Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 The best-sounding Bose headphones to date
New York City's Union Square is a noisy, cacophonous place. Commuters and tourists produce a din that makes it just about impossible to have a phone conversation under normal circumstances. If you're looking for the best noise-cancelling headphones, then Bose is a brand you know you can trust. That's largely because its hugely popular QuietComfort range has set the standard for noise cancellation technology since the release of the Bose QC25s way back in 2014. Fast-forward seven years to the present day and, despite the popularity of the QuietComfort range, Bose is shaking things up by releasing a totally new wireless noise-cancelling headphones model. The focus here is on sleek design and “breakthrough” audio tech: meet the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
Bose's noise-canceling 700 headphones filter out the chaos in the background, as you might expect. But their noise rejection feature also cleans up the audio for the person on the other end of the call — so they can hear you loud and clear, even if you're standing in one of the busiest intersections in NYC.
That kind of technology doesn't come cheap. These are Bose's most expensive headphones at $400. That being said, after using them on a daily basis for a couple of weeks, it's easy to see why someone would pay so much for them.
Speak confidently and be heard clearly on conference calls — an adaptive four-microphone system isolates your voice from surrounding noise, eliminating the mute/unmute shuffle and “… are you there?” struggle
Personalize your work environment with 11 levels of noise cancellation, from virtual silence—for times of focus—to open and ambient, so you can hear what’s going on around you
Stay reliably connected and easily switch between audio sources—the included, pre-paired Bose USB Link Bluetooth® module provides a dedicated wireless connection to your computer
Enhance the audio experience with third-party cloud services such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, and more
Minimize interruptions with up to 20 hours of wireless battery life and time-based power information
Keep focused for hours with a comfortable, lightweight design, stainless-steel headband, and angled earcups
Collaborate in person instantly with Conversation Mode, which allows you to hear people and your surroundings clearly without removing your headphones
Enjoy a better listening experience with active equalization technology that provides rich, immersive audio
Like the existing Bose QuietComfort series of over-the-ear headphones, the NC 700s aim to deliver high-quality audio while canceling out the noise around you.
But the main reason to get these headphones over the others in Bose's lineup is to make talking to people easier, not to enhance your listening experience.
If you need to make a call in public, these might be your best bet.
This is achieved with a four-microphone system that isolates your voice. When we tried it, a bit of outside sound briefly penetrated to the other side a few times, but overall, the feature worked.
This might be a niche feature, especially seeing as younger people seem to be ditching voice calls. But if you're keen to do business from a Starbucks or noisy airport, it's legitimately useful.
Function and form, all in one
The Bose 700s are pretty handsome. Bose has taken a completely different design approach with these wireless headphones, and overall, the one-piece aesthetic looks very sleek indeed.
The headphones, which come in black and silver, are crafted around a stainless steel headband. Seamlessly transitioning from a flat to a cylindrical shape, the headphones can be adjusted by simply sliding the earcups up and down the headband, which avoids breaking the smooth lines of the design with clunky sliders.
The stainless-steel headband feels reliable and the rubber padding on its interior rests well on the top of your head. Additionally, The earcups have also been streamlined; eschewing the pleated fabric used in the QuietComfort range further heightens that seamless transition from headband to earcup.
While wearing the headphones, we were impressed by how lightweight they felt, with the soft earcups fully enclosing our ears to provide physical noise cancellation, as well as a comfortable fit.
This, alongside the cushioned headband, makes them suitable for long listening sessions, and we can easily see ourselves drifting off on a long-haul flight while wearing them.
The Bose 700s are as easy to use as they are to look at. Pairing is as simple as with any other Bluetooth device. Once you're done with that, there's a typical array of touch commands for skipping songs, accepting phone calls, and other basic actions on the right side.
Then there are three important buttons. The power/Bluetooth button works as intended. After that, there's a dedicated voice assistant button that activates your computer helper of choice, including Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Where the 700s really won me over is the dedicated noise-canceling button on the left ear. A tap will cycle between your three favorite levels of noise cancellation (more on that in a bit), while a hold will pause whatever you're listening to. That's aptly called "Conversation Mode" and it works well enough.
Making it easy to adjust noise cancellation with the press of a button is a very nice touch.
Drown out the world
As far as noise cancellation goes, the 700 headphones do it well. Bose has really outdone itself with the Headphones 700 – and a big part of these cans’ appeal, is the sophistication of the noise cancellation they offer.
Traditionally, noise-cancelling headphones have been designed to block out the environmental sounds around you, so that you can hear your music more clearly (or catch some shut-eye on a noisy flight).
This can be really effective if you’re listening to music. If you’re making a phone call however, the person you’re speaking to can still hear everything that’s happening around you, whether you’re standing on a busy street or trying to speak on a rumbling train.
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 seek to remedy this, by applying noise-cancelation to phone calls as well as music.
Bose says that this can be achieved thanks to an eight-microphone system; six of which enable traditional noise cancelation so you can hear your music uninterrupted.
Two of these microphones are paired with two separate mics, which work together to isolate your voice and reject environmental noise during phone calls. This means that your voice sounds clearer to the person on the end of the line, with less background noise getting in the way of your conversation.
There are 11 noise cancellation settings (the QC35 II’s have three by comparison), which can be controlled via the Bose app; three of which can be selected as presets and toggled through using the physical button on the earcup.
As an aside, the Bose mobile app, where you adjust these settings and otherwise manage the 700s, is a little iffy. You can easily see a list of devices the headphones have paired with, change noise cancellation settings, and set up a voice assistant, which are all great. The only problem I faced was keeping the headphones paired to the app; even when they were paired to my phone, the app didn't always recognize them.
You can totally use the headphones to your heart's content without messing with the app, which might be preferable.
If you’re looking for a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones, then the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are a really good choice.
That being said, you wouldn’t be making a mistake if you opted for the Bose cans instead. Critically acclaimed for their powerful noise cancelling, astonishing sound, and unrivaled voice pickup, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 help turn any space into the perfect place to listen to music, get work done, or just shut out the world for a few moments and relax. So, if you’re looking for the best wireless Bluetooth headphones for music and calls, you’ve found them.