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Audio-Technica dives into wireless audio, launches five new Bluetooth headphones

The headphone manufacturer unveiled a handful of in-ear and over-ear headphones today, all sporting Bluetooth wireless technology with extra features like noise-cancellation, built-in amplification, sweat protection and more.


The convenience of wireless headphones for an active world is growing too popular for Audio-Technica to resist any longer, and today the company announced a new line of wireless earbuds and headphones -- five models to be exact, tuned to support an array of listening environments and style preferences.

The $180 ATH-ANC40BT active noise-cancelling earbuds are first up on the list, although it's a bit of a stretch to call them totally "wireless," since they still have a wire connecting the left and right buds. You can use it to drape the set around your neck, though, and it's a necessary accessory to accommodate the QuietPoint control module that you'll need to filter out ambient noise.

Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATh-ANC40BT wireless earbuds


The wireless operation is powered by an internal rechargeable battery that can last for up to eight hours of playing time, and the entire module is detachable if you just want to use the 3.5mm stereo plug in a hardwired connection. Finally, the earbuds work with the aptX wireless codec that promises "CD-like quality" over a Bluetooth connection.

If you're a fan of the AT brand and are shopping for a pair of earbuds for active sports, the SonicSport ATH-Sport4 in-ears might be your next big purchase. They're certainly not a budget pair at $130, but the ATH-Sport4s boast an extra-rugged design that qualifies for an IPX5 rating -- that means they're protected from dust, sweat and water.

The package includes both silicone and ridged ear tips in a range of sizes so you can customize the fit of the shape of your ears, while the memory cable loops around the back of your ears to keep them in place while you work out.

Heads up to music listeners that can't get enough bass between their ears: the $80 ATH-CKS55XBT in-ears and the $250 ATH-WS99BT over-ears are designed with your low-end appetite in mind. Despite their absurdly hard-to-remember names, these two appear to be worth your consideration for the simple fact that they both get an additional bass kick via an amplifier built into their respective housings.

They're also the only two models in the new lineup to receive the company's new Double Air Chamber system that the company claims will "focus the natural airflow produced by the drive movement to expand bass output."

The SonicFuel ATH-S700BT looks like the best deal of the bunch, priced at $120 for a pair of Bluetooth cans with 40mm drivers and an internal amplifier to make up for the audio quality losses that inevitably happens over Bluetooth.

All five new Audio-Technica wireless models are available to purchase now -- and check back with CNET soon for reviews of the entire spread.