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Audio-Technica Announces SonicFuel Earbud/Canalphone Hybrids: ATH-CHX5 and CHX7 - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Originally Posted by applehead View Post

Got the ATH-CHX7iS at Yodobashi Osaka about a week ago since I was looking for something to use while running.

I was a little surprised at their size. Here's me wearing them: http://imgur.com/94oRMIx


In terms of the sound signature, it's on the warm side but not overly so. There's roll off on both ends, making the sound sort of mid-centric but it doesn't give the impression that it lacks bass. The KSC75 and Sportapro have deeper bass, but that's to be expected given the driver size. As least it's well-controlled. The soundstage isn't overly wide, but there's a decent impression of depth although frequencies apart from the midrange do get a little fuzzy. No painful treble spikes either like the SJ55.


I love the tips though! They do a great job sticking in my ears while running, and there's little to no cable noise. They also keep sweat from getting in the drivers. The cable is nice too, being flat and with little ridges similar to the Sony C10ip. I'd rather have a full 3-button volume control though instead of a volume slider and one-button mic control.


Compared to the ATH-CKM500, the CKM500 has significantly more bass, and the CHX7iS sounds more open. The treble quality is more of less the same. Sound isolation on the CHX7 is non-existent, which in my case is good because I don't want to be deaf while running out in the open.


Again, despite my criticisms, they don't suck and are decent for the prize. They're good at what they do and the build quality is pretty good. In terms of their stock sound, I like these better than ibuds which tend to be overly warm in stock form.

Thanks for the impressions!


how the vocals sound?

post #17 of 34
Originally Posted by Zelda View Post

Thanks for the impressions!


how the vocals sound?


A bit hollow and a little fuzzy, but nothing too bad; still very listenable. Not recessed. I'm guessing it's because of the empty space between the grills and the sound bore of the silicone tips (they can't be worn without the tips). If I had to guess why AT tuned them that way, it was probably to give the impression of a more coherent soundstage, which was achieved. The sound is pretty obviously coloured, but not in an offensive way.

post #18 of 34

Can't be worn without the tips? It looks like you should be able to(maybe with some foams)...


post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks applehead for the impressions. Sounds like AT took an off-the-shelf earbud design (from Cresyn?) and just slapped the eartip on there without retuning. Reminds me of the Sony MDR-ED238 I had which sounded much better without the horrible "bass excite tips." Your impressions also seem to be in line with what I heard with the FAD Piano Forte, an sort-of-earbud with a "tip" molded into the housing. I didn't really care for them.

jant71: I guarantee they'd sound pretty decent without the tips. Waiting for the inevitable price collapse.
Edited by kjk1281 - 12/14/13 at 7:33pm
post #20 of 34

The price drop will come and include a two year warranty here as they are already on the U.S. site. All four including i-versions. $64.95 for the 7 and $34.95 for the 5. Seeing how the CKX came out at $95 and can be found for $75 now, we should have $50 CHX7's and $25 CHX5's before too long.

post #21 of 34

Wow! I get a real 90's Aiwa feel from the black CHX7!

(the following picture's have been "borrowed" from different sites on the internet)


Warning! Spam containing earbud nostalgia! (Click to show)


Aiwa HP J9:

Aiwa HP V99:



Aiwa HP D9:


Aiwa HP D6:



Or perhaps old Technics earbuds from the late 80's/early 90's?



The best candidate is RP-HV80, sold between 1989 and 1993/1994:



post #22 of 34
i got the 7s for $45 in shibuya, and im not all that Impressed, the poor isolation really detracts from The rest of th listening Experience
post #23 of 34

I ordered these and a pair of slightly more expensive AT's recently.  The cheaper ones are POSes.  They distort the music on d/l'd music videos from YouTube.  The sound is harsh and tinny, and the ear pieces hurt after 5 minutes.

post #24 of 34

Since the CHX7 fell under $50 shipped, I grabbed a pair...


