ear Pads – The lightweight frame and plush ear pads deliver a comfortable fit with minimal heat build-up.
  • Slick Styling – A welcome departure from other Audio-Technica headphones that are predominantly all-black. Attractive combination of colors without looking overly flashy.

Cons

  • Build Quality Concerns – These headphones are not as robust as Audio-Technic’s other options, especially at the hinges. Careful handling is required.

The ATH-M70x studio headphones set out to achieve maximum neutrality across a wide frequency response. In that regard, you can call it mission accomplished. These studio headphones also have low impedance, making them easy to drive.

The comfort level is another positive, as are the excellent included accessories. Are they the best Audio-Technica headphones? Not quite, but for studio headphones, they perform very well. These headphones represent excellent value at nearly half the price of some comparable cans.

Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M70x review for more detailed information.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M70x headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M70x

Audio-Technica ATH-M60x Review

Specifications

Pros

  • Highly Neutral Sound – These studio-focused headphones offer neutral sound, ideal for mixing, monitoring, mastering, and music production.
  • Surprisingly Comfortable – Despite a tight, on-ear design, the ATH-M60x is remarkably comfortable while still blocking outside noise.
  • Superb Build Quality – High-quality components throughout with a flexible and robust frame. These components are also replaceable for added longevity.
  • Extensive Inclusions – Within the package, you’ll have access to three cables for maximum flexibility. The included pouch is also great.

Cons

  • Cramped Sound Stage – The on-ear design does result in a cramped soundstage. It’s not a dealbreaker, but some might want a more expansive sound profile.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x is another departure within the M series due to its on-ear design. These closed-back studio headphones deliver impeccable accuracy and vibrant detail on the sound front. However, some might want a wider soundstage.

While they might be for a studio setting, I can see casual listeners also enjoying the more direct sound of the on-ear design. It’s punchy but accurate, making it perfect for audiophiles who want authenticity when listening to music. When you also consider the high build quality, there is a lot to like.

Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M60x review for more detailed information.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M60x

Our Guide To Audio-Technica Headphones

With such a broad range of products that serve various purposes, it can be challenging to grasp what makes a company worth your attention. In this guide, I’ll explore the rich history of Audio-Technica and examine what makes Audio-Technica headphones so popular. I’ll also compare Audio-Technica to some of its competition and closely examine Audio-Technica’s headphone range.

Company History

Audio-Technica has a heritage built on one fundamental principle: a passion for music and design excellence. The company was founded in 1962 by Hideo Matsushita, who was moved by the power of music from his time hosting LP listening concerts as the curator at Tokyo’s Bridgestone Museum of Art.

In the 60s, high-fidelity audio equipment was not cheap, but Hideo aimed to change that. From that initial dream, a decades-long journey began with Audio-Technica exporting its phono cartridges worldwide.

It was then during the 70s that Audio-Technica expanded its scope and produced its first headphones and a series of microphones. The 80s brought new challenges for the company as the explosion of digital music formats put pressure on Audio-Technia’s cartridge business.

Audio-Technica company history timeline.

Audio-Technica has a rich history that dates back to the 1960s.

These challenges helped the company develop new and innovative products beyond the audio space, including a successful range of sushi machines.

Despite the diversification, Audio-Technica continued its innovative vision for audio products, including developing RCA cables with high-purity copper, large condenser microphones for studio use, and new phono cartridges.

As the landscape evolved, Audio-Technica also embraced wireless technology throughout its product lineup, which earned them a CES Innovation Honoree Award in 2017.

There seems to be no stopping this Japanese company, with its products often featured as among the best options in the industry, whether that is microphones, turntables and cartridges, or headphones.

Why Choose Audio-Technica Headphones

There is little doubt that Audio-Technica is among the world’s leading audio brands, and with the increased interest in audio devices, they are finding themselves in an increasingly competitive market. Below, I look at some of the other major players in the headphone space to uncover how Audio-Technica compares.

Audio-Technica Vs. AKG

AKG is another international brand with an extensive selection of products, many of which are direct competitors to Audio-Technica’s offerings. But while there are similarities, the companies are also quite different.

