The Audio Technica ATH-M30x headphones are lacking something, the oomph that makes music sound great. Perhaps my phone just can’t drive them properly, but I do notice the same issue running through my computer and my tablet. Some listeners will praise the treble clarity but most will be bass-hungry on their default settings. I would highly recommend stepping up to the ATH-M50X or looking at another brand.
Build Quality and Appearance
The M30x headphones are quite the lookers. Their design is bold with sharp edges and sweeping lines, and the matte black is the right tone of dark. The headphones themselves are extremely well built, with just enough flex for them to fit perfectly. The cord is long and thick and permanently attached. They can be folded to a smaller profile when not in use. These headphones scream quality.
I’ve listened to these headphones across a multitude of devices and one thing keeps ringing true: these headphones deserve hi-fi audio. FLAC files sound the best, but lower bitrate files sound good too (some higher end headphones butcher them). I’ve noticed that some devices just don’t have enough power to drive these headphones to their full capacity and so the bass is lacking (this is especially true on my smartphone). On the right device their default calibration is the perfect mix of treble, bass and mid, with just enough oomph. The detail is fantastic and I find myself hearing little things I didn’t hear with some of my other headsets. They especially sound good in rock and metal, but fall completely short with electronic when the levels are tweaked a little with the equalizer.
In terms of outside sound isolation, they’re not as good as some of the higher end headphones I’ve used but they cut out enough noise that they work for monitoring levels while filming.
At first the headset was a little bit tight, but as they were broken in the comfort became apparent. I’m wearing them as I write this review and they feel great. The padding is just the right size to wrap around my ears and they stay on fine despite the heavy cable.
Overall, I think for most people their money is best spent elsewhere. Audio Technica has made a great product but the sound profile is fairly niche. If you will like them depends on what you’re doing: monitoring, if you want a headset to enjoy music or just don’t want to spend a ton of cash on a pair of decent headphones. However they’re not for everyone – for example if you’re a bass lover, these will not be your best option.