There was a time when all conversation around noise cancelling headphone started and ended with Bose. It is no longer so. However, long-time users of Bose still tend to go back to the brand because of their immense loyalty built over years of good experiences. Now, the company has launched what it calls a smart noise cancelling headphone, the Bose Headphone 700.
The Bose Headphone 700 has a very new design, almost as if it is something that has come out of an Isaac Asimov fable. It has a metallic looking band with two ends that slip into the ear cups. Under the band is a soft foam that is very easy on the head, even for long hours. At the top tips, the earphones can swivel to both sides, thus offer you a perfect fit and also become flat for easy placement inside its pouch. The ear cups themselves seem more like trademark bose but come with some new buttons. The foam on the cups too are very comfortable for long hours.
On the left, there is a button that lets you adjust the noise cancellation between 0, 5 and 10 with the latter offering the best experience and 0 keep you aware of your surroundings. On the Bose Music app, the right ear cup has one button for power and pairing. Just below is another to summon your smart assistant. Bose offers the ability to add Google Assistant or even Alexa while using on an iOS device and not limit yourself to Siri. This is a good feature.
The right ear cup also comes with touch sensitivity. So you can swipe left and right to skip songs, up and down to adjust the volume. A double-tap pauses the song and lets you answer a call while a long press gives you the battery status. All simple and intuitive.
You get a good idea of what to expect with the Bose headphone as soon as you wear it over your head and switch on the headphones. There is a signature twang that plays for a second, announcing that the Bose Headphone 700 is ready to play. Every time you switch it on, the headphone also tells you how much battery is left and which all devices it is connected to. This again is a small feature that adds so much value to users.
The audio quality is what you would expect from a Bose. From Bob Dylan’s to Leonard Cohen, the Bose Headphone 700 offers a great listening experience. Hearing some Bach on Cello, I could feel this is a headphone that could even keep some of the audiophiles happy.
But you are more likely to see this on a long haul flight, a space where Sony has started marking a strong presence, especially in India. The noise-cancelling works as you would expect on a Bose. I took it on a flight to Thiruvananthapuram and from there on a four-hour train journey. It worked well in keeping out the noises that stick to a frequency, the drone of an airplane engine or the rhythmic clicker-clack of the train while muting the other noises. Yes, the Bose Headphone 700 will make a good travel companion.
There is more than just music and noise cancellation to the Bose Headphone 700. In fact, this is the first headphone I have tested which comes with inbuilt AR features. Bose AR is an added layer on top of what you expect the headphone to do. Bose is offering a series of AR apps that let you interact and take a story forward or give you an audio knowledge layer on top of what you are seeing. I tried a few of these apps like Audiojack, Earplay and OtoCast. All work well, but you know these are early days and what was on offer was not engaging enough for me.
At Rs 34,500, the Bose Headphone 700 is among the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy at the moment, offering superior audio performance and good noise cancellation. On top of all this, the device holds the promise of what audio AR can do for us in the not so distant future. That should justify the price. If you looking just for a noise-cancelling headphone, even Bose has more affordable options. Buy this if you want smart noise cancellation and audio capabilities.