This is the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. These things are expensive but we’ll see if they’re well worth it.
- Great Active Noise Cancellation
- Can pair two devices at a time
- Best voice call experience
- Not as comfortable as QC 35 IIs
- No folding hinges
When we first saw that Bose announced these, they kind of took us back by surprise but the more you think about them and use them, the more it makes perfect sense.
These are prime examples of competition driving things forward and making better products for us, the consumers.
The most QC 35 tubes are an amazing set. The comfort of these is what sold people at first and it is still one of the lightest pairs of Active Noise Cancelling Headphones we have reviewed.
With the new Bose headphones 700, it appears to be a new line or new series for Bose and not necessarily a replacement.
Now, when it called in to boast the Rep insisted that these were an upgrade but yet they are still selling the Bose QC 35.
The first thing that’s pretty obvious is that these are completely redesigned.
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Besides the color options, they look almost nothing like the QC 35s before them and we kind of love it.
The new minimal design ditched the folding hinges which kind of sucks but instead you get a sturdy stainless steel band instead of the plastic and it just feels like less likely to snap on you.
So, we’ll see where they are gonna go with this. So, with that being said, physically the black-on-black look sleek modern contemporary but you can be the judge.
Instead of the Alcantara and faux leather, bose went with this smooth rubber like silicone on the very top and on the underside.
The band itself is made of metal and that does help create this premium feel when you touch it.
After we remove the ear pet, we did confirm though that the ear cups are unfortunately not made of metal. When you pick up the older QC 35 II, it was cold to the touch yet crazy light because of the metal used.
We felt Bose has somewhat taken that away with this new model. For this price, that little extra touch, a little bit better materials and that physical sensory could have been better.
How Comfortable are Bose 700 Headphones?
While wearing the Bose Active Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones, we didn’t have any pinching at the crown of the head.
The clamping force around the jawline is good. We had a good grip without being too firm and wearing these for hours, we never had any kind of wearing fatigue.
The earcups appear to recess in as much as the QC 35 II but when wearing QC 35 II felt more airy, open and the ears don’t touch the inside lining.
With the 700s the ears will slightly touch the inside there and simply in general, they do warm-up but they don’t cause any kind of ear sweats in normal office or home temperatures.
In general, these active noise-cancelling headphones are very good and still compete with the main competitors like Sony 1000XM3 for example.
When compared with the rest of the market, the Bose 700 headphones are still one of the best in comfort.
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Now, getting the closer look, these now have touch-sensitive controls and they work great.
Slide your finger forward and back to skip a song. Swipe up and down to increase or decrease the volume.
A double-tap lets you pause and play and holding down the right earcup on the front lets you hear much better life is remaining which is super convenient.
Now, there are still some physical buttons and they’re located in the perfect location when you have your headphones to access your voice assistant and this includes Google, Siri and Alexa. All you do is hold down, ask your question and then let go. You’ll hear the answer eventually.
Now with our testing, this has worked fine and a few occasions though we can hear Google Assistant thinking and trying to generate some sort of answers and then it doesn’t just give us the answer at all.
So, little bit finicky, not 100% reliable just yet.
Now, we have noticed the physical buns are a little too sensitive. When the headset is on your head, there are no issues.
But if you’re taking them off like so, putting them on picking them up from the table, sometimes we bumped that active noise cancelling button.
This is not the setting we wanted. Actually, reduce the active noise cancelling. Sometimes the assistant is activated and again that’s not what we want either.
It gets better over time with muscle memory and where you place your hands and such but still a small nuisance especially, in the beginning.
Now on the other side, there is a very nice touch you can cycle through the amount of active noise cancelling you have set through the Bose Music App.
By default, 10 is maximum ANC. One press and it will go down to at level five and another press brings it down to zero.
When you do bring it down to zero, you have essentially conversation mode and basically there is no passive noise isolation.
Actually the microphones pick up your surroundings and actually pump it into your headphones.
With our testing, it sounds very natural and very clean.
How are the Physical Connections of Bose 700 ANC Headphones?
There is a very small two and a half millimetre port for physical connections.
Two things that we had noticed. One, when we plug the cable in, the overall volume is not loud. We can actually play the music at the maximum volume. In short, it sounds better wireless.
Second, you can turn off the Bose headphones all together and the headphones will still work. It doesn’t sound as great as Bose audio magic isn’t on and then you don’t have ANC either.
But in the worst case scenario, when you need audio and you forget to charge these headphones, at least you have some music to listen to.
Bose 700 Headphones Battery Life
For Bose Active Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones, Bose claims up to 20 hours of use and this is the reason why we wore these for 8 hours a day straight.
These active noise-cancelling headphones have auto-off for audio. When there’s no audio playing, the headphones turn off after a certain amount of time that you can set within the Boss Music App. Very straightforward to conserve battery.
There is also an auto-off with motion detection and that has no option to disable.
You can’t leave the headsets on the table playing to drain the battery like all other headphones you do so you had to wear them eight hours straight no matter where you went like to the gym, eating lunch etc.
At 50% vine with active noise cancelling on, we were able to accumulate a total of 22 hours and 48 minutes worth of use.
Those purchasing any electronics whether smartphones, headphones, earphones etc, make sure it has USB-C to future proof yourself.
These Bose 700 Headphones use that USB-C to also fast charge. 15 minutes on the charger from a dead battery gives you three and a half hours worth of performance.
To full charge these noise-cancelling headphones, it takes two and a half hours.
Now compared to the competition, twenty hours is somewhat on the middle to low and unfortunately compared to other mainstream yet premium ANC headphones like Sony and Sennheiser, the Bose headphones are still underperforming on that spec sheet.
