Ultraportable earphones with active noise cancellation aren't terribly prolific; you're much more likely to find larger, over-the-ear models with this feature. But considering the fact that these 'phones are best suited to drown out the sounds associated with commuting and other travel, it follows that a compact design makes good sense here--the more portable, the better. Audio-Technica seems to want to capitalize on this idea with its latest QuietPoint headphones, the ATH-ANC3. These toteable earbuds feature a super compact design, a built-in noise-cancellation module, and useful travel accessories. The $170 price tag may be hard for some potential buyers to swallow, though, considering the earphones' cheap-feeling plastic build and failure to serve up truly stellar sound.
The ATH-ANC3's earbuds might be hard plastic, but they are impressively small, which makes for a nice, low-profile design when worn. We also noticed no discomfort after wearing them for more than an hour, so we give points for that. However, keep in mind that your comfort level will depend on the size and shape of your ear. A Y-cable measuring approximately 13 inches long descends from the earpieces. It joins and continues for another 16 inches or so to the plastic noise-cancellation module. Here, you will find several attributes of note.