Audio-Technica M-Series refresh: Old vs. New

| January 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

About a year and a half ago, Audio-Technica released new versions of their AD- and A-series home-listening headphones. This entailed fresh new paint jobs, slight improvements in sound quality, and tacking an “x” onto the model name so we could easily distinguish the new and old versions. This year at the NAMM Show in California, the company continued the trend, unveiling another wave of refreshed models, this time their highly-regarded M-series DJ headphones.

According to MusicRadar, “the entire range features new magnets, aluminium voice coils on the inside and a tweaked design on the outside – a flatter cup shape that the firm says provides ‘excellent isolation'”, which I would expect to slightly improve the sound quality. That’s not all, though. The new models look drastically different from their former selves. Let’s take a look:

Audio-Technica ATH-M20 vs ATH-M20x

Nope, that’s not a picture mismatch. The new M20x looks startling similar to the existing M50. The M20x retails for $49 (MSRP $69).

Audio-Technica ATH-M30 vs ATH-M30x

Starting to notice a trend about the new style? The M30x retails for $69 (MSRP $99).

 Audio-Technica ATH-M40 vs ATH-M40x

The M40x offers detachable cables and retails for $99 (MSRP $139).

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 vs ATH-M50x

Last but not least is the new version of the oft-recommended M50. As you can see, it is available in 3 colors: black, white, and limited edition blue/tan. As with the M40x, the M50x features detachable cables (1.2m-3m coiled cable, 3m straight cable, and a 1.2m straight cable). MSRP is $239 for the black and white M50x and $259 for the limited edition, but pre-order prices are significantly lower ($169/$189). For comparison’s sake, the street price for the old M50 dips down to $100 on a pretty consistent basis.

At first glance, the new models look identical (well, at least they did for me!). However the circles surrounding the AT logo are slightly different: the ear cups get shinier as you go up the line. Because of how slight difference is in appearance, I doubt that looks will sway anyone one way or the other on these. Woohoo… we get to focus on sound quality!

The “remastered” M-Series models will be available in late February. Amazon is taking pre-orders now if you want to lock up your limited edition M50x.

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Category: Headphones

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