Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – A very good all-round performer

Outstanding value mid-range headphones. I’m not an audiophile but i do like to improve my audio quality to the best i can within a budget. I consider headphones important but at the same time am wary of how easily they are broken therefore, i don’t like to spend excessive amounts of cash on them. Spending over £100 is what i consider high risk. I saw these a-t sonic fuel on the vine so i thought i would see how these compare to my sony md-ex510’s. Same price now (although the sony is obsolete) but the sony was originally higher. In my testing i used the cowon d20 32gb mp3 player – black – dogs dinner interface but outstanding audio. To be fair on the at’s i plugged them into my pc and played music into them all weekend to burn the in a little. Physically, the at is quite sizeable thanks the extra bulk of the in-ear ‘c’ fitting and driver covering. This adds to the weight so when comparing the two, the sony ear piece comes in at 3g whilst the at is 7g.

Despite owning far too many headphones from sennheiser, koss, rha, denon, etc, i’ve never tried a pair of audio-technicas – a brand with a good reputation and, typically, far more expensive headphones than the ones i’m reviewing now. First impressions were excellent. The packaging is compact and well designed, making use of stiff cardboard rather than plastic. The headphones and the case for their earbuds are stored in an origami-like construction with two apertures cut out to give a glimpse of what’s inside. The ‘phones themselves are black aside from the silver audio-technica logo. They look unusual and classy. The earbud case itself is a sturdy little thing, packed with buds in a plethora of sizes and shapes, including foam tips, which many people would have to buy separately with other headphones. I don’t typically change out my earbuds on the go, but a case for keeping them organised is definitely a bonus. Fortunately, the default earbuds that come attached fit me fine, aided by the interesting construction of the earphone itself: it has a rubber extrusion that fits into the fold in your upper ear, thereby keeping everything secure and comfortable without the need for an over-ear band or wire like many other headphones.

Great mid/high end earbuds. . These are a top quality set of in-ear headphones. Opening the packaging and you are presented with an absolutely gorgeous semi-hard carrying case embossed with the audio-technica logo. In the case you find a beautifully made set of headphones complete with multiple sizes and types of ear-bud fitments. There is sure to be a size and style that fits your ears. They really do look great without being too ostentatious. Personally i found the ear-buds with the extra “c” retaining clip a little uncomfortable, so changed it to the more conventional fitment. Sound from these headphones though is truly superb with bass being especially good without being totally overpowering. Sound isolation was also really very good indeed. I’ve got quite a few sets of headphones and these are easily the best in-ear set i have used.

These are the best-fitting earphones i’ve ever used. Most times i’m adjusting the buds, or pushing them back into my ears. These buds go a little deeper (which also improves noise isolation), but the silicon arms fit the folds of my ears perfectly. Luckily, they also sound great – not too bassy (the bane of modern earphones), clear sound with just a touch of echo. Excellent design, excellent performance – these come highly recommended.

  • Outstanding value mid-range headphones
  • Perfect Pair for the Price
  • High Quality Audio On The Move
  • Good sound, Android compatible BUT awkward cable/remote
  • Sonic Fuel Indeed
  • A very good all-round performer

Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

  • In-line control with mic for answering/ending calls, controlling music and video playback.
  • Large 13.5mm performance enhanced drivers offer a premium listening experience
  • C-tip design fits the shape of your ear for reliable, stay in place comfort
  • Hard case keeps headphones protected and easy to find every time

Having used a number of earphones with varied, but generally disappointing performance in the last couple of years i wasn’t expecting too much from these. They are the first in-ear c-tip design i’ve tried, having previously opted for the mote traditional earphones or those that latch over the ear. I was pleasantly surprised by their comfort. The c-tip comes in three different sizes much as the ear-buds do, and the soft rubbery plastic nestles comfortably in the ear holding the earphone in place without ever feeling awkward or irritating. On occasion it took me a few attempts to get it sitting properly and comfortably, but no more so than any other earphones i’ve used. I always prefer a flat wire as it makes untangling the earphones so much easier, and these are no exception. I’m less keen on the black and grey design and would’ve preferred a full black colouring but that is purely down to personal preferrence. The in-line mic is made of a glossy plastic, but in contrast to a number of others i’ve tried, it doesn’t feel cheap. The answer/play/pause button has a nice click without requiring too much effort, and i like the volume slider, although it would be nice if this could be locked in place as i did find it tended to get nudged by clothing.

Good sound, android compatible but awkward cable/remote. Pros:- very good sound, all round- good fit, they won’t fall out and are gym/sport friendly- remote is fully android compatible- look goodcons:- the long cable and positioning of the remote in the middle of the cable make it awkward. I may droop and catch something if you bend over, because of the length and the remote pulling it down. It’s so low that you have to hold it up or shout to use the mic. For sports, or if you wore a layer above it, it’s too low to access. At the gym, i end accidentally pressing the remote button when on machines that require you rest you chest on a pad.

