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Audio Technica ATH-CK7 Titanium Earphones

Posted

Pros: Elegant bass, good mids, ok highs

Cons: Not very detailed, rather small soundstage, not very good instrument separation

CK7 earphone is a nice detailed ear piece with titanium housing which makes it very durable. For me, although i am not using it very often this works the same as it used to be the first day i bought it. They require burn in time at least 100 hours and you can definitely tell the difference in the bass section and the mids.

 

 

 

Comfort: i would recommend to be worn over the ear because the drivers have a bit weight due to the titanium housing. its not bad and you can for sure wear them over the ear with no problems. Comfort wise they are ok I would say

 

 

 

Microphonics: The cable is a rubbery very thin one and you have to be careful not to bread it by accident. Still after so many years still is as flexible as it was from the beginning. It ca easily be placed within the given pouch. Over the ear you dont have any microphonics but sometimes the cord seems to get tangled a little bit while you are on the move. It would be better with a shirt clip if it was provided in the first place

 

 

Isolation: Its ok but not something special. The included eartips are one flange, with a big hole inside. but they dont go very deep. Sometimes i find myself to trying to push them harder into my ears but they wont budge. You can get a good seal that is not an issue but because of the a bit shallow fit while walking they will break the seal after a few hours while walking of course. That is also due to the weight.

 

 

Sound Quality: Good bass, punchy but not huge bass. Its ok to feel it but no for bassheads or people that would need something more. Its sound signature is a bit cold in the mids and highs. It seems a bit flat, balanced with no sparks at the highs. No sibilance but not something special to make you WOW. it is more on the neutral side of the spectrum. The bass goes deep. I tested it and i could hear up to 30Hz. Not punch though you just hear it. Soundstage is a bit small. Everything seems very close to you. Separation is not very good and the instrument placement are not very well discerned.

 

 

Value: I paid around 70$ and for that time the value was very good. It was a good buy and i am still satisfied. Coming from an EP830 at first i was a bit shocked on the difference of the SQ but after the hype i have to say that by past standards was an improvement. Although nowadays with the same amount of money you can definitely buy something better

 

This is my first review. Hope you enjoyed it. It was a rather late review (i bought CK7 back in 2007) but i felt i had to write my thoughts just as other people are sharing theirs for people like me to find what they are looking for. Cheers :)

Posted

Pros: Durable build, hopefully the cable too; decent SQ, maybe even good

Cons: Durability of the cable maybe; took a long time to burn-in & bass & mids not satisfactory : bass heavy these are.

I ordered the Audio-Technica ATH-CK7(S) Titanium Earphones to replace my Sony MDR-EXQ1's in terms of a comfortable pair of earphones, with SQ hopefully at least as good as the EX90's.

First Impressions

It seems I may need to find something else with the SQ of the EX90's and the fit of the EXQ1, as so far I am a little disappointed by the CK7's... The mids of the EX90's sound better.
I've been thoroughly comparing the EX90's & CK7's with the Maria João Pires playing the Chopin Nocturnes album recording in PCM on my EH1, and the piano sounds not quite right in the mediums I feel... The tone seems a bit off.

Shame, for comfort-wise, I really am liking the CK7's. And definition-wise, I'm quite impressed too. Even more detail: the instrument separation is better.

Maybe I should have listened to the advice I was given in not getting them, but I really should allow more burn-in time, and only then if they don't improve will I be selling them.
 

 

Further impressions

Well, more burn-in time seems to address the mediums issue, since they have improved a lot. Maybe this will turn out to be a fully satisfactory purchase after all. Comfort-wise I am still very happy with them. Perfect for lying down with them, be it in a hammock, couch or in bed. No qualms with being turned on the side, rolling over; since they don't stick out, no pain whatsoever.
Listening to piano solo is getting to be a nice experience, they are nearing the EX90's tone balance now. I have to keep an ear out for the bass, since they seem a little bloated at times; I'll have to throw some Paul Chambers' Bass on Top to them, before commenting any further on that.

 

 

Even further impressions

 

Yep, these are a little too bass-heavy...

Listening to Flying Lotus with the CK7's gets fatiguing after a while, whereas I don't experience this with the EX90's.

I don't think I will keep them, which is a shame as I'm sure it will be hard to find a replacement that has both the looks, good sound & small footprint. Not too mention they weren't too expensive.

 

Time for a serious upgrade, CK10, CK100? Oh dear, my banker won't approve :D !

 

 

Conclusions

 

I've given them away; I really wanted to like these, but even though the definition was better than my EX90's, there just was too much bass for them to satisfy me.

Posted

Pros: Great detail and balance, durable, comfy, stylish...

Cons: Have that slight AT artificial/bloated mids and bass

I think these are a great portable option for those who don't like full in-ear phones. These are comfortable, easy to get in and out, don't completely cut you off from the world and they are durable.

 

SQ wise I think they are very good, much better than a lot of the semi in-ear canal phones I have tried. they are reasonably balances and detailed. Although they have that slightly bloated in the bass, but MUCH less so than most canal phones.

Posted

Pros: Sound, comfort, isolation, miniscule microphonics

Cons: Cable.

These are the most expensive IEMs I've ever owned, so take my review with whatever seasoning you may need.

