Audio Technica ATH-ANC7 Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you travel often by aeroplane or long distance train and you have a passion for music it’s likely you’ve considered (or maybe already own) a pair of active noise cancelling headphones. The clever electronics in these headphones does an excellent job of removing the low frequency boom of aircraft engines, train air conditioning and any other consistent rumbling noises. While some feel the addition of this electronics interferes with the quality of audio reproduction, there is no doubt that the technology is impressive and very effective at reducing low frequency noise.
What about Bose?
The obvious choice for many when it comes to noise cancelling headphones is the Bose range. The Bose Quiet Comfort noise cancelling headphones have long been regarded as the standard by which other noise cancelling headphones should be measured. This domination of the market has meant that Bose has been able to justify a hefty price tag for their superior technology.
In recent years manufacturers such as Sennheiser, Panasonic and others have to some degree caught up with Bose, but many feel Bose still have the upper hand with their noise cancelling technology..
Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC7’s headphones are well and truly aimed to challenge the position of Bose.
ATH-ANC7 Quietpoint Overview
Upon opening the box the ANC7’s are immediately impressive, with excellent build quality and a comfortable fit on most ears. The headphone ear cups have a rather handy pivoting link to the headband that means they can be folded 90 degrees for convenient storage of the headset. Also included with the headphones is a useful airline connection adapter, the single AAA battery needed to power the active electronics and a practical carry case to protect your headphones.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC7 Quietpoint noise cancelling headphones come in a full size headset package with sealed (or closed) ear cups to help reduce high frequency noise from leaking in, while the active electronics handle the suppression of low frequency noise. The ear cups do not completely enclose the ears, but instead rest on the outer ear with soft pads that mould to fit comfortably on most ears.
Clever Cable Design
The headphone connection cable design of the ANC7’s is worth a mention. The convenient 1.6 metre cable is terminated with a full size 6.35mm (1/4”) jack at the source end and a 3.5mm (1/8”) mini jack at the headphone end. While the length is perfect for using with a portable music player on the move, the use of standard connectors means the cable can be easily replaced with a longer item for other applications such as home or office listening. The ANC7’s can also be used without the cable attached to just perform noise cancelling duties – handy if you are looking to get some sleep on a long flight.
How Do They Sound?
The quality of audio reproduction is excellent. The sealed ear cup headphone design means there is very little bass leakage and the lower frequency response is very strong. Moving through the mid-range and high frequencies the sound is pure and crisp and very accurate.
The closed back design does give the sound an enclosed character, which owners of good quality open back headphones may find immediately noticeable. The difference between open and closed back headphones can be compared to listening to a band in a large open concert hall and then hearing the same band playing a small intimate venue – it’s just different. There is no doubt that the ANC7’s close back design does change the character of the sound, but without the sealed ear cups the listener would be disturbed by high frequency external noise.
The active noise reduction technology of the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7’s is very impressive. Low frequency external noise is dramatically reduced, while still managing to maintain excellent quality audio reproduction.
Visit the HiFi Headphones online store for a closer look at the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 Quietpoint Noise Cancelling Headphones.
For more information on how noise cancelling headphones work see our Noise Cancelling Headphones Buyer’s Guide.