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.