Audio Technica challenges Sony with premium wireless noise-cancelling headphones

The spotlight on the wireless noise-cancelling headphone market is only getting brighter. People don’t expect to be tangled in wires, or want road noise or office chatter disturbing their morning playlist.

Seemingly settling around the £200-300 price point, successful solutions have been consistent among the likes of Sony, Sennheiser and B&W – but Audio Technica wants a greater slice of that pie and hopes to get with its forthcoming ATH-ANC900BT over-ears (£269). They sit above the Audio Technica ATH-ANC700BT that were announced at last year's CES.

It’s also offering both features in more affordable packages with the ATH-ANC500BT over-ears and ATH-ANC100BT in-ears - both £89.

The brand’s most advanced pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones’, the ATH-ANC900BTs offer three noise-cancellation modes, each suited to different surroundings and isolation preferences and switchable via the headphones’ ear-cup touch controls or via the Audio Technica Connect app (iOS and Android, free). The app also allows you to simply adjust the intensity of sound blocking.

A 35-hour battery life courtesy of low-energy Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is good for a return transatlantic trip, as is the supplied plane adapter and carry case. All they have to do is prove themselves against the tough competition when they arrive in spring.

The Audio Technica ATH-ANC500BTs (pictured above) are more modest versions, but all-importantly feature Bluetooth  (4.2) connectivity and noise cancellation. Their battery life is 20 hours on a single charge.

Audio Technica’s ATH-ANC100BTs, meanwhile, are earbuds with a similar spec. Battery life is ten hours, and between charges the supplied USB-to-3.5mm cable can handily jump in for wired listening.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.