Audio Technica ATH-TWX9 Vs Sony WF-1000XM4 Review

Audio Technica ATH-TWX9 Vs Sony WF-1000XM4 Review

There isn’t a lack of great true wireless earphones on the market today. With how much is out there, it can get confusing choosing which one is going to be the right one for you. Sony is a big name that you are going to hear brought up a lot when researching the best true wireless earphones available. Audio Technica isn’t known for their true wireless earphones, but their latest release, the TWX9 is their biggest foray into the wireless market yet. Let’s see how they stack up to each other.

What You Get

Sony WF-1000XM4 Audio Technica ATH TWX9
  • Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds
  • 3x foam tip sizes
  • Charging case
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals
  • Charging case
  • USB Type C Cable
  • Ear tips
    • Short: XS, S, M, L
    • Standard: XS, S, M, L, and L

Audio Technica and Sony single

Look and Feel

The XM4 and TWX9 are completely different styles of true wireless earphones. You have the circular-shaped housing and in-ear cavity of the XM4, and the stemmed design of the TWX9. I don’t think either earphone stands out aesthetically, although the XM4 does have a sleekness to it. An issue some may have with the XM4 though is its bigger shell, making the fit more cumbersome. In comparison, the TWX9 is an almost perfect fit. It sustains its comfort and support for many hours without any considerable fatigue.

Audio Technica and Sony open case

Design and Functionality

Both earphones sport a greatariety of features, especially the XM4, which is known for its wealth of options offered by its companion app. Audio Technica also has an app for the TWX9 and has similar options thanks to 360 Reality Audio and adaptive noise-canceling. Sony is the industry leader for ANC for good reason, and the TWX9 puts up a good effort. When compared side by side though, the XM4 felt more isolating. The XM4 also has more responsive controls on the earbud. My experience with the TWX9 was more inconsistent by comparison, and they used traditional buttons.

Audio Technica and Sony closed case

Bluetooth

You’ll get Bluetooth version 5.2 on both earphones, but the XM4 offers more CODECs including LDAC. They also both have fast pairing and keep stable connections throughout many hours of listening.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the XM4 outperforms the TWX9 by two extra hours. You’ll get up to eight hours from one full charge, while the TWX9 only gives you six. For the price they go for, the XM4 has more value here.

Audio Technica and Sony pair

Soundstage

While using both earphones without spatial audio, the TWX9 will offer a more reliable soundstage. The XM4 is better than other Sony wireless earbuds but compared to most, the imaging feels too constricted, the TWX9 is wider, and gives you more space between sound elements. However, both earphones use 360 Reality Audio, making them a lot more comparable. Both Sony and Audio Technica do a fantastic job implementing this spatial audio feature in their earphones. Instruments are way more spread out, and the imaging is much more cohesive, especially with the XM4 where a lot more space is needed.

Low End

This is where the XM4 is going to impress you the most. Its impactful bass is the standard for bass-head wireless sound signatures, with its Clear Bass feature being a major factor. For my taste though, I prefer something like the TWX9, as its response is more even but still knows how to deliver a fun kick. The lows here are less boomy than the XM4, and with EQ, you can obtain a similar level of slam.

Mids

EQ plays a major part in how both midranges operate, but the TWX9 has much less to fix. With the XM4, you get more recession in the mids when using it without any EQ settings, and adding some of that tone back in can’t fix everything. Instruments tend just to get more bloated, but the TWX9 has a more flat and even response. The timbre comes off more naturally, and with EQ, vocals become the highlight of the entire sound signature.

Highs

The highs on both sets of earphones are average and get much better with adjustments. You can add more clarity and crispness to the XM4 but its timbre never reaches the heights that the TWX9 can reach. You can get the XM4 to feel more tall, but the TWX9 brings out more natural detail. Neither set of earphones will give you any harshness though.

Summary

If you’re looking for a pair of true wireless earphones, and are looking to use them more as a utility, I think the XM4 has more to offer. However, in the sound department, the TWX9 shows a lot more strengths. It responds better to EQ and showcases a lot more natural timbral qualities in its sound signature. 360 Reality Audio is great on both earphones, but the XM4 has better ANC and battery life too. I think if you just want a great-sounding pair of earbuds, then the TWX9 is going to be your best choice out of the two.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 and the Audio Technica ATH TWX9 are available at Audio46.

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Alex S. is a sound designer and voice-over artist who has worked in film, commercials, and podcasts. He loves horror movies and emo music.