Bose headphones wireless noise cancelling: Noise Cancelling Headphones & Earbuds

Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Pros and Cons

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Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

Pick Change

Bose is at least as important and dominant in noise-cancelling headphones as Apple is in smartphones. But Bose’s noise-cancelling headphones aren’t the top pick in our best noise-cancelling headphones guide. Let’s talk about why.

Noise-cancelling headphones are a must for frequent travelers. And if you want highly effective noise cancelling in a travel-friendly design, it’s true that Bose headphones deliver. But we think the picks in our best noise-cancelling headphones guide offer a better combination of noise cancelling, sound quality, comfort, and flexibility. Now, Bose headphones like the QuietComfort 35 Series II may be the best choice specifically for frequent flyers who don’t mind paying more. But for most people, there are better options.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II

The QC35 II offers excellent noise cancelling and comfort in a super-compact design, but the aggressive noise cancelling may be uncomfortable for some listeners’ ears.

We think the over-ear QuietComfort 35 Series II is the Bose model with the greatest overall appeal. The noise cancelling is about as good as it gets, and the headphones have a natural and satisfying sound. They’re also comfortable to wear and they pack into an ultra-slim travel case. They can connect to any smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth, or to an in-flight entertainment system with the included cable. But for some listeners the powerful noise cancelling can cause an uncomfortable sensation that we call “eardrum suck.”


Bose QuietComfort 20

The QC20 provides the best noise cancelling we’ve measured in a set of in-ear headphones and connects to almost anything.

Bose QuietComfort 20

The QC20 provides the best noise cancelling we’ve measured in a set of in-ear headphones and connects to almost anything.

The wired QuietComfort 20 offers the most effective noise cancelling we’ve found in a pair of earbuds, and it doesn’t produce the “eardrum suck” we’ve experienced with the over-ear QuietComfort 35 Series II. Bose’s proprietary silicone tips provide an excellent fit without the unnerving need to shove silicone tips deep into your ear canals. The earbuds sound decent, although not as good as many other earbuds we’ve heard. The QC20 is available in either an Apple-friendly or Android-friendly version; both can connect to in-flight entertainment systems but their lack of Bluetooth means you’ll need an adapter if your phone doesn’t have a headphone jack.

Bose QuietControl 30

The wireless QC30 offers strong noise cancelling, good sound, and decent battery life but it carries a high price and doesn’t support a wired connection.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

The Bose QuietControl 30 collar-style wireless earbuds offer excellent noise cancelling (although not as good as the QC20 model’s), reasonably long battery life, and good sound. However, the hard, plastic collar isn’t as comfortable as some competing designs, and the lack of a wired connection option means you can’t connect the QC30 to in-flight entertainment systems or use it when the rechargeable battery runs down. Still, if you have no desire to plug into in-flight entertainment, it’s a great choice.

Everything we recommend

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II

The QC35 II offers excellent noise cancelling and comfort in a super-compact design, but the aggressive noise cancelling may be uncomfortable for some listeners’ ears.

Bose QuietComfort 20

The QC20 provides the best noise cancelling we’ve measured in a set of in-ear headphones and connects to almost anything.

Bose QuietComfort 20

The QC20 provides the best noise cancelling we’ve measured in a set of in-ear headphones and connects to almost anything.

Bose QuietControl 30

The wireless QC30 offers strong noise cancelling, good sound, and decent battery life but it carries a high price and doesn’t support a wired connection.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

The research

  • Why you should trust us
  • Who should get this
  • How we tested
  • Over-ear headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II
  • In-ear headphones: Bose QuietComfort 20
  • Also great: Bose QuietControl 30
  • What to look forward to

Why you should trust us

Brent Butterworth has been reviewing audio gear professionally since 1990, and since 2011 he has devoted most of his work to measuring and evaluating headphones, with a particular focus on noise cancelling. Besides serving as an audio writer for Wirecutter, he is the editor of the SoundStage Solo headphone website and he previously worked as an editor or writer for Sound & Vision, Home Theater Review, and numerous other publications. Brent has measured more than 300 pairs of headphones.

Lauren Dragan organized and conducted the extensive listening tests of noise-cancelling headphones on which this article is based. In her work at Wirecutter and previously at Sound & Vision, Lauren has probably evaluated more headphones than anyone else on earth.

We also got listening help from John Higgins, a professional musician and composer who has written for Wirecutter, Sound & Vision, and Home Theater; and from Wirecutter editor-at-large Geoffrey Morrison, a veteran audio/video writer and world traveler.

Who should get this

Everyone who flies often should get noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds because they make flying much more pleasant—whether you want to listen to music and movies or just sleep more peacefully. Until late 2018, Bose headphones led the industry in noise-cancelling performance, usually by a wide margin (although one pair of Sony headphones, the WH-1000XM3, has finally surpassed the competing Bose model). Bose has used its decades of experience in the field to refine its headphones, so they now pack into slim, travel-friendly cases, are comfortable enough to wear through an entire cross-continent flight, and sound pretty good overall.

So why aren’t Bose headphones the top picks in our best noise-cancelling headphones guide? In the case of earbuds, it’s because some competitors, such as the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410, support both wired and wireless connection, which makes them highly flexible to use anywhere. Meanwhile, Bose forces you to choose between the wired QC20 and the wireless QC30—and both are far more costly than the BackBeat Go 410.

