Audio Technica ATH-ANC7B review

The noise-cancelling aspect of these headphones works well, but unfortunately the ATH-ANC7Bs struggle where it matters most Tested at £184.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

We've no qualms with the noise-cancelling aspect, but the sound quality needs to be better


  • +

    Comfortable, solid build

  • +


  • +

    sounds OK in isolation


  • -

    A little brash

  • -

    muddled midrange

  • -

    lacks detail required for the money

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

As we sit in one of our testing rooms, headphones on head, clapping our hands and tapping various objects, we start to wonder where it all went wrong. But fear not, What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision's review team hasn't lost its marbles. Rather, we're testing Audio-Technica's latest noise-cancelling headphones.

One AAA battery powers the active noise-cancelling on the ATH-ANC7B headphones, which also come with two detachable 3.5mm headphone cables of differing lengths, an adapter for 6.3mm connections and a case.

Keep the cancelling on
A switch allows you to turn the noise-cancelling on or off, though the difference in sound means we would have it on the whole time because, turned off, the headphones sound closed and small.

That's not to say all our dreams are answered the second we flick the switch. Compared with the class-leading Sennheiser PXC450, the ATH-ANC7Bs lack dynamic discrimination, clarity and insight.

Mayer Hawthorne's velvet tones are muffled and indistinct, while the overall soundstage is smaller and less open, while treble effects can sound bright and uncouth.

They're comfortable, solidly put together, can carry a tune and successfully cancel outside noise, but for pure sound quality, you can do much better.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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