Japanese headphone maker Audio Technica has just entered the Indian market with a wide range of earphones that suit all kinds of price ranges and preferences. We got a chance to experience the ATH-CKX9 Sonicfuel premium earphones recently. Here are the results.
The best thing about the earphone is its design. The earphone comes with a unique C-tip design that holds it in place for long hours without being a pain for your ears. The top has a rubber C speed grip that holds the rest of the piece in place. It is also much more comfortable than most other earphones with stay in place in tips. The cord is flat and that makes it tangle free which is a good feature for something you are likely to carry everywhere your smartphone goes.
Often superbly designed headphones have horrible sound output. That was worrying me a bit when I started reviewing this earphone. But this pair turned out to be among the most balanced I have tried out in quite some time.
Usually earphones sold in India tend took new a bit too partial to bass. But these ones were good with the entire range of sounds while staying relevant even for those who like a bit of base in their audio equipment. We tested the headphone with some full HD video content played off the new Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone and we’re pretty imputed with the results.
Similarly, it performed well with a wide range of music genres from traditional Carnatic to the very new jazz insipid Crantock fusion. I had absolutely no reason to complain on both ends of the scale. I love western classical too, and the Chopins and Bachs also worked well with this earphone. If there was any complaint, that was about a missing volume controller. But we can live with that especially if we are going to beam all music out of a smartphone.
The ATH-CKX9 appears as a good earphone option, especially since it does not cost as much as its rivals in the market. For those who want to use this in a hands-free mode there is a ATH-CKX9iS with an inbuilt mic.
Driver Diameter: 13.5 mm
Frequency Response: 5 – 25,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power: 20 mW
Impedance: 32 ohms
Weight: 10 g (without cord)
Cable: 1.2 m, Y-type
Connector: 3.5 mm gold-plated stereo mini-plug, L-type
Accessories Included: Hard carrying case, Comply™ foam eartip (M), silicone eartips (XS/S/M/L), C-tips (S/M/L)