Audio Technica benefits from an impressive reputation among headphone junkies. From the venerable M50x to the posh L5000, the Japanese audio giant seems to offer something for everyone. And today I’m checking out the new Audio Technica ATH-CK2000Ti – an audiophile earphone retailing for a solid $750. With a titanium housing, dual push-pull drivers, and an included balanced 4.4 mm cable, this earphone talks a big game. But does it deliver the goods?
Audio Technica ATH-CK2000Ti Review
The CK2000Ti arrives in a swanky box that holds the earphones, a snazzy carrying case, a microfiber cleaning cloth, seven pairs of eartips, and two cables. Both cables measure 4 ft (1.2 m) and utilize the A2DC connection type. One cable terminates in a single-ended 3.5 mm plug, while the other uses a 4.4 mm balanced plug.
With a titanium shell and slightly chunky design, the earpieces seem just a bit heavy, but also well-built. The connection, too, feels solid, and there’s an overall impression of quality when handling the earphone.
Inside that housing, two dual-phase push-pull drivers measuring 9.8 mm and 8.8 mm cover the entire frequency range. Audio Technica has wowed me in the past with the use of these drivers in other CK-series models, so I’m excited to dive in and see where this model stacks up.
Frequency Range: 5-45,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 10 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 100 dB
Featuring a wide frequency range, the Audio Technica ATH-CK2000Ti may offer some decent extension in the lows and highs. Impedance measures surprisingly low, at just 10 ohms, allowing this efficient IEM to work easily with low-output devices like phones, computers, and personal audio players. Lastly, sound pressure lands at a healthy 100 dB, meaning adequate volume shouldn’t be an issue.
In the low end, the CK2000Ti distinguishes itself with a meaty and full sound. Despite this robust sound, the lows never seem bloated or heavy. Instead, I’m impressed by a sense or natural energy – a feeling accentuated by the deep but smooth bass response. Never too overpowered, the bass sounds more accurate, with good contrast. The result manifests as a solid, well-rounded low end that won’t fail to handle any track with proper attention to detail.
When it comes to the mids, the ATH-CK2000Ti offers low distortion and compression. Vocals and instruments sound equally detailed and equally present. While slightly forward-leaning, the mids still seem slightly constrained, especially in relation to the highs and lows. This results in a somewhat v-shaped sound signature – remaining fun-sounding, but still delivering a real sense of accuracy that stays true to the original recording.
The highs on the CK2000Ti sparkle with detail, breathing life into strings and female vocals. And when not listening to violins with bated breath or grooving to Demi Lovato, I can say the CK2000Ti never forfeits a sense of accuracy for one of emotion. But this finely-tempered high end may come at a price, as the CK2000Ti’s high end seems a bit harsh on DACs that offer colored highs. That being said, with a decent DAC from the likes of iFi, Audioquest, FiiO, Sony, or Audio Technica, the sound remains nothing short of phenomenal.
There’s a three-dimensional sense of space and depth to the CK2000Ti – and way more than I’ve heard in any other earphone at this price. While present on any track, this vast soundstage seems made for classical works where each instrument can be given space to breathe. The low end extension also seems to add a degree of depth, stretching out the distance between notes and frequencies.
Using the balanced connection provides even greater depth and space, but requires a 4.4 mm output, or an adapter for 2.5 mm or XLR balanced outputs. While this feature definitely adds to the sound, it may not be an easy option for folks without balanced outputs.
I felt the need to burn these in. For the first 8 hours, the sound was slightly less than optimal. After that period, things started to get much better in terms of fullness of sound, and taking the edge off of the upper mids and highs.
The titanium housings look gorgeous but easily pick up oil from my fingertips when handling them. Far from a total deal-breaker, this still proves to be a minor annoyance where appearances are concerned.
At $750, the ATH-CK2000Ti delivers a vibrant and clean listening experience complimented by a wide soundstage. For anyone in need of a balanced, well-articulated sound, this earphone will provide excellent value for money.
If you’re seeking a bassier sound in general, my recommendation would go to the Noble Audio Dulce Bass ($699). And if a slightly warmer sound appeals more to you, I would advise seeking out something from Campfire – either the Polaris ($599) or the game-changing Andromeda ($1099).
With a solid build, beautiful look, and quality sound, the new Audio Technica ATH-CK2000Ti offers the whole package at a fair $750 price point. Punching above the belt in terms of detail and soundstage, the performance of this earphone easily sits on par with $1000 models from other manufacturers.
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