Best Noise-Canceling Headphones: ATH-ANC7

I’ve probably bought more noise-canceling headphones than most people, but just never been satisfied with the choices. Of course there are the Bose models, but everything that company makes is overpriced and overhyped. Their aviation headset (ie, used by pilots) beats the competitors, but those for passengers aren’t worth the $$. For two years I used a pair of inexpensive Sony MDR-NC6, which are a very good value, but at a much lower level on the price/performance curve. Last year in Frankfurt I picked up a Sennheiser PXC-150, which I’ve been using until now. But based on some recent reviews, I just bought an Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7
($199.99 from Amazon), finally a noise-canceling headset worth blogging about.

These are cup-style phones that fold fairly flat. They’re very comfortable. A single AAA battery slips into the left earcup. I first tried them with the noise canceling off and was very disappointed. They worked, but the level was low and there was a complete lack of high frequencies. (Some noise-canceling headsets don’t work at all with the noise-canceling feature turned off.) But flip on the active circuit, and the audio quality is excellent. I’d rate the audio as an A- and the noise canceling as a B+. At $200, I think they’re the best value at this end of the price curve.

4 thoughts on “Best Noise-Canceling Headphones: ATH-ANC7

  1. Robert, I can’t stand to wear in-ear things for long periods. Too annoying. Wish I could, though. I’ve heard other people say good things about Ultimate Ears.

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  2. I too am something of a collector of noise reducing listening devices. I’ve never been satisfied with the over-the-ear models, but I love my Etymotic ER-4’s (http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er4.aspx). You would have to be willing to put up with the in-ear design. But I’ve worn them on loooong plane flights for hours. Excellent audio quality too. Even more expensive than Ultimate Ears. Sigh…

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  3. I had considered the ATH-ANC7 because of their quality and most importantly price. However, after digging deeper into my research, I found that the Sennheiser 450 noise cancelling headphones did better at noise cancellation than the more popular headphones Sony, Bose and ATH-ANC7. The least favored thing about the Sennheiser headphones is the price.

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