Stylish, practical and feature-packed, these noise cancelling headphones take some beating.
From the initial unboxing, the Bose 700 active noise cancelling headphones scream quality product. After commuting (remember that word?) with a pair of headphones for the last two years, the first thing that strikes me about the 700 is the slim shell case. If you take your lunch and a laptop to work then you’ll know space is a premium, so having a slim headphone case is most welcome.
That sense of quality continues in the actual build of the 700, too. Formed with a single hoop of metal, the two ends of the band finish neatly in the outside centre of the ear cups for easy sizing. The design features sweeping curves reminiscent of a Zaha Hadid construction.
An exceptionally soft gel material (my wife likens it to butter) that pads the headband and the over-ear cups provides an incredibly comfortable and lightweight fit. A big printed R for right ear and L for left on the inside of the cups provide a handy quick reference for fitting them the correct way.
The active noise cancellation here is very good and consists of 10 levels – 10 being maximum block out while at the lower end, ambient noise comes through the inbuilt microphones in the cups to enable conversation; and a handy setting for eavesdropping…
To test the highest level, I employed the use of my children, who generally emit enough noise on a day-to-day basis to bring down the walls of Jericho. I positioned myself in the kitchen – the traditional eye of the storm – to do some writing. This is normally an impossible proposition – if it isn’t the kids, it’s the dog – and while I could still vaguely hear the muted screams as the chaos unfolded around me, the noise cancellation was sufficient to maintain concentration.
That was of course the extreme – walking said dog around the neighbourhood was conducted in virtual silence with the setting at number 10. A button on the left ear cup controls the noise cancellation levels and step between three pre-sets – 0, 5 and 10. These can be customised through the Bose Music app to reflect your own preferred settings. If you keep your finger on the same button you’ll activate Conversation Mode if you need to talk to someone – and more importantly, hear them.
On the right ear cup, two buttons handle the power and voice support from Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri. To be honest, I did try out the voice support, and it worked well, but it’s something I rarely engage with when I wear headphones or earbuds.
I’ve had these on my head for the last four weeks working from home and in that time I have made innumerable phone calls, both locally and overseas without any issues at all.
Touch control technology on the cups is second to none and amongst the best we’ve experienced with excellent response, whether it’s raising or lowering the volume, or skipping a track forward.
In the audio stakes, Bose have hit the ball out of the park here, delivering an excellent, well-balanced sound stage with just enough punch in the bass and superb crisp detail across a real mix of genres. Clean and precise, the sound is exactly what you’d expect from a premium set of headphones.
Another neat feature with these headphones is the ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. This comes in handy if you’re watching YouTube on your laptop and your smartphone rings. The laptop is paused while you converse, and then starts again once you hang up.
Bose boast 20 hours of listening time which, after using these as my main set of headphones, I can attest to being accurate.
As a feature-packed set of headphones, the Bose 700 gets a firm two thumbs up. With superb noise cancellation and sound quality, the fact that these literally have not left my head is probably the best endorsement I can give them. Check them out – you won’t be disappointed.