 

Bass:  I don't know if these will totally blow away bassheads, but I'm sure these will at lease appease them; I know sometimes I feel a little nauseous with these on and I'm listening to something like Sarah McLachlan - Fallen (Gabriel & Dresden Mix), so these things do not lack bass at all.  Un-EQ'd, these will have more punchy bass than rumble, but when you EQ the bass up on these, then you will get the more rumbly, head-filling bass.  I let a friend of mine who plays the drums give these a listen.  I let him listen to the intro of Superbus - Travel the world and he was amazed by how the drums sounded on these.

 

Mids:  Quite smooth, though to some, it may lack impact.  Vocal tracks come out very nice on these.  Listening to Ellie Goulding - Salt Skin now and her voice, along with the backups, are just coming out magnificently.   These also work wonders with guitars, acoustic or electric.

 

Highs:  I'm not really someone who enjoy's his highs much, take a look at my audio settings and you'll always see the highs EQ'd down by a few decibels.  These I certainly had  to EQ down quite a bit too, mainly the ~5Khz region.  Un-EQ'd, these had sparking highs that were just way to bright for me.  Highhats and claps do sound energetic though, and higher-pitched voiced also sound heavenly. 

 

Fit:  I had trouble at first, maybe because these were the first pair of IEMs I had used in several years.  I find that for me, it is impossible to get a good seal with these if you wear them just hanging down from your ears.  Up and over the ears creates a much much better seal.  The three sizes of tips that come with these will most likely fit anyone.  I stuck with the mid-sized ones.  Now that I have the hang of it, these fit with no problems whatsoever.

 

Comfort:  It's kinda hard to get comfort wrong with IEMs cause there's only one place the earpieces actually contact.  Once you get these in securely, you can hardly feel them.  Lose yourself in the music and you'll forget you have them in.

 

The Cable:  My only peeve with these IEMs is the cable.  It's made of rubber or something very similar to rubber.  This not only reduces durability, but it also makes tangling more of a problem.  Though tangling is only a problem if you dont take your time setting these down, if you do happen to tangle these, it's a chore getting it untangled.  The one good thing that comes from this is the cable transfers nearly zero sounds.  Microphonics on these are nearly nonexistant.  Also, take a close look at the strain relief on the 3.5mm connector.  It doesn't even fit tighly around the cable.  I'm afraid of how easy it might be to yank the cable loose.

 

Overall:  These sound phenomenal and are good for just listening at your desk or while you're working out or running.  While the earpieces themselves may be made of titanium, the durability of the cable still might be a cause for concern, but I usually dont find myself in a position that would test or stress the cable much.

Audio Technica ATH-CK7 Titanium Earphones
Description:

The Audio Technica ATH-CK7 earphones feature titanium construction for durability and light weight while providing outstanding isolation from distracting background noise. Without the use of active noise-cancelling electronics, these in-ear models achieve significant attenuation of outside sound, allowing for increased fidelity and acoustic impact at lower volume levels. Ideal for use with all audio sources, including MP3 and other portable players, they come equipped with interchangeable ear pieces for a comfortable, custom fit. In-ear design forms an acoustic seal that achieves outstanding sound isolation, blocking background noise, preventing sound leakage and allowing for increased fidelity at lower volume levels. The 11mm drivers deliver deep bass, extended treble and high fidelity. Rare-earth neodymium magnets at the heart of the drivers offer maximum sound quality in minimum size. Titanium construction for durability, light weight, and portability. Ideal for use with all audio sources, including MP3 and other portable players. Interchangeable ear pieces (small, medium, large) are included for a comfortable, custom fit Includes protective pouch Gold-plated mini-plug provides exceptional corrosion resistance, superb conductivity Low noise 1.2m Y cable includes an adjustable sleeve for secure fit.

Details:
DetailValue
BrandAudio-Technica
List Price$169.00
ManufacturerAudio-Technica
MPNATH-CK7
Package Quantity1 - In Blister with Accessories, Manual & Warranty
TitleAudio Technica ATH-CK7 Titanium Earphones
Cord TypeLow Microphonics Elastomer Rubber - Y Type
Cord Length1.2m
Driver TypeDynamic ⌀11mm - Neodymium Magnet - Copper-Clad Aluminum Wire Voice Coil
Connector TypeL Type Stereo ⌀3.5mm Gold-Plated
Impedance16Ω
Sound Pressure Level104dB
Additional Information250mW Maximum Input Power under the International Electrotechnical Commission Standard
Additional InformationGood Design Award 2006 06A05002
Additional InformationDrop Forged Titanium Shell
Additional InformationER-CK5 Replacement Interchangeable Silicon Ear Pieces XS in White, S, M & L in Black or Grey - More exotic colours available with ER-CK5 6A/B.
Additional InformationProduced by Hiroyasu Suzuki, Section 2 of the Engineering Department of Audio-Technica
Additional InformationCarrying pouch - S, M & L Black Interchangeable Silicon Ear Pieces
Additional InformationReleased 2005 / 11 / 25
Additional Information10g Weight
Additional Information Designed by Satoshi Saito of YONENOI DESIGN LTD.
Additional Information 12-24,000Hz Frequency Response
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
ATH-CK7ATH-CK74961310087579
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