In the case of the over-ear QuietComfort 35 Series II, it’s because of a phenomenon we call “eardrum suck,” which is common to over-ear headphones with strong noise cancelling. It feels like the depressurization you experience when riding a high-speed elevator. The effect is psychosomatic and not physically harmful, yet we still find that the headphones with the highest amount of noise cancelling are too uncomfortable to use for long.

The popularity of Bose’s over-ear noise-cancelling headphones suggests that many people don’t experience this effect, but considering that “Eardrum Suck: The Mystery Solved!” is Brent’s most popular article on the SoundStage Solo website, this seems to be a problem for a substantial percentage of listeners.

Some headphones—such as our current top pick in over-ear noise-cancelling headphones, the Sony WH-H900N—deliver very good noise-cancelling performance while also beating Bose on sound quality, features, and/or price. However, for frequent flyers who want the maximum possible noise cancelling, don’t mind paying extra for it, and either aren’t bothered by eardrum suck or prefer earbud-style headphones (which don’t produce eardrum suck), Bose headphones are generally the best choice.

How we tested

We measured the noise-cancelling performance of the headphones and earbuds using a GRAS 43AG ear-and-cheek simulator and KB5000 simulated pinna. Photo: Brent Butterworth

Our conclusions here are based on the testing we’ve done for our best noise-cancelling headphones guide. These include extensive listening tests of practically every pair of noise-cancelling headphones now available, as well as measurements made with laboratory-grade equipment. In the chart below, you can see the results of the Bose headphones versus a few other top models we tested.

Anything below 85 dB (the red line) represents a reduction in noise. The lower the line is on the chart, the better the noise cancellation. Note that the band between 100 Hz and 1.2 kHz is where most of the noise in an airline cabin occurs.

For previous versions of our noise-cancelling headphones guide, we placed a premium on the efficacy of the noise cancelling, and that’s a big reason why these Bose models, particularly the QC35 II, were top picks. But we’ve realized that about 10 decibels of average noise reduction in the “airplane-cabin band” between 100 and 1,200 Hz is enough to allow music listening at a comfortable level. More noise cancelling is welcome (provided it doesn’t introduce eardrum suck), but it might be less important than other factors.

You can read more about our testing process and conclusions here:

Get the full story

Over-ear headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II

Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II

The QC35 II offers excellent noise cancelling and comfort in a super-compact design, but the aggressive noise cancelling may be uncomfortable for some listeners’ ears.

The over-ear Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II is popular in part because its noise cancelling outperforms all competitors except the Sony WH-1000XM3. Airliner cabin noise seems to almost disappear. However, this extraordinary noise cancelling introduces an effect we call “eardrum suck,” which you can read about here (the Sony WH-1000XM3 produces the same effect). We don’t know if it will bother you but we find it too irritating to tolerate for long. Our top pick in noise-cancelling headphones, the Sony WH-H900N, produces little to no eardrum suck and sounds better than the QC 35 II.

The QC35 Series II headphones fold flat into a slim, travel-friendly case. Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

Still, we like a lot about the QC35 II. It is ultra-travel-friendly because it folds down into a case slim enough to slip into most laptop bags and it’s comfortable enough to wear for hours. You can connect to any smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth, and a cable is included for connection to in-flight entertainment systems. The QC35 II is easy to use because it doesn’t have the swipe-style touch controls now found on many wireless headphones.

The sound is good, too—it’s not as clear as that of the Sony WH-H900N but it has a fairly natural balance of bass to midrange to treble. The QC35 II also includes a dedicated button to trigger Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa on your phone, and in our tests it ran for 19½ hours on one charge, with Bluetooth and noise cancelling on.

In-ear headphones: Bose QuietComfort 20

Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

Bose QuietComfort 20

The QC20 provides the best noise cancelling we’ve measured in a set of in-ear headphones and connects to almost anything.

Bose QuietComfort 20

The QC20 provides the best noise cancelling we’ve measured in a set of in-ear headphones and connects to almost anything.

Like the over-ear QuietComfort 35 Series II, the Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds (for iOS, also available in a Samsung/Android version) do an extraordinary job of cancelling noise. The QC20 almost seems to disconnect your ears from your brain if you turn on the power and no music is playing, and it accomplishes this without the uncomfortable “eardrum suck” problem produced by the over-ear models with strong noise cancelling. Our top pick in noise-cancelling earbuds, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410, can’t touch the QC20 set’s noise cancelling, but it is much less expensive and offers the convenience of a wireless or wired connection.

As a wired model, the QC20 is a pain to use with many newer smartphones because it requires a headphone jack. But it connects easily to in-flight entertainment systems, as well as to computers and any phone that has a headphone jack. It packs into a tiny travel case that’s easy to slip into a pants pocket.

Because the QC20 set’s tips don’t need to be shoved deep into your ear canals, they’re among the most comfortable earbuds we’ve ever tried. From an ergonomic standpoint, the only downside is that the inline dongle that performs the noise cancelling tends to flop around and get in the way.

The sound quality is pretty good, although we prefer the clearer, crisper sound of the QC30 and many other earbuds. The battery typically runs for about 17½ hours.

