[CES 2018] Audio-Technica announces eleven new Bluetooth headphones and a high-end wired headphone


Audio-Technica went crazy this year by launching twelve new headphones at CES 2018. With the exception of one high-end headphone, the eleven other offerings from the Japanese audio brand are Bluetooth wireless headphones. Audio-Technica has generally been quite restrictive in the past in launching wireless headphones, but due to the trend of disappearing 3.5mm audio ports in smartphones and the sharp incline in audio quality through newer versions of Bluetooth, the company has take a bold step by launching a complete range of Bluetooth earphones and headphones. Let’s have a look at all the models along with their features and price tags.

Audio-Technica ATH-ADX500: Features, Price

The most high-end headphones which Audio-Technica announced at CES 2018 is the ATH-ADX500. These are ultra high-end open-back headphones with a price tag of a whopping $1,999 (approx. Rs. 1,26,734) and they’ve been selected as the winner of a CES 2018 Innovation Honoree Award. They company is claiming that these open-back headphones are the finest ever created by Audio-Technica. The magnesium frame helps in making these headphones slim yet rigid at the same time. The earcups are covered with Alcantara microfiber material, which are environment-friendly and offer a comfortable experience.

Like most high-end headphones made for audiophiles and audio professionals, the Audio-Technica ADX500 are capable of playing back Hi-Res audio. They also feature the company’s Core Mount Technology (CMT), which means that its 58mm drivers are symmetrically placed within an Integrated Driver Unit so that the acoustic space within which the drivers are placed are balanced at the front and the back. This results in ideal amount of bass cancellation, which is essential for accurate low-frequency response. It comes with a 3-metre cable with a gold-plated 6.3mm stereo connector.

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC700BT: Features, Price

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC700BT are wireless over-the-ear headphones with QuietPoint active noise cancellation (ANC) technology. Priced at $199 (approx. Rs. 12,616), the headphones have a wide frequency response of 5Hz-40,000Hz when used with the supplied 1.2 metre stereo cable. These Bluetooth headphones feature touch and swipe controls over their earcups, which lets listeners control volume, audio playback, and even in taking and ending voice calls when connected to smartphones.

These Bluetooth 4.1 headphones use 40mm drivers, memory earpads, and 25-hour battery life on a single charge. They can last up to 1000 hours in standby mode. It is compatible with AAC, aptX, and SBC codecs. The company claims that the ANC700BT uses four microphones for active noise cancellation over a wider frequency range than usual active noise cancelling headphones. They will be available in Black and Grey. It comes with a USB cable for charging the headphones and a carry case, which makes it easier to carry them around while travelling.

Audio-Technica ATH-CK200BT: Features, Price

Priced at $69 (approx. Rs. 4,375), the Audio-Technica ATH-CK200BT are the most affordable in-ear Bluetooth earphones from the company this year. These neckband style wireless earphones use 9mm drivers which are tuned for vibrant audio, and the in-line controls can be used to adjust the volume, control music playback, and to make or receive calls.

The battery can last up to seven hours during continuous music playback and up to 200 hours in the standby mode. The company will bundle four sizes of eartips, a USB cable for charging, and a carry pouch along with the CK200BT. These headphones will be available in Black, Blue, and White.

Audio-Technica ATH-CKR35BT, ATH-CKR55BT, ATH-CKR75BT: Features, Price

The company’s new Sound Reality wireless earphone range consists of CKR35BT, CKR-55BT, and CKR75BT, which use 9.8mm, 10.7mm, and 11.8mm drivers, respectively. All of them use SBC and AAC codecs, but only the CKR55BT and CKR75BT have access to aptX, which is a relatively more high-resolution Bluetooth audio codec. The CKR35BT will be available in Black, Blue, and White. The CKR55BT will be available in Black and Blue, while the CKR75BT will be available in only Black.

They all come with four sizes of eartips: XS, S, M, and L. They can last up to seven hours during music playback and up to 200 hours in the standby mode. They also feature in-line remotes to control music, adjust the volume, and to make and receive calls. All these headphones will come bundled with a USB cable for battery charging and a protective case. The CKR35BT, CKR55BT, and CKR75BT are priced at $69 (approx. Rs. 4,375), $99 (approx. Rs. 6,276), and $149 (approx. Rs. 9,446), respectively.

Audio-Technica ATH-DSR5BT: Features, Price

Priced at $399 (approx. Rs. 25,296), the DSR5BT are Audio-Techinca’s costliest wireless earphones announced at CES 2018, and that’s for a good reason. These neckband-style earphones dual-phase push pull drivers (9.8mm + 8.8mm), aptX-HD audio codecs for higher audio quality (at 24-bit/48kHz), and Audio-Technica’s Pure Digital Drive system. They are also compatible with SBC, AAC, and aptX Bluetooth audio codecs.

