Audio Technica ATH M30x Review: WORTH IT in 2024?

Odi Productions Apr 25, 2024
21 People Read
Audio Technica ATH M30x headphones held in hand

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

In this article, I'm going to share my HONEST Audio Technica ATH M30x review for those who are wondering whether they are still WORTH IT in 2024.

For this review, I have put hundreds of hours into testing my own personal pair of these headphones throughout the years, so I'm very familiar with how they sound and operate on a daily basis. I'll go over comfort, battery life, noise cancelling performance, sound quality, and overall value.

I'll be sharing my critical opinion with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, audio engineer, and tech journalist.

I've also reviewed the "big brother" Audio Technica ATH M40xATH M50x, and ATH M70x as well, if you're interested.

If you're cross-shopping the different models, you should also check out my M40x vs M50x comparison as well.

Let's dive right in!



Watch Full Video Review on YouTube,

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Should you buy the Audio Technica ATH M30x?

Buy if

  • You want a relatively affordable studio headphone for under $70

DON'T Buy if

  • You are willing to pay an extra $30 for the M40x which is better

  • You want a "fun" headphone for casually listening to music (M50x is a better choice)

  • You want a wireless headphone


Audio Technica ATH M30x Pros and Cons

Audio Technica ATH M30x on headphone stand

Pros

  • Less than $70

  • Good for studio use

  • Decent sound quality

Cons

  • Not as good as M40x

  • Wired only

  • Not good for travel


Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Price

At the time of this writing, the ATH M30x is available on Amazon below for as low as $69 brand new. They are also available Renewed, which can save you up to $8 or so.

Order here for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE (Do NOT pay retail): 

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Audio Technica ATH M30x Comfort: 2.5 / 5

The ATH M30x is really about average or just under average in comfort.

The earpads are not as premium as either its big brother the M40x or M50x, and even those earpads are recommended to be replaced by aftermarket pads for better comfort.

Clamping force continues to be an issue for the headphones in the "ATH-M" line from Audio-Technica, being that the clamp is simply too strong from the factory.

One plus side to being cheaper and made with much more plastic is that these only weigh 220 grams, which is very light.

Lastly, closed-back headphone such as these tend to get warm fairly easy, in less than 1 hour or so.


Features / Build Quality / Drivability: 2.0 / 5

Features

The M30x is pretty sparse on the features, being that it is mostly designed as a simple, closed-back studio headphone.

It is wired only, with the cable NOT being detachable.

This is a huge drawback compared to the M40x and M50x, as detachable cables allow you to swap it out depending on what length you need, or if the cable breaks in the future.

Build Quality

The build quality is not horrible, but it's much less premium than either the M40x, and especially the M50x which features a lot more metal components.

This headphone is mostly plastic and feels rather cheap in hand. That said, these should survive in a controlled studio environment as long as they don't get tossed around too much.

Drivability

The M30x is fairly easy to drive using a modern smartphone or computer. A dedicated headphone amp should not be necessary, but should up the listening volume with ease.


Does the Audio Technica ATH M30x have good sound quality?

The Audio Technica ATH M30x has fairly decent sound quality for the price, but it is definitely overshadow by the M40x and M50x.

The M40x is more neutral across the frequency spectrum, with the M30x sounding "bright" which translates to the treble being piercing at times.

It simply doesn't have the technicalities or cohesiveness of the M40x or M50x sound.

For studio work like mixing and mastering, I'd much prefer the M40x over both the M30x and even the M50x.

The positives to the M30x are that it has respectable bass response and the mids are not as muddy as the M50x.

Audio Technica ATH M30x Wireless Sound Quality: 6.9 / 10


Is the Audio Technica ATH M30x worth it?

I'd say for under $70, it's hard to find a ton of competition for closed-back studio headphones like the M30x.

So because of that, I think the M30x is a respectable value for the money.

That being said, the M40x is only $30 more and is a much more appealing overall package for the money, in my opinion.

That extra $30 to upgrade to the M40x will net you better sound quality with a more balanced frequency response, better build quality, comfort, and a detachable cable.

If you're not looking for a headphone specifically for studio use, then the M50x is even better than both the M40x or M30x for that.

If you are looking at this price range, one of my favorite picks under $50 would be the Samson SR850 semi-open back headphones.

Value: 3.0 / 5


Scoring Breakdown

Comfort: 2.5 / 5

Features / Build Quality / Drivability: 2.0 / 5

Sound Quality: 6.9 / 10

Value: 3.0 / 5

Total: 14.4 / 25

Our Rating: 5.8 / 10


Order here for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE (Do NOT pay retail): 

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Audio Technica ATH M30x good for mixing?

Although the ATH M30x is not bad for mixing, the M40x would do a much better job due to its more neutral frequency response and overall more balanced sound.

Do you need an amp for M30x?

No, the ATH M30x does not need a dedicated headphone amp and can be driven to listenable volumes directly from a smartphone or computer.

What is the difference between Audio Technica ATH M40x and M30x?

The M40x is about $30 more expensive but has better build quality, sound quality, and a detachable cable. I prefer the M40x over the M30x if you can afford it.

Does the ATH M30x have a microphone?

No, the M30x does not have a built-in microphone.


How We Tested and Our Methodology

RecordingNOW.com is a 100% independent publisher with over 10 years of experience testing and reviewing consumer electronics and headphones.

We currently purchase the products we test with our own money, and are not paid by any company or manufacturer to influence our opinions or decisions.

After purchasing the product, we conduct up to hundreds of hours of detailed hands-on testing in a controlled, acoustically-treated environment.

ODi Productions is our resident expert and author of this article, with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, tech journalist, and audiophile.


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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.