Review: Bose 700 Headphones

I picked up a refurbished unit of Bose’s newest ANC headphones recently and they have easily become my go to audio device.

Usually the Bose 700 goes for $379 USD or $479 CAD. I picked up a factory refurbished set for $269 CAD, which is a steal with the build and audio quality that Bose has.

There are no visible screws or hinges in the design and it has a stainless steel headband that runs through the middle of the earcups that let the cups slide, pivot and rotate to adjust for your comfort. The cushioning on the earcup and headband is made of a soft silicone material that is comfortable. Coming in at 8.96 ounces (0.56 lbs) or 254 grams, they are light, but not as light as the previous QC35 at 8.29 ounces (0.510 lbs) or 235 grams. They are still quite comfortable and with all day usage, there has been no issue with the band being too tight or getting uncomfortable.

As the headphones do not fold up, they are not as compact, but still can be stowed away conveniently by swiveling the earcups flat into the carrying case. The case has a small compartment that magnetically shuts close and carries the included USB C charging cable and 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable for when you want to use a wired connection. There is a 2.5mm jack outlet on the bottom of the left cup for wired audio and on the right cup, there is a USB C jack for charging.

With the controls, the Bose 700 uses touch controls for audio control. In the front half of the right cup, you tap twice for play/pause, swipe up and down for volume controls, forward to skip, back to return to the beginning of a track or go back a track. Conveniently holding down the touch area gives you a battery readout in time left. There are two physical buttons on the back of the right cup.The top one is used for power and bluetooth connectivity and the bottom one activates your smart assistant of choice. It’s compatible with Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa. I tested it with Google Assistant on my Android phone and it works well. With Google Assistant, you can get it to read out important notifications when they come in. Sadly, they don’t support handsfree activation phrases for Siri or Google Assistant. On the left cup, there is a single physical button. It pauses your audio and pipes in sound through it’s mics for when you want to have a conversation without taking off your headphones. It works quite well and sounds are natural.

Two devices can be connected at the same time with Bluetooth and can connect to your tablet for music and when you receive a call on your phone, it will automatically switch over and will switch back when it’s done.

Voice calls are a strong suit for the Bose 700 and isolates your voice quite well. Out of the six mics for noise cancellation, they’ve paired up four for a system that is optimized for voice pickup. It does a stellar job of filtering out environmental noises during calls.

Audio quality and noise cancelling have improved. Coming from a decade old QC15, the audio and NC has improved quite a bit, and the QC15s are no slouch to begin with. The isolation is more powerful and the audio is smooth, warm and clean. The low end is not as punchy as the competitors, but still provides high quality audio. You can adjust the noise cancelling from anywhere from 0 to 10 and at zero, it does pie in some outside audio so it doesn’t sound muffled like older noise cancelling headphones do.

You don’t need to have the app to use the headphones, but if you want to change any of the settings, like giving a nickname to your headphones, change EQ settings or Noise Cancellation presets, you will need to sign up for an account for the app. It’s not a great app, but does enough to get by on.

Bose rates the battery life for the 700 at 20 hours, but you may be able to get 21-23 hours out of a charge. It’s good, but isn’t as good as the 30 hours that Sony rates it’s XM3/XM4 ANC models that are comparable to the Bose 700. It takes 2.5 hours for a full charge and 15 minute quick charge gets you three hours if you’re in a pinch.

In conclusion, the Bose 700 ANC Headphones are a solid choice for those looking for a quality bluetooth noise cancelling headset for music and calls. My only gripe about them are the price tag is steep at $379 USD/$479 CAD, so waiting for a sale may be an option. If you’re looking for an all-round package and can afford to pick up a pair, it’s hard to beat.

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