The most common piece of tech advice I’m asked for is what home WiFi really works (Netgear’s Orbi is my current fave). The second request is for regular in-ear, wired phones – no noise cancelling, no Bluetooth – that produce great sound, don’t break and don’t fall out. I was sent this pair on spec by Audio-Technica (the biggest brand in headphone-crazy Japan) and to be honest, because they were regular in-ear, wired headphones with no fancy stuff, I was insufficiently excited to tear the box open for a while. A long while.
But when I did try them, I was rewarded with one heck of a headphone for £339. The CKR100iSes look big and heavy – and they are. But they somehow fit really well. They look like they’re going to sound big, with bass that’ll blow your socks off, but they’re more measured, with a natural sound – light, even. And as the cables can be unplugged from the phones, they are almost impossible to snap. If they do get pulled hard enough to break, the earpieces are not affected – only the wire has to be replaced. A good, unflashy, high-performing choice.