Review: Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9iS SonicFuel® In-Ear Headphones
For active audio listeners who need in-ear headphones that provide reliable stability, Audio-Technica may have the solution for you. The SonicFuel® ATH-CKX9iS is a near perfect pair of daily in-ear headphones for people who live active lives and need headphones that can keep up. We present our Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9iS review.
- Well-constructed exterior design
- Comfortable, lightweight fit at 5.1 ounces
- 3 Sizes of ear stabilizers & 5 pairs of in-ear tips make for a perfect fit
- 3.5mm L-shaped audio jack prevents wire fray
- 13.5mm drivers
- The flat 1.2-meter cable is tangle resistant
- In-line control featuring microphone, volume slider, multi-function button
- In-line microphone positioned too low for optimal vocal pickup
- Sensitive volume slider
- Not waterproof or sweat-resistant
- Upper-mids lack clarity
- Earphones are large and protrude from ear
The SonicFuel® Design and Features
The ATH-CKX9iS earbuds are very large, but their comprehensive design reveals why. The most prominent features of the ATH-CKX9iS are the C-shaped silicone rubber grips that serve to secure the earphone when you are on the move. They stay put, and you can be confident that they will stand up to any accidental pulls that might occur during activity. With three different sizes of rubber in-ear grips, four pairs of rubber tips and one pair of Comply™ foam tips; you can find the perfect combination for your ear shape and activity level.
For those who prefer to store their headphones after use, you’re in luck. The SonicFuel ATH-CKX9iS headphones come with a hard carrying case.
The ATH-CKX9iS features an in-line control for audio adjustments and phone calls on the go. The in-line control includes a microphone, volume slider and a single control button, which operates the play/pause, skip and call functions. Additionally, holding the button activates Siri and GooglePlay on an Apple iPhone and Google Android devices, respectively. While the in-line control handles most functions well; the volume slider only adjusts the sound level of the speakers themselves and not of your phone. This particular slider makes for less smooth volume adjustments and the absence of a true zero. Minor issues aside, these earphones are incredibly stable and stand up to all the bouncing and other movements that would cause standard ear buds to fall out.
The SonicFuel® Sound
The ATH-CKX9iS headphones sound superb! The 13.5mm dynamic drivers produce premium quality sound performance that is sure to compliment any of your favorite tunes. The clarity of these earphones is a notable factor, and the output mix features a strong bass presence. Overall, they sound great. The highs and lows present a solid mix that proves perfect for pop, hip-hop or other high-energy genres. While useful for exercising and casual listening, these earphones are not ideal for those seeking a flat mix. Additionally, the upper-mids are not very pronounced in the mix resulting in subtle presence for sounds such as brass horns.
ATH-CKX9iS Overall Performance and Final Thoughts
Overall, these ATH-CKX9iS are fantastic headphones for their price and purpose! With excellent sound, high-performance design and an Amazon price of $60; the Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9iS in-ear headphones deserve to be heard. These are some of the best daily use headphones on the market, and for less than $100 provide an excellent alternative to many of the other manufacturer’s current traditional designs. You will love the sound these Audio-Technica’s produce.
Have you tried the Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9iS headphones? Do you agree (or disagree) with any part of this review? Let us know on social media on our Twitter or Facebook pages. And don’t hesitate to head over to the Audio-Technica website. Feel free to check out their 2016 product lineup, recently introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV.
FTC Disclosure: Audio-Technica U.S., Inc. provided Beantown LLC with one ATH-CKX9iS headphones sample for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Beantown LLC and/or Audio-Technica U.S., Inc.[Tweet “Overall, these ATH-CKX9iS are fantastic headphones for their price and purpose! @USAudioTechnica”]