A wireless, noise-canceling model is the perfect buy if you’re in the market for a flashy new pair of over-ear headphones. They’re convenient and have spectacular listening quality. But, with so many options, picking the right one can be tricky. There are some impressive models from different brands, but the most popular are from Bose, Sony and Apple.
While the Bose 700s are over three years old, their features and sound quality are still excellent. But do they hold up well against the Airpod Max headphones from Apple? You’ll want to know the answer to this question, especially if you’re a loyal Apple fan. So, without further ado, look at our full AirPods Max vs Bose 700 comparison below, and decide for yourself.
AirPods Max vs Bose 700: Side-By-Side Comparison
|AirPods Max||Bose 700|
|Release date||December 2020||March 2019|
|Battery life||20 hours||20 hours|
|Colors||Silver, Space Gray, Sky Blue, Pink, Green||Black, Luxe Silver, Soapstone|
|Noise-canceling||Two modes: ‘Active Noise Cancellation’ and ‘Transparency’||Scrollable scale|
|Connectivity||Two devices||Two devices|
- Apple-designed dynamic driver for high-fidelity audio
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Transparency mode
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
- Designed with a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions
AirPods Max vs Bose 700: What’s the Difference?
At first glance, we can see a lot more color choices available with the AirPods, and bolder ones at that. This will be an attractive factor for those looking to make a statement. It’s not all glitz and glam with the AirPods, though, as they have some nifty design elements. They feature an adjustable headband and plump memory foam earpads, which are ideal for the most comfortable, long sessions. These pads also are removable and re-attachable using magnets, which is useful on the go.
Overall, the AirPods look great and feel great. And this is important, especially considering their weight; they come in over 100 grams heavier than the Bose 700s and are some of the heaviest headphones out there. Bose 700s are more sleek and compact, with a more refined set of colors. You can choose from Black, Luxe Silver and Soapstone, which are essentially off-white with some rose gold detail. The latter is a limited edition, so it may not be available.
The 700s also have oval earcups, which are more modern than the curved rectangular ones that the AirPods feature. While they don’t have an adjustable headband, the 700s have a padded layer on the headband and feature invisible hinges. These add to their understated design. The 700s have adjustable earcups, which do a lot to improve comfort. The AirPods may not seem as innovative as the 700s, but they give off a luxurious feel.
Always a big factor in purchasing headphones, sound quality is not something to be ignored. Luckily, both options provide an excellent listening experience, but some differences exist. While the 700s do provide a clear and dynamic sound, the AirPods sound just that little bit better, with even more clarity and energetic quality that’s hard to beat.
If you like to watch movies with more privacy, you will be thrilled with the spatial audio of the AirPods as well. This essentially gives an immersive surround sound experience with various movies utilizing Dolby audio. Whichever way your head moves, the audio stays consistent with the screen, so the AirPods take first place in music and movies. You’ll still get great sound quality with the 700s, though, as they pick up on levels of detail you may not have experienced before. It’s just that the AirPods push it a little further.
Active Noise Cancellation
Arguably as important to some as the sound quality, noise cancellation is one of the selling points of both models. As such, both the AirPods and the 700s cancel noises excellently, so those construction workers, that train rumbling, and the hustle of conversations around you in the cafe are all effectively blocked out.
You get 11 noise cancellation levels with the 700s, including transparency mode, which lets you hear some ambient noise. This is useful when you need to be aware of your surroundings, like crossing a busy street or chatting with a friend. AirPods also have a transparency mode but feature a few microphones in the earcups, which face outward. These can detect external sounds and adapt noise cancellation dynamically based on the headphones’ movement. While the 700s do perform exceptionally well, they lack this real-time adjustment. The AirPods lack an adjustable scale, but the active nature of their noise cancelation works wonders and is more simple. A small area where the 700s are superior is comfort when ANC is turned on. Some people experience pressure when using ANC, and Bose has done more to mitigate this than their competitors.
As previously mentioned, the AirPods have a spatial audio feature that the 700s don’t. The AirPods also make use of what is termed the ‘Digital Crown’, which is essentially a dial used for controls. This allows you to play, pause or skip tracks, answer calls, activate voice controls and switch between ANC and transparency modes. While they lack the touch-responsiveness of the 700s, this dial is precise and easy to use once you get used to it. Fans of touch controls will be pleased with the 700s, but there are also some physical buttons to suit your preference. Both devices come with Adaptive EQ, which automatically adjusts the frequencies of music you’re listening to for optimum listening. They also have voice controls, although you’ll use Siri with the AirPods and Google Voice Assistant with the 700s.
The AirPods do have some features the 700s lack, however. Audio Sharing allows you to share audio with another set of AirPods, iPhones, Ipad or even Apple TVs. They also automatically pause audio when removed, which is very handy. Another feature is Automatic Switching, which switches connections between Mac, iPad and iPhone when a call is being taken. The AirPods lack the energy-saving passive mode of the 700s, but this greatly reduces the sound quality, so it isn’t as much of a dealbreaker as it may appear at first. Overall, the AirPods have a few more features that can be useful but work best when paired with an iPhone, unsurprisingly.
There isn’t much of a competition when it comes to battery life, mostly because it’s very similar for both models. The 700s and the AirPods claim 20 hours with ANC on, but this may be extended in reality. Where you can use a rather standard USB-C cable to charge up the 700s, you’ll have to use a Lightning cable with the AirPods. Both can charge fairly quickly, but the AirPods win in this regard; 15 minutes of charging gives around 3.5 hours of listening with the 700s, but you’ll get approximately 1.5 hours of runtime with the AirPods charging for the same time. Oddly, you can’t turn the AirPods off, but they do enter ‘energy-saving’ mode when placed into their accompanying case. All in all, both charging times are impressive, and the competition is close.
You can get the 700s for almost $200 less than the AirPods. As such, it’s important to consider if the extra splurge is worth it. AirPods shortage continues, but even with discounts applied, they will be much more expensive. The price may be justified for those with a bigger budget and Apple fanatics after a complete set of tech. This will make sense if you want to use the smart features fully. Given that you get better sound quality with the AirPods, they’re the smarter choice if money is no object.
AirPods Max vs Bose 700: 6 Must-Know Facts
- The AirPods and the 700s have similar battery lives but the AirPods charge slightly quicker.
- The AirPods have better sound quality but are significantly more expensive.
- Both headphones provide excellent noise cancellation, but the 700s ANC is manually adjustable.
- The AirPods have more smart features than the 700s, particularly if you use a suite of Apple products.
- The AirPods are significantly heavier than the 700s.
- There are more colors to choose from with the AirPods, which are more vivid.
AirPods Max vs Bose 700: Which is Better?
This is a close contest. Both headphones have excellent sound quality, ANC and similar battery life. The sound quality and smart features of the AirPods are superior but work better when paired with an iPhone. If you aren’t a huge fan of Apple products or an avid movie reader and like to adjust your settings manually, the 700s is a wise choice and a more budget-friendly option. The 700s are also a lot lighter, so if pressure on your head or neck is a concern, this is something to consider. If you know and love your Apple products, prefer easy-to-use tech and are after that immersive cinematic experience, you can’t go wrong with the AirPods.
- AirPods vs Beats: How Headphones from Each Brand Compare – Curious as to how the AirPods brand stacks up against Beats? Find the answers to your questions here.
- These Are the 6 Best Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones – Check out some other excellent options from Bose to ensure you make the right choice.
- What are the Best Bose Earbuds? We Checked – If you want something from Bose, maybe some earbuds would suit you best. Discover the differences by clicking the link.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/Ирина Мещерякова.