Audio-Technica has launched a new range of SonicPro in-ear headphones. Designed to get the most from high resolution audio sources, the range includes the ATH-CKR10 and ATH-CKR9 earphones which feature proprietary push-pull driver technology that's said to rival larger headphones for clarity and accuracy, particularly in the mids and highs.
The ATH-CKR10 models feature a metal-coated titanium housing, which should keep things nice and rigid to help cut down unwanted vibration. Each casing contains two 13 mm dynamic drivers offering a wide frequency response of 5 Hz - 40 kHz, 110 dB per mW sensitivity and impedance of 12 ohms. These out of phase drivers face each other for reduced harmonic distortion and improved response time.
Audio Technica says that the push-pull arrangement of the ATH-CKR10 in-ear headphones is similar to a design mainly used for subwoofers, where both drivers are mounted inside a ported enclosure and within internal baffles.
"The difference is that this design incorporates two full frequency response drivers rather than two low frequency response speakers," company engineers told Gizmag. "The HP drivers are wired out of phase while each driver is mounted in an internal baffle facing each other. The advantages of this design are lower harmonic distortion, increased output and power handing, improved bass frequency control and damping. The added benefit is even level transition through the mid and high frequencies with minimal increase in volume due to the smaller driver size and direct coupling to the ear canal. In more simple terms, the audio output signal from each driver is phase-aligned and mixed together to compensate for each driver inefficiencies while providing an equal and tailored response without artificial coloration."
According to the company, the listener should be treated to tight, controlled bass, clear and even mid-range vocal frequencies and pure, accurate high frequency response. You'll notice from the lead photo that the ATH-CKR10 earphones also carry the Hi-Res Audio logo, a new industry standard launched back in June which defines high resolution audio as "lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better than CD quality music sources."
Music from a high resolution audio source is fed to the earphones via a 3.5 mm gold-plated stereo jack at the end of a 1.2 m (4 ft) star-quad cable, designed to eliminate noise and offer superior audio signal transfer.
The ATH-CKR9 models benefit from the same driver technology as the CKR10s, but have machined aluminum housing instead of metal-coated titanium.
The ATH-CKR10 earphones are priced at US$389.95, while the ATH-CKR9 models come in a little cheaper at $269.95.