Recently, I reviewed the new Audio Technica true wireless earbuds: the ATH-TWX7. These are the latest Bluetooth earbuds from the popular headphone manufacturer and are a follow-up to their previous TWX9. I was a fan of the TWX9 and compared the two a few times so a full comparison is warranted. The TWX7 is already cheaper than the X9, but let’s see if the X9 is better enough to justify purchasing it instead.
What You Get
Look & Feel
The TWX7 and TWX9 almost have the same design, but there are a few key differences. They both carry the same oval-shaped housing and stem that features physical buttons. While the X9 has a more refined look, the X7 has more color variations with ash black and stone grey. Both earbuds will have a good fit, with a comfortable amount of security that helps the buds stay in your ears.
Design & Functionality
Both earbuds carry the same 5.8mm dynamic driver, which has an average level of output volume. The biggest difference in components though is the X7’s MEMS (micro-electromechanical system) microphones for the best call clarity. I can see this being a major deciding factor for some. Those who prefer noise-canceling will find either set of earbuds effective though. They both use the same companion app that features an EQ, however, only the TWX9 offers 360 Reality Audio.
You can expect fast pairing and good stability with both the TWX7 and TWX9, with both featuring the LDAC CODEC. Only the TWX9 has access to other CODECs such as aptX, and aptX Adaptive.
The TWX7 and TWX9 have around the same amount of playtime that will give you 6 hours from a single charge. According to the specs, the X7 specifically has 6.5 hours of playtime, but in practice, both earbuds should last around the same length of time including their charging cases.
You might think comparing a soundstage capable of 360 audio properties to a soundstage that can only present a standard stereo field is a little unfair. Most of my time with the TWX9 was played through Tidal tracks that enabled 360 audio, and it wielded better results than the TWX7’s default soundstage. Without spatial audio, the TWX9 and the TWX7 are pretty similar in terms of width and separation. Both earbuds have an accurate presentation of traditional stereo elements. The TWX7 has a noticeably flatter surface, while the X9 reaches out a bit further, appearing with more forward sounds.
Both the TWX7 and X9 feature companion apps with EQ, which heavily impacts the enjoyment of these earbuds. I would say EQ is very essential to what you get out of these earbuds, especially in the bass. Without EQ, these earbuds won’t give you that excited kick from the lows. The TWX9 comes across as less dull than the X7, but both can be enhanced with EQ. With the X7, you can use EQ to help adjust thickness, while the X9 is given cleaner grooves and texture.
The TWX7 has more midrange frequency content packed into its default response than the TWX9. Using EQ helps the X9 more than it helps the X7 though, arriving at better clarity and detail than the X7 can. You can still get the X7 to a place that has more shape and detail, but the X9 gains more articulated instruments and vocal performances.
If you’re not a fan of high frequencies and brightness, then neither the TWX7 nor TWX9 will cause much of an issue. The X7 isn’t dull in its treble, but the X9 is better at adding more bite when adjusting EQ. You’ll get more prominent spark and detail from the highs on the X9, but the X7 has a layer of smoothness that you might prefer.
When comparing the TWX7 and TWX9’s sound signature, the X9 comes out on top for me. However, the X7 is still cheaper and features better call clarity helped by the innovation that MEMS brings. Those are the main differences between these earbuds on the surface. I tend to make my picks primarily based on sound quality, so the X9 is what I prefer, but call clarity might be more important to you, to which I would suggest the X7.