When Audio-Technica announced its new True Wireless headphone duo, the ATH-CKS3TW, and the ATH-CKS5TW at IFA 2019, it was no surprise that the spotlight was on the ATH-CKS3TW. Priced at SGD 158, the ATH-CKS3TW is a competitively priced True Wireless offering from a company whom one could trust to deliver a product with decent sound quality.

Design and Build

Following the ATH-CKR7TW and the ATH-SPORT7TW, the introduction of the competitively priced ATH-CKS3TW is an attempt by the company to bring its True Wireless offering to a broader audience, allowing them to connect and explore with a truly wireless audio experience.

With the new models, the company has changed its charging case from the elongated pillbox-style design to the dental floss-style design similar to that of AirPod with a flip-top cover with the pair of matte-finished earbuds snapping into place magnetically when placed near the case.

Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW

When seated in the case, a good part of the housing of the earbuds protrudes out, catering for easy retrieval when one needs access to the earbuds. The charging of the case is via a USB Type-C battery port on the right side of the case.

Similar to the ATH-SPORT7TWBK, Audio-Technica opted for an oval-shaped design with touch controls for the ATH-CK3TW; it is, however, smaller. Minimalistic and straightforward, the overall design of the case and the earbuds are attractive and highly desirable. It also features a more extended nozzle allowing the earbud to stick more rooted into the ear canal, coupled with the silicone ear tips which are matched in the same colour as the earbuds provide a deep and good seal which is essential for excellent noise isolation. For the record, ATH-CK3TW is the most comfortable TWS offering from Audio-Technica, which I have experienced so far.

Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW

The ATH-CK3TW also features a water-resistant design rated at IPX2, which means that the earbuds were tested four times in four different positions with the water exposure corresponding to that of a 3mm per min rainfall. The rating makes them suitable for resistance against normal perspiration, light rain, and light workouts.

The ATH-CK3TW is available in four colours namely black, blue, red and white; included in the package together with the earbuds and the charging case is a 30cm USB Type-A to USB Type-C charging cable, four pairs of ear tips (XS, S, M, and L) with M preinstalled on the earbuds as well as the user guides and warranty information.

Part 1: Introduction, Design and Build
Part 2: Usability
Part 3: Sound Quality
Part 4: Product Specifications
Part 5: Review Ratings, Summary

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Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp.

Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

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