Also great: Bose QuietControl 30

Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

Bose QuietControl 30

The wireless QC30 offers strong noise cancelling, good sound, and decent battery life but it carries a high price and doesn’t support a wired connection.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

The Bose QuietControl 30 earbuds offer most of the benefits of the QC20 but in a collar-style design with Bluetooth. If you intend to use your noise-cancelling headphones in the office, on transit systems, or on walks—or if you have no desire to plug into in-flight entertainment when you fly—this model is a better choice than the QC20. The QC30 set’s noise cancelling is much better than that of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410, our top pick for best noise-cancelling earbuds, but the QC30 is far more expensive, has no way to connect to in-flight entertainment systems, and can’t be used when the rechargeable battery runs down. Considering that the battery runs for 11 hours, you’ll need to be fairly diligent about keeping the QC30 charged.

The sound quality of the QC30 is comparable to that of the BackBeat Go 410 and better than that of the QC20. Its noise cancelling is outstanding, although it can’t quite match the QC20 in this regard. It’s just as comfortable as the QC20 (the earbuds look identical), but it does require you to wear a hard, plastic collar around your neck. An app lets you adjust the noise cancelling, but we found that feature useful only when making phone calls.

What to look forward to

We’ve tested the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, which has become our latest pick in the Noise Cancelling headphones guide. It has the ability to adjust the active noise cancellation (ANC) level on a scale from 0 to 10, so if you find that you are experiencing the uncomfortable “eardrum suck” issue that we noticed with the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II, you have more flexibility to find a level that works for you.

Bose has also announced that it will be releasing a true wireless pair of ANC earbuds, the Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700, next year.

Meet your guides

Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth is a senior staff writer covering audio and musical instruments at Wirecutter. Since 1989, he has served as an editor or writer on audio-focused websites and magazines such as Home Theater, Sound & Vision, and SoundStage. He regularly gigs on double bass with various jazz groups, and his self-produced album Take2 rose as high as number three on the Roots Music Report jazz album chart.

Lauren Dragan

Lauren Dragan is a senior staff writer and has tested over 1,000 headphones for Wirecutter. She has a BA from Ithaca College in music performance and audio production. She’s been featured in Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, and more. Additionally, she’s a voice actor whose work includes projects for Disney and Mattel.

Further reading

  • The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

    by Lauren Dragan

    Whether you prefer over-ear or in-ear noise-cancelling headphones, we have recommendations to help bring peace to your next trip.

  • The Best Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

    by Lauren Dragan

    The Soundcore Space A40 true wireless earbuds perform so well, it’s hard to believe they’re priced so affordably.

  • Go to a National Park This Week

    by Ganda Suthivarakom

    In this week’s newsletter: plan your next adventure and reserve a campsite ahead of time.

  • Do Noise-Cancelling Headphones Hurt Your Ears? You’re Not Alone.

    by Brent Butterworth and Lauren Dragan

    Before buying noise-cancelling headphones, you should think about what kinds of noise you want to reduce—and find out if you’re susceptible to “eardrum suck.”

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

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Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 review

Bose took active noise canceling (ANC) and made it mainstream but eventually, the market caught up. Sony has released consecutive ANC hard-hitters, with better features, better noise canceling, and better sound quality than the old Bose QuietComfort35 II. Well, it seems like Bose was listening, because the Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is a complete redesign of its iconic product (and yes, that’s actually the name). The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 have a new design, improved sound quality, a touch-sensitive gesture pad for playback controls, and even USB-C charging, but should you get one of the best Bose headphones around?

We spent two weeks with the Bose NCH 700 and have kept up with its updates to find out if this is the headset for you.

Editor’s note: this Noise Canceling Headphones 700 review was updated on January 27, 2023, to add an updated frequency response chart for the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, to add the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 to the Affordable alternatives, and to update formatting.

Travelers who want to block out the sounds of planes and trains will enjoy the fantastic active noise canceling. While the headset is expensive, the ANC is top-notch, which suits the needs of students. If you’re tired of the noisy people in your library, these are the way to go. If you’re someone who wants the best, you can’t go wrong with the NCH 700.

What is the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 like?

In short: these headphones are a delight to use. There are a few issues but overall the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is a great and powerful headset. The NCH 700 is lightweight, easy to use, well-built, and gorgeous. The Bose QC 45 and the Sony WH-1000XM5 are newer and outperform the NCH 700 in various ways, but if you want a gorgeous package with great sound and ANC, you’ll fall in love with this expensive pair of Bluetooth headphones.

You can now slide the ear cups into place thanks to the new sliding adjustment which seems more intuitive than the clicky ones of previous models.

The ear cups rotate a full 90 degrees so you can rest the headphones around your neck, but Bose swapped out the notched adjustment mechanism (still found on the QC 45) for one that lets you slide the headphones into place instead. There are no folding hinges, so you should use the included hardshell case when traveling. Unlike previous Bose headsets, the NCH 700 is made of more than just plastic. The headband has a metal construction that will make it much harder to accidentally break. But this is where the praise for the redesign ends because the Bose 700 headphones aren’t nearly as comfortable as the older QC 35 II.

The main reason for this step backward is the change in materials used for the padding. While the ear pads still use comfortable padding, they’re stiffer than the QC35 II cushions. This is great when it comes to isolating outside noise, but wearing the NCH 700 at my local cafe for a few hours results in my ears getting pretty hot. It gets to the point that I’m sweating when I remove the headphones. On top of that, the padding on the top of the headband has been changed as well.

