Impressive Cheap Noise-Cancelling Headphones
By Mendelson Tiu | Thursday | 08/05/2008
Noise-cancelling headphones have one job to do: eliminate as much background noise as they can to give users the best audio experience possible. Audio-Technica's Quietpoint ATH-ANC3 seems small for a noise-cancelling headphone, but will size have an effect on its overall performance? The SmartHouse team jacks in to find out.
Last year, Audio-Technica's first noise-cancelling headphone, the Quietpoint ATH-ANC7, obtained a 4.5 rating because of its sound quality, effective noise-cancelling, and attractive price point. The new ATH-ANC3 Quietpoint headphones is smaller and promises to deliver exceptionally pure audio signal and an active noise cancelling function that cancels 85 percent of background noise at a very attractive price.
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Besides the main in-ear headphones with control box, Audio-Technica has included a detachable .5 metre cable with gold-plated 3.5mm stereo mini plug and jack, a gold-plated airline adapter, replaceable rubber tips, one AAA battery, and a protective carrying case. The headphones come in either black or white, with a microphone in each earpiece for the noise-cancelling function.
Like its predecessor, the ANC3 uses a single AAA battery for easy replacement. In addition, the unit can still be used when the noise-cancelling function is turned off or when the battery suddenly falls flat while on the go.
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Compared to over-the-ear cushioned headphones, the ANC3 sports a more discreet profile (in-ear) and is easier to take out/put back from/to its carrying case. The ANC3 has a small in-line control box that comes with an on/off switch and Monitor button that mutes all functions (including the noise-cancelling function) when the unit is turned on in order to listen to announcements or important conversations.
The noise-cancelling function works, and works well. It was able to eliminate annoying background noises during our long commute to and from our office, allowing us to enjoy our music in peace. The miniature microphones in each ear bud was able to produce a 'close to identical out-of-phase signal that cancels an extremely high percentage of external noise across a very wide frequency range' without any issues.
Audio-Technica promises exceptional sound across its products - and that it just what it was able to deliver on its ATH-ANC3. Vocals were warm and strong, cymbals and percussions at the higher range were prominent, while bass thumped its way in our eardrums during our music tests. Combined with the active noise-cancelling function of the ANC3, a user can listen to their music at lower volumes, which can prevent permanent ear damage in the future.
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The AAA battery lasted for about 50 hours, making it a great headphone to use for hours on end.
Despite encountering some mobile phone interference during our tests, Audio-Technica's Quietpoint ATH-ANC3 is still well-worth recommending for its noise-cancelling function, noteworthy audio output, and long battery life. It can give you that silent time anytime, allowing you to relax and unwind anywhere. The ATH-ANC3 is available now for an RRP of $249.
See page over for product specifications and final rating.
Audio-Technica Quietpoint ATH-ANC3 Specifications:
Type: Active noise-cancelling
Driver Diameter: 12.5 mm
Frequency Response: 15 - 22,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 104 Db
Impedance: 90 ohms
Weight: 40 g (1.4 oz) with battery
Cable: 0.8 m + 0.2 m (3.3' total) with 3.5 mm (1/8") stereo mini-plug
Accessories Included: Extension cable 0.5 m (1.6') with 3.5 mm (1/8") stereo mini-plug; airline adapter; AAA battery; carrying case; ear pieces (rubber tips) (S/M/L size)
QuietPoint Active Noise Reduction: Up to 20 dB
Battery: AAA (alkaline)
Battery Life: Up to 50 hours, typical (alkaline)
Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC3 | $249 | | www.tag.com.au
For: Effective noise-cancelling; Great sound; Multitude of accessories; Battery-free operation; Long battery life; Attractive price
Against: White version gets dirty easily; Susceptible to mobile phone interference; Cord not too long
Conclusion: Have your own music bubble with this in-ear headphone from Audio-Technica.
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