The big boys have finally released their first true wireless earphones. I’m rarely disappointed with anything Sennheiser makes, but Audio-Technica also has an extremely loyal fan base. My colleagues have written extensively about the CKRTW and the Momentum True Wireless here and here. But this review is for the kids who are already leaning towards one of these models but are hesitant to pull the trigger. So, which true wireless earphone is for you? Let’s find out in this Audio-Technica ATH-CKRTW vs Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Review.
Audio-Technica ATH-CKRTW vs Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Review
Both earphones offer good sound isolation and comfort. But the Momentum True Wireless were much easier to pop in, while the CKRTW took a little adjusting to get the snug fit I was looking for.
The Momentum True Wireless displayed vastly superior call clarity. The CKRTW had poor transmission and the audio only came from the right earpiece.
Both earphones were easy to pair. After you connect them to your Bluetooth device for the first time, they pair automatically as soon as you take them out of the charging case.
The Momentum True Wireless offers 4 hours of listening at a time, and with the charging case you’ll get 12 hours in total. The CKRTW gives you 2 more hours of play at a time, and an additional 9 hours with the charging case.
Both earphones provide full functionality from the earpieces. I found these earphones equally easy to use, though the functions on the Momentum Truly Wireless felt more accessible; the buttons on the Momentum True Wireless are larger, and they and scope the entire face of the earpiece. The buttons on the CKRTW are small and sit on the upper edges of the earphones. The Momentum True Wireless also gives you the added feature of an ambient mode, which lets in sound from the outside when needed.
Overall Impressions: The bright and poppy CKRTW vs the rich and detailed Momentum True Wireless.
Both earphones display warm and impactful lows. The bass on the Momentum True Wireless is perhaps a little more forward in the mix. It also has a more grip. But the CKRTW shows more presence in the sub frequencies, so some folks might prefer it for hip-hop. Listening to acoustic double bass, both earphones had a similar amount detail and resolve, but again, the Momentum True Wireless felt slightly more grounded.
This is where the two earphones differ the most. In true Audio-Technica fashion, the CKRTW has a recessed midrange, while the mids on the Momentum True Wireless are ever present. As a result, rock music will sound fuller and warmer on the Momentum True Wireless. On the other hand, those who like to keep things light might prefer the brighter sound of the CKRTW. And if you enjoy forward leaning vocals, the CKRTW might be your buds. The Audio-Technica sound also lends itself well to folk and classical music, taking the weight off acoustic guitars and string instruments in the low mids. Pianos have a little more buoyancy and sparkle on the CKRTW in comparison to the darker presentation offered by the Momentum True Wireless. But in terms of clarity and detail, the Momentum True Wireless a conveys a fuller picture in this range. Cellos had more texture and were generally more nuanced, especially in the lower mids.
Listening to string solos in this range, the Momentum True Wireless presented better detail, conveying more subtleties in the color and resonance of the instruments. But listening to pop, the CKRTW really comes out to play. And perhaps it’s what the CKRTW does best here; percussion in this range is super energetic and glittery, giving pop songs a really crisp and snappy feel. That being said, the sound might be a little bright at times, making it slightly fatiguing for some listeners.
Both earphones do a nice job here, presenting a decently multidimensional soundstage for in-ear Bluetooth headphones. But the Momentum True Wireless offers more precise instrument placement, giving it a more colorful feel overall.
Many pop and hip-hop fans will gravitate to the CKRTW. Subby lows and crystal highs make for a fun listen. But those who listen across genres and like a really full-bodied feel will prefer the Momentum True Wireless. And if you’re critical listener, you’ll appreciate the kind of detail that the Momentum True Wireless can deliver. Also, if you’re planning to use your buds for phone calls, the Momentum True Wireless is definitely the way to go.