It’s been a surprisingly quiet CES 2024 for new headphones and earbuds, but Audio-Technica (A-T) hasn’t disappointed us. It launched its ATH-TWX7, a new set of hi-res, noise-canceling wireless earbuds that fill a big gap in the company’s product lineup. The ATH-TWX7 come in black, white, or grey colors and are available starting January 9, for $199.
The ATH-TWX7 share a lot in common with A-T’s flagship ATH-TWX9, but at $199, the TWX7 are a lot more affordable than the $299 TWX9.
Like the TWX9, the TWX7 use an ergonomic, stem-based shape with a combination of touch controls and physical buttons, and they have active noise cancellation (ANC) with transparency mode and support for hi-res audio.
Bluetooth Multipoint is on-tap for simultaneous connections to two devices, and they’re rated IPX4, which means they should be able to handle some sweat or rain as long as you wipe them dry before putting them away.
The differences between the two models show up in the details. While both the TWX7 and TWX9 support hi-res audio, the TWX9 achieve their hi-res audio capability through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound platform, which uses the aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec, whereas the TWX7 uses Sony’s LDAC codec. Both codecs can deliver up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution, but LDAC enjoys far wider support within the Android ecosystem — it’s been built into the software since Android 8.0. LDAC isn’t perfect — it’s notoriously hard to get full 24/96, and it tends to be a battery hog — but if you’re not planning to upgrade your phone anytime soon, it could be a better choice. We have an in-depth explainer on the differences in these codecs if you want to learn more.
The TWX7 also lack a UV-based anti-bacterial system in the charging case, and support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio — both of which apply to the TWX9.
Still, the TWX7 offer slightly better battery life than their flagship sibling, at a claimed 6.5 hours of continuous playback and up to 13.5 hours of extended use with the charger, for 20 hours total, versus the TWX9 (6 hours of continuous playback and up to 12.5 hours of extended use with the charger, for 18.5 hours total.
Given that both models use the same 5.8mm driver, they’ll likely offer very similar sound performance. I was very impressed by the TWX9 when I reviewed them, so getting the same sound for $100 less makes the TWX7 look very attractive.
Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article stated that the ATH-TWX7 don’t support wireless charging. This has been corrected.
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