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The ATH-CKM500..The best CKM earphone yet.

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  1. Dsnuts Contributor
    Thanks to a good friend of mine that ended up sending me a pair of these CKM500. I thought I would share my views on the newest of the new earphone from Audio Technica. These were released literally about a month ago in Japan. They were just being released on ebay to sell and go for around $72-$87..
    You guys can call me an AT superfan but I tell you what. This AT earphone journey has been worth every cent I have spent on these earphones. And why do these new CKM500 get a thread? You guessed it. These are fantastic earphones.
    042312130711.jpg 042312134340.jpg s01.jpg
    I can tell you guys right now these are gonna take off like crazy.. So without further ado here we go
    Build..on these are their standard short cord version of their earphones. The build quality of all AT earphones are solid and should be something that every earphone manufacturer should strive for, to date I have not had a single AT earphone have issues with anything regarding shoddy build. So the quality is evident in every iteration of their earphones.. These have the same build quality that is on all the CKM and CKS earphones. .Both the CKM77 and the CKM99 have this short cord. It doesn't bother me much but I know there are many guys that didn't like this short cord design with a 2 ft extension. These come with the standard small medium large and X large tips with the same felt pouch that comes with the CKS77. Available in Gold, red, white,black, silver, and blue.
    Sound..I am convinced that AT improves on their house sound with every iteration of headphones and earphones and these are no exception..To put it short. These have the precise detailed extended non fatiguing rich highs that are on the CKM77 but with a nicely detailed and smooth full on mids to go with it.. Very detailed and clean sound, these put a smile on my face almost instantly.. The bass end is balanced out with the rest of the spectrum and has a complete and full quality bass end to balance out the overall presentation.
    Staging for these earphones are nice and wide the same width that is on the CKS77. I think these guys have incorporated some designs from their other earphones and added them to these CKM500. For one the staging on these are wider than most earphones. About the same as the CKS77 and the TF10s. They do have a chamber in the back end which extend their sound and gives precise and detailed imaging. The depth in sound is above average as well. Much more fuller sounding than most but not quite the extent of the CKS earphones. .These are a very clean solid sounding earphones and one that will surprise you for the cost.I have much much more expensive ones that don't have the complete sound these do nor the detail level..
    Highs..have clean full extension, crisp and sparkly substantial yet not hot or sharp in any way..Almost the same exact level of highs that are on the CKM77 and unlike the CKM99 which do have the occasional hot treble these have complete control in the upper registers that give vocals and instruments a very clean yet detailed sound. ATs mastery of the highs are clearly evident in these earphones. They seem to improve in their house sound with the highs in every single iteration. About the best highs as your gonna get without stinging your ears.
    Mids..The new star of the show here. This is the aspect that threw the smile on my face more than anything. I love how my CKM77 sound but I have to admit the mids are not at the same level of sound as the highs or the bass end. These correct that issue..To date these have the best clean balance in overall sound I have heard from AT yet.. Very precise vocal to instrument separation. Vocals are as engaging as they should be and instrument have solid impact on the tunes.. For once AT did not miss out on the MIDS! This my friends is great news..The mids have the perfect amount of fullness that the older CKM77 and the CKM99 are somewhat lacking on. I have noticed as of late AT on their newer earphones the CKS77 and now these CKM500 both have fully realized mids.
    Lows..Again AT is flexing their know how in the bass department on these earphones. These have the full meal deal on all the sound not just the highs mids but the lows. You guys can guess for guys that love a bigger fuller bass end the CKS77 is the thread you should be looking at but the lows on these are %100 quality with the perfect transition from higher mid and Sub bass is perfect to balance out this full sound..Textured perfectly..You get the full satifying punch and low end rumble for them low notes.. For me if the bass end is not right it don't get a thread. Just know this. Tight for rock and metal and beefy for hiphop and EDM. AT is no longer playing around fellas. These earphones are gonna shock many of you because of just how good they sound for much less than a bill.. These are boosted from neutral but cleanly and evenly at the same levels across the spectrum and extended for miles on both ends.  Just the right amount to be engaging yet fully detailed and smooth.
    Conclusion..These incorporate the best of what AT has done in the past and at a great cost for all to enjoy. As of now AT has raised the bar on not just the CKS77 big bass earphones done right. But these new CKM500 are gonna have you neglecting your current favorites. Versatile and complete. I only recommend the best for your hard earned cash.. These are no exception. .It is very fulfilling for me to see 2 great earphones coming out from the house that AT built..You want more emphasis on detailed highs with rich clean full mids the CKM500.. You want the biggest roomiest complete quality sound with the best bass end the CKS77.. Happy listening fellas and enjoy yet another AT masterpiece. These are not just an upgrade to the old CKM50..These are the upgrade to all of them, minus one CKM1000..
    Ericp10 http://www.head-fi.org/t/607006/the-new-ath-ckm500-the-best-ckm-earphone-yet/315#post_8403626
    Vs GR07  http://www.head-fi.org/t/607006/the-new-ath-ckm500-the-best-ckm-earphone-yet/390#post_8406226
    Vs FXT90  http://www.head-fi.org/t/607006/the-new-ath-ckm500-the-best-ckm-earphone-yet/405#post_8410559
    Kwang411 http://www.head-fi.org/t/607006/the-new-ath-ckm500-the-best-ckm-earphone-yet/525#post_8420363
  2. vlenbo
    Build quality is brass...and it has the same looks as the ckm77s and cks77s combined. IT also has the sound quality...so it is full mids like the cks77s, but the details of the ckm77s? Hmmm...so you're saying I'll get to enjoy both if I buy it? ........really? .....and it will beat the crud out of ck10s.........AWESOME!! Nice review, I'll buy this in summer, thank you for your review, I will finally start getting my BUTT IN GEEAR.
  3. Dsnuts Contributor
    Well the CK10s are a different sound but these are kinda like a cross between the CKM77 and the CKS77. If they had sex these would come out. Lol!!
    Totally Dubbed likes this.
  4. vlenbo
    oh trust me, it is like the ckm77s without the bass power, so indeed it is different, but the mids and highs are equal. The staging is similar to cks77s but a bit better, that's it. LOL, I had that as an idea too, maybe I should sell those two to keep their baby!
  5. Dsnuts Contributor
    I told you how those would sound did I not? lol!. Ya if you get rid of those there are many fans of that sound so you will have no issues getting rid of them. Oh and guess what..The CKM500 has a Silver one. You and your titanium color..Ya so AT has come up with a solid performer and for $72 bux.. Deal.
  6. vlenbo
    Yes, and I should have taken that idea off my mind, but at least people will stop buying the ck10s and hopefully buy this ckm500, or the ckm77s if they want a bit of a thinner sound. Thank you so much for your help, I'll see how I'll handle this, and YES! silver titanium! Unfortunately, since I got a necklace like that I decided to forget titanium now, lol. A good done deal it is, I'll wait till I got it, thanks again.
  7. Exprima
    So these are available in blue but the CKS77 comes with a much more convenient cord... hmm... How long is the cord exactly? Surely it can't be as short and the CKM50's, that would be plain stupid.
  8. Dsnuts Contributor
    Ya unfortunately it is the exact same length.. With same 3ft extension..It seems all the CKM earphones come this way. CKM33,CKM55,CKM77,CKM99 and now these CKM500s.

