Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have redefined what wireless headphones can do. Keep your head up to the world with easy access to voice assistants — perfect for music, navigation, weather, and more. Confidently take calls or speak to Alexa anywhere. An unrivaled four-microphone system picks up and isolates your voice while cancelling the noise around you. With these Bluetooth headphones, Bose has even improved on what it’s most known for. 11 levels of noise cancellation let you truly personalize your environment. Set it low to let more of the world In, somewhere in the middle, or turn it all the way up to block out the noisy world around you. Signature active EQ promises an immersive listening experience at any volume. Whether you’re relaxing with quiet music or really cranking it, your music sounds like it should. These touch-sensitive wireless headphones are also designed with a streamlined stainless steel headband, and a lightweight, comfortable fit. The intuitive controls keep everything simple — manage volume, calls, and music just by touching the earcup. One touch is all you need to reach Spotify — instantly open your last session by tapping and holding the right earcup. You can repeat this step to discover brand new content. The Bose Music app gives you even more control. The Bluetooth headphones feature up to 20 hours of wireless battery life. Includes Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, USB charging cable, audio cable, and carrying case. Available in Black or Silver.
From the manufacturer
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Instant home office.
Turn any space into the perfect place to listen to music, make phone calls, or get work done. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 reinvent what true wireless headphones are — and redefine what they can be.
An adaptive mic system for superior voice pickup.
Bose headphones 700 feature an unrivaled microphone system that picks up and isolates your voice while cancelling the noise around you. You’ll hear and be heard like never before. These headphones are also optimized for Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.
READ THIS BEFORE BUYING! Ankbit E600 Pro vs Bose 700Can a Bluetooth (BT) headphone that sells for less than $80 beat an expensive Bose BT headphone? Let’s find out!HOW I DISCOVEREDI was ironically turned onto the Bose 700 (proper model name is NC 700) by “Oluv’s Gadgets” video channel, where he ripped the Bose to shreds! (Search for video “Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700-the worst?”) And rightfully so, it turns out. Except at the end, where he did an impressive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) test of multiple headphones along a busy road. (BTW: I and many owe Oluv a donation: he refuses all sponsorships, and Amazon inexplicably de-affiliated him! Check out his videos.) In his video, the NC 700 seemed near-silent compared to the others, which piqued my interest. I’d previously bought the Ankbit (a sub-brand of 1Mii) E600Pro, and was almost over the moon with it, and wondered how much better the Bose could be, at multiples of that price. Not much, it turns out. So this is a comparison, as much as a review.CODECSBose NC 700 HAS NO APTX!! I was shocked: even the Ankbit has AptX! (Update: it does have the proprietary Apple AAC codec, so there’s that.) Not as much a problem, it turns out. SBC should be auditorily indistinguishable at strong signals, and is much more stable when dealing with weak signals. Technically, the lack of AptX should be a con, but strangely for me it became a plus, per real-life experience with AptX stability, and study of Bluetooth codecs. The Ankbit can connect on SBC like all BT speakers, but you can’t override the auto-negotiation. In real life, codecs are a preference which, for most people, will be based on misunderstanding, so focus on compatibility and stability.WIRED CAPABILITYThe Bose NC 700 has a tiny, NON-standard 2.5mm wired headphone jack, NOT the standard 3.5mm (1/8-inch) jack!! The unkindest cut: Bose cheaped out, and this EXPENSIVE headset doesn’t even include an adapter!The Ankbits don’t even need an adapter, but they were STILL nice to include a fancy wired, TRRS smartphone-compatible headphone cable WITH AN INLINE VOLUME CONTROL WIRED REMOTE! Don’t worry, it gets worse!SOUNDThe NC 700 ranges from just “good, but NOT great” in BT (tuned/factory EQ’d) mode, to “bad” in Wired/ANC Off mode, to “downright awful” in Wired/ANC On mode! Yeah, you can install a famously INTRUSIVE Bose app into your inner sanctum and try to make it sound better in Bluetooth mode than Bose themselves could, with your own custom EQ. But the Ankbit sounds unbelievable right out of the box in BT mode, and still sounds pretty good in both wired (ANC On AND Off) modes. Surprisingly, the Ankbits had actually MORE bass in wired (no factory tuning) mode, which is slightly boomy: the Ankbit’s BT tuning actually flattens the bass, reserving a bass bump for the lowest registers, making it have incredible bass for music, while amazingly also not interfering with spoken word. Sidenote: something I’ve not seen anyone discuss, even “Oluv’s Gadgets” is the COMPRESSION EFFECT (lack of dynamic range), which is in addition to the Bose’s poor frequency response. The Ankbit is fully dynamic-sounding. The Bose’s true auditory flaws: the dearth of bass, combined with a lack of dynamic range, strangely make them excel at lengthy speech. If you listen primarily to talk, or just loathe bass for some reason, or you think I’m an idiot and that you can hear better than me, the Bose should do well for you. I still prefer the Ankbit overall, including for speech, partly due to their comfort. I’ll give you a perfect analogy: the Bose 700 sounds like ‘a decent $40 BT headphone’. I have one, I know. It’s amazing what 40 bucks will buy now, but it’s not the same as the Ankbit E600Pro at a higher price (you can also get promotions via 1Mii’s newsletter). Which makes it even more baffling, that at [many times] the price of a median headset for the Bose, you get sound on-par with a median headset. (And far worse in wired modes.) In BT (tuned/EQ’d) mode, while not an enormous difference side by side, it’s enough of a difference—for me—to actually “enjoy” the music, vs not enjoy it (“meh”). But I am finicky with audio. So, I wouldn’t rely on the Bose if I could only have one headset. And noise cancellation had better be VERY high on your priority list. Also, there are many complaints of Bose users trying to use this headset for PC work, especially Microsoft Teams. Bose even sells an overpriced USB dongle to try to address the issue. Another Bose fail. UPDATE: there are “Bose NC 700 HP teardown” videos, where you can see how ridiculously tiny the drivers (speakers) are in relation to earcup size. Furthermore, Bose muffles the drivers by mostly covering them with what looks like a layer of thick aluminum foil, possibly to protect what may be an ANC mic suspended over the center of each driver. The small drivers themselves seem like afterthoughts, and further explain the low weight.NOISE CANCELLATIONThe Bose’s drivers are curved toward the ear canal by plastic ‘ramps’ or inserts. This apparently necessitates a small driver, hence reduced bass, and lower sound quality generally. I believe this is a tradeoff to achieve better ANC, which is where this product shines, NOT for music quality. As expected, the Bose is the clear winner in ANC over the Ankbit, altho the Ankbit does quite well. The Bose adds to this by apparently being one of the few who provide ANC to your audience in phone/headset mode (I haven’t verified this). My female partner (who I’ve determined has low-frequency hearing loss) can’t understand me with ANC on. Whereas I can understand everyone just fine, as long as I pause whatever’s playing. So ‘voice cancellation’ depends on your hearing ability. And ANC will block deep voices better. Bose provides 3 levels of ANC from the headphones, but my partner and I only ever use On and “Off” (“transparent mode”), so the Medium just gets in the way. We both prefer Ankbit’s physical slider switch, easier and simpler on/off for ANC (which still works when BT is off, BTW). With the NC 700, ANC IS NEVER OFF!! Level “0” is “Transparency Mode”, which actually AMPLIFIES ambient sound!! That’s fine, but let me fully turn the ANC mics off, if I want to! That also affects battery life. I think you might be able to fully disable ANC in the app, but then AFAIK you’re stuck with no ANC at all, so the solution is worse than the problem.CHARGINGThe Bose 700’s can’t charge while listening, did you know that?Yeah, they completely shut off when you plug in.The Ankbits happily charge while listening.Both charge via USB-C.The Ankbit included a charging cable (USB A to C, which is