They look nice. Would be even better if the cable was a darker red more like the housings since it is a nice richer shade more to my liking. S and M silicone caps. Would be nice to have a slightly bigger large included as well. Love the oval AT zip case! Fits in the hand nice, thin, pocket on one side. Good for when I don't need a deeper case like the Brainwavz one.


The cable is holding some of the bends from being in the package. Hopefully it will relax a bit. Not as wide or heavy as an MH1C or S1/S5 flat cable. Y joint is pretty much a rectangular block; not very stylish and may snag/grab on things. No cord slider either which would have been nice.


The housing shape houses the dual bass ducts and makes for a very natural thumb and two finger grip for easy insert and removal. Quite ergonomic in that aspect.


Can be used with or without the caps. Depends on how big one's ears are w/o the caps. I find them fine w/o the caps and a pair of foams. Less open and "speaker" like without the caps on. Typical effect with increasing driver distance from the ear drum but the caps keep more bass in to not have the accompanying thinning out of the sound. Modding potential for bass amount adjustment by taping over the slits in the rear of the caps. Can't really play around till they they have some hours and I have more experience with them.


Early sound impression is a very high quality treble for a bud and fairly tight bass out of the package. Good balance, vocals are clean and not recessed. Nice detail and clarity. All depends on the fit as usual with buds. The shape allows for twisting to get the best sound pretty easily. Fit is off due to the cap size etc. and some hollowness can present itself. Actually pretty impressed on my early listening.

post #25 of 34

After almost a day I do find I like the caps. One of the reasons I bought them was that the caps are removable and usable elsewhere...

May have given some new life to the old PMX680. More possible isolation and good fit. The stock rings didn't agree with me and other rings worked but didn't stay on perfectly. The AT caps look and sound very nice! My other buds are out on loan so I can't try on the Tingo TG and TC just yet.


I did two things since obviously most buds can use tweaking and the caps add another dimension to deal with. That means more can possibly go wrong :)

Since I might need even bigger than the medium caps, I stuffed the openings with earbud foams. Pretty much one cut in half for each side. A little more warmth to make up for the lack of seal some other people may be able to get. Still a pretty neutral bud though. More bass than an AKG K311 but less than a Aurvana Air(fit me fine). More bass than a UU2 or TC100 and seems about the same as a TG38S. I'll know for sure when I get the Tingo back.


I also eliminated any chance of the hollow sound by pushing the caps on all the way. over the and past the channel they normally lock into. This makes the back diameter thicker helping with fit for me. Also being tighter onto the face of the drivers helps the caps be a bit more rigid which seems to help suppress vibration better. 


Anyhow, they may need more burn in but they are still performing well. Might just be my best bud atm. They are right on par with my modded Aiwa. I should change my sig as the Aiwa are really a bit better than the TC100 which would make the CHX7 better than the TC100 as well. The CHX7 sound I am hearing now is very much like a BLOX BE5 with slightly less extension on both ends, cleaner bass, and more enjoyable mids/treble from my recollection of the BLOX. The CHX7 might just have more air as well as they are quite speaker like in sound. Nice case, good looks, good fit, a bit more noise suppression than some other buds, but still not the ideal amount of bass for my liking without EQ at present. Just aren't gonna fit me well enough to bring the warmth and they are pretty much neutral sans EQ. I expected more as most AT 7 series phones bring the bass including the CM707 but the CHX7 is quite well balanced for me. Worth the price of admission but not gonna end my search for the best cheap(under $50) bud. Will certainly keep an eye on future AT buds though :)  

post #26 of 34

Great Earbuds for its Price

(yepp, that's me!)


I received my pair recently and I must say I am impressed with this sub $50 earbuds.


My initial impression:
Audio Quality


Treble is crisp and detailed. However, sometimes the strong and bold mid might bury the treble. The good thing about this earbuds is, the treble doesn't crack when it is boosted. Overall very satisfying treble performance


Strong and bold. Almost like my old CKM500. I the mid is much smoother than Klipsch Image S4a II (which is on the light side). Moving from my Klipsch, I fell in love with the mids. However, I do use equalizer to reduce the mid slightly so it would not bury the fine details


Bass is neutral. A tad soft but clear and not muddy. A small bass boost can fix this issue. The bass produce by this earbuds is round and nice. These earbuds do able to produce kicking bass when needed, but they do it without exaggerating the bass. 

