Recently Audio Technica were kind enough to send me a pair of their new ATH-CKX7iS earphones to review. These belong to a new range of earphones and headphones that are specifically designed for daily use. The CKX7 that we tried out are the middle of the range in ear phones which cost £60 or £55 without the inline controls and has the following features:
- 360° rotating ear tip conforms to your ear canal for personalized fit and better sound isolation
- C-tip design ts the shape of your ear for reliable stay-in-place comfort
- Flat cable eliminates annoying tangles and lasts longer
- In-line mic/volume & controls for compatible smartphones (iS models)
- Frequency Response: 10 – 24,000 Hz; Sensitivity: 102 dB; Impedance: 16 ohms
Each pair of earphones come with 3 sized ear tips and 3 different sized C-tips, this is the rubber bit that wraps around inside the helix of your ear holding the earphones in place.
My first impression was the sheer size of the earphone and the thought that they would be quite uncomfortable and likely fall out of the ear easily. However after playing around with the fit for a while I found them surprisingly comfortable, the 360° rotating ear tip is quite genius I think and can help you really find a comfortable fit based on the anatomy of your ear. When combined with the C-Tips there was no issue with them falling out and I used them on the treadmill for 30+ minutes and they never fell out or needed adjusting (something that always needs to be done with any other earphones we have tried).
I tested the earphones with a range of music including Nine Inch Nails, Chemical Brothers, Johnny Cash and many more. Personally I found the overall performance to be above other earphones within the same price range, and while I am no audiophile I found the sound quite balanced, the base was nice and deep but only when needed rather than being excessively boomy compared to many earphones nowadays.
I found them particularly good at blocking out any noise and was able to run on the treadmill while still being able to listen to my music at a reasonably low level. No doubt this is due to the varying sized tips as well as the rotating tip allowing me to get a nice seal in my ear.
Unfortunately I only had chance to check the 7 series of this line so I cannot comment if it is worth saving a few pounds and getting the 5 series, or spending a little extra and getting the 9s. Overall I would definitely recommend these and looking at the Audio Technica website they offer a 30 day satisfaction guarantee so you could always return them if they are not up to your satisfaction.