Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 review

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 review

The Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 is a flagship true wireless earbud offering from the renowned audio brand. With a focus on delivering high-quality audio and advanced features, the ATH-TWX9 aims to compete with other luxury models in the market.

Design and Build Quality:

The ATH-TWX9 features a sleek and stylish design, with a long-stem design similar to popular alternatives like the AirPods. However, it stands out with its superior build quality, combining durable shiny plastic and soft-touch rubber. The earbuds have a ruggedly handsome appearance, with small details such as the logo and shiny accent adding a premium touch. The charging case follows the same design language, resembling a sophisticated coin purse, and is constructed with the same high-quality materials.

Comfort and Fit:

Comfort is an important factor when considering true wireless earbuds, and the ATH-TWX9 offers an acceptable level of comfort. Users can wear the earbuds for extended periods without experiencing soreness. The elongated cavity rests gently on the concha, while the ear tips provide a decent seal for on-ear stability. The package includes a variety of ear tips in different sizes to accommodate listeners with various ear shapes.

Controls and Digital Assistant:

The ATH-TWX9 features both touch panels and multifunctional buttons for controls. The buttons offer great tactility, ensuring precise input for intended commands. The touch accuracy of the panels is approximately 80%, although occasional misinterpretations of triple taps as double taps may occur. Wear detection is precise, automatically pausing playback when one bud is removed and resuming when it is placed back in the ear.

The earbuds integrate well with popular digital assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa. The built-in mic array delivers excellent speech recognition, enabling seamless voice commands and hands-free operation. However, during testing, there were some issues with the Alexa integration, which may require a firmware update to resolve.

Audio Quality and Performance:

The ATH-TWX9 impresses with its audio performance, delivering clean and detailed sound with a slight punch. The newly designed 5.8mm high-resolution drivers extend high frequencies, providing a rich and immersive listening experience. The inclusion of aptX Adaptive support dynamically adjusts the bitrate, ensuring high-resolution streaming on compatible Bluetooth devices. While lossless music services like Tidal offer the best results, the sound quality from popular music apps like Spotify and YouTube Music is still enjoyable.

The reproduction of various genres is noteworthy. Bluesy instrumentals showcase the ATH-TWX9’s serene sound, with every guitar lick and string arrangement distinctly audible. The earbuds excel in emphasizing vocals and wailing samples in tracks like Jay-Z’s “U Don’t Know.” Users can further personalize their sound experience through the companion app, which offers an equalizer with preset options and the ability to create custom profiles.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC):

The ATH-TWX9 incorporates active noise cancellation technology, with six selectable ANC modes to cater to different sound environments. The ANC effectively blocks out ambient noise, providing a peaceful listening experience. However, it’s important to note that high-pitched noises may still penetrate the soundscape to some extent. The Hear-Through mode enhances awareness of the surroundings, making it useful for situations that require environmental awareness.

App and Special Features:

The Audio-Technica Connect app complements the ATH-TWX9, offering access to various special features. These include the equalizer for sound customization, low latency mode, noise-cancelling settings, and support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio platform. The app also provides battery level indicators, firmware updates, a music player, and a visual guide for user convenience. While the app offers a good range of features, additional enhancements could be expected considering the earbuds’ premium price point.

Battery Life and Charging:

Battery life is one aspect where the ATH-TWX9 falls short compared to some of its competitors. The earbuds provide a standard 6 hours of playback time, which is average for true wireless earbuds. However, premium rivals like the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 offer longer playtime. During testing, the ATH-TWX9 reached around 5.5 hours with ANC enabled, and high volume and aptX usage further decreased the battery life. The wireless charging case offers up to 24.5 hours of total playtime, but it lacks quick charging functionality.

Call Quality and Connectivity:

The ATH-TWX9 performs adequately for phone calls, with clear speech recognition and decent call quality. Bluetooth 5.2 ensures a stable and reliable connection, with a range of up to 50 feet (15 meters) in open spaces. Pairing with devices is fast, and Android devices benefit from one-tap Google Fast Pair. However, there were some connectivity issues related to multipoint technology, with reported battery levels differing between devices and occasional audio muting with Spotify.

The Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 impresses with its well-rounded audio performance, attractive design, and advanced features. The sound quality is natural and impactful, with effective active noise cancellation. The earbuds offer a comfortable fit, intuitive controls, and seamless integration with popular digital assistants. However, the ATH-TWX9 falls short in terms of battery life compared to its premium competitors. Additionally, some software bugs and connectivity issues need to be addressed. Despite these drawbacks, the ATH-TWX9 serves as a solid flagship debut for Audio-Technica, showcasing the brand’s commitment to audio excellence.


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