Sometimes you don’t have to spend a huge amount to get decent bang for yer buck, and this is certainly the case with the ATH-M30’s!
So let’s get to it and dissect these cans.
First up is the design and construction. These headphones are really very well built putting many more expensive brands to shame.
The plastic is tough and of good quality. The metal banding has enough given to avoid squeezing your head like it’s a lemon while still providing enough strength to keep everything together.
The 11-foot cable is attached to the left can and terminates with a 1/8-inch gold-plated stereo jack – there is also a 1/4-inch `screw-on’ adapter included. The cable includes a strain relief which should help to avoid stress on the wires – time will tell how effective this is but so far we’re very happy – this is a pro feature.
The design is Closed-back and we have to say that the passive noise canceling abilities of these headphones is amazing. You could imagine wearing these while mowing the lawn or cutting a hedge – just for the sound reduction alone!
The earpads are soft and produce a nice seal around the ear. We found that wearing them for over an hour was comfortable and although a little heat did build up – inevitably, it wasn’t to levels that caused discomfort.
The only nag (if any) was that perhaps the covering of the ear-pads was a little thin – we could presumably see after prolonged use that it may start to flake and come away from the cushion? This is just speculation, however.
The sound quality
Now the really important bit – how do they sound?
Two words – Really Great!
In a blind test, we could quite easily see ourselves rating these cans at $150 or even $200+.
The Bass provides an amazing response without blowing out any of the mids or highs. Many cheaper headphones tend to over-favor one part of the audio spectrum – and this tends to be the lower or mid-range. Fortunately for the ATH-M30’s the bass perfectly complements the mids and highs adding a full and rich dynamic to an already very well balanced sound gamut.
The 40 mm drivers also produce a very satisfying mid-range. A really great way to test headphones is to listen to a range of classical music. It can be very demanding on a headphone to reproduce the subtleties of individual instruments played both solo and as part of a compliment – these headphones managed to put us right in the center of the orchestra with each note resonating as if we were playing the instrument ourselves.
The bottom line
The ATH-M30’s are a fantastic buy for sub $50 and we wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who comes our way!
The sound is really tight and no matter what you are listening to – drum & bass, techno, Indi, or if you are using them to watch home movies or play computer games – you won’t be disappointed.
Come on people – these cans are now almost $40, we challenge you to find another pair of headphones for this price that sounds this good!