Review: Audio Technica Wireless Earbuds with Touch Controls & Powerful Volume

As popular as Apple's AirPods are, there are openings where other vendors can fill in the gaps. For starters, enough with the white plastic. I had the opportunity to try ATH-CK3TW In-Ear Wireless Headphones ($99) by Audio Technica at the Consumer Electronics Show. Immediately, you see the dark teal blue color and know these are not your standard earbuds. They are also sold in black or white for those who prefer more mundane color choices.

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The other area of differentiation is power. They recharge via a USB-C port on the side (cable included) but they do not support Qi wireless charging. The USB-C features will be attractive to iPad Pro and Android users who want to minimize the type of cables they carry. The earbuds deliver 6 hours of use and that can go up to 24 using the charging case, which the earbuds magnetically connect to for easy charging. The earbuds are sweat and rain resistant too, while Apple's expensive AirPods Pro have eartips, so does the much more affordable Audio Technica model, with XS/S/M/L options. 

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The most important part of earbuds is sound, and I found that these can get quite loud despite not having noise cancellation. I found them to be very clear as well, even when the volume is turned up all the way. And you can control the playback and volume using touch controls, although the small size of the earbuds' exterior surface makes it challenging.

Pros

  • Unique blue color option plus black or white
  • Volume can get quite loud
  • USB-C charging port, on the side
  • 6 hours of use and 24 hours using charging case
  • Magnetically connects to charging case

Cons

  • No noise cancellation
  • Does not have Qi wireless charging

Final Verdict

The ATH-CK3TW from Audio Technica are an attractive alternative to Apple's AirPods if you don't need wireless charging and noise cancellation.

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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.