As one of the models in the Solid-Bass series, Audio-Technica’s most successful line-up in the Asia market, the ATH-CKS330XBT brings impactful and energetic bass to users without compromising wireless freedom.
The ATH-CKS330XBT are from Audio-Technica’s Solid-Bass series. This series is catered to audiophiles who prefer sound signatures with more prominent and engaging bass. Audio-Technica extends its Solid-Bass series by implementing wireless solutions into the series. The ATH-CKS330XBT is the result of this extension.
With an industry-first, low latency design combined with the series’ trademark high-quality bass, are the ATH-CKS330XBT a breakthrough for Audio-Technica’s most successful line-up in Asia?
Let’s find out more in this article!
- Low latency
- Multipoint connection
- Long battery life
- Stable connectivity
- Rapid charge supported
- Punchy and accurate bass
- Transparent mids
- Well-extended highs
- Affordable pricing
- No storage case
- Lack of Hi-Res audio Bluetooth codecs
Founded in 1962, Audio-Technica is a worldwide group committed to designing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing problem-solving audio equipment. Audio-Technica started its journey in the audio industry with its well-known state-of-the-art phonograph cartridges.
The company did not stop there. Audio-Technica now produces high-performance microphones, headphones, wireless systems, mixers, and electronic products for home and professional use.
From critical government installations such as the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to significant broadcast music events like the GRAMMY® Awards and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, Audio-Technica microphones and wireless are chosen because of their reputable track records!
- Form: Wireless IEMs with neckband
- Drivers: Single 5.8mm dynamic driver
- Sensitivity (dB): 98 dB/mW
- Removable Cable: N
- Bluetooth Audio Codec: SBC and AAC
- Battery Life (hrs): 20 hrs
- True Wireless: N
- Bluetooth Version: 5.0
- Mic: Y
- IPX: IPX2
- Additional Features:
- Low latency suitable for gaming or video playback
- Rapid charge
- Multipoint connection
The ATH-CKS330XBT comes in a white paper box with the key features and technical specifications printed upon it. On the back of the box, there is a small window to display the ATH-CKS330XBT.
In the box:
- Charging cable (USB Type-A to Type-C)
- Silicone ear tips (XS, S, M, and L)
- Magnetic clasp (pre-installed on the ATH-CKS330XBT)
The ATH-CKS330BT are a pair of wireless IEMs with a neckband. Audio-Technica does not state the weight of the ATH-CKS330XBT on their website, but based on hands-on experience, they are light and do not exert any force on your neck when you are wearing them.
The neckband of the ATH-CKS330XBT is flexible. You can coil it up, just like wired IEMs, and keep it in a storage case. The control panel and microphone of ATH-CKS330XBT are located at the neckband, so there is no additional control panel on the cable near the driver unit. This design helps to minimize any unwanted microphonics by reducing the cable’s swing force.
Audio-Technica places the charging port on the control panel. There is a piece of protective rubber to prevent foreign materials, such as dust, water, or sweat, from entering the USB Type-C charging port.
The shell of the ATH-CKS330XBT is specially designed for a better fit and isolation. The nozzle and driver chamber are slightly angled to cater to the typical ear canal angle. There are two magnetic clasps installed on the cable of ATH-CKS330XBT so that when you are not wearing them, you can “clip” both sides of the IEMs together and let them rest by hanging on your neck.
As mentioned, the ATH-CKS330XBT are light, and I can have them around my neck for a whole day without feeling any discomfort. Whenever I need to use them, I simply put them into my ears. In terms of fit, the angled nozzles and driver chambers are ear-friendly, and I can get a deep insertion, which results in outstanding isolation.
Audio-Technica uses Bluetooth version 5.0 for the ATH-CKS330XBT. I tested the connectivity at different venues, such as a crowded gym, my office, and walking on the street. They satisfied my needs for stable connectivity, and I never experienced any signal drop-offs due to interference with surrounding signals.
With the Bluetooth version 5.0, the ATH-CKS330XBT can achieve a surprisingly low, almost negligible latency.
