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Audio Technica ATH-M35 Review

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Audio Technica ATH-M35 Studio Monitor Headphones

 

This is my first review and I can't believe this will be the first review of the ATH-M35 on Head-Fi!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS
TYPE Closed-back dynamic
DRIVER DIAMETER 40 mm
MAGNET Neodymium
VOICE COIL Copper-clad aluminum wire
FREQUENCY RESPONSE 20-20,000 Hz
MAXIMUM INPUT POWER 1,600 mW at 1 kHz
SENSITIVITY 100 dB
IMPEDANCE 65 ohms
CABLE 3.4 m (11'), OFC litz wire, left-side exit
CONNECTOR 3.5 mm (1/8") gold-plated stereo mini-plug
ACCESSORIES INCLUDED Screw-on 6.3 mm (1/4") adapter; protective pouch

 

 

In this review, I mention the ATH-M30, ATH-M35, ATH-M50, and ATH-M50S as a comparison, so here are some important things to take note of first:

 

The ATH-M50 = ATH-M50S other than the ATH-M50 having a coiled cable and the ATH-M50S having a straight cable

The ATH-M30 = ATH-M35 other than the ATH-M35 folding.

 

This review is based on the listening I have done with the following rigs:

 

Home: Creative X-Fi HD USB

[Old] Portable: Rockboxed iPod Classic 160GB > FiiO L9 > FiiO E11

[New] Portable: Rockboxed iPod Classic 160GB > FiiO L9 > ALO The National

 

Price: $80.00

 

Sound Quality: Very well balanced. Mids and highs are crystal-clear. Quality lows when needed, but not muddy. Warmer than the ATH-M50.

 

Isolation: They leak a bit of sound. I had these headphones on in a quiet classroom one day and the person in front of me heard the trumpet from a Chet Baker song I was listening to. These aren't the best headphones to wear in noisy environments. They let a lot of sound through even though they are closed back.

 

Comfort: Extremely comfortable for long listening sessions. I've worn these for 3+ hours at a time without discomfort.

 

Cable: The ATH-M35 has a very nice cable. Thick, and it definitely feels like it was built to last! It's 11' long and only comes in straight, unlike the ATH-M50. The cable is not detachable. It terminates in a 3.5mm gold-plated connector with an excellent strain-relief and comes with a screw-on 6.35mm adapter.

 

Build Quality: They are durable and I often skip the carrying bag when I take them to school.

 

Amping: The internal sound card in my laptop can't power these headphones adequately. Whenever the song hits a bass note, the volume goes down. They work very nicely with my X-Fi HD USB, but they sound perfect when connected to ALO's "The National".

 

I like the sound of the ATH-M35 so much that I wish I could get a version with more noise isolation and I'd be prepared to spend twice or even three times as much and still be happy with my purchase. I listen to almost exclusively jazz, and when at home, I often forget that I'm wearing the headphones and reach for the volume knob on my home theatre receiver. When I mix sound for events, this is the only set of headphones I use. I've tried others, but there isn't a comparison.

 

Other notes: I also own a pair of DT1350 which seem popular to pair with ALO's "The National". As far as my listening goes, I didn't notice a difference with the DT1350s amped vs. plugged directly into my iPod Classic. I do however notice a difference when I plug the ATH-M35 into the amp vs. directly in. The ATH-M35 & The National combination is by far my favourite. The $300 DT1350 don't sound anywhere near as good as the ~$70 ATH-M35 headphones.

 

Another thing I would like to add is that I used to have a silver cable connected to this amp, but the 30-pin connector on the cable broke, so I ordered another L9 instead. I haven't noticed the slightest difference between copper and silver.


Edited by nbohaychuk - 1/10/14 at 9:38pm
post #2 of 12

There's a review or two of the ATH M30's on here, but ya, it's odd that these aren't talked about more. I really like their sound sig. They have fantastic detail for a $40 headphone. They sound pretty balanced, but the highs are a little piercing to me with certain genres/recordings. The bass quantity is perfect, but quality is a bit loose (even when amped). But again at this price point, they are excellent. I have the M30's, and like them more than many closed cans upward of five times the cost (I prefer them to the M50's, Beyer DT 770's, AKG K550's).

