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I’ve long been searching for what I call the ‘Goldilocks’ of wireless headphones.
It’s still a relatively new type of product and there are bound to be some hiccups along the way. But, have I finally found my Goldilocks pair? One that combines comfort, long battery life, good sound quality, style, and have good microphones because I also use headphones for calls? For the most part, the answer is ‘yes‘.
The Bose 700 UC headphones are beautifully designed! They are exceptionally lightweight and comfortable. I can wear them for 4+ hours and not feel any fatigue, which is important because these headphones are meant to be used for calls/capturing your voice just as much as they are meant to be used for listening to audio. People who spend a lot of time wearing headphones will love this pair. They are comfortable and light enough that you can forget you are wearing them, which seems ideal.
One design gripe is that they don’t fold in, so storage is still not as easy as it could be. But, it’s a pretty negligible omission because the design would have not looked as good if the headphones were foldable. The arms that the ear-cups are mounted onto are rounded. This allows for the ear cups to move freely and fit comfortably on your head. They can rotate a bit beyond 90 degrees and they also have the ability to pivot vertically. I can see why this would have made it challenging to make them foldable.
The user interface is through touch controls. While I am not a huge fan of button-free user interfaces on headphones, I can appreciate that they keep the design clean. That said, I did find the touch controls to be highly responsive, especially when compared with other headphones I have used with similar interfaces.
These are premium headphones and the sound quality is on par with other options around this price point.
The only wireless headphones that I thought had a superior sound quality for music were the Shure Aonic 50s. Aside from that pair, which I still use for listening to music, the Bose 700 UC headphones have become my go-to pair.
Surprisingly, these are a bit light on bass. I have preciously associated Bose with overpowering bass, so I actually appreciate that it’s toned down a bit. Perhaps it’s not that they have turned it down, but they have enhanced the highs and mids. But it is worth noting for people who like that really bass-heavy sound of previous Bose headphone models.
There is an app that you kind of need to download, so be aware of that. You will need the app for EQ control and to get the most out of the voice commands feature. This is a totally individualized thing, but I don’t like receiving notifications from apps that I haven’t approved notifications from (hence my future switch to iOS). I got a notification about how I could integrate the app with Spotify. It seemed like some sort of sponsorship/promotion, which annoyed me, but others will be less sensitive to this.
The Bose 700 UC headphones come with a USB dongle for quick and seamless connections, I appreciate that. It just makes things easier because I don’t have to disconnect/reconnect bluetooth on my computer. I can just unplug the dongle and not have to worry about it.
They do also offer a lower-cost version with fewer microphones, but I have not tested that pair. This pair is really intended for people who spend a lot of time on calls, hence the added microphones. While I do not have audio samples to compare, I can report that people did tell me that I sounded especially clear when on the phone with them while using these, and background noise was less prevalent than it is with other headphones I’ve used. So, it seems like a big win there.
The bottom line: should you buy the Bose 700 UC headphones?
I personally think you should. If you are already considering a pair of wireless headphones at the over $400 price point, I do not think you will be dissatisfied with these. They feel every bit as premium as you would expect from Bose and had I spent the money on them, I would be satisfied with my purchase.