Recently the beloved Audio Technica team released a new revamp of their famous M series headphones thus ushering in a new era of affordable professional quality studio headphones. The new X line of headphones features 2 with replaceable cables which is something people in the headphone community have been asking about for a while. While the M30x may not have the new cable set up, it does have a few things the M30 do NOT. Even upon first look and first impressions once you take each out of the packaging, the differences are night and day. Lets look at the key factors that we feel differentiate these two headphones, and then we will break down why they are worth owning.
While there’s host of reasons to own the ATH-30x’s which we’ll get into in a moment, lets take a look at some of the top reasons these new headphones kick their older brothers butt.
- Better Frequency Response
- Better looking overall
- More durable
- Higher quality build
- Only $10 more for the newer model
Hey ATH-M30x…You Lookin Sexy…
The M30’s are a work horse, but they are by no means pretty. They feature a design aesthetic that I can only describe as something that’s old trying to “look” newish. Take for example the edges of the outside of the can. In the case of the M30, it’s a smooth curvy design that reminds me of a Discman more so than a piece of audio equipment that belongs in the 21st century. Check out the Red arrows in the photos below. You’ll see that the new ATH-m30x feature a much more modern and sleek look to them, without any funky extras to the design that do nothing for the headphones function, like that weird thumb tab on the M30. Also take a look at the blue arrow. What’s the deal with the leather on the old ones! It looks in comparison like they are tired and all used up, even though that’s how they look BRAND NEW. As you can see the leather padding on the ATH-m30x has been greatly improved from a design and function standpoint. Also, where you once had a weird thumb-tab, they now have added the ever so important branding that most headphones now a-days have.
When it comes to fashion and “look” in studio headphones…One point I will make is this. DJ and Producers (I am one…) have the potential to be a bunch of mean girls. If you are rocking headphones that make you look like you should be carrying a walkman and wearing baggy pants, you may catch a funny stare at the DJ booth. So keep your gear up to date.
Oh ATH-M30x I Never Knew You Could Sound So Good!
With just about 2/3 the impermanence these headphones as compared to their predecessor are intended not only for use on a mixing board, but are also optimized for use with portable players. This means that while the M30’s sounds pretty damn good with your iPod or Zune player (lol who uses zune!?), the new M30x with only 47ohms of impedance sound even better. In other words, this means that they require less power to sound their best. The new ATH-m30x’s also have an improved and widened frequency response which is now 15-22,000 hz as compared to only 20-20,000 with the M30. In addition to all of the improvements when it comes to sound, and look, these headphones added a new feature which everyone loves…they fold! Perfect for DJ’s on the go the ATH-M30x fold up into a little ball, and even come with a carrying case which the M30’s did not!
What They Share
While there are some key differences in these headphones, there are also some similarities. To start with, they are BOTH solid investments, and quality pieces of studio equipment. They both feature a super long straight cable which is great for the studio so you’re not tripping over your cable.
Before I met the ATH-m30x, if you had asked me ” what headphones should I get as a musician if I don’t have much money.” to which I would ALWAYS reply…“Sony MDR v6”.
Well, Sony, I am really sorry but we are breaking up, it’s not you, it’s Audio Technica…they are more affordable and higher quality. I’m sure you’ll find new love soon Sony!
It’s true, the ATH-m30x have taken over the spot in my heart and recommendations list reserved for the best entry level studio headphone. If you are a DJ, producer, or wanna-be either of those, and you don’t have QUALITY, BALANCED headphones, then save up your milk money for the next 2.5 months and get these headphones! Yes…that’s right I did the math (kinda). If you were to put away just $1 per day for the next 70 days…you’d be in ATH country. The new ATH-M30x’s are a serious contender coming in at only $69.99. In terms of value in studio headphones, I am not sure there is a better one.