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Audio-Technica takes aim at Bose and Sony with ATH-ANC900BT headphones

Three new headphones are coming from Audio-Technica, including one with custom noise cancellation

Active noise cancellation (ANC) is increasingly becoming a feature headphone owners expect, especially in top-end headsets. Audio-Technica got the message, if the newly announced ATH-ANC900BT is anything to go by.  

These top-of-the-range headphones; the company’s answer to the industry leading Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony’s WH-1000XM2, are billed as Audio-Technica’s most advanced pair yet. Its noise cancelling comes in three different modes, and makes use of embedded microphones to tailor the feature to environmental noise. Or you can tweak it yourself using the Audio-Technica Connect app.

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The headphones support Bluetooth 5.0 wireless, and the sound they make comes from 40mm drivers with rigid, carbon coated diaphragms, which the company says will translate to a more precise audio performance. Wears can also connect to a smartphone using a 35mm jack. 

One of the most impressive specs is the acclaimed battery life. Audio-Technica says the ATH-ANC900BT will last for 35 hours with ANC turned on; a figure that stomps all over the majority of comparable headphones we’ve seen. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II, for example, manages ‘only’ 20 hours.

We’ll need to wait until we get our hands on the headphones to properly test its longevity, as well as its swipe controls and the quality of its audio, which supports the AptX, AAC and SBC codecs. With a competitive £269 price tag, though, there’s every reason to be intrigued.

Audio-Technica also announced a more affordable over-ear headset (ATH-ANC500BT) and a wireless in-ear pair (ATH-ANC100BT). The former comes with wireless noise-cancelling, a 20-hour battery life and support for the SBC codes, while the latter also has noise-cancelling, ten hours of juice and support for the SBC codec.

Both are priced at £89 and, like the ATH-ANC900BT, will be available in Spring 2019.

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