Audio-Technica M-Series Overview – ATH-M20X

 

ATH-M20X

Introduction

The next few days I’m gonna do a quick overview of the Audio-Technica M-series headphones, which are available in 5 different models. Now, these are Audio Technica’s monitoring headphones and the most known model is the ATH-M50X. This headphone is the newer version of the ATH-M50 which has achieved legendary status amongst audio enthusiasts as one of the most recommended pair of headphones for beginning people wanting a great pair of cans that fit just about any genre, with a great price/performance ratio.

Beside the ATH-M50x, I want to express that there are in fact 4 other different models that, although missing the same cult status, cannot be simply put aside as just sidekicks. So let’s take a look at all 5 models in the M-Series!

ATH-M20X
The ATH-M20X is tuned for enhanced low-frequency performance

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X

We start off with the ATH-M20X. Profiled as an introduction into the M-series, these cans are by no means to be taken as a lesser sibling. The ATH-M20X has 40mm drivers just like the ATH-M30X and the ATH-M40X. However, they are not identical.

With an impedance of 47 Ohm, the ATH-M20X is the least efficient model, but you should still be able to drive them with most portable devices.

Check out this official presentation video of the ATH-M20X

Enhanced low-frequency

The ATH-M20X has been tuned for enhanced low-frequency performance. What this basically means is that the bass is more forwarded than on the other models. From what I’ve read the bass is nice and punchy without becoming boomy. This is great as it should provide a detailed low end without drowning the mids.

Overall, according to reviews I’ve read, the ATH-M20X should provide you with a nice and detailed sound including a punchy but not an overwhelming bass. And it’s suitable for all kinds of music genres.

Features

Like the other models, the ATH-M20X is an over-the-ear closed-back headphone which provides great passive noise isolation and also prevents sound leakage. I’ve seen tests with the earcups pressed against each other and music playing at maximum volume through an iPod. The sound leakage was very minimal!

The pleather earpads are a bit stiffer than on the ATH-M50X, but should still provide decent enough comfort. They’re big enough to go completely over your ear, so they will give a good seal. Because of the seal, heat build-up could be an issue for longer listening periods though.

For deejays, I’ve seen that you can easily keep one cup over your ear and the other behind your other ear. This is great for cueing your next track while listening to the ongoing music. They also play loud enough so you’ll actually hear the track you’re lining up.

Furthermore, the earcups can be turned a bit sideways, about 15 degrees, but not to an extent like the more expensive models. However, you can fold them out, which is practical when you want to hang them around your neck.

The ATH-M20x has a non-detachable 3m straight cable. This is okay when using them at home or in a studio, but for deejays a coiled cable would have been preferable. Also as a portable headphone this cable is not really convenient. The cable itself is – considering the price of these headphones – very sturdy.

The other models all have the ability to fold in the earcups, but not the ATH-M20X. On the other hand, the ATH-M20X is extremely light. Weighing only 190 grams, these are the lightest of the bunch.

ATH-M20X
As an entry model the ATH-M20X has a fixed 3m straight cable

 

Conclusion

A very affordable and lightweight headphone which gives you great sound with a bit more emphasis on the bass. Perfectly usable when you need to consider other members of the family thanks to minimal sound leakage. Also very usable as deejay or monitoring headphones since they are lightweight and the seal of the earcups makes them ideal in very loud environments. However, the absence of a coiled cable could be the dealbreaker for deejays.

Let me know what you think about the Audio Technica ATH-M20X and if it’s a headphone you could be interested in. Also, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

Next stop is the Audio Technica ATH-M30X!

20 thoughts on “Audio-Technica M-Series Overview – ATH-M20X”

  1. I am definitely not an audiophile but I use headphone every day not only for music but audiobooks and podcasts. Sometimes when looking online I come across some amazing headphone but once I see the price tag I continue on with my search.

    The audio-technica seems like a really great pair of headphones that I can actually afford.

    Is this a wise investment at this point or should I be looking more into bluetooth/wireless headsets? Any you would recommend?

    1. Hey Andrew, wireless or wired, it’s really a personal preference. When I’m behind my desk I always use my wired headphones. But that’s just because these are audiophile headphones and those are always wired. Now, when I’m outside I tend to switch between wired or wireless depending on which headphone I want to listen with.