But to be fair and this is through our testing, not everything is just specs but twenty hours wasn’t too short of a time.
To be honest with you, while testing they have never died on us and we never entered and encountered low battery to the point where it became an issue.
There’s always fast charging. We wear them for a day or two, plug them back in, no big deal.
Bluetooth Connectivity of Bose 700 Headphones
Based on Bluetooth, this is very easy. Bluetooth 5.0 is offered and this is the latest Bluetooth technology available so that’s a plus here.
Yes, you can pair two devices at a time using this on our iPad for example and the phone rings, the music pauses, you can jump onto that phone call, finish that and then once you hang up, the music will automatically start playing once again.
It’s quite intuitive. Now, testing Bluetooth strength in a 1,100 square foot apartment, we were able to reach every corner. 100% coverage with a signal going through several walls during or time testing.
In two and a half days or so, wearing these headphones and draining the batteries, we never had the signal trump either.
Testing the Bose 700 headphones with videos on both Apple and Android, zero syncing issues across YouTube and Netflix.
From the video, the wireless performance was again perfect. The only issue though the music app is very much suspect.
Pairing to the phone and listening to music, zero issues there. It worked flawlessly having the app connect to the headphones. Sometimes it works and sometimes it requires two to three tries
How Flexible are Bose 700 Headphones?
The Bose 700 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones don’t fold in but they do fold flat.
After using the protective case, it fits very easily into our bookbag. As much as we like the foldable design, this simply had less girth.
In general, the protection is good enough to protect the headphones from scuffs.
Now one major feature that’s only available on iOS at the moment is Bose AR or augmented reality. There’s a technically audio augmented reality.
We tested them with some of the supplied apps which were very limited at the time. Essentially, you can turn your head and you can hear the source of audio stay in that same direction.
It was cool at first but kind of fizzled out very quickly.
Sound Quality of Bose 700 Headphones
Even though the Bose 700 headphones don’t have the highest quality streaming codecs, they still sound pretty good.
We actually liked the way they sound more than the QC 35s before them.
You can hear this nicely in the bass line throughout the song sedona by hound mouth which rumbles softly behind the vocals instead of overtaking them.
Because of this the vocals in the midst sound great and are never masked by what is going on in the low end.
The audio sound leaking of the Bose 700 headphones is at a minimum when we were blasting this at 80% volume. That’s really really loud.
Speakerphone wise, active noise cancelling stays on but you can always turn it down with a button.
Now as for active noise cancelling, this is where Bose improved over the previous generation. It does block a lot of that airiness around you.
It blocks out a lot of that wind and whooshing noise of cars driving by and busy areas with other people playing music in the background and simply just a voice shatter of nearby people, these reduce them quite a bit.
Keep in mind ANC doesn’t have the ability to cancel out everything and it usually works best with certain frequencies but compared to the competitors on the market, the Bose is one of the best.
These are not meant for the gym as they are not sweat or waterproof but we had to wear them to test the battery with music on and ANC maxed out.
We don’t hear others near us running on the treadmill. They have their TVs on in front of them and we can’t hear them either.
So, the Bose ANC 700 headphones beat out many from the active noise cancelling standpoint. It’s so real and amazing.
It’s no longer an underperformer and these are up there with a competition.
Should you buy the Bose 700 Headphone?
Here is our verdict for the Bose Active Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones.
Well, technically, the Sony WH1000XM3 still has better active noise cancelling. So, that’s all you care about then there’s your answer.
But we think it’s pretty clear that these are now the most desirable headphones on the market.
They still have great active noise cancelling, they have a good enough battery life and we think we have gushed over how much we like the design enough.
These also sound better than the QC 35s and now have a touchpad for playback and USB-C charging.
Vine wise, we turned these up to 72% maybe 75% volume to really reach that enjoyable state.
At 80%, the audio starts to jumble and you lose some of that clean sound. It’s loud enough but for those who like things even louder, you’re going to lose some of that quality up there.
This is no question, Bose audio signature bass is very clean, direct and fast.
Not bassy like the Sony 1000XM3 but this refined and tailored experience was just amazing.
We did sense that the Bose ANC 700 headphones are a bit deeper but see if who enjoys bass, this might be right on the fence for them.
The mid-range is very distinct. The audio separation from instruments to vocals are very much apparent and because you’re interpreting detailed audio resolution and a lot of direction, there are times you can sense the beat is coming from behind you in a little bit below.
Times a tambourine hits and it’s slightly in front of you and off to the right slightly up the soundstage is there.
Not the widest and best that we’ve tested but for ANC headphones, it’s up there with being one of the best.
Overall the mid-range is not recessed, not bright either but what you sent right away more than anything is the audio direction and separation.
Now the high frequencies were very similar to the rest here. Where they’re just not high pitched or not ear piercing.
They’re not screeching and that’s really good. They are very well maintained and within reason.
Some assess and vocals were very well pronounced.
While snapping fingers on some songs wasn’t as high as we would have liked. Some snares didn’t hit that higher note to just make those high notes sparkle.
It’s not bad but overall the Bose 700 headphones again offer that refine tailored controlled music listening experience.
These are very easy to listen to and we think it hits the mass market or right on the head with what most people would or will enjoy.
If you’re into classic rock or classical music, no questions, get these active noise cancellation headphones.
If you’re into vocal work, this is still an excellent pair. If you’re into pop, modern rock or EDMs, these are strong contenders but if you’re into bass maybe hip-hop bass or pop songs, we’d say listen to some other headphones and compare them with these.
We’d say hold off on these for now and test them out yourself if you can before purchasing.
But if you get these, again they will not disappoint!