Audio Technica ATH M40x vs. M50x | VERY DIFFERENT!

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Before we dive right into the Audio Technica ATH M40x vs. M50x, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

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What I will bring you in this review

Today I’m going to simply outline the Similarities & Differences between these two headphones, and then give various links for your in-depth informational pleasure!!

  1. Introduction
  2. Similarities & Differences
  3. My M50 Review!
  4. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!


I’ve had the closed back M50’s since January 2013, and I must say they are the most durable and time tested cans that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. Closed back vs. Open back headphones. Of course there are probably better models out there, with a flatter sound signature, less awkward frequency response curve, etc. etc. But who cares? To my ears and thousands of others, they sound fantastic, all flaws aside.

That said, the 40x’s are a pretty similar sounding set of cans, but with some subtle differences that you should be made aware of.

Similarities & Differences


  • Both the M40x and M50x’s ear-cups rotate 90 degrees. The original M50’s rotated 180 degrees.
  • Both are closed back, circumaural.
  • Both have detachable cable features.


  • The M40x has a different design. It’s a bit more minimalist.
  • It’s a little smaller in size than the M50x.
  • The M40x is much lighter than the 50x, and they feel even lighter on your dome piece.
  • The 40x’s have softer cushions, making them more comfortable.
  • The bass on the 40x is tighter and more integrated into the sound, whereas with the 50x it’s a bit more in your face/hard hitting. The 40x still retains it’s V shape but is overall less aggressive than the 50x.
  • The M40x’s have a little less bass, a flatter response, and a bit of a tighter Soundstage. What is Soundstage? The M40x is a more accurate can overall.
  • The M50x’s come with 3 cables: 1 coiled, and 2 straight of differing lengths (1.2m & 3m) The M40x’s only come with 2: 1 coiled, 1 straight. They are both also extremely long, which many people complained about in my comparison review below (40x vs. 280).
  • The M50’s possess a much better build quality. You can see from the picture that the mechanism near the ear-cups is different. The 40x’s have been known to snap around that point. The 50x’s stand the test of time and then some.
  • Price. The 50x’s are more expensive.
  • The M50x has a bit of a higher impedance, meaning it requires more power to produce higher volumes, but it’s not enough to notice a difference to the casual listener. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • The M50x’s are heavier, coming in at 285g as opposed to 240 for the 40x.
  • The 50x’s have clear and classy indicators of Right ear vs. left ear. They stand out considerably. The 40x’s R & L indicators sit on the inside of the headband, and aren’t as noticeable.
  • The M40x’s only come in black, while the 50x’s come in different colors (Subject to change).

My Video Reviews!

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M50 Review!

M40x Review!

Final Word

After owning both for a significant amount of time, I believe the 40x to be a more realistic representation of the music. It’s still got a lot of bass impact, but it’s more realistic sounding than the 50x.

The 50x is definitely a bass-heads can, and possesses the typical V-shaped response: Lots of bass, a recessed mid-range, and a sparkling treble. I’ve had the M50 since Jan. of 2013, and I know what the 50x sounds like. It’s not much different. Early on, I would almost always recommend the M50 without hesitation. Nowadays, I think there are better options although I still like the headphone by and large.

If you’re looking for a more honest sound signature, the M40x is phenomenal, and does come across as more balanced and true to life. I consider it a great all around solution that will handle most any type of music you throw at it. Interested in learning more?


If you’re looking for a bass heads headphone, look no further than the V-Moda Crossfade M100. It’s bass is very tight, authoritative, and punchy without becoming overbearing, muddy, or bloated. It’s also got a ridiculously detailed sound signature for a closed back, with some nice instrument separation and clarity. Add to that it’s durability and comfort, and you’ve got a clear winner. Interested in learning more?


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Audio Technica ATHM40x vs. M50x.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Let me know what you think about the links provided! I would love to hear from you.

Until next time..

All the best and God bless,





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