Bose QuietComfort Ultras vs. Bose 700s

by Emma Baker, Senior Editor | Published February 15th, 2024 | Reviewed by Ted Wilson, Systems Engineer

The introduction of the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 marks a new chapter in the company’s legacy, offering consumers a choice between two premium products. The QuietComfort Ultra represents the latest in Bose’s lineup, boasting advanced hardware and a focus on power, while the Bose 700, though slightly older, emphasizes style with its metal exterior and still-impressive capabilities.

These two models pose an interesting dilemma for audiophiles and casual listeners alike: which one offers the best blend of style, functionality, and audio quality? This comparison aims to delve into the specifics of each model, helping potential buyers make an informed decision based on their personal preferences and requirements.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Wireless vs Bose 700 Wireless Comparison

Feature Bose QuietComfort Ultra Wireless Bose 700 Wireless
Battery Life Battery Life: 20 hours
Charge Time: 2.3 hours
Battery Life: 20 hours
Charge Time: 2.5 hours
Sound Performance Bass Accuracy: 8.5
Mid Accuracy: 8.7
Treble Accuracy: 8.3
Peaks/Dips: 6.8
Imaging: 8.9
Passive Soundstage: 6.5
Bass Accuracy: 7.8
Mid Accuracy: 8.9
Treble Accuracy: 8.7
Peaks/Dips: 7.7
Imaging: 8.8
Passive Soundstage: 7.0
Active Noise Cancelling ANC: Excellent ANC: Excellent
Comfort Comfort: Very comfortable Comfort: Very comfortable
Responsive Controls Controls: Touch-sensitive Controls: Touch-sensitive and buttons

Sound Quality for Ultras vs 700s

I’ve noticed a significant difference in the approaches to sound quality. The QuietComfort Ultra represents a notable advancement, especially in handling bass and mid-range frequencies. 

In my experience, they adopt a more subtle approach in the bass and 2-8kHz regions compared to their predecessor, resulting in a more balanced and nuanced audio profile. This design choice effectively avoids overwhelming the listener with excessive bass. Additionally, I found that these headphones support high-bitrate Bluetooth codecs, such as aptX Lossless, which offers CD-quality audio. 

However, it’s worth mentioning that this feature is best utilized with specific Android devices, particularly those equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor or newer.

In contrast, the Bose 700, though an older model, maintains its reputation for quality sound. When I used them, I noticed they accentuate the bass and mid-range frequencies slightly more than the QuietComfort Ultra, creating a vibrant and dynamic sound profile. This might be more appealing to those who enjoy a bit more bass in their music. However, the Bose 700 is limited to AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, lacking the capability for the higher-bitrate options available in its successor.

From my perspective, choosing between the Bose QuietComfort Ultra and the Bose 700 for sound quality is a matter of personal preference. The QuietComfort Ultra offers a more balanced and high-fidelity experience, particularly for users with compatible Android devices. 

Meanwhile, the Bose 700 delivers a more robust and energetic sound, though it falls slightly behind in technical sophistication regarding codec support. 

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Vents

Noise Cancellation (ANC) for QC Ultras and Bose 700s

As someone who often travels and works in noisy environments, I’ve really appreciated the Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones. Their advanced Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology, with a sophisticated system of multiple microphones, does an excellent job at filtering out everything from the low hum of airplane engines to the buzz of office conversations. 

This gives me a truly immersive and uninterrupted listening experience. In comparison, the Bose 700 headphones, which I also use regularly, are great for everyday use. They have a four-microphone system that’s good enough for typical scenarios like commuting or working in a moderately noisy office. 

However, they don’t quite reach the level of the QuietComfort Ultra, which boasts a ten-microphone array and adapts better to different noise environments. For those who need top-notch noise isolation, especially in challenging settings, the QuietComfort Ultra, with its superior noise-canceling features and advanced sound processing, is definitely the better choice.

Comparing Comfort

After extensive use of both the QuietComfort Ultra and the Bose 700, I found that the QuietComfort Ultra stands out with its superior padding. It offers a snug and comfortable fit that easily adapts to various head shapes, enhancing both comfort and sound isolation. 

In my use, this adaptability was a noticeable advantage over the Bose 700, which, while comfortable, didn’t quite match the QuietComfort Ultra in terms of plushness and adaptability.

