Hackernoon logoAre the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Worth the Hype? by@natasha

Are the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Worth the Hype?

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have 11 customizable levels of active noise cancellation. The headphones are priced between $99 and $199. The next generation of Bose noise cancelling headphones is expected to be available in the next few months. Bose is the company behind the Bose Quiet Comfort line, which became available to the general consumer in the year 2000. It's not known when the next gen of the headphones will be available to a regular release cycle, so I don't know when it will be.
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Natasha Nel Hacker Noon profile picture

@natasha
Natasha Nel

๐Ÿ‘‹ I'm the VP of Editorial Strategy here at Hacker Noon. I also make podcasts and write stories.

First: can you guess in which year noise cancelling technology was invented?

Take a wild stab in the dark.

I'll wait.

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When Was Noise Cancelling Technology Invented?

The answer may surprise you.

The first patent application I could find for the active "process of silencing sound oscillations" was submitted in 1933 by Paul Lueg, a German doctor of philosophy and medicine.

The patent was published in 1936, and expired in 1953. It is a thing of beauty:

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Leaving barely a minute to chance, Brooklyn-born electrical aerospace engineer and computer scientist, Dr. Lawrence J. Fogel, submits in 1954 a patent application for "Apparatus for improving intelligence under high ambient noise levels", which expired in 1977:

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The landmark moment for noise cancelling technology didn't arrive until 1982, however, when a professor at MIT named Dr. Amar Bose โ€” with co-inventor John Carter, and under the name 'Bose Corp' โ€” submits a patent application for "headphoning" (originally designed for use in aviation).

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Dr. Amar Bose taught at MIT for more than 45 years, but it was his invention of the Bose noise cancelling headphones that got him to position 271 on Forbes's richest men in the world list back in 2007, just seven short years after the Bose Quiet Comfort line became available to the general consumer in the year 2000.

If you're interested to know more about the fascinating origin story of Bose noise cancelling headphones, here's a nice post you can read later.

All this historical context is simply to say, when you ask Google:

Are The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Worth It?

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The short answer is: Absolutely.

From a technical standpoint, Bose quite literally wrote the book on noise cancelling. And sure, there are an increasing number of competitors on the market today โ€” but if you're the type of person who appreciates mastery and wants the best of the best, Bose is your brand.

Whether you WFH and want to mute your spouse and/or children, drown out chatter from your fellow students or colleagues, or use public transport in blissful silence โ€” the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are akin to being underwater.

And with 11 customizable levels of active noise cancellation, I'm at least a little less surprised to see so many people in Amsterdam cycling in the city with these supremely effective headphones over both ears. ๐Ÿ˜…

If audio output quality is a dealbreaker for you, you won't be disappointed with the Bose 700 either. I asked Hacker Noon Twitter for all the best songs for testing new headphones โ€” grab the full list here โ€” and I'm happy to confirm: the Bose 700 Headphones maintain crisp, balanced audio when put the test at any customizable noise cancellation setting or (audible) level of volume.

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The gestures took me a little while to get used to, but once I did I found them really useful.

The Bose 700 touch area is on the front right ear cup, and you can swipe up and down to change volume, and back and forth to skip tracks; double-tap to play/pause or answer a call; long hold to decline a call; or customize the long hold function to activate your preferred assistant or start up Spotify or a playlist based on your listening history (another nod to Spotify's total monopoly of the music streaming market, sigh, but also just a really useful shortcut).

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I've read some reviewers complaining about the fact that you need to download an app to use these, but as the smug owner of an Apple Watch, that doesn't bother me too much.

The Bose 700 are designed for premium comfort. I have a really small head, so I'm used to having headphones feel heavy on the top of my skull, but the super smooth adjustable sliders on both earcups have 100% solved that problem for me.

I also really like the way look, especially when paired with other expensive tech accessories, as in this on-point product photo from Bose:

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In terms of wireless reliability and range: although the initial connection to my Macbook wasn't as smooth as the connection to my iPhone, I was wildly impressed by how far away I could get before the connection cut out. Also happy to confirm that a 2.5-hour charge (on the USB-C charging cable ๐Ÿ˜ป) definitely delivers on the 20 hours of audio promised.

A Couple Questions for the Designers of the Next Iteration of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose isn't known to stick to a regular release cycle, so I don't know when the next gen headphones will be available. Just fr fun, here are some things I'd be interested in if I was a designer on the next version of this product.

What if you made audio from the Sleep app available on the Music App too? Bose Sleepbudsโ„ข don't stream music or podcasts โ€” they only play content only from the Bose Sleep app. I think it'd be cool if that was available to other Bose product users, too.

What's the internal temperature like on sustainability when it comes to materials and supply chains? I see at least one ad every day that markets to me on the basis of a product's supply chain or use of environmentally-conscious materials. So I'm always curious how bigger companies (like Apple, for example) are seemingly exempt from those kinds of customer demands. Bose Supply Chain Manager was quoted as saying โ€œCovid-19 has been the biggest disruption to our supply chain since the Japanese earthquake," suggesting a heavy reliance on off-shore suppliers for the materials used to manufacture these headphones; which are:

  • Headband: Stainless steel available in 3 premium finishes (stainless steel is actually pretty sustainable)
  • Headband cushion: Ultra-soft gel-like foam covered in color-matched silicone (definitely the greener option, as the alternative to silicone is plastic)
  • Ear cushions: Soft foam covered in protein leather ("protein leather" โ€” aka pleather โ€” apparently often (mis)used by headphone manufacturers to describe a product that is in fact Polyurethane (PU) leather pads, which is actually a sheet of fabric โ€” usually cotton or polyester โ€” coated with polyurethane. While better for the planet than real leather, polyurethane is essentially a plastic, which we all know is bad bad not good).
  • Earcup covers: Finished with special anti-stick coating for touch gestures (...๐Ÿคท)

Other than the democratisation of Bose in-house apps; perhaps a little more transparency around the impact of their materials and supply chain (and perhaps a shorter product name for the next iteration..?) my answer to the question โ€”

Are The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Worth It?

โ€” is a resounding YES.

The sleek feel, flawless noise cancelation, audio playback, call quality, intuitive gestures and neat shortcuts have, IMHO, conspired to reaffirm Bose as the OG MVP GOAT of noise cancelling technology and headphone design.

Check out the Bose Company News Page on Hacker Noon

With Hacker Noon's newย Tech Company News Pages, we're cataloguing breaking news about companies like Bose, Apple, Netflix and more from around the web via Bing News API, along with mentions of their technologies in Hacker Noon stories โ€” creating a hub for the media's relationship with the world's top tech companies. Check out the Bose Company News Page here, and apply to get your own company news page on hackernoon.com here.

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