The popularity of the Apple Airpods is undeniable. But with the release of the Audio Technica true wireless options, I was curious. How do they compare? Let’s take a closer look with this Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW vs Apple Airpods comparison review.
Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW vs Apple Airpods Comparison Review
Design – SPORT7TW vs Airpods
Look and Feel
The design of the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods are quite different from each other. On one hand, the SPORT7TW are thick and round, with a nozzle that is meant to fit into the ear canals. By contrast, the Airpods don’t enter the ear canals. Instead they have a slim, sleek look with rods that protrude downward from the earpieces. The SPORT7TW has a matte black finish. It’s plastic housings feel hefty and durable. On the other hand, the Airpods have a glossy white finish. They, too, are made of plastic but maintain a sense of durability.
While the fit types of the Audio Technica SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods are different, they both fit well in my ears. The Airpods have an easy fit, but balance lightly inside of the earlobe. By contrast, the SPORT7TW fits in the ear canal in addition to using the ear shape to secure it. As a result, it is more difficult to fit, but is a much more secure fit once it is in place.
Both the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods connected easily via Bluetooth. Since I have an iPhone, the Airpods connected particularly easily. I also liked that the Airpods would pause the music when I took them out of my ears. Additionally, both products have a solid battery life. The SPORT7TW has 3.5 hours of life on the earpieces with an additional 14 hours from the case, bringing the total to 17.5 hours. On the other hand, the Airpods have 5 hours of playtime on the earpieces but can get over 24 hours with the charging case!
Both earphones experienced a fair amount of latency when watching video.
Sound – SPORT7TW vs Airpods
Both the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods have some emphasis in the low frequencies. However, their underscores are in slightly different areas of the low frequency spectrum. The SPORT7TW has emphasis a little bit lower than the Airpods. As a result, kick drums come through with a bit more dimension. Conversely, the Airpods emphasize the area where the fundamental frequency of many kick drums sits. Therefore, kick drums tend to sit a bit louder in the mix compared to the SPORT7.
For example, when I was listening to the song Roll with the Punches by Dawes, the kick drum felt deeper and rounder with the Audio Technica SPORT7TW. In contrast, it sounded punchier and a bit louder in the mix with the Airpods.
The middle frequencies of both the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods feel full. However, one big difference is that the SPORT7TW seems to have a bit more weight in the low-mids, whereas the Airpods favor the high-mids.
For example, when I was listening to the song Prince Johnny by St. Vincent, the synths and guitars felt a little fatter with the SPORT7TW than the Airpods. By contrast, the vocal and attack of the drums felt more forward in the mix with the Airpods.
The high frequencies of both the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods have emphasis, but in different parts of the high frequency spectrum. On one hand, the SPORT7TW emphasizes the upper treble and upper octave. By contrast, the Airpods emphasize only the upper octave. However, in general its high frequencies are louder in general than the SPORT7TW.
For example, when I was listening to the song Crash by Against Me!, the high-hat sounded thinner, yet louder in the mix when I listened with the Airpods. By contrast, the Audio Technica SPORT7TW in addition to the high-hat being quieter, the high harmonics of the dirty electric guitars sounded a little further back in space. I could hear the texture of the electric guitars better with the SPORT7 but it seemed more articulate with the Airpods.
The soundstage of both the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods were decent. Both had a similar sense of width, but they differed a bit in their sense of height and sense of depth. The SPORT7TW had more nuance in its depth because the high-mid boost in the Airpods brought everything closer in the mix. Additionally, the sense of height of Airpods seemed taller than the SPORT7TW, whereas the depth felt deeper in the Audio Technica’s.
For example, when I was listening to the song Desperado by Rihanna, there was more contrast between the intimate vocal and the background vocals and synths when I listened with the SPORT7TW over the Airpods. By contrast, the lead vocal and drums felt closer in space when listening with the Airpods. Additionally, the height of Rihanna’s vocal and the high-hat felt higher in space with the Airpods. On the other hand, the lows of the kick and bass synth felt lower in space with the SPORT7TW.
Overview – SPORT7TW vs Airpods
Overall, the Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods are great options for true wireless earphones. They have different sound signatures, the SPORT7TW favoring thickness in the midrange and the Airpods favoring the high-mids. The SPORT7TW had a more secure and snug fit, and therefore, in addition to its IPX5 water resistance, is better for sports and activity, whereas the Airpods are good for more casual wear.
The Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW and the Apple Airpods are available for the best price here: