Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs Reviews3.7/5.0 based on 37 customer reviews
When people ask me why I use ATHM40's, the answer is simple - and selfish. They sound as good as any other pair of similarly-priced headphones, but they are at least twice as comfortable to wear. That can become a very big deal when you are wearing them for any extended period of time.
from fremont, Ohio
May 1, 2013Music Background:
I love them!It's rare for me to get my expectation's met and exceeded, but these Headphones doe's the trick. I originally wanted the M50s model but when I heard these in action I'm confident they'll be fine in my project studio.
from Lawrenceville, GA
August 17, 2012Music Background:
Musician, Music Teacher, Band Director
I am very happy with themI am an instrumentalist and a music teacher. I want to hear a pure instrument sound that is not distorted. I want it to sound like I am sitting in the same room with the live band. These cans do that! I am blown away! They are very comfortable even with glasses. My only concern is the reports that the ear & head pads deteriorate rapidly. I did some research and that is a common complaint with other earphone manufacturers as well. I read that sweat is the main enemy of pleather. I also read that if you wipe the earphones down with a soft cloth sprayed with Windex it will add to the life of the pads.
from New Baltimore, MI
April 25, 2012Music Background:
Audio-tech ATH-M40fsExcellent headphones....I listen to music, practice my guitar and play games. Their comfortable, soft and sound great!!
March 3, 2012Music Background:
ATH-Mro fsExcellent head phones...
from Paris area, France
September 12, 2011Music Background:
Classical violinist with good acoustical background
ATH-M40fs vs Sony MDR-7506I use both sets for equalising different makes of LP for transfer to CD.
For a 60-year-old with some high frequency loss, the Sony accentuates sibilance, surface noise, and tape hiss - it has a peak (and remanence?) around 4kHz and another around 10kHz - good for cleaning-up operations!
The Audio-Technica has sweeter but more extended highs, a rounder but not invasive bass, and a definite bump baroud 1kHz - good for voices and mid-range instruments but a wee bit tiring.
I noticed that if I separate the speaker (with that annoying hidden ridge) from my ear a little, the 1kHz hump is reduced : I shall try adding a ring of foam to the ear-pad.
As regards isolation, the m40 hugs my (fairly small) ears less well than the 7506, thanks to that ridge...
I am very pleased with both sets, but if I had to choose one , it would be the m40 : the discrete but extended highs can be reinforced with the equaliser for chasing fizzy distortion. Also, it folds flatter.( And it was much cheaper! )
On both sets, I have replaced the cumbersome left-only cable with a Y-shaped shorter one and a 1/8th inch jack. Sorry !
from San Diego, CA USA
May 6, 2009Music Background:
Better than the rest...Ok, so I've owned the one pair of audio technica M40fs for almost (yes, get ready for this) 10 YEARS. I emailed my Sweetwater rep today to find out about replacing the ear pads. After 10 years of consistent abuse and use the outer cover on the ear pads and headband is disintegrating leaving little flakes all over me. But come on people!! 10 YEARS!!
Anyway, they sound like the day I bought them. I can't say many pieces of equipment I own have lasted that long, much less something electronic...
These headphones are just of outstanding quality and let me state for the record, they are durable. I've used them in my studio for as long as I've had them, and I haven't been the only user either. My sister has used them regularly for years and loves them as well. That 90 bucks I spent back in 2000 was well worth these last 10 years. I LOVE these headphones. Will own them till they are defunct. Will buy again when dead.
from Harriman, TN
April 4, 2008Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer,
Think: pancake.Wow. These phones are spectacular. I've had them for almost 2 years, so I'm not just gushing about them. I've mixed on them a lot, and everything I've done has translated well. I've even had some engineers ask me what kind of monitors I was using to mix! Also, get ready to fall in love with your favorite music all over again if you plan to use them for recreational playback!
My ONLY complaint is a small one - the 1/4" plug mentioned by others, which doesn't have a small 1/8" adaptor. However, the only time I use really 1/8" connections is with my laptop on the go.
Stephen L. Noe
November 20, 2006Music Background:
mix for TV.
