Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW

“Audio-Technica created one of the best challenger to the Sony WF-1000XM3 we have seen but.”

Comfy design

Very good sound high quality

Wonderful noise cancellation

The Sony WF-1000XM3 have lengthy been the undisputed champion of the true wi-fi earbuds enviornment, with rivals struggling to match the pair’s each unimaginable sound high quality and lively noise cancellation at a comparable value. After this assessment, the Sony buds will get to maintain the crown, however man, Audio-Technica got here threateningly near usurping the throne.

Audio-Technica’s new true wi-fi earbuds, the ATH-ANC300TW, symbolize one of the direct contenders to the WF-1000XM3 but together with the Technics TSW EAH-AZ70W. With an equivalent MSRP of $230 (although the Sonys usually might be discovered for much less now) and filled with comparable options, the 300TW took direct intention on the king. Right here’s why they only missed the mark, but in addition why they’re nonetheless a superb choice to think about.

Out of the field

There’s nothing inherently particular in regards to the packaging that the ATH-ANC300TW arrive in. Lifting the lid of the white field introduces a protecting layer of froth, with the earbuds and the remainder of their equipment sitting simply beneath.

Audio-Technica 300TW charging caseNick Woodard/Digital Developments

Audio-Technica offers the same old stocking stuffers — a USB-C charging cable, and tons of documentation — however does exceed expectations with its array of included eartips. There’s further small, small, and huge silicone eartips (they arrive with the medium iteration already on the buds), in addition to a pair of medium Comply foam suggestions. For those who had been attempting to make sure a buyer will get the best match for his or her earbuds, this is a perfect method to do it.

Connecting them is easy, with the pairing course of just about beginning and ending at discovering the buds in your cellular machine’s Bluetooth settings and making the hyperlink. The ATH-ANC300TW have Bluetooth 5 expertise and tout that coveted 33-foot vary of connection, and my at-home testing of those buds has verified as a lot. Past that, I haven’t had a connection snag within the week-plus that I’ve been utilizing these buds.

Design

The ATH-ANC300TW are constructed virtually deceptively. Once I initially pulled them out of their charging case, I assumed there was no manner they wouldn’t stick sorely out of my ears. However that’s what I get for judging a e book by its cowl.

Audio-Technica 300TW earbuds

The curved housing of the ATH-ANC300TW offers them a compact, comfortable match, regardless of them trying destined for simply the alternative. I discovered them to be sufficiently safe, permitting me to get a handful of runs in with out them falling out. There are much better workout-oriented buds on the market, however these will rise to the event in a pinch.

Aside from the Audio-Technica brand inscribed on the tip cap of every bud, there isn’t a lot else that stands out aesthetically about these earbuds, that are coated in a glossy shade of black. There’s a single button on the highest of every bud, with the motion these buttons enact varies relying on what number of occasions you faucet them. They had been simple sufficient to make use of, particularly for the reason that accompanying app enables you to select between a right-handed or left-handed sample. We’ll dive deeper into the app later, however it was price mentioning now that Audio-Technica didn’t neglect about all of the southpaws of the world.

The charging case takes an analogous strategy to aesthetic simplicity, adorned in a black-and-grey coloration scheme. It’s somewhat bulkier than I’d like for pocket journey, however I wouldn’t name it a hindrance.

Options

There’s a laundry checklist of options to comb via with the ATH-ANC300TW and so they’re largely distinctive, with just a few tangles twisted in.

Audio-Technica 300TW earbudsNick Woodard/Digital Developments

The 300TW include an IPX2 weatherproof ranking, meant to guard them towards dripping water like rain and sweat. That’s higher than Sony’s WF-1000XM3, which has no official weatherproof ranking. However buds just like the Google Pixel Buds 2 or these aforementioned Technics TSWs supply an IPX4 ranking for a less expensive or comparable value. I didn’t encounter any rain whereas carrying the 300TW, however as a profuse sweater throughout exercises, I’ll vouch that these can maintain up via that degree of perspiration.

Battery life, I’m sorry to say, is simply common. The 300TW can last as long as four.5 hours on a single cost, with 13.5 hours of further energy added to the charging case. This could have been effective just a few years in the past, however we reside in fast-moving occasions. The Sony WF-1000XM3 eclipsed these numbers way back with six hours of playback and 18 further of their case. Newer merchandise, like Sony’s WF-SP800N, characteristic 9 hours of playback with lively noise cancellation enabled. It’s a real bummer with the 300TW as a result of buds that sound this good shouldn’t have such a brief listening span.

