Last week I made a review about the good Phiaton BT 220 NC, a cheap noise cancelling in-ear, so, today I’ll be reviewing the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23, an even cheaper model offering a noise cancelling solution. Let’s see if these offer the level of quality of the Phiaton’s and stand as a worthy opponent.
First, for those that don’t know, here is the difference between Noise Isolation and Active Noise Cancelling (ANC):
- Noise Isolation – External sound isolation through physical methods. it is specially designed to make a seal around your ears or inside your ears (ear canal) so that the sound you hear from outside is “isolated”.
- Noise Cancelling – External sound cancelling through a technology called DSP (digital signal processing), that cancels some sound waves around you. Without the technical stuff, inside the headphone there is a microphone and an audio processor that captures the sound around you and plays an opposite sound to cancel the first one. (high tech stuff, right?).
Now that you know the difference, here is the review:
Noise cancelling or not, the sound quality is the most important aspect of any headphone, and the ATH-ANC23 does a good job here providing very forward mids, bass with a good punch, and a detailed and warm sound overall. Besides that, the soundstage is wide, providing a nice separation between instruments. One little flaw is that at higher volumes the highs might become a bit harsh. Considering the price and the noise cancelling, these sound great. If you want a more detailed sound and passive noise isolation at basically the same price, you might find the SoundMAGIC E80 a great replacement.
Featuring a strong build you shouldn’t have any problems with these unless you step on it,(happened to me twice). The cable is pretty standard and I would be extra careful with it. Besides that, the controls are pretty straight forward and unfortunately there is no microphone, which is bad but understandable given the fact that the price is low and it has ANC.
Comfort and Fit
Fit is very important when the headphone is noise cancelling, if you have a poor fit, you will have a poor noise cancelling. The ATH-ANC23 are comfortable, provided that you choose the right ear tip size. If you plan on using these on the airplane or for an extended period of time, the silicone ear tip might offer more comfort than the memory foam ones.
Styles, Accessories, and Extras
The ATH-ANC23 is available in one color only, the black/silver and there are no other versions. You will receive in the package: 3 different sizes of ear tips (S,M,L), a “Meh” carrying pouch, an airline plug adapter (really useful), and an AAA battery required for the ANC function.
Pros and Cons
- Good Sound for the price
- Active Noise Cancelling
- Wide soundstage
- Strong build
- Weak Cable
My rating: 8.8 out of 10
Similar models: Phiaton BT 220 NC
The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 is a good choice for those wanting a bit of peace and good sound for a low price. Be advised that this model does not compare to the quality of the Bose QC and Phiaton BT 220 NC. However, if you have a tight budget, go for the ATH-ANC23 and you won’t be disappointed.
You can buy it right now at Amazon.
I hope you enjoyed the review, if you have any doubts or would like to share your experience with this model, send me an e-mail or drop a comment below.