One of the reasons why people like to use headphones is that they do a fairly good job of taking us away from the world. Put them on, put on some music, close your eyes, and you relax. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way.
Padded earcups can minimize outside noise, but sometimes they’re not up to the task. Everyone who’s ever used a set of headphones while on a train or while in a car will tell that they can still hear the rumbling of the motor. And that’s where active noise cancelling headphones come in.
Now of course this feature will add substantial amount of dollars to the retail price. If you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money, that’s where the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint comes in. When it first came out, the accolades were forthcoming, as were the awards. Read the rest of the article to understand why.
Features of the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b
So what can you expect from your money? Take a look:
- The Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint comes with an active noise cancelling featured that’s powered by a single AAA alkaline battery. It can reduce the background noise by as much as 90%.
- It can operate in passive mode when you turn off the noise cancelling feature or when your battery runs out after about 35 hours.
- It has a closed-back design with large-aperture 40 mm drivers with neodymium magnet systems.
- The generous 109dB sensitivity provides ample volume levels—certainly more than you can listen to comfortably.
- It weighs about 7.4 ounces so it’s lightweight, and the redesigned earcups come with more generous padding and a shape that will fit your ear. It folds flat for storage.
- It comes with a couple of detachable cables. One is 5 feet and 2 inches, while the other is 3 feet and 3 inches.
- It comes with accessories including a carrying case, an airline adapter, and a 6.3 mm (1/4″) stereo adapter.
So why should you even consider the ATH-ANC7b?
- First of all, there’s the price. Its competitors cost at least two to three times as much—and for sure they are not twice or three times as good. Not by a long shot.
- When bass-like sounds in the outside world are troubling you, the active noise cancellation really works superbly. It’s not quite as effective in blocking the high end sounds, but then you can block that out when you actually listen to music or something similar. All in all, the 90% noise cancellation claim seems about right.
- The sound is good enough, especially when you fiddle around with the equalizer. If you find the bass insufficient, for example, you can just set the equalizer to boost the bass. In general, the sound is free of distortion so unless you have extremely high standards the sound quality should more than suffice.
- Despite the bulk, the weight is actually quite light. It’s very comfortable, and the redesigned earcups fit well. You can wear it for hours with nary a complaint. After all, Audio Technica did redesign the earcups, and they’re even larger than usual.
- It’s also nice and solid and very durable. You shouldn’t fear for its safety when you travel with it, especially with the carrying case that’s included in the purchase.
- It’s also nice that the cables are detachable. That’s always the problem with non-detachable cables on headphones. When something goes wrong with them, you’d have to buy a new unit entirely. Now you have two cables, so you have a backup just in case.
The sound quality is good, but for true audiophiles “good” is simply not good enough. The bass may be somewhat a bit limp while the treble may be too strident, and the details may not be all that accurate.
Again, it sounds okay but for those who demand high quality sound reproduction then this just won’t cut it. In addition, there’s a bit of a sound leakage, and this is noticeable when it’s very quiet. In a practical sense, your neighbor in an airplane may hear something when you crank up the volume, but not to the point that they’d actually recognize the song even if they do know it.
Then there’s also the fact that when you turn off the active noise cancellation, the sound can be a bit muffled and muddy. So yes, it does work when the battery for the ANC runs out, but only up to a point.
For the most part, the consumer reception has been very positive. On Amazon, here are about 5.5 five-star rating reviews for every one-star rating Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b review.
People just love that Audio Technica seems to have made sure that they offered passable features to come with the nice noise cancelling feature. The sound, build quality, and comfort level is quite good.
Of course, not everyone will be pleased with just “quite good”, and you’ll find an Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b review here and there that will harp on a particular feature the reviewer doesn’t care for much. But most people have accepted the fact that for roughly $150, everything’s at the very least passable enough.
Finally, for those who want to use these things to talk to people—you can’t. This isn’t a headset, so there’s no microphone.
Nowadays you may find other headphones which offer an improvement on their previous releases. Some may offer greater durability and better sound quality, while others may offer a more comfortable design.
But when you take all the factors together—including the price—then the venerable ATH-ANC7b still looks good. True audiophiles who have the money to spend may want to go elsewhere, but for average consumers the bang for the buck of the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b still reigns.
If you’re on a rather tight budget and you aren’t very picky, this one works much better than anything else you can buy in term of price/performance trade off. Check out more about this headphone below.