Audio-Technica M20xBT review: These budget Bluetooth headphones surprised me [Video]

With its rich heritage of legendary headphones like the M50x, the new Audio-Technica M20xBT adds 60 hours of wireless listening to its #1 selling wired headset. Coming in at just $80, it doesn’t break the bank, either. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details. 

While it doesn’t have all of the frills of some more expensive Bluetooth headphones, the Audio-Technica M20xBT is built to deliver great audio, long battery life, and not cost an arm and a leg. You won’t see any ANC, and it doesn’t include a carrying case but from a functional standpoint, it delivers. 

Quick Specs

  • 40mm
  • 5 to 32,000 Hz
  • Bluetooth 5
  • BT Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
  • Codec: AAC, SBC
  • Weight
  • 60 hours
  • $80

Design overview

From the shape, the Audio-Technica M20xBT headphones keep a similar design to the rest of its over-ear audio line-up. A large logo is kept more subtle with a glossy black design on the textured black finish of the rest of the headphones. Immediately from picking them up I was impressed by the lightweight feel at just 216g given the impressive 60-hour battery life. 

It seems these headphones have been kept at a price point, though, with features like rotating earcups and even tactile steps in sizing adjustment missing from the design. 

Audio-Technica M20xBT: Bluetooth or wired

Also included in the box is a 3.5mm cable. As a brand with a long history in the studio, the M20xBT also features a 3.5mm port meaning it can be used analog if they run out of juice or the audio source doesn’t have Bluetooth. 

Audio-Technica M20xBT: Video

How’s the comfort?

That lightweight design also helps when it comes to comfort. The ear cups are memory foam wrapped in a leatherette-type material. That same material can be found on the nicely padded headband as well. 

There isn’t much clamping force and combined with the lightweight design, the headset feels light when wearing. It isn’t cumbersome for long listening sessions. 

For me, the only area where the Audio-Technica M20xBT loses some points for comfort is with the earpad depth and contact with the driver covers. Just like the ATH-GL3 gaming headset, the earcups aren’t deep enough to provide enough room for my ears. There is a bit of contact at the top with the driver cover which can get uncomfortable over time. While it’s not as bad as the Corsair Virtuoso or the Beyerdynamic MMX headsets, there could be some improvements here in terms of comfort. This won’t be the same story for every listener as all of our ears are different, but it was something I noticed.


Controls are fairly simple on the M20xBT – they’re all located on the left earcup. From top to bottom is a plus button, middle, and minus button which all have multiple functions. Then there is the 3.5mm port and a USB_C port for recharging the headset. 

Where the M20xBT shines: Audio quality

Despite lacking some premium features, the Audio-Technica M20xBT makes up for it with audio quality. On paper, the massive 5-32,000Hz frequency response is extremely impressive. There isn’t an indication of whether that is in both wired and Bluetooth, though. 

The overall sound signature is a lot of fun. Mids and highs remain fairly neutral with a healthy boost to the low end. For pretty much any genre, these headphones are a blast to listen to. 

Starting with the low end, the Audio-Technica M20xBT delivers big, powerful bass that hits down low. My favorite track to test bass, “Solar Sailer” from the TRON: Legacy Soundtrack, delivered clear deep bass all the way through the walk-downs in the bass line. And while it’s never overpowering, this added low-end is just plain fun. 

David Guetta’s “Titanium” is another track that frequents my testing playlist and the bass is noticably bigger and fuller than many headphones that I’ve tried. 

Mids are kept pretty neutral with plenty of clarity for metal tracks like my favorite tester, “Mist” by Protest the Hero. 

Highs are also kept under control without being overly bright or harsh. Vocals come through crisp and clear. 

Beyond just frequency response, I was also really impressed with the stereo imaging. Once again for an affordable headset like this, I feel that the M20xBT hits about its weight. On “Sound and Color” by the Alabama Shakes, the strings clearly separated from each other and danced across the soundstage. 

Audio-Technica M20xBT: Gaming?  

The M20xBT also has a low-latency mode for media that isn’t just audio. And while it does help, I can still see some latency in media. It’s not as immediate as a 2.4gHz connection, but you can’t really deny the convenience of Bluetooth wireless. 

9to5Toys’ Take

While it may not have the thrills of more expensive headsets, I was blown away by the audio quality of this $80 pair of Bluetooth headphones. The Audio-Technica M20xBT definitely delivers a fun listening experience and the battery life to back it up.

Buy Audio-Technica M20xBT

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