These aren’t cheap,but they do a good job. I’ve used them when working in the garden cutting down some bushes and with the foam eartips on they were a tight fit,which i only managed to pull out once in a couple of hours,a definite improvement on others i have tried,including ones with foam tips. So,i would’ve thought they’d be ideal for running or other physical activities,including work. There is a handy but limited volume control on the cable,which just lowers the volume rather than muting it,and a button to change tracks for a phone or mp3 player. It comes with a selection of 4 ear tips and 3 c-tips,so most people should be able to find a combination that fits – i found the smallest c-tips were the most comfortable and unobtrusive to wear and the memory foam tips made sure they stayed firmly in place. Overall,a very good sound,although i found it worked better with my samsung mp4 player than with a aves air dab radio,but i think that’s down to the source. Very clear and accurate reproduction,but this does become a little harsh at very high volumes. The flat cable does stop them tangling too badly and makes it easier to untangle them. All in all,i like them and would recommend them.

One comment

  • Colour Name: Silver Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    Overall good sound quality but not the best. Overall good sound quality but not the best. The microphone position is annoying as others have pointed out. As a workaround, you can take it around the neck but it is not comfortable to do so.
  • Colour Name: Black Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    Excellent sound quality – they fit perfectly and are extremely good for the price.
  • Colour Name: Black Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    Brilliant quality, excellent case, the buds can be a bit abrasive.
  • Colour Name: Black Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    The bose were the best but the batteries are now fused into the body. I have bought countless numbers of headphones – cheap and very expensive bose. The bose were the best but the batteries are now fused into the bodythese are the closest i have got in a relatively inexpensive headphone – they are in-ear earpieces but actually are as comfortable over time as the bose over-ear (they made me sweat).
  • Colour Name: Silver Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    First of all, if you’re used to using low price earphones (under £20) and are skeptical about spending 3x the price you’d usually pay for a pair of earphones. I can assure you there’s no need to worry. These earphones are amazingsound quality: the sound quality is amazing in my opinion. But that’s what i’d expect from earphones at this price range. Not to mention they’re audio technica. Bass: the bass is there but its not intrusive. You can hear and feel it but it doesn’t ruin the rest of the music. The bass is clear and satisfying. Voices in songs are defined but not overpowering. There is a good balance of the three. Voices aren’t drowned out by other sounds but voices don’t drown out the music. Treble: the higher pitched instrumentals and voices sound great too. [soft?] in a way that the hi-hats, cymbals, high pitched voices and instruments are heard clearly but they don’t sound harsh or sharp. Design: build quality is decent too. The cable is flexible, the earphones seem tough but the volume slider feels a bit flimsy though. Carrying case is hard and nice to have to protect your earphones. The design is nice, the ear hooks provide support to stop earphones from falling out.
    • Colour Name: Silver Verified Purchase
      Best headphones i have ever owned, really comfortable aswell.
  • Colour Name: Black Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    I bought a pair of ath-ckx9is earphones back in december ’14. Recently, my earphones have been playing up; the headphone jack has a connection problem, making the sound significantly quieter, the in line volume control and button are doing their own thing (they no longer function as they’re supposed to). I’m quite disappointed because i thought i would get much more use out of these headphones for the price.
    • Colour Name: Silver Verified Purchase
      I risked it again by getting these and they have been absolutely fantastic. The sound quality is way better than the. I had previously bought the overpriced beats tours 2. 0 which only lasted a couple of months as no sound came out of one ear. I risked it again by getting these and they have been absolutely fantastic. The sound quality is way better than the beats tours and the build quality is quite sturdy around the earbud. The bass is pretty amazing as well and the loudness is satisfactory. I would give this product 5 stars but after 7 months the sound only worked on one ear.I hadn’t taken care of them as well as i should have however they weren’t seriously neglected which makes me a bit frustrated.
  • Colour Name: Silver Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    Solid fit, good but they have issues. . Good nice clear sound, they are large and relativity heavy but you cant tell thing that well due to there solid and comfy fit. They really wont ever come out or your ears unless you want them to, i can drop my ipod nano from chest hight with the force of the fall going completely on to the ear bud “hocks” and they stay in. Although that said, i have had 2 dead on arrives, and 2 sets the wires got pulled out the ear phones, there size means they tend to catch on things more often. There fine but if you can afford the move to the sennheiser m2ie momentums i would whole heartedly recommending doing that.
  • Colour Name: Silver Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    Probably the last pair of headphones i’ll ever need to purchase. I usually go all black with my accessories but the white earpieces and half blue/black ribbon is flair and i’m pretty proud their mine. Sound quality is clear and true. If it’s not i’m sooner to blame the file format of the audio than the headphones. The custom plugs are nice too to get that perfect fit so it’s really rare that they accidentally fall out of place. The custom pieces are quite stubborn to get on and off but thankfully you only need to do that a few times when you first buy it so it’s not a strain and to be honest, it’s great to have the ease of mind that having the ear nubs accidentally pop out will be a thing of the past. The in-line mic i feared was too far from my mouth but it pics up my voice just fine for a phone call and you don’t have to do that barbaric thing of holding the mic in front of your mouth, it can just hang freely. The volume adjust controls gain and so it doesn’t send signals to your phone for volume. The control button does however do the usual pause, play, skip and previous controls just fine. The ribbon connections at either end are also very resilient.
  • Colour Name: Silver Verified Purchase

    This review is from : Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS Sonic Fuel In Ear Headphones – Silver

    The highs and low match the music perfectly and never give merky bass or muffled highs. Amazing sound and build quality, if i was to fault it it would only be that the earphones stick out a bit and looks a bit odd. But otherwise it is an amazing product.
    • Colour Name: Black Verified Purchase
      Good earphones, lacks a lil of bass though. Just as decribed, good earphones, lacks a lil of bass though.