In terms of weight, both models are remarkably similar, with the QuietComfort Ultra weighing around 253 grams and the Bose 700 slightly lighter at 250 grams. This close similarity in weight was significant in my experience, as it contributed to the overall comfort level during extended periods of use.

Overall, the QuietComfort Ultra has a slight edge due to its enhanced padding and more adaptable fit. The Bose 700, though not quite as plush in these specific areas, still provides a comfortable and satisfying experience, especially for those who appreciate a more robust build and sleek design.

Battery Life Compared

In my use, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones have consistently impressed me with their outstanding battery life. They reliably provided up to 27 hours and 37 minutes of continuous playback, a feature that proved invaluable during my long journeys. 

On the other hand, when I switched to using the Bose 700, they also performed well, offering about 21 hours and 25 minutes of battery life under similar usage conditions. While this duration is generally adequate for daily activities, it didn’t quite reach the same level of endurance that I experienced with the QuietComfort Ultra.

From my personal perspective, the longevity of a headphone’s battery is an essential consideration, particularly as I prefer to avoid frequent charging. This habit can accelerate battery degradation. Thus, the extended battery life of the QuietComfort Ultra not only added to my convenience but also indicated a potential for longer-lasting use. This aspect makes them a more appealing choice for someone like me, who aims to minimize battery wear and maximize the lifespan of their headphones.

Call Quality Compared: A Close Call

In using both the Bose QuietComfort Ultra and the Bose 700, I’ve noticed distinct differences in their call quality. The QuietComfort Ultra, being the newer addition to Bose’s lineup, impressed me with its advancements in call clarity. 

When I used it in moderately noisy environments, such as a bustling café or a busy office, the clarity of voice transmission was consistently remarkable. The microphone’s prowess in filtering out background noise while preserving the natural tone of the voice stood out. This feature alone makes the QuietComfort Ultra a top pick for professionals like me who often find themselves on calls in noisy settings.

On the other hand, the Bose 700, though an older model, has not lost its relevance in terms of call quality. In my use, it delivered a reliable performance, ensuring voices were clear and free from significant distortion. The microphone system of the Bose 700 adeptly balances voice pick-up with noise suppression. 

However, in my experience, when directly compared to the QuietComfort Ultra, the Bose 700 slightly lags in delivering the same richness and depth in voice transmission, particularly in louder environments. This subtle difference became more apparent to me in side-by-side comparisons, especially in scenarios where background noise was more pronounced.

Verdict: QC Ultras or the 700s?

In the world of high-end noise-canceling headphones, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra and Bose 700 stand as two formidable contenders, each with its unique strengths. My journey with both models has led me to appreciate the nuances that set them apart.

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra, as the newer addition to the Bose family, showcases significant advancements in noise-canceling technology. Its superior active noise cancellation (ANC) capabilities make it an ideal companion for frequent travelers or those working in noise-intensive environments. 

The QuietComfort Ultra’s extended battery life, offering around 27 hours of continuous playback, is a testament to its efficiency and durability. This feature alone makes it a more practical choice for those who disdain frequent charging.

On the other hand, the Bose 700, though slightly older, continues to hold its ground with commendable performance. Its reliable noise cancellation is adequate for everyday scenarios like commuting or working in a moderately noisy office. The 700’s design, which balances style and functionality, appeals to users who value aesthetics alongside performance. 

However, when it comes to the richness of sound and the depth of noise isolation, especially in challenging environments, the QuietComfort Ultra clearly takes the lead.

Price-wise, the Bose 700, being the older model, often comes at a more attractive price point. This makes it a viable option for those seeking quality without the premium cost of the latest technology. The QuietComfort Ultra, while more expensive, justifies its price with cutting-edge features and a more future-proof design.

In conclusion, the choice between the Bose QuietComfort Ultra and Bose 700 boils down to individual preferences and specific needs. If cutting-edge noise cancellation, longer battery life, and the latest technological advancements are your priority, the QuietComfort Ultra is the way to go. 

However, if you’re looking for a balance between cost, style, and performance, the Bose 700 remains a strong contender. Both models stand as testaments to Bose’s commitment to quality and innovation in the realm of audio technology.