Audio-Technica ATH-Sport70BT SonicSport hands-on: pricey versus the competition


In expanding its portfolio, Audio-Technica has a pair of brand new Bluetooth headphones made specifically for fitness-oriented individuals, dubbed the ATH-Sport70BT SonicSport. Attached with a price of around $130, it's certainly up there when compared to other similar options, but then again, there's the distinguished brand name behind it.

If there's one area where these in-ear headphones need some work, it has to be its fitting in our ear. You would think that the flexible ear hooks would do nicely in keeping the buds firmly in place, but we constantly found them becoming loose. While it's not an issue when we're casually listening to music and relaxing, they're really not ideal for workout situations – or any activities that involve a ton of movement! Yes, there's a way to fasten the cable that tethers the two earbuds together but the ear hooks still prove ineffective.

Aesthetically, the ATH-Sport70BT SonicSport earphones are subdued in comparison to other offerings in Audio-Technica's stable, since they're mostly comprised out of plastic. When looking at other similarly designed sporty headphones, these are rather bulky and bland-looking. As for controls, they feature the typical trio of buttons that allow quick access to functions such as pause/play, volume adjustment, and much more. Even though we find the design boring and conventional, the earphones do at least offer an IPX5 water-resistance rating – so they'll handle sweaty workouts.

Audio-wise, the performance is probably one of the weaker ones we've experienced from Audio-Technica's catalog, and in a way, rather disappointing considering the brand. Overall, music just lacks punch, often sounding narrow-toned. Even though the earphones are able to output some decent volume at the loudest setting, they simply don't have enough of a clear performance for our ears to appreciate – so even casual music listeners may be turned off by them!

Throw in the fact that the ATH-Sport70BT SonicSport earphones are sporting a price tag of $130 right now, they're going to have an uphill battle convincing folks they're an ideal candidate for workout-conscious users, especially when they can't seem to even stay firmly in place while being worn.

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