The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are good critical listening on-ear headphones and the biggest departure from the typical over-ear designs of the ATH-M series. They're decently comfortable, breathable, and less cumbersome once on your head, although they're not the most portable on-ears since they do not fold. They have a well-balanced sound that's better than the lower end entries of the ATH-M lineup, but they do not quite sound as good as the M50x or as neutral as the M70x.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are the first on-ear design of the ATH-M series. The smaller ear cups keep the same design language as the rest of the ATH-M lineup, which fans of Audio-Technica will appreciate. The headband, however, is a little different. It's thinner than most M series models and has metal yokes that should be decently durable but won't be as sturdy as the ATH-M50x's headband. The more compact on-ear design is also offset by the lack of folding hinges, meaning that these on-ears will not be easier to carry around than the over-ear models of the ATH-M lineup, which is a bit disappointing. On the upside, they will feel less bulky once on your head, they're a bit more breathable, and they're fairly comfortable for an on-ear design. Unfortunately, since they are critical listening and recording focused headphones, they have no control scheme, and will not be the most stable option for sports.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are the biggest departure from the regular over-ear design of the ATH-M series lineup. The M60x have small on-ear cups, and a thin headband with metal hinges, that looks great and makes them feel like more modern studio headphones. They also look a lot more compact on the head than the ATH-M50x or the ATH-M70x, which makes them a lot less cumbersome to wear outdoors while commuting. The on-ear cups are well padded and keep the same design language as most of the ATH-M models, which fans of Audio-Technica will appreciate. Overall, the M60x are good and professional looking headphones, but the on-ear design won't be for everyone.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have a decently comfortable on-ear design. They have a compact and lightweight frame with amply padded earcups. They're also looser on the head than typical on-ears, which makes them a bit more comfortable. Unfortunately, the headband isn't as well padded as the ear cups, and since they are on-ears, they tend to flatten the ear which may get a bit fatiguing over time, especially if you wear glasses with thick temple tips.
These headphones do not have any controls.
Like most on-ears, the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are a bit more breathable than most over-ears. They do not fully cover the ear and therefore obstruct less airflow than the ATH-M50x which fully encapsulate your ears with their ear cups. You should be able to wear them for longer listening and recording sessions than the rest of the ATH-M lineup, as long as you do not mind the on-ear fit. Unfortunately, they are still less breathable than in-ears and earbuds so they won't be the ideal option for sports or really warm conditions.
The ATH-M60x, being on-ears, are more compact headphones than the rest of the ATH-M series lineup. Unfortunately, they do not fold like the ATH-M50x or lay flat like the ATH-M70x. This means that although the over-ears are much larger than the on-ear M60x, they might actually be easier to carry around in your bag or backpack, which is a bit disappointing. On the upside, the M60x feel a lot less bulky and cumbersome once on your head.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have an above-average build quality but feel less durable than the ATH-M50x and do not look as premium as the ATH-M70x. The M60x have dense and sturdy ear cups, with and decently durable metal hinges, that won't break from a few accidental drops. They also come with 3 audio cables that are all heavily coated and will last you a while. Unfortunately, the headband is thin and won't be as sturdy or as durable as that of the M50x. It makes the design of the M60x, lightweight and a tad more flexible than the over-ears in the ATH-M series, but feels weaker and more likely to break under physical stress.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are not the most stable on-ears. They have a fairly loose fit on the head, which makes them a bit more comfortable than most on-ears, but also a bit less stable. They will sway a lot when shaking your head from side to side and move around quite a bit when leaning. Their thick audio cable is detachable but locks into the ear cups, so it will most likely yank the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something. Overall, these headphones are a bit more compact for physical activity, but will not be stable enough for running and most sports.
