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1671 of 1691 found the following review helpful:
Half the price but better than Bose? Heh.. think we found a winner! May 03, 2007
By Canis Majoris
As everybody I'm sure, I debated between these and the Bose Quiet comforts. I have listened to all 3 and I myself like the over the ear better first of all, so the QC 3 were out ( and they pretty much compare evenly with the QC2 ). Now for the review of this product versus the QC2, my two remaining choices.
QC 2 - Excellent noise canceling, overall excellent balance in music tone. Good Highs, Good Mid-range but EXCELLENT bass. Downside is 300 dollars and very flimsy (cheaply made)
1.SUPERB Noise canceling: Plane: W/O music - everything is muffled as if you were in a room by yourself but you could hear people outside the door. With Music: I had trouble hearing ANY Noise outside the music, It was almost completely silent...I could turn my Ipod down to around 25% of max volume and could hear every instrument and then some. These are BETTER than Bose as far as Noise canceling.
2. The High and Mid-range on these things are some of the best I've heard, and I am now comparing with the Bose as well as some Grado's. These demolish Bose in that area, you almost can FEEL the snare drums and the breath of the singer...honestly.
3. Bass - This is kind of the downside. The bass is there, but definitely is not as apparent as with the Bose. It has a nice muffled thumping sound, but is kind of back shadowed by the highs, but after adjusting the EQ you could hear it more, and it was fairly decent with no distortion. There was,however, some distortion with the very deep punchy bass on some songs, which is kind of annoying. You can't hear it that much enough to mess with the song, but it is there sometimes, I'm trying to guess whether it is my headphones or it just does this, but all in all the bass is a 5.5/10.
4. Comfort - Excellent comfort, more so than the QC 2. Has a more padded cushion, and it fits nicely over my ears.
5. Construction - Doesn't feel as flimsy as the QC 2's, and has a nice solid feel.
+++ Added Bonus - The Noise Canceling option runs off of AAA batteries ( one to be exact ) versus charging with the QC3s. This is SOOO much easier than charging, and the battery lasts for around 40 hours. I absolutely love this feature.
All in all I think you know which one i recommend. I bought these new for half the price of Bose, and I can't tell you enough how much these are actually better than the Bose. You will be saving money and getting better features along with it. If it sounds to good to be true - it isn't. I am the first reviewer of these and I went out on a limb buying these, now I come to you to let you know that you don't have ONE choice when it comes to noise canceling headphones. So I thank you for reading my review, and happy listening!
367 of 374 found the following review helpful:
Audio-Technica Kicks Bose Butt May 17, 2007
By Bruce R. Cordell
I owned a set of Bose Quietcomfort2 headphones for about 2 years. I really loved them, and they lasted about... 2 years. Within months of purchasing them, the plastic arms slowly crumbled, until each sidearm of the set was thickly wrapped in electrician's tape to keep the thing together.
Last week, one headphone cup broke off, and no amount of tape would any longer keep them together. I've never traveled with these, I used them only at my desk, I've never dropped them.
Even with such care, the plastic slowly crumbled away.
Is this planned obsolescence? For something that cost me $350 dollars, I'm very upset.
So, I ordered a set of these Audio Technica headphones. So far, they cancel noise slightly better than the Bose, and in fact allow me to go to a lower volume on music while I'm working at my desk.
I guess to really compare to the Bose, I'll have to give them a little time and see if they begin crumbling away after just 6 months as the Quietcomfort2 did. So, if that happens, I'll give another review. But for now, I'm happy.
UPDATE 09/05/08: I've fixed a few editorial errors on my review pointed out in comments. Also, I wanted to follow through on my promise to give another review: After more than a year of use, these headphones are still going strong without any of the degradation problems I encountered with the Bose set. I still highly recommend these.
318 of 325 found the following review helpful:
Best Noise Cancelling Headset for the $ May 22, 2007
By W. Stohler
Maybe I should have left off...'for the $'. I've tried the QC2 and QC3, and in my opinion, the ATH-ANC7s beat them both!
If you're looking for near-audiophile balanced sound (bass, mid and high-frequencies), I think you won't be disappointed. Great design, great noise cancelling, great battery life, detachable cord, very comfortable, and less than half the price of th QC2. They look better in real life than in the picures.
High quality product, reasonable price. Highly recommended.
304 of 313 found the following review helpful:
You won't get any closer to Bose for this price! Jan 14, 2008
By Mark R. Wietstock
HOW/WHY I FOUND THE AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-ANC7:
Once upon a time, my wife bought me a set of Bose Quiet Comfort 2 headphones as a Christmas gift. They were, without a doubt, the finest headphones I've ever owned. They weren't made of the strongest stuff (after about 2 years of very light use, mine broke at the extender bracket, but Bose replaced the entire headset, no questions asked, so, no harm no foul), but in terms of combined sound performance, comfort and noise cancelling, I had never experienced their equal ... and I still have not.
