Review: Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs Stock photo of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs

Stock photo of the Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs

I recently decided to upgrade my headphones at work from Audio-Technica ATH-M30 to the Audio Technica ATHM40FS. Wow, what a difference. For starters, each of the earpieces rotates completely so if you are listening to something in one ear, you can feign listening to your friends story about Indian food and getting the shits.

Another kick-ass feature is the extra padding on the headband. I’ve been wearing mine all day and there’s no noticeable head pressure, other then being a tad crazy as is. While the 30’s are considered progressional quality monitors, the 40FS’s are precision studio phones.

Now, there are two downsides to the 40FS’s … The first is the fact it only comes with a 1/8th” connector. And that’s great if you are hooking into your home theater or something, but if you want to listen to your laptop, ipod/ipad/iphone or the like, you need to get an adapter. I picked one up with the purchase which happened to be Cables To Go’s 1/4 to 1/8 adapter. Cost was $4.99 for it.

The other issue I had was ear fatigue after having them on for approximately 6 hours. I’m not sure if that’s really a issue, or just continued stupidity on my part. 🙂

Build quality is spectacular, same as the 30’s. Audio Technica knows how to make good stuff. I have one of the Audio-Technica AT-PL120 Professional Direct-Drive Turntable’s and I love it. Probably could use a upgraded cartridge but that’s not really for this review.

As for audio quality, I’ve been very impressed. I’ve noticed some interesting details and nuances in the music I normally listen to. I’ve put them through the paces with some, uhh, interesting choices for music. Example play listing :

* Type O Negative – World Coming Down (one of their best songs)

* Johnny Cash – Tennessee Flat – Top Box

* Eagles – Hotel California (essential tuning song IMHO)

* Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell (the song)

* Stevie Ray Vaughan – Cold Shot

* Bruce Hornsby – Mandolin Rain

And of course a plethora of Dream Theater :

* Space Dye Vest

* Afterlife (live)

* Repentance (***** on that one)

* Home

* Octavarium (all 24 minutes of it)

Something to note overall with the Dream Theater music is they play progressive music, so it’s often overly complex. My thoughts have long centered around the music, the sounds and textures, being as important as the lyrics. The songs I chose above are indicative of that.

I’d say that this was one of those purchases that will keep on giving. Especially since I will continue to be able to not have to hear my co-workers. Or my boss. Even when he’s standing at my desk. Well I suppose that makes him a ninja then.

Overall, I’d recommend these to someone who wants a really good set of earphones but doesn’t want to break the bank on Grado’s S80’s or above.

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