Update 5 NOV 2016 : I eventually got it replaced by the shop. It took longer than I expected. There was disagreement over the condition in which I returned it, they saying fairly new condition and I insisting very new condition. Also I was told that a manufacturing defect shows up in a few days which doesn’t make sense to me because your warranty is 3 months (not a few days) to cover manufacturing defects. No problems with the exchanged headphones so far. I didn’t ask but my view is that you should get a new warranty period if an exchange is provided.
Update 2 SEP 2016 : Feeling unlucky. Left side of the earbuds stopped working. It’s under warranty so let’s see what they do when I return it.
Audio-Technica is a Japanese company that manufactures professional audio equipment. They have won numerous industry awards over the years. They are one of the oldest names in the audio industry. I respect the brand because of the reviews of MKBHD and others. I purchased the ATH-ANC33iS noise cancelling earbuds on an impulse while passing through the mall. It was between that and a Sennheiser. This model is not the latest but you do pay less for older tech.
I later found out that there is a difference between noise cancelling and sound isolation and advantages and disadvantages of each. Noise cancelling reduces unwanted ambient sounds using circuitry and microphones to produce waves that cancel out the noise. Sound isolation on the other hand is soundproofing or blocking out the noise from reaching your ears.
The first few times I used it I was wowed when compared to the headphones I was using before. I used it in the noisy mall and it works. Eventually the wow factor faded and it became my normal. These earbuds have a black box (with a battery) attached to the chord that is a bit bothersome. Noise cancelling can be turned on and off with a switch. There is also a dial to adjust volume. The design style is simple and typical Audio-Technica. The chord is not the flat tangle free kind. The sound quality is very good and not affected at the loudest volumes and you get some good bass.
Reading some of the reviews online has me questioning the build quality but I have had no problems so far. The earbuds fit snugly in my ears and come with interchangeable ear pieces. There is a microphone and switch for accepting smartphone calls. It also comes with a 2-pin airline adapter. Battery life is stated as 60 hours which in my opinion is not enough. It is comfortable enough to be worn for long hours.
In summary I would say this is a good buy for the price and more so if you like the Audio-Technica brand. The trend is towards compact, water proof, rechargeable and bluetooth earbuds and that is something to consider when you are deciding. Thank you and please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.