Numark Red Wave vs. Sony MDR7506 vs. Audio-Technica ATHM40x: And Our Winner Is…

Between the Numark Red Wave, Sony MDR7506, and Audio-Technica ATHM40x headphones, which one is the best?

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. Three highly popular headphones side-by-side facing off. While each pair has its standard ups and downs, they also have their own unique benefits. Depending on what you’re looking for in a pair of headphones will determine which of these might be the best choice for you. After extensive research, personal experience, and reviews; We formulated an in-depth comparison between each one. May the battle commence!    

But first…

What Makes A Pair Of Headphones Good?

  1. Sound Quality: How good the overall audio quality of music, phone calls, or video.
  2. Comfort: The ability to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, or ear pain.
  3. Build Quality: The overall durability and longevity. Able to withstand harsh conditions for extended periods of time.
  4. Noise Isolation/ Active Noise Cancelling: If any at all, how well the active noise cancelling or noise isolating abilities are.
  5. Battery Life: How long the battery life of the headphones is at a full charge.
  6. Added Features: A few examples of added features headphones offer can be Bluetooth capabilities, built-in AI assistant, headphone controls, built-in microphone for phone calls, flexibility, rotatable earcups, etc.

We compared and contrasted each of these factors for the Numark Red Wave vs. Sony MDRV6 vs. Audio-Technica ATHM40x

Sound Quality

Especially for music listeners, the overall quality of sound is a massive factor in finding your perfect pair of headphones. There are various factors that impact a pair of headphones’ sound quality.

Numark Red Wave
With a flat sound quality, there is no EQ or tone manipulation. You will get the accurate quality of sound that the PA is producing. The audio is clear and sounds good. Many DJs use these headphones for mixing. However, with a neodymium magnet, large 50 mm drivers, and voice coil for precise frequency response, these headphones sound fantastic for recreation use, as well.

Sony MDR7506
If you want the most accurate sounding flat headphones for the lowest price, this pair may be the one for you! It uses 40mm drivers for a full and clean sound. Regardless of how loud you blast the volume, they will not distort. The Sony MDR7506 was designed to play the natural sound without any added eq or sound manipulation. However, these headphones are incredibly accurate to the point in which a lower format of audio will be noticed. Likewise, a higher quality audio source will be noticed and sound better as well. The comprehensive frequency response of 5 Hz – 30 kHz picks up every audible frequency in the human ears spectrum.

Audio-Technica ATHM40x
With 40mm drivers, the headphones give off incredible sound quality for the low-price. The sound is flat, meaning there is no audio manipulation. You can hear each instrument and frequency accurately. In terms of overall sound quality, the Audio-Technica ATHM40x is astounding. In many cases, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if you compared them to headphone twice the price. I personally like the option for my headphones to get louder than usual, depending on the environment. Fortunately, while some headphones on the market are a bit more on the quiet side, this pair is naturally very loud.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATHM40x has the best sound quality.


The ability for headphones to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, pressure, or ear pain. Considering many people use headphones for commute, air travel, or work; Comfort is a vital factor.

Numark Red Wave
One of the unique features of the Numark Red Wave headphones is their extreme comfort. They are made with breathable protein leather padding that keeps the headphones comfortably for long periods. I highly recommend these headphones if you often travel, considering their comfort for hours. Some people even go as far as using them to take naps in the plane to block out the outside noise.

Sony MDR7506
The wide and softly padded headband equally dispenses the weight. Thus, designed for maximum comfortability with extended periods of time. You will be very satisfied with the Sony MDR7506 overall comfort levels. The lightweight also helps reduce the chances of annoyance and itchiness.   

Audio-Technica ATHM40x
Do these headphones look familiar? There’s a reason why many big-name podcasts and Youtubers use the Audio-Technica ATHM40x. Not only are they an excellent bang for the buck, but they are also extremely comfortable for hours of use. However, some of the bigger heads may struggle more than those with medium/small heads.

Overall, the Sony MDR7506 is the most comfortable of the three by a slim margin.

Build Quality

What good are your amazingly sounding headphones if they break in a few months? The overall durability and longevity are crucial for any investment you make. Especially for those who need headphones for commute, it’s important they’re able to withstand vigorous traveling conditions consistently.

Numark Red Wave
I’m personally a massive fan of the overall design of these headphones. In terms of durability and longevity, most people never have any issues. Although we have never experienced any problems, there are a few cases of them breaking within a year. The swiveling ear cups are very convenient.

