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on 23 October 2014
Firstly let me start with my background, I am an amateur music artist and enthusiast. I've had the Audio Technica M50 for years and I still think they're one of the best headphones you can buy and definitely the best for the price so I was coming into this with high expectations. I mainly use my M50s for any serious work but I've been wanting a good pair of earphones for a while now, so I decided to check these out.

Build Quality & Design
The CKX9iS (that's a mouthful) have a unique, slightly unusual style to them that I rather like, they look sleek and professional, especially the black version but they are not flashy or stand out that much. The build quality is great overall, the earpieces are made mostly of metal and look sturdy. The cable is flat and thick and feels much stronger than regular round cables I can see it lasting much longer and the L-shaped plug works great to ensure you're not bending the cable at the tip (which is how most cables tend to wear out from). A few weird things about the design is firstly the mic & remote placement, The mic & remote is placed at the junction for the y-shaped cables whereas normally it's much higher up along one of the ear cables, this might take a little getting used to but I did not see it effecting call quality on anything like that, I guess even from that far the mic is still pretty good at picking up sound and you can always lift it up and bring it closer if you really need to. There also a nice little compact hard carrying case which looks sleek and professional.

Function & Comfort
The earphones employ a c-tip design which has two main effects, firstly it locks your earphones in place as intended and they are VERY unlikely to fall out no matter what hardcore exercise you might be doing. And secondly somewhat counteract the weight of the earpiece making it feel lighter than it really is, which brings me to the weight of these things. For earphones they're definitely massive, the bulk of the earpiece is the relatively massive 13.5mm driver which sits outside your ear-canal with a little protrusion that goes in you ear. They're not the most comfortable pair of headphones but they don't cause any sort of soreness or anything like that after long use. There is also a plethora of ear-tips and c-tips to make sure they fit perfectly. The in-line remote has a single play/pause/next button which works fine with both android and iPhone which is great and there is also a hardware volume rocker on the remote which actually changes the gain on the earpieces so it would work with literally anything which is great because of the huge compatibility issues with most earphones [Basically you set your volume to max on your device and then just use the remote to set the gain on your earphones]. Noise isolation is as good as it gets without active noise cancelling, and It is improved by using the provided Comply foam ear-tips.

Sound Quality
This is truly where these earphones shine, everything else is good but the sound quality on these things is excellent, Surely they're no on-ear studio headphones but the sound is surprising clear and sharp and true to the track. Bass is nice and deep but not overpowered (like beats) and the highs are crisp and clear without being tinny, and the mids are left mostly unchanged which provides a nice detailed sound. and for the 70£ price tag I can honestly say they sound better than anything else in that price bracket. Ever for a 100£ more you would not get that noticeable of a change in quality (you'll just hear more artifacts). I'd say they're just barely behind the new Bose SoundTrue which are currently 129£.

In conclusion these are a great pair of earphones for the price, really recommend to anyone on a modest budget looking for an upgrade.
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on 21 December 2016
I bought these headphones to replace my broken Sennheiser M2's which broke after 8 months.
Great sound quality on the AT's probably just as good if not better than the Sennheiser M2 In-ear phones.
The wire feels cheap it tangles easily and the in-line controls also feel cheap. I don't use the in-line volume control as I've had problems with these volume sliders before.
Cable noise is also pretty bad with these ear phones. The plastic/rubber housing surrounding the cables below the ear tips is not snug around the cable. So the cable can move around and collide with the housing causing a tapping sound in your ear. This is not a problem if you are sitting still.
Sound isolation is not as good as the Sennheiser M2 probably because the M2's went further into my ears than the Audio Technicas.
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on 31 August 2017
I have several earphones with mic set for smartphone use including Sennheiser CX 2.00G, CX5.00g, and Audio-Technica CKM500IS.
(Each earphone has used for more than 6 months myself.)
Although the price level for those models are various, I think Sennheiser CX5.00g one is close to Audio-Technica CKX9IS.
Therefore, I will base on these 2 models to elaborate my experience.

