Solid Sound, Amazing Battery Life – Review Geek


Rating: 8/10 ? 1 – Absolute hot waste 2 – Sorta lukewarm waste 3 – Severely flawed design 4 – Some pros, many cons 5 – Acceptably imperfect 6 – Good enough to buy on sale 7 – Great, but not the best in its class 8 – Fantastic , with some footnotes 9 – Shut up and take my money 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $149

Chazz Mai

Audio-Technica, a company with a household name to even the most casual listeners, created a great sounding set of knobs that, unfortunately, prefer function over form. The ATH-CK550TW have top spec and versatility that should put these earbuds at the top of buyers’ lists.

This is what we like

Customizable Insane battery life Solid sound

And what we don’t do

Bulky charging case Clumsy, flat buttons

Design: clean and simple

Visually, the ATH-CKS50TW is nothing to write home about. They have a tactile, chamfered design. If you haven’t worn in-ear earbuds for a while, it may take a while to get used to them. Weighing approximately 8 grams (0.28 oz), these earbuds consume rubber ends and a closed acoustic design, meaning they noise reduction

A single button on each button controls volume, digital noise reduction, audio playback and music playback – they do it all. However, I could never really get the hang of which button to use, as each ear controls different functions; it always felt a little weird.

The controls are also wide and thin – you won’t notice them in your ears. I would have preferred a knob or second knob on some of the unused space for a more nuanced degree of control.

Charging case: insane battery life

Earbuds Charging Time: Approx. 3 Hours Case Charging Time: Approx. 3 hours Power supply: DC 3.7V lithium-ion battery

These truly wireless earbuds come with a charging case (and a USB-C to USB-A cable) which offers an astonishing 30 hours of extra battery life in addition to the earbuds’ 20 hours of playback time. In comparison, Apple Highlights that the AirPods Pro only have 4.5 hours of listening time, with a total of 24 hours when charged with the supplied case.

The company’s site advertises that you can get 90 minutes of playback time after just charging the ATH-CKS50TW for 10 minutes, and it’s true. You can throw these buds in the sleeve for a few minutes and be ready to go for an hour. This is probably the best charging time of any case I’ve used.

The case design is almost as sleek as the buttons themselves. The USB-C port used to charge the case is located on the back, and battery and charging status is indicated on the front by a series of LED lights.

The charging case is slightly larger than your average earbud case, so it’s a pretty big lump in your pocket. However, it is perfect for your jackets or personal bags.

Features: Built for music lovers

Chazz Mai

Bluetooth: compatible, 5.2 Range: line of sight, approx. 10 m (33 feet) Frequency band: 2.402 GHz – 2480 GHz Supported sampling rates: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz Supported bit rates: 16 bit, 24 bit (when using Qualcomm® aptX™ Adaptive audio) Transmission band: 20 – 20,000 Hz

The ATH-CKS50TW knobs themselves don’t do much except sound great. As mentioned, the buttons on the buttons control the audio and answer calls the way you’d expect. Furthermore, it is a switch between the Hear-Through and Noise-Cancelling modes.

The noise canceling feature on top of the earbuds’ closed acoustic design silenced anything that wasn’t right next to me. The Hearing Mode, on the other hand, did just the opposite. The noise from the earbuds can be overwhelming at times, so it’s nice to turn noise cancellation off (and it’s useful for walking around town).

To go beyond what the earbuds themselves offer, you’ll need to use the Audio-Technica Connect app (available for iPhone and android† It gives you access to a full-featured equalizer with sound balance adjustments.

360 Reality Audio is a unique sound enhancing feature that allows you to upload pictures of your ears to the app. Unfortunately, to actually use it you need to have a compatible premium music streaming service like Amazon Music Unlimited, Deezer or Tidal, which is a pain – it does a lot for the immersion.

The spatial audio function simulates live audio by surrounding your ear with sound, as if you were at a live concert. Still, I find it a bit redundant for anyone who isn’t the most diehard of audiophiles. The basic settings worked just fine, and even those could go unused by a less enthusiastic user.

Sound: fresh highs and heavy lows

Chazz Mai

Impedance: 20 ohms Microphone type: MEMS type Microphone sensitivity: -38d (1 V/Pa, at 1 kHz) Microphone frequency response: 100-800 Hz Microphone Polar pattern: Omnidirectional

Sonic, the ATH-CKS50TW is set to a profile designed to produce high bass and treble sounds with a deeper midrange. This means that the low and high frequencies tend to pop out, while anything in between produces a lower, mellow sound at the edge of your hearing. You can get more out of that mid-range by customizing it in the Connect app (available for iPhone and android), which is nice if you prefer flatter sounds.

What struck me personally was how the sub bass would take notes and extend it into a nice, pleasant hum. It’s great for nice ambient sounds, and the ability to bring that sound out more through the equalizer is much appreciated.

Also, the noise canceling features help the earbud’s microphones to make conversations clear to both parties. The multipoint link comes in handy here – there were times when I was working on my computer and a call came in on my phone; the ATH-CKS50TW just lets me pick it up without looking for the actual handset.

However, the Bluetooth works with line of sight and a few random signal disturbances caused a drop in audio streaming. This was less of an issue when connecting to just my phone, but a semi-frequent issue when pairing it and my desktop computer multiple times.

Overall, I don’t think the ATH-CKS50TW’s sound is perfect, but it sits comfortably in the middle of the pack. I enjoyed listening to the earbuds while I was away, but when I was working in the office I would switch back to my Anker Soundcore Life headphones.

Should you buy the Audio-Technica ATH-CKS50TW?

The Audio-Technica ATH-CKS50TW is definitely a music lover’s dream. It simply offers too many options to be ignored. While more novice listeners may feel overwhelmed and intimidated by design, knowledgeable listeners will be able to tailor their experience just the way they want.

The ATH-CKS5OTW is well worth the price, but only if you’re someone who gets the most out of every single feature.

This is what we like

Customizable Insane battery life Solid sound

And what we don’t do

Bulky charging case Clumsy, flat buttons

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