We've seen our share of overpriced hardware, and though Audio-Technica's new product doesn't stand above the rest, it doesn't lose that first position by much.
The ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint active noise-canceling over-ear headphones bear a price tag of $349.95, 268.44 Euro according to exchange rates.
Of course, if the item even reaches Europe, it will probably sell for 300 Euro or more.
Either way, it is not a price we would rush to meet, not when even the most expensive of Intel's upcoming dual-core Ivy Bridge mobile CPUs cost less.
Still, there is no doubt in our minds that there are people in the world willing to pay whatever it takes for the best possible sound clarity when playing a game or watching a film.
Audio-Technica's ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint headphones use Tri-Level Cancellation, with three preset filters for noise reduction of up to 30 dB over a wide range of noise conditions.
Mode 1 is suited for airplanes, trains and buses, Mode 2 is good in noisy offices and crowded places and Mode 3 is best in more quiet locations, like libraries.
It should be possible to block up to 95% of all noise, the highest ANC performance ever achieved by Audio-Technica QuietPoint headphones.
Moving on, the headset uses 40mm drivers and, thanks to its input sensitivity of 100 dB, will “provide an ample listening level from portable music sources.”
Speaking of which, the cable has an inline microphone and controller, for answering calls and controlling music on smartphones, iPods, etc. (play, pause, answer or end calls, jump to next or previous track).
Other specs include two detachable cables, a 1/2-inch adapter, an airline adapter, an AAA battery, a hard carrying case and the possibility to fold the headphones flat. Finally, assuming noise canceling is turned off, the ATH-ANC9 can operate in passive mode, without batteries.
Strangely enough, Audio-Technica's website lists the product for $299.95. The difference may or may not be accounted for by shipping costs.