My audio output is Samsung Note 4, Android 6.0.1, and nothing more (no EQ, disable ALL audio effect offered by phone or player app, no external amplifier/DAC, no rooted to apply phone DAC, either.).

The bass sound of CKX9IS gets bit overwhelmed than vocal and instruments sound in pop music playback, and it may meet certain user's taste if they like the bass and pop musics as a folk-oriented earphone model.

CX5.00g has better balance of bass sound and other sound when playing pop musics, and the bass will not be so overwhelmed.
It can deliver a more moderate sound playback for various types of music.

For the design, the mic of CKX9IS is far away from your mouth, and it causes the difficulty to take and talk in phone call without using one of your hand to hold the mic. It will lose some convenience for an earphone model that especially design for smartphone use.
(But CX5.00g mic position is much more closer to user's mouth.)

As conclusion, CKX9IS has a not-bad playback quality as an earphone and no need to worry about the bass playback performance, and it contains a hard case to let you bring and pack it easily.
But, when it comes to comparison with other models, it is not a very outstanding or competitive one versus other brands, or the other models that released by Audio-Technica itself.
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on 20 April 2016
Returned almost immediately unfortunately. For me, the buds, whether the default, foam (which by the way were so difficult to get from their packaging one tore) etc, all of them made my ears hurt within minutes. I believe it’s due to the angle in which you need to insert due to the angling of the product. Whilst not that difficult, it was not an easy task removing and installing different bugs on to the drivers.

Sound quality was good, but not exceptional and therefore could not overcome the pain factor. I’ve found Sony EX650AP and essentially all Sennheiser in-ear models either in the same or lower price bracket than the ATH-CKX9is to be exceptionally more comfortable with as good or in some cases better sound. The volume slider was also a surprise and awkward to use, versus a button usually found on other brands.
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on 6 April 2015
I usually go all black with my accessories but the white earpieces and half blue/black ribbon is flair and I'm pretty proud their mine.

Sound quality is clear and true. If it's not I'm sooner to blame the file format of the audio than the headphones. The custom plugs are nice too to get that perfect fit so it's really rare that they accidentally fall out of place. The custom pieces are quite stubborn to get on and off but thankfully you only need to do that a few times when you first buy it so it's not a strain and to be honest, it's great to have the ease of mind that having the ear nubs accidentally pop out will be a thing of the past.

The in-line mic I feared was too far from my mouth but it pics up my voice just fine for a phone call and you don't have to do that barbaric thing of holding the mic in front of your mouth, it can just hang freely.

The volume adjust controls gain and so it doesn't send signals to your phone for volume. The control button does however do the usual pause, play, skip and previous controls just fine.

The ribbon connections at either end are also very resilient. I'll find it a shocking day if the ribbon ever gets frayed or disconnected which is the usual wear and tear that exposes most headphones that find themselves longing of dreams of longevity.

The ribbon itself is of great length. Even if you have deep pockets and are well over 6 feet, it should not be a problem.

For the price, it's a no-brainer. Short of losing these I don't think I'll need to find replacements and if I do I'll check if these are in stock again.
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on 13 February 2015
Mediocre headphones, quite overhyped in my opinion. The reviews and description sounded fantastic. I tried ordering it in time with my new phone, the HTC one m8. They came at roughly the same time. The headphones that Htc sent with the phone were like anything I've ever heard.

Like I use a £250 gaming headset daily, where I can program everything myself, and these expensive earphones. But nothing compared to those HTC earphones. The bass was superb, the vocals were so clear, and the notes were perfect. But I suppose with a £550 phone you expect good headphones.

When I used these headphones, the audio technicas for the first time. I was rather shocked, they produce every note pitch perfect, but it's lacking the bass. I suppose I like my music where I can at least hear the bass, but these performed quite poorly on bass. Everything else was 9/10, which for the price is pretty good.

