Audio Technica ATH-M40x: The Little Brother that Could
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paramoir

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The sound is very slightly impacted, but for the better imo. A little more low end and because of more room, better sound stage. Honestly, the HM5 pads should be a required purchase after buying the M40x, especially if you are having comfort issues. For me it made the M40x go from pretty good to outstanding. 
 
I know this is an old post but do you put the foam from the stock earpads to the hm5 pads or not? and what sounds better for you?
 
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Black Sugar

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Hi headfier, i'm looking for headphone to replace my ATH TAD300 (Sold), So, i decide ATH M40x as my candidate to replace it, i'm just corious are these cans have good PRaT to handle some fast-paced music like power, death metal? Although my playlist tend to be more all rounder type. Thanks before.
 
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Malestro

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That depends on whether you want to hear songs close to the original sound as they were recorded in the studio or you want the sound with more bass.
 
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Black Sugar

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I love soundsig that sounds neutral with little bit of fun (low freq emphasis). I think i must add some canididate
 
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calnyc

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I got these yesterday for mixing after years on the MDR V6. I could not stand the high end push on the V6 and wanted something a bit more balanced. These do the trick. Nice tight low end and good overall balance. A little sizzle on the high end that I can live without but nowhere as bad as the V6 or 7506. My only real complaint is that they are not very comfortable, especially the clamping force. I know new pads will help but I'd rather see if I can break them in before getting new pads day one. I'll let Kylo wear them today while I'm at work to see if they stretch out a bit while I break the drivers in. 
 
http://i.imgur.com/0v4s1hM.jpg
 
At the price, they're a great alternative to the MDR V6 or MDR 7506.
 
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Arvan

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Got the M40X couple of days ago. Could not let them sit there without me buying them with employee discount :) 
 
Did not like the M50 at all. M40x seemed promising on the reviews with a flatter sound and not as hot up top as the M50X. Directly compared the M40X to my friends M50X today at work and boy, the M40 sounds much better and i instantly remembered why i hated the original M50 when putting on the X on my head. It´s so forward and the music is screamed at your ears. Bass is woolly, lack of midrange and the highs are way to hot and siblant. Since the m40X is half the prince over the m50x and sounds way better, it´s a bargain! However i still like the K240 mk2 better since it has soundstage and air, but damn. M40X is a closed back winner in my book! Versatile, easy to drive, isolates good..The clamp is a bit to much though. And even if the pads are much improved over the original M50 they still kinda sucks. HM5 pads do the trick here, specially the old version since it is much softer.


 

 
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TonePusher

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I had an M40X but returned it after a few weeks due to being uncomfortable but they sounded great.  Adorama has them for $65 shipped from time to time.  It's a steal at that price.
 
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Jacobh

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I really love the way the m40x sound for a closed/portable headphone. They sound much better than the m50x to me. The m50x bass is too much is a little too sparkly in the treble for me. The only complaint I have in terms of sound is the non-existent soundstage.

Unfortunately, I can't wear these for more than 30 minutes without getting a major headache. The clamping pressure is too much (and I have a narrow head), and the way the pads seal around my ears creates an uncomfortable sensation. I'll probably be putting mine up for sale soon.
 
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Alarick

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Nice review, really good cans that I could live with.
 
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Mad Max

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I really love the way the m40x sound for a closed/portable headphone. They sound much better than the m50x to me. The m50x bass is too much is a little too sparkly in the treble for me. The only complaint I have in terms of sound is the non-existent soundstage.

Unfortunately, I can't wear these for more than 30 minutes without getting a major headache. The clamping pressure is too much (and I have a narrow head), and the way the pads seal around my ears creates an uncomfortable sensation. I'll probably be putting mine up for sale soon.
 
If you don't mind trying a slight modification, do this: bend the headband outward a lot, starting with just a little at a time, gradually until it becomes as loose as is comfortable for you.  You bend it out, then return to it to normal, bend again, and so forth, gradually bending it outward more and more until it starts to loosen.  M40 and 50 both use a headband with a steel backbone, making this mod possible without breaking the thing. Grado and Beyerdynamic users do the same thing.
 
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calnyc

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I replaced the stock pads with Brainwavz Replacement Memory Foam Earpads. +100 for comfort, -100 for bass response. The most comfortable pads since the Sony MDR1A but putting them on the M40x completely nerfs the bass response to the point I'd rather live with the discomfort. There's $23 I'll never see again :frowning2:
 
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Jacobh

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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a try but the clamp alone is not the only thing contributing to discomfort.  The way the pads seal and create a sense of pressure on my ear is also bothersome, and likely more an issue with my ears than the headphone.  I have had similar problems with other closed headphones, but not all of them.  
 
I may try the brainwaves hybrid pads since I have other headphones they would fit on as well, but I think the m40x (and it's relatives) may just not be a great fit for me.  
 
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mtl171

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  Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a try but the clamp alone is not the only thing contributing to discomfort.  The way the pads seal and create a sense of pressure on my ear is also bothersome, and likely more an issue with my ears than the headphone.  I have had similar problems with other closed headphones, but not all of them.  
 
I may try the brainwaves hybrid pads since I have other headphones they would fit on as well, but I think the m40x (and it's relatives) may just not be a great fit for me.  
How do the HM5 hybrids sound? Debating between getting those or the regular pleathers.
 
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Jacobh

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They didn't address my comfort issues, so I didn't spend much time with them evaluating the sound. My initial impression was very little difference in the sound, perhaps a very tiny bit lighter in the bass.

I think my comfort problem was more around the pressure created by a closed seal on my ear instead of clamping pressure. The brainwavz pads are definitely nicer in terms of clamping pressure.

I'm guessing the full pleather sound similar and it's more what you find comfortable against your skin.
 
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conqr

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  No drilling, the ports are under the baffle where the pad flaps insert into.  Just cut a little piece of the plastic rim.  Look at photos of a disassembled M50(x) to get the idea.
You need M50(x) drivers for M50 bass.
 
Edit: I forgot to take a photo to demonstrate as I think it is a worthwhile mod.  I no longer have M40x at the time of this update.
Here's someone else's M50 photo.  I circled M50's bass port.  I created the same in M40x, but a 4mm-long port in the exact same manner.  No drilling, just a utility knife or Xacto knife will do.  If a person wants to reverse the modification, Gorilla superglue will glue the piece of plastic back in effectively, just take care not to obstruct the cups' ability to seal when being reassembled. Extremely easy.
 
 
So that happened 
  This may just have effectively ruined these cans as far as neutrality. Now that the drivers are venting the sub bass has noticeably opened up. I'm feeling vibrations and low bass notes hit harder/louder at any volume, much like the DT990 Pros that spoiled me. Happily the rest of the spectrum remains unchanged.
 
Nice mod if you want more low end oomph from your M40X 

 
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