Excellent ReferenceThese AT M40fs headphones are really the best you can get for the price range (and really a couple of price ranges up). They reveal everything about your mix as well as your noise floor and are comfortable to boot. I've had them for about a year and replaced a set of AKG's and Sony's. There is no doubt that these headphones are worth every penny.
I'd rather not say
from New Orleans
November 11, 2006Music Background:
As good as my GradosThese are fantastic zero reference cans. I've been a professional musician for 35 years and studio production is a big part of what I do. These compare favorably with my thousand dollar Grado cans...sad but true. Mix results I would compare to mixing with Auratone near-field monitors. If you struggle to get quality bottom end in your mixes these will help. Well made, field replaceable cord and pads, comfortable for reasonable durations..4-5 hours. Incredible price for this level of audio quality.
September 18, 2012Music Background:
Great 'PhonesOutstanding performance all the way around. Super comfortable for long mixing sessions. Very true bass response and this is my second pair as occasionally I need to split for two people to monitor. Great value especially at this price. However... I didn't give these a "5" rating for one reason: the very cheap material that AT uses to cover the ear pads. As others have reported before me this material begins to flake off soon; in the case of my first pair after seven or eight months of moderate use. One has to go to AT for replacement pad covers (not carried by Sweetwater) and they were inexpensive, under four dollars for the pair. But they arrived loose in a box with no instructions on how to best change them out. If you decide to buy these headphones, and I highly recommend them, immediately contact AT for replacement pad covers and get a couple of pairs. In spite of these hassles I would buy this product again.
from Temple Tx
January 11, 2012Music Background:
FantasticThe product is great. The Sweetwater sales people, like David, are friendly and easy to work with.
July 31, 2011Music Background:
Awesome headphonesThese headphones sound awesome for anything under $100.00. They sound very good directly connected to my MP3 Player and awesome through my headphone amp. For the price, you will not find anything that sounds this good. I can't understand the negative reviews, either your source the headphones are connected to sucks or you are trying to compare these to headphones costing way more $$$. I have had Grado's, Sennheiser's, Sony's, and many more and for the price, these kick butt.
from Near Branson, MO
July 6, 2011Music Background:
great monitoring headphonesFor the money these are the best headphones for monitoring in the studio envoronment. Drummers seem to prefer m50's but everyone else comes back to the m40's.
from Kilauea,Kauai,Pacific Paradise,HI USA
October 2, 2010Music Background:
STOKED!!Bloody excellent value!!!Have had multiple headphones over the past 12 years of being a DJ,love the 11' lead,softness of ear pads,quality of the sound.STOKED!!
from San Francisco
April 15, 2007Music Background:
Problems others forgotWARNING!!! I agree with just about everyone else that these are great for the price range. BUT!! They are NOT as flat as others have said. There is definitely a little bass to them. ALSO!! They are not the most sound proof, meaning if you are recording vocals or an something in front of a mic they will bleed a little. Otherwise they are great. I have had them for about a month and have used them up to 14 hours straight with no discomfort. And I haven't had any of the issues with the liner and padding falling apart, yet.
from Lodi, NJ
July 25, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer and Professional Musician
Great headphones but not durableThese headphones are truly great. I have gone through 3 pairs in the last 10 years. They work well for mixing and monitoring when you can't use monitor wedges, or studio speakers. Very comfortable. The only bad part is the material used to wrap the headband and the earcups. Over time, they start to shed. Other than that, these headphones are great.
from New York
August 7, 2009Music Background:
15 years experience home recording, visiting studios, and helping bands get their sound together!
Great sounding, BUT NOT FLAT!These are very nice headphones, but you can't mix on them like you can, say Yamaha RH5MAs. These cover up the lower midrange (most important range for monitoring) details with their pronounced sub-bass(you can only feel it on your skull, your ears don't hear it) and their huge upper-mid bump (that isn't shown on the spec, but you can hear it. If you are using these for monitoring and mixing, I highly suggest the Yamaha RH5MA...they have a much better impulse response and a flatter curve. That said, the ATH-m40fs are great for picking out high frequency problems before they become a problem. I use Beyerdynamic DT770 to get my bass zeroed in, the Yamaha RH5MA to check mix balance and for isolating extraneous noises, and the ATH-m40fs for clearing up any high-end crunch/tinniness. Can you tell I love closed back 'phones?
