Audio-Technica SonicSport Wireless Ear Bud Review: Get your sweat on

In my adult life, I've gone through a staggering number of headphones and earbuds — both the wired and wireless varieties. For a variety of reasons I just have not found a pair of headphones that's lasted longer than a year or so without something going wrong with them. Sometimes it's the drivers getting damaged from an extra sweaty run, and other times I've had cheaper headphones literally fall apart in my hands.

It's easy to fall into a cheap accessory cycle where you replace a cheap and crappy product with another lesser product in an effort to "save money". This doesn't actually work, as you end up spending more in the long run. Fortunately, I think I've found a long-term replacement for my workouts in the Audio-Technica SonicSport Wireless In-Ear Headphones.

The Good

  • Lightweight design
  • Adjustable ear hooks
  • Tap for pass-through ambient sound
  • Foam ear tips are secure and comfortable
  • IPX5 waterproofing means you can clean them
  • Carrying case included

The Bad

  • Controls can be somewhat confusing at first
  • In-ear style not for everyone
  • Foam tips get nasty if you don't clean your ears

Audio-Technica SonicSport What I like

My top three priorities in a pair of sports headphones are that they be lightweight and comfortable to wear over extended periods of time, designed to withstand sweat and abuse, and aren't insanely expensive. These in-ear headphones from Audio-Technica check the first two priorities while coming in at about my upper limit for this style of headphone. In terms of audio quality, these deliver clear sound with a powerful low-end that's great for bass-heavy tracks

I've tried in-ear headphones with the little hooks that slip behind your ear before, but I've never tested ones that felt as comfortable as the ones here. The rubberized plastic is lightweight and comfortable with an adjustable bit of wire built in so you can bend each side to perfectly fit your ear, and this makes all the difference. Whereas other headphones I've tried felt like they were almost hanging off my ear, these feel nice and snug and are lightweight enough that I can forget I'm wearing them over time.

Each pair of headphones comes with the standard assortment of silicone ear tips with three sizes available to accommodate different ear sizes, but I immediately gravitated to the included Comply foam ear tips. On top of providing protection from sweat, the premium foam tips felt amazingly comfortable compared to the silicone options and also help to cut out ambient sound.

The Comply foam ear tips greatly enhance the comfort wearing these headphones during a run or workout.

One of my favorite features is the ability to switch on an ambient noise hear-through function with a single tap of the left housing, which is a great feature if you're out for a run with your tunes blasting but still want to be safe and aware of what's going on in your immediate surroundings. The feature also works well if you're walking through a public space and might want to hear whats going on around you without taking off your earbuds.

In terms of other specs, you get an in-line microphone and controls for answering calls and controlling your music, and you should expect to get about six hours of playback off a full charge. The headphones and included charging cable can all be stored in a compact shell that's perfect for tossing into your gym bag or backpack. Oh, and they've got IPX5 water resistance which means you're able to rinse them under running water to clean them without worry.

Audio-Technica SonicSport What I don't like

As with any of these in-ear headphones, they're going to get mighty gross if you don't properly clean your ears before use — but things can get especially nasty if you're using the foam ear tips. I'm also not entirely sure how you're supposed to wear the wire that connects the two earbuds. The promotional images from Autio-Technica show the wire going behind the neck, but I've often found it more comfortable to have the wire under my chin — however, that look is significantly less stylish.

Also, there could be better documentation included into how to use the ambient noise pass-through — it's a really cool feature but I honestly thought the tap controlled the volume at first before I recognized that those controls were with the in-line mic.

Audio-Technica SonicSport Wireless in-Ear Headphones Should you buy them?

Probably. If you're anything like me and have been burning through headphones trying to find a reliable option that feels comfortable and won't degrade over time, these are a great choice.

The price point is in line with other comparable options such as the Jaybird X3 or Beats by Dre Powerbeats 2 but the water resistance and design here make these the better pick.

4 out of 5

These are reliably awesome workout headphones that will let you enjoy your favorite tunes while remaining comfortable in your ear, and easy to clean after sweaty workouts.

See at Amazon

Marc Lagace

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.