Hands-On Review: The Audio-Technica M20xBT Wireless Headphones


I'd like to tell you about the new Audio-Technica M20xBT headphones—I’m eager to share my impressions. But first, let’s talk a bit about what these are and where they fall on the wide spectrum of headphone types. The M20xBT are part of the acclaimed M-Series of studio headphones from Audio-Technica. Essentially, they are the entry-level M20x headphones, but now with Bluetooth wireless capabilities and some mobile-friendly bells and whistles.

Audio-Technica Consumer ATH-M20xBT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones (Black)

Audio-Technica Consumer ATH-M20xBT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones (Black)

This means they’re targeted at both the budding audio engineer who wants them to double as everyday headphones and the audio fan who just wants an upgrade in sound quality. So, let’s dive into how my time with the M20xBT over-ear headphones went, and I can’t think of a better subject to start with than sound quality. 

After all, isn’t sound quality the main reason you’re even considering a pair of studio headphones? Well, Audio-Technica can rest easy knowing that the M-Series’ reputation is safe with the M20xBT. As you would expect, the increased frequency range of 5 Hz to 32 kHz expands the headphones’ ability to reproduce audio more accurately. Accuracy, or better put, authenticity, is what came to mind when I listened to music with the M20xBT.

The M-Series
The M-Series

I’m used to the typical headphones that boost the bass levels for a thumping sound that, while enjoyable, is not true to the original recording. This is not the case with the M20xBT, because the frequencies are natural and uncolored to let you hear the detail. The bass is there and does its job, but it doesn’t overwhelm your ears or the other instruments and vocals. That makes sense because, if you’re looking to use these as you work with audio, you don’t want enhancements masking imperfections with which you need to deal. Outside of music, I also used the M20xBT to stream TV and YouTube, which didn’t have any audio/video sync issues. Thankfully, a low latency mode can be activated if you need it. 

Now, let’s get into some of the practical aspects of the M20xBT headphones that I liked. Starting with comfort, while the padded earcups felt great, the best part was their overall weight. They are incredibly light—surprisingly so, considering what I’m accustomed to. The longest stretch I wore them was three hours and I could easily have gone a lot longer. This is fitting because Audio-Technica promises up to 60 hours of battery life. In total, I used them for about 6 hours and at the end of my time with the M20xBT, the voice prompt still told me, “Battery level, high” when I turned them on. 

There is one feature that I really, really loved as an Android smartphone owner: Google’s Fast Pair. I usually cringe when having to begin the Bluetooth pairing process with my phone, but with Fast Pair I was up and running in seconds. Once I started the process, all I had to do was hold the headphones about 1–2" away from my phone. I immediately received a pop-up and paired them with a single tap on the display—an extremely painless experience. Pairing them with my TV, a Samsung Q8FN, was equally a breeze.

I can only think of two things I didn't like. First was the lack of a bass boost. I know, I know. I did mention this earlier as a positive, but if you’re the type who is actively looking for this in a pair of headphones, you won’t find it here. The second thing is portability. What you see is what you get with the M20xBT. They don’t fold or swivel in any way, which is something to keep in mind when traveling. 

That brings us to the end of this hands-on review of the M20xBT. The hours I spent watching TV and videos, listening to music, and playing games were very enjoyable. I thought I knew my favorite music pretty well, but the clarity and detail I experienced with the M20xBT headphones breathed new life into those songs, and for that alone I’m seriously considering an upgrade myself. If you want to hear the M20xBT wireless headphones for yourself, you can pick up a pair right now at B&H Photo.