Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Written by Cheryl Tan
Incredible battery life of 45 hours total
Hard-hitting bass with good rumble
Detail in low end is good, while not sacrificing too much details in the mid
A key selling point of true wireless earphones is the battery life. After all, if your earbuds will die after just a couple of hours, there’s really no point in going true wireless when you can’t use it, right? Well, Audio Technica has blown all the other brands out of the water with the new ATH-CKS5TW true wireless earbuds. Boasting 45 hours of playback time, you’ll get 15 hours in the earbuds with 30 hours in the case.
It’s incredible how light the case and earbuds are for that amount of battery packed into it. The earbuds are 8 grams each, and the case only weighs 60 grams, which make a total of 76 grams. That’s only 2 grams heavier than the Creative Outlier Gold, but you get an additional 6 hours of battery life (45 hours vs 39 hours).
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up the earbuds from the case is that they’re big. And for good reason, because Audio Technica has managed to fit a 10mm dynamic driver into these. As part of the Solid Bass series, it definitely lives up to the name.
The bass rumbles and hits hard without crossing the line into bloatedness. Drums hit well and the mids aren’t too recessed. You do lose a bit of detail in the highs though, with cymbals and the likes feeling a little muffled.
For songs with heavier bass however, you’ll notice the low end actually starts to become a bit muddy. But generally for the mainstream consumer with pop songs, detail in the low end is good while not sacrificing too much in the mids.
Fit of the earphones are good; they do stick out but sit comfortably and quite securely in the ear thanks to the included silicon rings with a loop. These also support Qualcomm aptX, AAC and SBC.
I did notice a few stutters when walking away from my phone in the office, even with a clear line of sight. So if a stable connection is the priority over sound quality, users will want to change to SBC in the Audio Technica Connect app. Unfortunately, there’s no equaliser in-app.
At S$218, this isn’t the most affordable true wireless out there, but it’s certainly significantly cheaper than most, while offering excellent battery life and good sound quality with plenty of bass.