A soft, rubber plastic replaces the microfiber-lined headband cushion of the QC35 II, and while it’s still comfortable it feels like a step backward. Plus, these no longer have folding hinges.

However, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is now rocking a soft rubberized plastic similar to the one found on the Beats Studio3 headphones. Thankfully, the padding here is way more comfortable than Beats‘, but I have the same problem where the plastic occasionally pulls my hair. Again, it’s still comfortable but that level of comfort that’s always present with the Bose QC35 II and even the QC25 before it is missing here.

Unfortunately, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is not waterproof. That said, it is water-resistant and can withstand some sprays of water. According to this post on the Bose community forum, the headset has an IPX4 rating. This should keep you covered if you get caught in light or even heavy rain, but we still recommend using your best judgment when you should stash them in a dry place. Electronics and water tend not to mix very well and these headphones aren’t cheap.

How do you control the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700?

These have three buttons in total, one of which is for pairing, another is for controlling the level of ANC, and a third can activate the Google Assistant.

The minimal design is reflected all over the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700. There are a total of three buttons on the headphones and two of them don’t have any icons or labels, which I don’t mind since you can’t see labels when you’re wearing them anyway. Only the power/Bluetooth pairing button on the right ear cup has a small Bluetooth logo so you can tell it apart from the other two when turning them on. You won’t find any playback buttons here as they’ve been replaced with a touch-sensitive gesture pad on the right ear cup similar to that of the Sony WH-1000XM4.

Bose also made it so that pausing the music takes two taps on the touchpad, which is great. One of my biggest annoyances with touchpads is when the headphones accidentally register a touch and pause the music when you don’t want it to. By making the pause/play function a double-tap, it ensures that the music won’t pause unless you want it to.

Below are the controls of the headphones, laid out in a table for easy reference.

Action Right headphone

Two taps

Play/pause. Answer/end call.


Decline incoming call

Swipe forward/backward

Skip/previous track

Swipe up/down

Increase/decrease volume


Power, voice assistant, noise control

Customizable controls?

Yes, Bose Music app

Should you get the Bose Music app for the NCH 700?

Even with active noise canceling on max, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 headphones still managed to pump out 21 hours of constant playback.

To get the most out of the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 you should download the Bose Music app (iOS/Android). It’ll walk you through the setup process and is surprisingly simple to use which is rare with headphone apps. If you’re on Android, you’ll get a little drop-down card to quickly pair with and hook up the Google Assistant all in a few screens. Once connected, you can do everything from adjusting the level of active noise cancellation (1-11) to renaming the headphones if you want.

One thing I really like is the ability to switch between devices in the app. As long as you can create an account with Bose, you can then switch between saved devices if the headphones are having trouble figuring out which one you want to listen to. If you’re listening to music on your phone and want to instead start watching a video on your iPad, you can select the iPad in the app. It’s been seamless and beats going through the settings of your devices every time. In the app, you can also choose which Assistant you want to activate when you click the custom button. You can choose between the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Siri if you’re on iOS.

Just like the QC35 II before them, there have been some complaints about a firmware update giving the newer Noise Canceling Headphones 700 some issues. While there haven’t been enough complaints to get a guaranteed fix, we figured it’d be a good idea to put the instructions that worked for most people last time in the hopes that it will similarly resolve this issue for most people as well. If none of these work, then at least you can tell Bose customer support that you’ve already done the “basic” fixes.

  1. Turn off the headphones. It sounds simple, but just restarting the headphones can fix a lot of issues.
  2. Plug the QC35 II into your wall charger for at least 5 seconds, then remove the cable
  3. Connect the headphones to your computer via USB, and go here in a browser
  4. Download and run the Bose Updater app on your computer
  5. Update the headphones using your computer to the latest firmware manually

However, it should be pointed out that despite their exhaustive efforts to recreate the problem, Bose was unable to rule out other factors like earpads coming undone, and poor fits. Ensure that your earpads are all the way clicked in before contacting Bose support.

Should you upgrade to firmware version 1.8.2?

According to Bose, the bug fixes added to firmware version 1.8.2 address a few small improvements to improve the overall quality of the product. You’ll get:

  • General improvements to the Bluetooth connection to make it more reliable and to provide better voice assistant responses.
  • Bug fixes to maximize the battery level.

While we generally take the view that you should wait and see what problems people have with firmware updates before making the leap yourself, this is an update that enables some helpful features that might be worth updating for.

Similarly, if you use an iOS device the company recently pushed an update to the Bose Music app that lets you add a Spotify shortcut to the headphones. If you toggle on the setting, you must tap and hold the right ear cup to quickly activate Spotify.

How do you connect the Bose NCH 700 to a phone?

The microphones for the noise canceling can be seen on the ear cups.

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 connects to your iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth 5.0 and supports just the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. You can opt for wired listening with the 2.5-to-3.5mm aux cable when you need to enjoy some lossless audio playback.

Yes, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 offer Bluetooth multipoint support and can connect to three devices at a time. Bose has a help page regarding the process if you run into pairing issues.

How long does the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 battery last?

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 feature a clean with matte-finished ear cups and a steel headband.

