AUDIO TECHNICA: The ATH-S220BT and the ATH-M50xBT2 headphones

Audio-Technica has introduced two new wireless headphones in the shape of the ATH-S220BT and the ATH-M50xBT2. The Japanese company says the former: “offers exceptional audio reproduction with crystal-clear call clarity”. With a claimed 60-hour battery life and support so that a 10-minute charge will top the battery up by 3.5 hours, the ATH-S220BT also incorporates low-profile earpads, especially designed to prevent sound from escaping while on the go.

Weighing in at 180g, the ATH-S220BT has been designed to provide comfort for extended wear and comes with a USB-A-to-USB-C cable for charging with ease using a variety of different devices. There’s also a built-in microphone and easy-to-operate on-ear controls to manage calls and audio on the move. With Bluetooth 5.0 and both Siri and Google Assistant compatibility, users are able to access their device’s speech recognition function at the touch of a button and receive notifications, send messages and control audio playback. Plus, Audio-Technica’s voice guidance function can be used to deliver notifications, including power and pairing statuses, as well as helping to monitor remaining power levels.

Audio-Technica says that the bundled 1.2m cable with in-line mic and control can be used whenever a wired connection is preferred. Price for the ATH-S220BT is £60.

The ATH-M50xBT2 is descended from the ATH-M50x studio model, and features a number of enhancements which the company claims will improve performance and usability. It comes with proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers and the in-app EQ adjustment of its immediate predecessor. It also employs an AK4331 advanced audio DAC and dedicated internal headphone amp, and in addition to SBC, compatibility with AAC and LDAC premium wireless audio codecs.

The company claims the addition of dual mics and beamforming microphone technology means the ATH-M50xBT2 offers clearer phone calls and communication with the built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Sidetone circuitry allows you to hear your voice in the headphones when making calls on most smartphones. The mic can be muted with the press of a button and control of volume/mute, music and access to the voice assistant (Amazon Alexa Built-in, Google Assistant, Siri) are all possible through the buttons that are built into the left earcup.

Multi-point pairing allows wireless connection to two Bluetooth devices at once, while Google Fast Pair enables the headphones to pair with an Android smartphone or other device. The ATH-M50xBT2 claims 50 hours of continuous use on a full charge and up to three hours of use from a 10-minute rapid charge via an improved USB-C connection. It’s priced at £180 and a 1.2m cable is included for optional wired use.

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