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Audio-Technica ATH-TWX7 overview: Good earbuds with irritating flaws

I’ve come to count on sure issues from Audio-Technica earbuds and headphones. First, there’s the corporate’s heat, soothing sound profile that’s simple to hearken to for hours at a time. It’s normally good, however not essentially nice, although the corporate sometimes combines it with a strong general expertise because of options and efficiency. That every one holds true on : a of wi-fi earbuds with energetic noise cancellation (ANC) and a number of useful instruments that rival dearer rivals. Some work higher than others, however the firm has performed effectively through the years to increase its capabilities, despite the fact that the ATH-TWX7 lacks one fundamental merchandise.

Design

Regardless of their stickbud look, the ATH-TWX7 appears extra refined than most similarly-priced earbuds. Audio-Technica opted for a mixture of black and silver (or white/silver or grey/silver) that makes the earbuds look much like high-end headphones. The primary housing is sort of small, which translated to a extra snug slot in my ears. The case additionally has a singular teardrop form that permits the earbuds to take a seat at an angle moderately than standing up or laying fully flat whereas charging. There’s no actual profit right here, however it’s a departure from the norm value mentioning.

Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica Audio-Technica ATH-TWX7

Professionals

  • Heat and alluring sound profile
  • Compact and cozy design
  • A lot of onboard controls
  • Useful in-app name take a look at

Cons

  • Some genres are a wrestle
  • No automated pausing
  • Transparency mode doesn’t pipe in your voice

Audio-Technica did one thing for the onboard controls on the ATH-TWX7 that’s uncommon in earbuds. It makes use of each contact and bodily buttons for playback, calls, sound modes and to summon a voice assistant. Usually you see this on headphones the place the playback controls are contact and the noise cancellation and transparency modes are assigned to a button, however I don’t recall seeing each on earbuds like this earlier than. Granted, I’ve been reviewing audio gear for a number of years at this level, so I hesitate to proclaim Audio-Technica because the “first” to take action.

That can assist you discover the best match, Audio-Technica consists of two several types of ear ideas. One is labeled “mushy,” and it’s designed to be extra snug, whereas the usual possibility is supposed to supply a safer match. I anticipated the “mushy” model to be foam, or at the very least partially foam, however they’re virtually equivalent. One is barely thinner, however they each appear to be the identical silicone materials you see in most earbuds, and neither actually feels softer than the opposite.

The very last thing I’ll level out when it comes to the ATH-TWX7’s design is its ingress safety (IP) score. These are solely rated IPX4 in opposition to water splashes they usually’re not constructed to resist spray jets or submersion. That’s most likely sufficient for exercises, and whereas it’s about common for mid-range earbuds, barely dearer fashions enterprise into IPX7 territory.

Software program and options

Audio-Technica app

Photograph by Billy Steele/Engadget

After I reviewed the earbuds in late 2019, Audio-Technica’s app was so restricted there was actually no purpose to ever fireplace it up. Except it was to put in a firmware replace, it didn’t supply something helpful and even the onboard management customization was restricted. I’m comfortable to report that’s not the case because the A-T Join software program now presents a way more strong listing of settings and reconfigurable instruments than earlier than.

The app’s residence display is dedicated to choices for altering the music codec, EQ and sound mode, in addition to displaying the battery life for every earbud. Tapping the picture of the ATH-TWX7 takes you into the detailed settings, divided into Audio and System sections. All of that is normal fare with entry to every part the onboard controls supply within the app, together with the power to remap the contact and bodily buttons as you would like. However regardless of letting you set an automated energy off timer when there’s no audio, the ATH-TWX7 doesn’t have automated pausing if you take them out of your ears. That’s an enormous omission in 2024 when virtually each set of wi-fi earbuds does this.

I’ll level out a few issues which are fairly novel. First, below the Name Microphone settings, Audio-Technica goes a step additional with an in-app name take a look at so you’ll be able to hear what you’ll sound like earlier than you dial. That is along with options like Pure Mode for quiet places or Noise-Discount Mode for windy or loud environments. The latter isn’t very authentic, however will nonetheless come in useful. You may disable the contact controls and simply depend on the tiny bodily buttons on the earbuds. What’s a bit progressive is the power to tweak the sensitivity of these panels, set to medium by default with high and low choices for those who want ‘em.

The inclusion of each contact and bodily buttons offers you loads of flexibility when it comes to the way you set these up. Every thing on the ATH-TWX7 is reconfigurable, which suggests you’ll be able to transfer issues from the buttons to the contact panels and vice versa, or add issues that aren’t there by default. Along with choices for playback, calls, voice assistant and noise cancellation settings, you’ll be able to add Discuss-By means of, Low Latency Mode and Test Battery Stage. Audio-Technica didn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to what these earbuds can do, however the better customization offers you far more choices for assigning duties in a means that makes essentially the most sense for you.

Sound high quality and noise cancellation

There’s plenty to like about the ATH-TWX7, including a robust set of features that brings a lot of convenience to your day. It offers  solid sound quality and ANC, though a few of those tools could still use some fine-tuning.

Photograph by Billy Steele/Engadget

Practically each set of Audio-Technica earbuds and headphones I’ve ever examined has an identical sound profile. It’s a heat, inviting tone that’s nice to hearken to for hours on finish, principally as a result of the dynamics aren’t exhausting. The ATH-TWX7 is extra of the identical, for higher or worse, with some exceptions.

