The Bose NCH 700 vs Microsoft Surface are both popular products. They both have their pros and cons, but which one is better?
The Bose 700 is a better choice for those who want better sound quality, while the Microsoft Surface is a better choice for those who want a more versatile device.
Bose 700 vs. Microsoft Surface Headphones 2: Specs compared
|Bose 700||Mircrosoft Surface Headphones 2|
|Size||8 x 6.5 x 2 inches||8 x 7.68 x 1.89 inches|
|Weight||9 ounces||10.22 ounces|
|Battery life (rated)||20 hours (ANC on)||20 hours (ANC on)|
|Special features||Active noise cancellation, transparency
mode, adjustable ANC, smart controls, tri-digital assistant support,
multipoint technology, Bose AR-enabled
|Active noise cancellation, transparency
mode, adjustable ANC, customizable EQ, smart controls, digital assistant
support, multipoint technology, Microsoft 365 integration
Price And Value
The Bose 700 has a higher MSRP and is available in four striking colors: Black, Luxe Silver, Soapstone, and the limited-edition Black/Copper variant that is only sold on Apple.com with free charging case.
The best noise-canceling experience is provided by Bose headphones, which are well worth the price. However, Microsoft’s wireless cans give greater value for your money if you’re looking for something less pricey with more features, simple controls, and surprisingly effective ANC.
Bose and Microsoft are experts in producing eye-catching consumer goods, and their most recent designs are among the best-looking headphones available.
Both types have flush shapes that give the impression that they were formed from a single piece of metal. You won’t even notice little features like screws or the threading on the leather earpads because every component is consistently attached. These models have a sleek, contemporary look that is complemented by distinctive features like the stunning arcs below the earcups.
These are two well-made pairs of headphones. The Surface Headphones 2, which combine high-end components like plush padding, soft-touch plastic, and solid metal to make a sturdy frame, get the upper hand, in my opinion. The headband of these headphones won’t break whether you stretch it out or drop them on the floor.
You’re looking at a combination of hardy stainless steel and soft-touch plastic for the Bose 700. Although the thin track system seems like it could break easily if dropped at the wrong angle, the headphones can also withstand some abuse. When unwrapping these stunning objects, bear that in mind.
Both of these headphones are not collapsible, making them less portable. But when you pack them for a road trip, the matching travel cases do a fantastic job of displaying and storing them.
Bose offers a wider variety of colors, some of which are bolder. Even though the Black/Copper version is more expensive, it is a head-turner, and hypebeasts will respect you for it because of its exclusivity.
At the same time, the Matte Black color scheme of the Surface Headphones 2 looks amazing and will make you the envy of anyone who has chosen the Light Gray model or any other less expensive ANC headphones.
Both sets of headphones are comfy, despite the Surface Headphones 2 being significantly bigger and heavier than the Bose 700. You can wear them for around two hours each day before becoming fatigued.
Additionally, they have soft earpads that fit snugly over the ears. No matter which of the two headphones you use, the headbands do feel a little stiff and can exert uncomfortable pressure on the skull, but this is only a problem when worn at the lowest level. The extenders need to be raised two notches in order to give the head extra breathing room.
Although neither headphone is flawlessly made, any imperfections in the two versions’ designs balance one another out.
In terms of functionality, Bose and Microsoft didn’t cut any corners. The two tech behemoths added touch screens, motion sensors, support for personal assistants, and other intelligent features to their respective headphones.
The most user-friendly and enjoyable control system we examined was developed by Microsoft using ear cup dials, which make setting noise cancellation and volume a pleasure.
Wireless headphones for Microsoft Surface, however, wins this round on innovation. The Surface Headphones 2 are also programmed with a variety of simple-to-use functionalities that properly respond to swipe and tap motions.
The right ear cup of the Bose 700 has a sensitive touch panel that recognizes slide and tap movements for call control and playback, making it another intuitive device. The display is too small, and the built-in extender frequently gets in the way while trying to play back or forward a record. That is my only concern.
