Consumer Electronics, Gadgets & Accessories

Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – Bose’s latest headphone series in test

After the US sound expert Bose relied solely on the QuietComfort 25 and its successors QuietComfort 35 and 35 II for a long time, they introduced completely new over-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) in fall 2019 with the NCH 700. Among other things, the Bose NCH 700 rely on a new design, ANC adjustable in 10 levels, touch control and up to 20 hours of battery life.

The over-ear headphones are available in three different colors and a limited Soapstone edition. Furthermore, Bose offers a version with a carrying case with charging function, which offers another 40 hours of battery life. The original MSRP of the headphones is just under €400, but they are now available for under €300. We took a closer look at the Bose NCH 700 in silver and clarify in the following test whether they are worth this still proud price.

Technical data

Headphone type Over-ear (closed)
Bluetooth version 5.0
Bluetooth codecs SBC, AAC
Bluetooth range Up to 10m (without obstacle)
Battery life Up to 20 hours
Weight 250 g
Operation 3 buttons, touch
Connectors USB-C, 2.5mm jack
Scope of delivery Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, audio cable, USB-C charging cable, carrying case, quick start guide
Colors Black (Black), Silver (Silver), Blue (Midnight Blue), White/Gold (Soapstone Edition)
Price € 259.00 *

Scope of delivery

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The headphones come together with a high-quality black carrying case. This is well made all around and offers enough storage space for the Bose NCH 700 and enclosed cables. Furthermore, a quick start guide is included in the scope of delivery. This offers everything that we expect in this price range, but does not go beyond that.

If you open the case, you look directly at the headphones. Bose does without joints and the possibility of folding here. The ear cups only have to be turned by 90° for stowing. There is also a small compartment between them and the bracket, which houses the 1.06 m audio cable and the 0.5 m USB-C charging cable.

Design and finish

Visually, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are very different from the QuietComfort 35 II and their predecessors. It is impossible to miss the fact that this is a new series. The design is rather minimalist and elegant. The headband is made of stainless steel, is round at the ends, narrow and integrated into the ear cups on the outside. The size of the headphones can be adjusted by moving the ear cups further out on the temple. Visually, this makes for a much more appealing image than the usually common earpieces, where the inside, usually a simple metal or plastic strip, becomes visible when adjusted. Towards the inside, the earpiece becomes much wider and is also comfortably padded.

The ear cups of the headphones are oval-shaped and have several microphones. There are eight in total, four of which are used for active noise reduction, two for speech capture, and the remaining two are used for both functions simultaneously.

On the left side, there is a button that switches between the favored ANC modes or activates the conversation mode when pressed for a longer time. More controls are found on the right side. Besides the on/off/Bluetooth button, the voice assistant button is located here, and a touch element is also found on the outside, which controls playback. Regarding the ports, you’ll find the jack on the left and the USB port on the right.

Setting up and adjustment options

The headphones are turned on via the on/off/Bluetooth button, which is located on the right ear cup. Connecting and pairing with Bluetooth-enabled devices is also possible via this. Directly below the button is also a blue LED, which signals the current status.

Bose recommends using the Bose Music app for smartphones. It guides the user through the setup step by step and also offers additional settings. Even though Bose recommends creating an account, this is not necessary. Within the app, Bose offers product tips on the various functions, changing the audio source, an EQ, and selecting the favorite ANC settings.

Furthermore, various voice assistants are integrated. These are predefined depending on the OS, so Siri is selected on iOS and Google Assistant on Android. Android users can alternatively choose Amazon’s Alexa, though. Besides these, Bose has integrated its own voice output, which provides information about battery status, settings and similar things. It is noticeable here that the voice chosen by Bose sounds very old-fashioned and unnatural.

Practical test and sound quality

The Bose NCH 700 is operated with the help of the already mentioned three buttons as well as the touch element, which is located on the right side. The on/off/Bluetooth button is used for switching on, and a manual switch-off is not necessary thanks to motion detection and automatic shutdown. The period after the headphones turn off can be adjusted within the app. Most of the actions are performed via touch. Among other things, a double tap pauses or resumes playback, a swipe to the left or right changes the title, or a swipe up or down adjusts the volume. These and all other actions are documented in detail in the manual and in the app. After a short familiarization phase, we found the controls to be very pleasant, and they functioned reliably at all times in everyday use.

The sound of the headphones is pleasing in the test, is neutrally tuned and rather unobtrusive. It is thus suitable for all genres or even podcasts and audio books. On the one hand, it doesn’t have any noticeable weaknesses, but it doesn’t excite on the other hand, either. The bass of the Bose NCH 700 is rather restrained, but that is not necessarily negative depending on personal preferences.

On the other hand, the very good Active Noise Cancelling has to be emphasized positively. The headphones shield ambient noise very well. They suppress noise on public transport, busy roads or other places very well, so you can fully concentrate on the music being played. The different levels are also well-tuned and serve their purpose. While we hardly notice anything of the surroundings on the highest level, level 5, for example, is very suitable when we are on the road, cross it regularly and therefore have to pay attention to the traffic. The full transparency also proves to be very practical for short conversations between music enjoyment.

During phone calls, we found the voice of our conversation partner to be clear and easy to understand at all times. Our voice was also clearly perceived by the other party. However, it does not quite come close to phoning with a smartphone. The noise cancellation did a good job here as well.

Comfort

Thanks to the low weight of only 250 g and the foam padding of the headband, the Bose NCH 700 sit very comfortably. The contact pressure is low, but sufficient. In general, you hardly feel any pressure on the head, so the headphones still sit very comfortably even after several hours.

The headphone cups have a very soft padding made of artificial leather, which completely encloses the ears. The indentation is sufficiently large so that you don’t touch the headphone drivers with your ears. Another plus point: if the ear pads become cracked or noticeably worn after a long time, they can be easily replaced.

Battery life

Bose states, as it did with the QuietComfort 35 II, a battery life of up to 20 hours, which was also achieved in the test. This is probably sufficient for most users, but is still below what the competition offers. The current battery status is displayed in the app or in the settings. An LED near the port also roughly signals this. Charging takes up to 2.5 hours via the current USB-C standard. Moreover, 15 minutes of charging are enough for up to 3.5 hours of playback time via quick charging.

Conclusion

Overall, the Bose NCH 700 are very good over-ear headphones, and therefore deserve our Gold Award. The workmanship of the headphones is very high quality and the wearing comfort is also on a very high level, which makes them perfect for longer train rides or flights while traveling. Furthermore, the Active Noise Cancelling ensures very good noise suppression and the desired silence.

The sound is also very good, but not quite as convincing as the previously mentioned criteria. High-resolution audio codecs, such as aptX HD nor LDAC, are also missing, but would be desirable in this price range. The battery life of up to 20 hours is also good, but not outstanding.

Those who want a neutral tuning and place high value on workmanship and wearing comfort should definitely take a closer look at the Bose NCH 700. Compared to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, the potential buyer can expect some innovations, a new, well-functioning, operating concept as well as a fresh and clearly more elegant design.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Workmanship
Comfort
Sound quality
Noise Cancelling
Features
Value for money

94/100

Very good headphones without any major weaknesses. Especially workmanship, wearing comfort and active noise cancelling are convincing.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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After the US sound expert Bose relied solely on the QuietComfort 25 and its successors QuietComfort 35 and 35 II for a long time, they introduced completely new over-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) in fall 2019 with the NCH 700. Among other things, the Bose NCH 700 rely on a new design, ANC … (Weiterlesen...)

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