perfect for users with older tech who might not have a USB-C cable). The Bose included NOTHING. Except a fake ‘quick start guide’, which only insisted (in about 29 languages) that you install their app immediately!SELF-NOISEHiss or white noise from the ANC and BT circuitry is endemic in BT headphones. And BT headphones and speakers will quickly mute their output when you pause media, so it’s difficult to study their true self-noise when transmitting sound. Self-noise (both in ANC/Standby, and while playing) is low on the Ankbit, but even lower on the Bose—but still detectable in a quiet environment. I’d say the Bose has quieter circuitry overall, including while playing. However, with the Ankbit you can truly disable ANC, which means ‘no’ noise when in Standby (nothing playing). If you’re in a truly quiet environment and not playing anything, you won’t need ANC, but it’s still on with the Bose, so the hiss is there too, right when you could actually be bothered by it.If there is background noise, you probably won’t be able to notice any hiss on either.BATTERY LIFEI feel like the Bose rated hours is overly-optimistic. It doesn’t take long to go from 100% to 70% state of charge (SOC). The headset feels light, and sacrificing battery size had to be part of that. The other culprit is that ANC is never truly off, in any powered-on mode. Everyone knows ANC saps battery. Even if it’s just sitting on your chest, ANC is active, and the battery’s draining. The Ankbit will go for literally days with ANC off. Bose loses again. UPDATE: from the teardown videos, the NC 700 battery is 630 mAH (small). Ankbit claims an 1100 mAH capacity for the E600Pro, almost double, while probably also using less electricity, so that explains that.COMFORTThe Ankbit E600 Pro is definitely the clear upset winner, despite being slightly heavier. Bigger, wider cups FTW—and they fold, UNLIKE the Bose. The Achilles heel of the E600Pro is Ankbit/1Mii made the headband too long (the only fix is to wrap something around the headband). The NC 700 simply fits small (female-medium and smaller) heads better. The Bose cups touch my ears; Ankbit’s don’t. Bose earcups are tighter, and disappointingly vinyl-covered, not fabric. The 700’s are not uncomfortable, but the E600Pro is one of the most comortable headphones I’ve ever worn. Ankbit wins again. I will say that I suspect the Bose design feels more sturdy. Neither are ‘creaky’, but the Ankbit feels more plasticky and fragile, and I’ve seen photos of broken Ankbit arms, but not Bose 700’s (other Bose, yes). It doesn’t seem common at this point, but Ankbit shouldn’t use thin structural plastic. And I’ve had the plastic arm on a cheaper, gently-used BT headset break recently, so now I’m worried. The Bose 700 uses plastic for structure, but seems stronger. I’ve tried 2 wraps to lower the Ankbit’s headband height for my partner, the simplest being an ACE bandage. Both worked for her, though we shouldn’t need to do that. Even without the wrap, the large cups provided a bit of extra travel on her head, so it still fit, despite being too low.ANCBose wins: this is really what you’re paying the high price for. But NEITHER are substitutes for real hearing protection (I’ve experimented). ANC can be helpful for less-serious noise like a vacuum cleaner or blender, but NOT as range earmuffs, etc. On that note, the Bose would give me weird, somewhat-painful pops from the speaker in the ear closer to a significant noise, such as blenders. So it really wasn’t even useful for that. The Ankbit’s noise cancellation wasn’t good enough to run a blender AND hear my program, unless I turned it up to unhealthy levels, though it was helpful if Paused. Earmuffs were just better. Where ANC shines is background noise, such as air conditioners and traffic. Bose is the pioneer in ANC, back to the 1980s, but you’ll pay for it. The noise cancellation reaches into higher frequencies than its competitors, due to more mics, better processing, and probably that weird ‘ramp’ inside the earcups (which ensuing small drivers I think are the culprit for the crap audio quality).VOICE PROMPTSThe NC 700 is overly-active with voice prompting, with a full TTS engine that sounds suspiciously like Microsoft’s “Zira” voice, but some will like that. At least the Bose briefly pauses your media whenever it does one of its many prompts. But the auto-pausing can cause problems, or just not work at all with certain applications (in whole, it’s a plus). The Ankbit features the famously-bad Chinese computer lady saying “ANC on”, but thankfully that’s the only voice prompt, the rest are beeps. The audio prompts of both the Bose and Ankbit are both too loud (hurts my ears, which is ironic for devices that are supposed to block noise). The best thing is that the Bose can actually verbally tell you the SOC (and WILL tell you, when you turn it on—even if you don’t want it to), whereas the Ankbit won’t bug you about battery level until it’s already unhealthily low, so you have to be more proactive.APPI encourage all users to NOT use “apps”, unless they’re genuinely necessary or important to you. Even then, for security I’d encourage you to install those apps on a “low security” device. I think it’s crazy for people to do online banking on mobile devices, but it’s somehow common. Let’s put it this way: any device you’d do banking on, you shouldn’t install apps randomly, especially on Android. There is no difference between “security” and “privacy”. Bluetooth headphone apps are notorious for stabbing you in the back. Bose was not the only one discovered to be doing highly questionable things with their app. REMEMBER, these headphones have MICROPHONES, plus the apps can monitor mobile device activity and location. Bose furthermore infamously forced everyone to REGISTER just to use their app. It later blew up in their face, and I’m taking off an extra star just for this. I find the ability to customize an EQ compelling, but I’d rather have a device which didn’t need its sound tweaked in the first place. Being extremely finicky, but also anti-app, I took a chance on the Ankbit E600Pro, which has no app. Thankfully, my gamble paid off. I’m overjoyed by the Ankbit’s sound. I don’t plan to install the Bose app, because I didn’t buy the Bose for music (luckily). But if I do, it won’t be on a device I use regularly, and I’ll probably uninstall it when I get the EQ I wanted anyway. I also won’t give Bose any genuine personal info, nor should you, but they can probably figure out a lot anyway, depending your device. The Bose app EQ isn’t very sophisticated anyway (not many bands). I’ll just keep the crappy default tuning, as it works for speech, and these headphones will never be great for music. I have better stuff for that.. including the Ankbit.SWAGGERI despise the idea of buying/not buying a practical item based on looks or social BS. Both the Ankbit and Bose have a narrow headband profile which doesn’t look as chunky as many over-the-ear ‘phones. Of course the Bose “look” better, but you pay a price for the ‘spacey’ design: they don’t fold, and hair can get trapped easier in those ‘poles’. Though I hardly have any hair-pulling with either, I have less with the Ankbit (virtually none, it’s amazing). For those of yous who would buy Bose based on ‘impressing’ people, I’ll tell you that true audio enthusiasts almost universally dislike Bose, and oftentimes despise them. Bose is no ‘hood ornament’ for me, it’s a mark of shame. The one thing I respect by Bose, is their ANC headsets. They make (expensive ones) for pilots, and I think were first to market with ANC. That’s where my respect stops, and the “app” beef set the disrespect in stone. Bose is always-overpriced stuff that usually sounds ‘good’ but not ‘great’. I think both “Ankbit” and “1Mii” are ridiculous names, but the company has pretty solid (China-based) support, and a warehouse in the US. I can’t speak firsthand about Bose support.CONTROLSI don’t hate the Bose touch controls as much as I thought. Volume control can be more nuanced than the Ankbit, depending device. I still prefer well-implemented physical buttons. I’ve had numerous times when the touch-sensitive area rested on my shoulder or hands, and unexpectedly announced the battery SOC. You also can’t use most gloves. But the Projected Capacitive Touch Sensor is well-implemented.CONCLUSIONYou don’t always get what you pay for. There are better choices for a lot less money, EXCEPT if you want the best ANC (and ANC for the microphone)—and are willing to endure Diminishing Returns for it. The Bose was an expensive experiment and gamble, but since my life partner and I were ‘fighting’ over the Ankbit, we needed another. And since the Ankbit was a bit too big for her, and I like to experiment, I held my nose and tried the Bose. I went into this knowing the Bose music quality would be sub-par. But we mainly use headphones for speech, so adding wireless has been liberating. I wanted to experience the state of the art with ANC. I nearly bought a Bluetooth-equipped ‘hearing-protection’ type muff, but thought we’d have comfort issues (she hates having her “head squeezed”). Pay your luxury tax and sacrifice music quality if you want the best ANC there is (but not the best “muffling”: true hearing protection earmuffs will still blow it away). Despite the fact that the Ankbit doesn’t even fit her right due to the too-long headband, my LP still says she would STILL choose the Ankbit, if she could only have ONE (though due to the fitment issue—and that alone—it was a hard question for her). That’s even if I didn’t wrap the headband to bulk it up! That’s saying a lot. And she claims even she can discern the better music quality of the Ankbit. That’s saying a lot too!
Dave & Laura –
Non-Biased Review of Beats vs Sony WH-1000MX3 / WH-1000MX4 vs Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700This review is my personal experience using both headphones. I recently lost my Sony Headphones and decided to buy Bose Headphones. Here are some differences I have found between all three, and how I feel currently using Bose Headphones.Make sure you update any headphones firmware, some issues you may experience could be fixed (with any electronic). Understand that headphones in a warehouse are likely from the year they were manufactured, and first versions of anything tend to be buggy.PERSONAL USAGEI use these headphones primarily for work. I’ve been full time remote for over two years doing software development. I have ADHD and having noise cancelling headphones is a must to keep my attention on work. We use mostly Slack and Zoom as our means of communication. Otherwise, I’m listening to music or the occasional YouTube TV.PERSONAL PREFERENCESI really don’t like using in the ear headphones. They hurt my ears after an hour or so and never were a long-term solution. Over the ear headphones was what I liked the best since that’s what works for me. This has been throughout my life, and they tend to fall out.BEATS – NOT FOR ME OR MY HEADMy first pair of headphones were Beats Solo. I was really impressed with wireless headphones in general. Eventually after the Solos started to fall apart, I decided to get Beats Studio 3. These worked much better for my head, as these were truly over my year, which I prefer.The functionality is about the same between the two. With a lot of usage, the earpieces came worn out and unglued and I had to buy replacements. Compatible quality replacements are about $30 from different manufacturers.• Pros – Lots of colors. Foldable, and buttons are more clicks than touch sensitivity. Useful when sweating or outdoor use.• Cons – Quality. Wore down quickly and were not a long-term solution. Paying more for royalties to Dr. Dre than quality assurance in general. Feel cheap.FIRST DECISION – Sony WH-1000MX3I was fortunate to try out both headphones from a family member. I was skeptical about Sony since it wasn’t the name brand Bose was for what I wanted. I really like how they felt on my head, and they didn’t hurt after wearing them for hours.There wasn’t a noticeable difference in sound quality. Features needed matched what I needed at the time and figured there was no point in spending more. My work-at-home situation was different, and I was at home around 40% of the time. The case was useful when transporting in my backpack back and forth to work.Once I transitioned to full time work-at-home, some of the features that I found useful weren’t available on the Sony’s. One big thing I would like to see is app integration. Mute / Unmute for Slack and Zoom would really be a great feature. Understandably, these are headphones, and are limited to what Bluetooth has to offer.The app is useful, and more powerful with customization than the other two. I found I used it a couple of times.Over the three years I’ve used these, the product quality and sound we’re just like day 1. These headphones seem to be built better than the other two.• Pros –Very durable and well built. Sound quality is great and felt good after a day’s work. Slept with these on a bus trip. That was my last memory. Cheaper than the Bose. Foldable, smaller case.• Cons – Less features than the Bose. Misses on some sweet spots. Harder to see which is left and right when putting them on, but not really a big deal.SECOND DECISION – Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700Once I realized I may never see my beloved Sony Headphones again, I needed something right away since work call quality was terrible. Before I pulled the trigger on the same Sony’s, I wanted to look at to what Bose offered that Sony didn’t. The biggest was a feature to mute / unmute. When pouring over reviews like this one, that feature was worth paying up. Since these are new headphones, I am still getting used to the controls.I’ve only had these for a month. Was it worth paying up for it? Honestly, I don’t know yet. There are more controls on the headphones which I’m figuring out.So based on a month, here’s what I found• Pros – Seems like better sound quality. More features and possible mute integration.• Cons – Price and unproven personal durability experience.TLDR / OVERALL REVIEWI won’t even compare the Beats headphones. Sony and Bose are a step way above Beats.METRICS• Sound Quality – Bose slightly. My ears are bad, I’m not an audiophobia as others may be. Spotify is what I listen to primarily. The slight edge goes to Bose, only because it’s a small enough difference.• Mute / Unmute – Bose. The main reason for choosing Bose instead of Sony for my current headphones.• Noise Cancelling – Leaning towards Bose. There is customization of three different settings within the Bose app to set up preferences from 0-10. Sony sort of has the same thing, but not directly.• Microphone – Sony. Never had any issues of cutting out or “robo voice”. Initially I am “cutting out” and “in a wind tunnel” from peers.• Bose – Multiple Device Connectivity (multiple Bluetooth Connections) was a feature I didn’t even think about. Bose allows for multiple connections which comes in handy. I found myself unpairing and pairing devices with Sony. It was sort of a hassle that seemed unnecessary. If the Bluetooth source device is off, it should default to another.• Headset Features, Bose wins. Although I haven’t had the time to get into what the buttons do, there are more of them. The buttons themselves seem a little better than the Sony’s.• Headset Quality – Sony. I really don’t care for the artsy plastic that goes over the top of your head. Sony also folds up where Bose doesn’t. An argument can be made that the Bose are lighter than the Sony’s, but that didn’t matter to me.• In the box – Sony slightly. Sony included an airplane adapter where Bose did not. I prefer the case from Sony than I do from Bose.• Daily Use – Too Early to determine, likely Sony. Sony’s headphones were excellent, as of now I haven’t used the Bose headphones.• Bluetooth Range – Bose decisively. Bluetooth location hasn’t changed. Dead spots where I wore my Sony’s didn’t exist with the Bose. There is a little bit of breakup in the headphones in dead spots, but nearly not as much as the Sony’s.• Companion Application – Bose. Much more customization of buttons versus Sony.WINNER – SonyI’m going to put a disclaimer on this, so take this for what it is.With my new set of Bose Headphones, there is a problem with the microphone. Assuming that this was just a fluke, I returned them since they were defective. So, my review is irrelevant of that from that aspect.Both are great, I lean Sony just because of the price difference.I wanted to give the Bose Headphones a little more time before getting a refund and getting the Sony’s again. Right now, they’re cutting out where Sony rarely did that. Even in that case, my computer was slow, or the application used went haywire. That’s something that’s a no-go for me. I ended up contacting Bose support, went through the normal stuff, is your battery charged, are you far away to a point they created a return ticket for a replacement. Once sent in, they would give me a new pair within 5 business days.Fortunately, after writing this review, I ended up finding my missing Sony headphones, which would be what I would have bought instead of a Bose replacement.As with any review, only you can decide if the extra money for Bose is worth it. I can see it both ways. For me, these headphones are for basic usage. The extra money wasn’t worth the upgrade. Defective products happen. I just hoped that their flagship headphones would have worked better. Regardless, spending hundreds of dollars to replace something missing is an instant return anyway.I hope this helped someone. Sorry for too much text.
