ATH-S220BT: Autonomous and inexpensive, the Audio Technica headphones have arguments to convince

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The tsunami of 100% wireless (or “True Wireless”) headphones is not going to stop this fall. However, many are those who remain attached to Bluetooth headset headsets. With his new
ATH-S220BT, Audio Technica targets rather a young clientele with a very accessible equipment (69 euros) which could well satisfy both the wallet and the pleasure of the ears. 20 minutes tested it for several days and gives you its verdict.

The ATH-S220BT are over-ear headphones.
The ATH-S220BT are over-ear headphones. – AUDIO TECHNICA

Lightweight but not foldable

The ATH-S220BT is a headband headset supra aural. This assumes that its pads rest on the ears and not encompass them. Advantage: the user remains perfectly aware of the universe that surrounds him. Disadvantage: a feeling of less immersion in his musical bubble. Unpacked (it is supplied without a carrying case), the helmet reveals a small weakness: it is not foldable. If its ear cups can be laid flat, its frame cannot be folded up, as is the case with the Marshall Monitor II ANC, for example, a totally foldable helmet, but which, at 299 euros, does not play in the same court.

We regret that the arch is not foldable.
We regret that the arch is not foldable. – AUDIO TECHNICA

When tested, the ATH-S220BT turns out to be extremely light (180 g, less heavy than a smartphone …), it is an asset if you do not want to part with it when you spend long moments in transport, for example. And its port is pleasant. Although firm, its hoop of a good robustness, does not enclose the head too much and never bothered us, even after two good hours of continuous listening.

Mediums on the podium

We have tested this headset with both music and videos. Among other things, the album From Película of The Limiñanas and Laurent Garnier, but also a few episodes from the last season of La Casa de Papel. The impression that emerges is that the ATH-S220BT diffuses a rather balanced sound, warm, but which flourishes more in the lower mids. The bass, so often courted by music lovers on the go, are present but sometimes a little too muted. For their part, the most chiseled highs struggle to emerge. An application with an equalizer would have made it possible to better adapt these settings to his ear …

Low latency ideal for video games.
Low latency ideal for video games. – AUDIO TECHNICA

Good point nonetheless for our TV series episodes: the absence of latency makes viewing very pleasant, no difference to be noted (as sometimes) between the movement of the characters’ lips and the sound of their voices. This is one of the strengths of the ATH-S220BT, which will thus be greatly appreciated for video games.

Multipoint connection

While listening, three buttons on the shell of the left speaker of the headset are used to modulate the volume, but also to pick up / hang up received calls. Double-clicking the center button launches SIRI or Google Assistant personal assistants, a handy feature for making a call, requesting a calendar reminder, or answering any other question.

Multipoint connection is a real asset on a daily basis.
Multipoint connection is a real asset on a daily basis. – AUDIO TECHNICA

Finally, the ATH-S220BT is multipoint. This assumes that it can connect to two bluetooth players, like a smartphone and a computer. The idea is obviously not to listen to two audio streams at the same time, but to avoid any pairing manipulation. We have verified this specificity with an iMac and an iPhone 12 and it works perfectly. It is thus possible to watch a video on the computer screen and take an incoming call without worrying about anything.

60 hours of battery life

One of the strengths of the ATH-S220BT remains its autonomy. Audio Technica claims it for up to 60 hours. Admittedly, we did not go that far, but our tests which ran for more than a week did not exhaust the battery of the headphones which, in only 10 minutes of charging, can regain 3h30 of autonomy (a cable USB-A to USB-C is provided). With the Marshall Major IV headphones that promise up to 80 hours of battery life, these Audio Technica headphones are one of the heavyweights in this sector. Even if we used up its battery, listening could continue in wired mode using the supplied cable.

The helmet is also available in white.
The helmet is also available in white. – AUDIO TECHNICA

Sold for 69 euros, the ATH-S220BT which is available in black or white remains an entry-level Bluetooth headset that meets most needs. At this price, it dispenses with a noise reduction system, but takes advantage of a very good listening quality at its price level, the possibility of reducing latency, but above all a monster autonomy that many models at the same price, are entitled to envy him. But he is not alone in leading the race: at the same price, but in a form supra aural (which rests directly on the ear), the
Jabra Elite 45h also promises a little sixty hours of autonomy.

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