Sound Quality

Featuring a single 5.8mm Dynamic Driver, Bluetooth 5.0 with support for Bluetooth codecs aptX and SBC, which is excellent for Android smartphone users, but not so great for iPhone users who would not get the benefit of AAC.

In terms of sound signature, the ATH-CK3TW exhibits one which is coherent across the frequencies without them overpowering each other; notably, there is a warm overtone with no lack of clarity and treble extensions. Not surprising as these earphones are targetted for the mass market.

Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW

The low-end is where the ATH-CK3TW shines, particularly at the sub-bass, which lays the foundation for the warm overtone of the signature. A lot is coming from the sub-bass but not overbearing and makes up for the lack of quality in tightness and dynamism, particularly as one moves up the frequencies. Despite the lack of quality, the natural imaging coupled with clarity made up for it. It ensured an experience of warmth, which is tasteful and central to the overall sound signature.

Balanced would be the word to describe the mids. While the frequencies exhibit naturalism, it does appear to be very controlled. On one end, there is enough to bring out the low-mids despite the emphasis on the low-end, while on the other end, the higher mids are not-overly emphasized to ensure that there is body despite the lack of details. Similar to the low-end, this has been made up by the fluidity of the presentation.

The high-end exhibits extension, which is a beautiful element to have, coupled with crispness, is an excellent match to the low-end. Lacking the definition to bring out the airiness one would expect, the vocal remains sparkling.

Overall, the ATH-CK3TW exhibits an expansive sound stage, allowing one to experience spaciousness in terms of width. While this provides a decent sense of dimension, the imaging is hazy, particularly when one seeks height and depth for the placement of instruments, it can be attributed to the lack of definition.

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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