Taking more than a few steps forward from their revolutionary QuietComfort 35 series, Bose have reimagined their considerable hold on the scene of wireless noise cancelling headphones with the new NC700s. Advanced technology, improved ergonomics and response to consumer demand has dramatically shaped the now expansive and competitive market of premium headphones, but a smart, sleek redesign and substantial tweaks under the hood has reinvigorated Bose’s approach.
One of the most notable aspects is the outstanding build quality of the 700s, smoothed and polished for exceptional comfort. The headband’s tight grip and beautiful narrow curve help with the remarkably lightweight, ergonomic design, with wide grooves so users can simply slide the cups up and down in a fluid motion to adjust. As for the cups themselves, they benefit from plush memory foam that pairs well with the gorgeous stainless-steel components, resulting in a modern, refined and minimalist design that elegantly brushes away from the exposed screws and hinges of the QuietComfort 35 II. The 700’s form factor is a little less compact than the QuietComfort 35 II and do not come with an airline adaptor so it appears that they aren’t as targetted towards frequent flyers—so keep that in mind if you’re planning to take them on board.
An effective and intuitive thermal touch panel is included on the front half of the right cup, easily and efficiently recognising finger swipes and taps that can be used to control volume, playback and answer or reject calls. Three small tactile buttons are included on the device to toggle power on/off, activate the exceptionally reliable Bluetooth 5.0, scroll through 11 noise-cancellation level presets, and access a device’s digital assistant. Notably, Alexa is already built-in, so the headphones can access that particular assistant without the use of a button.
Noise reduction is where the 700s truly raise industry standards. Passive noise reduction is already good enough, but when the actual active noise suppression circuit is turned on, these headphones truly go above and beyond. Shrinking a noisy environment down to a private listening sanctum is a privilege only the most advanced noise-cancelling can bring, and the 700s do this with ease. A great deal of this can be credited to the new eight microphone system which works with digital processing for superior sound isolation, both to cancel outside noise and to help boost voice clarity during phone calls or exchanges with a digital assistant.
This microphone set up is able to pinpoint and reject ambient noise around the user, even being so smart as to also consider where the user is facing and where a particular noise moves to (for example, a passing car), adaptively cancelling out all ambient surrounds to maintain the private listening environment.
Silencing almost all sources of noise also strengthens the headphone’s outstanding sound profile, which is warm, detailed and precise no matter the source. This commitment to high audio fidelity maintains clarity and depth for both music and voice, which should prove very valuable once the company starts rolling out smartphone apps which work with the headphones Bose AR capabilities.
The Bose NC700s are available in either all-black and all-silver colourways and are available for a retail price of $599.95.