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Comparison: Beats By Dr. Dre EP Vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40X

by Haripriya Thakar March 27, 2017


Whether you are all about bass or just want a simple headset that is more durable than a pair of earphones that come with your smartphone, you will need to spend a little money.

Luckily there are a lot of audio equipment makers realizing the demand for quality, yet relatively affordable headphones, and thus there is an emergence of a decent mid-range set of headphones.

Today, we have two of them from this range is the Beats EP as the first collaboration of apple and beats, vs. the ATH-M40x from the well-renowned Japanese brand Audio-Technica ! 


"The Beats by Dr. DRE-EP are an extremely stylish pair of headphones and come as a first venture of Apple and Beats together. If you own an iPhone, and want to add an extra style statement with Remote and Mic, then you should go with the Beats by Dr. Dre-EP.

But, if you’re looking for a great pair of headphones for monitoring or just for listening to music and you don’t want to drop a bunch of cash, the ATH-M40x are a great buy."

-Raghav Somani

Beats By Dr. Dre - EP

Headphone Zone-Beats By Dr. Dre EP
Stylish Pair of Headphones with Remote and Mic

Audio Technica ATH-M40x

Headphone-Zone-Audio Technica ATH-M40x


DESIGN: Beats By Dr. Dre EP vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40X

Headphone-Zone-Beats By Dr. Dre EP


Beats has always wooed us by creating style statement oriented headphones, now at a surprising price-point of under 8000, they have the Beats By Dr. Dre EP. Beats EP is a delight for all the beats fans out there. They come as the first product that is entirely made under the guidance of Apple and you can be rest assured even of the minutest of the details. 

"WE DIDN'T LIKE THE BEAT'S DESIGN" said no-one ever! The elegant looking Beats EP is sure to impress everyone without compromising on the sound end. The headband is plastic, but it’s a much stronger, hardier-feeling plastic than other Beats models. The earcups have a slide adjustment feature so that the headband sits perfectly on you head. 

The typical 'b' for beats is placed on top of each earcups, whereas the headband consists of the complete name which does not go overboard and rather fells cool!  

Unlike the monochrome ATH-M40X, the beats EP comes in a slew of colors to choose from, you can choose from Red Blue White and Black. The cord comes in the same color as the upper part whereas the logo gives a contrast to the whole look.

In stepping down the price from the ATH-M50x, Audio-Technica had to cut corners somewhere for the ATH-M40x, and one of these is variety. While you can get the ATH-M50x in a few different colour options, there is just one available here. The headphones have a matte black finish with silvery grey highlights for the Audio-Technica logo.

The M40x is seriously a large pair of headphones — after all, you’ve got to put those 40 mm drivers somewhere. The studio monitors could potentially pose a problem as far as comfort is concerned, but luckily that isn’t the case. They are designed keeping long listening sessions in mind. Even though the headband isn’t very heavily padded, this didn’t seem to be an issue when it came to comfort either.

The headband is adjustable from both sides, which is pretty impressive. While we say this, the 'Audio-Technica' is boastfully placed on the top of the headband. On the other hand, the smaller logos placed on each of the earcups are pretty decent.

USABILITY: Beats By Dr. Dre EP vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40X

Headphone-Zone-Beats By Dr. Dre EP

When it comes to comfort, the EP seems quite small and portable. It also comes with a soft cloth carrying bag which may not protect the headphones all that well but looks nice and fits easily in a different, larger bag or backpack. We wouldn’t trust it out in the elements as much as the neoprene and hard cases other Beats products use.

The cord has a 3 button Apple remote and Mic which works well with the apple products, but may have compatibility issues in other devices. Being the first beats product which is entirely made under the guidance of apple we are surprised to see that EP's cord doesn’t detach. That’s a little tough to swallow for this price range, although the cord is very high quality and is flat for extra tangle resistance. The cord is reinforced on the ends and feels like it’d be hard to break.

The compatibility of these headphones may differ for devices which are not iOS. The Remote Talk cable promises a hassle-free period of long music sessions.Their design is such that you can carry them everywhere you go. As they say just grab and go!

While the cables are 3.5 mm on the ends, the ATH-M40x use a proprietary locking connector on the headphone end. While this is handy because it keeps the cable from ripping out if you trip over the cable, it also makes replacing a snagged cable tough. Luckily, the coiled cable has some “give,” making this less likely to happen.

As the ATH-M40x are built with monitoring in mind, you’re not going to find Bluetooth connectivity, or even a mic and remote. This is a pair of headphones built with one and only one thing in mind: listening to music. That said, Audio-Technica has provided a few options as to how exactly to do it.

With a drivable impedance of 35 Ohms, ATH-M40x can work without an Amp, but will deliver to the best of its ability with an external Amp. Thus, to showcase its full capability we suggest you bundle it with FiiO A1 or A3

When it comes to the warranty, the Beats-EP and Audio-Technica ATH-M40x both come with with a standard 1-year warranty.

SOUND: Beats By Dr. Dre EP vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40X

Headphone-Zone-Beats By Dr. Dre EP

When it comes to sound, Beats EP carries the Beat's audio tradition, If you are familiar with its products like the SOLO 2 and love it, you would definitely love the Beats EP. It has a bass-forward, fun sound signature that will work well with all the genres.The mids are just a touch thicker and the overall presentation slightly softer and less in-your-face than on the Solo 2. Highs are strong without being fatiguing.

The soundstage may not be as wide and airy as the M40X, as these are not meant for studio monitoring. Noise isolation is great, and the Beats-EP very effectively attenuates external noise. 

Overall, the sound is something that may not impress a lot of audiophiles, but for someone who wants it for casual listening and using them for your long commutes, you need look no further.


Another set of shredding which Audio-Technica has done in creating M40x from M50x is the driver size. The drivers here are 40 mm in size, just slightly smaller than the 45 mm drivers in the M50x. While this doesn’t sound like a huge difference, it does affect the sonic signature.

Keeping in mind that these headphones are made for studio monitoring, they have been tuned to deliver a flat audio response. Thus, you cannot expect it to be bass heavy or particular with any other sound par say. So while the soundstage is wide and clear, if you are looking for something boomy then ATH-M40x is not the one for you. The mids and highs are in perfect sync and are not buried or muffled. Vocal are crisp and every little detail is articulate. 

You may want to consider an upgrade to ATH-M50x if bass is something you want along with Audio-Technica's signature sonic sound.


Beats By Dr. Dre EP

  • Sturdy Plastic Build
  • Bass Heavy Audio Response
  • Soft Carry Pouch
  • Designed mainly for commutes
  • Detachable Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

  • Simple Lightweight Build with Metallic Earpieces
  • Balanced Audio Response
  • Carrying Pouch
  • Mainly for Studio Monitoring
  • Decent Soundstage


To put in simple terms, if you are looking for something to up your style game and at the same time help you out in your long commutes, then the Beats By Dr. Dre-EP  are perfect at this price point.

For those who are budding musicians and can't spend a lot on monitoring devices, you should opt for Audio-Technica ATH-M40x along with a suitable Amp.


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Haripriya Thakar
Haripriya Thakar

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