CNET First Look
Audio-Technica ATH-CKP500: top-notch sports headphoneOffering a comfortable, secure fit and strong sound for a reasonable price, Audio-Technica's ATH-CKP500 is one of the better in-ear sports headphones available.
Hi. I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm here with the Audio-Technica ATH-CKP500 SonicSport in your headphones. Yes, this is a sports headphone from a company who probably don't associate with sports headphones. While it has an all-plastic design, the ATH-CKP500 seems sturdily built and had certified it as an IPX5 waterproof headphone. That means that it can withstand a good dousing with a sustained spray for 3 minutes but it can't hang out underwater too long. So, sorry, no you can't take it swimming but you can wash it off if you want and it's certainly sweat resistant. What I like about it is it's fit and sound quality. Like with some competing sports headphones, you get a few different sets of wings, Audio-Technica refers to them as C-shaped ear tips. Monster Sports earphones have a similar design but I found these slightly more comfortable. Along with the typical silicone ear tips, you also get three sets of ridged ear tips that allows some sounds to seep in from the outside world. This can be important for runners and bikers who wanna be able to hear cars coming. Without a tight seal, you do lose a little bass but that's something some people can live with an exchange for a bit of extra safety. This is an asymmetrical cord which means one side is longer than the other. The reason for that is so that you can wear the cord behind your neck. It's also worth noting that the base cord is relatively short and is designed for use with arm bands but you can attach the 2-foot long extension cable to add more length if you keep your device in a pan pocket or clipped on to your belt. As far as extra features go, the one big emission is an inline remote/microphone for making cellphone calls, also no-carrying case is included. In terms of performance, these have a more audio files sound profile with clean, well-balanced sound but not a huge amount of bass. I like their sound and so did CNET contributor Steve Guttenberg but we both prefer more natural sounding headphones. These guys aren't incredibly open sounding but they're pleasant to listen to and work well with the variety of music. However, if you're into bigger bass, more aggressive headphones, you should probably check out the Monster Immersion in your sports headphones. I've tested a fair amount of these types of headphones and these ranked up there with my favorites off and comfortable secure fit and very good sound. It's also nice that it's a waterproof headphone, at least the IPX5 variety of waterproof headphone and can be rinsed off after use. This model lists for $74.95 but you can pick it up for less online. That makes it a decent value especially if you can get it for less than $60. I have no problem recommending it for both sports use and everyday use. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Audio-Technica ATH-CKP500. Thanks for watching.