Audio Technica may traditionally be a pro audio company, but these days the company is also known for its excellent consumer headphones. One of its latest models, the Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT wireless in-ear headphones, aims to stand out from the crowd by offering great value for money and an excellent audio quality.
But are the Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT headphones truly worth buying, or should you steer clear? We put the headphones to the test to find out.
The first thing to note about the Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT headphones is their design, and while they certainly look like most other wireless in-ear headphones, there are a few things that set them apart. For starters, Audio Technica has included two modules on the cable — instead of just one. One of those modules is used for playback and volume control, while the other can clip onto your clothing and we assume has a battery inside of it.
The headphones come in at only $60, but in general they seem to be pretty well-built for that price. There are elements of the headphones that could be points of failure — like the thin plastic cables — but the control modules and earbuds themselves seem to be relatively strong.
Apart from those things, the design of the headphones is pretty subtle, and it looks good. There’s an Audio Technica logo on each earbud, and the earbuds themselves look very small — which will likely help when it comes to comfort.
In the box, apart from the headphones themselves, you’ll find a MicroUSB cable and a case with three extra pairs of ear tips, bringing the total to four pairs including the pair that comes pre-installed. You’ll also get a small carry bag, which is a nice inclusion.
As mentioned, the actual earbuds on the Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT are relatively small, and that’s good news for those that worry about comfort. As with any in-ear headphones, we recommend experimenting a little with the different ear tips to find the right fit — in the end, we opted for slightly smaller ear tips than what was pre-installed on the headphones.
The battery module on the headphones is a little heavy, and as such if you don’t clip it to your clothing, you may experience the earbuds falling out a little more than you might like. With the module clipped to your clothing, however, we found that the headphones were very comfortable for even longer listening periods.
Audio Technica is a master when it comes to sound quality, and the Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT headphones are no exception to that rule. Despite their low price, the headphones come in with a decent sound — making them an excellent choice for those that want good-sounding headphones for cheap.
The bass response on the headphones is perhaps the weakest frequency range — but it’s not terrible. Mega-bass fans will definitely want to look elsewhere, but those that don’t mind a tight and slightly laid-back bass tone may appreciate what these have to offer. We would have liked to see a slightly boosted bass tone, with better extension, however.
The mid range isn’t bad, but it’s not stellar. The low mids, like the lows, have been given a back seat, however there is a slight bump in the high mids, helping ensure that vocals and guitars come in loud and clear.
The highs aren’t badly tuned either, but like the lows a bit more extension would have been nice. Despite that, there’s a solid amount of clarity and detail in the highs, which is good news for those that like good instrument separation.
In the end, the Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT headphones don’t sound bad, but they could have used a few tweaks. A boosted bass and low mids would have been nice, for example.
The Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT headphones have that somewhat heavy battery module — but does that translate into an excellent battery life? Unfortunately, not really. The headphones come in with a battery life of up to 7 hours of use, which is a little low. The JBL UA Sport Wireless Flex headphones, for example, come in with 11 hours, and the JLab Audio Epic Sport Wireless headphones step things up to 12 hours.
the headphones connect to your listening device through Bluetooth 4.1, and as such you’ll get a listening range of up to 10 meters, or 33 feet. We found that the headphones were fine at retaining a strong connection within that distance.
The Audio Technica ATH-CKR35BT headphones are an interesting offering. They’re well-designed and quite comfortable for a pair of in-ear headphones. They also sound decent — though there are a few sound quality quirks that we would have liked changed.
But are there any better options in the $60 price range? Well, not really. There are better options for those willing to spend a little extra. For example, the JBL Reflect Mini 2 headphones come in at $100, and offer a few advantages like better performance and slightly better sound quality.
Still, considering the fact that the headphones offer a nice design, good comfort-level, and decent sound quality, we’ve awarded the headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||5Hz – 24kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||9.8mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||7 Hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.1||Cable length||N/A|
||No||Case type||Carry bag|
|Weight||15.5g (0.5oz)||Colors||Black, blue, white|