Audio-Technica ATH-EW9 review: Audio-Technica ATH-EW9

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The luxurious Audio-Technica ATH-EW9 clip-on headphones offer stylish cherrywood earpieces, a lightweight design, and a soft travel pouch.

The Bad The Audio-Technica ATH-EW9's sound won't satisfy rockers.

The Bottom Line Audio-Technica's ATH-EW9 clip-on headphones combine graceful looks and sonics, but they won't rock your world.

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Audio-Technica ATH-EW9

Clip-on headphones don't get much respect. The category is synonymous with cheap models targeted mostly to joggers. So while Audio-Technica's ATH-EW9 is most definitely a clip-on design, the similarities to other sports headphones end there. It's not just the ATH-EW9's gorgeous, polished cherrywood earpieces that set it apart from the crowd; every detail of the design exudes sophistication. The headphones top Audio-Technica's Import Series line, which was previously available only in Japan. The $329 list price is pretty steep, but the ATH-EW9 is heavily discounted online.

Audio-Technica's ATH-EW9 earpieces are crafted from Japanese Hokkaido cherrywood, polished to a medium-gloss finish, and mounted on metal swivel clips that click into position on a vertical hinge. The ear pads exert minimal pressure, and since the ATH-EW9 weighs next to nothing (1.1 ounces), comfortable long-term wearing is assured. Even the minijack plugs are classy; instead of the usual molded plastic fittings, the ATH-EW9's are beautifully finished metal pieces. Nothing about the aesthetics of the design is less than exquisitely presented; even the padded travel pouch feels special.

The Audio-Technica ATH-EW9's Y cable is just 4.5 inches long on the left earpiece and 22 inches on the right earpiece. The overall length is pretty darn short--just 42 inches--so we had to carefully "dress" the cable to avoid snags; Audio-Technica includes a 40-inch-long extension cable.

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Where to Buy See All

Audio-Technica ATH-EW9

Part Number: ATHEW9 Released: Jan. 5, 2006
MSRP: $329.95 Low Price: $149.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan. 5, 2006
  • Weight 1.2 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features gold plated connectors
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor clip-on
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
About The Author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.