Audio-Technica have come out swinging in 2018, with a brand new pair of consumer headphones that includes a number of professional attributes and sexy, forward-thinking touches.
The ATH-ANC700BT pack in a whole bunch of tech in a tidy, sleek package: QuietPoint (wireless, active noise-cancelling), Bluetooth, touch controls and wired connection for high-resolution audio.
Let's start with the exciting new bit. The touch controls included in the ANC700BT are on the left earcup and give you an array of standard controls such as volume, track selection, phone controls and an on/off for your noise cancelling.
I really like this feature. It is very intuitive, so that all basic controls are just a swipe or touch away and it took no time at all to get used to where the controls were positioned on the left earcup. The on-ear touch controls give the headphones a much cleaner look than other Bluetooth headphones covered in switches and buttons.
Audio-Technica have worked very hard in recent years to improve and lower the cost of high-quality headphones and the QuietPoint noise cancelling is a great example of this. I really like the noise cancelling in these headphones as it is very effective, but does not create any form of vacuum on my head, so the headphones feel better and more relaxing sitting on your ears for long periods of time.
There are four microphones built into the 700BT to create a wonderfully silent sound stage between your ears in-which you can then deliver your favourite music, phone calls, movies or games.
Positioning of the microphones for noise cancelling has been changed in the 700BT to deliver a better result and more accurate pick-up of external noises. The mics are setup to hear a wider frequency range than other ANC and this newly developed system certainly ticks the right boxes for me.
The Bluetooth is easy to connect and works as expected. If you have never owned a pair of Bluetooth headphones, this feature lets you move around without cables connecting your head to your phone or audio device. I often leave my headphones on while wandering around my house and the sound is surprisingly good.
If though, you are looking for true High-Res Audio, then plug in the included cable and the sound steps up to another level entirely. So you have convenience when you want, but quality when it matters. The cable also saves you if the battery dies, although these headphones will last you 25 hours of use and 1,000 hours of stand-by.
The ATH-ANC700BT may not be a name that will stick in my head, but the sound they produce surely will. Bluetooth audio keeps getting better and while the High-Res Audio is incredible if you are at home on the couch in front of your favourite movie or album, the Bluetooth audio is more than qualified to smash out your favourite tunes from your mobile device.
The Audio-Technica 40mm drivers are well developed from their professional range of headphones, loved by producers and DJs alike. The result in the 700BT is a big sound and a booming bottom end.
When you put the 700BT on, they feel great. Sleek profile, not too much pressure on your ears (even with a large head like mine!) and memory foam on the earcups make these very enjoyable to wear for long periods of time. They fold up and seem fairly rugged, so you can easily throw them in their included pouch and into your bag, without fear of them being smashed apart by your laptop or Wonder Woman lunchbox.
The 700BT will set you back around $350, and the value comes in a variety of ways. Quality of sound, convenience and style all make these a very strong option in this price range.
I have had a really good week with the ATH-ANC700BT, I have not had to regularly charge them, I have not had issues with the Bluetooth connection and I have not felt uncomfortable wearing them for long periods of time.
I have, however, loved the sound, felt at ease with the touch controls and keep picking them up. All good signs.
Available now at all good headphone retailers, visit Audio-Technica Australia website for more details.