For those who are familiar with Bluetooth audio devices, latency issues are no stranger, so I am glad that Audio-Technica successfully mitigated this problem on the ATH-CKS330XBT. I tested the latency by watching films on Disney+, and the audio and video synchronized perfectly without any delay. They are a good companion if you are watching Netflix or Disney+ on the go.
Besides low latency and stable connectivity, another attractive point is the multipoint connection. The ATH-CKS330XBT can connect to two devices at the same time. Here is how I utilize this feature – I pair the IEMs to my phone and my laptop when I am in the office. I use the ATH-CKS330XBT for radio listening from my phone and conference calls on my laptop. Switching between devices is flawless.
With a full charge, the ATH-CKS330BT can support music playback for 20 hours. I only need to charge them once every two days. Do note that I am using them heavily – I use them with my phone and laptop from around 8 am to about 7 pm. With lighter use, you should be able to go even longer between charging.
The ATH-CKS330XBT belongs to the Solid-Bass series of Audio-Technica. Their sound signature does not deviate much from the series, and they sound dynamic and fun, focusing on bass response. Despite having prominent bass, the ATH-CKS330XBT preserve a high level of detail retrieval capability. Their performance is not muddy or sluggish.
The overall presentation is airy and spacious and the ATH-CKS330XBT deliver musical notes in a speedy and precise manner. The overall soundstage is above average, thanks to the combination of deep punching bass and the more delicate presentation body. On the whole, there is no congestion, even on more sophisticated rock music.
ATH-CKS330XBT are bass experts. They deliver low frequencies energetically with a high level of precision. The attack and decay for each bass note are speedy and do not bleed towards the mids.
The overall presentation maintains its transparency and cleanliness, thanks to the accurate bass response.
The sub-bass of ATH-CKS330XBT is profound, creating a three-dimensional soundstage with depth from the sub-bass. It is like having a subwoofer humming in your ear canals. This impactful sub-bass makes ATH-CKS330XBT a pair of good IEMs for movie watching and I enjoy watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the ATH-CKS330XBT on. Although I do not play games a lot, I believe they would be suitable for first-person shooting (FPS)games.
ATH-CKS330XBT have a transparent and clean midrange without coloration, thanks to their accurate bass response. I call this type of midrange Audio-Technica’s “house sound” – crisp, clean, and transparent with minimal warmth or coloration. The ATH-CKS330XBT exhibits this sonic profile, as do the majority of Audio-Technica’s models.
Because of the midrange tuning, if you are using ATH-CKS330XBT for music listening, you will find them suitable for vocal monitoring. The uncolored and natural midrange is a selling point of the ATH-CKS330XBT because, in this price range, most wireless IEMs focus more on boomy bass. It is rare to find a pair of affordable IEMs with high-fidelity mids combined with boosted bass.
Similar to the midrange, the highs of ATH-CKS330XBT are very clean. The treble extends well and decays without any distortion, and the well-handled treble makes the ATH-CKS330XBT pleasant to listen to. The treble is not as prominent as the bass, so for those who have lower tolerance towards sparkling and sharp treble, the ATH-CKS330XBT are a good choice for you.
The overall treble profile is natural. Listening to acoustic or jazz music, the cymbals and guitar plucking sound realistic. The presentation as a whole is neat and tidy, too, because the highs’ airiness expands the soundstage horizontally and vertically.
Where to Buy
Thank you once again to Audio-Technica for providing the ATH-CKS330XBT for review. If you’d like to purchase a pair, you can buy them from the Audio-Technica official website.
Low latency, long battery life, stable connectivity, and multipoint connection are the four features that make the ATH-CKS330XBT an attractive pair of multipurpose IEMs. Additionally, Audio-Technica’s mature tuning makes them even more promising, especially for music listening or monitoring. I use them almost daily because of their convenience and the high-quality sound quality they deliver.
I am looking forward to a successor, or even an upgraded version of the ATH-CKS330XBT, in the near future. I hope Audio-Technica will consider implementing more codec support, such as aptX, aptX HD, or even LDAC, on their wireless IEMs. These wireless Hi-Res audio codecs will further enhance the sonic quality by increasing the signal transfer rate between the source and IEMs.