I sometimes give my first impressions of a device, and they are negative. Then, when I spend more time with the device, I admit my impressions were wrong. And this is definitely the case with the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, which — after three days of use — I find have some groundbreaking features.
I cannot believe how clear-sounding the phone quality is. Bose’s new headphones are the first headphones I’ve ever tried where I don’t have to leave a loud-sounding environment to talk to someone. Not only do the mics cancel out ambient noise for me, but my friends (on the other line) say they can only hear minimal background noise when I talk.
I can’t explain how convenient it is to be able to stay at my table at Starbucks when making a phone call. I am able to talk without disturbing the rest of the store, which plays loud music. Perhaps the most annoying Starbucks customers are the ones who talk loudly on the phone without realizing it. With these new Bose headphones, one can talk quietly as if they are in an empty room.
Last year, Bose was outdone in noise cancellation by Sony. However, with the Headphones 700, Bose takes the top spot again. The new headphones offer 10 levels of noise cancellation through the Bose app and three through a button on the left ear cup.
At the highest level, the NC700s block more sound than any other pair of headphones. Best of all, the ear pressure, which used to be prominent with Bose noise-cancelling headphones, is minimal. They aren’t significantly better than Sony’s XM3′s but enough to notice a difference, especially with high frequency sounds.
In my initial impressions, I noted that the NC700s weren’t very comfortable. But after using them for a longer time, I really got used to the tight (but not overbearing) fit. Once your ears get used to the pads, they’ll feel more like pillows. Even though the headphones are heavier than past Bose headphones, the comfort level is the same.
I initially didn’t like the stainless steel hinge since it prevented the headphones from being able to fold up. However, I realize the stainless steel hinge provides a device that’s virtually void of making creaking noises, which other headphones annoyingly do.
Unlike headphones from Sony or other brands, you can pair the NC700s to two different devices at once. For example, I am able to enjoy a movie with the headphones on my laptop and answer a phone call (with the headphones) from my smartphone without having to do any pairing. With Bluetooth 5.0, Bose’s headphones do this very smoothly.
The touch controls on the NC700s work very well. There are also separate buttons for noise cancellation levels, Bluetooth pairing, and access to Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. The headphones work perfectly with Google Assistant.
Some may balk at the 20 hours of battery life, especially when compared to the Sony XM3′s 30 hours. However, a simple 15 minute charge with the included USB-C cord will give the NC700s almost three hours of battery life. One simple touch of the Power button will turn the NC700s on or off.
The Bose 700 have it all — comfort, sound, noise cancellation, and excellent phone capabilities. They may not sound the best for those who prefer heavy bass, but those who purchase the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 will not regret their very pricey purchase.