Sound studio

Audio-Technica’s new ATH-M20xBT headphones deliver studio-quality sound at an attractive price

Audio-Technica’s M50x studio monitoring headphones have been the go-to choice for many musicians and broadcasters for several years. Their superb build quality and flat frequency response make them something close to the gold standard for studio use.

Now the Japan-based company has launched a more affordable pair of studio-grade headphones with Bluetooth and wired operation. The ATH-M20xBT are most certainly inspired by the brand’s best-selling wired M-Series professional studio headphones, but this new model offers up to 60 hours of continuous wireless playback and big, bold sound.

The critically acclaimed M Series range is renowned for its precise sound and excellent levels of comfort, ideal for extended sessions in the studio and on the go. The ATH-M20xBT are also a wonderfully comfortable pair of headphones. Build quality isn’t as solid on the M50xBT and there are no hinged ear cups. However, these headphones look great and are incredibly light to wear.

With their modern design and high-quality materials, including pro-grade ear pads, the ATH-M20xBT are equipped with 40mm drivers made with rare-earth magnets and aluminum wire voice coils coated with copper for exceptional clarity and impressive bass response. The ATH-M20xBT are certainly richer in bass than the neutral ATH-M50xBT. The Bluetooth has a low latency mode for precise synchronization between audio and video when streaming movies or games.

These new headphones also have multipoint pairing capability which allows the user to connect two devices via Bluetooth. One device could be a smartphone for taking calls, while the other could be for connecting to a tablet to watch a movie or play a game. Switching between the two devices is seamless. With up to 60 hours of playtime on a full charge, a quick charge of just 10 minutes will give up to 3 hours of playtime. The earbuds are easy to use and feature a built-in microphone for phone calls and voice assistants, plus buttons on the left ear cup to handle calls, control music playback and adjust volume levels.

The sound quality served up by the M20xBT is solid and muscular. As well as being excellent for playing a wide selection of musical genres, these headphones make affordable studio boxes for streaming or podcasting, thanks to their closed-back design and effective noise isolation.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a pair of high-quality wireless Bluetooth headphones that fit over the ears, the ATH-M20xBT are a bargain. The fit is incredibly comfortable and the weight is wonderfully low, ideal for long listening sessions. The battery life is simply epic and if you run out of power an audio cable is supplied with a 3.5mm stereo jack for passive use. If you like lots of bass and enjoy a detailed high-end with an ideal V-shaped frequency response, these headphones are well worth an audition.

Price and availability: The Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT are available now and cost £79.99 / €89 / $79.

More information: www.audio-technica.com

Technical specifications:

  • Type: Closed dynamic.
  • Driver: 40mm.
  • Frequency response: 5 – 32,000 Hz.
  • Sensitivity: 100dB/mW.
  • Impedance: 36Ω.
  • Weight: approx. 216g (7.6oz).
  • Charging time: approx. 4 hours.
  • Microphone sensitivity: -42 dB (1 V/Pa, at 1 kHz).
  • Microphone frequency response: 50 – 20,000 Hz.
  • Microphone Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
  • Battery: 3.7V lithium-polymer.
  • Autonomy: Up to 60 hours on a full charge.
  • Bluetooth: version 5.0.
  • Operating range: approx. 10m (33ft).
  • Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP.
  • Audio codecs: AAC, SBC.
  • Accessories: USB charging cable (30 cm / 12 inch), USB Type-A / USB Type-C), audio cable (1.2 m (3.9 feet) / 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) mini -gold-plated stereo plug (3 pole/L-shaped).