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Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Feb 26, 2016 at 12:00 am
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
6.6
Mixed Usage
7.5
Neutral Sound
6.7
Commute/Travel
6.0
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
7.2
Wired Gaming
6.8
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

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.

Our Verdict

6.6 Mixed Usage

These headphones would do moderately well as everyday casual headphones. They have a good enough sound for most listeners, they're decently well built and block enough noise for commuting.

7.5 Neutral Sound

Above-average for neutral listening. They have a decent audio reproduction but a poor soundstage due to their closed noise canceling design.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.7 Commute/Travel

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

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.0 Sports/Fitness

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

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.6 Office

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

See our Office recommendations
7.2 Wired Gaming
6.8 Phone Call
  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Neutral Sound
  • 6.7 Commute/Travel
  • 6.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.6 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.2 Wired Gaming
  • 6.8 Phone Call
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable.
Cons
  • Mostly plastic build.
  • Lack of volume controls, confusing button layout
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The simple, modern design of the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 is esthetically pleasing. The matte black finish is highlighted by silver accents around the back of the ear cups and subtle Audio-Technica branding.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.53 lbs
Clamping Force
0.86 lbs

The Audio-Technica 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.

5.3
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Subpar
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control Adjustable
Talk-Through
No
Additional Buttons No

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.

6.7
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5 C
5.9
Design
Portability
L 7.68 "
W 7.09 "
H 5.5 "
Volume 117.8 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

Like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, 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.

7.0
Design
Case
Type Soft case
L 8.86 "
W 8.27 "
H 2.56 "
Volume 187.4 Cu. Inches

Comes with a soft case that will protect the headphones from scratches and falls. However, the case adds quite a bit of bulk to the headphones. It also won't shield the headphones from water damage.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 are solid but feel too plastic. The headband is not as well-padded as the earcups, but the padding is soft. They feel like they could handle a few drops, but the plastic doesn't feel premium or high-end and could wear over time.

6.5
Design
Stability

These headphones are moderately stable. They maintain their position during casual listening sessions but are not tight enough to stay in place while running. The headband is relatively thin, and the ear cups are large, so the headphones sway a lot during physical activities.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Audio Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC9 headphones
  • Carrying case
  • AAA battery
  • Audio cables (x2)
  • Airline adapter
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.48 db
Treble Amount
0.63 db
8.0
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.39 dB
Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.65 dB
Mid-Bass
1.24 dB
High-Bass
2.03 dB
7.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.34 dB
Low-Mid
-1.58 dB
Mid-Mid
-4.8 dB
High-Mid
-0.41 dB
8.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.28 dB
Low-Treble
0.38 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.5 dB
High-Treble
-0.83 dB
7.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.19 db
Dips
1.46 db
8.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.33
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.6
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.58
Weighted Phase Mismatch
6.15
4.4
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
4.56 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.7 dB
PRTF Distance
8.84 dB
Openness
2.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
5.0
7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.180
WHD @ 100
0.376
Isolation
7.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.15 dB
Bass
-14.42 dB
Mid
-17.06 dB
Treble
-26.14 dB

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.

6.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
45.0 dB

Good leakage performance, considering these are over-ear headphones. The leakage is relatively broadband though, ranging from 400Hz up to 6KHz.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A
7.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
515.36 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.04 dB
HFE
12354.61 Hz
Weighted THD
0.302
Gain
16.94 dB
6.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
15.26 dB
Active Features
7.4
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
AAA
Continuous Battery Life
14.95 hrs
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
14.95 hrs
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port N/A

The Audio-Technica 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.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS 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.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
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
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.23 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
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

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 Price

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