GadgetARQ Logo
Close this search box.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT: A budget wireless headphone!


The low-cost ATH-M20xBT headphones from Audio-Technica has a remarkable reputation for quality, and if you’ve never heard it, it’s a wonderful place to start.

These are the M-Series’ newest entry-level over-ear headphones, and they’re extremely comparable to the well-received ATH-M50xBT. For a well-balanced soundstage that works with all types of music with extended battery life. Check for strong connectivity. So, to maintain the Audio-Technica sounding amazing at such a low price, what concessions were made in crucial areas?

Design and comfort

Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT: Design and comfort

The all-black exterior made of plastic with leather cushioning, thin metal extenders, as well as a logo on each earcup maintains Audio-look. Technica’s The design appeals to customers who prefer simple and functional designs.

You only wish the construction wasn’t so shoddy. From the minute you take these out of the box, these headphones seem flimsy. The plastic isn’t strong enough to withstand a hard landing on concrete. The yoke will break or the extenders will bend if you sit or step on them at an incorrect angle. The inability to tilt the earcups sideways is another contentious Audio-Technica design decision, as it increases the danger of breakage when stowed in a carry-on bag; the Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT comes without a carrying case or pouch.

Despite their lightness, these headphones are uncomfortable. After an hour of listening, the clamping strain on the ears is too tight, creating fatigue. Furthermore, the leather warms up, causing your ears to become uncomfortable.

Although the loose extenders enable seamless adjustment, there is a risk of an uneven fit if no settings are in place. The headband also applies pressure to the top of the skull when the headphones are on the lowest setting.

Digital helper and controls

Digital helper and controls

The control scheme of the Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT is simple. For auto-pause, there are no touch controllers or motion sensors. Only a three-button module on the left earcup’s back end allows for a full range of settings, featuring playback, call management, digital assistance, volume, and listening modes. All you need to know is that each button responds to single or multi gestures and creates robust tactility, ensuring that commands are carried out.

Siri & Google Assistant are both supported, however, neither of them performs well on the Audio-Technica. Though there was obvious slowness when firing up the function, Google Assistant has been the more dependable voice assistant and correctly took up commands. Siri took several tries to work on macOS, but even then, there have been issues with speech recognition. It was disturbing that the microphones mistook “what is my next event” for “what is mascara.” When using the functionality, there was also some lag.

Noise isolation

Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT: Noise isolation

It’s not surprising that noise cancellation isn’t included in the ATH-specs, Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT headphones but there are also other models in the same price range that do, or at the very least have an ambiance listening mode to increase awareness of your surrounds.

The over-ear design of the ATH-M20xBT is designed to passively block out noise, but it doesn’t do so very well. The multiple exterior noises that entered the soundscape made sitting in the garden gazebo during work hours distracting. My toddler’s cries for attention were audible, as were family conversations and iPhone ringers. From the driveway, You might even hear car horns. Noises like doorbells & loud televisions drew my attention indoors as well.

Sound quality

Sound quality

On low-cost wireless headphones, achieving legacy sound might be challenging. The Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT headphones may not quite live up to the company’s higher-end models. But its tunes well and produces a pleasant sound.

The low end may disappoint bass aficionados. But you thought it was perfectly balanced. Neither overly pushy nor understated. Laura Mvula’s “That’s Alright” grabs right away with its addictive rhythms, which stay consistent and impactful throughout. On the Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT headphones you were tapping the right foot to the rhythm, which speaks to how addictive this tune was. The layering is more detailed enough to hear the backing vocalists. Harmonization was very clean and sharp.

Oh, Wonder’s “Livewire” had an outstanding midrange. It not only gave the soft-spoken vocals a delicate feel that went well with the lyrical piano playing, but it also stood out against the pounding bass beat. The sound quality on these headphones was excellent. The string passage near the end of Jennifer Warnes’ “Ballad of the Runaway Horse” was a relaxing listen.

The quality is unaffected by listening in wired or wifi mode. When you connect the aux cord to the laptop, the volume only increases a little.

Audio-Technica didn’t have to include any listening options, but they did, to improve streaming and gaming. When watching Netflix episodes or YouTube snippets, there was no discernible difference.  If you are a big gamer, but you noticed that when you enabled audio synchronization in Call of Duty Mobile & Mario Run, the audio quality improved.

The Samsung Galaxy Note S22 Ultra, Google Pixel 6 Pro, & MacBook Pro have used all materials. On Apple Music and Spotify, the AAC & SBC audio codecs allowed for smooth streaming. For the top audio quality over Bluetooth, advanced codecs like aptX, aptX HD, & LDAC are not supported.

Battery life

Battery life

Battery life is rated at 60 hours per charge by Audio-Technica. When you consider in high volume & latency mode, you’re looking at 55 hours, which is still a tremendous amount of time to work with. You have nearly 20 hours of playtime after testing the headphones since over a week, 5 hours per day. Only a few competitors, including the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 (40–60 hours) and the Cleer Enduro ANC, achieve this level of battery life (60 hours).

3 hours of use from a 10-minute quick charge That’s more than noise-canceling classics such as the Bose 700 (15 minutes = 2 hours), and less than powerhouses such as the Sony WH-1000XM4 (10 minutes = 5 hours).

Price and availability

Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT: Price and availability

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT headphones is available for $79 from Audio-Technica or major online retailers like Amazon and B&H. There is only one color available: black. A 2.5mm audio cable, as well as a USB-C charging cable, are there in the box.

Cheap wireless headphones are plentiful on the market, and these cans face strong competition within the sub-$100 price range. For as little as $97, noise-canceling headphones like the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 provide adequate ANC & LDAC hi-res audio support (currently marked down on Amazon). Another option is the $99 Jabra Elite 45h on-ear headphones, which have great sound and up to 50-hour battery life in a compact, lightweight design.


For $79, this Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT headphones has far more features than it should. You won’t receive the best audio quality from the company, but what you do get is significantly better than most sub-$100 versions. The music is energetic and colorful. These cans can last three weeks without needing to recharge. As well as the wireless range is far more than adequate for moving about the home without dropping out.

While numerous advantages make them appealing, the disadvantages are numerous. It’s acceptable to forgive Audio-Technica for their flimsy construction, but poor comfort & noise isolation, as well as a rather basic collection of features, may be too much for some. Of course, the cost alone makes them money listening to, but before you buy, examine the value of the other components for your needs.

Read more:





Subscribe to Updates

Get the latest news about technologies into your mailbox.



Subscribe to Updates

Get the latest news about technologies into your mailbox.