Softer, acoustic-driven types are glorious, with crisp particulars in drums and guitars that lend texture to tracks like Zach Bryan’s “Heavy Eyes” and Charles Wesley Godwin’s “Household Ties.” The ATH-TWX7 additionally does effectively with jazz and synth-heavy pop, rock and instrumental tunes. Hip-hop is sweet as effectively, however the earbuds begin to wrestle with arduous rock, steel and extra chaotic, bombastic genres. Higher Lovers’ “30 Beneath 13” continues to be the gritty, raucous hardcore I do know and love, however every part sounds flat and has much less power than on different earbuds. The sound on this album and different steel choices like Gojira’s Fortitude is extra compressed than with different genres, with much less area for every part to open up – particularly guitars that sometimes soar round in your head.

Like lots of ANC earbuds, the energetic noise cancellation on the ATH-TWX7 does effectively with fixed noise, however struggles with issues like human voices. This mannequin had no hassle combatting the roar of the noisy heating unit in my Las Vegas lodge throughout CES, and the identical goes for white noise machines and followers at residence. It’s not Bose-level sound blocking, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly above common.

Sound high quality in Hear-By means of or transparency mode can be fairly good. There’s a pleasant, pure aspect to it that doesn’t appear as compressed or muted as among the competitors. Nonetheless, the ATH-TWX7 doesn’t pipe in your voice just like the AirPods Professional, so the general impact isn’t as for those who aren’t sporting earbuds in any respect. I assumed the Discuss-By means of characteristic would help with this, however as an alternative that device merely lowers the quantity or mutes content material. Confusingly, regardless of providing two choices to let in your surrounding sound, this device doesn’t allow you to merely pause. It’s Hear-By means of adjoining moderately than a really useful setting for a fast chat. As a result of your voice isn’t beamed again to your ears, you’ll nonetheless really feel the necessity to converse up, which suggests you’re extra prone to get shouty for those who aren’t cautious.

Name high quality

Props to Audio-Technica for the simplest method to verify name efficiency ever on the ATH-TWX7. Due to that in-app name take a look at, you will get an thought of the way you’ll sound earlier than answering or dialing in, which is means higher than hoping you sound okay to your caller. I additionally discovered this beneficial in assessing which setting labored greatest for the place I used to be on the time, even when I used to be at residence.

Noise-Discount Mode lives as much as its title, nevertheless it additionally sacrifices some voice high quality. Pure mode sounds the perfect, nevertheless it picks up background noise simply. For those who’re in a quiet spot although, the ATH-TWX7 offers you above-average voice efficiency that’s noticeably clearer than the everyday speakerphone-like high quality most earbuds supply.

The ATH-TWX7 additionally appears to wrestle a bit with automated switching by way of multipoint Bluetooth, however solely relating to calls. If I used to be hopping from my telephone to my laptop computer for music or another audio, the changeover was fast and seamless. Nonetheless, if I used to be listening to one thing on my MacBook Professional and acquired a name, there have been a number of instances the earbuds had hassle swapping over to it. Since that is the almost certainly situation wherein I’d want that auto switching, this was disappointing. Finest case situation was for me to faucet to alter the audio from my iPhone to the ATH-TWX7 after answering, however that’s probably not a super workflow.

Battery life

There’s plenty to like about the ATH-TWX7, including a robust set of features that brings a lot of convenience to your day. It offers  solid sound quality and ANC, though a few of those tools could still use some fine-tuning.

Photograph by Billy Steele/Engadget

Audio-Technica promised as much as 6.5 hours on the earbuds themselves with two further prices within the case. It doesn’t specify if that’s with ANC on or off, however throughout my checks I had no hassle hitting the said determine whereas blocking background noise. That’s doing a mixture of music and calls, with the occasional couple of minutes of Hear-By means of mode and leaving the ATH-TWX7 to mechanically flip off twice. I may reliably eke out half-hour greater than the corporate claimed, and some minutes additional is at all times a great factor.

The competitors

Within the $200 worth vary, an apt comparability for the ATH-TWX7 are . An honorable point out on our listing, these have related battery life and the identical IPX4 score, however are extra snug to put on and have some trademark Sony options. These embrace assist for DSEE Excessive upscaling along with Fast Consideration Mode that’s useful for fast chats within the workplace, espresso store or airport. What’s extra, the LinkBuds S can mechanically pause if you converse and an adaptive sound mode will be configured to alter settings based mostly on exercise or location. Plus, they’re accessible for $200 at full worth.

iPhone homeowners shall be extra glad with over the ATH-TWX7. At the moment accessible for below $200, the 2022 model of the earbuds are the best choice in case your life is intertwined with iOS, iPadOS and macOS. New options like Adaptive Audio convey automated changes to your day and Apple’s tackle transparency mode continues to be the perfect within the enterprise. Lastly, they’re extra snug for an extended time frame than the ATH-TWX7.

Wrap-up

There’s a lot to love concerning the . A strong set of options brings lots of comfort to your day. However a number of of these instruments may nonetheless use some fine-tuning and the shortage of automated pausing in 2024 is a head scratcher. Nonetheless, the audio is usually good, albeit inconsistent at instances, and transparency mode is best than most. Add within the strong name high quality and the in-app voice take a look at and the ATH-TWX7 are a worthy consideration, particularly at this worth. Too dangerous it falls wanting being a extra full bundle among the competitors presents for a barely bigger funding.

Gallery: Audio-Technica ATH-TWX7 overview | 6 Pictures

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