When you’re out looking for over-ear headphones, you might have a few brands in mind. However, if noise cancellation is your main priority then Bose NC 700 might just be the ones you need. These brand new pair of headphones are a successor to the sound company’s famous Quiet Comfort series.
Now you may be wondering about alternatives in the noise cancellation department. Sony came out with its WH-1000XM3 which, according to most audiophiles, were superior to anything Bose had to offer. Bose, however, wasn’t going to let anyone get away with what it did best and thus came out with the NC 700. How does it stack up against the Sony headphones? Let’s find out.
In terms of the overall design, the Bose NC 700 don’t feature anything particularly interesting. It looks as if Bose wanted to keep things conventional to avoid controversy and it’s a good move, in my opinion. Most of the construction is plastic, which does really make you question the quality you’re getting for the price. However, it’s not that bad as everything is made flexible to adjust to almost any head type. You can stretch them all the way out without them breaking, which is always a sign of good build quality.
In terms of portability, however, things might not be entirely in your favor. Unlike most headphones, including the Sony WH-1000XM3, the Bose NC 700 cannot fold. They do come with a pouch, which has a decent size, but it’s not quite as compact as the one you get with Sony. If you look inside, you get the soft foam to make the experience all the more comfortable. You’ll also notice that there are no indications outside for the right and left side. This is because they’re inside the earpiece to make the outer chassis a little less cluttered.
The Bose NC 700 headphones do support wireless Bluetooth® 5.0, which means they can connect to multiple devices at once. On the outside, you get three buttons and a touchpad to control all the basic functionalities of the headphones. On the right earpiece, on the Bose logo, you can interact with the touchpad to control your media. Double tap for play/pause, swipe up/down to turn the volume up/down and swipe right/left to go forward and backward.
Also on the right earpiece, you get two buttons. The top one, with the Bluetooth logo, turns on/off the headphones with a single press and takes the headphones into pairing mode with a long press. The button below it is the Assistant button. Press it once and it’ll bring up the voice assistant on your phone for you to interact with. The button on the left earpiece controls the Active Noise cancellation levels. You can have three presets to choose between and can turn it off if you like.
Wireless functionality isn’t the only way you can use these headphones. They do with an auxiliary cord jack. However, the jack on the headphones is a 2.5mm one, which means you can only use the 2.5-3.5mm wire that comes with them. All your other auxiliary cords are useless if you’re planning to use them on this. On the flip side, you now have a USB-C port for charging, which makes things convenient as almost all devices have it.
Most of the additional functionality can be adjusted through the Bose Music App on your smartphone. The app, however, lacks equalizer controls, which is a shame as the stock sounds from these headphones isn’t exactly what audiophiles or music lovers would love.
Price & Verdict
At $399, the Bose are on the pricier side when it comes to having headphones. This price tag also makes them $50 more expensive than the Sony WH-100MX3, which they are competing against. However, it’s not like you’re not getting more for the additional cost. With the Bose, you get a more superior overall noise cancellation and a better build quality.
However, at just 20 hours, the battery life of the Bose headphones falls 10 hours short of the pair from Sony. The latter also wins in overall portability as its headphones are lighter and can fold into a smaller case. The choice is yours in the end. If you prioritize build quality and noise cancellation at the cost of portability, price and battery life then the Bose NC 700 are the headphones for you. If not then you’ll be better off with the Sony WH-1000MX3.