Sennheiser vs Audio Technica – Top Brand Comparison 2020

Sennheiser and Audio Technica are two of the biggest brands when it comes to headphones and sound equipment. If you’re looking at a getting a decent quality set of headphones, then you’ve undoubtedly come across both of these brands.

If you aren’t familiar with headphones or you haven’t purchased any before, then it can be really difficult to ensure that you get the right set. So if we compare these to brands, is one better than the other, or are they both relatively equal? Like most things, it does depends on the specific product that you buy, but you’ll also want to take some other things into account too.

So if we’re comparing these two brands, we’ll first look at the brands themselves, then we’ll look at some of the best headphones that they both have to offer.

Sennheiser vs Audio Technica

Although you really need to compare model to model (which we will in a minute!), there’s a general rule that I use for these two brands. This is based off my own experiences, and if you have a look at the specs online across all the models, it’s hard to disagree. The conclusion is that for cheap options, Audio Technica are better. But for higher quality headphones, Sennheiser tend to have the edge.

In the middle ranges (between $3-500), they tend to be around the same in quality. And to be honest, the differences between them is minimal in the majority of cases. You really need to take a look at each of the models individually to try and work out which one would be a better option for your needs. So, let’s take a look at some of the best each of these brands have to offer.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x vs Sennheiser HD280PRO – Headphones

SaleBestseller No. 1
Bestseller No. 2
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black
Advanced build quality and engineering; Designed for studio tracking and mixing; 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
Bestseller No. 3
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black
Advanced build quality and engineering; 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils

My favorite example for explaining to people that lower cost Audio Techs are usually better choice is by using earbuds. Both brands tend to release a whole range of headphones, with earbuds being the least popular, as these two are better known for their over the ear headphones.

Anyway, I like this example because generally, you can find the M20x’s retailing at less than half the price of the HD’s. But is there enough of difference in quality to warranty double the price tag in the Sennheiser headphones? Not for me. And, these are both intended to be professional headphones, so there should be a drastic difference between the two in terms of quality.

You can argue that the Sennheisers have the better design, and I’d likely agree with you. But in terms of sound quality, there’s little difference between the two, aside from the hefty price tag. I mean, these are both designed to be studio headphones anyway, so even though the HD280PRO’s are foldable and the M20x’s aren’t, that doesn’t really matter in this scenario.

The Sennheisers can get to slightly higher frequencies than their rivals, so they do have that going for them. But if you listen to the headphones yourself, you’re unlikely to be able to distinguish a difference between the two.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x vs Sennheiser HD598 – Headphones

Bestseller No. 1
Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model)
Dynamic, closed ear headphones.Weight w/o cable: 285 gram Ear coupling is circumaural; Lightweight and comfortable, ergonomic design, Cord Length 3.3 9.8 feet Coiled
SaleBestseller No. 2
Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System
Compact, ergonomic over-ear headphones. Connectivity Technology: Wireless; Digital wireless technology ensures that signal transmission remains clear & accurate

Whereas if we step things up to a little higher than budget range, you’ll struggle to find much of a difference between the two brands. The first thing to look at is design differences between the two. The HD598’s have the ability to be controlled independently, meaning there’s a volume and skip button on the wire, whereas the Audio Tech’s don’t have that. Both sets are big and bulky, so neither of them are particularly portable options. In my opinion the M50x’s are a little more sturdy, but that’s just my opinion.

In terms of sound quality, there really isn’t a great deal between the two headphones to be honest. The Sennheisers are a little better at dealing with bass, but the difference isn’t much. The sound itself is strikingly similar between the two, and anyone saying that one is ‘drastically better than the other’ is incorrect.

Seeing as both of these headphones retail at pretty much the exact same price, it’s no surprise that there’s little difference between them. But, if you went to the store and actually listened to the two headphones yourself (you can do that, you know), then you’re not going to notice much of a difference between them.

Sennheiser vs Audio Technica – Common FAQs

Is Audio Technica good?

For those who are used to Sennheiser products, they can often look at other brands as inferior. However, Audio Technica is a good brand with a decent range of high quality headphones.

Are the AT MX-50s better than MX-40 headphones?

Like many headphones, the differences between two models can be very subtle. Although they are very similar, the MX-50s have better bass than the MX-40s, as well as having better sound clarity.

Are Sennheiser headphones good for gaming?

Generally, most Sennheiser headphones will be perfect fine for gaming. You will need to ensure that they have a mic though, as many cheaper Sennheiser headphones will not have an in-built mic.

Where is Audio Technica based?

Audi Technica are a Japanese company, headquartered in Tokyo. Sennheiser however are a Germany company, with Germany being known for it’s high quality electronics engineering.

Which company makes the best noise cancelling headphones?

If you’re looking for the best noise cancelling headphones, then both Sennheiser and Audio Technica are good brands to look at. You can also consider looking at Bose too, who also make high quality headphones.


Overall, it’s clear to see that it really depends what you’re looking for. Some Sennheisers will blow lower end Audio Technicas out of the water, and vice versa. So, it really depends on the exact model that you’re looking at to compare them accurately. Saying this, like I said I prefer Audio Technica at the lower range products, which the majority of people will be looking for. So, it’s worth checking out some of their product range if you want cheap earbuds. But, either of these brands should do you justice.

Last update on 2020-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1 thought on “Sennheiser vs Audio Technica – Top Brand Comparison 2020”

  1. I have a pair of ATH-M40x and I’m very pleased with their performance. The only complaint I have is that the ear cups hurt my ears. Do you manufacture a model with bigger circular ear cups and or a set of ear buds with the same performance as the M40x

    Edward Balzan


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