Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 review – setting a new audio standard
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have set a new standard when it comes to audio quality and noise cancellation with one of the best audio products we've seen in years.
Whenever Bose releases a new product it’s a pretty big deal. And when that product is a new pair of noise-cancelling headphones it’s an even bigger occasion. That new product is the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – and we weren’t disappointed.
The Bose headphones have had a complete overhaul in terms of look and feel, design, audio quality and noise cancellation.
And there is an all-new voice isolating technology so you can be clearly heard on your calls even in the most noisy environments.
Bose has led the way over the years with its QC (Quiet Comfort) noise cancelling headphones and earphones and really set the benchmark when it comes to combining ambient noise reduction with high quality audio.
With the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, Bose has now taken that all to the next level.
One thing that is clear about Bose, every new product and version is the result of a technology innovation and not just for the sake of adding another number to the name of the device.
That couldn’t be more clearer than with the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 which has improved the experience across the board.
The biggest change you’ll notice immediately with the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the amazing new design.
Bose has consciously removed visible screws, seams and joints to give it a more minimal and understated look. It has succeeded admirably.
It has a stainless steel headband which is lined with beautifully soft foam that keeps it lightweight but also makes it extremely comfortable to wear.
The ear cups are perfectly angled and are made from synthetic protein leather that is not only soft but also extremely durable for all-day listening.
The headband tapers elegantly into a narrow metal band that runs across the top of the ear cup and makes it easy to adjust to fit you securely and comfortably.
And there are only three buttons on the headphones – one for powering on and off, one to access noise cancellation levels and the other to access your favourite voice assistant whether it is Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.
But you can still also easily control your music thanks to the responsive capacitive touch control on the right ear cup which let you slide up and down to increase and decrease the volume, or tap to pause the song, go backwards or forwards and even answer a call.
These controls work incredibly well and offer satisfying accuracy especially when it comes to adjusting just the right volume level – and without the need to touch your device.
If that’s not impressive enough, then wait till you put them on and hear them.
Aboard the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the next generation of Bose noise cancellation technology which manages to find an even better level of ambient noise reduction.
It does this with a new acoustic and electronics package, new digital signal processing and an all-new eight microphone system that not only reduces outside noise when you’re listening but also eliminates it when you’re talking on the phone as well.
Six of the microphones are used to cancel the noise better than ever before.
We’ve heard every pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones in the past but the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 take it to an all-new level.
And it also has 11 levels of adjustment so you can hear just enough or nothing at all.
This feature comes in particularly handy when trying to hear a conversation around you, a flight announcement in the airport and an in-flight announcement – and all without having to take off the headphones to listen.
The button on the headphones gives you immediate access to this feature called Conversation Mode and the Bose Music app gives you even further control to set a level of noise cancellation that you’re comfortable with.
But what about when you need to answer a phone call while listening to the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700?
Our experience wearing headphones was that they didn’t make for clear phone conversations.
But that has all changed dramatically with the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
Four of the eight microphones on board are used to improve picking up your voice and amplifying it with a beam-form array.
This not only isolates your voice but it is also intelligent enough to suppress any other sound no matter which direction it is coming from.
We saw this dramatically demonstrated on a train platform.
The person we were talking to could be heard as clearly as if they were in a recording studio while a train passed by behind them.
It works even when you are moving around and moving your head as the rejection array adapts and blocks the intruding sounds in real time.
This also makes it clearer to talk to your digital assistant when asking for assistance, directions, a playlist or dictating a message.
It’s yet another reason why you can use the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 with your head held high instead of buried in your device.
These headphones are now our new go-to microphones for any of our radio interviews in the future.
But what about audio quality?
This is yet another area where Bose has dramatically lifted its game.
These headphones have been engineered with proprietary active equalisation.
Bose says it has avoided digitally boosted bass, vocals and treble that can create listener fatigue over time.
Instead you get true high fidelity reproduction with incredible clarity and balance.
We also detected a slight improvement in the bass response – an area where Bose has been fairly conservative in its earlier products.
The Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 can run for up to 20 hours on a single charge.
The battery is charged through the on-board USB-C port and takes between two and three hours to charge completely.
But there is a fast charging feature which will offer three and a half hours of use after just 15 minutes of charge time.
The headphones come with a thin tapered hardcase that makes them fit more easily in your bag or in the seat pocket on a plane.
And there is no need to work out how fold the headphones down to fit back in the case which can sometimes be as difficult as solving a puzzle.
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 can simply slip off your head and into the storage case without having too fold them at all.
There is also a small magnetically sealed compartment to fit the charging and audio cables.
What you don’t get with the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is an airline adapter plug, despite the fact that this should be the first thing you pack in your bag if you are going on a flight.
Bose’s reasoning behind this is that they want these headphones to be considered for use every day rather than just when you fly.
Our feeling is better to include a plug that you have and might not need rather than not include something you may need and not have.
But that’s far from being a dealbreaker, these new Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are remarkable.
The headphones aren’t cheap either at $599.95 but our reasoning is that customers won’t mind paying more for the best quality.
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have set a new standard when it comes to audio quality and noise cancellation with one of the best audio products we’ve seen in years.