Audio-Technica launches cheap headphones with a huge battery life

The Audio-Technica ATH-S220BT headphones on a blue background
(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

If you're after long-lasting headphones and don't want to pay a premium for them, the latest pair from Audio-Technica could be right up your street. 

The new ATH-S220BT over-ear headphones boast a 60-hour battery life, which is longer than most wireless headphones on the market – for comparison, the best headphones of 2021, the Sony WH-1000XM4, have a maximum playback time of 38 hours (and that's with noise cancellation switched off). 

In spite of that longer battery life, the Audio-Technica headphones are much cheaper than Sony's finest, coming in at just $59 / £60. While global pricing is yet to be confirmed, that works out at around AU$80. Meanwhile, the WH-1000XM4 will set you back $349 / £349 / AU$549.

Of course, you're not getting more premium features like active noise cancellation, but Audio-Technica does have a great reputation for making excellent-sounding headphones at reasonable prices. 

The Audio-Technica ATH-S220BT heapdhones in white on a sofa

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

The new ATH-S220BT come with Bluetooth 5 connectivity and, according to the company, support low latency streaming, so you should get any lag between your audio and what's on screen if you're using the headphones for gaming or watching videos. You can also connect them to two different devices at once, or use the included 3.5mm cable for wired listening.

Google Fast Pair means connecting to Android devices should be super quick, and there's support for Siri and Google Assistant. 

40mm drivers should provide a powerful sound, and with a lightweight build, they should be comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. 

As you might imagine, these headphones aren't the most luxurious looking, but they do look sleek and well-built, coming in navy/beige, black/dark gray, and white/black color combinations.

Analysis: do cheap headphones ever sound good?

For anyone that wants to listen to music casually or tune into podcasts during a commute, there's absolutely nothing wrong with buying a pair of cheap headphones – and the sound quality can be surprisingly good.

Audio-Technica has a good track record in this area – its ATH-M20x over-ear headphones sound incredibly clear, well-balanced, and powerful for their low price. 

Even budget wireless earbuds (a form factor that used to always command a high price) can sound really good. Models like the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus and the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 are proof of this. 

Still, you do generally get what you pay for with headphones. For the ultimate audiophile sound quality, you're generally looking at paying upwards of $300 / £300 / AU$400 – and those prices can go into the thousands. 

In fact, one of our favorite pairs of headphones cost $3,000 / £2,799 (about AU$4,100). The Focal Stellia combine high-quality craftsmanship with a stunning open soundstage, and they sound mind-blowingly good – but they'll certainly put a dent in your bank account.

Via Engadget

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.