Our Verdict 
Needs a bit more refinement, but the ATH-CKX9iS are a solid pair of headphones from Audio Technica
For 
Ingenious design
Comfortable
Meaty, detailed sound
Against 
Not as easy to put in as conventional buds
Short on sonic refinement
Reviewed on

One of the most common complaints we hear about earphones is that they shift and fall out of place.

It’s with this in mind that Audio Technica has made the ATH-CKX9iS earbuds an unusual shape.

Design

The tip goes into the ear canal as usual but the rest sits in your outer ear, held in place by a flexible rubber fin. You get fins in different sizes, as well as several ear tips.

Putting them in is a little fiddly, but get the right fit and these are very comfortable earphones, especially if you use the foam ear tips.

We also like the flat cable, which is mildly tangle-resistant.

It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into design (even if the mic unit is too far from your face to be optimal for hands-free talking).

More after the break

Sound

Sound is mostly good. These buds deliver a balanced, neutral performance with plenty of detail. We really like the energy and sense of space they convey.

Sadly, this is let down a little by a hardness to the sound. These headphones need a bit more refinement to be great.

Verdict

We applaud the fact that Audio Technica has done something to address the problem of buds slipping in the ear, and those who find this a recurring problem would do well to give the ATH-CKX9iS an audition.

 

MORE: Best headphones 2014

 

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