Audio-Technica ATH-M30 Professional Studio Monitor Closed-back Review

Audio-Technica ATH-M30 Professional Studio Monitor Closed-back ReviewWhether you are an audiophile or you simply enjoy music, headphones from Audio-Technica will surely tickle your fancy.Check out their M-Series Professional Monitor Headphones. They offer maximum comfort and accurate audio, making them your best choice for both on-the-go and in-studio usage. They have contoured earcups that are tightly sealed to provide outstanding sound isolation.

The ATH-M30 professional studio headphones, for instance, are perfect for beginners as well as advanced users such as home recordists, recording musicians, and project studio engineers. Sadly, these headphones have been discontinued. Do not despair yet, though. They have been replaced with a newer version – the M30x!

Audio Performance

The ATH-M30x professional monitor headphones are especially engineered to provide the best listening experience with their sound isolation and audio clarity. They are primarily designed for studio tracking and mixing. They are also ideal for field recording, thanks to their added features and increased portability.

Then again, this review is all about the M30. So, we will tackle that. These headphones have excellent sonic accuracy. They are specifically developed to offer maximum comfort for many hours of listening. With regard to their design, these headphones are low-profiled and closed-backed to provide absolute clarity and isolation for high-volume listening.

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Key differences between M30 and. M50

Both the Audio-Technica M30 and the M50 are great choices. The previous has high sensitivity while the latter has a wide frequency response. With regard to their specifications, the M30 has a 40-millimeter driver while the M50 has a 45-millimeter driver. The M30 has an 11-feet cable while the M50 has 9.8-feet and 3.9-feet cables. The M30 also has 65-ohm impedance and 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response. The M50, on the other hand, has 38-ohm impedance and 15 Hz to 28 kHz frequency response.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30 Professional Studio Monitor Closed-back ReviewThe M30 has a neodymium magnet structure and an adjustable cushioned headband. It also features a gold-plated 1/8-inch stereo connector with strain relief and a professional screw-on ¼-inch adapter.

What are the differences between M30 and M30x?

The M30x is highly similar to the M30, but with more durability, higher quality build, better looking overall, and better frequency response. When it comes to sound quality, the M30x is ideal to be used on a mixing board and portable players. Yes, the M30 is great with iPods and Zune players; but the M30x is even better, with its 47-ohm impedance. The M30x has more frequency response at 15 Hz to 22 kHz too. Moreover, these newer headphones fold up into a tiny ball, making them very easy to store. They also come with a carrying case, so you can conveniently bring your headphones with you anywhere.

Sound Performance

For its price, the M30 has excellent sound quality. It has awesome sound performance, giving you great value for your money. The headphones are designed for monitor use, making them ideal for indoor use. You can use them for podcasting or recording. You can also use them when watching movies or playing video games. The sound it produces is balanced and does not seem trapped.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30 Professional Studio Monitor Closed-back ReviewIf you ever decide to use them outdoors, you can use them for the video shoots. They work well with smartphones and MP3 players, keeping you company on the go. You can listen to music during your long commute. Feel free to crank up the volume because nobody except you will hear it anyway – not even the person beside you! Likewise, you can use it as a noise cancelling machine if you are in an airplane or in the office. You can take a nap and focus on your work without being disturbed by the people around you.

Design and Built

If you are not new to Audio-Technica’s headphones, you may have noticed that the M30 is highly similar to the M50, which has also been discontinued and replaced with the M50x professional monitor headphones. They are just like the M50, but with additional detachable cables.

Anyway, the M30 is actually like the M50’s mini version, with it being smaller and more lightweight. It only weighs 7 ounces or 200 grams without the cable. Sure, the M50 is better in a lot of ways such as frequency extension, ergonomics, soundstage, and even comfort; but the M30 is not to be left behind. It has a more forward midrange than the M50 and it is better than the ultra-portables.


For less than $50, the M30 does a decent job. In fact, you may say that it actually performs better than expected. Its sound quality and accuracy are great. If you pay attention, you may even notice the background singers and instruments that you have never heard before. These sounds are usually not that noticeable in MP3s and CDs.

These headphones are lightweight and comfortable. The ear cups are large and there is adequate padding present. The flat metal adjustment bars are also helpful. Now, the 11-foot cord can either be a pro or a con for you. If you have a large space, you can conveniently take your headphones with you across the room.


Audio-Technica ATH-M30 Professional Studio Monitor Closed-back ReviewYou cannot expect perfection in the electronics industry. No matter how great a product is, you will still find some flaws in it. Going back to the 11-foot cord; you may find it to be an inconvenience since it is not detachable. Also, even though the padding adds comfort, you may also find them to be an inconvenience during hot days and you experience sweating issues. Furthermore, these headphones do not feature a microphone, so you cannot use them to make phone calls. They also do not fold flat, so you may have a hard time storing them.

Final Verdict

All cards on the table, the M30 is not as good as the Audio-Technica M50. Nevertheless, it is still a great value for your money. It is actually a lot better than the other headphones in its price range. So, you won’t go wrong with it if you are on a budget or you do not have many demands when it comes to headphones.

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