    Is this sound worth putting up with the short cord with extender? You bet. These are the best of the CKM earphones to date in sound. I can only imagine how the CKM1000 sound but at that cost I am not gonna find out any time soon.
  9. Yggdrassilious
    Now I'm just waiting for the FOTM thread that says the Apple ibud is better sounding than CKM99, W4, SE535, ER4, IE800, K3003. 
    H20Fidelity likes this.
  10. Exprima
    Actually according to what I've read the extension cord is 0.6m, the extension on my CKM50 was a full meter from what I can tell. So the cable on the CKM500 with the extension cord should be just as long as the CKS77's. 1.2m shouldn't be too bad to carry around without a cable tie.
  11. Dsnuts Contributor
    Lol. Ya these are seriously impressive for not costing much..It is hard to get this type of refinement for the money. 
    This pricing for this sound just don't exist..These easily have the best of all the previous CKM earphones with more colors to boot. I don't have any issue with the short cord I don't see why they keep thinking that is a universally accepted design however. Can't be perfect I suppose.. For now I do believe these are Japan only but can be bought on ebay.
    I do believe AT is throwing the consumers a bone here..The CKM99s cost almost triple these. I would be lieing if I would recommend those over these.
  12. drkp80
    How big are these earphones? Would they fit someone with small-ish ears comfortably?
  13. Dsnuts Contributor

    These have the same 12.5mm drivers that are in most of the CKM earphones but guess what.. Even better housing design. Not only more roomy for a bigger sound but smaller housing for even greater comfort. So yes. 042312174809.jpg
  14. Exprima
    So how would you describe the bass on these compared to the CKS77? I like somewhat balanced sound with a slight kick in bass (like the M50). Tbh I'm really leaning more towards getting a CKM500 over a CKS77 just 'cuz it's available in blue. Plus the CKM500 is cheaper. :p
  15. Dsnuts Contributor
    Bass is a thumbs up from me..Ya I think these would fit you more. While these are a notch below what is on the CKS earphones these aren't lacking at all in the bass end.. Very satisfactory sound. The Bass is all class..I have some bass tunes I try out all my earphones with and these hit every note with authority and the sub bass is excellent on these too..Get those blue ones. They look nice.. I have been collecting white earphones as of late.  White HJE355, white CKS55 and now these white CKM500..
    The bass end is very close to the CKM50/ CKM99 but tighter. Improved.
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