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Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones vs Bose NCH 700: Which should you buy?

Bose’s latest additions to its QuietComfort line include the new Bose QuietComfort and the QuietComfort Ultra headphones. 

It’s been several years since the company launched its Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, with the headphones having had big price cuts in that time. 

Keep reading to discover how the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones compare to the NC700. 

Price

The NCH 700 have been available for a few years now and with the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones on the market, the price has dropped through many retailers.

Right now the Bose NCH 700 can be had for less than £300 / $300, although stock is not as widely available as before, especially in terms of new models.

Opt for the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, on the other hand, and you’ll pay $429 / £449.95.

Design

With the QuietComfort Ultra headphones, Bose has put forward a more conventional design with fewer seams and part splits and a cushion that extends all the way around the headband. 

These headphones are also collapsible if you want to stow them away, and we found they were very comfortable to wear. The earpads are soft and cushy, and the weight is around 250g, meaning they don’t cause much pressure on the head.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones collapsed design
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

However, if you’re looking for a more unique-looking pair of headphones, the NC700 are a sleek looking pair. However, they can’t be folded in, but like the newest headphones they weigh 250g and prove to be very comfortable to wear as well.

The QCU Headphones feaure physical controls (and a capactive touch strip for volume) while the NCH 700 use both physical and touch controls. We prefer the tactile controls on the new model, though the older pair’s touch controls work well, we like the feeling of confidence from physical buttons rather than swiping with gesture controls.

Bose noise cancelling headphones 700 main
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Features

The main features to note is that the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones feature CustomTune, a feature that analyses the shape of your ears and automatically adjusts the sound performance to give you the best sound quality possible. 

There’s also Bose Immersive Audio, which is a new spatial audio technology that upmixes audio into 3D sound. Bose uses an onboard IMU and the QuietComfort Ultra’s new digital signal processing software to make audio sound more immersive regardless of audio platform or device. 

Battery is 24 hours (more than the NCH 700’s 20), and Bluetooth support equates to the Bluetooth 5.3 standard with support for aptX Lossless and Snapdragon Sound. This allows for lossless audio to be listened to over a Bluetooth connection as long as you have compatible devices. There’s also Bluetooth multipoint for connecting to two devices at once.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones earcups design
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 don’t support the Custom Tune feature (though like the new headphones you can adjust the sound in the Bose app with presets and an EQ adjuster). It doesn’t support Immersive Audio, which is exclusive to the Ultra range of headphones.

Battery life is 20 hours, less than the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones; and Bluetooth support is of a older standard (Bluetooth 5) with SBC and AAC streaming.

Both share the Bose app, where you can customise the noise-cancelling performance, shortcuts, EQ for both headphones, though the QuietComfort Ultra offers the abilit to customise the Immersive Audio tech too.

The NCH 700 featured built-in voice assistance from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant when they launched but the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones don’t feature any built-in voice assistance. Nevertheless, you can still access a voice assistant through your mobile device.

In terms of noise cancelling the latest headphones are better at suppressing noises. In fact they’re the best pair of over-ears we’ve come across in terms of noise-cancelling. The older model are still impressive but there’s no doubting the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are a stronger performer.

Bose noise cancelling headphones 700 on grass
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Sound Quality

Though we liked the NCH 700’s performance at the time, they weren’t the most musical-sounding headphones. They took a neutral approach to audio, and offered plenty of power and energy with music; but they lacked finesse in the midrange. They weren’t the clearest or most detailed in that area.

That’s been fixed with the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones. There’s plenty of clarity and detail in the midrange, the soundstage is spacious; treble is clearly conveyed and there’s plenty of depth, richness and power to the low end, moreso than with the older headphones. They’re a smoother and weightier listen and a step up over the NCH 700.

Verdict

The QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are a better pair of headphones across a number of categories. The collapsible design makes them more portable, the battery life is better; the wireless performance is stronger (and allows for higher quality audio), and the audio performance is better.

The QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are significantly more expensive though the price has dropped in some stores to around £349 / $349. That’s a good price to snap them up if you’re interested in getting these headphones.

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