My current noise-cancelling headphones are the Bose QC25 and I’m quite satisfied with its performance. The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 is its direct competition and I see many reviewers recommended the Audio Technica over the Bose headphones.
So, what are good and bad about the Audio Technica ATH-ANC9? Let’s find out in the review.
Design & Features
Audio-Technica has many appealing headphones but the ATH-ANC9 is definitely not one of them. At this price range, I expected a more premium design but the headphones failed to deliver. It looks like $50 headphones you can find on the market. Most parts on the outside are made of plastic while the earpads and headband are covered with faux leather.
The ATH-ANC9 comes in a nice carrying case but it is quite big because the headphones can be folded flat only. Inside the case, you can find 2 detachable cables (one comes with inline control/ microphone), a gold-plated 6.3 mm adapter, a gold-plated airline adapter and an AAA battery.
The headphones use a single AAA battery to power up the noise-cancelling feature. The battery life is rated at up to 35 hours. It is inserted into the left earcup and here you can also see the power switch and mode-select button.
The ATH-ANC9 is quite big but it is lightweight, so my ears are quite comfortable even after wearing it for an hour. However, it is a little tighter and hotter than some other headphones.
There are 3 noise-cancelling modes on the Audio-Technica headphones. Mode 1 will reduce noises in low frequencies, so it is suitable when you travel on airplane, buses or trains. Mode 2 eliminates noises in mids, like in offices or crowded places. Mode 3 is best suited in quiet places like libraries. When you turn on the active noise-cancelling feature, there is a light indicating the current mode. Blue is mode 1, Red is mode 2 and Green is mode 3. You can check out sound test and performance of noise-cancelling feature in the video below.
Overall, the sound is quite impressive in both passive and active modes. When I turn on noise cancelling, it can minimize 60-70% of ambient noises and the sound doesn’t change considerably. However, the highs might be a little edgy and it makes your ears uncomfortable, especially on some badly recorded tracks. That’s probably the only issue. Otherwise, the headphones provide a tight bass, clear mids, bright enough highs and spacious soundstage. If you want a full sound, you will love the headphones as well because there is a little boost at low frequencies but not as overwhelming as some other headphones.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Very clear and full sound in all modes
- Low price
- Can’t really eliminate noises
- Cheap design
I recommend the headphones because it delivers good sound when I turn on and turn off noise cancelling feature.