Japanese companies are going big on true wireless buds with active noise cancellation. Sony was among the first to launch such a device, with Panasonic announcing its own range just yesterday. It's now rival Audio-Technica's turn to unveil a pair of true wireless earbuds with ANC at CES.
The ATH-ANC300TW feature 5.8 mm drivers with diamond-like carbon coated diaphragms, which are said to deliver an outstanding audio quality. They're also packed with the latest tech, including digital hybrid noise-cancelling for optimal noise reduction. Interestingly, this seems very similar to Panasonic's approach, and I'm eager to see which one performs better. You'll get to pick from three ANC modes: Airplane, which targets constant low-frequency noise; On-the-Go, which suppresses street noise; and Office/Study, which responds to noise in quiet environments. This seems like a great addition, but it would have been better if the buds could automatically assess the environment and adjust accordingly.
Each bud features two microphones, which are used to filter surrounding noises out. Audio-Technica has also integrated Qualcomm's Clear Voice Capture technology to make sure your voice is captured neatly when placing calls. The product also supports aptX, AAC codecs, and TrueWireless Stereo Plus, making sure you can watch videos with no audio latency or disruption.
The multifunction buttons let you control your buds and activate the hear-through function to be more aware of your surroundings. The ATH-ANC300TW also detect when they're removed from the charging case and automatically turn on when you take them out.
Thanks to their IPX2 rating, the buds can survive mild water splashes, but that's probably not enough to shelter them from heavy rainfalls. In terms of battery life, they should provide about 4.5 hours of playback time, with 13.5 hours of additional power with the charging case. Thankfully, the latter uses a USB-C connector, which will help you limit the number of cables to power your electronics.
The ATH-ANC300TW is expected to launch this spring for $230.