There are so many over-ear headphones with noise-cancelling technology on the market. But in-ear noise-cancelling headphones are less common. How much protection from outside crap do these buds offer compared to non noise-cancelling earphones? And do they sound any good? Let’s find out in this Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT Review.
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT Review
IN the BOX
I had no problems in this department. The seal was secure, though the sound isolation wasn’t as effective as an IEM designed by Shure, like the SE215, for example. And I wonder if noise-cancellation would even be necessary if the isolation was better. The ergonomic shape of these buds makes them easy to fit in. Just make sure you clip the remote to your shirt, or it will weigh down the earpieces, causing them to fall out.
Audio-Technica uses QuietPoint noise cancellation technology on the NAC100BT. But I could still hear my pain in the ass manager, as well as the humming from the heater. It was almost like a hum on top of a hum. So, to be honest, I don’t know how much value the noise-cancellation feature offers. In fact, when the headphones were turned off, the same level of noise-isolation remained.
Battery life on the ANC100BT is 10 hours. The cable comes with a mic and remote that allows you to play/pause, skip, adjust volume and answer calls. The remote is kind of big, and almost defeats the purpose of having wireless earphones. But at least it comes with a clip for your shirt. Fashion.
Overall Impressions: Clean and light-bodied
The ANC100BT produces conservative lows by Audio-Technica’s usual standards. Bass guitars are on the leaner side, lacking a little depth and richness. Then again, those who prefer a cleaner sound might gravitate towards these buds. Listening to rock songs, the low end is well separated from the higher frequencies, creating a light-bodied feel that is accentuated by the extended high frequencies.
The low-mids are a little thin, with the upper mids taking most of the spotlight. And you won’t get a meaty sound in this range. So, if you’re a fan of classic rock, you may want to keep looking. That being said, genres that involve intricate acoustic instruments, like folk, work well with these buds. Acoustic guitars had great separation. And that lightness in the lower mids helped crystalize the strums and picks.
Since this is such a bright headphone, percussion really sparkles, sometimes bordering on sizzle when listening to pop songs with many cymbals. And while string instruments sound smooth in this range, brass can be piercing in the highest registers.
Though you won’t get a vast soundstage from these buds, you will get a nice sense of depth. And generally, the imaging is accurate enough to give you a some feeling of dimension.
If ultimate noise-cancellation technology is what you’re after, you should keep looking. These buds only reduce a slight amount of noise. That being said, it might be sufficient to reduce some of the hum on an airplane or train. And if you like a very lightweight sound profile when listening to your music, the ANC100BT might be for you.
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