My Bose headphones got stolen from among my luggage at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport rental car pavillion (all you frequent travelers out there know the exact place I'm talking about), while I was standing only a few feet away, looking up at the departing/arriving flights monitors. In a word, I was devastated.
As I could not bring myself to fork out another $300 for a replacement set, I began to search for a less-expensive alternative to the Bose. As it so happened, there was available to me on one of those popular credit card "rewards" programs a set of noise cancelling cans from Sony ... the MDR-NC50 (the current version of this headset is the MDR-NC60). Since I could get the Sonys right away, without having to shell out any more money, I decided to use my rewards points and take a chance on the Sonys. The Sonys had a very spotty reputation among reviewers, but I actually liked them. They weren't as good as the Bose in the sound department, but the sound was OK; they were very well-constructed, and the noise cancelling function was actually a bit better than the Bose. Unfortunately, about a year after I first acquired them, the noise cancelling function inexplicably stopped working. No bumps, no fizz ... I just pulled them out of the case one day and ... nothing. That left me with only passive mode operation, which was totally unacceptable. My wife is now inheriting that set, as she thinks they sound just peachy ... no comment, men.
A few months after my Sonys died, I started researching replacements again, and happened upon the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7. You've heard it all before ... many good reviews; comparable to Bose, etc., etc. I found some high res photos of the Audio Technicas online, and was intrigued. Here, it seemed, was a set of noise-cancelling cans that replicated almost everything I loved about my Bose headset, right down to the case and accessory pouch, for a fraction of the cost of the Bose. Could it really be true? Like a German brown trout in a rainstorm, I bit, and ordered a set, and here's what I got.
ACCESSORIES AND CARRYING CASE:
The ATs come in a really nice box. In the front half is the headset, shown through a glassine window; in the back is the case, with the accessories already in the zippered pouch that attaches with a velcro backing to the inner lid of the case ... just like the Bose. The included accessories are the main audio cable, a 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch stereo adapter plug, an airline audio adapter plug, and a complimentary AAA battery to get you started. I loved it already. The case is just like the Bose case ... a polymer shell covered with black nylon mesh, like the material a typical backpack is made of. It differs from the Bose case in two important respects, however. The Bose case has an elastic pocket on the back, and an adjustable shoulder strap with two little hinge clips that allow you to remove the strap from the case if you want. Both these features are missing from the AT case. You get the case, and that's it.
APPEARANCE AND CONSTRUCTION:
The headset itself is a thing of beauty ... flat black with gray lettering and highlights. Both the external microphones and the power-on switch for the noise cancelling are located in positions similar to that for the Bose, and they look equally cool in the ATs. This headset is more sturdy, however, and constructed a little differently than the Bose. In the Bose set, there are two separate steel bands attached to the earcups that adjust by pushing into, and out of, the padded part that sits on top of your head. The ATs use a single steel band, padded at the top, and the headset adjusts by pushing the earcups up or down on this single band ... probably a more durable design than that used in the Bose ... far less likely to fracture at the plastic adjustment fittings, like my Bose did.
Like the Bose, the earcups on the AT swivel to allow the headset to lay flat in the case. The main cable for the ATs is also detachable, like the Bose (so you can use the headset for quiet/noise-cancelling only), but there is no switch built into the AT cable (as there is with the Bose) that allows you to adjust between "hi" and "lo" input levels.
The earcup cushions are plush, soft black leather (or some kind of fake leather ... I can't tell for sure), just like the Bose, however, there is less interior space in the earcups than I remember having in the Bose. I had to monkey with these a bit to get them to fit comfortably over my ears, and the outer edges of my ears remained in contact with several surfaces within the earcups. I can definitely see these headphones getting constricting and hot if used for any significant length of time in a warm environment. When you put them on, they almost feel like you're wearing ear muffs ... not UNcomfortable, but definitely more restrictive than the Bose.
The noise-cancelling feature is excellent, possibly better than the Bose, and with the ATs, I didn't notice the sensation of pressure that I noticed with the noise-cancelling on the Bose. Everyone considering noise cancelling headsets should be aware that none of the models using active noise cancelling do much to eliminate noise in the higher frequencies. Their real strength is in elimination of mid and lower frequency ambient noise, like road noise in a car or train, highway traffic, crowd or machinery noise, or the drone of an airplane's engines ... the kind of non-descript, constant background noise that stresses your brain at a subconscious level and makes it more difficult for you to concentrate or rest. For example, when someone talks to you with the noise cancelling on, you can still hear them, but at a far lower volume, with all the "bass" removed from their voice.
