Tough, high-performance classic wired in-ear headphones

Audio-Technica’s CKR100iS headphones produce a wonderfully light, natural sound and are almost impossible to break

Audio-Technica ATH-CKR100iS, £339
Audio-Technica ATH-CKR100iS, £339 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

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. 

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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.

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