Monday, October 23, 2017

Audio-Technica Over The Ear Wireless Headphone Review

Audio-Technica has been known for many years for providing a big bang for your buck. Today we will be reviewing the  Audio-Technica ATH-WS99BT.  With a MSRP of $249, these wireless headphones appear to keep the trend going. Thanks to aptX, they should be a good performer as well.

Features and specs:

  • Bluetooth wireless technology with mic and music and volume controls built into the earcup for answering/ending calls, controlling music & video playback and controlling volume on Bluetooth wireless devices

  • Remembers up to eight devices and automatically connects with the last paired device

  • Employs aptX® sound-improvement technology, specifically created to yield the best-possible audio performance over Bluetooth transmission

  • Double Air Chamber System naturally expands bass output for powerful bass without sacrificing audio clarity

  • Large 53 mm drivers for outstanding sound quality

  • Built-in, high-quality headphone amplifier ensures clear and accurate sound reproduction from the wireless signal

  • Precision-machined aluminum housings eliminate vibration for extremely accurate sound reproduction

  • Soft, memory foam earpads provide a comfortable fit with outstanding sound isolation

  • Smooth, easily adjustable headband slider ensures a comfortable fit

  • Internal battery provides six hours of continuous use (200 hours on standby) on a full charge

  • 1.2 m (3.9') cable with mic/controls provides a wired connection for when wireless operation is prohibited (e.g., in airplanes or hospitals) or when battery power is low

  • Includes 1.0 m (3.3') USB charging cable

Closed-back Dynamic
Driver Diameter
53 mm
Frequency Response
8 – 26,000 Hz
105 dB/mW
37 ohms
DC3.7 V lithium polymer rechargeable battery
Battery Life
6 hours continuous use (200 hours standby)
Charging Time: Approx. 3 hours (for 0-100% charge)
275 g (without cord)
1.2 m (3.9') with 3.5 mm stereo mini-plug
3.5 mm (⅛") stereo mini-plug
Accessories Included
1.0 m (3.3') USB charging cable, pouch
Type (Microphone)
Sensitivity (Microphone)
-44 dB (1V/Pa at 1 kHz)
Frequency Response (Microphone)
50 – 4,000 Hz
Polar Pattern (Microphone)

·         Communication System: Bluetooth Version 3.0+EDR
Output: Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2
Maximum Communication Range: Line of sight - approx. 10 m (30')
Compatible Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
Support Codec: SBC, aptX, AAC 
The Audio-Technica ATH-WS99BT came in a nice looking printed box with photos of the headphones and their features and specs. After opening the box, I could see they were well protected in custom plastic molding. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic, with some metal in the headband, and the headband felt a lot like leather. The earcups were memory foam. The quality of the materials was very good. The fit and finish was also very good. The earcups on each side did pull out from each side of the headband, as expected to give the right fit. But I was a little surprised to see there weren’t the usual stops at different lengths to hold it at specific lengths for your individual fit. Also included was a charging cable, wired cable with in-line mic and controls to use with your Smartphone, and a carry bag and owners' manual.

For song selection, we thought we would mix some new school with some old school.  We'll start with twenty One Pilots: Heathens, then go to Kansas: Carry On Wayward Son, and Fresh Aire: Going To Another Place.  Twenty One Pilots: Heathens, the vocals were smooth and had nice harmonics.  Percussion was crisp and dynamic.  Bass was very full, deep, and had good impact.  Kansas: Carry On Wayward Son, had nice harmonics in the smooth vocals.  The keyboard sounded just a tad bright, cymbals were crisp and dynamic. Kick drum had good depth and impact.  Fresh Aire: Going To Another Place, strings were crisp and clean, with good resolution.  Piano sounded very natural.  Flute was very smooth with lots of air.  Drums had nice depth and impact.

The Audio-Technica ATH-WS99BT sounded a bit better than their price point of $249.  And they had a more neutral sound to them overall.  And the Bluetooth performance was amazing!  I easily paired with my HTC One M8 Smartphone.  And placing my HTC in a central point on the 1st floor, I was able to walk all over my house within 30 feet of it and up to a half dozen walls between me and the HTC One, and not a single hiccup.  So, I had to test it's range.  I decided to walk out to the end of my cul-de-sac.  Almost half-way there and a couple hiccups in connection, but still playing.  Close to the corner, and at the corner, I had a couple of hiccups.  But even standing at the corner, I was able to hear my music.  So for $249 they are a real bargain!

The Audio-Technica ATH-WS99BT was a pleasant surprise.  While they sounded better at their price-point than expected,  their Bluetooth performance was much better than expected for their price point.  Based on their design, features, quality, and performance, they have earned our Highly Recommended Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at