Headphones are the hottest gadget around at the moment, there I said it! The boom in music streaming services and the ability to listen on the move has resulted in much more competition, which means quality and features of headphones are getting better all the time.
Last month Audio-Technica sent me a pair of their fresh off the line ATH-CKX5iS headphones to review, so they’ve been in my ears to test the ‘extraordinary’ comfort promised by the official 5iS page.
The box is transparent, which means you’ll get a good look at what’s included before you even rip it open. From the outside looking in the headphones look quality but complicated and somewhat uncomfortable (thankfully my fears were unfounded).
Inside you’ll find a set of 5iS In-Ear headphones, different sized buds (XS/S/M/L), three different C tip adapters and a branded drawstring pouch. After a few minutes of fiddling I had a combination that fit snugly in my ear cannel and outer ear – they seriously feel stable and comfortable once in.
Audio-Technica has targeted the mobile market in more than one way with the 5iS.
The moulded interchangeable ear pieces ensure they stay in place whilst jogging, walking up stairs and even whilst standing on the Tube (it can get pretty hectic during rush hour). The in-ear piece is also designed to move, so you can place them exactly where you want them. The possibilities are endless – up, down, left or right.
The Y-shaped cable comes equipped with an inline volume control and microphone that works with most smart phones. This worked straight out of the box with my iPhone, iPad and a couple of Android handsets. The multi-directional microphone also works well, although I cannot help but feel it is still strange to walk around on the phone with your headphones in.
At the end of the cable you’ll find an L-Shaped jack coated in gold. This not only looks great but ensures sound quality remains crisp and static free. Although this is now a standard feature on high-end earphones it was a nice addition to find (especially as the 5iS headphones retail at around £40).
How they Sound
This is obviously the most important aspect of any headphones and the 5iS do not disappoint. They are great through lows, mids and high frequency sounds which makes them ideal whatever your tastes. The only slight niggle, one that blights most in-ear headphones, is the sound can be tinny when playing bass heavy music.
The Audio-Technica 5iS headphones are a good fit (pardon the pun) for people on the move; be that on the road, pavement, gym or Tube! The clever C inserts keep them comfortably in your ears, plus they come in a range of colours suitable for any taste.