Vocal representation

Vocal is crisp. These buds are great in reproducing vocals like Adele's or Passanger. However, if you listen to opera music, this buds have a bit of trouble of producing round voices.


Surprisingly, for an open buds, the soundstaging is not very well defined. Sure I can differentiate the placing of musical instrument, but I feel like the music are produced in a very small studio instead of a large sound staging like concert halls. I do listen to music through spotify these days instead of FLAC, but I don't think music quality matters after 320kbps onwards.


For overall performance I will give these buds 8.0/10.0 (My 10.0/10.0 benchmark is based on Sennheiser IE800)


For performance over price, however, I give these buds 9.5/10.0 (while my klipsch s4a stands at 9.0/10.0)

In my opinion, thesebuds performs more similiar to CKS99 than CKM500is As other people suggested.


Build Quality

Nice build quality. Cable is on the thin side and I would prefer a better protection but its doing fine. Since I purchased the CHX7iS, there's a mic on my set. I would say the mic placement is not that good as it falls very far from my mouth. However, it is  not something intolerable.


Overall I love this buds. It is the best earbuds(not to be confused with iem) I have ever used. 



post #27 of 34

I received my CHX7iS earbuds and have been using them for a few weeks now, and they are definitely the best headphones I have used that meet my requirements. There are three features I need in headphones:

  1. They must be earbuds that are NOT of the in-ear/sealed variety. I find in-ears to be painful, and I like situational awareness. I'm not a fan of on/over ear headphones.
  2. They must have an inline button and mic that works with an Android phone.
  3. They should have good sound quality.


There are so few headphones out there that meet the first two requirements that I am flexible with the third. Surprisingly, the CHX7iS earbuds meet all three, are pretty reasonably priced, and have excellent sound quality. The CHX7iS are not perfect, but they might be the best non-sealed earbuds around.

Pros: great sound quality, non-sealed earbuds, inline button that works with Android, surprisingly clear mic that also works with Android, flat cable is tangle free, silicone ear tips are removable and replaceable.

Cons: Y-connector is far away from earbuds, earbuds have a large portion that extends away from the ear, included silicone ear tips seemed loose and resulted in slightly hollow sound.


Even though CHX7iS earbuds are the best I have used, I don't have much to compare them with. My previous favorite headphones were the Yurbuds Inspire Talk, which I bought for their fit and functionality, not sound quality. When those died I tried the Bose SIE2i, but returned them when the mic did not work - I'm not sure if they were faulty or if the Bose mic just doesn't work with Android. 



First the features:


The plug, Y-connector, and earbuds are larger and chunkier than others I have seen. Hopefully this means that they are tougher and will last longer. The plug has a right angle. I have found that since the plug is pretty large, when I slide my phone into the front pocket of my jeans, the right angle can sometimes catch against the pocket, and a couple of times has disconnected from the phone. Not a big deal, I just have to be more careful... although this wouldn't happen if the plug was not so large. 


The cable of the CHX7iS is longer than other headphones I have used. This hasn't caused any problems, but it is something I need to get used to. The cable is flat, thicker, and generally has a better quality feel than other headphone cables I have used. I haven't gotten a single tangle yet, so it seems the flat cables really help. 



  • One thing I don't like is that the Y-connector is much further away from the earbuds that I prefer - it is maybe a third of the way along the cable, from the earbuds to the plug. This means that when wearing the earbuds, the Y-connector is around the center of my torso, when I am used to it being closer to my chin. This is a problem because the inline mic, button and volume control are on the Y-connector, and it can be tricky to find them. 
  • Even though the mic is so far down the cable, it does pick up my voice accurately. I was amazed that people could hear me clearly on calls even with the mic so far away from my mouth. With other cheaper headphones, even with the mic next to my mouth people told me they couldn't hear me well. I also tried a few voice commands on my Android phone and they were detected correctly, even outside with wind, traffic, and background noise. 
  • The Y-connector has a single button that works well with Android. A single press will play/pause, and double press will skip to next track. This is enough for my purposes, though I know there are various apps out there that let you assign or change how the button presses work (for example, triple press for previous track). 
  • The Y-connector also has a volume slider, which can change the volume separately from the volume settings on your device. This slider seems a little pointless, but it can be handy if you want to reduce volume without having to dig your phone out of your pocket. I would just pause the music though.