Jason Brannock –
AwfulI left a lengthy review comparing the Jabra Evolve2 85 (E285) vs Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II (QC35II) vs Bose Noise Cancelling 700 (B700) vs Sony WH-1000XM4 (SX4) (in order of when I received them) for the E285. With the full review there, I’ll keep this one more focused on N700 vs E285. This was almost entirely written up during the week I had all four headsets for direct comparisons.Microphone and PlaybackThe B700 was not tested because there were enough other reasons not to even consider them. Win for E285. Runner up is SX4.Audio Output – DISCLAIMER – I’m not an audiophileE285 and SX4 audio sound better than the QC35II but primarily because I can use an equalizer and increase bass (obviously this is the most important factor). I couldn’t get the “thump” from the B700 no matter what I tried. The B700 does have an EQ, but it’s far more basic than what Jabra and Sony offer, like a ball point pen vs a fountain pen. Sure, the ball point will get the message across, but one can’t deny the fountain pen its grace as it glides like butter across the page, leaving streaks of variable line widths and drawing you in –sorry, wrong review. Win for SX4. Runner up is E285.BrandBose: wanted my location and would ask for it every time I open the app (and wouldn’t allow usage without accepting beyond the standard Bluetooth connection process). These are headphones. You don’t need my location. There are two different apps and both suck, but the one for B700 is especially awful (Bose Music). Just the first time using the app for setup, it crashed. It periodically failed to detect the headphones, even after the latest firmware instalment. It’s worth mentioning the Bose Music app is far worse than the other Bose app (QC35II uses Bose Connect). I had far too many connectivity issues within the first hour to justify keeping the B700 (yes, I requested a return within an hour).Jabra: doesn’t require my location. Instead, it lets me know if I desire to give it my location, it will use it to locate my headphones. No, but thank you for giving me an actual choice!ANCWhen playing on a drumpad, the E285 did a noticeably better job than the other headsets. It sounds like the pad is being muffled (which is what I’m looking for), whereas the others don’t quite succeed. Again, B700 was not put through this test because it sucks.In addition, the hear-through function of the E285 is awesome. The E285 hear-through, which has adjustable levels, almost makes it sound like you’re not wearing them (tested at maximum hear-through). Win for E285. Runner up is SX4.ConnectivityThe E285 and SX4 have longer ranges than the QC35II. The E285, most of the time, reconnects automatically when coming back into range. QC35II, SX4, and E285 have a 3.5 mm jack. Why doesn’t the B700? Because it sucks.Double-connection to my PC (independent of range): E285 is easier because it’s just plug-and-play, no downloads or “connecting”. Didn’t bother trying the B700 because of the numerous issues with just one connected device. An added feature of the Jabra is Jabra Direct, a software you can download to better manage your Jabra. It gives you a few more options and is worth using, in this writer’s humble opinion.Response time: the QC35II and B700 have a slightly faster response time when pausing media than the E285. The SX4 is the fastest, though we’re talking minute (not 60 seconds) differences. The E285 is on the cusp of being slow enough to be annoying, but not quite. The E285 and SX4 also have the cool feature of pausing media when the headphones are removed from your skull. Put succinctly, the E285 needs work, especially when using it with the PC. But at least it has it!App connectivity: some issues with E285. Some issues with SX4. Some issues with QC35II (Bose Connect). LOTS of issues with B700 (Bose Music). Unfortunately, apps are prone to some bugs every now and then; unless you’re Bose Music, in which case you’re a swarm of locusts after a century rest furiously attacking unsuspecting victims taking what was supposed to be a nice meander down the side of the Nile River. Does it remind you of a curse? It should. I succumbed to believing the $400 I used to purchase them came from the time I was standing on a burial ground when my check came through my account. I can’t say which of the two (Sony/Jabra) had more, so neither bothered me much. Winner is SX4 (better media response time). Runner up is E285.Voice AssistantCouldn’t even get B700 to work. First off, I have to change the “action” button from ANC control to activate voice assistant (so you can’t have both functionalities at the same time). However, once button mapping was adjusted accordingly, I click the button and it says “open your Google Assistant settings”, with no further instructions. I open the Home app, and once again, no further instructions, so I didn’t get it working. I didn’t spend anymore time on it because in contrast, the E285 and SX4 worked exactly as expected. No setup or anything, I just pushed the button and my assistant came up. The caveat for the E285 is you have to pull down the boom arm to use the feature. Perhaps Bose has better functionality when used with Alexa, but I use Google so I’m not bothering with testing that. Tie between E285 and SX4.I know this is extremely nit-picky, but the Bose assistant’s voice is far more annoying than Jabra or Sony. She sounds like an actual robot as opposed to someone I wouldn’t mind meeting.ControlsOn the E285, the buttons take up little surface area and are rather flat. After just a little use of the “touchless” controls (B700 and SX4), I can see their usefulness. It’s certainly easier to play/pause music and use the Voice Assistant (which is no easier to actually setup because Bose sucks). Changing volume is annoying because every click up/down requires an extra swipe. As debilitating as this is, one would not likely be changing by a bunch of increments at a time. Between the B700 and SX4, I found the pole in the B700 to be much more in the way and therefore the SX4 provides better usability. After more use of the touchless controls, I much prefer the them over the physical ones. Win for SX4. Runner up is E285.Comfort and StyleWhile the B700 has the tightest grip, it actually slides off the easiest, I guess because the top band is the slimmest of the pickings. Also, it’s far easier to accidentally move the ear cups because they’re really loosely attached to their sliding pole. Win for QC35II. Runner up is E285/SX4 (just as comfortable). Don’t care to spend time rating the B700.ExtraThe E285 has the hear-through feature, which I really like because I use ANC only when there are sounds I actively don’t want to listen to, like from mine or my roommate’s drumming, running water, laundry, phone call, or pooping with the fan on. Other than those times, I want some awareness of my surroundings because there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get the attention of someone with headphones on (especially at work). In addition, the E285 and SX4 have ear detection (discussed previously). The E285 has a great way of handling multiple calls with its huge button on the right cuff. You can switch between two phone calls by putting one on hold and accept/end/reject calls using it. This is RARELY used, but it’s cool.IssuesB700: flat out sucks with just ONE connection. I’m constantly having to manually re-connect, and not just a simple “re-connect”; I mean force-stopping the app, forgetting the headset from my phone and vice-versa, holding