The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are good critical listening on-ear headphones and are 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 don't fold. They have a well-balanced sound that's better than the lower end entries of the ATH-M lineup, but they don't quite sound as good as the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or as neutral as the Audio-Technica ATH-M70x.
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're 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 ideal for commuting or traveling, and they're a bit too unstable for sports. On the upside, they're well-balanced and good sounding for critical listening.
Good for neutral listening. The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x aren't quite as good as the Audio-Technica ATH-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 don't sound too sharp or harsh, but they could be a bit thin and forward in the mix. Overall, they're some of the better sounding on-ear headphones we've measured and do well within the ATH-M lineup. However, the smaller ear cup size does mean a slightly worse soundstage.
Below-average for commuting. They only block noise passively, which won't 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 don't leak too much but will be audible to the people around you at higher volumes. Unfortunately, they also don't block enough noise to use in noisy environments to be a suitable option for a lively work environment.
These headphones aren't suitable for wireless gaming.
Sub-par for gaming. The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have a good sound and a low latency wired connection but aren't as convenient or as customizable as most wireless gaming headsets. Also, they don't have a microphone. However, if you don't need voice chat, they could be a decent option for consoles and PCs.
These headphones aren't suitable for phone calls.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are the biggest departure from the regular over-ear design of the ATH-M series lineup. They 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 Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or the Audio-Technica 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, these are good and professional-looking, 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 ear cups. 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're 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 don't have any controls.
Like most on-ears, the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are a bit more breathable than most over-ears. They don't fully cover the ear and therefore obstruct less airflow than the Audio-Technica 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 don't 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 Audio-Technica ATH-M60x, being on-ears, are more compact headphones than the rest of the ATH-M series lineup. Unfortunately, they don't fold like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or lay flat like the Audio-Technica 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, they 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 Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and don't look as premium as the Audio-Technica ATH-M70x. They have dense and sturdy ear cups with decently durable metal hinges that won't break from a few accidental drops. They also come with three 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 others in this lineup. It's lightweight and a tad more flexible than over-ears in the ATH-M series, but feels weaker and more likely to break under physical stress.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x aren't 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 them off your head if it gets hooked on something. Overall, these are a bit more compact for physical activity, but won't be stable enough for running and most sports.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x have an above-average frequency response consistency. Their bass delivery across our 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 the effect will be subtle. They're 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 bass performance is great. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Also, low-bass is flat and within 0.1dB of our neutral target. This means the Audio-Technica M60x produce just the right amount of thump and rumble, which is important for bass-heavy tracks like EDM and film scores. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums is also flat and within 1dB of our target. However, high-bass, responsible for warmth, shows about 2dB of overemphasis which could add a bit of boominess to the bass. But, at 2dB this effect will be subtle.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x's mid accuracy is very good. The overall response throughout the range is quite even and flat. However, the 5dB dip around 400Hz makes their mid-range a little thin sounding, which will mostly be noticeable on vocals and lead instruments.
The Audio-Technica M60x have a great treble. The overall response is rather uneven but quite well-balanced. The small peaks and dips in mid-treble make the sibilances (S and Ts) a bit inconsistent and uneven. This will mostly be noticeable on vocals and cymbals.
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 Audio-Technica M60x's soundstage is sub-par. This is typical and expected of closed-back on-ear headphones since their ear cups aren't large enough to interact with and activate the resonances of the pinna. This can also be seen in the PRTF graph, where their response lacks size and accuracy. Overall, the soundstage will be relatively small and perceived to be located inside the listener's head.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x's noise isolation performance is sub-par. These on-ears don't have ANC and therefore don't provide any isolation in the bass range. This means they'll 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. A 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, isn't 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 don't have a microphone and therefore, the recording quality hasn't been tested.
These headphones don't have a microphone and therefore, the noise handling hasn't been tested.
These are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.
The headphones don't have a dedicated, compatible app for added customization.
These headphones are wired and don't have a Bluetooth connection. If you want an on-ear design for critical listening in a wireless format, consider the Grado GW100 Wireless.
They don't have any latency since they're wired.
These headphones come with three audio cables with no in-line remote. This means they'll provide audio when connected to your PS4 or Xbox One controller but don't have a microphone for voice chat.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x don't have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are the first on-ear headphones in the ATH-M lineup. They have a well-balanced sound for critical listening, although they won't sound quite as good as the Audio-Technica 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 on-ears, and are built well enough to withstand most uses. Unfortunately, they won't be the ideal option for sports or outdoor use since they're not the most stable, are wired, and don't block a lot of noise. They also don't 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 wired headphones, and the best noise cancelling headphones.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are overall better-sounding headphones than 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. The ATH-M70x 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 a much better critical listening on-ear than the Koss Porta Pro KTC. The Audio Technica 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 are open, they deliver a larger soundstage than the Audio Technica. They're also more portable and come with an in-line remote variant that you can use with your phone, unlike the Audio Technica.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are better headphones than the Marshall Major 2/Major II. The Audio-Technica have a better-balanced sound quality than the Marshall. They're also better built and look more premium and durable than the Marshall, and come with three sturdy and durable audio cables. On the upside, the Marshall 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-Technica.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x and the Grado The Hemp Headphone are similarly performing on-ears for neutral sound. The Audio-Technica are more comfortable and have a better build quality. They have a more neutral sound profile. However, the Grado have a significantly better passive soundstage and they deliver audio more consistently.
The Beats EP are a slightly better on-ear headset than the Audio-Technica ATH-M60x, but not by much. The Beats have an in-line remote that makes using them with iOS devices and mobile phones a little easier. They have a slightly more compact and sturdy build quality, although not by much since they don't fold into a more compact format. The Audio-Technica come with three audio cables that make them more suitable for a studio setting. They're also not as tight on the head as the Beats, although they're about the same comfort level. On the upside, the Audio-Technica have a slightly better-balanced sound that most will prefer over the EPs.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M60x are better sounding on-ears than the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2. The Bowers & Wilkins have a much better build quality that not only feels more durable but also looks a lot more premium than the Audio Technica. The Bowers & Wilkins' 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 Audio-Technica 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.