Pros + Great sound
+ Noise canceling is excellent
+ High quality construction
+ All you need accessories included
+ Case is very durable
Cons - They make my ears sweat
- Headphones are not very convenient to transport because they are so big
Summary My wife asked for the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 for her birthday. I'd never heard a pair of active noise cancelling headphones but we travel a lot and the drone of jet engines is a nice thing to escape so I was curious. When I received it, I opened i up and tested it out. This made me curious about them so I started researching for my own set. Why didn't I just order a pair of Bose QC15s for myself? They cost $300 They are overpriced, as Bose product typically are IMHO. Bose is good stuff... they just charge too much and the build quality of them is not what you'd expect for the price.
After researching for my own pair, it became apparent that Audio Technica is a brand that has a full spectrum of active noise cancelling products. They even have a pair that competes on price and (presumably) quality with the Bose QC15s (Audio Technica ATH-ANC9). A small step down in quality (but a very large step down in price) is this product, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b. This review is going to be a direct comparison to the QC15s but bear in mind, I paid $114.95 for my ATH-ANC7b. My wife's Bose QC15s cost $300. Even though the Bose cost 2.6 times more than my Audio Technicas, they are actually quite similar in quality except in the following areas:
Noise leakage: This is how well people around you can hear your music while you're listening to the headphones. The Audio Technicas actually leak quite a bit of sound and more than the Bose. However, since you'll wear these in situations where there is a lot of ambient noise, i don't think it will be an issue.
Sound Quality: I'd actually give the much cheaper Audio Technicas the edge here! I'm not an audiophile but they both sound sublime, as any decent around the ear headphones should. I liked the sound of the Audio Technicas a little better. An added bonus is that the Audio Technicas work without noise cancellation on - probably handy if you run out of battery. The Bose don't work without a battery. The sound isn't as good though...listenable but sounds a bit distant. I doubt anybody would run out of batteries, though. Both use 1 AAA battery and the carrying case could store dozens of them with each lasting 40 hours.
Noise cancelling: not quite as good as the Bose but the Bose are considered the best set of headphones for noise cancellation. The Audio Technicas do a great job... just not quite as good as the Bose. AT says these cancel 90%, Bose says their set cancels 95%. Seems hard to quantify such a thing but those numbers seem appropriate.
Comfort: Both are very comfortable but the Bose has a slight edge here too. That said, I have no problem at all wearing either for extended periods of time. Both are nice and light and don't make your ears sore after a long period of wearing them.
Case: Both have a very nice carry case that is rigid so the headphones will be protected. The Bose have a smooth plastic shell case and the Audio Technica uses a tough fabric material like you'd find on a camera case.
Bottom Line: As I said, I'm comparing these headphones to a set that cost 2.6 times as much as I paid. What you have in the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b is a headset that is a solid 90% as good as the Bose QC 15, but costs 38% of the price of a pair of Bose QC15s. I see the price has gone up to $150 but they are still a steal, even at that price. Even if these had cost $200-250, I wouldn't have had any regrets because I don't feel like I'm sacrificing much of anything by going with these. Excellent product for an excellent value.
For the record, if these had been $300 like the Bose, I'd have given them 4.5 stars and the Bose QC15 5 stars. Since I paid a small fraction of that price for this set of ANC headphones, I give them a very enthusiastic 5 stars.
PS: I suggest check for best deal of the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B at: www.headphonereviewsbuy.com/buy-audio-technica-ath-anc7b/
I hope my review is helpful, good luck!
Pros 1. soft, comfortable and do not squeeze head
2. very good noise canceling
3. as good as Bose, but way cheaper
4. two audio cords
5. good passive isolation
6. holds very long on one battery
7. good quality cord, easy to untie
Cons 1. too loud, you should buy volume control if you want to use it on the plane
Summary These are very good headphones. Comparable to Bose but much cheaper. Nice looking and comfortable. Sound quality is very impressive and noise canceling works great.