down the Bluetooth button to make the app realize it’s there, allowing my phone to pair, etc. Over and over. Can’t imagine the issues I’d be having if I set it up with two devices.There’s some variability with the Google Assistant functionality with the E285. At the very least, the action button on the arm activates the assistant. But sometimes the input for said assistant is on the phone rather than the arm. Most of the time it works as expected. I think the additional connection to the PC adds complexity that needs to be vetted out for seamless functionality for the E285.Final verdict, best to worst: E285, SX4 (killer – no mute function, worse hear-through), QC35II (killers – older BT connection, worse audio, poor ANC). Literally wouldn’t buy B700.UPDATE: It’s been several weeks since I returned all but the Jabra Evolve2 85 (I use it 3-10 hours every single day) and my final rating is four stars while I give the B700 one star. When the E285 works, it’s great. But it doesn’t work all the time, unfortunately. But the B700 was far more aggravating and there was no comparison between it and the other three headphones. Also, Bose REQUIRES your location, which is extremely stupid. They’re headphones, you don’t need my location. While I ultimately ended up with the E285, if muting yourself directly from your headset isn’t important to you and you’re not typically in a noisy environment during calls, then I would honestly recommend the Sony WH-1000XM4.
A. Clark Fine Art –
Quiet the world without sacrificing the Music’s quality! Amazing sound, features & Alexa enabled!The noise cancellation is exceptional on these headphones. With 10 levels I can block out most of what is going on around me, when it is safe to do so. If you are someone that startles easily, like myself, you will probably get scared a lot because you will not hear what or who is walking up behind you. My husband finds this very humorous.The sound quality was every bit of what I expected from Bose. Crisp, rich audio, with an amazing range of clarity, from your treble to mid tones and excellent bass. It’s easy to slip into your own little oasis with these on.They are also quite comfortable, their padded band and ear cups are soft and do not apple much pressure against your head. They are very light weight and I can wear them for hours without issue.The included case is well made, sturdy and not overly bulky allowing my to pack it and take it with me anywhere. It has a storage compartment for your cables so you always know where they are.The battery life is excellent! I can go days without charging, but if I do need to charge, they replenish quite quickly and I am right back in business. I have easily gotten a full 20 hour charge out of these. I like that when you turn them on they immediately tell you how many hours they have left on their current charge and what devices they are connected to. This makes it easy to check how long you can use them on their current charge, before you head out somewhere where you might not have access to a plug. I found the time they tell me I have left on my charge to be quite accurate. I am able to connect to more than one device (like my iPhone and iPad) and they intuitively play the sound from the device I am using at the moment. I love that feature it’s easy to switch from watching something on my iPad to listening to music from my phone. Bose also includes a cable so you can plug directly to your device and go wired. I have not used this feature because the battery life is so long, I have not run into a situation where it was necessary.The buttons and touch features of these headphones are wonderful. I can turn Alexa (Siri or Google) on or off depending on my needs. I can control the volume sliding my finger up or down on the surface of one ear and can tap to pause and swipe to change songs. With one button I can rotate between 3 levels of noise cancellation that I can set within my app. I have not had the chance to utilize some of the AR on these yet but cannot wait to try it on our next vacation, it will be like bringing along our own tour guide.I love that Alexa is built in. I’m an artist and when I’m painting in my studio it is very nice to be able to use Alexa to change my music without needing to touch my device or my headphones.I saved and waited to get these after trying them and comparing to the Sony competitive model and I am so glad I did. I found the bass of the Sony WH1000 series to be a little scratchy sounding and the overall sound just wasn’t as crisp as the Bose 700 series. I had a pair of Cowin E-7s and those, while they were great at their price point and did the job while I was saving up for these, they just weren’t even in the same class as the Bose 700. These, in my opinion (and I spent a lot of time putting headphones on and off, listening to how everything sounded on each), set the bar and everything else is just trying to measure up. Only the Sony WH1000 series could come close, but for me their sound quality still fell short. The only way to describe it was, you knew you were listening to a recording, whereas the sound from the Bose 700, you could close your eyes and it sounded like you were listening to it actually being played by the artist live the sound is just that crisp and clear no echo or scratch it’s clear vibrant and rich, everything I expected from Bose.I am very happy with my purchase, they were worth the wait and I would certainly recommend them to everyone!One Note I have very sensitive sinuses and when I put on noise canceling headphones, I can actually feel a pressure in my ears and sinus cavities, this does happen with the Bose as well (it happens with every brand I have tried if the cancellation is of any really quality). That said it does not deter me, nor do I feel it’s would be a reason I wouldn’t recommend them or give them a lower star rating. I can feel it when I activate the noise cancellation at its max level but everyone else I have asked to try them, can’t. So chances are very likely this will not be something that the average person even realizes. I can still use the noise cancellation and can block out enough that I never hear my husband walk into my studio until he taps me on the shoulder and scared the heck out of me. I only include this info in case there are others out there that also experience this, with the Bose 700 you can control the levels and it’s easy to step your way up through 10 levels of cancellation and find one that blocks the noise out, while still being comfortable to your sinuses. That is why I would recommend to everyone! Other headphones are cancellation on or off and if you are sensitive to it that can render the feature useless. Again not the case with the Bose 700 series. I use this feature all the time, have found the level that is perfect for me and the noise cancellation is amazing. It is so nice to finally be able to use this feature.I will also add that unlike other headphones the noise cancellation does not affect the quality of the sound I am listening to either! I have tried many where the sound completely changes the moment you turn it on, not with these. The sound remains crisp and rich and clear as it did without the noise cancellation. The only difference is the world around you gets quieter and the music sounds amazing! If you read this whole review Thank You if you are considering these headphones and trying to compare, in my opinion there is no comparison and I don’t think you will be disappointed choosing the Bose 700 series. I hope this info helped.