Overall a good product for the price, but improvements could be made.
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on 6 April 2014
Pros:
- Very good sound, all round
- Good fit, they won't fall out and are gym/sport friendly
- Remote is fully Android compatible
- Look good

Cons:
- The long cable and positioning of the remote in the middle of the cable make it awkward. I may droop and catch something if you bend over, because of the length and the remote pulling it down.
It's so low that you have to hold it up or shout to use the mic.
For sports, or if you wore a layer above it, it's too low to access. At the gym, I end accidentally pressing the remote button when on machines that require you rest you chest on a pad.
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on 13 August 2015
First of all, if you're used to using low price earphones (Under £20) and are skeptical about spending 3x the price you'd usually pay for a pair of earphones...I can assure you there's no need to worry. These earphones are amazing!!

Sound Quality: The sound quality is amazing in my opinion. But that's what I'd expect from earphones at this price range. Not to mention they're Audio Technica.

Bass: The bass is there but its not intrusive. You can hear and feel it but it doesn't ruin the rest of the music. The bass is clear and satisfying.

Mid: The mid range is good. Voices in songs are defined but not overpowering. There is a good balance of the three. Voices aren't drowned out by other sounds but voices don't drown out the music.

Treble: The higher pitched instrumentals and voices sound great too. The sounds is...[soft?] In a way that the hi-hats, cymbals, high pitched voices and instruments are heard clearly but they don't sound harsh or sharp.

Design: Build quality is decent too. The cable is flexible, the earphones seem tough but the volume slider feels a bit flimsy though.
Carrying case is hard and nice to have to protect your earphones.
The design is nice, the ear hooks provide support to stop earphones from falling out. The earphones aren't very light but the hooks make the earphones seem lighter and comfortable.

Other: Noise isolation is fine too. It's enough when you're on the bus. It blocks out most sounds but you won't hear much when you have music on.
Sound does leak from these at high volumes so beware when you're in a quiet place like a library. However, if you're at a library, you probably don't need to turn your music up very loud.

Overall: These earphones are well worth the investment. You'll get some quality music out of these. They perform great, feel great and ARE great. I would happily buy another pair in the future. These are a lot better than the low end/free earphones most people are used to.
**Note** I am not an audiophile but I do love my music so I bought these to improve my listening experience (and also to replace my broken earphones) hehe.
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on 15 February 2014
I have been looking to replace my Sennheiser cx300 with some earphones that apart from good reviews on sound quality had; a flat cable, mic and controller and cost <€100. These fit very well these criteria.
Sound quality was as expected from the numerous reviews.
The cable is flat but not as wide and rigid as say a-jays. The cable doesn't tangle at all, the plastic seem to be coated with non stick material. The fit is great especially with comply tips. The controller is a bit annoying on my phone (galaxy s4 int version using rocket player) 2 rapid clicks for previous track and 3 for next track, it is not uncommon that i wanted to skip a track and just went back instead but that could be a problem with my phone. The volume control is also not ideal, i would prefer a hard button than a slider.
The mic controller dangles at something like 30cm below the ear and i found i had to hold it closer to my mouth or stuff it into a button hole to hold it closer to my mouth when talking.

These headphones were also less loud than my other ones. Feels like i need 10% higher volume to get to the same level. 100% volume is still too loud to be enjoyable so it is not an issue.

recap: Great set, only fault the mic is too far down the cord and the volume control being a slider.
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on 23 August 2014
Got these after glowing reviews on the internet, as well as the flanges to help fit my normally earphone-phobic ears.

Fit is great, with loads of different flanges and buds to mix and match. Sound quality is crisp, very smooth, powerful bass and a great soundscape. Love the flat cable, minimal tangling!

Of course, til after a few months when the bass suddenly turned muddy. Not too sure what this meant - did I "pop" the 'phones?
Either way I sent for a replacement - and after a few careful months they're sounding flat too. The inline volume slider seems rather cheap for the price, and has a tendency to get loose after a while and if you tuck your earphones under your shirt, it will slide against it even as you're walking.

A very good product. but for a very short time. Will send for another one or try and get my money back because at £70 (when I bought them) I was hoping for a more robust product.
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