 

The only reasons I moved on from them were the pads and build quality. The pads aren't uncomfortable, but they are too shallow and small for long listening session (they feel more like an on-ear than circumaural). My only problem with build quality is that after about a year they became really squeaky. I have them on right now, and every time I turn my head or move my jaw the plastic gimbal (is that waht's it's called?) that attaches the headband to the earcups is loose and squeak real loud. Nothing has broken, and they have held up real well to moderate daily use, but they seem a bit flimsy. Maybe I got a bad apple squeaky pair?

 

As a beginner or budget can, these are amazing though. The M30's don't fold, and I didn't want to shell out the extra cash at the time for the M35's since I didn't need them for portable use, but those seem like a great option as well for on the go. If I get around to it I'll try the M50 pads on these and see how they sound, but these see very limited use these days due to the squeakiness and pad size. great review - how long have you had them? any squeaking?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee inthe Attic View Post

There's a review or two of the ATH M30's on here, but ya, it's odd that these aren't talked about more. I really like their sound sig. They have fantastic detail for a $40 headphone. They sound pretty balanced, but the highs are a little piercing to me with certain genres/recordings. The bass quantity is perfect, but quality is a bit loose (even when amped). But again at this price point, they are excellent. I have the M30's, and like them more than many closed cans upward of five times the cost (I prefer them to the M50's, Beyer DT 770's, AKG K550's).

 

The only reasons I moved on from them were the pads and build quality. The pads aren't uncomfortable, but they are too shallow and small for long listening session (they feel more like an on-ear than circumaural). My only problem with build quality is that after about a year they became really squeaky. I have them on right now, and every time I turn my head or move my jaw the plastic gimbal (is that waht's it's called?) that attaches the headband to the earcups is loose and squeak real loud. Nothing has broken, and they have held up real well to moderate daily use, but they seem a bit flimsy. Maybe I got a bad apple squeaky pair?

 

As a beginner or budget can, these are amazing though. The M30's don't fold, and I didn't want to shell out the extra cash at the time for the M35's since I didn't need them for portable use, but those seem like a great option as well for on the go. If I get around to it I'll try the M50 pads on these and see how they sound, but these see very limited use these days due to the squeakiness and pad size. great review - how long have you had them? any squeaking?

 

I don't find the highs piecing at all. I also actually like the pads because of how shallow they are, it makes them slightly more portable than the M50. I find that the very tip of my head often gets a bit sore from the M50s after a few hours of use, but not with the M35s, so I'd say the M35s are more comfortable for long listening sessions. I haven't had any sort of squeaking problems when moving (lol). I'm not sure if the M50 pads will fit on the M30/M35 since the M50 is just a bit bigger. I'd try it myself, but I don't want to take my pads off unless I have to because I'm paranoid about ripping them even though it would probably be fine. I've only had them for a week.


Edited by nbohaychuk - 5/2/13 at 8:46am
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

I recently bought the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 ($300) mainly for portable use with my National. The DT 1350 has great isolation, but I find myself missing the warmth of the ATH-M35 ($80). In short, Glenn Miller and Chet Baker sound better on the ATH-M35 than any of my other headphones and I highly recommend the ATH-M35 over the ATH-M50 and even the DT 1350 (to an extent, DT 1350 is more analytical and has better isolation). You don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get your favorite sound.


Edited by nbohaychuk - 5/17/13 at 9:58am
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

.


Edited by nbohaychuk - 5/2/13 at 8:47am
post #6 of 12

I have the ath M35 and my only complaint is that there is very little padding at the inside of the earcups. The outside pads are really comfortable, though. I wear them for two hours, not a problem. The sound quality is great I just need an amp.

post #7 of 12

Hi, new to the forum here. Just got my M35. This is my first mid level headphone. I'm thinking of getting a portable amp Fii0, will it significantly boost sound clarity and bass, I know it's kinda obvious but, bare with me.

 

I'm using an iPod touch 4gen by the way. I have plugged the headphone on a hifi component system vs the stock ipod only. I do notice bass boost when it's plugged to the component system. I think the boost benefits indie pop, rock, electronic or any music that's not metal.

 

That being said I I'm good with the stock ipod and M35 setup for metal music, with the ipod plugged to the hifi component you can notice the added gain/boost which benefits non metal genre. Just curious if the addition of the Fii0 would produce better sound quality or would it be as similar with the iPod and Hifi component.  

post #8 of 12
What FiiO amp are you using? I'm using my M35 with an iPod nano and a FiiO e6 amp to test it out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaxx View Post

Hi, new to the forum here. Just got my M35. This is my first mid level headphone. I'm thinking of getting a portable amp Fii0, will it significantly boost sound clarity and bass, I know it's kinda obvious but, bare with me.