Great Sound, Terrible Software*Introduction:I bought the Bose NC 700 right around the new year in 2021, so about a month ago. Like many people, I’ve been working from home for the past year. However, I have 2 young children who can get noisy, so I wanted some noise cancelling headphones. Also, I like listening to music and gaming, so I’ll address that as well. Here is my review, broken down by subject:*Noise Cancelling:When I set out to get a pair of noise cancelling headphones, my main priority was, of course, noise cancelling. Naturally, I gravitated towards Bose due to their fantastic history here. I have never owned a pair of active noise cancelling headphones before, so I can’t really compare to anything. However, I can say they are amazing. Any low-frequency constant noise is basically gone. I have a small office room with 2 central air registers; I can’t hear either of them with the headphones on. I can hear my kids when they are loud, but the “punch” is gone, and it feels like it takes a level 10 crying baby, down to a level 7. All of this is without music on. Turn any music on, and it becomes near impossible to hear anything. I mean it; turn on some rock or rap and kiss noise goodbye. I’m sure the offerings from other companies are great too, but these are wonderful at noise cancelling.*Sound Quality:Sound quality is difficult to measure as it’s subjective, so I’ll try my best. I think the Bose NC 700’s sound quality is pheromonal. I can hear lots of fine detail, and nothing has ever felt clipped or muddy, unless the music itself is. I personally really like the sound signature (think how the headphones are tuned, not how “good” they are), but a lot of people want more bass. Keep in mind, these do have good bass, but they won’t turn your brain to mush. I am not a bass lover, so these are great for me. I typically stream Spotify from my computer or phone at the highest quality setting and set the app’s EQ (see below for more info) to low = 0, mid = 2, high = 5. So, if you really want bass, I would try the Sony XM4’s, but these sound really good and clear.*Design / Comfort:This is probably the trickiest for me to review. I’ll start with looks. I think they look cool and different from other headphones. They have a good amount of adjustability and feel pretty solid. They have 3 physical buttons: a noise cancellation level button, and voice assistant button, and a Bluetooth pairing / power button. However, I do not like the silicone headband. It feels cheap (to me at least) and isn’t overly comfortable. It doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t feel good. Same goes for the leatherette ear cups. They’re fine, but do not feel premium. For nearly $400 I want something more luxurious. As a quick aside I’m 6’ 4” and wear glasses. After 6 ish hours wearing these off and on the tops of my ears where my glasses sit starts to hurt. The clamping force (for me) is a bit tight. You can reduce the clamping force by extending the earcups, but for my head it makes the earcups be too low, and that’s not comfortable either. It’s not a terrible thing, but I’m usually happy to take them off at the end of the day. That’s still almost a full work day’s time which is pretty good.*Battery life:They are advertised for 20 hours, I’m not sure how much time I actually get but it sounds about right. I usually charge them every other day or every 2 days. I like the battery is measured in hours rather than percentage. Since I don’t travel this isn’t a big deal anyways, but you can get better battery life from other headphones.*Touch controls:Touch controls work fine for me. I think this comes down to preference. I’ve had no trouble getting used to them, even swiping up/down for volume. Somehow the volume swipe considers your speed or force to change how much you adjust volume per swipe. A full swipe up / down is about 25/30% in windows.*Bose Music App:This section (and the next) is where my review goes off a cliff. I hate the app. When I first got the headphones, the “simple” paring that the little user pamphlet outlined didn’t work. I had to manually pair through my phone. When pairing with my windows 10 laptop, I initially couldn’t get it to work at all. I had to find this post: Steps to pair NC 700 headphones with Windows 10 – Bose Community – 293028 to get it to work. Also, my headphones came uncharged. Between the lack of charge and Bluetooth issues it took about 30-45 minutes before I first heard anything with the headphones.Sometimes, when you open to music app to change to EQ or something else, your headphones will not be detected. The only solution I’ve found so far is to reboot. This is extremely annoying since it takes about 10-15 seconds to reboot your headphones (see below for why that is).Another annoyance is that the self-voice level option for when you’re in headset mode is buried withing the app settings. This should be part of the initial settings when you first open the app. You also cannot map it to a tap combo short cut. I would love to be able to do that since I’m adjusting all the time due to my surrounding sound levels when I’m on a call.1 Last thing, and I wasn’t sure whether to put this in the app or headphone software section. You cannot disable the multiple Bluetooth connection feature. Are you on a zoom meeting on your laptop and you get a call on your phone? Guess what, your audio, both input and output, automatically switch to the phone ringing in your ears. Listening to Spotify on your phone and then the windows chime plays? The windows chime interrupts your music. Even if your windows volume is muted, the audio switch to no sound for the duration of the windows chime. This wouldn’t be a problem, if you could disable the feature. You could unpair and repair devices manually, but if you unpair your phone where the music app is installed, the music app will “forget” the device and you have to go through the setup process again for a new device. It’s mind-boggling stupid and I can’t believe this app made it to market as is. For reference I have a One Plus 6T. Related to this, I’ve never had a successful switch from computer to phone when a call comes in. I can hear the ringing initially, but not the caller once I accept the call. Also, they cannot hear me at all.*Headphone Software:The headphone’s software itself is annoying. Not quite as bad as the app, but far from good. Upon startup, the headphone’s voice will tell you the amount of battery you have left and the 2 devices you’re currently connected to. At first this didn’t bug me, but after a while, it is extremely annoying. Most of the time, I know what devices I’ll be connected to. Just let it be a triple tap shortcut or something similar.Also, there are definite problems somewhere along the chain of input microphone processing. Often my colleagues say I’m cutting in and out when I talk in lower tones. This usually occurs when the central air is running, and it’s input noise canceling is running. As far as I know, there’s no way to reduce or turn off the input noise cancelling. This is frustrating, since one of the selling points for these headphones is good mic quality. It’s very disappointing.*Summary:In summary the headphones sound great, but the day to day software issues make these a hard pass at $400. I don’t have the Sony XM4’s or other competitors for comparison, but I cannot recommend against these headphones enough. This will be the first and last Bose product I will own for a long time.