from Wilmington, NC, USA
January 17, 2008Music Background:
Best by a long shotThe ATH-M40fs are the best headphones I have. They sound great with nice flat low end responce. Before these I used a more expensive design but with smaller ear pads. I hated them. The M40's are much more comfortable to wear.
from Parkesburg, PA
January 2, 2007Music Background:
Amateur Recording Engineer
High Quality PhonesI have been looking for a decent set of phones for monitoring during recording and mixing. These fill the bill! The sound quality is excellent, and you can clearly hear every part of your mix. For the price, excellent. I don't have a ton of experience with more expensive sets of headphones, but i have been training my ears for a few years now, and i like what i hear.
from Rhode Island USA
June 12, 2006Music Background:
Im addicted to theseIm sure there are better headphones out there, but not for the price. The ATH-M40fs have been my mixing reference phones for about 4 or 5 years now.
Im actually going to buy another pair. Ive gotten so used to them with their relatively flat frequency response. My only issue is that the plether material around the padding does deteriorate over time, leaving little black flecks chipping off.
from Jacksonville, FL
September 28, 2008Music Background:
Not THAT flat..but good for quick monitoringthese headphones are great for quick monitoring, and for referencd monitoring to hear small details when you can't in your monitors. However, I would not recomend these to anyone who is looking for headphones to mix with... there is definately a problem in the low end and they are a bit bassy. The mid range is a little muddy as well in my opinion. Overall good headphones though.
March 19, 2012Music Background:
Decent phonnes, good priceFor the price, these are hard to beat. Good for perfromers while recording.
July 18, 2009Music Background:
Ear pads falling apartGreat headphones, but after using them and not abusing them for a year, the ear pads are falling apart. Very disappointed for such an investment. Cost me $150 Canadian.
from Covina, CA
July 31, 2012Music Background:
Terribly UncomfortableI don't have any problem with how these headphones sound really. It's just that they are terribly uncomfortable. I can't wear them for 20 minutes before they start hurting my ears because the cups push down on my ears, and I don't have big ears, honest. The second thing that sucks is that the plastic from the cups and the headband starts to peel off after awhile, before you know it you have all these little black pieces of plastic all over your shirt.
from Memphis, TN
January 5, 2012Music Background:
Studio engineer, producer, composer
Boxy soundingI'm impressed with the solid construction of these phones. Seem built to last. But they are definitely heavy in the mid-range frequencies, resulting in what I would call a "boxy" sound. Not smooth through all frequencies as I would have expected from Audio-Technica, having used their microphones to great effect in the studio for many years.
from Atlanta, GA
January 2, 2012Music Background:
Sound great, but--For the money they sound great. However, my last pair after several years of use began to shred, into little pieces, the soft covering that goes over the foam pads. You can get replacement pads if you don't mind coughing up some extra cash.
I ordered the same headset because I wanted to match the pair I already had so I could hear what the singer/musician was hearing in their headset. I actually just tore off the covering over the foam in the old headset. They felt fine to wear with just the bare foam and still sound great.
January 6, 2010Music Background:
Audio-Technica ATH-M40fsPros: Reasonably priced. Good for listening.
Cons: Not good for mixing. Coating on foam pads began coming off immediately upon the first use. Had to peel the rest of it off from sticking to my ears.
Overall: Bought them because of price(I got mine new for under $50). Will not buy this particular one again.
from Boston, MA
April 24, 2008Music Background:
audio engineer, pro musician.
Will wear outFour years and all four pairs's protective film is flaking off. Good sound, comfortable. The textile padding is covered in a thin film that from wear and tear (perhaps sweat) has deteriorated. Its now peeling off like paint on my clients heads. I've tried to remove most of it, but it doesn't want to come off with help. I won't buy any more of this design. Don't put them in a road case with other things, the top part can buckle permanently.
February 15, 2008Music Background:
Recording and Live Sound Engineer
Very disappointingI am afraid I was very disappointed with this headphones. Being the most expensive A-T headphones in store and for its price, I was hopping to get a sound quality near the SONY MDR-7506. But I did not.
