Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

ATH-ANC9 Headphones: More Comfort and Control than Bose.

While most headphones manufacturers have been using celebrities and slick marketing campaigns to woo in more customers, the small Japanese company Audio Technica has been quietly making some of the best quality headphones around. Their ATH-M30’s are some of the best headphones you can buy under $50, and their ATH-M50’s are the class of the sub-$200 headphones.
Audio Technica has several noise-cancelling headphones. The ATH-ANC9 are designed to take on the current king of noise-cancelling headphones: the Bose Quietcomfort 15 Headphones. While the noise-cancellation isn’t quite as good (Bose’s patented noise-cancellation technology is the best around), the comfort, build quality and travel-friendliness make them a good alternative to those turned off by Bose’s headphones.

Best Feature: Multiple Noise-Cancellation Settings

Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 Noise Cancelling Headphones Review
The three different noise-cancellation settings are a big plus for the ANC9’s.

These headphones feature 3 different types of noise cancellation:

  • 1 – The first mode is just like how every other noise cancellation works: it cancels out low frequencies (i.e. sound of planes).
  • 2 – cancels out the mid-range, which is great for busy environments like an office or coffee shop.
  • 3 – this is meant for quiet places (like your home) where you can make quiet environments even quieter.

-It features an inline remote control that works on both iPhones and Android phones. I mention this because it’s incredibly rare for an inline remote to do this. But it worked on my Galaxy III as well as iPhone 4S.
The noise-cancellation is powered by replaceable AAA batteries, just like the QC15’s.

Sound Quality:

The bass is very powerful and sometimes even overbearing. The mid-range is murky and not very detailed. The treble is bright and clear, which sounds great for a while but ended up fatiguing my ears after a couple of hours of using them.
The sound is very similar to the QC15’s, which are known for being a bit bass heavy. The QC15’s treble is more mellower, which means you can keep listening for hours without having to give your poor ears a break.
‘Mode 1’ – works just as advertised: it cut out noise amazingly well. I put them on in a busy café and it succeeded in quieting the place.
‘Mode 3’ – this is my favorite feature. If you work at home, like I do, then you’ll appreciate what this mode does. It cuts out subtle noises running in the background, like the fridge, fans, traffic, etc. It gave me a positively zen-like relaxation while I worked at my desk.


If you like the QC15’s but would like NC headphones that will continue to work with NC turned off, these are the headphones for you. They also have different modes for different environments, which is nice. If you work at home, you might find that ‘Mode 3’ will help you focus and work better.

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