M. Greenberg –
Tons of great features which keep the headphones around your ears…. but for how long?I’ve owned these for half a day so far and have decided to keep them around. I’m an audiophile who spends money on kickstarter earbuds, custom-made preamps, and (in general) quality hardware which reduces my audio experience as little as possible. Trying these cans in-store at BestBuy allowed me to appreciate the hardware quality of the exterior… quality matte plastic moulding, amazing comfortable faux-leather surfaces on your skin, and a synthesized voice and audible feedback to assist with your navigation of the three hardware buttons and touch controls make these headphones easy to wear during work sessions, public transit commutes, or in a crowded home with loud kids. As a brand new product, the tension on the cans over your ears and on your head can become uncomfortable within an hour of use. Subjectively, I don’t consider my head to be particularly large or larger-than-average and will need to play around with adjusting the cups to sit lower or higher on the band which also release/tighten the tension respectively to see if this becomes a long term problem with use. Taking short breaks with the headphones off (10-15 minutes) helps and gives a good excuse/reminder to take a break from work to relax the body/eyes/ears.The sound quality is reasonable for the headphones. When using the headphones with noise cancellation off, ambient noise seems to lack a very strong low end frequency response (sub ~250Hz, not measured) and might reduce your meatspace experience in some cases where mixed ambient and input audio are desired. That said, direct input still seems to perform quite well with solid frequency response all around which lets the very highs and very lows to be pretty well-balanced.A test using the headset for phone conversation over bluetooth yielded very nice results. The setup involved the cans paired with my laptop streaming music and my Project Fi Pixel 3 phone on standby. Using the Google voice assistant to start the call resulted in some clumsy voice detection/understanding problems (“I’m sorry, I didn’t get that, who would you like to call? I don’t know that name, who would you like to call? Ok, will that be mobile or home? Ok, will that be mobile or home? Dialing…” _sigh_) which I don’t believe are the fault of the cans at all. The test included loud ambient music in the room with the person wearing the headphones and found the other user to experience practically none of the ambient noise through the call with a very clear bead on the callee’s voice despite close proximity to the music source playing at a moderate volume (such that the ambient music was leaking through the room walls and making it hard to isolate whether the headphones were leaking the ambient noise into the call…which it seemed _not_ to do with this casual test setup). Noticeable was the (300-700ms) delay from the user on the headphones which seemed to not be present from the non-headphone user. It was hardly a concern and either due to the latency in the network transmitting the audio (which, again, was a local wifi call between handsets…. though I am unsure if the handsets route audio locally or not) or possibly in the audio processing from the headset. This latency was par for most mobile calls and should be completely unnoticeable in a remote environment when you’re not there to hear to source before the transmitted audio through the headset.A few gripes about the design and ergonomics of the device:- the button placement: very easy to accidentally active these buttons which adjusting the placement of these cans if not aware/careful.- the direction of earcup rotation: when placing the cans around the neck/shoulders, the earcups rotate up (into the air) rather than down (onto your chest). Questionable choice here as it makes the headphones somewhat uncomfortable to hold there, but perhaps Bose never expects you to remove the phones… unsure if that’s a reasonable expectation or not.- the synthetic leather matte black surface inside the top of the headset and on the earcups attract oil and will certainly show for those of us with that sort of skin. This may require some extra TLC and upkeep to keep as pristine as one might like. The white set might fair better in this regard.Overall summary:A pricey purchase that I would have trouble justifying as a personal expense (these were expensed by my employer and intended for daily voice conference usage and isolation during work hours in busy coffee shops) and really comes down to the longevity of the product over time. If these headphones end up lasting me longer than 5 years, I would be VERY satisfied with the purchase. At a price point closer to $250-300, this would be a much easier personal purchase to make.As a user which “babies” their hardware, I am eager to see whether this will stand the test of time. Direct input (from a bluetooth source that is not ambient noise) has a very solid frequency response which does not noticeably detract from the music experience. Longterm use may be uncomfortable depending on your head size. The noise cancellation works wonderfully and almost too well, leaving me at a “5” setting more often than a “10” as complete cancellation feels too isolating and uncomfortable to feeling the lack of “air” around me. BLE connection to multiple devices (two) at once allows for seemless transitions between either input. This is also a first time purchase of a Bose product. Looking forward to seeing how the device matures and support is handled over time. Firmware updates are provided automatically to the headset through their app. Battery life “appears” long but I have yet to complete a full discharge cycle to be sure. I was pleasantly surprised to find the phones report +5 hours of use remaining at 20% battery charge and +20 hours at full charge (the audio assistant delivers the charge level as “hours of use” remaining, not battery level…which is still viewable in the Bose Music app. Nice touch, Bose).
Ian Welch –
Sounds fantastic and the noise cancellation is amazingFirst thing I did was turn on my stereo and test the noise cancelling. I put on a loud song and played with the noise cancelling levels. It really works and makes a huge difference. It’s not a dead silence because that isn’t realistic. But from my perception it cuts 40-50% of the noise down. I look forward to using them when I fly.They sound fantastic. It’s Bose so you know the sound is going to be quality.My Android (Pixel 5) connected to the headset immediately. I’m curious to see how realistic the claimed 20 hour battery life is. The Bose app on Android works is easy to use and has all the adjustments that you need.The ear pads are comfortable. The head padding is comfortable. The headset doesn’t feel like it would be annoying after 30 mins (although I will be testing that). It feels good.I got these on sale for $285 (normally $379). I think $379 is a lot for a headset and so is $285 for that matter. But are worth it at that price point? That’s an individual decision. $285 was my price point.
OK headset with major flaws.These are my work headphones I use in the office and while traveling. I’ve had them just under 2 months and I am already looking to spend my own money on new headphones to replace these. The sound is fine, the noise cancelling is really nice, the mic isn’t good, but better than my previous set. They fit loose but very comfortable when sitting/standing upright and the ascetic style of this headset is pleasing. However, there are big issues that really degrade the experience.Because of how the earcups rotate and how you have to place headset on your head, you cannot use these headphones lying down on your back. The ear cups fold off your head and there is not enough resistance or a locking mechanism to hold them in place. I also mentioned that the headset is loose. For me personally, the band does not provide enough compression to sit snug on the head so when you move around, they tend to slip about too easily. As such, the seal of the earpads is tenuous, causing interruptions of the noise cancelling effect simply by turning your head too quick or you jog a bit to catch a train before the doors close.The touch controls on the headset are not the most responsive, but OK to use from time to time when needed. The buttons are terrible. They give very easily, meaning the slightest touch or even a brush against your coat collar can trigger it. The power button is a single press and not a press-and-hold, which leads to constant accidental power ons and offs when: handling them to put them on/away, while jostling in their case, and when adjusting the cups on your head. A dedicated power switch with some resistance to prevent accidental power on/offs would be much better. The problem here is the headset has an auto off function and you can change the time the headset stays on for. Some might utilize this feature, but I never do; personally, it’s a hindrance. The mute button is right next to the power button so reaching for mute is a 70/30 chance you hit the right button. The only way you can tell you are muted/un-muted is a voice notification right when it happens, there are no LED or physical switch orientations to tell you otherwise.With there being two buttons, one on the left cup and one on the right cup, and having the touch zone on the earcup, you would think the required phone app would allow you a lot of customization…NOPE. You can customize one button and you have two options for it. That’s it. The app is terrible and a huge contributor to why I dislike this headset. In order to connect the headset, you have to go through the app and I never know when it’s actually connected. It will say I’m connected, but I get no audio and no mic. I can’t simply disconnect and reconnect the headset through the phone settings, you have to use the app too. Then the headphones won’t go into pairing mode and the app can’t find them. It’s incredibly annoying, especially when you need to connect for a meeting and the required software is impeding the hardware.You can name your headphones something to be identifiable in your device settings through the Bose app, which is nice when you have a big list of connected Bluetooth devices. However, you can’t rename or give nicknames to the devices you are connected to in the Bose app. Every time I connect to my work computer, it spells out the long random PC name I can’t change because my work controls. It also mutes the audio for everything you are connected to whenever the little notification voice pops up, so if something connects/disconnects or I mute my mic, I’m forced out of my conversation for a time, causing me to ask people to repeat themselves. I’m not 100% sure how it operates, but the headset can go into a sleep mode of sorts and a small beep tells you when it reconnects. Well some sites or programs I use cause it to ping almost non-stop which leads me to just turn the headset off.Also, does the battery last an 8hr workday? Yes. Does it last All-Day (14-16hrs)? Barely. It’s about 20% battery for 2-3 hours, which will get worse with time. And you can’t charge the headset while using it.Overall, it’s just a frustrating experience that has room for improvement in a future model and some app updates. Once I find something that better suits my needs, I will shift the use of this headset to be only for desk duty, if not placed on a shelf or given to a co-worker.
