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Audio-Technica announces ultimate in-ear noise-cancelling headphones

by Parm Mann on 10 January 2008, 09:54

Tags: ATH-ANC3, Audio Technica

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qak3d

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Discover the QuietPoint. And find your own.

HEXUS CES 2008 coverage

Japanese manufacturer of high performance audio products, Audio-Technica, has today announced its latest in the range of noise-cancelling headphones.

Pictured below, the ATH-ANC3 QuietPoint active noise-cancelling headphones promise an impressive 85% noise cancellation and will be available in the UK from April 2008 at a suggested retail price of £69.95.

ATH-ANC3 QuietPoint active noise-cancelling headphones

Just how do these headphones achieve such a high noise cancellation percentage? Well, here's the blurb straight from the press release:

"The ATH-ANC3 uses patented technology that detects external environmental noise through miniature microphones which are incorporated into each ear bud, and then creates an equal but opposite noise signal which is added to the music signal and so cancels out the external noise. To perform the outstanding achievement of blocking out 85% of the outside noise, the ATH-ANC3 extends the active noise cancellation over a wide frequency range, unlike most similar in-ear headphones that actively cancel only the lower frequencies."

Sounds very promising. The headphones also come complete with a compact control unit that'll give you quick access to mute, noise cancelling is all well and good but there are times you need to hear you know.

One slight downside is that these headphones do require a AAA battery. The noise cancelling functionality can be disabled to allow the headphones to be used without battery, but that kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it? There is one totally cool feature mind you, you can put the headphones in and switch them to noise-cancelling-only mode where, with no music on, they'll turn a noisy environment into a peaceful retreat. Genius.

Official press release: New In-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones promised from Audio-Technica

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HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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The big problem I've got with all these in-ear ‘phones is comfort. While I know my Bose QuietComfort 3s are grossly overpriced for the sound quality they offer, the sound is pretty good, and they’re enormously comfortable for extended listening. Nothing else I've seen on the market offers the same combination of quality, comfort, and noise reduction.

Does anyone have any suggestions for alternatives?
They should be ok even without batteries i'd have thought - the buds are like most isolation headphones and they're generally very good anyway.
The problem with noise canceling headphones is that they are distorting the audio you listen to. It might be very clever but it is never going to properly compensate for the external noise and will only ever serve to reduce the quality of your listening experience.

If, on the other hand, you use some top quality earbuds that block external noise rather than attempt to mask it then the the drivers are free to reproduce the music as it was intended.

I got some Shure SE310s and with the right sleeve you block out almost everything and the sound quality is incredible and - importantly for the previous poster - after a few minutes, you forget you have them in. Sure the Shures cost £150 shmackers but that's cheap compared to the SE530 behemoths at £400 and you'll probably never need to replace them.
LazyGit
The problem with noise canceling headphones is that they are distorting the audio you listen to. It might be very clever but it is never going to properly compensate for the external noise and will only ever serve to reduce the quality of your listening experience.

If, on the other hand, you use some top quality earbuds that block external noise rather than attempt to mask it then the the drivers are free to reproduce the music as it was intended.

I got some Shure SE310s and with the right sleeve you block out almost everything and the sound quality is incredible and - importantly for the previous poster - after a few minutes, you forget you have them in. Sure the Shures cost £150 shmackers but that's cheap compared to the SE530 behemoths at £400 and you'll probably never need to replace them.

Agree with you completely, I am sure these won't sound better than my Super Fi 5 Pros…