The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 are great-sounding, comfortable headphones. They deliver decent performance all-around, with moderate-to-average noise isolation and little sound leakage. The button layout is unfortunately not the best, and the mostly plastic design doesn't feel durable.
- Great audio reproduction.
- Mostly plastic build.
- Lack of volume controls, confusing button layout
The ATH-ANC9 are a comfortable set of headphones lacking in build quality. The mostly plastic design looks decent, the earcups are very well-padded, and the headband does have a metal frame which strengthens the headphones a little bit. However, they do not feel as sturdy as other models with a metal frame, and the button layout is passable but needlessly complicates switching between noise canceling modes.
The ATH-ANC9 are quite comfortable. The padding of the ear cups is soft and molds well around the ears. The headband, although not as well padded as the ear cups, provides just enough tension so that the headphones feel right on the head and not too tight.
Button layout is functional but not great. There are two buttons on the ear cups. One to switch the noise cancelling on and off and the other to alternate between noise canceling modes. The issue is that if you're not sure what the modes are, fidgeting with the second button, which does not have good tactile feedback, can be frustrating. The in-line control only has the play/stop button and no volume control.
The ATH-ANC9 are a little on the larger side for over-ear headphones. They are below-average portable and do not fold into a more compact format. They won't fit into your pockets and are a little cumbersome to carry around comfortably. On the upside, the ear cups lay flat to take up less space in a backpack.
The ATH-ANC9 have a very good audio reproduction. The relatively balanced audio profile, although slightly bass-heavy, caters well to most music genres. The hyped bass and treble make them sound a little weak with vocals and lead instruments, like guitars, but they still reproduce the mid-range accurately. Distortion is not really a concern except at high volumes.
Decent performance. These headphones lack extension in the lowest octave of the spectrum (20Hz-40Hz). This area is responsible for the barely audible (but feelable) thump of kick drums and the rumble of low frequency effects. On the other hand, the bass and high-bass regions are noticeably hyped, which shifts the overall tonal balance of the headphones towards bass and adds a bit of unwanted boominess and muddiness to the sound.
Very good performance. The slight over-emphasis in the low mids could add a bit of boxy quality to the sound. The dip at 750Hz slightly weakens the lead instruments (including vocals) and pushes them to the back of the mix.
Decent, but slightly over-emphasized high-frequency performance. The treble frequencies on these headphones are on the bright/airy side. This balances decently with the headphones hyped bass, but the over-emphasized highs may cause ear fatigue after a long listen.
These headphones do not have much distortion. At higher listening levels, the distortion only approaches 1%.
The ATH-ANC9 deliver decent noise isolation performance. The active noise canceling works moderately well and will block a fair amount of ambient noise. The seal provided by the well-padded earcups is also decent but will leak a bit of sound at higher volumes.
Good noise cancelling overall. With noise cancelling set to Off, isolation starts gently at 400Hz, reaching -30dB at 4KHz. With active noise cancelling engaged, a nice, flat -20dB reduction is added to the passive isolation, from 100Hz up to 3KHz. These headphones, however, are less effective below 100Hz, and may also add a little bit of their own low frequency rumble at around 25Hz.
Good leakage performance, considering these are over-ear headphones. The leakage is relatively broadband though, ranging from 400Hz up to 6KHz.
The ANC9 only have noise canceling as an active feature. This makes them less versatile for other use cases except as noise canceling headphones, as they lack both wireless features or an app, to enhance and customize their sound. On the upside, the AAA cell delivers up to 15 hours of continuous playback, which is kind of on the low side for AAA batteries but should be sufficient for casual use.
The ANC9 uses 1 AAA battery that lasts about 15 hours of continuous audio playback. They do not have additional features like an auto off timer but they can be used without the battery, which makes them a bit more practical. However, you do lose a bit of audio quality when the battery is dead and unfortunately, the relatively short battery life for a headphone that uses AAA cells, means you will have to have a couple spare batteries for long flights or road trips.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Audio Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC9 headphones
- Carrying case
- AAA battery
- Audio cables (x2)
- Airline adapter
- 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter