For that active individual on the go, the student looking for a lighter experience or just someone who wants to find a quality audio experience, sometimes the search for the right earbuds can be a chore. Cheaper units don’t provide the quality and features many want while more expensive units don’t always have that perfect fit on the ear, causing them to pull out at a drop of the hat. For some time now, Audio-Technica has sought to remedy all those qualms with its line of earbuds that has caught the eye of both critics and avid listeners alike. While the choices the company offers in earbuds are many, it is the Sonic Fuel ATH-CKX9iS (Audio-Technica, MSRP $99.99) that stands out as an offering consumers need to know.
Weighing in at a svelte 3.6 ounces and offered in silver or black, the Sonic Fuel skimps on the weight but lays heavy when it comes to comfort, portability and sound. Backed by a familiar C-tip design that holds the buds firmly in place, these earbuds will provide even the most active of users with an audio experience that will stay right where it needs to be, snug and securely in the ears. If the stock version doesn’t quite fit, the right alternative should be one of the additional comply foam ends, silicone earbud covers (XS/S/M/L) and C-tips (S/M/L) that come with the handy carrying case conveniently provided. The 13.5 mm drivers offer a rich and diverse stereo experience and a frequency response of 5-25,000 Hz that holds well under different variations and preferences in music choice, regardless of the song’s reliance on bass, treble or both.
Attached to the tangle-free cable (which provides relief for many who have seen their earbuds tie up like shoelaces on more than one go around) is an inline control with accompanying microphone that provides the ability to answer a phone call with the touch of a button and without skipping the proverbial beat. With a compatible smartphone or mobile device, the controller can also use such features as volume, audio and video playback, allowing users to keep attacking that treadmill or elliptical. The only drawbacks after extended use has been the slightly shorter (3 feet 9 inches) cable than desired and a microphone that, while convenient, doesn’t always pick up vocals during a phone call as well as it should.
In our high-octane world of run–here, dash–there priorities, it’s nice to have a viable option in earbuds that will be able to keep up. The Sonic Fuel ATH-CKX9iS headphones not only meet the demands of an active lifestyle, but they far exceed it. Get ready to meet the world head on, because these earbuds are going with you.
Please note that for this article, reviewer did receive a code/copy/product from the Public Relations Firm, Developer and/or Publisher responsible for distribution to the press.