Audio-Technica CKR9 and CKR10 claim world's first as push-pull driver earphones

Music to our ears or marketing guff?

Audio-Technica has announced a new range of earphones offering the claimed world's first use of push-pull drivers in an in-ear headphone.

Designed for the new batch of smartphones and mobile devices that boast about their HD audio quality, the Audio-Technica ATH-CKR9 and ATH-CKR10 are the first earphones to use a push-pull driver array.

This is where two drivers face each other and are synchronised out of phase, reducing the harmonic distortion than occurs when dynamic driver is driven quite hard.

The exact drivers used by the Audio-Technica ATH-CKR9 and ATH-CKR10 are 13mm dynamic drivers. In theory the push-pull style could mean we get the finesse of an armature earphone with the power of a dynamic one.

Audio Technica Engineering Manager Hiromichi Ozawa says that the construction of these heapdhones provides sound "similar to larger headphones and much better than a conventional in-ear headphone." But then he would, wouldn't he?

While the two different headphone models look similar, the materials are a little different. The cheaper Audio-Technica ATH-CKR9 have an aluminium frame while the higher-end ATH-CKR10 use titanium.

Neither pair is exactly cheap, though. The Audio-Technica ATH-CKR9 will sell for £170 and the ATH-CKR10 £250.