There have been so many new releases of truly wireless earphones these days. I’ve had the chance to try a handful of them, so when I saw the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW on my desk today, I was curious to give them a listen. Was Audio Technica able to contribute a good option in the truly wireless earphone arena? Today, let’s take a closer look with this Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review.
Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review
In the Box – Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review
-Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW truly wireless earphones
-micro USB charging cable
-eartips (xs, s, m, l)
Specifications – Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review
-Driver diameter: 11 mm
-Frequency response: 5 Hz-45 kHz
-Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
-Impedance: 16 ohms
-Battery life: 6 hours on earphones, 9 extra hours on charging case
-Charge time: 2 hours for both the earphones and the charging case
-Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.0
-Codec support: aptX, AAC, SBC
Design – Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review
The Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW has a unique style and shape from other truly wireless earphones I’ve seen. It is round and a bit girthy. This girth is due to Audio Technica separating the electronics of the DAC from the acoustic chamber of the earphones. Additionally, on the top ridge of the earphones is the Bluetooth pairing buttons which double as playback control buttons.
In a general sense, the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW are pretty large. However, to my pleasant surprise, they actually fit in my ears quite well. I achieved this fit by using the small eartips in conjunction with the attachable wings (which Audio Technica calls 3D loops). By first twisting the earphones toward the back of my head, then toward the front, the wings fit right into the crease of my ear. Then, the earphones feel secure! For longer listening sessions, the wing started to irritate the fold of my ear. If you have tiny ears like me, you might not like the fit of these. However, if your ears are an average size or larger, you’d have better luck.
The controls on board the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW consist of simply two buttons, one on the left ear piece and one on the right earpieces. Because there aren’t distinct buttons for each separate control, they’re not super intuitive. However, after quickly studying the instructions and trying them out, they proved to be functional. There was a slight lag between pressing the button and the phone reacting, but it wasn’t too long to make me think it was anything abnormal.
Sound – Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review
The low frequencies of the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW have a sense of emphasis. The emphasis feels like it is right around the fundamental of many kick drums. As a result, often, kick drums come through with extra bigness and loudness in the mix. Occasionally, this boost comes across as a bit of cloudiness. Other times, it comes across as a sense of sturdy bigness, contributing attitude to genres like hip hop and pop.
For example, when I was listening with the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW to the song Desperado by Rihanna, the big synth bass came through louder in the mix than usual. Taking up more space, it somewhat masked the low parts of the kick drum. However, it also came through with a lot of power, contributing to the energy, vibe, and bigness of the bass drops.
The midrange of the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW emphasizes the high mids and the low mids. As a result, the middle part of the midrange feels dipped a bit. By contrast, the low mids have more energy that normal. As a result, bass guitars, cellos, low horns, and the low areas of electric guitars come through with extra girth and energy. They feel boosted in the mix. Likewise, the high-mids have a boost. As a result, snare drums have extra snap and vocals sit a bit forward in the mix.
For example, when I was listening with the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW to the song Thanks for Nothing by Middle Brother, the vocal sat forward level-wise, just in front of the high strings of the acoustic guitars and the snare brushes. Additionally, the bass guitar, which is low-mid rich, say forward in the mix as well. The electric guitar felt a bit further away.
The high frequencies of the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW have a bit of a dip in the lower treble, and emphasis in the upper treble. Additionally, there’s a bit of emphasis in the upper octave. As a result, high frequency rich instruments have a sense of texture and lift. They have slightly less body than normal, but lean toward the higher highs.
For example, when I was listening with the Audio Technica ATH_CKR7TW to the song Fever by Ray Charles featuring Natalie Cole, both of their vocals come through with less of a sense of chest and more of a sense of throat. Because of the lower treble dip, they have a little less mouth sound do them, but maintain the texture of their occasional raspiness. Additionally, the finger snaps and bongos have a nice sense of air and clarity. The cymbals have nice sustain, but feel a little thinner than normal.
The soundstage of the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW is highly dependent on how the earphones fit in the ears. If they are unbalanced in the ears, they come through with a feeling wonky soundstage, widthwise. Therefore, be sure to adjust them so they’re sitting similarly in the ears and it will fix itself. That aside, the earphones have a solid sense of height, with strong contrast between low, rich instruments and high, light instruments. The sense of depth has a bit less contrast than usual because the high-mid boost brings instruments forward that would otherwise be further back in space.
For example, when I was listening with the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW to the song Cleva by Erykah Badu, the height felt spread out in an aesthetically pleasing way. The highs of the high hat and vocal contrasted well with the lowness of the solid bass guitar and kick drum. The sense of depth with the vibraphone was a little skewed because of the high-mid boost brought the attack of it closer in space to the intimate vocal.
Overview – Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW Review
Overall, the Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW has a bit of a smiley face curve with boosts both in the high end and the low end. As a result, it works well for pop and hip hop in particular, but also works for acoustic folk music. It was quick and easy to connect and its controls were easy to incorporate once I quickly studied them.
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