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Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014)
See Top Ranked Closed-Back Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014)

Analysis:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) make for very strong choices and are great Closed-Back Headphones for their respective $279 and $99 asking prices. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, either of these options will serve you well.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) has impressed reviewers from two sources that are among the most highly trusted on the internet, namely SoundGuys and Tom's Guide. It did great in their objective hands-on roundups - it earned the "Best All-around" and "Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound" awards from SoundGuys and Tom's Guide, respectively. That's high praise from such reputable sources.

As for our Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) analysis - two highly trusted sources that perform well-thought-out hands-on testing have found it to be a great product - it earned the "Best All-around" and "Runner Up for Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 For Audiophiles - Closed-Back Alternative" awards from SoundGuys and Rtings, respectively, which is quite an impressive feat.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Closed-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Closed-Back Headphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) managed averages of 9.0 and 7.6 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
PCmag
Techradar
CNET
TrustedReviews
The Verge
Head-fi
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014)
$99
Has average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for Closed-Back Headphones
7.6
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones under $100” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 For Audiophiles - Closed-Back Alternative
in “The 6 Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones under $100 of 2020” 
Last updated: 19 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Cheap Headphones in 2020” 
Last updated: 13 Apr 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best over-ear headphones under £100
in “Best headphones 2020: Get great sound from as little as £35” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
TechSpot
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Budget
in “The Best Headphones 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jan 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best over-ear headphones under $100” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Audio-Technica headphones” 
Last updated: 29 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Bang for your Buck
in “Best over-ear headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 4 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 5 Best DJ Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 8 days ago
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