When it comes to battery life, Bose remains on the conservative end of very good. While products like the Sony WH-XB910N can push upwards of 37 hours in our battery tests, Bose claims only 20 hours and we measured 21 hours, 25 minutes under these same standardized conditions. This is with active noise cancellation on the maximum setting too, so you might be able to squeeze some more if you lower the ANC.

In the app, you can also set a timer to have the headphones automatically turn off after a pre-designated amount of time. So if you take advantage of that too, you should be able to go a long time before you need to throw this back on the USB-C charging cable.

No, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 battery is not user replaceable. As per Bose’s policy, the company will provide a customer with a discounted rate for a replacement pair. It doesn’t usually repair headphones. You can read more about it here.

How long does the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 battery last?

With the latest firmware, the maximum ANC performance is very good.

The Bose NCH 700 has very good noise canceling, however, it can’t compete with newer headsets from Sony. That said, it’s impressive just how much the NCH 700 does to affect frequencies from 20-300Hz as this is typically pretty hard to nail. This range of frequencies will sound anywhere from one-half to one-sixth as loud as they’d sound without the Noise Canceling Headphones 700.

Passive isolation is also quite good here and will take care of incidental, unpredictable sounds like the clang of your roommate washing dishes or chatterboxes next to you at the cafe. Be sure to stay on top of software updates, because you’ll need the newest version to get the most out of your ANC with these headphones.

As you can see, the XM5 headphones do a better job canceling low frequencies than the NCH 700 but both are good headsets.

Yes, the Sony WH-1000XM5 has better noise canceling than the Bose NCH 700, and you can really see this in the 50-200Hz range. Here, the Sony WH-1000XM5 quiets these frequencies by up to 15dB more than the NCH 700. Passive isolation is also much more impressive with Sony’s headphones. But if you don’t want to shell out $399 USD for Sony’s latest and greatest, Bose’s headphones will still serve you well.

The WH-1000XM4 ANC may be slightly more effective than the NCH 700 ANC but Bose’s headphones have better passive isolation.

Compared to the Sony WH-1000XM4, the Bose Headphones 700 has very good ANC and better passive isolation. However, the Sony WH-1000XM4 does a bit more to attenuate upper-bass and low-midrange frequencies, so you’ll notice a bigger difference when toggling ANC on/off on Sony’s headphones.

What do the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 sound like?

On the whole, this headset sounds good with almost all media.

Now we can talk sound quality because even though the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 doesn’t have aptX—it still sounds really good. Most listeners will find the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 to sound a little more pleasant than the Bose QC 35 II before it because the NCH 700 treble response more closely follows our ideal house curve. You can adjust the frequency emphasis in the Bose Music app through a basic equalizer. Some people find this a little too simple, in which case you may want to get a third-party EQ app.

You can hear this nicely in the bassline throughout the song Sedona by Houndmouth which rumbles softly behind the vocals instead of overtaking them. Because of this, vocals in the mids sound great and are never eclipsed by what’s going on in the low end. The vocals in Midnight Blues by UMI sounds great, and the highs are also handled nicely which you can hear from the bells playing behind her which never get harsh.

In comparison, the Bose QuietComfort 45, on the other hand, has some high-end overemphasis. This means that the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 will sound better in most situations, as it won’t make cymbals and other sibilant sounds too painful or annoying. This may end up being addressed in a software update, so check back for an update down the road if you’re still trying to compare these headphones.

Yes, but really: no. I know that’s not a good answer, but the truth of the matter is that while Bose has an EQ of sorts in the Bose Music app, it’s more or less only good for very ham-fisted adjustments, and not as granular as they’d need to be in order for best results. There’s only a bass, mids, and treble slider, with no indication of where the line is drawn.

Don’t move the mids or treble slider too much, or you’re going to have bizarre drops and peaks.

This is especially frustrating because in order to get the headphones to reach certain profiles, you absolutely cannot move the emphasis in this way that wouldn’t cause an unpleasant swing in certain ranges.

Our best suggestion is to use your music or operating system to equalize your headphones, as those apps will give you much better control over your results. The above chart is for software EQing only, and the vertical pink lines are the bounds of what most software EQs allow you to adjust.

Can you use the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 for phone calls?

The Bose microphone does a good job with the main parts of voices, but anyone with a deep voice will be slightly cut off as frequencies below 200Hz won’t be nearly as loud.

Yes, the microphones here have clearly been given plenty of TLC by the engineers at Bose and they pick up voices nicely as well. The low-frequency attenuation is purposeful and reduces rumbles and noise.

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 microphone demo (Ideal):

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 microphone demo (Office):

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 microphone demo (Street):

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 microphone demo (Wind):

How does the microphone sound to you?

6964 votes

Should you get the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700?

The new design is stunning, and this headset is an upgrade in almost every way thanks to the finely controlled noise canceling, the ability to seamlessly switch between devices, USB-C charging, and the touch-sensitive control pad. The NCH 700 even sounds better than the QuietComfort 35 II (for $329.64 at Amazon) and newer, QuietComfort 45 (for $329 at Amazon). It’s the spec and design upgrade that Bose needed, and moving forward the 700s aren’t leaving my head.

If you only care about owning the headphones with the best active noise cancellation, then you should get the Sony WH-1000XM5 (or XM4) because they are technically better. The Sony WH-1000XM5 (which sells for $398 at Amazon) also has better codec support for high-quality streaming and has a much better microphone setup. That said, at least to me, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is clearly the more desirable product.

