Audio-Technica ANC9 headphones

Macworld Australia Staff
9 September, 2012
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Audio-Technica ANC9



Superb audio quality in a range of environments


Headband too wide



The greatest gift a pair of noise- cancelling headphones can give – provided they deliver on what they promise – is the ability to drown out the noise of the world and offer a moment, or two, to focus only on the music. It’s selective hearing at its best.

We reviewed Audio Technica’s ANC9 QuietPoint headphones, interested to see if its sound filtering capabilities stepped up to the plate, and, sure enough, in our testing the headphones delivered superbly across the board.

ANC9 QuietPoint headphones look like serious business even before you unbox them; Audio Technica has provided some extra touches with a semi-hard travelling zip-up case to carry them, two cables, adapters for stereo systems and aeroplane headphone plugs. There’s also an inline microphone for answering calls and controlling music.

The design sports a conservative aesthetic, with black leather-like headband, matte black plastic ear cups and subtle silver accents. Each ear cup is padded with memory foam padding for a comfortable, maintained fit.

We do have an issue with the headband and its broad build, however. The headband, put simply, is far too wide; even when sliding the ear cups up or down to tweak its fit, the band itself does not move. What results is a pair of headphones with an oblong band that leaves a gaping space on either side of your head. Although this doesn’t detract from the model’s overall fit, its form could do with refining.

But that was the only real gripe we ran into while using the ANC9s, and it was quickly forgotten after we pressed Play. The headphones deliver rich and bodied sound across a variety of genres of music, deftly handling tracks with booming vocals, heavy bass and intricate instrumentals.

Inside the ANC9s are four small microphones, two in each earpiece, working together to filter sound in a range of environments with with up to 30dB reductions.

Depending on where you are, and how much you want to hear, you can choose from three noise cancellation modes. Mode 1 works best during a flight, or on a train for maximum filtration; Mode 2 is best-suited in moderately noisy spaces, like an office or busy street as it targets midrange frequencies; Mode 3 handles quieter environments, in a bedroom, for example, or a library. We put each mode through its paces in a gamut of varied environments and the headphones adapted in every location like a pro.

Macworld Australia‘s buying advice.

The ANC9s offer a wealth of options for users that will accommodate any location and soundscape. While the too-wide headband does look out of place, the overall audio quality is worth every cent.

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