- Sound is dull.
- Bass has no impact.
- The 1/4 connector does not convert into a 1/8 as other models.
- Incredible comfortable.
- Very long cable.
- Good insulation from outside sounds.
I would recommend anyone to expend $20usd more, and get something better like the MDR-7506. So far, the best I have used.
August 5, 2012Music Background:
Vacuum tube amplifier design, electrical engineer, organist, home guitar player.
Only Second RateA few years after buying these, I auditioned the Grado SR-60 and was blown away. Audio Technica phono cartridges have served me well over the years, but these aren't in the same class.
from Buffalo, NY
March 31, 2010Music Background:
Song writer/SFX designer/VO artist
Why would one want enhanced bass responseI mean I could understand if you're a live DJ.....but trying to do legitimate mixes with an inaccurate frequency response (especially in the low end) seems counter-intuitive. I will say I love Audio-technicas flatter response headphones.
from Seattle, WA
October 21, 2008Music Background:
Recoding Engineer, Student
Not Bad, But not really worth it.I've been using these headphones for about a year now, and they're ok. Overall sound is alright, kind of muddy. Bass is decent, but not outstanding. I haven't found them to be really comfortable though. My ears get tired of them very fast. They are decent headphones, but if I were you, I'd just drop the extra $30 bucks and get either Sony MDR-7506s or Sennheiser HD280 Pros. A lot better headphones for just a few bucks more.
January 26, 2013Music Background:
Musician, Hobbyist Recording Engineer
I expected a lot more...These headphones, though well built and comfortable, fall flat in sound quality. I honestly think the earbuds that came with my iPhone sound better. The worst part of the sound is the midrange and lower midrange, which is a muddied mess. The only way I can describe it is like listening to music with earplugs in. The high end sticks out unnaturally. Strumming acoustic guitar and pianos seem to have this annoying shimmer (not to be confused with the 'air' that many people desire in headphones). I think most would be better off looking for other headphones.
from Detroit MI
April 10, 2008Music Background:
Recording engineer,Studio Owner
$10 sound in a $80 headphoneI bought three of these to save money instead of sony 7506. Had to use them so I had to keep em. I had to EQ my headphone amp to make them sound usable.
They sound like tin cans. midrange mud peak. good isolation though.
from Santa Clara, CA
February 23, 2006
Uncomfortable to wearObviously this review is based on my experience with these headphones, so take it for whatever it's worth. I purchased the ATH-M40fs' recently and was pleased for the most part with the audio quality. Used in a project studio situation, working with DJ gear and samplers/workstations. I soon discovered, however, that they began to physically hurt my ears after about 20 minutes of wearing them. Now I'm not talking about the kind of hurt you get from blasting music through them (I don't listen too loud through my cans)... I mean the way they fit onto my ears, they literally and physically are uncomfortable to wear. They have a circular ridge (either plastic or rubber) on the inside of each ear (under the mesh) that protrudes a bit too far. On my head, this meant that they smashed into the structure of my ear and caused undeniable discomfort. It was too bad because otherwise I would have kept them.
from Newark, California
October 1, 2004
greatDisclaimer: I'm not an audiophile, and I completely lack experience with these things. I can barely tell CD apart from good mp3, but then again, I suppose if I tried, I'd get annoyed.
I picked these headphones up, and they're very solid and rugged design. Nothing flashy about them, and they don't need to be. They have a really nice reproduction of sound, and you can really juice up the volume with no problems. They have a generous length of cord (which I sometimes manage to trip over) and gold plugs, and swivel ears (I heard these are very popular with DJ's because they reproduce sound very exactly).
The only problem I have with them, is I don't like to have my ears baked inside them for long periods of time. I don't mind the pressure, because they're comfortable that way, they just get hot. There's also no sound from the outside that get's in the way.
March 1, 2004
Spec-tac-ular!My wife bought these for me about 3 years ago, and they are amazing: incredibly clean sound, comfortable even for very long periods (20+ hours occasionally!), and total isolation (I can't hear ANYTHING else, and no one know how much damage I'm doing).
I could not possibly be happier with them! (or with Sweetwater, for that matter...)