Audio-Technica included a nifty bundle of expertise into these buds, and whereas the common proprietor could not bat a watch at them, they do assist enhance the general expertise. There’s Qualcomm cVc (Clear Voice Seize) tech to help conversations throughout calls, a low-latency perform known as Qualcomm True Wi-fi Stereo Plus that permits you to stream with out audio disruption, and SCMS-T expertise that protects content material transmitted by way of Bluetooth between suitable units.

Audio high quality

It’s been some time since I heard earbuds that sound this good. Positive, I favored the sound of the Google Pixel Buds 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Buds+, however we’re speaking a couple of completely different class of audio high quality with the ATH-ANC300TW.

Audio-Technica 300TW earbudsNick Woodard/Digital Developments

My favourite sounding true wi-fi earbuds are the Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 2, and whereas the Audio-Technica buds don’t fairly attain that bar, they’re proper on par with Sony’s excellent-sounding WF-1000XM3. This might be because of a mixture of the 5.eight mm drivers with diamond-like carbon coated diaphragms powering the 300TW, or the gathering of supported audio codecs like aptX, AAC, and SBC.

No matter it’s, it’s very good. Consider any of the infinite catalogs of traditional riffs in music — from Led Zeppelin’s electrifying intro to Good Instances Dangerous Instances, to the dancing instrumentals of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to The Moon — and these buds immediately make them even higher. They’re remarkably clear and, with a frequency response of 20-25,000 Hz, showcase a masterful soundstage. I’d give the WF-1000XM3 the sting in low finish, with bass being the one space with the 300TW that’s not as impactful. That stated, the bass supplied is more likely to be greater than satisfactory rumble for most individuals.

There’s no included EQ inside the app for the 300TW, although I hardly discover that to be a fault; the sound high quality provided right here is superior as is. The app does, nonetheless, show the audio codec that’s lively, and lets you navigate between them for those who so select.

Energetic Noise Cancellation

I’d prefer to publicly apologize to all of the neighbors that heard me repeatedly say “wow” over the previous week. As odd as it might have been to see somebody saying that unprompted whereas strolling his canine, I promise it’s warranted.

Audio-Technica 300TW earbudsNick Woodard/Digital Developments

The lively noise cancellation constructed into the 300TW is actually distinctive. Audio-Technica employed hybrid noise-canceling expertise, that means there are microphones each in entrance and behind every driver to investigate probably the most environmental noise doable, course of it, and stop it from tampering with the supply of your sound. It’s an analogous expertise to what Panasonic is doing with its RZ-S500W or the Technics TSWs. As was the case in these buds, the ANC within the 300TS does one heck of a job.

I examined the 300TW’s ANC skills with no matter I may throw at it — a busy road, my lawnmower, a towering John Deere tractor out at my native park — and so they responded admirably. The app contains three completely different ANC modes, however somewhat than the standard low/medium/excessive, they’re labeled for the environments they might be finest suited to: Airplane, On The Go, and Workplace/Research.

In fact, at the least two of these three meant environments aren’t actually a factor in the intervening time and so I couldn’t put them up towards the true deal. However I did toggle via every mode, and every responded as they had been meant to: Airplane mode dampened decrease frequencies, On-the-Go focused road noise properly, and Workplace/Research helped with quieter conditions.

Energetic noise cancellation this robust requires an ambient sound perform that’s simply as efficient. The 300TW’s Hear-By perform is the best complement, with the flexibility to regulate the quantity of noise that you just let in. Curiously, ANC is the default setting for the 300TW, and the choice is Hear-By. The one method to pay attention with out both of those settings is to disable them inside the app. Then once more, I don’t know why anybody would wish to do such a factor.

For all of the glowing reward I’ve given the 300TW and its ANC capabilities, I nonetheless assume Sony’s WF-1000XM3 is best with its noise-cancellation. However with as shut as Audio-Technica is, I’d be greater than somewhat apprehensive if I had been Sony proper now. And although we actually favored the noise-canceling prowess of the Technics TSWs, the added situational granularity present in these buds is an enormous bonus.

Our take

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW could not have nice battery life, however they make up for it in practically each different class. These are nice earbuds, no two methods about it.

Are there higher options?

The $230 Sony WF-1000XM3 have higher battery life, bass, and lively noise cancellation, all by very slim margins. The Technics TSW buds have higher battery life and glorious noise cancellation, however barely weaker bass efficiency and better price ticket. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 2 will sound higher however at a value of $300.

How lengthy will they final?

The 300TW are sturdy within the components with their IPX2 weatherproof ranking, and have expertise backed up by constant firmware updates. These buds needs to be constructed to final.

Must you purchase them?

Sure. They could not have succeeded in unseating Sony, however Audio-Technica did achieve creating the most effective challengers to the WF-1000XM3 we’ve seen within the ATH-ANC300TW. So, whereas Sony stays the highest canine on campus, it will have to begin trying over its shoulder cautiously.

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