The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are decent over-ear headphones. They have an above-average audio reproduction and a moderately comfortable and stable design. Sadly, They don't block much noise, which may affect your listening experience in loud environments or while commuting.
The M20x struggle a little as everyday headphones. They lack a few features and are a little too cumbersome for everyday casual use.
Good audio fidelity but they have a poor soundstage because of their closed back design. They perform above-average for neutral listening but may lack a little openness.See our Neutral Sound recommendations
The ATH-M20x have a simple and understated studio appeal that's a little bland, but will work for some. They come in an all-black color scheme and share the same design as the ATH-M30x with slight differences on the back of the ear cups. They also resemble the higher-end ATH-M50x but with a different metal frame that looks slightly cheaper.
The ATH-M20x are moderately comfortable. They don't apply too much pressure to the head, and the large ear cups fit around most listener's ears. However, the ear cups do not swivel like the ATH-M40x or ATH-M50x making these headphones feel a little stiff. They also don't have as large ear cups which could get slightly uncomfortable for some.
The M20x are not portable headphones. They do not fold into a more compact format or have swiveling ear cups that lay flat. They are cumbersome to carry around and will occupy quite a bit space in a backpack and may not be able to fit comfortably in a handbag. Their cable is also a little bulky and is non-detachable, which can be frustrating when transporting these headphones. They also don't come with a case pouch.
Build quality is average. These headphones can handle a couple of drops without getting damaged and feel sufficiently dense. Unfortunately, their build quality feels cheaper and less durable than the ATH-M40x and the ATH-M50x. The metal frame used is thinner and exposes the audio cable connecting the ear cups. Unlike the higher-end models of the same design, this exposed cable makes the M20x more likely to get damaged by wear and tear.
These headphones are not designed for use while doing sports and physical activity. They will maintain their position during casual listening sessions and won't slip off as you tilt your head. However, they will quickly fall off during high-intensity physical activity and are not ideal for use in a gym or while running and jumping. Also, the cord is not detachable and may yank the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something.
Poor isolation. These headphones don't have active noise cancelling, and the passive isolation provided by the ear cups is average. They provide no isolation in the bass region and only start to kick in at around 300Hz. The total amount of isolation provided in the mid-range is about 10dB which is below average. In the treble range, the overall amount of isolation is about 27dB which is decent.
Decent leakage. The majority of the leakage is happening between 500Hz and 3KHz, which is relatively broad. This means that the content of the leakage (lyrics for example) may be intelligible to the people around you at moderate to loud volumes.
No compatible app.
The Superlux HD 681 are better critical listening headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. These semi-open headphones are more comfortable and offer great audio quality, especially for their affordable price. Their design also makes them more open-sounding, although their build quality is pretty cheap and fragile. On the other hand, the ATH-M20x will be better headphones to bring on the go since they are closed-backs, which means they block a bit of ambient noise and don’t leak as much as the Superlux HD 681.