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Excellent ANC • Lightweight design • Rotable ear pads

If you want some of the best ANC you can get, Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 have you covered.

See price at Amazon

See price at Bose

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The headphones are built well and connect nicely to any iOS device.

iPhone owners unencumbered by budgets will reap the most benefit from a pair of AirPods Max headphones. Apple’s debut over-ear headset has some of the best noise canceling in town, yes, it even outperforms the Sony WH-1000XM5. In lieu of sound customization, you get the h2 chip and Apple’s Adaptive EQ, the latter of which adjusts the sound on the fly depending on your environment. We think the AirPods Max sounds quite good and it hews closely to the SoundGuys Consumer Curve.

The AirPods Max doesn’t have a standard audio jack though. Instead, you need a Lightning-to-3.5mm cable for wired playback. Even then, if you’re using the AirPods Max with a modern iPhone, you’ll need to grab a 3.5mm-to-Lightning dongle adapter. Those who are willing to overlook this cable/dongle chaos will get to take full advantage of seamless Bluetooth device switching between Apple devices and very solid build quality.

You can read all about how the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 and AirPods Max compare in our versus article.

Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

One of the best ANC • 20-hour battery life • Well-built pads

A spectacular pair of headphones with best-in-class ANC

The AirPods Max wireless headphones offer best-in-class noise canceling with twenty hours of battery life. They provide excellent frequency response and great audio features.

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What are some less expensive options?

Anker’s design, comfort, and noise canceling is all fairly impressive, but the headset falters with a subpar sound.

While the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 are great, there’s no denying that it costs a lot of money. Give Sony a shot if you’re not looking to spend that much. The (rather bassy) WH-XB910N (for $248 at Amazon) and WH-CH710N (for $149.99 at Amazon) headphones offer decent noise canceling, connectivity, and better battery life at significantly cheaper prices. Of course, you won’t have the same beautiful design or build quality, but you will still have a good chunk of change in your pocket.

If brand recognition rates as less important to you compared to functionality, check out the Anker Soundcore Space Q45, which boasts Bluetooth 5.3 relayed over SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs for merely $149. 99 at Amazon. Its sound quality is okay, and the ANC is quite impressive. It may look rather pedestrian next to the Bose, but it performs quite well.

Frequently asked questions about the Noise Canceling 700 Headphones from Bose

You will be able to playback FLAC or other lossless files over the Bose 700 with no problems. However, if you’re using them wirelessly you won’t get the full benefit of the lossless file format as Bluetooth applies data compression to the audio stream. This will be the case with any Bluetooth device. To fully appreciate lossless files, you would need to use them with a wired connection. You can read more about it here.

Yes they ship with a standard 3.5-mm jack for the device side.

Yes, you can connect them via Bluetooth, USB or 3.5mm jack.

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 have a 10-meter (33-foot) wireless range. Bluetooth connection stability is highly dependent on your environment, though, so you may not quite reach distance if layers of drywall separate your smartphone and the headset.

Yes, you may create a custom EQ in the Bose Connect app. This functionality was made available in May 2020, with firmware version 1.4.12.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 has better active noise canceling than the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700. The Sony cans are also a bit more comfortable and offers speak-to-chat functionality. Both sets of headphones support Bluetooth multipoint, have ambient sound passthrough, and have smart assistant integration.

Bose Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones in Achinsk: 1032-products: free shipping, 50% off [click here]

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9000 2 Bose Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds best noise canceling earbuds

Bose like we all know, didn’t become famous for its wireless headphones, as the QuietComfort Earbuds is the second model released by a major audio brand. In the three years between Bose SoundSport Free and QC Buds, Apple and Sony pushed Bose devices off the leaderboard as much as possible with 9The 0514 AirPods Pro and WF-1000XM3, quickly established themselves as the best true wireless headphones with active noise cancellation.

But for the past three years, Bose hasn’t been sitting idle. The new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are some of the best wireless headphones you can get for the holidays, with incredible noise canceling performance that sets them apart from all devices in this class and price range. Bose has expanded the functionality of its Bose 700 headphones and also added 10 different levels of ANC noise cancellation to the QC headphones.

Buy Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

cocoon” full of your favorite tunes. You will only be able to hear some high frequency sounds, such as sirens (and even their signals are largely muted).

This powerful active noise canceling profile does not compromise comfort or sound quality in any way. The QC Buds have a much improved design that reminds us of the Sony WF-1000XM3 in size and form factor, but is much better balanced than the SoundSport Free. There are plenty of silicone earbuds and wings included to help ensure a better fit, so no matter how active you are, whether you’re running or jumping, the QC earbuds will stay securely and comfortably in your ear at all times.

Bose’s new headphone model stands out for its neutral and natural sound profile. You won’t get the deep, warm bass that Sony is known for, but the Bose QC Earbuds are loud enough at low frequencies to deliver the double-bass sound to jazzy songs. However, the QC ‘Buds do a better job with the opposite part of the frequency range, and no matter what volume you are used to listening to music, distortion will not overtake you, on the contrary, musical instruments and vocals remain perfectly clear.

