As mentioned above, the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint has a signature noise-cancelling feature called the Tri-Level Cancellation. It can operate on three different modes of noise cancellation. The first mode, low frequency noise cancelling, is designed to cancel noise when you are traveling by a plane, train, or bus. The second mode, midrange noise canceling, is suitable for using in the office or other crowded places. And the third mode, called milder noise cancelling, can be applied when you are in a rather quiet place and want it to be even quieter.
TheATH-ANC9 QuietPoint can be used in passive mode, which means you can listen to audio even when the noise cancellation switch is off, or the battery is dead.
Unlike most other headphones, the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint lacks a volume controller on its cable.
The ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint weighs 220gr without cable, while its peer, the Bose QuietComfort, weighs only 140gr with cable. However, we did not feel any discomfort after wearing it for a while thanks to the heavy padding on the ear cups and headband. The faux leather on the headband is soft and does not get tangled with your hair. The ear cups felt nice and soft, and did not press uncomfortably against our ears. The tangle-free cable cut down on the hassle of using cabled headphones. Overall, the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint was comfortable enough, but it could have been a little lighter.
To measure the true quality and performance of ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint we decided to compare it against its peer, Bose’s QuietComfort 15, which costs a little more.
The ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint offers two features that the Bose QuietComfort 15 does not have: the signature Tri-Level noise cancelling and the passive mode option.
We tested both pairs of headphones on a plane and a bus, in the office, and in a library. While the QuietComfort 15 did slightly better on the plane and bus, the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint performed better in the office and the library. The QuietComfort 15 delivered slightly deeper bass, but the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint delivered slightly better fidelity.
On the other hand, the Bose QuietComfort 15 had less sound leakage than the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint. We connected both to an iPad in the office and library. The QuietComfort 15 did not leak any noise with the volume turned up to 70 percent, whereas we could hear noise leaking from the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint from 3 meters away at this volume level. With the volume turned all the way up, both pairs of headphones leaked noise. The ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint outputs louder sound in general, which is good for listening to music but also makes it leak more noise.
We found the Tri-Level Cancelling feature very useful because it lets you choose between different levels of noise cancellation. However, the thing we liked best about the ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint was its passive mode. In this mode, you can play music even when the battery is dead.