Affordable Noise Cancelling Headphones That Work

Written by Mendelson Tiu     05/10/2007 | 07:02 | Category name i.e.ACCESSORIES

The big brands in noise-cancelling headphones such as Sennheiser and Bose offer high quality solutions - but with a price tag to match. SmartHouse listens to a cheaper alternative: Audio-Technica's Quietpoint ATH-ANC7 headphones to see how they measure up.


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Audio-Technica's Quietpoint ATH-ANC7
Whether it's a new headphone to replace the stock ones that comes with music players or headphones that have the ability to eliminate background noises, there is no doubt that we have a plethora of headphones readily available for those who value sound output.

One of those dedicated to giving users quality headphones is Audio-Technica, a company based in Japan that produces products like microphones, wireless systems, and even electronic products for home and professional use. With 45 years experience on its belt, the company has released its first noise-cancelling headphones aptly called Quietpoint, a large but comfortable headphone that reduces background noise and is sure to provide good sounding audio anywhere.

The package comes with the noise-cancelling headphones, a 3.5mm jack, a gold-plated airline adapter, a gold-plated 6.3mm stereo adapter, and a hard case for easy storage. The headphones sports a black and silver fascia, is mostly made out of hard plastic, and generally looks sturdy.

One may be able to find the headphone's battery compartment, connecting port, as well as the unit's power switch for the noise-cancelling function on its left side. The headphones also have an adjustable headband and pivoting earcups in order to provide users with a perfect fit.

The headphones run on a single AAA battery, which is not all bad if you think about it, as one can easily purchase a fresh set of batteries from any convenience store. The good thing about this headphone though is the fact that it can still work even when the noise-cancelling function is turned off. The sound coming from the unit may be softer and background noises will is sure to be heard, but it is still better to have something to use during those long trips than nothing at all.

Performance:

The ATH-ANC7 was able to eliminate background noises (sound coming from television sets and air conditioning units, train noises, traffic, and even several background conversations at home or in the office) and was comfortable to wear. Users have the option to either hook the headphones up to any audio source (like MP3 players), or simply use the headphones without any audio to enjoy its noise-cancelling function.


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We have played several tracks from our music player and have found that the headphones were able to deliver exceptional sound. The ANC7 instantly gave life to our favourite pop songs, with mids and highs being clearly head throughout various tracks. And while bass was present as we listened to several R&B and Drum and Bass tracks, we feel that it needed just a little more depth to completely satisfy users who prefer bass more than anything else.

It took more than 30 hours of usage before the AAA battery ran out, making it the perfect set of headphones during those long trips.

Conclusion:

Audio-Technica's ATH-ANC7 Quietpoint is certainly one of those noise-cancelling headphones worth considering should one decide to have peace and quiet at home, in the office, or during those lengthy travels. It sounds great, reduces ambient noise well, has a long battery life, and is very comfortable to use. An RRP of $445 may seem steep, but compared to other noise-cancelling products such as Sennheiser's PXC450 and Bose QuietComfort III, which are priced at $799.95 and $599 respectively, this unit is definitely a steal.

Product Specifications:

Type: Active noise-cancelling
Driver Diameter: 40mm
Magnet: Neodymium
Frequency Response: 10-25,000 Hz
Quietpoint Active Noise Reduction: Up to 20 dB
Sensitivity: 109 dB
Impedance: 260 ohms
Battery: AAA (Alkaline)
Battery Life: Up to 40 hours
Cable: 1.6m with 3.5mm stereo mini-plug
Connector Input: 3.5mm
Weight: 200g without case and battery
Included accessories: Detachable 1.6m cable with 3.5mm stereo mini plugs; 6.3mm stereo adapter; airline adapter; AAA battery; carrying case with attached accessory pouch

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Audio-Technica Quietpoint ATH-ANC7 | $445 |  | www.tag.com.au

For: Noise-cancelling technology; Sound quality; Can work without batteries; Long battery life; Traveling case; Extra accessories; Price point

Against:
Some users may not like the fact that the unit uses AAA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery; Bass is accurate but needs just a little more depth

Verdict: Audio-Technica's ATH-ANC7 is also a serious set of headphones worth recommending for what its worth. It costs less than Bose's Quiet Comfort 3 and even Sennheiser's PXC 450, giving it the edge in terms of affordability.

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

Noise-cancelling technology; Sound quality; Can work without batteries; Long battery life; Traveling case; Extra accessories; Price point

Cons:

Some users may not like the fact that the unit uses AAA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery; Bass is accurate but needs just a little more depth