Stereocheck Reviews:
Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9: High-quality mids and a disinfecting case

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
8.5

Today we are reviewing a new product from the well-known Audio-Technica brand : TWS with classic dynamic emitters, a system of intelligent noise reduction, modern design and ultraviolet LED sterilization of the charging case. Let’s consider the features of the new product and talk about the experience of using it in everyday life.

Packaging and assembly

The headphones come in a white package with color printing, an image of the headphones and basic information about them. Inside the package is:

  • Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
  • Short USB-C charging cable
  • 3 types of ear pads, 4 sizes each
  • Documentation

 

The ATH-TWX9 earpieces have an unusual shape and a harder frame that covers the sound guide. All of them, in addition to the usual sizes, differ among themselves in length, which further contributes to the choice of the optimal option for fitting headphones.

 

Design and ergonomics

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 look quite stylish and futuristic – the general style of the brand is preserved in a more aggressive form. The body of the headphones is covered with a sticky matte plastic that resembles rubber, but the surface is still plastic. This has a very good effect on the grip of the headphones, but both they and the case collect all the dust and dirt from the surrounding environment, so the model is definitely not suitable for perfectionists who are used to constantly keeping their devices in perfect condition.

 

 

There are white LEDs on the front of the headphones, which softly light up when working, searching for a new device, or charging the headphones.

 

 

Ergonomically, the model is made at the highest level: the optimal fit is achieved thanks to the comfortable shape of the case, low weight and the variability of the choice of ear pads. Headphones sit securely and do not fall out even during active sports or running, especially since they have protection against splashes and are not afraid of sweat.

 

 

Although the case seems too big, in fact it is also quite light and has modest dimensions – slightly larger than AirPods or Anker and it will not fit in a small jeans pocket, but it does not take up much space. 5 LEDs are responsible for the charge level of the case.

By the way, a system of deep ultraviolet LED sterilization is built into the case, which should theoretically eliminate bacteria and viruses from the surface of the headphones (a little late for the pandemic, but disinfection will never be superfluous). It is difficult to say how effective it is, because the manufacturer does not have any certification from medical authorities on the website, or at least laboratory tests of the surface before and after treatment, so the technology is rather advertising.

 

 

Also, the case has a chrome surface in the place where the headphones are inserted, which is designed to help sterilization. In addition, it also looks quite attractive.

Management, application and autonomy

The headphones use a hybrid control system: to activate the functions, the user must both press the button on the leg and touch the sensor zones, which is a little unusual, because usually manufacturers choose one option.

The initial pairing process is typical for most models: as soon as the user takes the headphones out of the box and places them in the case, they are instantly ready for connection and signaled by LEDs. After establishing a connection, the headphones will offer to download the proprietary Audio-Technica application (which immediately received an update for the headphones).

In the application, everything is also quite typical: settings such as equalizer control, noise reduction settings, control and voice assistant settings, audio codec selection, connection and quality priority modes, sound balance settings, etc. are available to the user.

From one charge, the headphones work for 4-5 hours, depending on the active functions, and another 12 hours from the case. By the way, ATH-TWX9 support wireless charging, and are fully charged in about 2 hours via wire.

Noise cancellation and microphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9’s noise cancellation is well-balanced and quite effectively isolates from ambient noise without being too aggressive. The pressure on the eardrums is minimal, the adaptation process is a little faster than in most models with ANC.

The built-in microphones of the ATH-TWX9 have good voice quality, but they are inferior to  Apple AirPods Pro 2  or  Anker SoundCore Liberty 4  (a review of which can be read  at the link ). However, you can answer a short call even in a rather noisy space, thanks to the noise cancellation system. The headphones also support multipoint (connection to several sound sources), which will come in handy when using them with several devices such as a laptop-smartphone pair.

As for the sound transmission mode, it can be a bit intense for ANC-sensitive users, making it less comfortable for regular use, but overall it doesn’t push the boundaries of comfortable use like some Chinese TWS models. There is also a built-in mode for quick conversations without the need to remove the headphones from the ears, which is very convenient in conditions of movement around the city.

Specifications

  • Design type:  In-canal headphones
  • Type of connection:  Wireless
  • Bluetooth codec: aptX Adaptive, AAC, SBC
  • Emitter type:  Dynamic
  • Frequency range, Hz: 10-40,000
  • Resistance value, Ohm: 16
  • Sensitivity, Db: 102

 

The dynamic 5.8mm driver of the ATH-TWX9 delivers quality sound, while the hybrid microphone system is responsible for noise control, providing five preset noise cancellation modes, as well as the ability to adjust the noise cancellation according to the environment. A simple touch sensor on the left earcup allows you to select one of the preset ANC modes or adjust the optimization according to your surroundings.

The ATH-TWX9 are splash-proof and meet the IPX4 protection class, which allows you to use them even in light rain or during sports.

The headphones are compact, ergonomic and have a non-slip design that ensures a reliable and comfortable fit throughout the listening time. The model is also compatible with Sony 360 Reality Audio.

High-quality communication is ensured by the use of two high-performance MEMS microphones and Qualcomm cVc Generation 8.0 technology, and the side tone suppression scheme improves the quality of the conversation.

Qualcomm True Wireless Mirroring technology independently transmits sound to the left and right headphones, reducing interruptions and video delays. The multi-point connection function ensures seamless connection to two Bluetooth devices at the same time.

The charging case is equipped with a deep UV LED sterilization system with a unique mirror coating that effectively removes bacteria and viruses from the surface of the headphones, maintaining hygienic use.

Sound

Best of all, the model succeeds in the informative and emotional transmission of midrange frequencies: they are detailed and well separated. Also, the transmission of low frequencies is quite high-quality, which, although they climb into the mid-low frequencies, but are not so significant that it can be heard on all compositions without exception – it is noticeable only where sufficient attention was not paid during the recording.

The bass is informative and saturated, which has a positive effect on listening to modern compositions and genres with pronounced low frequencies. The upper frequencies are noticeably muffled, but this will be to the taste of people who do not like a large number of high sounds. Interesting work with vocals, which is noticeable on pronounced vocal parts.

The construction of the stage is at a good level for TWS, especially the percussion and string instruments.

The main testing was carried out on Google Pixel 4a and Apple MacBook Air M1 using the streaming services Spotify and Tidal, as well as through the Audirvana Studio program.

Conclusion

This is an interesting experimental model from a well-known brand. Saturated low frequencies, interesting presentation of the midrange, attractive design and unusual functions.

Compared to popular wireless models, the sound is inferior in saturation, but in terms of smoothness of delivery, ergonomics and functionality, the Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 stands out among the rest.

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9
8.5
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