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Ears-on with Audio Technica's ATH-ANC7 noise-cancellers

We've had chance to give Audio Technica's ATH-ANC3 noise-cancelling headphones a listen, and our first impressions are pretty good

We're no strangers to noise- cancelling headphones, and we're always on the lookout for pairs that can match our personal favourites, the Sennheiser PXC 450s, or the more affordable PXC 350s. Today we're happy to report our very early findings about Audio Technica's noise-cancelling ATH-ANC7 headphones. And we've got some good things to say.

Firstly, they're extremely comfortable. Their soft earcups press against the sides of your head with more pressure than the PXC models, but we've not yet experienced the horrific 'sweaty ear syndrome'. Our extensive testing for the cans' review may reveal otherwise, however.

As noise-cancellers, the ANC7s are superb. We've tested them on London's Tube, on overland trains, in the office and out on the street. We're convinced their abilities are on par with what we heard from Sennheiser -- the brain-pounding noise of the Tube was nicely lowered, as was that of the more sedate overland train. And in our office the unnecessarily loud air-conditioning system was reduced to silence.

But where the ANC7s can't match Sennheiser's slightly more costly PXC 350s is with sound quality. We just felt the 350s had the edge, with a more detailed reproduction of music. The ANC7s are certainly good though, there's no doubt about that -- bass isn't ultra-deep, but it's tight, mids are powerful and clear, and while a little harsh at times, highs will be okay for casual listeners.

The Sennheiser alternatives beat the ANC7s hands-down when it comes to passive usage, though -- with noise-cancellation turned off, the PXC 350s are still terrific headphones. The ANC7s, on the other hand, sound muffled and weedy.

You can expect our full review when we've had a chance to give these attractive cans more time to shine. We're certainly pleased so far, and as a pair of noise-cancelling headphones at just over £100, we already think they're a good choice. Expect our review in the next week or so for the results of our extensive testing. -Nate Lanxon

Update: Read our full Audio Technica ATH-ANC7 headphones review here.