Battery life is quite competitive, with up to six hours of playtime on a single charge (without dunking in a case). The charging case, which is quite bulky, offers two extra charge cycles, while the Sony WF-1000XM3 case gives users three extra cycles. This is a little disappointing, especially considering the premium price you pay for the Bose QC ‘Buds.

The good news: Bose earbuds are more weather-resistant than their Sony counterparts. When compared to the non-IP-certified WF-1000XM3 competitor, the Bose model takes the lead with its IPX4 rating. This means the Bose kit is sweat-proof and can handle light rain, which is pretty good.

If you’re looking for more reliable and secure ANC (Active Noise Canceling) headphones and you’re not sure about Sony, then we can invite you to read our review right now, because the Bose QuietComfort headphones are the best alternative to high-tech models.

Bose QuietComfort Price
  • Starting price: $279

Bose announced the release of its new QuietComfort headphones in September of this year, and soon they went on sale in early October. At launch, their price seemed very high to us: $ 279 – similar to the starting price of the Sony WF-1000XM3. However, the cost of the WF-1000XM3 has dropped significantly since its launch, making a copy of the Bose headphones less of a bargain. However, if you wait until a big sale like Black Friday, chances are you can get these headphones at a lower price.

Like Bose’s other QuietComfort headphones, the Buds also come in several different color options: the regular Triple Black (dark grey) and instead of Luxe Silver, the Soapstone model (cream white).

  • Bulky but comfortable inlay
  • Large charging case
  • IPX4 waterproof

Unlike the SoundSport Free, which were unusually large, the Bose QC ‘Buds look much more compact and practical. They look similar to the Bose 700 on-ear headphones, but these earbuds are definitely not small. Each “Bud” measures 3.9cm x 2.6 cm x 2.7 cm and weight 9 g – the earbud looks almost as bulky as the Sony WF-1000XM3 (each earpiece weighs 8. 5 g), and sticks out of the ear just as much.

Despite their large size, the QC ‘Buds are extremely comfortable to wear for hours on end (although we don’t recommend that you run these music marathons). They come with three different sets of ear tips that also include fins (or wings) for a more secure fit. We would like the silicone tips to separate from the fins so that listeners can mix and match the different sizes of each component, only in this way they can find the optimal, most comfortable earbud for themselves. It is important to note that the very soft and flexible silicone makes it easy and quick to determine the correct fit from the available options.

The new Bose model certainly feels that “premium” quality – even the design of the ear tips is thought out to the smallest detail – each silicone tip has a conical shape that expands outward. This shape is superior to the round ear tips we’re used to, as it doesn’t require you to tuck the earbuds deep into your ear to achieve a good fit and passive noise cancellation like many other true wireless earbuds.

The outer panel of each ‘Bud is a touch control and offers limited control over music playback and phone calls. There is no volume control here – the same negative that accompanied the Sony WF-1000XM3 at launch, although volume control using sensors has now been added as part of a firmware update. Hopefully Bose will do the same and let you control the volume with touchpads. For now, let’s be content with what we have: a double-tap on the right earbud panel will play/pause tracks, while a long press will bring up the voice assistant (Google Assistant or Siri, depending on your device).

Double-tapping the left earbud cycles through three levels of noise cancellation that you can set as favorites in the Bose Music app, while a press-and-hold gesture brings up a shortcut. This is the only customizable control, and you can choose between skipping to the next track or updating information about the headphone’s battery level. We have configured our shortcut to skip tracks as the battery level can be viewed in app Bose Music (which you will definitely need to use “Buds”).

When buying large earbuds, expect the charging case to be huge. While Sony and Apple offer sleek charging cases (although Sony’s case is still pretty big), Bose seems to want to outdo all of its competitors. The QC Earbuds Charging Case measures 8.9 x 5.1 x 3.2 cm and weighs over 76g – twice as much as the Apple AirPods Pro case, which weighs just 45g.

Another feature that detracts from the overall case design is the button that raises the case lid. Believe me, pressing the button (by the way, it is not small) is much easier than opening the case when you have only one hand free.

What we don’t like about matte cases is that they get dirty very quickly. Not to mention white models – they are a real hassle. The light Soapstone model gets dirty very quickly – just an hour in the bag, and the case collects stains from other objects with which it came into contact. This may not be such a big deal for the black version, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you prefer white.

The functionality of the case slightly makes up for its obvious shortcomings – inside there is a Bluetooth pairing button that gives you an alternative way to manually connect your headphones, and there is wireless charging that works with any Qi-enabled device. A USB-C port is also available if you want to connect the case to a power outlet using a cable.

Specifications Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
  • 10 adjustable noise canceling levels
  • Quick charger
  • Bluetooth 5.1 connection

Bose is known for its noise canceling technology, which is why we had high hopes for the QC ‘Buds. What we did not expect is that in active noise cancellation these earbuds will prove to be the most functional and productive. Based on our experience, the Sony WF-1000XM3 has been diligently defending its position as the leader in this category until today, but now they are slowly fading into the background.

The simple in-ear QC Buds provide a high level of passive noise cancellation, but if you turn the active noise cancellation all the way up, you’ll block out almost all outside noise except high-frequency sounds. The roar of a ferry engine, the roar of motorcycles, the screaming of children, all remained outside when the ANC was set to maximum during our testing. Even halfway through – at level 5 – it will be difficult for you to hear much of what is going on around you.

