The Astrotec GX-40 is a much anticipated release because of the positive reception of the GX-50, which went on sale just two months ago. Astrotec claims that the GX-40 is as good as the GX-50 in terms of material and sound quality, but the price is $13 lower. Specifications Driver：9mm lanthanon permanent magnet Impedance: 16 OHM Frequency response: 8 Hz-24.5 kHz Sensitivity: 104db Rated power: 3mw Power capability: 15mw Cable length: 1.2m PU Plug: 3.5mm gold painted straight plug Retail Package The Package came in a yellow box with their brand’s logo and a see-through window for the back of the headphone’s earbud. It doesn’t get much simpler, especially for in-ear speakers in this price range. The back of the box displays some basic specifications, while the sides contain some slogans. Accessories Astrotec GX-40 in-ear headphone Cleaning cloth 3 pairs of eartips (M/L and a pair of sponge eartips) Carrying bag Design We don’t normally like talking about the design of headphones while we are reviewing them, but the Astrotec GX series headphones are truly special in their look. The GX-40 IS almost identical to the GX-50 in terms of design, the only noticeable difference is its fixed cable, compared to the detachable cord of the GX-50. Also, the GX-40 get rid of the shape memory material used on the part where the cable joins the housing, likely due to the reason of cutting cost. The design that really makes the GX series headphones (including the GX-40 and GX-50) stand out is the crystal glass with 3D diamond shaped pattern on the back of the headphone’s ear buds. The glass disperses light in an interesting manner at different angles, giving the headphone a very shiny and premium feel. Offering more personalization to the consumer, the glass decoration and the shell are available in many beautiful colors. The unit that we are reviewing here is Neptune Blue, which has a mirror glass and a blue transparent shell. The cable is made of oxygen free copper and is covered in a slightly rubbery and springy PU coating. It has very nice strain reliefs where the cable meets the housing. The cable jack is a straight plug, made of metal coated in gold. The build quality of the GX-40 (as with all Astrotec headphones) is as good as those high-end headphones. By “high-end” I mean the likes of Monster Turbine, Beats Powerbeats, which would normally cost you several hundred dollars. The GX-40 feels like a much more premium pair of speakers than the price tag would suggest. Performance For listening, I mainly used a LG Optimus G Pro 2, an Apple iPod Shuffle and the Acer ICONIA W700 tablet/ultrabook hybrid with various tracks of different genres (to gauge what genres the GX-40 is a good match with), without an amp. Almost all portable devices have plenty of power for the GX-40, the amplification is not necessary at all. TEST TRACKS: Sam Smith – I’m Not the Only One Ed Sheeran – Blood Stream Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Otherside Emeli Sande – Read All About It Daft Punk – Get Lucky Cheryl Core – Parachute Ed Sheeran – Sing Rebecca Ferguson – Teach Me How To Be Loved Alicia Keys – We Are Here Usher – She Came To Give It To You BASS: I’m a huge fan of bass-centric music, and I would say that the GX-40 does not disappoint in this area, nor does it impress. It offers good texture and detail without lingering too long in its decay, but the slam and punch is not so hard as the Monster Turbine or the GX-50, and the sub-bass even more so. It is definitely capable in providing fun and some excitement whether I listen to EDM or Metal, but it is certainly far from the best. Overall, I’m happy with the GX-40′s bass performance. However, if compared to the Astrotec GX-50, the GX-40 is just a little bit behind in speed, and most of all in quantity. Please note that this observation was attained by pairing the GX-40 with the Acer Iconia W700. When paired directly to an iPod Shuffle, HTC Desire, or even the LG Optimus G Pro 2, the bass seems to lag behind the findings above, especially in speed and detail. MIDS: I would say I am happy about how the midrange is presented with the Astrotec GX-40; it may sit a bit lower than bass and treble frequencies but the detail and clarity is retained no matter what genre I listen to. I’m happy to report it doesn’t sound veiled nor muddy. Vocals are presented well, quite accurate and detailed. Most instruments including the Piano sounds natural with excellent timbre. Overall, the midrange presence is quite good thanks to its excellent imaging and instrument separation. The Monster Turbine was more upfront for female vocals and guitars which made it sound more edgy in general. Personally, I’d prefer the Turbine for guitar driven songs but I’m happier with the GX-40′s for multi-genre listening. HIGHS: I am quite surprised to hear such a smooth treble presentation on the Astrotec GX-40, as the GX-50 which I have been listening to since receiving it two months ago really didn’t deliver in this department. In most cases, treble quality will highly depend on how the music was originally mastered. Well mastered recordings sound excellent on the GX-40. If I were to nit-pick, I’d say the GX40′s timbre in the treble region is a bit off. Also I personally think that it lacks just a bit of air although it’s not really bad for most genres. This affects the soundstage width a bit; not as wide as the Monster Turbine but definitely better than the GX-50. Comfort and isolation As with the Astrotec GX-50, the GX-40 is pretty easy to pop in and take out, which is useful when we are taking a walk and suddenly decide to enter a grocery store for some necessities, etc. With that said, the GX-40 is the most comfortable pair of headphones to wear for a long time. I started to feel the burden on my ears after wearing the GX-40 for two to three hours, although not to the point of desperately wanting to take it off. The isolation offered is the same as the GX-50 – par excellence. Although it doesn’t have the active noise-cancellation feature of the some higher-end speakers, it still does a good job of passively sealing out the sound from the outside world. I used the GX-40 on a crowded bus, on an airplane and on a speed train and it blocked out more than 95% of the noise. CONCLUSION: The Astrotec GX-40 may look like the GX-50, but the sound it offers is quite different. The GX-50 is more designed for bass heads, as it offers excellent sub bass rumble, slam and punch. The GX-40 is much more balanced in the bass, mids and highs, and presents much better vocals and piano sound. Overall, I would describe the Astrotec GX-40 as one of the best, if not the best in-ear headphones priced below $70.