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Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 review: Why I will never fly without them

Nov. 25, 2022
9 min read
Bose 700 Headphones
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  • For a modern traveler, reliable headphones block surrounding noise, last more than 10 hours on a single charge and have a crystal-clear microphone for calls.
  • The best headphones offer an adjustable equalizer and offer both wired and wireless connectivity.
  • While the Bose 700 headphones don’t have the most noise cancellation on the market, they continue to set the standard at their price point.

I was a convert to the Apple AirPods. I used to have a pair of Beats over-ear headphones, but once the noise-canceling AirPods Pro came out, I believed that over-ear headphones merely offered squashed ears and another big case to carry in my already full luggage. After a couple of weeks of traveling, covering north of 10,000 miles with the Bose 700 headphones, it became apparent that my over-ear headphone stereotypes were nothing more than total misconceptions, thanks to the plethora of high-tech features on these headphones.

At a somewhat steep price (retailing for $379), here’s what you need to know about the Bose 700 headphones.

What a traveler should look for in a good pair of headphones

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Let’s face it: We all love surround sound (which deepens the fidelity of audio so it sounds more natural) and noise-cancellation features that reduce external noise. But as nice as those two features are, they’re not at the top of my wishlist.

Wired and wireless connectivity

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As a frequent traveler, I always want to ensure that my headphones offer wired and wireless connectivity. That way, I can wirelessly use the headphones for audio on my phone or laptop or use the cord to plug them into the seatback inflight entertainment system. While this isn’t a difficult prerequisite to meet nowadays, as most headphones over $100 offer this, it’s nonnegotiable in any headphones I invest in.

Most notably, the Apple AirPods only offer a connection through Bluetooth. While some newer IFE systems offer Bluetooth audio, I have yet to see this feature on any of my flights. So, if you’re just traveling with AirPods and want to watch the movies on the screen in front of you on a plane, you’re likely to be stuck with the crummy inflight earbuds the airlines offer you — if they offer them at all.

Durability

I also want to make sure that my headphones are durable. When I travel, my friends and family often get a kick out of how much I squeeze into my backpack. As a result, I’m looking for a strong case that will keep the headphones safe when my 16-inch MacBook Pro is hastily jammed back into my backpack on top of my headphones after going through an airport security checkpoint.

Painless calls

Lastly, I always look for a solid microphone that won’t pick up background audio. Let’s say your flight gets canceled and there’s a long line to get rebooked. As I shared in a recent article, getting through quickly to an airline agent is the best way to get rebooked and be on your way. When calling your airline, the last thing you want your agent to say is, “I’m sorry. I can’t hear you. There’s a lot of background noise. Please call back.” That’s why a clear microphone that doesn’t pick up background conversations or announcements is especially important for travelers.

Bose 700 features

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KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Here are some of the features of the Bose 700 headphones that I’ve grown to like.

Noise cancellation

When I let my tech-geek friend know I’d be reviewing the Bose 700 headphones, he told me that some of the newer Sony headphones (like the Sony WH-1000XM5) have better noise cancellation. Though I have yet to try the Sony headphones, the Bose 700 headphones’ noise cancellation impressed me.

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You can change noise cancellation from 1 (minimum) to 10 (maximum) through the Bose Music app. There’s also a physical button on the side of the headphones, which can change the noise control, but more on that later.

Going for a walk on a busy street with cars driving around 30 mph around me, I was left hearing quiet wooshes as cars drove by me with the headphones on 10. On my American Airlines flight, I played some calm, quiet Spanish guitar music in the air. While I could still hear some plane noises, the headphones blocked toilets flushing and neighboring passengers talking. As we began our descent, the first time I removed the headphones, I thought to myself, “Wow, this plane is loud,” after being surprised by how much noise there was without the headphones.

The Bose Music app

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

After unboxing the headphones, the instructions told me to download the Bose Music app (available on iOS and Android). After downloading the app and permitting it to access Bluetooth, I could quickly connect my headphones to my phone directly in the app. One of my favorite features of the headphones was the ability to connect to both my phone and laptop simultaneously. That way, I didn’t have to manually change the audio connection between the two.

You can also sign up for your own Bose Music login, but luckily, having a Bose Music account isn’t required to use the headphones.

From the Bose Music app, you can adjust the noise cancellation and equalizer, see tips, customize shortcuts and access many more features.

Intuitive controls

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Controlling the headphones is simple with the three physical buttons (power/Bluetooth, voice assistant and noise control) and the touch-sensitive gesture pad. The headphones came with a simple-to-use guide to help you learn how to use the controls on the right ear cup:

CommandFeature
Two taps.Play/pause music and answer or decline calls.
Swipe of finger up or down.Volume change.
Swipe of finger left or right.Change tracks.
Hold Bose logo.Battery reading.
Hold Bose logo during an incoming call.Decline the call.

While it wasn’t hard to learn these controls, they didn’t always work the first time around. For example, two taps on the right ear cup didn’t always pause my music. I also had a hard time with the noise control button. Sometimes it was hard to have the noise cancellation return to the maximum of 10, so I found myself using my phone and the Bose Music app to change many of these controls.

A sleek design with two color choices

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

In my opinion, the Bose 700 headphones are beautiful. They’re some of the most stylish headphones on the market. You have the choice of either going with luxe silver or black. When folding the headphones back into their case, each ear cup rotates 90 degrees to fit in easily. At around 9 ounces, I never felt like they were too heavy, and the cushy headband made for hours of comfortable listening.

A long-lasting battery

Bose claims that the battery will last up to 20 hours. In our tests with mixed use (phone calls, full noise cancellation and moving the headphones from laptop to iPhone and back), the battery lasted 12 hours and 35 minutes. While that’s a far cry from 20 hours, after just 30 minutes of charging from the USB-C cord (included in the headphones), the headphones were back to 30% battery.

Bottom line

The Bose 700 headphones have unparalleled craftsmanship and quality; however, the elephant in the room is the hefty price tag. Sony has several headphones for under $200, which offer great sound quality, better battery life and high-quality noise cancellation. Still, the Bose 700 headphones offer superior comfort while ticking off all the items on my lengthy headphone wishlist. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to a friend.

Featured image by KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023