Reviewed on May 18, 2016

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.1
Mixed Usage
6.3
Neutral Listening
6.4
Commute/Travel
6.0
Sports/Fitness
6.3
Office
5.0
Wireless Gaming
6.5
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b are decent headphones that perform moderately well in most of our tested categories. They have an above-average sound quality and can block noise fairly well. Unfortunately, they can't handle the level of ambient noise in a train or plane. They leak a lot and will disturb people around you at high volumes.

Test Results
Design 6.7
Isolation 6.7
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 7.6
Connectivity 3.8
Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Moderate comfortable and stable design.
Cons
  • Leaks a lot of sound.
  • Limited audio controls.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.7

Design

The ATH-ANC7b look very similar to the ATH-ANC7b SVIS. They have a moderately comfortable and stable design that stays in place during casual listening sessions. However, they have an average-at-best build quality, which feels a little too plasticky and cheap. They also don't offer a decent control scheme only having one call/music button for audio control. 

Style

The ATH-ANC7b look very similar to the ATH-ANC7b SVIS, with minor differences in color scheme and choice of materials in their build quality. Like the SVIS model, these headphones do not stand out and have a very common style that may work for some. They have a two-tone black and silver color palette. The matching headband is also black, with silver accents on the metal frame.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.49 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.9 lbs

The ATH-ANC7b deliver a slightly more comfortable fit than the ATH-ANC7b SVIS. The padding used for the ear cups is much softer than the SVIS model and fairly comfortable. They don't feel too rigid once on your head and don't apply too much pressure around your ears. However, the headband does not extend far enough for larger heads. The over-ear cups do not encompass the ear entirely which can get uncomfortable during long listening sessions.

4.4 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Okay
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : No
Talk-Through
:
No
Additional Buttons : No

The ANC7b have a limited button layout. The functionalities offered by this control scheme is minimal. Only a noise cancelling switch and a call/music button are provided. It's simple to use but not very efficient, and you don't have any volume or track-skipping control, which is slightly disappointing.

7.7 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 2.6 C
6.1 Portability
L : 7.48 "
W : 7.09 "
H : 1.77 "
Volume : 93.93 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones are decently portable. They do not fold into a more compact format but have swiveling ear cups that lay flat to take up less space. They're medium sized headphones that will fit in your bag but may be too big for a purse.

7.5 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 8.27 "
W : 7.87 "
H : 2.17 "
Volume : 140.9 Cu. Inches

The ANC7b come with a durable hardshell case that will protect your headphones from damage. The case is only slightly larger than the headphones. It's easy to use and stores all the provided headphone gear.

6.5 Build Quality

The ATH-ANC7b have an average build quality and are not much different from the ATH-ANC7b SVIS. They have a mostly plastic build with a thin metal frame that reinforces the headband. They're able to handle a couple of drops. However, their build quality does not feel as durable as some other over-ear models. The plastic joints especially, feel susceptible to physical stress and the cable provided is not thick enough and could get damaged easily.

6.5 Stability

These headphones are moderately stable. They stay in place during casual listing sessions and have a detachable cable that will disconnect if it gets hooked on something. Unfortunately, the ATH-ANC7b are not sports headphones and will quickly fall off your head while running or jumping. The headband is relatively thin and the ear cups large, which makes these headphones sway a lot during any physical activity.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
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Sound

They have a deep and extended Bass which they can deliver consistently across multiple users. However, their Bass tends to sound boomy, their Mid Range sounds muddy and cluttered and their Treble lacks presence. Additionally, they have a poor Soundstage which is typical of closed-back headphones with shallow ear cups.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
4.7
Bass-Heavy
:
6.0
Warm
:
8.7
Bright
:
2.7
7.6 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.41 db
Dips
:
1.52 db
7.7 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.45 dB
7.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.36
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.8
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.97
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
8.61
3.4 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.45 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
-2.02 dB
PRTF Distance
:
4.25 dB
Openness
:
2.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
5.2
7.2 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.257
WHD @ 100
:
0.392
6.7

Isolation

The  ATH-ANC7b can block the noise of a moderately busy office efficiently. Their active noise canceling technology and decent passive seal blocks a fair bit of ambient noise. Unfortunately, it's not enough for very loud environments like on train or plane. They also leak a lot and will be distracting to the people around you at high volumes.

7.3 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-19.69 dB
Bass
:
-10.22 dB
Mid
:
-16.92 dB
Treble
:
-32.44 dB

Decent performance. In the bass range, there's an average of 10dB of isolation, which extends below 100Hz. The amount of isolation provided in the mid and treble regions are also average, maxing out at around -18dB and -30dB respectively.

5.5 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
47.65 dB

Poor performance. The majority of the leakage is happening between 400Hz-5KHz, which is rather broad. The overall level of the leakage is quite high too, making the content of your audio audible to people around you.

6.5

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
Yes
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
6.6 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
500.69 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
1.81 dB
HFE
:
3726.47 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.327
Gain
:
24.79 dB
6.4 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
16.71 dB
7.6

Active Features

The ATH-ANC7b are not the most versatile headphones. They only have noise canceling as an active feature. Therefore no wireless or app score. Luckily, they have a good battery life that lasts about 49 hours which should be sufficient for a weekends worth of use without needing to change the AAA battery.

8.4 Battery
Battery Type
:
AAA
Continuous Battery Life
:
49.2 hrs
Additional Charges
:
N/A
Total Battery Life
:
49.2 hrs
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
Yes
Charging Port : N/A

The ATH-ANC7b uses 1 AAA battery that lasts about 49.2 hours of continuous audio playback. They can't be used without the battery, and do not have an auto-off timer. But thanks to the great battery life you won't have to change the triple AAA battery throughout the day, which is good for long flights or road trips.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

3.8

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A
0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.5 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : Yes
Length : 5.1 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

In the box

  • Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Airline adapter
  • Carrying case
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter

Compared to other Headphones

6.1 Mixed Usage

These headphones would do reasonably well as everyday casual headphones, but their leakage could be a concern for some listeners.

6.3 Neutral Listening

They have an average audio reproduction, but their closed design is not ideal for neutral listening. They also poorly reproduce soundstage.

6.4 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. The noise canceling reduces a fair amount of ambient noise they're moderately comfortable.

6.0 Sports/Fitness

Mediocre for sports. They're relatively lightweight. However, They're a bit cumbersome and unstable for strenuous exercises.

6.3 Office

Average for office use. They will block the chatter of a busy office, but they leak and will be audible at moderate volumes.

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