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Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Updated May 27, 2016 at 11:21 am
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Picture
5.7
Mixed Usage
7.1
Neutral Sound
5.5
Commute/Travel
5.4
Sports/Fitness
5.8
Office
4.3
Wireless Gaming
6.1
Wired Gaming
2.0
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x are above-average-sounding headphones with a decently sturdy and comfortable design. They don't leak much and won't distract the people around you. However, they are not stable enough for gym use and won't fare as well in loud environments because they don't block much noise.

Our Verdict

5.7 Mixed Usage

Mediocre overall design. They would perform adequately well as everyday headphones, but lack a decent control scheme, and the passive isolation is a little weak.

Pros
  • Above-average sound reproduction.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • No audio controls.
7.1 Neutral Sound

The M30X have a surprising amount of audio fidelity for their price range but have a poor soundstage because of their closed back design. They perform above-average for neutral listening but may lack a little openness.

5.5 Commute/Travel

Not ideal for commuting. The weak noise isolation is not sufficient for loud environments.

5.4 Sports/Fitness

Not designed for sports. They're a bit too bulky and unstable for high-intensity exercises.

5.8 Office

Average at best for office use. The passive noise isolation too weak to block the chatter of a busy office. Mediocre comfort and no audio controls.

6.1 Wired Gaming
2.0 Phone Call
  • 5.7 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Neutral Sound
  • 5.5 Commute/Travel
  • 5.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.8 Office
  • 4.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.1 Wired Gaming
  • 2.0 Phone Call
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  5. Update 3/1/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The ATH-M30x do not change much from the ATH-M20x. They have the same design with minor changes to the back of the ear cups. They also come in an all-black color scheme and have the same understated look as the rest of the ATH-M series. However, the M30x and M20x look more cheaply made than the higher-end ATH-M40x and ATH-M50x.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.47 lbs
Clamping Force
1.01 lbs

The comfort level of the ATH-M30x has been slightly improved from the ATH-M20x model. They have slightly larger ear cups that better encompass most listeners ears. They are also not too heavy and don't apply too much pressure to your head. However, like the M20x they can be a little rigid and don't swivel as well as the higher-end models of the same series.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use N/A
Feedback N/A
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control N/A
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons N/A
6.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.4 C
6.0
Design
Portability
L 4.72 "
W 6.50 "
H 3.35 "
Volume 102.76 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The ATH-M30x are decently portable headphones. They are on the larger side of over-ear headphones but unlike the ATH-M20x, they fold into a more compact format that will fit in a backpack or handbag but will be too large for most jacket pockets. The thick, non-detachable audio cable is also a bit cumbersome to carry around. They also do not come with case or pouch which is slightly disappointing.

6.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of these headphones is average at best. They can withstand a couple of drops without getting damaged, and the plastic used for their design feels dense and relatively durable. However, the metal frame used to reinforce the headband is thinner than the one utilized for the ATH-M40x or ATH-M50x. They also have exposed audio cables, which connect to the ear cups that can easily get damaged by wear and tear.

6.0
Design
Stability

These headphones are moderately stable and stay in place during casual listening sessions. However, they're not made for sports and don't exert much pressure on your head which makes them slip off your ears if used at the gym. They also do not have a detachable cable like the ATH-M40x and ATH-M50x and could get yanked off your head if something hooks the cable.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Carrying pouch

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.89 db
Treble Amount
-1.46 db
7.9
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.42 dB
Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.6 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
17.82 Hz
Low-Bass
0.94 dB
Mid-Bass
1.56 dB
High-Bass
-0.09 dB
8.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.99 dB
Low-Mid
-1.15 dB
Mid-Mid
0.68 dB
High-Mid
2.04 dB
4.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.04 dB
Low-Treble
-1.24 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.8 dB
High-Treble
0.92 dB
6.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.37 db
Dips
3.03 db
8.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.29
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.29
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.46
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.09
4.6
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.93 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.08 dB
PRTF Distance
8.06 dB
Openness
5.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.5
7.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.251
WHD @ 100
0.175
Isolation
4.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.97 dB
Bass
0.39 dB
Mid
-8.66 dB
Treble
-28.35 dB

Poor isolation. The passive isolation provided by the earcups performs well in the treble range. They consistently provide more than 20dB of isolation. However, the overall amount of isolation in is only about 10dB the mid-range and 0dB in the bass range.

7.2
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
38.19 dB

Average leakage. The significant portion of the leakage is between 500Hz and 3KHz, which is rather broad. However, the overall level of the leakage is quite low, which makes up for the broad leakage profile.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
N/A
In-line
N/A
Boom
N/A
Detachable Boom
N/A
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
N/A
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 10 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Compared to other headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x are better headphones for a neutral sound than the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x from the same lineup. The biggest difference is that the M40x is definitely more neutral in the treble range, where the M30x lack a lot of detail and brightness. The M40x also come with a nice coiled cable, but other than that, they're very similar.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Price

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