The audio performance of the ATs is also very good. The midrange is well-articulated and bright, but not overpowering; the highs are crystalline and transparent, and integrated well with the mids. The bass is as well-represented as any I've heard in a headset other than Bose. Unlike the Bose, this headset continues to operate whether the noise cancelling is turned on or off. When it's on, you're in "active" mode. When it's turned off, you're in "passive" mode. In active mode, the "impedance" or resistance level of the headset drops, and all the midrange and high frequencies become more pronounced. In passive mode, the impedance is increased, the mid and high frequencies become less pronounced, and the bass becomes more apparent. To some, the bass in passive mode might sound "muddy" or indistinct, but I actually liked it, and tinkered with it quite a bit, experimenting with the EQ and volume controls on my .mp3 player to see how I could modify the dynamic balance. With this kind of tinkering, I found that on some passages of music, at varying volume levels, I actually PREFERRED the audio performance in passive mode (noise cancelling off) over the audio performance in active mode (noise cancelling on). This is totally different from what I experienced with the Sonys ... passive mode operation in the Sonys was clearly inferior to active mode in every respect, and this was a VERY pleasant surprise for me in my road test of the ATs. Nicely done, Audio Technica!
As many reviewers have already observed, the bass response on the ATs isn't QUITE to the level of the Bose, but after listening to the ATs some more, I actually came back to update this review, to note that it's pretty darn close, especially when you "goose" the bass in your player's EQ and pump up the volume a bit. It's no accident that Bose holds U.S. patents on its bass emulation technologies, and man-oh-man, do I MISS that! That's 90% of what you're paying for in the Bose, folks. I've come to conclude that there is no one anywhere who has yet succeeded in doing what Bose has done in emulating low-frequency wavelengths in VERY small packages. Stuff like their Quiet Comfort headsets and "Acoustic Wave" desktop radio/CD players continue to astound, and continue to command top dollar retail in a brutally competitive consumer electronics market. I don't know how they do it, but the difference is obvious to anyone who's listening with an open mind, and an open ear.
Once, I compared my Quiet Comfort headset to a pair of Sennheisers that my nephew had. He was trying to convince me (or maybe himself) that the Bose reputation (and high retail pricing) was based on nothing more than marketing gimmicks, and that his Sennheisers sounded better, but I was stunned at the obvious difference in bass performance between the two headsets, and I mentioned it to him. He looked at me like I was from outer space. In comparison, it was as if the Sennheisers had no bass at all. Either his ear wasn't able to distinguish the difference in the bass, or it simply didn't matter to him. Each to his own taste, I guess.
With all that said, however, I don't want this review to sound negative on the bass response in the ATs. It's not just passable or satisfactory. It's VERY good ... MUCH better than what I experienced in the Sonys (when they still worked), and I've fallen in love with listening to my .mp3 player through headphones again, especially in light of the huge cost savings I've realized by going with the ATs instead of the Bose. At one-third the cost, I can live with a just a bit less bass response ... LOL.
Finally, the reviewers who have complained about "sound leakage" from the ATs weren't kidding. When you take the headphones off, there is practically no difference between what you can hear with the earcups laying face down on a table or cushion, and what you can hear with the earcups facing up. I have no idea why that is, but I can only assume that AT gave no thought at all to this issue in their design of this headset, because if they HAD thought of it, I'm sure it wouldn't be such an obvious problem in the finished headset. Sound leakage is not a big issue for me, but I can certainly understand it being a big issue for other users. In short, if sound leakage is a concern for you, you might want to consider another headset, or wait to see if AT improves this in a later model. If you've got your heart set on the ATs for the noise-cancelling and great audio performance, at minimum, you might want to try out the ATs at a local electronics store before you buy, so you can hear the sound leakage yourself and decide if it's too much for you or not.
OVERALL, AN OUTSTANDING VALUE AT $125:
I got my ATs for about $125, shipped ... $200 less than a new set of Bose QC2's (about $325 after addition of sales tax and free shipping from Bose direct). At this price, I feel that I got a tremendous value, and I'm sure just about anyone buying the ATs will feel the same way.
As many have said before me, they aren't Bose, but they're about as close as anyone's ever going to get to the Bose QC2's at this price. Many thanks to the folks at Audio Technica for their development and marketing of this fine product.
346 of 361 found the following review helpful:
Great sound, Good comfort, Sound leakage from hell Jul 25, 2007
By Dean Jones Jr.
