I’ve started traveling more for business recently so I started looking for some reasonably priced noise canceling headphones. I only looked at earbuds, because I like to travel light. I’m not an audiophile, but I like pretty good music. I wasn’t about to pay $300 for the Bose QuiteComfort 20i, so I decided to try the Audio-Technica QuitePoint Earbuds ATH-ANC33iS with it’s 4 star average review rather than the older and 3.5 star ATH-ANC23 model.
After 2 hours on a commuter plane and 10 hours on big jets, I’m satisfied with my purchase. The headphones canceled about 50% of the prop noise from an Embraer EMB 120 and 90% of the jet noise from an Airbus A-320 and Boeing 757. They blocked 100% of refrigerator and computer fan noise (sitting next to my gaming tower). Unfortunately, the noise canceling circuitry also adds a subtle hiss. It’s barely noticeable when there is ambient noise, but becomes apparent in quite situations. Fortunately, the simple solution is to turn off the noise canceling when it’s quite.
For audio quality I listened to a selection of my music that has a pretty good audio range. The bass was fairly boomy, but the audio wasn’t the crispest. It sounded similar to the Apple EarPods that come with new iDevices.
I haven’t had these long enough to comment on battery life. The one AAA battery that came with the earbuds has been going strong for 12 hours.
Overall I give the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS QuitePoint Earbuds a 4 out of 5 on value but 3 out of 5 for sound quality.