Review: Audio Technica ATH-AR3BT
Japanese audio company Audio Technica has got the design spot on with the ATH-AR3BT (Rs13,990) headphones. They look good, feel durable and aren’t heavy. The padding on the earcups and the headband is fairly plush, without increasing the bulk of the headphones. Despite these being on-ear headphones, at no point did we feel they were pressing in on the ears, and they allow for some breathability too. While comfort level is subjective, the lightweight design works in its favour.
There are controls on the outer casing on both earcups. On the right is the Bluetooth on/off toggle, simple to get the hang of. However, the slider toggle on the left earpiece, which gives finer control over volume and can also be used to control phone calls and skip tracks in your music playlist, takes time to get used to. The snug fit also lets you block out a significant amount of ambient noise, even though these headphones don’t have active noise cancellation.
There are 40mm audio drivers in each earpiece. In terms of the audio performance, the ATH-AR3BT does have a balanced sound signature, which means this works well for vocals-heavy music and is vibrant enough for tracks that focus on the lower frequencies. If you use the equalizer settings on your phone or laptop, this can be easily tweaked to become a bass-heavy headphone that can match even the most bass-centric rivals such as the Sony XBR range. The headphone also supports Qualcomm aptX and AAC codecs, which means it ticks off the future-proofing aspect as well to a large extent.
Battery life is a strong point. If you are using this for listening at volumes up to 50%, you’ll be able to draw more than the claimed 30 hours of battery life before you need to plug these in again. It takes about four-and-a-half hours to fully charge the battery again.
At this price, the Audio Technica ATH-AR3BT does get into a direct face-off with the Sony XB950B1 (Rs13,990; Sony.co.in), which also offers similar specifications but is perhaps more attuned to up-tempo and bass-heavy music. While sound signature preferences are subjective, these two headphones are two great options to consider.