Both Sony and Audio Technica are well known for their studio quality headphones. Specifically, the Sony MDR-V6 and the Audio Technica ATH-M40 are similarly priced headphones that present a relatively flat frequency response which is ideal for studio mixing. But based on the specs, design and sound, which of these headphones really is the best deal. Let’s compare and find out.
MDR-V6 and ATH-M40x Comparison
Specs and Features Chart
The best way to get started with a proper comparison is to chart some of the more important specs and features of each headphone followed by a “pro vs con” description of each.
|Sony MDR-V6||Audio Technica ATH-M40x|
|Type||Over-Ear / Closed Back||Over-Ear / Closed Back|
|Frequency Range||5Hz – 30kHz||15Hz – 24kHz|
|Impedance||63 Ohms||35 Ohms|
|Cable||10′ Coiled (fixed)||3.9′ and 9.8′ (removable)|
|Drivers||40mm Neodymium||40mm Neodymium|
|Extras||Carry Bag, 1/4″ adapter||Carry Bag, 1/4″ adapter, 2 cables|
|Warranty||1 Year||2 Years|
The Sony MDR-V6 headphone is a proper studio reference headphone that fits quite comfortably. The headband and earpads fit snug but not tight. Perfect for long studio mixing or reference sessions.
The MDR-V6 also has the advantage of a wider frequency range… from 5Hz to 30,000Hz. And when listening to familiar tracks you definitely hear the extra clarity that this frequency range brings to your listening session. From very low sub-bass to crisp cymbals and percussion, the MDR-V6 does a good job.
Like the ATH-M40x, the Sony MDR-V6 features 40mm neodymium drivers which are well suited for good volume and frequency response. A travel bag and 1/4″ adapter are pretty standard.
On the flip side, the fixed coiled cable on the MDR-V6 is one of my least favorite things. A fixed cable means you’ll have to do surgery on your headphone if the cable goes bad. And coiled cables get tangled up and can cause undesirable results when referencing from a small hi-res player.
The only drawback to the MDR-V6 frequency range is that it can get a little too bright at times and lacks a little warmth.
The 1 year warranty is certainly a good thing. If you take care of your headphone though, you’ll have the MDR-V6 for way longer than that.
Audio Technica ATH-M40x
The ATH-M40x headphone has become a mainstay for many studios worldwide. It’s a tough and versatile headphone that has a more reference-like sound signature over the M50x. Listening to the M40x I immediately notice it has strength in the mids and upper low-frequencies. The bass is tight and rolls of toward the sub-frequency range. In addition to the balanced sound the M40x headphone has a sort of warmth that the MDR-V6 doesn’t have.
Detachable cables are necessary these days on headphones and the M40x has got you covered with 2. This makes life in the studio much easier. Add the travel bag and 1/4″ adapter and you’ve got a nice package for under $100.
The 2 year warranty from Audio Technica shows confidence in their headphone and even the most budget conscious audio engineer can rest easy that they’ll get many years of use from this headphone.
The fit of the Audio Technica M40x isn’t a total home run. It’s comfortable but also a tad bit tight. This might loosen over time and it’s certainly better than a loose fitting headphone. Also the versatile nature of the M40x makes it flop around a little when you’re not wearing it. I don’t mind the multi-purpose hinge points but they could be a bit tighter. It’s not the end of the world though.
The Audio Technica ATH-M40x and the Sony MDR-V6 both have their strengths and weaknesses. The MDR-V6 is a bit more comfortable with a wider frequency range but the ATH-M40x has removable cables and a 2-year warranty. Considering the price for either headphone is just under $100 you’d do well with either model. But based on sound quality, removable cables and the warranty I’d choose the Audio Technica M40x. It’s definitely a close call though. Check the facts and make your own decision. Let me know what you think.