Audio-Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review

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Im going to start off this video by saying that I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by Audio-Technica’s $200 ATH-SR50BT headphones… and if it weren’t for their crappy touchpad they’d be the best $200 ANC headphones on the market right now. But sadly, the same cant be said about Audio-Technica’s new truly wireless earbuds, the ATH-CKR7TW’s… I just don’t think they hold up to the rest of the competition. 

Now these are Audio-Technica’s first and most expensive truly wireless earbuds retailing for $250. So thats kind of the reason why I’m being so tough on these earbuds. But I’m also being tough cause Audio-Technica also released a slightly cheaper sport variant of their truly wireless earbuds that if you simply read down the spec sheet, look more impressive than these more expensive ones. So I’ll definitely have to check out the Audio-Technica ATH-Sport7TW in the future.

First I want to address the carrying case, its huge. And whenever you put it in your pocket you always know its there and it bulges’s out a lot. And I feel that this huge carrying case would be actable if it also meant a huge battery life… but it doesn’t. This huge carrying case is only able to supply the earbuds with 9 additional hours of battery life. And since the earbuds themselves are able to hold a 6 hour charge… Audio-Technica’s truly wireless earbuds only have a total playback time of 15 hours. Which isn’t that impressive cause most truly wireless earbuds with significantly smaller cases have about 12 hours of total playback time. And the AirPods, which just look tinny compared to the Audio-Technica’s have a total playback time of 24 hours. But tech specs aside, this carrying case just feels cheap… the build quality here is just marginally better than the $130 Skullcandy Push carrying case.

And when it comes to fit, thats another issue. Now first I am going to profess that I do have a bias towards AirPods cause I personally don’t like wearing in ear earbuds for long periods of time besides being at the gym. But these earbuds go in super deep into your ear canal, so deep in fact that I had to use the smallest ear tips that came included cause they would fall out other wise. So I just personally find that having these earbuds super deep into my ear canal just feels very uncomfortable… and I still find myself having to occasionally push them back in. But these earbuds also come included with a single pair of ear fins. Now I will admit that these ear fins do a very good job of providing a more secure fit. But if you do decide to use these earbuds with the ear fins then you’ll notice that when you drop them into their carrying case, the carrying case doesn’t close as easily as before. You really have to put some effort into closing this lid. And not matter how much I try to adjust the fins on these earbuds, the problem still persists. So it just looks like these ear fins were an after thought or a quick fix. 

But when it comes to these earbud’s bluetooth connectivity, theres some good and bad. The good news is that these earbuds have stable connections that don’t cut out while you’re walking with your phone in your pocket and it can even go through a few walls. But unfortunately these earbuds have a significant amount of delay. No matter if youre using an android device or an iPhone or what app you’re using, these earbuds are not good for watching videos what so ever. So these earbuds are for strictly listening to music. 

And when it comes to sound quality these earbuds perform well. They have 11 millimeter diameter drivers packed inside, which is rather impressive. Cause the Sennheiser momentums for example have 7 millimeter diameter drivers. The highs are very crisp, and the bass is very well defined. But unlike their headphones which have a neutral sound signature, I cant help but feel Audio-Technica’s ear buds have a bass heavy sound signature… which makes it very hard to actually hear the mids without having to crank up the volume all the way up. And since Audio-Technica’s app doesn’t allow you to directly mess with the EQ you’re going to have to use a third part app instead. So like I just said when it comes to sound quality these earbuds perform well, but if you want to get the best sound quality out of them you’re going to have to use a third party EQ. But also Audio-Technica strangely didn’t include a transparency mode to their most expensive pair of truly wireless earbuds… but did include it on their smaller, and cheaper sports variant. And I think this is a big deal cause a lot of other headphones and truly wireless earbuds are starting to come with this feature and I find it to be very useful. 

But personally I would avoid the Audio-Technica ATH-CKR7TW’s at all costs. I don’t think they’re worth their $250 asking price. The main point of truly wireless earbuds is to have a compact, wire free solution that allows you to passively listen to your music or podcasts, take phone calls or interact with your voice assistant. And unfortunately due their case, these earbuds are not compact at all, they’re actually more of a hassle to carry around than your phone cause of that thickness. I personally don’t find them that comfortable to wear and if you want to use the ear fins to get a better fit you’re going to have to wrestle with that lid every time. Even though these earbuds have bluetooth 5.0 and have both APTX and AAC support they still have a lot of latency. And I find it very odd that Audio-Technica didn’t included a transparency mode on their more expensive truly wireless earbuds cause most other premium truly wireless earbuds now have that feature. If you have $250 to spend I highly advise you pick yourself up a pair Sir50’s, if you’re an iPhone user you’re better off with AirPods, or if youre an android user or if you really just want a pair of premium truly wireless earbuds then spring for the Sennheiser Momentum Truly wireless earbuds.