The DSR5BT have support for Hi-Res audio, thanks to its ability to reproduce frequency response of 5Hz-40,000Hz. They can last up to eight hours continuously while playing music and up to 500 hours in standby mode. They can be fully charged within 2.5 hours using the provided USB cable. Audio-Technica is also bundling a protective case along with these earphones. It will be available only in Black.

Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT: Features, Price

The ATH-S200BT are the cheapest Bluetooth headphones from the company which were released at CES 2018. They use 40mm drivers, which have a frequency response of 5Hz – 32,000Hz and a sensitivity of 102db/mW. Since they’re cheaper than other Bluetooth earphones and headphones from the company, they use SBC codecs rather than AAC, aptX, or aptX-HD.

They last up to 40 hours of continuous music playback or 1,000 hours of standby on a single charge. They can be fully charged at within 3 hours. These Bluetooth 4.1-based headphones also have an integrated omni-directional microphone for making and receiving phone calls. They will be available in Black, Grey, and White.

Audio-Technica ATH-SPORT50BT, ATH-SPORT70BT: Features, Price

Priced at $69 and $129, respectively, the SPORT50BT and the SPORT70BT wireless in-ear earphones from Audio-Techinca feature behind-the-neck designs with earhooks. They’re targeted towards sports professionals and fitness enthusiasts, so they’re IPX5 certified for sweat resistance. Earhooks make sure that these earphones don’t fall out during vigorous activities. They use 9mm drivers, in-line controls, integrated microphones, and 6 hours of continuous music playback on a single charge. The SPORT50 uses SBC codec, while the costlier SPORT70BT uses SBC and AAC codecs.

It takes three hours to fully charge these Bluetooth 4.1-based earphones. Both earphones have a frequency response of 20Hz – 20,000Hz, sensitivity of 93db/mW, and an impedance of 16 ohms. The SPORT50BT and the SPORT70BT come with two types of eartips: four sets of standard tips (XS/S/M/L) for sound isolation and three sets of ridged tips (S/M/L) to allow some ambient noise for safer use in outdoor conditions. The SPORT50BT will be available in Black, Blue, Pink, and Yellow, while the SPORT70BT will be available in Black and Rose-Gold.

ATH-WS990BT: Features, Price

The ATH-WS660BT and the ATH-WS990BT use Audio-Technica’s 53mm Deep Motion Drivers, Bluetooth 4.1, and AAC, aptX and SBC codecs. The WS660BT has a frequency response of 8Hz – 29,000Hz, an impedance of 38 ohms, and a sensitivity of 100db/mW. The WS990BT on the other hand has a frequency response of 5Hz – 40,000Hz, an impedance of 30 ohms (no noise cancellation) or 150 ohms (noise cancellation), and a sensitivity of 101db/mW (no noise cancellation) or 107db/mW (noise cancellation).

The WS660BT can last up to 40 hours of continuous music playback. The WS990BT can last up to 25 hours during continuous music playback with Bluetooth and noise cancellation. When noise cancellation is turned off, it can last up to 30 hours. When you use noise cancellation but through a wired connection, it can last up to 35 hours. Both headphones can be fully charged in five hours and last up to 1,000 hours in standby mode. The WS660BT cost $149 (approx. 9,446), while the WS990BT cost $249 (approx. 15,786).

The WS660BT will be available in Black/Red and Gunmetal/Blue colour combinations, while the WS990BT will be available only in Black.

Audio-Technica 2018 lineup of earphones & headphones

Model Number Type Style Noise Cancellation Price
ATH-ADX500 Wired Open Back No $1999
ATH-ANC700BT Wireless Over The Ear Yes $199
ATH-CK200BT Wireless In-Ear (Behind The Neck) No $69
ATH-CKR35BT Wireless In-Ear (Behind The Neck) No $69
ATH-CKR55BT Wireless In-Ear (Behind The Neck) No $99
ATH-CKR75BT Wireless In-Ear (Behind The Neck) No $149
ATH-DSR5BT Wireless In-Ear (Neckband) No $399
ATH-S200BT Wireless On-Ear No $79
ATH-SPORT70BT Wireless In-Ear (Earhook) No $69
ATH-SPORT50BT Wireless In-Ear (Earhook) No $129
ATH-WS660BT Wireless Over The Ear No $149
ATH-WS990BT Wireless Over The Ear Yes $249

At CES 2018 we’re expanding our wireless headphone models across a wider range of product categories and price points than ever before,” noted Bob Peet, Audio-Technica U.S Marketing Manager. “We’re offering an unprecedented selection of in-ear, over-ear, noise-cancelling, Hi-Res Audio, fitness-oriented and audiophile models and more. In addition, we’re building upon our reputation for high-performance vinyl playback with the AT-LP7, our finest turntable ever.