      For some bluetooth recommendations, I’ve recently reviewed a few of those, so you might wanna check these out: Beats Solo 3, Sony XB650BT, B&W P5 Wireless, just to name a few.

      Hope this helps. Cheers!

  2. Ariel Baradarian

    Hi,

    As a non-expert when it comes to headphones, I have 2 questions:

    1. What does it mean that the headphones are forwarded?
    2. Are these headphones sound proof. Would I be able to hear outside noise even on a minimal volume setting on my phone?

    Other than that, this was a very interesting and cool article, and the video was cool!

    1. Forwarded means that some part of the frequency range is more pronounced. In case of the ATH-M20X the bass is more pronounced than the rest. This means you’ll hear more bass than with a neutral sounding pair of headphones. Therefor the ATH-M20X is excellent for DJ’s who need to hear the bass in order to properly beatmatch their songs.

      The ATH-M20X is not completely soundproof, but outside noises will sound muffled. When listening on normal levels the outside noises will in most cases not distract you from your music.

  3. In the past, when it came to selection a pair of headphones, I would find all the information somewhat overwhelming. I have come to a conclusion that an over the ears set of headphones provide a lot more comfort than the earbuds models.
    I use headphones both for work and at home and find the noise cancelling option a must have. Your review of Audio Technica ATH-M20X is very thorough and I am being drawn towards them especially since they are so competitively priced,

  4. Those are some nice looking headphones. Do you know if they have a noise canceling option on any of their series? I do a lot of traveling and the noise canceling option is one I always like to get makes a huge difference when flying long distances. I do like the overall look of the ATH-M20x though.
    Thanks,
    Marc

    1. Hi Marc, Audio-Technica has noise-cancelling headphones, although I don’t have any experience with them. I just looked at the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B on Amazon and it has a very affordable price.

  5. When I looked at these headphones I thought they were going to be at least $100 bucks. They look like they have some great quality to them. $69 bucks is not bad at all. I hate when you have to jiggle around the end of the plug to connect to the music…like when it starts playing out of one ear, you jiggle it around then you have to leave it just right for you to hear out of both ears. I always wondered if I had a more expensive set of headphones/earphones will it do this and if so do I have a warranty or is there a repair?

    1. Hey Brandon, seems like you have a bad cable or connection. If you still have warranty I advise you to contact the shop where you bought them.

  6. The use of imagery was great in my opinion, the layout and text blocks were also pretty good I thought, The overall design seemed flawless from the first look around and you obviously seem very smart about your niche topic. This is definitely a blog I’ll check often, thanks for sharing with us here at WA!

  7. I use headphones for my work at home, they are important device for me. I was looking for a good looking and comfort set of Headphones and these seem to fit my needs! I will let you know when I use them and I will give my feedback! Thanks for your review!

  8. I am a gaming addict and these headphones are perfect for what I am looking for. I am happy that you came across these and made a post about them. So many times I have been disappointed by headphones either with bad sound quality or short life spans. These however seem very reliable, I will be looking forward to using these!

  9. Hi Jurgen,

    I am a sucker for headphones and your website picked a chord! The ATH-M20X seems like a very affordable and decent pair. Would you recommend it for gaming?

    Also, I am looking for a sturdy cordless fitness pair for my workouts and running sessions. Would you consider making a review?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hey George,

      The ATH-M20X is indeed a very affordable headphone. They get a lot of great reviews and they are very sturdy as well. It’s certainly suitable for gaming.

      Keep an eye on the site. I’m thinking of doing some kind of review on sports headphones 🙂

      All the best,

      Jurgen

  10. Hi Jurgen, this is a great review thank you. I go through lots of headphones as I use them for both running and for monitoring. When I’m running I like headphones rather than earphones as the earphones are always falling out of my ears. Do you think these headphones would be suitable for running? I see what you mean about the uncoiled cord for djs but I prefer a longer straight cord for keyboard as i can run it down behind and under the keyboard and it does not get in the way of the keys. The coiled cord does. Do you think these headphones would be good for this?

    1. I would not recommend any of the m-series for outdoor sports, When running you’ll start to sweat and these headphones will become uncomfortable because they tend to build up heat around the ears. They are closed over the ear headphones after all. Also you need to be aware of your surroundings when outside. Since these cans have excellent qualities in blocking outside noise.

      I think they would be excellent for your keyboard use!

      All the best,

      Jurgen

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