Back at CES 2019, Audio-Technica introduced its latest QuietPoint ANC wireless headphones lineup. Within the three new models, ATH-ANC900BT, ATH-ANC500CT, and ATH-ANC100BT, only the latter is of the in-ear variety. Engineered with dynamic 12 mm drivers and in-line mic and controls, these in-ear headphones are designed to deliver detailed audio reproduction. Want to know if they hit the mark? Without further delay, let’s take a closer look in this Audio-Technica ANC100BT review.
• Exceptionally comfortable fit
• Battery life of 10-20 hours*
• Active Noise Cancellation
• Control clip
• Price of $99
• No wall outlet plug included
• Lacks wear detection
• Bass audio is a bit soft
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT Review
What You Need To Know About Operation
- Slide the power switch to ON. The green light beside NC lights up as well as the blue light beside the Bluetooth symbol.
- On your mobile device, select the ATH-ANC100BT within the Bluetooth list, and your headset is now paired.
- To power down, slide the power switch to OFF.
- To charge the headset, place the supplied USB cord into a power source. Charging of the headphones takes up to 3 hours, and playtime lasts for 10-20 hours depending on how you use the ANC100BT.
- Play and Pause are controlled by the pressing the large round button in the center of the clip. (If you’re like me, you may forget that it’s there.)
- Volume adjustment is controlled via the “+” and “-” buttons located on the side of the clip.
- To advance or return to a previous track, press and hold the “+” and “-” buttons for two seconds, respectively.
- Regarding phone calls, press the Play/Pause button once to answer and disconnect calls.
Design and Features
Per the Audio-Technica website, “The ATH-ANC100BT QuietPoint® wireless in-ear headphones combine Audio-Technica’s proprietary active noise-cancelling technology with Bluetooth® wireless technology to give you greater freedom and listening pleasure in areas of high ambient noise.”
The in-ear portion of the ANC100BT comes with a hard plastic outer shell in a somewhat glossy black finish. The earbuds are angled and noticeably so to fit your ears better. They’re fixed in position which is preferred by this reviewer.
The controller is located approximately two feet down from each earbud. The controller is intriguing as it’s an alligator clip design. On one end is the audio cable before it branches out to each ear. On the other is the USB connection for charging and to go wired to an audio player.
On the wide-sided top are the mic, the circular logo, and the Play/Pause button. If you’re like me, you’ll forget that the button is even there and use Play/Pause directly from the audio source. I’m not saying it’s bad placement. I simply forget it’s there.
The opposite wide side has the alligator-mouthed clip with another AT logo. From my testing, the clip holds very well onto a shirt or jacket.
On the long, thinner side with the controls, there are the On/Off slider, noise-cancelling and Bluetooth light indicators, and volume push buttons.
Silicone tips come in four sizes: XS, S, M & L, plus there’s a Medium-sized Comply™ foam set.
One downside is the headset cannot be used while charging.
The quality of workmanship from Audio-Technica is high. In testing, the buttons worked flawlessly during music and phone calls. I was never worried about the cord being pulled out the controller as there’s plenty of slack.
“An internal lithium polymer rechargeable battery powers the headphones, giving you approximately 10 hours of continuous Bluetooth and ANC use on a full charge. The headphones come with a 30 cm (1′) USB charging cable, a 0.6 m (2.0′) audio cable with 3.5 mm (1/8″) stereo mini-plug, and a protective carrying pouch.”
• Driver Type: 12mm Dynamic
• Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 24 kHz
• Bluetooth Version: 4.2
• Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
• Impedance: 16 Ω w/ANC
• Sensitivity: 102-103 dB
• Battery Life w/ANC & Bluetooth: 20 Hours
• Battery Life w/ANC only: 10 Hours
• Range: 10 Meters
• Charging Time: 3 Hours
• Weight: 30 grams w/o cable
• Available in Black
What’s In The Box?
• Carry Pouch
• Quick Start and Caution Guides
• 2′ Audio cable w/L-shaped 3.5 mm plug
• 4 Pairs of Ear Tips + Comply Foam
Amazon Music Playlist
• Tove Lo – Queen Of The Clouds
• The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
• Rush – Clockwork Angels
• Shinedown – Amaryllis
• Halsey – BADLANDS
• Play List – Krewella and More
As I often state, the most critical factor regarding headphones is sound quality, followed by fit and feel. The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT in-ear wireless headphones were tested across music from the artists and playlists listed above using my Amazon Music account.
This time around, I didn’t test the headphones in the gym. Even though they’re lightweight and held firmly in my ears, I was worried about the control module bouncing off my shirt.
The first test on how well these earbuds sounded was with hard rock music from the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Shinedown, and Rush.
When it came to percussion instruments like drums and cymbals, the ANC100BT produced bright sounds. Percussion on these albums was by far my favorite to listen to, followed by acoustic guitar. The detailed drum work across the three rock albums was crazy good. Please take a listen to Today or Rocket from Siamese Dream. You won’t be disappointed. Who doesn’t like to hear Neil Peart or Jimmy Chamberlin hammer away on the drums?
Bass audio was a bit soft, and pretty much expected as the ANC100BT isn’t labeled a bass-heavy pair of headphones. I couldn’t enjoy Geddy Lee’s base work to its fullest. It took second fiddle to vocals, guitar, and drums.
Pop music from female artists such as Halsey’s hopeless fountain kingdom and BADLANDS and Tove Lo’s Queen Of The Clouds sounded well. The vocals across these albums shined, but like their rock band brothers, bass audio wasn’t quite where I would have liked it. If you take a listen to The Way That I Am or Thousand Miles by Tove Lo, you know bass should be more pronounced with a bit more clarity.
Overall I was very pleased with the audio emanating from this sub-$100 pair of headphones.
From a physical design perspective, I found these earbuds to be very comfortable in my ears and very portable whether clasped onto a shirt or coat.
Audio life of 10-20 hours (depending on its use) is more than enough to cover one week’s worth of commutes to work plus every lunch break. The audio quality is quite good with its 20 Hz – 24 kHz range. The ATH-ANC100BT headphones are staying put in my collection with a lot more use coming.
• Features – 4.50
• Value – 4.50
What do you think of this Audio-Technica ANC100BT headphones review? Do you agree or disagree with our verdict? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media. We’re eager to hear your thoughts.
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FTC Disclosure: Audio-Technica provided Beantown with one (1) ATH-ANC100BT sample for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Beantown LLC © 2019.