If you really need to hear what’s going on around you, you can switch to the zero level, which can be regarded as the transparency mode in QC ‘Buds. It matches the AirPods Pro’s Ambient Mode, where the sound becomes very natural despite ANC being turned off.

Another thing that impressed us was the stable connection between the earbuds and the devices we paired them with. The connection was never interrupted, no matter if they are connected to a phone, a computer or something else. This is probably due to the fact that Bose switched to using the Bluetooth 5.1 standard. This is a huge improvement over SoundSport Free, where we experienced some serious connectivity issues. It’s also worth noting that the upgrade to Bluetooth 5. 1 also means an increase in range, which was around 12 meters in our testing.

The reviewed headphones have not only the wireless charging function, but also the possibility of fast charging. If you find yourself running out of power, a quick 15-minute charge will give you up to two extra hours of listening time.

Bose announces that you will have access to the default voice assistant that is available on your device. In theory, this should allow Bixby to be used on Samsung phones, but at the moment it seems only Google Assistant and Siri can be activated. In theory, it should also invoke Cortana if you’ve connected the Buds to a Windows PC, but we haven’t been able to test this option.

Unlike the Bose 700 earbuds, you can only connect the QC ‘Buds to one device at a time because Bose engineers weren’t able to use the company’s multitasking technology here. Still, pairing and re-pairing with devices is surprisingly quick and easy—easier than it was with the Bose 700, which had initial setup issues with both our phones and MacBook Pros.

Audio performance
  • Pleasant sound profile
  • Weak bass, unlike Sony
  • Very good call quality

With excellent noise cancellation, these headphones allow you to truly enjoy your favorite tunes without distractions. Like the other headphones in this line, the Buds also offer a great soundstage.

Even at very high volumes, each layer in the track has its place in the frequency range – vocals are clear, and each instrument stands out with fullness of sound, without any low-frequency interference or ear-cutting sounds. For example, when listening to Delta Mumford & Sons, the instruments were wonderfully layered on the vocal line, and the voices in the background seemed a little intimidating and there was a feeling that they were somewhere nearby. If you are a jazz or blues fan, then you can enjoy every instrument without drowning out the guitar melodies with saxophone elements.

This is what QC ‘Buds is all about: when listening to music of any genre, it seems that it is playing around you, and not directly into your ear – you will immediately feel a noticeable difference if you have previously used simple earbuds.

Admittedly, the Bose sound isn’t as heavy as the Sony, but you’ll find a great balance of frequencies here. Bose’s active EQ technology automatically boosts bass or treble depending on the volume level, so music sounds dynamic at any level, with highs always contained and lows naturally warm. The sound is always balanced and pleasant.

Unfortunately, if you like to customize the sound to suit your musical preferences, then we hasten to disappoint you – there is no equalizer for self-tuning the sound, which is a small omission in the modern audio industry.

When it comes to phone calls, the Bose QC ‘Buds outperform everyone else again. They may offer the best call quality of any true wireless earbuds we’ve tested. Family members we called during the testing period told us that the voices sounded clear, much better than with other earbuds. What’s so amazing about a four-mic array? In fact, Bose claims that the microphones on the right “focus on your voice while reducing ambient sounds.” During a conversation on a walk, the cries of seagulls were muffled, and the hum of the fan was completely eliminated. Of course, this is a big plus for our interlocutors.

Battery life
  • Up to 6 hours of playback from headphones
  • + 2 additional cycles from cover
  • Wireless + fast charging

Like the Sony WF-1000XM3, the Bose QC ‘Buds offer up to six hours of listening time. This may not sound like much battery life, but it should be noted that true wireless headphones that offer longer battery life do not have active noise cancellation.

When we tested Bose at the maximum ANC level, we got about 5 hours and 45 minutes, including several video conferences, as well as several calls to the voice assistant using touch controls. We would likely be able to squeeze out more than six hours if the noise isolation level was set to, say, “5”.

The charging case, however, leaves something to be desired with only 12 hours of extra battery life, although it does have a quick charge feature that will let you get another two hours of listening after 15 minutes in the charging case. But the fact remains that this is much less than that of competitors. For example, Sony offers up to 90 minutes of playback after a 10-minute quick charge session.

If the case is empty, charging via USB-C will fill it completely in about two hours.

Should you buy Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Buy them if…

Wireless charging capability, fast charging function, excellent noise reduction, excellent sound quality and comfortable fit What more do you want from true wireless headphones? The Bose QuietComfort headphones have it all and more.

You want to isolate yourself from the outside world

The ANC performance of these wireless headphones is beyond compare. At the intermediate level, you practically shut yourself off from the world, getting the opportunity to enjoy your favorite tunes in complete silence. In fact, if you just want real silence, you can use QC’Buds with ANC on, no music, and you can focus on the task at hand.

You want to enjoy balanced sound

We can tell that Bose’s signature sound profile isn’t bass-oriented like Sony’s, but you can get a very nice balance of frequencies here. The lows have just the right volume, while the highs don’t give you a headache. And everything in between sounds good, every layer of music in the track is available to you in perfect harmony and purity.

Don’t buy if…

You want long battery life

While six hours of playback is pretty competitive for a set of true wireless ANC headphones, the capacity of the charging case is very disappointing. This case is very large and it’s fair to expect a bigger battery here, but don’t be fooled – you’ll only get two extra charges.