The ATH-E40 comes in a small, pudgy box, lacking the opulent appearance of the higher-end IM-series. But underneath that unimpressive facade, just what kind of earphone are we dealing with?
Audio Technica ATH-E40 Review
Inside the box, I find the E40, extra tips, and a decent little semi-hard case.
The eartips that are on the earphones when I first open the box will not stay in my ears. Once I select a slightly larger size, I pop them in and unwind the cable. At 5.2 feet (or 1.6 meters), the removable cable is plenty long. There’s some memory wire just past the earpiece, so once I have the earpieces inside my ear, I can curl the cable back over the top of my ear and bend it so it hangs down the back.
The earpieces are a bit large. Not so much so that they stick out and make me look like I have bolts in my neck, but they are just a little uncomfortable.
With a decent frequency range of 20-20000 hertz and an extra-low nominal impedance of 12 ohms, the E40 gives an impressive level of detail and higher comparable volume than other headphones.
So how does it sound? The first thing I notice when listening to these headphones, is a fantastic level of separation. Better in this regard than the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear, the Shure SE215, or the Beyerdynamic DTX 160 iE, everything sounds realistic, like I’m a few feet away from the artist while backing instruments are a few feet beyond that.
Bass is okay. It’s not overpowering, nor is it absent. It’s there and mostly accurate, with little bleeding into the midrange. Highs seem just a tad relaxed, but the mids are sweet as pie.
All in all, the ATH-E40 is an articulate earphone with a pretty amazing sound. At $99, they go toe-to-toe with the very best from brands like Sennheiser, Shure, and Beyerdynamic, but there’s very little to fault this headphone with, in the end.
If you tend to have weird-shaped ears like me, it may be better to try these out before you buy. Or opt for something with a more traditional design, like the Beyerdynamic DTX 160 iE or the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear (both of which would offer a more dynamic sound). Or if you prefer the around-the-ear design of the E40, you could also consider the slightly-smaller Shure SE215.
You can purchase the Audio-Technica ATH-E40 for the lowest price at Audio46 using discount code “majorhifi” during checkout. Savings will be calculated when you add it to your cart. You can also grab these earbuds at a competitive price on Amazon.