Noise cancelling is a feature often reserved for the upper echelon of headphones, in both features and price. Most recently, we reviewed the Audio-Technica ANC9s, a pair of over-the-ear noise cancelling cans with a AU$349.95 price tag. We like them, but we're curious about how much of this will be transferred to the cheaper ANC23.
There are very few competing headphones in this specific category, and where you find similar units, the design is pretty consistent. Audio-Technica opts for an asymmetrical in-ear gel design, directing the gel into your ear canal and achieving a decent seal in the process. There are additional pairs of differently sized gels, if the default couple don't give you a decent fit.
Along the unit's cable is the QuietPoint noise-cancelling switch box. About the size of a squat cigarette lighter, the box houses a AAA battery, it alsohas a volume control wheel and an On/Off switch for activating the noise-cancelling effect. While we have plenty of positives to say about the noise-cancelling offered here (and we will, shortly) the trade-off comes with the heft of this little box. It isn't heavy to lift or carry, but it will tug on the buds in your ears if you leave it hanging freely. To counter this, Audio-Technica have a clip on the underside of the box, allowing you to attach it to the strap of a bag or pinch onto loose clothing.
In the box with the headphones, Audio-Technica includes a carry pouch, a AAA battery and a two-prong aeroplane adapter.
Though you'll struggle to find noise-cancelling headphones under AU$100 in most major electronics retailers around the country, the standard in-ear headphone market, in the same price range, is packed full of products from the major brands in audio.