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.
"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-K52 should be your pick. "
On the design end, the ATh-M20X features a stern design true to its aspects and does not aim on 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.
FOLDABLE ON-EAR DESIGN VS COMFORTABLE OVER-EAR DESIGN?
AKG is a well-known brand in the audio circle owned by Harman Kardon, now owned by Samsung. Although AKG is predominantly known for its premium offerings,the company does not shy away from the more affordable end of the market.
The AKG K52 headphones have been designed with comfort in mind, with an around-ear fit that completely surrounds your ears. Additionally, the headphones also feature a self-adjusting fitting mechanism which ensures an ideal fit and holds the headset firmly but comfortably in place.
Unlike most headphones which come with a hard strap, AKG K52 has a much better-designed head strap made of unique malleable leatherette strap that easily conforms to the shape of the head while securing the headphones well.
We need to considering that the ATH-M20X is being sold 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 be needing a suitable Amp to power it in full capacity.
Their 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 aluminium 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 on to the 3.5 mm jack making the ATH-M20X work with a wide range of audio equipments.
RELATIVELY TANGLE FREE VS AN OVERLONG CORD OPTION?
The AGK-K52 has an impedance lower than the ATH-M20X 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.
When talked about warranty, Audio-Technica ATH-M20X comes with a 1-year warranty whereas AKG-K52 is enveloped with a 2-year warranty.
FLAT, DISTORTION FREE AUDIO VS A LARGE SOUND STAGE
When it comes to sound, the presentation and sonic signature of the AKG-K52 is extremely open and clean, offering an excellent sense of space and a wide soundstage. Imaging is fantastic as well, with the headphones managing to separate and position various elements accurately within the virtual soundstage. 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.
If you are a budding DJ and need something to start with your studio monitoring, then the ATH-M20X is the best entry-level model you can get hands on. There is no Mic and Remote in both the models and you might want to consider an upgrade if that's your utmost priority.
If you are an Open-Back guy and love airy soundstages, then K52 does just that in your budget. What might also impress you is the warranty, which is 1 year in the case of Audio-Technica, whereas 2 for AKG.
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What is going to be your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.