Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Headphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20X studio monitor headphones are an affordable, good quality option for studio headphones that won’t overpower you with excessive bass. They employ and over the ear design and are fairly comfortable for longer sessions. Let’s take a look at the details of these particular headphones.

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Sound Quality

First off, how do they sound? These are designed to be used in the studio or for mixing purposes, so they have a fairly flat response without much coloring throughout the spectrum.

RAA Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Frequency Response

Image courtesy of Reference Audio Analyzer.

My experience with these is pretty similar to what’s shown in the frequency analysis.

The highs are smooth and fairly crisp. There is some roll-off on the upper end of the spectrum and it’s somewhat noticeable in the sound. It keep the highs from feeling too forward in the overall mix. The clarity is good in the high end for a cheaper pair of mixing headphones.

The mids have good presence but don’t feel overly pushed. The mid range comes through with average clarity and it sounds pretty good for headphones at this price point. Many other cheaper headphones I’ve tried struggle in the mid range, while these sound much better by comparison.

The lows are punchy and sound better than expected. The low end feels about right in terms of loudness. It has an average amount of clarity but can sound a little muddy if there’s more resonance in the sounds or mix. Kick drums and bass guitars are fairly well represented when listening to music through these.

For studio use – these can be a good pair of headphones for tracking and mixing on a smaller budget. The sound isn’t quite as good as more expensive headphones, which is to be expected, but it’s much better than some of the other budget headphones I’ve tried.

For electronic drummers – these can be a great option for a budget pair of headphones for your electronic drum kit. I liked how electronic drums sound on these. Everything is clear and the sound stage is good enough to hear what’s going on from left to right. They are lightweight and comfortable with a closed back design and a longer cable, so they check off the boxes for electronic drummers.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Headphones on Snare Pad

Closed Back Design

The ear cups on these headphones are designed to cover your ears completely. In my experience they fit just right, and just barely fit over my ears. They don’t feel perfectly snug around my ears, but they create a decent seal. They offer a fair bit of noise attenuation for headphones at this price point. The noise isolation is good enough to keep environmental sounds from being annoying but it’s not overly strong like some other headphones.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Headphones Ear Cups


These are fairly comfortable headphones and the lighter weight is a plus in terms of comfort. They sit on my head just fine but do feel a little cheaper in terms of fit when compared to the other M series headphones from Audio-Technica. They just don’t feel as snug around the ears as the others.

The ear cups are fairly shallow and just barely fit over my ears, and the padding is average. People with bigger ears might find these to be uncomfortable. These actually have more noticeable headband padding than the more expensive M series options, which is interesting to see.

In terms of longer sessions of use, I was able to wear these for up to an hour at a time with no issues with discomfort while playing drums. 

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Headphones on Snare Pad 2

Build Quality

These headphones are built well enough for their price point. They are assembled with a lot of plastic but they hold up well if you don’t abuse them. The materials are some of the cheaper that you’ll find on Audio-Technica headphones. There is an exposed cable on the headband that can cause issues if it gets snagged on something, so it’s best to be careful with that.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Headphones Band Close Up

While wearing these, you will notice a little creaking. It’s not terrible but it’s there if you move around with these on your head.

These also have no collapsible ear cups, so you can’t fold them up like you can with the other M series headphones. The rotation of the ear cups is also very limited. These were a little more awkward to stuff into my backpack for transport when compared to other headphones that are collapsible.

Even with the cheaper build quality, these should hold up ok if you take care of them, but the padding will wear over time with regular use.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Headphones in Hand

Long Cable

The cable on these headphones is a good length at 3 meters or almost 10 feet in length. For studio use, the length of the cable is great. For people that want to use these as casual headphones with their smartphone, the length of the cable might feel like too much. The cable has a 1/8″ plug and includes a 1/4″ adapter. The cable cannot be removed and is permanently attached to the headphones on the left ear cup.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Studio Monitor Headphones Cable

Technical Specifications

Use Application

In-studio recording, tracking, mixing


Over ear




96 dB

Maximum Input Power

700 mW


47 ohms

Frequency Response

15-20,000 Hz

Earcup Swivel

15° Both Directions




3.0 m (9.8′), straight, left-side exit


  • Very affordable price
  • Excellent sound quality for price range
  • 10 foot long cable
  • Over ear design with some noise isolation


  • Can be uncomfortable for people with bigger head or ears
  • Foam and padding can wear out over time
  • Less bass than some would prefer for casual listening

Overall Rating

3.5 out of 5.0 stars

Sound Quality

3.5 out of 5.0 stars


3.5 out of 5.0 stars


4.0 out of 5.0 stars


3.5 out of 5.0 stars


3.5 out of 5.0 stars


3.5 out of 5.0 stars

The Verdict

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20X headphones are a good pick if you need a solid pair of headphones for the studio but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

At their price point they are quite good in terms of sound quality. They aren’t going to impress you with features, but they sound great for a cheap pair of headphones when used in a studio environment. These can also be an excellent pick for budget headphones for electronic drummers due to their closed back design, long cable and good sound.

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