Sound is Good, Build QuestionableFor starters, I’m not really going to review the sound quality, because in short they sound like a $300 pair of headphones. You can tweak the settings and make a custom EQ in the Bose Music app, so you can make it what you will. I listen to a lot of jazz, instrumental, metal, and I’m satisfied.My main issues are with this current generation of ANC and the build quality on the Bose 700’s.ANC: On one hand, it’s good. In certain environments I feel like I’m in a bubble and I can’t hear the world beyond. It’s perfect, just my music. In others, I can hear more than I would like. We’re talking, literally, I can listen to classical symphonic music on a lawn mower at a decent volume and hear the dynamics. It’s fantastic. There, I’m truly impressed. However at work, I sit at a desk and there’s machinery some 300 feet away. Drill press, a saw, and chiefly a large fan that’s always on for ventilation. It is loud, yes, but I also get the sense even on the highest setting, ANC isn’t fully engaged. I think this because I’ve ever had the 700’s on and sneezed, dropped something, or otherwise had a sudden loud noise nearby and I can feel what’s like a diaphragm move. Pressure changes in the cup, and momentarily that super loud sound is muted greater than the atmospheric noises. E.G. an alarm goes off at work and each individual tone going off results in a higher noise cancellation sensation. When I have ANC maxed out, I want it truly maxed out, not on an algorithm. You can already adjust what level you want ANC on, so I see no benefit to this feature. If I want to be deaf to the world, considering the original MSRP, I better be. If anything else it’s very jarring to hear the accompanying “popping” that occurs with the added acute noise cancellation.Build quality: See picture…I’ve had these three months, have only worn them daily for two weeks as a test and the stainless steel frame has scratches from the ear cups. Also, every time I turn my head, a wonderful rubbing sound of the ear cup turning. In this department I am a bit of a snob. I typically don’t buy headphones that make a lot of frictional noise. As in I’ll literally jiggle display pairs of headphones to see if I can hear the plastic on plastic rubbing sound cheap pairs are plagued by. Anytime I’ve worn them outside I’ve wiped them off with a microfiber cloth and exclusively store them in the case. Aside from the vibrations from the aforementioned lawnmower, I have babied these due to the price. Hearing a plasticky popping sound whenever I turn my head, chew, adjust my glasses, is not something I expected from headphones marketed as having a stainless frame. This alone makes me wish I would have bought the Sony MK4’s.
Jenna May –
Incredibly More Comfortable and User Friendly than all the Sony’sI decided to buy 4 sets of Noise Cancelling headphones and then send back the 3 loser (with the intention of giving objective feedback).***My primary priorities were noise cancellation and comfort. My secondary priorities were sound quality and user friendliness. And finally style.The four headphones that I compared were…Bose 700’sSony WH1000XM4’sBose 350’sSony WH1000XM3’sIn short, I ended up keeping the Bose 700s (and that was an easy decision based on my priorities).I have a little bit of bigger head and found the 700s much more comfortable than any of the others…by far! My wife has a smaller head and she tried the 700s and found that they didn’t fit her head well and preferred the Sony XM4s. However I can wear the Bose 700s for multiple hours and they feel great!!!I found the noise Cancellation to be equal in quality with the Bose 700s and the Sony XM4s. But I found the Sony XM4s to create a slight uncomfortable noise/feeling. Some people could find this troubling but it wasn’t a big deal for me.I found the Bose 700s and Sony XM4s have slightly better ability for noise cancellation than the Bose 350s and the Sony XM 3’s. However the Bose 700’s allow me to push a button to 3 different noise cancelling settings which is kind of nice.When it comes to sound quality the Sony XM4’s win by a long shot. And if I were only going to wear these for a few hours I would probably have bought the Sony XM4s. However I tend to travel internationally on flights that are 8+ hours long and so the comfort was more significant than the sound quality because the Bose 700s are still very good in their sound quality and I can adjust the EQ to my preference.The final decision maker for me was the user friendliness. The Bose 700s were so easy to set up and use. (This is also why I prefer apple products…simplicity). I found the Sony’s to be much more complicated, confusing and the touch sensors to be a bit clumsy and less responsive. I also found the Bose 700’s very easy to quickly put away in their storage case (which is a nice hard case for travel).The Bose 350s were also very simple to use and the sound quality was decent. But their comfort and noise cancelling was lesser than the Sony XM4S and the Bose 700s.The Sony XM3s are once again better in sound quality and between the Sony XM3s and the Bose 350s I would go with the Sony XM3s. Both fit on my head similarly…so equally uncomfortable for long term wear (great for my wife with a smaller head but not me with a bigger head).Obviously I’m not considering price in any of these comparisons. Because comfort was a much bigger priority to me than price…I needed something that would be worn comfortably for multiple hours despite the cost. If you’re looking for cost effectiveness the Sony XM3s or Bose 350s are the way to go (so long as they fit your head like they do my wife’s)For perspective my head is 23 inches round. My wife’s head is 20 inches. Our ears are average/not big so our ears fit just fine in all of the headphones listed above.When it comes to style the Bose 700s are incredibly sleek and modern…very stylish…especially the grey ones (which is what I bought). We found the grey Bose 700’s and Bose 350’s are much better looking than the Sony XM4 or XM3s. In fact I found the black Sony’s the only color I’d consider. So if color is something you’re considering and you want something besides black then both sets of the Bose are the way to go. But the 700’s take it to a whole new stratosphere and my teenage daughter wants to wear them (but they’re not leaving my head and I don’t think they would fit her very well as she has a similar size head as my wife). If I were buying some for her, I’d buy the grey Bose 350’s.Finally all of these have relatively strong batteries. The Sony’s are probably better overall but the Bose 700’s charge quickly and I can easily get 20+ hours of listening out of them before needing to charge them. Fifteen minutes of charging will get me a few hours.Let me be clear, all 4 of these headphones are REALLY nice! And so you need to consider your priorities and then choose accordingly and I think you will then be happy with whatever route you go.