M-Audio Q40

Discussion in 'Audio Science' started by Thujone, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. Thujone

    Thujone Friend

    Sep 27, 2015
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    When a Vice-grip breads with a Subwoofer...

    The M-Audio Q40 is possibly the first headphone made by M-Audio. These are circumaural, closed, 40mm driver headphones that claim to have a FR equal to the audible range of homo sapiens. Good news already. They are semi low impedance (64) and very easy to drive straight out of anything. Given the durable build, collapsable/rotatable cups, 12 ft rubber-cased-crappy-as-hell cable, and closed design, these are DJ ready. They are so durable that they are also quite rigid. They have no swivel motion on the cups, making a behind-the-ear seal someone difficult to accomplish (some folks, including myself, have had luck rolling up some paper towel and shoving it under the back of the pad). In addition, the clamp is pretty extraordinary. I don't think anyone can listen to these in the stock clamping condition. Luckily the headband is metal and metal bends. With the grip fixed, they are decently comfortable headphones. The pads could definitely be thicker though, many folks will have their ears touching the drivers.

    Given the durability, collapsibility (while still being quite large), and closed nature, these are A-OK for throwing into a backpack before your college textbooks... maybe. Throw the stock cable away, get a V-Moda cable, and you're in business.


    Sound... err... bass

    These headphones actually made it into my lineup very early in the hobby. I liked the extreme bass with treble clarity (yay, v-shape) while, overall, giving a much better listening experience at half the price of my Bose. The bass is huge, admittedly having an affect on the midrange, but the amount of punch/speed across the board is very satisfying. Cymbals crash hard and snares snap. Unfortunately, the treble is pretty overboard in Sibilance City. Overall, with some TP in front of the driver and a possible pad swap, I really don't mind these for on-the-go EDM headphones. Yeah, electric guitars and brass lack luster but sometimes all we want is some percussion to get the day rolling. No complaints for $77 on the 'zon.


    Right and Left

    Left Distortion

    Right Distortion

    Left CSD

    Right CSD

    If you were so inclined to use HM5 memory foam pads and a layer of TP...


    Stock vs. HM5 w/TP


    As I mentioned above, I listen to these as an on-the-go headphone. I usually use these at work when I have to crank out some reports. I've had them with the HM5 pads and TP for a while now, only switched them back for stock measurements and additional subjective impressions. The pad switch and TP mod definitely help balance the mids (very recessed sounding on stock form) and bring life back into them. Definitely not a bad deal for their current price online. This would be my first recommendation for a basshead entering the hobby.

    Also, to the Measurebators, feel free to move this to sanctioned if you like. Figured I'd post my first thread here (and about a pair of cans most people probably don't know/care about).
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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017

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