The controls on the earcups can be used to link the headphones, turn them on or off, switch between the ANC and ambient listening modes, and activate Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa, which, in my opinion, performs voice commands more quickly and flawlessly on the 700.
It’s challenging to pick a winner in this case, especially given the dynamic, well-balanced sound the two headphones bestow upon your ears. If I had to choose just one, I would choose the Bose 700 because of its clear and accurate portrayal. However, the Surface Headphones 2 aren’t far behind, so be careful.
The Bose 700’s incredible high range was put on display by the shrieking screams at the start of Prince’s “Get Off,” while the sparkling flute on the hook was heard with clarity and warmth.
When the ANC levels were raised, I also heard a tiny increase in bass, which brought out the kicks and snares more. In contrast to the Surface Headphones 2’s deep bass response, the Bose 700 provided punchy lows on more boom-heavy music. However, they were more like jabs.
The percussion is barely audible in a song like Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode.” Nevertheless, despite the Bose 700’s muted bass end, these headphones give superb reproduction, which is best heard when listening to symphonic records like Donald Byrd’s “You and the Music,” which is accentuated by the powerful horn play and serene-sounding violins.
The Surface Headphones 2’s boomy and expansive soundscape also appeals to me. I was able to confirm that these headphones can handle various music genres and do it superbly after listening to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got).” Instruments are well-represented and stand out over the record’s groovy production, from the thudding kick drum to the calming saxophone sample at the end.
Microsoft did not, however, solve the same problems with the original Surface Headphones, namely the strong bass, which frequently causes distortion and obscures vocals on some albums. Synth-heavy songs like Kanye West’s “Welcome to Heartbreak” struggle because Ye’s raps and the hook by Kid Cudi are opaque.
The sound quality suffers when either of these headphones is used in wired mode. Bass and loudness drops will be audible. Additionally, the Surface Headphones 2 and Bose 700 aux wires are quite thin and delicate, so you’ll want to take extra care not to tangle them up with anything that may easily rip them.
Active Noise Cancellation
Bose’s active noise cancellation (ANC) technology has long been the industry benchmark, as demonstrated by the highly regarded QuietComfort 35 series. With more microphones and cleverer algorithms, the Bose 700 offers champion noise neutralization.
For the 700, Bose developed their potent eight-mic system, six of which are used to significantly reduce outside noise. The technology is astonishingly effective at muzzling sounds of all intensities, from noisy neighbors to wailing infants and portable drills to jet engines.
It does the best job at suppressing disturbances, but it isn’t strong enough to drown out construction noise or other excruciatingly loud noises (such as ambulance sirens or jackhammers). Although you still get good performance when you lower it to 8, which will also help you conserve battery life, you may expect the best results at the maximum ANC level (10).
Remember that activating Ambient Mode on the Bose 700’s lowest ANC setting allows you to hear what is going on around you. Most wireless headphones now have it as a feature, and the Bose 700 does it nicely. I didn’t have to take the headphones off to have short, clear conversations with my fiance and the neighborhood baristas.
As we noted in our review of the original Surface Headphones, headphones icrosoft deserves credit for being the first to implement 13 levels of adjustable noise cancellation, which we found to be highly effective in reducing “angry commuters” and “rush-hour traffic.” Little has changed because Microsoft’s own eight-mic technology can still effectively suppress loud background noise.
While my fiancée jumped on conference calls nearby, I was able to listen to music in peace in the living room. During phone talks, the mics did a fantastic job of preventing background noise and maintaining the clarity of my voice.
All things considered, the ANC capabilities of the Surface Headphones 2 fall short of those of the Bose 700. I was surprised to discover that even with the ANC settings set to 10 or higher, I could still hear phone conversations and music playing via my fiancée’s iPhone speaker from a few feet away.
That problem wasn’t mine with the Bose 700. Another complaint is that the Surface Headphones 2’s noise-canceling settings are so indistinguishable that most high-frequency noises sounded the same on Level 5 and Level 10.
