Audio Technica M40X vs M50X [2021 Review]

If you have ever looked for a decent pair of headphones, you have undoubtedly been frustrated. There are a lot of headphones between these two pricing tiers. Some are almost identical, while others are in a different league altogether.

However, two of the most popular – the Audio Technica M40x and M50x have some misleading similarities as well as divisive variances. Which is the superior option?

If you are interested in these models, keep reading our Audio Technica M40X vs M50X review for more information below. In this guide, we will be comparing these two headphones to find out which of the two is going to be a better option for your own needs.

Audio Technica M40X

Features: The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones are excellent headphones with studio-quality sound. They are durable and comfy, but they do not have any audio control choices. They also only provide passive isolation, which may not be adequate to shield some listeners from the noise of their commutes.

For neutral listening, the Audio-Technica M40X delivers a consistent bass, mid, and treble sound. Because of their closed-back construction, they do not offer a large soundstage, but their well-balanced sound will please most listeners.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 series is widely considered as one of the finest values in headphones, providing pro-level monitoring for a fraction of the price of a set of far more consumer-oriented headphones.

Even yet, some people think the price is a touch high, and Audio-Technica is keen on delighting its consumers, so they also have cheaper choices. The ATH-M40x is available for $99 USD, and many users claim that it sounds virtually as excellent as its more costly siblings.

Audio Technica M50X

Features: The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are closed-back headphones with excellent sound quality for critical listening. They reproduce the bass, mid, and treble ranges really well, and they seem strong and durable enough to last a long time.

However, their studio design only provides passive noise isolation and no audio adjustments, making it unsuitable for noisy situations or commuting. The studio design of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is identical to that of the ATH-M40x. They appear to be a tad boring, but the all-black industrial style may appeal to certain people.

With silver accents surrounding the logo, the flat oval ear cups lend a bit more flair to the overall appearance of the headset. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are built to last and deliver a clear, balanced sound with tight bass.

They are also quite comfy, having somewhat more cushioned ear cups and a retractable cable. Putting aside minor quibbles, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a slightly enhanced version of the already excellent model on which they are based, and among the best-sounding pairs available for around $200.

Audio Technica M40X vs M50X Sound Quality

In terms of sound, the M40x is a touch more relaxed, with a more balanced tone that is not bad for a headset at this budget. Mids and highs appear to receive the same level of attention as bass, which is refreshing, to say the least.

The M50x, on the other hand, has a somewhat more solid bottom end, giving the sense that it could be a tad bassy. It is debatable if this is too bassy for most critical listening circumstances, but our money is on “No.” However, more demanding ears may choose the M40x, which is less expensive.

It is worth noting that the bass in the M50x is not over-emphasized, but it does have a touch more “oomph,” thanks to the slightly bigger driver, no doubt.

In the end, which headphone is superior? We like to suggest the M50x for everyday musical applications since the sound is outstanding at $169. It is precise and dynamic at the same time, yet it will not break the bank like some other headphones.

The M40x, on the other hand, may be more appealing to people who like a cleaner, more precise sound, but we still recommend doing a side-by-side comparison to let your ears decide.

Audio Technica M40X vs M50X Design

Because the M40x and M50x are part of the same series, their design, appearance, and feel are identical in many respects. Audio Technica has not done anything with these models; all it has done is gathered input from M40x consumers and corrected it in the M50x. A lot has stayed the same otherwise.

There has not been much design input from M40x consumers, which may be ascribed to the fact that the design and build quality are excellent. There is not much to alter with these headphones, which is why the M50x has the same build and design as the M50.

In fact, when you put both headphones side by side, it is difficult to tell one from the other since they are so identical. However, this does not imply that they are identical.

Audio Technica M40X vs M50X Build Quality

In terms of build quality and design, any of these headphones will please. The overall strong feel cannot be ignored, with heavy-duty plastic, an aluminum headband, and metal extenders.

The M50x has a short straight cable, a long straight cable, and a long-coiled cable, while the M40x has the final two but not the first.

The cups and headband are made of soft leather, which provides good comfort and noise isolation. Both the earcups and the cable are interchangeable on either model. The cups of the M40x swivel 90 degrees. The cups of the M50x swivel 180 degrees.

They are nearly identical when compared side by side, however, the M50x may exude a little more refined or sturdy vibe. There are some beautiful left- and right indicators just below the extenders on the left and right ear cups that have the look of polished steel.

The sides of the cups change as well, with a silver ring surrounding an etched Audio Technica logo on the M50x. The M40x, on the other hand, has a tiny silver ring that is really part of the Audio Technica branding.

In terms of comfort, these headphones are more similar than distinct. Both feel snug on the head right out of the box, but most users find that they “break-in.”

Audio Technica M40X vs M50X Differences

In terms of differences, the M40X ear cups swivel 90 degrees, whilst the M50x ear cups swivel 180 degrees. This effectively implies that the M50x’s ear cups are more flexible and may provide a more comfortable fit regardless of ear shape or size.

Furthermore, they will not squeeze your ears too firmly while yet providing a pleasant fit. Another distinction between the two is their appearance. When you compare the two headphones, you will note that the M50x is a little more elegant than the M40x.

Burnished steel pieces can be seen just below the extenders on both the left and right sides, adding a little more toughness to M50x.

Another change you will notice is on the outer rings of the ear cups on M50x, which will have a silver lining and will be larger than the one on M40x. You will be able to tell the difference on closer inspection, even if it is a bit difficult to notice.

Winner of Audio Technica M40X vs M50X: M50X

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x and the Audio Technica M40x are extremely comparable, however, the ATH-M50x has a little advantage. They are a little more solid and well-made than the M40x, and their audio reproduction is a little more accurate and balanced.

Also, because the M40x has significant distortion, it may sound dirty at high levels, but the M50x would sound cleaner. Both headphones provide excellent sound and are excellent choices for critical listening.

But the M50x provides amazing value for money on the market owing to its excellent price-to-performance ratio.

Conclusion: Audio Technica M40X vs M50X [2021 Review]

It is now up to you to decide which of the two headphones is the better option. We can conclude that there is not much of a difference between Audio Technica’s M40x and M50x after comparing them across various parameters.

They are similar in many respects and only differ in a few ways. The differences are not significant enough to justify an upgrade. The price difference and minor changes in the ATH-M50x make this a difficult decision.

If you are on a budget, the M40x is the ideal option because it gives you the most bang for your buck. If you are willing to spend a little more and want to learn more about a newer model, the Audio Technica M50x is the way to go. We hope you liked our Audio Technica M40X vs M50X review and it was helpful.