I normally had been using ear plugs on the plane. They are comfortable to sleep with, but when you are active, they are not good for putting them on and off frequently. On the other end headphones are very comfortable to put on and off when you are woke up and want sometimes to hear better whats going on around.
For watching in-flight movies and listen to music they are just unrepleacable! After trying, you will never turn on the movie without them.
When having them on, you still hear much, like people talking etc., but engine noise is very well canceled - this is great. If you want to cut yourself completely you can still put on ear plugs simultaneously with the headphones. This is perfect - you hear engines only when opening your mouth!
Only downside is that in-flight entertainment system plays very loud to work properly with plane stock headphones together with all the noise around. When you are using your great, fancy, good quality Audio-Technica's with noise canceling you find the minimum level of volume to be to high. I recommend buying external volume control for headphones.
The good workaround when lacking volume control is to put the ear plugs with the headphones, and increase the volume of the movie slightly. Actually this works nicer that you would think.
They work great with glasses. Also they are very good for work with noisy air conditioning and computer fans running all the day long. I use them all the time in office.
One should also remember that as they are over-the-ear headphones, they are pretty big, so reserve more space in your carry on baggage.
I really like their container. It looks very nice and professional, is strong and you can store there some additional stuff like ear plugs. One thing I really appreciate that Audio Technica ship the headphones with battery, so you can try them straight away.
So buy them and try them today! You're gonna love it.
*** P.S. If you will buy these headphones I suggest you have compare price before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/*************?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%****%2Foffer-listing%2FB002HWJT1A%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref_%3Ddp_olp_new_map%26condition%3Dnew&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957
Pros Noise cancellation is excellent for removing aircraft engine sound, mutes but does not eliminate voice sound
Cons These won't eliminate all external sound - they simply eliminate more constant sounds, like jet engines. People trying to get your attention will be able to get your attention.
Summary I've tried several noise cancelling headphones - these seem to offer the best balance of noise cancellation with awareness of one's surroundings. I personally do not want a headphone that will completely eliminate external sounds - I want to know if someone is trying to get my attention, but I also want to eliminate aircraft noise. These seem to strike the balance, with decent sound reproduction. As for leakage, I'm not terribly concerned, and cetainly don't play music at a level where that would be an issue (and if it is an issue for you, you should probably turn it down and save your hearing).
Pros Great noice cancelling and good quality sound. When you turn on the noice cancelling you can hear the background noise dissapear. And then the RFI kicks in and you have to turn noise cancelling off!
Cons Suffers very badly from Radio Frequency Interference.
Suffer from presure build up.
Summary The noise cancelling on these Audio_Technica Quiet Point ATH-NAC7b headphones is indeed excellent, but there is a reason why they are so cheap. They suffer from RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) when in noise cancelling mode. Whenever a phone hunts for a new signal or negotiates with an access point having found one, you will hear a lot of interference.
I ware these on the train going home and as we go into and out of range of mobile signal masks these things go crazy. But that is as nothing compared with the frenzy that envelops them when you come out of the Tube/Metro/Subway.
I have been onto Audio-Technica's technical support line and they have admitted this is a known fault, and that there is no cure. Apparently then are coming out with an ATH-ANC9 model that is less prone - though the emphasis was on less.
It's a real shame because apart from that they are great.
Pros Very effective noise cancelling. Commute on train daily, love these. Very soft/comfortable, way more so than my Sennheiser HD202's (much cheaper and no sound cancelling).
Cons I haven't had any problems--the case is quality, as is the fit and finish. I like handling them and very comfy on. Good sound, no down side yet--very happy with this purchase! See what the reviews on Amazon say before saying no.
Summary Effective. Quality. Comfortable (That was really right up there in importance--if they hurt, doesn't matter how good they sound!) There are, I think, only three Brands of these generally out there; Bose (has to be turned on with battery to work, $300), Sony ($250) and these. I tried the Sony on the ear noise cancelling phones--not effective at all. Zero. How could on the ear cans be effective at sound cancelling, much less comfortable to wear for an hour twice a day on the train!!?
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