I have used my ANC7b for last 3 years, they are specially useful on my long flights(14-15hrs). I had read somewhere that Bose sued Audio Technica over the ANC7A(I think) so they changed something minor and came out with ANC7b.
I had a pair of ANC7bs and compared them head to head with a QC15 I later purchased. The noise comparison is honestly no comparison at all. The Bose set complete blew the ATs away. The ATs block significantly less ambient noise and actually add a fair amount of white noise to mask some of the higher frequencies that it has trouble with. Audio quality was roughly comparable between the two, though I'd still have to give the nod to the QC15s.
That being said, the QC15s are $300 and are essentially never on sale (though I got mine through their employee discount for way way less) Factoring in the AT's $80 tag, these compare quite well. You would never confuse the two side by side, but there's also two bills sitting on the table.
I actually just came back from Staples with the ANC23s in tow. The noise cancelling element seems to be the same between the two ANC23s and the ANC7bs. Still has the white noise and mediocre noise cancelling, but the noise isolation is significantly better with the IEMs. Audio quality are mediocre, bordering on poor, but for a ~$30 set of active noise cancelling IEMs, it's extremely hard to complain. If you're in the market specifically for a set of noise cancelling headphones, chances are you're already ok with sacrificing audio quality for NC. I'm quite satisfied for these for the price.
Oddly, the cashier at Staples had issues scanning my 20% coupon and ended up manually crediting me...based on the $100 price. YMMV for sure.
I agree with you. I picked up some ANC23s yesterday. They are about the same as I remember the ANC7s I tried being. Compared to the ANC9s though... night and day. The ANC9s are the ones that are comparable to the QC15s. Going directly from the ANC9s to the ANC23s I first wondered if the ANC23s NC was working at all.
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