AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-ANC7 QUIETPOINT
I wish I’d had a pair of these 10 years ago when I first started working on large festival stages. It’s almost impossible to work in that environment and protect your ears; the noise levels are often extreme and no combination of earmuffs and plugs seem to help. I used to wear both – determined as I was to protect my hearing – but unfortunately this only created other problems: an inability to hear my work colleagues properly and oodles of bass frequencies. It was a claustrophobic and isolating world – tiring and yet largely ineffective.
Now, finally, the solution is noise-cancelling headphones. The latest offering from Audio-Technica in this field is the QuietPoint headphone. These cans do an amazing job of cancelling out noise from the surrounding environment – be it a PA, a jet engine, a noisy office or a chainsaw – by analysing external sound via two small mics on the outside of the earcups, and replaying a phase-inverted equivalent in an attempt to cancel the sound before it enters your ear.
The QuietPoints do a remarkable job; significantly reducing loud, booming PA stacks to weedy little critters with no brain-addling bass frequencies whatsoever. Massive environmental bass is almost entirely eradicated, and the result is a vastly quieter and much ‘thinner’ sound overall, providing the wearer with a safer, clearer and quieter working environment. Hoo-bloody-ray.
But these headphones aren’t just great high-end ear-muffs, they’re also good for critical listening. Like almost every Audio-Technica headphone I’ve worn in recent times, the QuietPoints have a nicely balanced and smooth tone, providing clear extended bass frequencies and a relaxed high end.
The QuietPoints work conventionally with or without the noise cancelling electronics switched on too, unlike some others that won’t replay audio unless the phase-cancelling is engaged. The only issue I’ve had is that when you’re listening to music and switch the noise cancelling on; the volume jumps significantly and becomes more aggressive in tone – almost akin to slamming a mix through a Waves L2. But, overall, these are great little headphones and versatile to boot. – Andy Stewart
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