They have a deep, well-balanced, and punchy bass, but it is a bit sensitive to positioning and placement so some user may experience a slight drop in bass. Their mid-range is very well-balanced, but could be a tad thin on vocals and lead instruments. Their treble is also quite well-balanced, but it can be a little uneven on S and T sounds. Overall, they are a good sounding and versatile pair of headphones suitable for a wide variety of genres, but not quite as full-sounding and well-balanced as the ATH-M50x or the Marshall MID ANC.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have an above-average frequency response consistency. Their bass delivery across our 5 human subjects is decent, however, one of our subjects experienced 3dB less bass on the left ear, and another subject experienced a similar drop in bass in the right ear. This means their bass delivery is somewhat sensitive to positioning and placement, but at 3dB, the effect will be subtle. These headphones are a lot more consistent in the treble range, especially below 10KHz. This is most likely due to their small ear cups and on-ear design which makes the possible variations in positioning and placement across multiple re-seats quite limited.
The imaging performance is very good. Their weighted group delay is at 0.21, which is very low. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response. This is important for accurate placement and localization of objects, such as footsteps and instruments, in the stereo field.
The soundstage of the Audio-Technica M60x is sub-par. This is typical and expected of closed-back on-ear headphones, since their ear cups are not large enough to interact with and activate the resonances of the pinna. This can also be seen in the PRTF graph of these headphones where their response lacks size and accuracy. Overall, the soundstage of these headphones will be relatively small and perceived to be located inside the listener's head.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x will not be the most isolating headphones to use in loud environments. They have an on-ear fit that's decently well padded but does not completely seal the ear, which lets a lot of ambient noise seep into your audio. Unlike the Marshall MID ANC, they do not have active noise cancellation, which makes them a bit worse to use on public transit or while commuting. You will most likely hear all the rumbling and low-frequency sounds of an engine and the ambient chatter of the people around you, unless you're playing your music at really high volumes. Unfortunately, they're also a little leaky, so playing your music at high volumes may distract your colleagues in quieter conditions, like being at the office.
The isolation performance of the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x is sub-par. These on-ear headphones do not have ANC (active noise cancellation), and therefore do not provide any isolation in the bass range. This means they will let in the rumble of airplane and bus engines, but this can be masked to a degree with loud music. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they isolate by about 5dB, which is below-average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by about 24dB, which is above-average.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have an average leakage performance. The significant portion of their leakage is spread across the mid and treble ranges, from 500Hz to 4KHz. This is a relatively broad range and means the leakage will be fuller sounding than that of in-ears and earbuds. The overall level of the leakage, however, is not very loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, their leakage at 1 foot away averages at 43dB SPL and peaks at 52dB SPL, which is just above the noise floor of an average office.
These headphones do not have a microphone and therefore, the recording quality has not been tested.
These headphones do not have a microphone and therefore, the noise handling has not been tested.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have no active features and therefore do not require a battery. They also do not have a dedicated app or software for added customization options.
These are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.
The headphones do not have a dedicated, compatible app for added customization.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x only have a wired connection. They have practically no latency for watching movies and videos but do not have the convenient range of a wireless headphone.
These headphones are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection. If you want an on-ear design for critical listening in a wireless format the consider the Grado GW100.
These headphones do not have any latency since they are wired.
These headphones come with 3 audio cables with no in-line remote. This means they will provide audio when connected to your PS4 or Xbox One controller but do not have a microphone for voice chat.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x does not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
The ATH-M60x are the first on-ear headphones in the ATH-M line up. They have a well-balanced sound for critical listening, although they will not sound quite as good as the ATH-M50x. They have a decently well made and compact on-ear design, and a cool looking build quality that some will prefer over the slightly bland look of the older ATH-M models. They're also decently comfortable for an on-ear and built well enough to withstand most use cases. Unfortunately, they will not be the ideal option for sports or outdoor use since they're not the most stable headphones, are wired and do not block a lot of noise. They also do not fold into a more compact format, which would have made them a lot more portable, when combined with their on-ear design. See our recommendations for the best on-ear headphones, the best on-ear wireless headphones, and the best noise cancelling headphones.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are a better-sounding headphone overall than the the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x. The M50x have a slightly more durable build quality and a more comfortable over-ear fit. They also sound a bit better balanced with a warmer sounding mid-range and more bass than the M60x. However, the M60x are a bit more compact with a modern on-ear look that some will prefer when compared to the M50x. They're also a bit more lightweight and better sounding than most on-ear designs.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M70x are better headphones than the on-ear Audio-Technica ATH-M60x. They are noticeably more comfortable and are also better built. Their sound profile follows our target curve more accurately, but might be too sharp for some. They’ll also be more versatile, as their over-ear design will block out more high-frequency noise. If you feel like over-ears are too bulky and hard to carry around, the on-ear M60x might be a better option for you.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are better headphones than the Marshall Major II. The ATH-M60x have a better-balanced sound quality than the Marshalls. They're also better built and look more premium and durable than the Major II, and come with three sturdy and durable audio cables. On the upside, the Marshalls have a limited in-line remote that gives you some control over your audio. They're also a lot more compact to carry around, being lighter, smaller, and more foldable than the Audio-Technicas.
The Beats EP On-Ear are a slightly better on-ear headset than the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x, but not by much. The Beats Solo EP have an in-line remote that makes using them with iOS devices and mobile phones a little easier. They also have a slightly more compact and sturdy build quality, although not by much since they also do not fold into a more compact format. The ATH-M60x, on the other hand, come with three audio cables that make them a bit more suitable for a studio setting. They're also not as tight on the head as the EPs, although they're about the same comfort level. On the upside, the ATH-M60x have a slightly better-balanced sound that most will prefer over the EPs.
The Audio Technica ATH-M60x are a much better critical listening on-ear than the Koss Porta Pro. The M60x have a better build quality, a better-balanced sound and look much more premium and durable than the Koss. They also have replaceable cables and a closed back design that isolate a little better in noise conditions. On the other hand, because the Koss Porta Pro are open, they deliver a larger soundstage than the M60x. They're also more portable and come with an in-line remote variant that you can use with your phone, unlike the M60s.
The Audio Technica ATH-M60x are better sounding on-ears than the Bowers & Wilkins P5 S2. The P5 have a much better build quality that not only feels more durable but also looks a lot more premium than the M60x. The P5's design is also a bit more compact and easier to use with mobile devices, since they come with an in-line remote. On the other hand, the M60x have a better-balanced sound and a more comfortable on-ear fit. They also come with three audio cables which make them a bit more suitable for a recording studio.
Average for mixed usage. They have a decently sturdy and durable on-ear design, a comfortable fit for most, and a good sound quality that packs just the right amount a lot of bass. They're also wired which makes them an okay option for watching videos, although they are limited by the range of their audio cable. Unfortunately, they won't be as convenient for everyday casual use and aren't as feature-packed as some of the other headphones we've tested around their price range. They won't be the ideal headphones for commuting or traveling, and they're a bit too unstable for sports. But on the upside, they're a well balanced and good sounding headphone for critical listening.
Good for neutral listening, The ATH-M60x are not quite as good as the M50x but still deliver a well-balanced sound that packs just the right amount of bass for most music genres. They're also balanced enough that instruments and vocals do not sound too sharp or harsh, but they could be a bit thin and forward in the mix. Overall, they're one of the better sounding on-ear headphones we've measured and do well within the ATH-M lineup. However, the smaller earcup size does also mean a slightly worse soundstage than the ATH-M over-ears.
Below-average for commuting. They only block noise passively, which will not be enough for the noisy environments involved in commuting. They're also a bit bulky to carry around, despite their smaller on-ear design, and have no control scheme to change tracks or volume levels on the go.
Below-average for sports. They have a decently comfortable on-ear fit and are a bit smaller and more breathable than the rest of the ATH-M series, but they're a bit too unstable for sports and physical activities. They also come with a thick audio cable with no control scheme to change tracks while working out.
Sub-par for office use. The Audio Technica ATH-M60x do not leak too much but will be audible to the people around you at higher volumes. Unfortunately, they also do not block enough noise to use in noisy environments to be a suitable option for a lively work environment.
Sub-par for gaming. The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have a good sound and a low latency wired connection but are not as convenient or as customizable as most wireless gaming headsets. Also, they don't have a microphone. However, if you do not need voice chat, then they could be a decent option for consoles and PCs.