2019 was a busy year for personal audio, particular noise-cancelling headphones. As consumers started paying more attention to what they were listening to while on the move, so too did headphone manufacturers who focused their efforts on creating superlative headphones for mobile use.
Noise-cancelling headphones are the preferred choice of many commuters because their active noise-cancellation is super effective in drowning out environment noise, especially the low-frequency hums made by engines. The fact that many of them are wireless also makes them super handy and convenient to use.
To qualify in this category, the headphones must be either over-ear or on-ear designs, have active noise-cancellation and must be wireless.
The Bose Headphones 700 represents a new approach to noise-cancelling by Bose, with a fresh new design and an improved noise-cancelling system. These offer slightly better noise-cancelling than the QuietComfort 35 II and let you control the amount of ambient noise that comes in so you can still retain awareness of your surroundings. Being able to switch between two devices without having to go through the pairing process is nice too, as is the shift to using USB-C for charging.
However, there the improvement in noise-cancellation isn't enough to dethrone the Sony WH-1000XM3, which is still the quietest headphone we have used. And in terms of outright sound quality, the Bose Headphone 700 is trumped by the Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC and Master & Dynamic MW65.
That said, even though the Bose Headphones 700 may not be the best in any one area, it is strong in all of them and is the best all-round option. It offers good noise-cancellation, a comfortable fit, and very decent sound quality. For these reasons, it is our best noise-cancelling headphones of 2019 and for Tech Awards 2020.
|Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC||Bose Headphones 700||Jabra Elite 85h||JBL Live 650BT||Master & Dynamic MW65||Plantronics BackBeat Go 810|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section below.