  • The earbuds have two segments: the standard portion that fits in your ear, and a large portion that extends outwards and looks a bit weird. The extra weight doesn't seem to be a problem, but the extruding portion of the earbuds will definitely be uncomfortable in winter if I want to wear a hat over them. I don't know the purpose of this weird segmented design, but I think a more integrated, compact design would be more convenient.
  • The CHX7iS comes with two sets of silicone ear tips. I found the small ones did not stay in my ear, but the medium ones fit pretty well and are comfortable. These tips do not "lock" into your ear in way that the Yurbuds or Bose tips do, so they would probably fall out easily. The "channel" of the CHX7iS ear tips, which directs sound into your ear canal, is wider than other such tips I have used, and even has a secondary opening. I found that this made the sound seem flatter and less focused. 
  • The good news (for me) is that the CHX7iS ear tips fit over the earbuds in exactly the same way as the Yurbuds ear tips do. This means that I can use my old Yurbuds ear tips, which lock into my ears so they don't fall out, and which seem to channel sound better so that the music is richer, and the bass deeper. It is possible to order Yurbuds ear tips on their own, just google for "yurbuds earbud Enhancers".


The CHX7iS also comes with a nice little carrying pouch. It has firm sides, zips up, and has a built-in mesh section to keep the earbuds in place. It is possibly the smallest possible pouch that can contain the earbuds and cable, which can make it a little tricky to fit everything it, but it also means it can nicely fit in a coat pocket.



Now the sound quality:


I'm not an audiophile, so I can't describe the sound quality very effectively. However, even I can tell that the sound through the CHX7iS is MUCH clearer and sharper that the previous headphones I have used. I'm noticing details and tones in music that just didn't come through in cheaper headphones. The sound quality of the CHX7iS is also much better than that of the Bose SIE2i, which cost about twice as much.


I was initially disappointed by the bass of the CHX7iS, since it was not heavy and artificially enhanced as in most other headphones. But after more listening, I realized that without the overblown bass, the bass playing style is more distinct, the bass notes and tones are sharper, and music in general sounds clearer. The bass doesn't overwhelm the music as in other headphones, and I'm finding this to be a huge improvement. 


Maybe it is more accurate to say that I was not an audiophile until I started using these earbuds. I don't think I can go back to cheaper earbuds now!




I was planning to attach images of the CHX7iS to compare its size and bulkiness against my 10 year old iPod earbuds, but I don't have permission to do so. I may try to find a site to host the images and add them later.

post #28 of 34

Sorry for bringing this up, but does anyone knows about these CH7XIS at taobao going for ~USD 30? There's even one seller pricing at just 158 yuan (~25USD), new and genuine (according to the seller), though it doesn't come with original box. And he's a high profiled seller. What's up with these? Why are they so cheap? And for the one selling without original box, what are they doing with the box?

The CHX5IS are very expensive though.


post #29 of 34
Originally Posted by Hitokage View Post

Sorry for bringing this up, but does anyone knows about these CH7XIS at taobao going for ~USD 30? There's even one seller pricing at just 158 yuan (~25USD), new and genuine (according to the seller), though it doesn't come with original box. And he's a high profiled seller. What's up with these? Why are they so cheap? And for the one selling without original box, what are they doing with the box?

The CHX5IS are very expensive though.



...because when it is too good to be true, it usually isn't?

post #30 of 34
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post


...because when it is too good to be true, it usually isn't?

Yup, in such cases I would always ignore in a flash, provided the seller is low profile / lacks good ratings. But if the seller is high profiled with good ratings, and claim the product to be new and genuine, then I'm confused.

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