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!
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
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.
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.
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!