I bought these from Amazon with very high hopes. See, I bought the Bose Quiet Comfort 2's and while I was pleased with the Bose comfort, style and noise cancellation, I was utterly displeased with the sound from the Bose. It's very muddy, almost muffled with bass that sounds like it's not where it should be in certain areas (the bass rolls off into the mids too much, I guess...) I'm not an audiophile, but I expect to have clarity in my music. I mainly listen to House and Dance music but I'm all over the map. I have Pantera on my iPod, some old 80's hair metal, I will admit I even have Kelly Clarkson and The Veronica's on my iPod (shhh!).
I was hoping the ANC7's would as comfortable as the Bose, provide just as good noise cancellation and provide more notable highs and tighter bass but also keep the music in my ears and not leaking out of the headphones for everyone else in the office to hear. Here is my review based on the comparison of the Bose Quiet Comfort 2's that everyone keeps comparing these to.
They're very comfortable. They're a bit tighter than the Bose on the ears. I almost have to tuck my ears into the ANC7's unlike the Bose. However, this causes no discomfort to me. If you're picking at straws, the Bose win. However, I'd say it's about even. The only thing I can say that is a slight drawback in the ANC7's is that my ears would begin to feel a tad hot after extended wear...
Dead even to me. I couldn't pick up if one was canceling out noise more than the other in my loud office environment. I think the ANC7's did a great job for noise cancellation here as there is no audible buzz like in some NC headphones. I used to think Bose was the only company that could do NC correctly, but I was obviously wrong... the ANC7's were on par with the Bose in this area.
BUILD AND STYLE
Again, even here... I read someone on here that the ANC7's look better in person than they do in the pictures. That person was 100% correct. The ANC7's look very nice a sleek in person. I was amazed. I thought nothing could beat the style of the Bose, but again... I was wrong. These are just as (if not more) stylish than the Bose. However, the ANC7's win in build quality. Hold both of these headphones, the ANC7's feel notably better and more sturdy compared to the lighter, but cheaper feeling Bose. The ANC7's are by no means heavy, but definitely feel more sturdy.
ANC7's win. The bass in tracks is notable unlike some reviewers have said. If you're used to the Bose, you may think these lack bass, but in fact they don't... The bass is just where it should be. In the Bose headphones, the bass in "enhanced" and bleeds into the mids and highs a lot making things sound very unnatural to me. However, in the ANC7's, the bass hits hard, but is tight and centered. Again, I'm not an audiophile, so I may sound like a dork explaining this stuff (not using the right technical jargon?) but this is the best I can describe it. The highs in the ANC7 are great. Not muffled like in the Bose and yet, not harsh so that it may hurt your ears. Music sounds a lot more natural in the ANC7's.
What I mean by this is when you have your headphones on, what your cube neighbor or person sitting next to you may hear leaking out of your headphones. Well, I bought closed, over the ear headphones for a reason... to try and eliminate any sound leakage so that I won't annoy my office. The Bose leak sound a good bit. However, the ANC7's leak sound TERRIBLY. I was amazed. I decided to experiment between the two sets of headphones when my cube neighbor told me that he could hear the music I was listening to when I was using the ANC7's. So what I tried (completely not scientific here...), was having the headphones lay flat on my desk with the ear cups laying flat on the desk. I'd turn my iPod's volume to a volume I typically listen at in the office. Since the Bose are a tad muffled in sound, I would even increase the volume on the iPod to compensate for that when testing the Bose. To my amazement, the ANC7's were almost louder off of my ears than they were on my ears. No kidding, either. I could hear every word of every song and easily identify which song it was that was currently playing without looking at my iPod. However, with the Bose (even with an increased volume) I could not make out the song as well. Lyrics weren't easily identified at all, but you could hear music coming from the headphones... just not notably and easily identifiable. The ANC7's are doing something weird that allows the music to leak majorly... I'm talking about you would think I had a radio on my desk playing (with the bass turned down, of course). This honestly defeats all purposes of a set of headphones. Headphones are supposed to be so you can privately listen to music, not let the whole world in on the experience. Besides, I can't let my office mates know that I'm listening to The Veronica's, right? Wait, are they reading this review???
Overall, I was dissatisfied with the ANC7's. The main thing that made me feel this way was the sound leakage because that's of major importance to me when buying a pair of headphones to wear in the office while writing code. I want to be sure that I'm not annoying everyone while - as Milton put it - "listening at a reasonable volume." I was really excited about the ANC7's until I noticed this huge drawback.
PROS - Great sound, good comfort, great price, great noise cancellation, you can listen to them even with the noise cancellation turned off
CONS - MAJOR sound leakage, ears get a little hot after extended wear
I wish sound leakage wasn't such a huge issue, but if I'm listening at a reasonable volume and everyone around me is dancing along or laughing or getting mad due to the distraction, then, again... this defeats the purpose of headphones.
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