Sony MDR7506
Especially for the affordable price, the build quality is solid and durable. Many people have used these headphones for an extremely long time without any damage. The design is very modest and plain. Some people prefer it that way; others don’t. The headphones are foldable for added convenience and portability. We also like how lightweight they are.

Audio-Technica ATHM40x
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that aren’t too plain but don’t stand out too much either, the Audio-Technica ATHM40x may be the happy medium you need. The design is stylish and straightforward, with great build quality. They are durable and built to last while maintaining decent flexibility. To be clear, flexibility is a much more critical factor for live DJ’s than you would first think. During a performance, the headphones are consistently being thrown on, off, and one ear in and out. For that matter, this pair of DJ headphones luckily is flexible while maintaining its decent durability. Even for non-DJs, the flexibility of these headphones may be a beneficial factor, as well. Not to forget, the 90-degree swiveling earcups come in handy, as well.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATHM40x has the best build quality and design.

Noise Isolation/ Active Noise Cancelling

Don’t be confused between active noise cancelling and noise isolation headphones. They are both entirely different. Noise-cancelling technology is very unique. Unlike noise-isolating headphones, noise-cancelling headphones do not eradicate outside noise by physical insulation. Within the ear cups, they have a mini microphone that picks up the outside environmental noise. It then triggers a frequency entirely opposite to the outside ambient noise. Thus, canceling out most outside ambient sound.

Numark Red Wave
These headphones do not have active noise cancelling capabilities. However, they provide excellent natural noise isolation. Considering they were designed for DJs to use in a loud club to find an accurate mix, you will be satisfied with their isolation capabilities. They cover the ear and block naturally block out a substantial amount of outside noise.

Sony MDR7506
Although the Sony MDR7506 covers the entire ear, the noise-isolation abilities are not up to par with the other two. However, the oval ear-pads still provide decent noise isolation. These headphones do not provide active noise-cancelling.

Audio-Technica ATHM40x
They do not offer active noise-cancelling. However, they cover the entire ear producing great noise-isolation naturally. Another factor that helps boost the noise isolation is its circumaural design which contours around the ears. Another thing worth noting is the little to no noise bleeding once the headphone is on. People around you, for the most part, will not hear what you’re listening to.

Overall, the Numark Red Wave has the best noise isolation.

Battery Life

Battery life is an overlooked subject when speaking about over-ear headphones. Obviously, the only headphones that have a battery life are those which are wireless. Many headphones on the market do not have wireless capabilities. But for those who do, a more extended battery-life becomes a convenient factor.

Numark Red Wave
These headphones do not have wireless capabilities. They must be plugged in via wire.

Sony MDR7506
These headphones do not have wireless capabilities. They must be plugged in via wire.

Audio-Technica ATHM40x
Unless you get the Bluetooth adapter, these headphones do not have wireless capabilities. They must be plugged in via wire.

Added Features/ Summary

Here we summarize each pair of headphones and talk about some of the added features.

Numark Red Wave
In terms of design, build, and sound quality; These headphones are optimally designed for DJs. They do not have Bluetooth, a built-in microphone, voice-assistant, etc.

Sony MDR7506
Overall, the Sony MDR7506 is one of the highest-rated and most popular pair of wired headphones for a reason. They are a fantastic option for those who need a high quality and affordable pair of headphones that don’t need maximum noise-isolation. Unfortunately, they do not have Bluetooth, a built-in microphone, voice-assistant, etc.

Audio-Technica ATHM40x
Overall, the Audio-Technica ATHM40x is a near-flawless choice of noise isolation headphones for the low-price. It’s loud, produces excellent sound quality, relatively comfortable, offers great passive noise-isolation, and has excellent build quality and style. Unfortunately, they do not have Bluetooth, a built-in microphone, voice-assistant, etc.

Similarities Between The Numark Red Wave, Sony MDR7506, & Audio-Technica ATHM40x

  • All cover the ear
  • All are very popular
  • All provide great noise-isolation
  • None have active noise cancellation
  • All are highly-rated and reviewed

Our Winner

Keep in mind that our opinion is not the end all be all. Like mentioned earlier, everyone has different needs, requirements, and budgets for their headphones. However, our winner is the Audio-Technica ATHM40x by a slim-margin. It’s definitely the loudest pair on the list. Although it was very close, we also prefer the overall sound quality. We believe the ATHM40x is an overall great bang for the buck and we highly recommend it!

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