Audio-Technica vs. AKG headphones.

AKG’s primary focus is on studio headphones. While several of their options are highly regarded, the emphasis on neutrality and accuracy does result in some “bland” sounding headphones. Great in the studio but a little underwhelming in a casual setting.

Audio-Technica has a more comprehensive consumer-focused lineup but equally has a small yet enticing selection of studio headphone options. But for maximum studio flexibility, AKG wins out thanks to its extensive lineup of open-back headphones.

Audio-Technica Vs. Sennheiser

The German audio company Sennheiser is another bastion of the audio market with an extensive and highly rated lineup of products. Both of these companies compete within the commercial audio market, but the best Sennheiser headphones tend to be more expensive than Audio-Technica options.

Audio-Technica vs. Sennheiser headphones.

When it comes to headphones, Sennheiser does have an extensive lineup of both studio and consumer headphones. Much like AKG, Sennheiser has a better selection of purely studio-focused headphones with a broad range of open-back choices.

Both companies feature high-quality materials and detailed engineering with their products. They also both offer excellent build quality. It’s hard to call a favorite in this matchup, as both have strengths and weaknesses.

Audio-Technica Vs. Beyerdynamic

Beyerdynamic is another German manufacturer of headphones and microphones, and much like Audio-Technica, it remains a family-owned business. Beyerdynamic is a highly respected brand, but it does have a narrower scope overall than Audio-Technica.

Audio-Technica vs. Beyerdynamic headphones.

Looking specifically at headphones, both companies offer solid choices, but Beyerdynamic features a more comprehensive selection of studio-focused headphones with exceptional comfort levels and impeccable sound quality.

While I like many of the Beyerdynamic lineup options, Audio-Technica offers more affordable options without sacrificing sound or build quality. From a value-for-money perspective, Audio-Technica is a better choice.

Audio-Technica Vs. Shure

The American company Shure has been around for a long time and also offers a wide selection of audio gear ranging from microphones to software offerings. While they are gaining popularity, their product selection still trails other manufacturers’ options.

Audio-Technica vs. Shure headphones.

Shure’s selection of DJ-focused headphones was short-lived, and I found them underwhelming. But their options in the studio space are much better and highlight the company’s talent.

Shure also offers competitively priced headphone options worth considering for specific applications. While they might not be up to the level of Audio-Technica, they are rapidly improving, so it is anyone’s guess where this battle might go.

Key Features

Audio-Technica has an excellent reputation in the industry, with several of its headphones rated highly by customers and industry professionals. Below, I examine what makes Audio-Technica headphones so popular.

Consistent Quality

One of the hallmarks of Audio-Technica headphones is the high attention to detail the company places on its products. Every pair of headphones displays superior materials and quality than you would expect for the price range.

The quality of the drivers is superb, and the durability of the headphone frames lives up to the demands of frequent use. I have owned and used Audio-Technica headphones for years, and they have never let me down.

Man holding a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT headphones.

Reliable headphones that can withstand the rigors of frequent use.

The quality of the ear padding is also superb. Not only is it comfortable, but it also wears exceptionally well. I’ve used a pair of ATH-M50x for a solid year daily and have not encountered any flaking or degradation.

The padding will inevitably wear, but Audio-Technica headphones have consistently stood the test of time and can outlast many other brands. This has earned them a reputation as a company you can trust to deliver outstanding products time and again.

Engaging Sound

Often, when I describe the sound profile of Audio-Technica headphones, one word continues to crop up: fun. Its headphones are expertly tuned to deliver an engaging and satisfying listening experience. The range also features a range of audio sound signatures from warm to flat and everything in between.

Many of Audio-Technica’s headphones feature a slight emphasis on lower frequencies and a minor boost in the treble to deliver a smiley-faced curve, which is ideal for casual listening and especially pleasing for bass-heavy genres.

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x sitting on a mixing console.

Audio-Technica headphones feature high sound quality for both casual and studio use.

