(Image credit: Audio-Technica)
Audio-Technica has launched its latest pair of true wireless earbuds, which come with an unusual square design and a pleasingly budget-friendly price.
The ATH-SQ1TW wireless earbuds come in a range of bright food-themed colors, including Blueberry, Caramel, Popsicle, Cupcake, Black, and White, each boasting square housings that look quite unlike any other true wireless earbuds we’ve tested.
Costing just $79 / £79.99 (about AU$110), the Audio-Technica earbuds are cheaper than many true wireless earbuds on the market – even cheaper than our favorite budget wireless earbuds, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0.
Despite their relatively low price, the ATH-SQ1TW don’t skimp on the specs, with each bud containing 5.8mm drivers for what Audio-Technica describes as a “clear, powerful sound.”
The earbuds also come with a low latency mode, which should mitigate any audio sync issues when you’re watching videos or playing games.
An IPX4 water resistance rating means these buds should be able to withstand a splash of rain or a little sweat if you want to use them while working out. Touch controls built into the earbuds also allow you play and pause your music, skip tracks, answer phone calls, and adjust the volume of your music – all without needing to dig out your phone.
There’s no active noise cancellation – we’d be surprised, at this price point – but there is a hear-through feature that uses the ATH-SQ1TW’s microphones to capture ambient sound, allowing you to tune into your surroundings. It’s a handy feature if you’re listening to music while navigating busy streets, or for when you want to have a quick conversation without removing your earbuds.
In terms of connectivity, there’s support for Google Fast Pair, which means you can pair the earbuds with Android devices with one tap on your phone.
Low battery life, high fashion credentials
The only spec that’s slightly disappointing is the battery life. While you get a respectable 6.5 hours from the earbuds themselves, the charging case only provides a further 13 hours of playback, for a total of 19.5 hours of battery life.
That’s not the worst battery life we’ve seen, but it certainly doesn’t match other budget-friendly buds like the aforementioned Lypertek in-ear headphones; they boast a whopping 80-hour battery life, proving that a low price doesn’t mean you’ll need to constantly be charging your earbuds.
Still, we don’t think anyone will be buying the Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW for their battery life – for us, it’s all about that striking, stand-out design, which makes the earbuds almost look like a pair of stylish earrings.
We can’t wait to try them out for ourselves – and our pick would have to be the Caramel color option, as it looks absolutely delicious.
- Read our guide to the best cheap wireless earbuds you can buy today
Olivia is TechRadar’s Audio & Music Editor, covering everything from headphones to music streaming services. Based in TechRadar’s London offices, 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, Top Ten Reviews Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. In her spare time Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her cat Ethel and golden retriever Dora.
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