I'm using an iPod touch 4gen by the way. I have plugged the headphone on a hifi component system vs the stock ipod only. I do notice bass boost when it's plugged to the component system. I think the boost benefits indie pop, rock, electronic or any music that's not metal.

That being said I I'm good with the stock ipod and M35 setup for metal music, with the ipod plugged to the hifi component you can notice the added gain/boost which benefits non metal genre. Just curious if the addition of the Fii0 would produce better sound quality or would it be as similar with the iPod and Hifi component.  
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonutDeflector View Post

What FiiO amp are you using? I'm using my M35 with an iPod nano and a FiiO e6 amp to test it out.


 

Don't have one yet. When I'm at home I sometimes use the Hifi component. But, with just the iPod touch 4 I'm pretty satisfied even with the volume cranked up to 90-95% most of the time, the M35 doesn't distort or vibrate even at 100% volume and the music is still clear. Would love to try a hands on experience and comparison but, for now it's not possible.

Would like to hear a comparison with and without the Fii0 e6 from you. Amazing how this headphones makes it more enjoyable listening to music!

BTW, just found this review from Dinglehoser, in his opinion the m30/35 would be just fine without an amp. I'm still curious  on other's opinion, please post an updated impression on how the m35's sound with and without the e6.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/119043/mini-review-audio-technica-ath-m30

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee inthe Attic View Post
 

There's a review or two of the ATH M30's on here, but ya, it's odd that these aren't talked about more. I really like their sound sig. They have fantastic detail for a $40 headphone. They sound pretty balanced, but the highs are a little piercing to me with certain genres/recordings. The bass quantity is perfect, but quality is a bit loose (even when amped). But again at this price point, they are excellent. I have the M30's, and like them more than many closed cans upward of five times the cost (I prefer them to the M50's, Beyer DT 770's, AKG K550's).

 

The only reasons I moved on from them were the pads and build quality. The pads aren't uncomfortable, but they are too shallow and small for long listening session (they feel more like an on-ear than circumaural). My only problem with build quality is that after about a year they became really squeaky. I have them on right now, and every time I turn my head or move my jaw the plastic gimbal (is that waht's it's called?) that attaches the headband to the earcups is loose and squeak real loud. Nothing has broken, and they have held up real well to moderate daily use, but they seem a bit flimsy. Maybe I got a bad apple squeaky pair?

 

As a beginner or budget can, these are amazing though. The M30's don't fold, and I didn't want to shell out the extra cash at the time for the M35's since I didn't need them for portable use, but those seem like a great option as well for on the go. If I get around to it I'll try the M50 pads on these and see how they sound, but these see very limited use these days due to the squeakiness and pad size. great review - how long have you had them? any squeaking?


My Daughter wants some HP's that have "clarity". (I love that) Anyway, I did not want to break the bank and I love my M-50's so was wondering if you think the M-30's would fill the bill?

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Can Junkie View Post
 


My Daughter wants some HP's that have "clarity". (I love that) Anyway, I did not want to break the bank and I love my M-50's so was wondering if you think the M-30's would fill the bill?

 

The M-30s should do fine for mid range HPs. If you want some portability, get the M-35s. They're the same as the M-30s but can fold for compact storage.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaxx View Post
 


 

Don't have one yet. When I'm at home I sometimes use the Hifi component. But, with just the iPod touch 4 I'm pretty satisfied even with the volume cranked up to 90-95% most of the time, the M35 doesn't distort or vibrate even at 100% volume and the music is still clear. Would love to try a hands on experience and comparison but, for now it's not possible.

Would like to hear a comparison with and without the Fii0 e6 from you. Amazing how this headphones makes it more enjoyable listening to music!

BTW, just found this review from Dinglehoser, in his opinion the m30/35 would be just fine without an amp. I'm still curious  on other's opinion, please post an updated impression on how the m35's sound with and without the e6.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/119043/mini-review-audio-technica-ath-m30

Gear Used:

iPod Nano 7th gen

Audio-Technica Ath-M35

Fiio e6 Amp

(ALAC audio files)

 

 

I did a really quick run over (5 minutes) and heard a difference in bass when I plugged in the amp but that's about it. This is only really quickly plus I don't have big experience in HPs yet (Interested in HPs only ~5 Months ago). I read a lot of headphone stuff every day and try on HPs as often as I can to try and "gain experience". I'll test it out a bit longer to see if I can tell the difference. 

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