While the focus is mainly on consumer-friendly sound, Audio-Technica’s studio-focused offerings are equally impressive and satisfying. High neutrality and a response that hugs close to the baseline with minimal dips and peaks.

If you work with studio monitors, it can be an added point of reference if you have a dependable pair of studio cans to cross reference with. In this regard, Audio-Technica reference headphones are a more than capable addition to your arsenal of audio tools.

Reasonable Pricing

The last key feature I want to highlight is the excellent balance that Audio-Technica strikes between performance and price. Some other headphone brands can exhibit exceptionally high pricing, and in some cases, these high prices don’t reflect good value.

Audio-Technica’s approach is to provide an entry point at a low price while maintaining maximum quality. They then offer a natural upgrade path toward the company’s premium offerings. And for those who want to jump straight to the flagship model, you can be confident you are getting what you paid for.

Audio-Technica ATH-M60x headphones on a wooden desk with a laptop in the background.

Audio-Technica offers many capable and reasonably priced headphone options.

At each step in the lineup, there is a delicate balance between features, accessories, and performance. The jumps are noticeable, and the increased price feels justified at every stage.

In a world of disposable technology, it’s fantastic to see a company offer affordable and reasonably priced offerings without skimping on quality. If you like getting the best bang for your buck, Audio-Technica headphones are a great choice.

Product Lines

Audio-Technica offers a broad range of headphones, but the primary offering is the ATH-M series. This series spans from the ATH-M20x to the ATH-M70x.

Each in this series is billed as a professional monitor headphone, with the ATH-M50x being the most successful. It’s also the one that often sees limited edition color variants.

Moving beyond the ATH-M50x is the company’s more studio-centric options with the on-ear ATH-M60x, the closed-back ATH-M70x, and the open-back ATH-R70x, which stands out due to its unique design and reference focus.

Audio-Technica headphones application guide.

Audio-Technica features a diverse range of headphones.

Outside this primary line, Audio-Technica also offers a noise cancelling headphone and earbud lineup, the ATH-ANC series, and a gaming headset lineup, the ATH-G series.

Audio-Technica also offers a comprehensive audiophile lineup of headphones that span a variety of products, including the premium ATH-W series and the ATH-A lineup.

It’s an extensive lineup from top to bottom, but the highlight is the ever-popular ATH-M series, which bridges the gap between budget headphones and professional headphones with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Audio Technica Headphones Good Or Bad?

Audio-Technica headphones feature excellent sound quality at a variety of affordable price points, making them a great choice for various applications.

Why Is Audio-Technica So Popular?

Audio-Technica headphones balance engaging sound, dependable construction, and high comfort levels while also coming in at a reasonable price.

Who Owns Audio-Technica?

Audio-Technica is a family-owned Japanese-based company founded by Hideo Matsushita. The current president and CEO is Kazuo Matsushita.

What Does The Audio-Technica Logo Mean?

The eye-catching Audio-Technica logo represents a vinyl phonograph record with the two triangles representing a needle and the letter A. It is often affectionately referred to as “the meatball.”

Which One Should You Buy?

With such a comprehensive lineup, I can comfortably recommend every Audio-Technica headphone on this list. Still, the one that stands out is the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.

It is easy to see why it is among the most popular cans at this price point. For DJs, it offers dependable isolation, tough construction, and bass-heavy sound that retains clarity and keeps muddy tones at bay.

These qualities also translate to casual listeners who want an engaging and lively sound profile to bring life to their favorite music. They might be a bit unbalanced for a studio setting but certainly still serviceable for some tasks like recording.

When you combine these elements with a very reasonable price tag, it easily takes the crown as the best Audio-Technica headphones available today.

Three quarter view of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

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Picture of Article by Patryk Biernacki
Article by Patryk Biernacki

Patryk has been immersed in the world of music since the early 90s. This coupled with his creative talents, drove his passion to become an expert writer in the music industry. He constantly researches and tests new products, and enjoys playing with all types of gear in his spare time. Electronic music runs through his veins and he absolutely loves DJing in his home studio.

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