Audio Technica ATH-CKS5TW true wireless buds boast impressive 45-hour battery

Audio-Technica takes two headphone models into the true wireless battlefield
(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

Audio Technica has thrown its IFA 2019 cards on the table and revealed a double helping of true wireless headphones (in addition to a new USB turntable).

The Audio Technica ATH-CKS5TW earbuds are the £149/€159 pair to watch out for, with the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 very much in their sights. They boast larger 10mm drivers than the competition, however, with dual-layered diaphragms aiming to produce richness and accuracy across the frequency range. 

The Japanese brand has also dreamed up a new ear tip design for the in-ear holy trinity of better comfort, increased noise isolation and a more secure fit. The hope is that they will assist the delivery of better high-frequency performance too.

The real selling point: a total of 45 hours of battery life on a single USB-C charge – 15 hours stored in the buds themselves and a further 30 hours in the carry case. It's pretty remarkable considering this time last year the most enduring pairs had half that stamina on paper.

And to help reserve that, they’ll switch themselves on and off (and connect) automatically when taken in and out from the case.

There are button controls on the earbuds themselves, plus an Audio Technica Connect mobile app for playback control and other features including a device location – just in case you lose one or both of the earpieces.

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

The Audio Technica ATH-CKS5TW is available in black only, but for something a little cheaper and certainly more cheerful there is the Audio Technica ATH-CK3TW at £99/€159, coming in a choice of blue or red as well as black and white.

Their 5.8mm drivers are smaller, as is the battery life with 6 hours in the buds and 24 hours in the case, but precision audio is still promised alongside a sound-savvy connection thanks to the built-in Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus low latency technology.

Unlike their pricier siblings, ATH-CK3TWs are compatible with both Apple and Google voice assistants and feature Clear Voice Capture technology for noise cancellation during phone calls. They’re also drip-proof with IPX2 water resistance to make them suitable for exercise.

Audio-Technica takes two headphone models into the true wireless battlefield

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

We’ve seen some excellent products in the true wireless headphones space over the last year and we’re hoping for big things here too. We look forward to getting the Audio Technica ATH-CKS5TW and Audio Technica ATH-CK3TW in for testing ahead of their respective September and November launch dates.


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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.