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QuietPoint® Active Noise-CancellingThe QuietPoint® Active Noise-Cancelling allows you to enjoy clear music with 90% capability of noise reduction in the surrounding environment. The on/off switch on the control box lets you regulate when you’d like to activate this feature. Thus, the sound quality is boosted when ANC is activated giving you a rich and enjoyable music experience.
Compact in-ear designATH-ANC33iS comes in an ultra compact design that allows for easy portability. Now you can easily carry your non-bulky earphones when on the move or traveling.
In-line remote and microphoneThe In-line remote and mic lets you control the music you listen to without having to fetch out your music playing device. Its smartphone compatibility and microphone allows you to answer calls with ease.
Comply™ Foam TipsIncluded Comply™ Foam Tips comfortably seals the ear canals further blocking any environmental noise, thus letting you listen to your music with complete isolation.
I bought these earphones to see what kind of Noise-Cancellation (NC) benefits Audio Technica is able to offer at this price-point. I am a fan of Audio Technica's (AT) sound quality, and despite my disappointment (read on) with *this* model, will givem them more chances.
About this model. I do not know where AT gets the 90% number from. In addition to being completely meaningless (90% of what sound? All frequencies? All signatures?), it is the single most misleading number that led me to think that I should try this pair out. When reasonable NC headphones/earphones are at least 4 times this price (including AT's own next best), this pair had to have made lots of compromises. But at the time of purchasing, I thought if it cancels 90% of ambient sounds, I will live with the compromise.
This pair has mediocre passive isolation, which one would expect at this price and form-factor. The Comply replacement buds do not show significant improvement.
Turning Active NC ON only cancels the mildest of office/home background 'hums' (e.g. from AC, refrigerators etc.). It is easy to test this with music at zero or low volume. Keep in mind that many other NC alternatives at this price-point expect you to test while playing reasonably loud music, and they fake active NC by boosting some parts of the spectrum, or simply upping the volume. That is why, I feel it is preferable to test at low volumes or without anything playing at all.
Not much really gets cancelled by this pair. If you wear it for 5 minutes, you will forget that it is canceling anything at all. Its effect is mild in already quiet office/home environments. It is non-existent in noisy commute environments. If you are buying this pair for NC, either assume I have received a lemon, or look elsewhere.
The audio quality is acceptable for this price. With or without active NC ON (which, you would recall, does not do much). This is a redeeming factor, and along with the ability to receive calls, adjust volume,...