PROS / These headphones weigh under 8 ounces, so they’re super light and easy to wear.
CONS / They don’t have Bluetooth, so you always need the cable to listen.
VERDICT / If you just need a simple pair of noise-cancelling headphones, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 are very straightforward and don’t require charging.
The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 noise-cancelling headphones are very easy to use and carry around. They cancel a fair amount of noise and are extremely lightweight. Still, they don’t rank very high in our comparison because they lack Bluetooth, and higher-ranked models have better sound quality.
To test the products in our review, we played the same song on repeat through the noise-cancelling headphones at 60 dB while simultaneously playing everyday sounds, such as a lawnmower and an airplane, through a speaker. Our team of reviewers indicated when they could hear the outside noise over the song they were listening to. The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 cancelled around 7 dB more with ANC on than with it off. On average, they cancelled almost 75 dB of sound overall, which is equivalent to not hearing a vacuum over the sound of your music. The have decent noise-cancelling abilities, though definitely not the best in our review.
The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9’s sound quality is decent but not remarkable. Our group of reviewers reported that the soundscape was a bit dull and the bass was slightly overemphasized. With ANC turned on, they also noticed the audio was louder and lost sharpness. The headphones earned a midrange sound quality score simply because they didn’t sound as clear or as substantial as others in our review.
Before our battery test, we figured the Audio Technica ATH-ANC9s would last a long time, considering they don’t have Bluetooth. However, they only lasted 9.5 hours on full volume with ANC turned on, which was shorter than most of the other headphones in our comparison. Without ANC and in standby mode, you can expect these headphones to last 35 hours.
Our review of the best noise-cancelling headphones includes models with rechargeable batteries as well as those with replaceable batteries. The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9 happen to be the latter, and you need to replace the one AAA battery to power the ANC.
Like the best noise-cancelling headphones, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC9s are well-designed and relatively comfortable. Although they aren’t wireless, the cable does detach for tangle-free storage. They are also incredibly light. Weighing only 7.8 ounces, the headphones won’t hurt after extended wear. During our comfort tests, reviewers found the earcups were too small, so if you have large ears, they may pinch just a bit. While the headband does adjust, it produces a nails-on-the-chalkboard sound and feels very stiff.
That might go away with time and use, but it certainly doesn’t slide to adjust like others in our comparison. There is one button on the left earcup to control the ANC, and it is fairly easy to maneuver without taking the headphones off.
While these aren’t Bluetooth headphones, they’re still a great pair for cancelling noise and listening to music, audiobooks, videos and more on the go. The Audio Technica ATH-ANC9s are great midrange headphones that are relatively low maintenance.