March 27, 2017

Professional-grade monitor headphones are engineered to produce flat sounds. In fact, they are used as reference headphones in order to judge the sound quality of other headphones and earphones. Today, we have, two audio delivering companies who aim to do just that, but on a budget.

On our comparison wheel today, are two audio delivering companies who aim to be doing just that. They do have a lot in common along with the fact that they are determined to deliver best audio quality under budget. The 
AKG K72  which will soon be seen delivering audio in our Samsung Tabs and theAudio-Technica ATH-M30X from a Japanese corporation Audio-Technica that designs and manufactures professional microphones, headphones, phonographic magnetic cartridges, and other audio equipment.Both these earphones are highly acclaimed among music enthusiasts for their detailed audio. Both these Headphones are highly acclaimed among music enthusiasts for their detailed audio.

"Both the headphones are Over-ears and are great entry level studio monitoring. You might want to consider an upgrade if an in-line Remote+Mic is your priority. Both of them are high in impedance, but if you don't aim to invest in an amp then AKG-K72 should be your pick."

-Raghav Somani



Headphone Zone Audio-Technica ATH-M30X


DESIGN: AKG K72 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M30X


The AKG K72 are large circumaural headphones with pads large enough to engulf all but the most gigantic of ears. They help to make comfort among the best you’ll find at the price.

Very large earcups with thick, leather-topped foam pads ensure there are no odd pressure points, and since the K72s aren't particularly heavy anyway, a firm fit isn’t really necessary. The AKG K72 feel reasonably well made too. They’re not heavy-duty but also aren't significantly creaky like some cheaper plastic headphones.

Their headband deserves some credit too. Rather than a static padded band, a hammock of fabric cradles your head, the actual frame of the AKG K72 comprising two slim steel bands that sit above.


The ATH-M30X is an upgrade to the ATH-M30 and thus sports a slightly upgraded design as well. The black ATH-M30X is mostly made of plastic and has oval-shaped earcups unlike its predecessor, the ATH-M30, which had a distinctly round shape.The M30X has all that can grab the attention of budding audio enthusiasts in a budget. 

On the design end, the ATh-M30X features a stern design true to its aspects and does not aim at turning any heads. We couldn't help but love the placement of Audio-Technica's logos on each Ear-Cups though. A rather large Audio-Technica logo runs along the headband which is quite off-putting. The rexine cushions on the earcups are soft and cover the ears completely. Even the flexible headband has the same rexine material. Making them wearable on hours to go.

One feature that prevails M30X from the AKG K52 is its ability to collapse, so you can easily port them wherever you go. It also comes with a nice little pouch to put them in. The only thing you’ll be lacking is being able to take the cable out of the bottom, which you can easily wrap around the headphones themselves instead.

USABILITY: AKG K72 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M30X


The AGK-K72 has an impedance of 37db, lower than the ATH-M30X, and hence is easily derivable with smartphones and other low-end devices. Although, this doesn't deter it from making them good at studio-monitoring.  

The AKG also comes along with a 2.5 m cable that ends in a 3.5 mm plug and can be changed into a 6.3 mm adapter, so that you are not restricted to using the headphones with your laptop or smartphones only.


We need to consider that the ATH-M30X is being made as professional monitor headphones, and hence have a high impedance rating. While such high impedance rating can help increase clarity, it is not easily derivable with low-end devices like your smartphones and iPods. Thus, you will need a suitable Amp to power it in full capacity.  

There are two cables which are bundled with the headphones. One of which is the 3 m long cable which has a thick outer covering for the copper-clad aluminum wire, making it quite sturdy. The other one is the 3.5 mm gold-plated audio jack. Audio-Technica also bundles a 6.3 mm adapter which snaps onto the 3.5 mm jack making the  ATH-M30X work with a wide range of audio equipment. The M30x is also flexible, and the ear cups can be swiveled 90-degrees, allowing forsingle-ear monitoring.

When talked about warranty, AKG K72 comes with 2 years of warranty and ATH-M30X is enveloped with 1.

SOUND: AKG K72 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M30X


When it comes to sound, the presentation and sonic signature of the AKG-K72 is extremely open and clean, offering an excellent sense of space and a wide sound stage. Imaging is fantastic as well, with the headphones managing to separate and position various elements accurately within the virtual sound stage. The headphones are also incredibly loud and manage to maintain the same level of detail at varying volumes without sounding too muddled or confusing.

The headphones are so evenly balanced that you could listen to them for hours without ever getting tired. There are no bright edges or booming bass-lines either.



When it comes to the sound, the ATH-M30X sounds very soft and muffled when not used with an Amp or any other high-end device. Amp it up and you will immediately notice a stark difference.

Considering that they are made with studio monitoring in mind, ATH-M30X is not meant for folks who like drama in their sound definition. In fact, it produces a flat sound with absolutely no distortion. When used perfectly, the headphones get really loud and produce crystal clear sounds. They are also able to handle bass and treble perfectly.

The sound staging is good but not as great as the AKG-K72. We've noticed that this is the case with other low-end professional-grade studio headphones as well. Owing to the fit, the passive noise isolation is enough to suppress most ambient sounds with ease. Bass is nice and punchy and does not overpower the vocals and instruments, which are also well reproduced for the most part.



  • Balanced Sound But Unimpressive Sound-stage
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • No Mic & Remote
  • Not Portable

  • Good sound when used with AMP
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • No Remote & Mic
  • Relatively Portable


The AKG K72 is the best buy if you want to get your hands on serious studio monitors, without robbing the bank. Delivering crisp and clear balanced audio, these Over-ears are the best you will get at this price budget. 

Whereas, Audio-Technica ATH-M30X is for someone who wants entry-level studio monitoring along with being portable and sleek.

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What is going to be your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

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