Audio-Technica’s new flagship true wireless earbuds are simply superb

Audio-Technica has been around for 60 years, making amazing headphones, microphones and turntable cartridges. However, the company has made quite a few true wireless earbuds over the past few years, but they’ve never really hit the market in the same way that Sennheiser and Sony have. However, that looks set to change if the company’s new ATH-TWX9 earbuds are anything to go by.

The ATH-TWX9 are premium true wireless earbuds with just about every feature and customization option you could want. In addition to offering dual-hybrid active noise reduction, they also have features such as deep UV sterilization, 360 Reality Audio, plus Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound platform for higher quality music, video and calls. These are earplugs that tick every box.

Thanks to their splash-proof design and IPX4 rating, the ATH-TWX9 can shrug off rain, water splashes and even sweat. There’s a companion smartphone app available for iOS and Android that offers five preset noise-canceling modes or the ability to optimize noise reduction by pressing the touch sensor on the left earcup.

The earbuds come with a dozen ear tips in different sizes and stem lengths to create the perfect acoustic seal, regardless of the listener’s ear shape. A full charge of each earbud’s built-in battery provides up to six hours of listening time and up to 18.5 hours with the spare charge in the storage case.

Audio-Technica has used a newly designed 5.8mm diameter driver with an extended high frequency range inside each earphone. Built around Bluetooth version 5.2, the ATH-TWX9 earbuds can support aptX, aptX Adaptive, AAC and SBC audio codecs. If you have a compatible smartphone that supports the latest SnapDragon Sound platform, Audio-Technica claims it’s even possible to play digital audio up to 24-bit at 96kHz. With the aptX Adaptive codec, the bitrate and resolution automatically adapt to suit the environment depending on how crowded the wireless spectrum is.

The earbuds are equipped with dual high-performance MEMS microphones that use beamforming technology to provide clear speech when making calls or participating in video meetings. With Qualcomm cVc 8.0 technology, the microphones can suppress unwanted background noise. Another nice feature when making calls is the inclusion of side tone so you can hear yourself speak when making calls. Sidetone is very useful and prevents the user from speaking too loudly when calling because they can hear themselves talking.

Like most new Bluetooth earphones, the ATH-TWX9 can be paired with up to two devices simultaneously. This handy feature allows you to listen to music on a personal phone while still making phone calls on a business phone. The advanced technology built into the earbuds allows the user to listen to Sony’s 360 Reality Audio sound, giving the music a stadium feel. Many music streaming services support Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, so you can listen to your favorite music as if you were at a concert.

Anyone who wears earplugs when exercising will know how dirty the eartips can get from dirt, sweat and earwax. The ATH-TWX9’s charging case features a deep-UV LED sterilization system with mirror treatment that eliminates bacteria and viruses from the surface of the earbuds.

I had a chance to try the ATH-TWX9 recently; in my opinion, these are the best earbuds Audio-Technica has made to date. The sound is wonderfully detailed, but without being harsh or distorted. There’s plenty of bass available, but it’s never woolly or overbearing. The overall sound is wonderfully well-balanced and suitable for most genres of music. You can use the Audio-Technica Connect app to fine-tune the sound with EQ controls.

By using Connect the app, it is possible to customize the ATH-TWX9 to a large extent. At first I had some trouble getting the earbuds to sync properly with the app, but a firmware update seems to have fixed that. The app can also customize the clickable control buttons on each earbud.

The control buttons can pause music, skip tracks, take phone calls, adjust volume levels or turn on the ANC function. I prefer clickable buttons on earbuds as they are less prone to accidental release. The Connect app can also select a favorite voice assistant, such as Amazon Alexa Built-in, Google Assistant or Apple Siri.

Verdict: The Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 are the best sounding true wireless earbuds that Audio-Technica has ever made, even if they don’t come cheap. The ATH-TWX9 ticks almost every imaginable box regarding audio codecs, waterproofing, UV sterilization and fully customizable ANC function, which works very effectively. I also love that the ATH-TWX9 has a side tone function for making calls or participating in video meetings. But a pair of earbuds aren’t much use if they don’t sound good. Fortunately, the Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 sounds superb, with a beautifully clean tone and no hint of hiss or distortion. The earbuds’ battery life is good and the overall design is excellent. There is nothing to criticize here. If you want a pair of earbuds that do absolutely everything, the Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 are an excellent buy.

Prices and availability: The Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 true wireless earbuds are available now from Amazon and other retailers for $299 / £279.99 / €319.

More information: www.audio-technica.com

Technical specifications:

  • Type: Dynamic.
  • Driver diameter: 5.8 mm.
  • Sensitivity: 102dB/mW.
  • Frequency response: 10 – 40,000 Hz.
  • Impedance: 16Ω.
  • Microphones: MEMs.
  • Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional.
  • The microphone’s frequency response: 100 – 16,000 Hz.
  • Bluetooth: Version 5.2.
  • Audio codecs: aptX, aptX Adaptive, AAC and SBC.
  • Supported sampling rates: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz (SnapDragon Sound).
  • Supported bit rates: 16-bit, 24-bit.
  • Battery life: 6 hours (earplugs) and 18.5 hours (charging case).
  • Charging method: USB-C or wireless.
  • Charging time: 2.5 hours.
  • Weight: 5.4g (each earbud) and 55.9g (charging case).
  • Waterproof: IPX4.

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