Date: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
All full-sized headphones and gaming headsets provide their wearers with some form of isolation or passive noise cancellation. Those headphones or headsets block a small portion of the environmental noise that would usually interfere with the wearer's listening experience. The degree of passive isolation is determined by the headphones' open or closed ear cup design and ear pad choice. Active, or powered noise cancellation, is provided by electronic circuitry, installed in one or both of the ear cups, that creates a dampening effect.
Active noise cancellation is already a very popular feature in some models of premium priced headphones, but it has recently gained new attention with its inclusion as a feature in many rapper branded models.
The two pairs of rapper branded headphones that we have reviewed offered active noise cancellation as one of the major buying points, but both products produced poor, bass-bloated audio in nearly all of our music, movie, and gaming tests.
Audio-Technica recently released its newest pair of closed-back headphones with active noise cancellation, the ATH-ANC9 QuietPointآ® Headphones. Today, we will tell you whether or not Audio-Technica has managed to blend quality audio playback with its own method of active noise cancellation and if the company's newest product is even suitable for PC usage. You might be surprised when you read our answers.
The ATH-ANC9 headphones can be purchased directly from Audio-Technica for $349.95 plus shipping. Amazon sells the product for $274.99 with free ground or Prime shipping. That $75.00 price difference should definitely convince you to shop around if you are interested in buying these headphones.
The retail packaging for these headphones is very simple and straight forward. The front of the box has a smaller than life-size picture of the product inside as well as the notable fact that these headphones reduce environmental noise up to ninety-five percent. This figure is a seven percent improvement over that of the company's previous model, the ATH-ANC7b headphones.
The back panel of the box lists the product's features and specifications in nine languages.
Inside the box, we found a very sharp eight by nine inch travel case wrapped in a thick plastic bag. The top of the black, hard-shelled case sports a rubberized Audio-Technica logo. The left half of the case's interior is covered with black fabric. There is a removable pouch with a Velcro backing that is used to store the headphones' audio cables and adapters.
The right half of the case has a velour-covered molded insert which keeps the headphones firmly in place and scratch-free. The bottom of the case has a carabiner's hook which can be used to hang the case out of the way or clipped to the rest of your luggage.
The travel case feels very sturdy in our hands and we really like the fact that A-T has added its own distinctive touches, like the hook's threaded collar which will keep it securely closed after it has been clipped. We also noticed the single rivet in the fabric that tethers the carabiner's hook to the case. We have seen travel cases in the past with fabric loops for the carabiner hooks, but no reinforcing rivet. Over time, those will most likely tear or fray from the case's hanging weight.
The ATH-ANC9 headphones have a one year limited warranty. For an audio product this pricey we would like to see a longer warranty, but one year is common for competitors' models in this product's price range.