In brief: The ATH-CKS5TW and ATH-CK3TW are Audio-Technica's latest entry in the true wireless earbuds segment. Aimed less at its hardcore audiophile userbase and more at a casual audience, both models feature a compact lightweight design and are priced competitively.
The Apple AirPods got some new competition at IFA 2019 with Audio-Technica launching a duo of truly wireless earbuds. Known for its studio-grade audio products, Audio-Technica is aiming these new models at a more general audience and has fitted them with plenty of features to focus on ease of use and convenience.
The common features on both models include Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and an Auto Power On/Off mode, which enables them to power on and pair with a smartphone/digital audio player when taken out of the charging case and turn off when put back in. Charging of the case is done via USB-C and includes LED indicators for battery status.
Both models also use Qualcomm Clear Voice Capture technology for better noise reduction and clear conversations while IPX2 water resistance offers mild protection against water splashes.
Starting with an in-depth look at the more expensive of the duo, the $149 ATH-CKS5TW come with 10mm drivers and feature a dual-layer diaphragm for rich, accurate bass and clear full-range audio. The exclusively designed eartips are meant to provide strong noise isolation along with a stable and comfortable fit.
In terms of delivering high-quality wireless audio, the earbuds are compatible with aptX, SBC and AAC codecs while battery life is rated at 15 hours of continuous playback to which the included charging case can add 30 more for a total of 45 hours of non-stop on-the-go listening.
The ATH-CKS5TW will be available to buy later this month in three colors: Black, Blue and Khaki.
The second model is the cheaper $99 ATH-CK3TW. It features 5.8mm audio drivers, Siri and Google Assistant integration and touch sensors on each earbud for controlling audio, calls and volume.
This model is compatible with aptX and SBC codecs and can last up to six hours on a single charge. The charging case adds another 24 hours for a total of 30 hours of on-the-go playback. Available in Black, White and Blue colors, the ATH-CK3TW will be available to buy this November.