Audio-Technica’s new pair of wireless earbuds (ATH-CKS50TW) cost $200 and stand out by claiming to have impressive battery life, offering up to 20 hours of audio playback and 15 hours when using the buds’ active noise cancellation feature. With the charging case, Audio-Technica says battery life can reach up to 50 hours.
At $200 (£149.99 / €169), these earbuds certainly aren’t cheap. Other earbuds in this price range offer noise-cancellation but still fall short of Audio-Technica’s estimated battery life. For reference, the Beats Fit Pro offer six hours of continuous playback with noise cancellation, while Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro and Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earphones both promise five hours of playback. Apple’s AirPods Pro offer the shortest listed playback time of the bunch, at 4.5 hours with noise-cancellation enabled.
Audio-Technica’s new earbuds also come with feed-forward active noise-cancellation, which uses microphones on the outside of the earbuds to detect and cancel out sound. But if you need to hear your surroundings — for instance, if someone asks you a question while you’re listening to music on your morning commute — turning on the earphones’ quick hear-through feature should enhance external noises while lowering the volume of your music at the same time. A number of other devices sport a similar feature, like the Jabra Elite 75t, and while it may seem like such a small addition, it’s a lot more convenient than constantly toying with volume controls.
Audio-Technica’s new earbuds support Sony 360 Reality Audio as well, a spatial audio technology that’s supposed to create an immersive listening experience by placing sound sources in a virtual sphere around you. There’s also a built-in low-latency mode that should reduce any delay in the time it takes for audio to reach your ears, along with Multipoint technology that lets you simultaneously connect the earbuds to more than one device via Bluetooth.
Some other notable attributes include 9mm HD TWS drivers and an IPX4-equivalent rating for water resistance. The earbuds should also give you the ability to listen to audio in one or both earbuds and come with a sidetone feature that lets you hear your own voice during calls.