App and Special Features
Give the best headphones for Microsoft Surface this round. Underneath their slick exterior, the Windows-friendly headphones are equipped with several unique features. Let’s start with multipoint technology, which allows users to pair up to 10 devices at once and is the most dynamic Bluetooth technology we’ve seen on a pair of headphones.
I’ve even connected to five devices simultaneously and discovered that switching between them is smooth. Another advantage of the headphones is their great ability to reconnect to previously connected devices right away.
The software also adds capabilities to the companion app, Surface Audio, which has been redesigned to improve the user experience in a variety of areas. The frequency levels can be adjusted using the built-in EQ, or you can choose from a small number of presets created with particular genres in mind, albeit the bulk of them don’t sound great.
You may push firmware updates, select Siri or Google Assistant as your default digital assistant, modify language preferences, and more.
However, voice dictation for Microsoft 365, which enables spoken note-taking in Windows programs, is the headphones’ unappreciated function (e.g., Word, Outlook, Powerpoint). Although it is specialized and unlikely that many people will use it, it appears to be useful for times when you want to rest your fingers from typing.
The only thing about Surface Audio that I don’t like is that Microsoft decided to get rid of useful features like Spotify integration. The promised Play My Email feature is still unavailable to Android users, although it is available to iPhone users right away.
To go along with the Bose 700, Bose released a brand-new smartphone application called Bose Music. It lacks functionality and is still rather buggy. Positives include its simplicity, neat appearance, and ease of customizing noise canceling.
When you push the button on the left earcup, an ANC lever appears on the home screen, allowing you to configure and remember three different ANC settings. Should you feel the need to enhance call quality, there is also a Self Voice option that improves call clarity.
Apart from that, Bose Music doesn’t really have much to offer that makes it worthwhile to download. There isn’t even a Find My Headphones option, equalization, or music presets. To make matters worse, the firm declared that it would discontinue Bose AR, the platform for augmented reality audio that the Bose 700 supports.
Both versions make excellent calling headsets, and I’m delighted to say that they both work well, albeit I prefer the Bose 700 while speaking outside. I was told my voice sounded loud and clear when conversing with friends on Skype while sitting on the front porch because four of the Bose 700’s eight built-in microphones assist filter out background noise.
I was able to speak properly while racing back into the home during an unexpected thunderstorm because the Bose 700s improved wind resistance.
Similar to this, the Surface Headphones 2 eliminate background noise using its built-in microphones and custom algorithms. Particularly on Skype chats, I experienced excellent call quality, and there was even a time when my fiancee was unaware of a jet flying overhead. The worst thing you can do is take calls while in the wired mode because it makes a static ticking noise and occasionally mutes the other party’s speech.
Unfortunately, neither pair of headphones has what we would consider long playtimes. When compared to competing products like the Sony WH-1000xM3 (30 hours) and Jabra Elite 85h (20 hours), Bose and Microsoft’s devices have substantially shorter battery lives (20 hours with ANC enabled) (40 hours). Not to add that only one of these, the Bose 700, delivers on its claimed playback time.
Despite using my Bose headphones for two to three hours per day, I have gone almost a week without needing to recharge them. It consumes a lot of power to listen at maximum volume or ANC, but it’s not quite as awful as the Surface Headphones 2.
The battery life on Microsoft’s cans is reduced to roughly 16 hours by all the sophisticated features and specifications. This is sufficient for coast-to-coast flights, but to extend use, you’ll still need to have a portable charger or USB-C charging cord on hand.
Another thing to think about is the fact that Bose sells a charging case separately, which provides consumers with an extra 40 hours of use. When you do the arithmetic, buying the headphones and case together actually saves you money.
Verdict: Should You Choose the Bose 700 or Microsoft Surface 2?
It almost feels unfair to compare any noise-canceling device that wasn’t made by Sony to a beast like the Bose 700 because Bose’s ANC technology is so good. Bose beats the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 despite their valiant effort because of its superior noise cancellation, sound quality, and design.
|Bose 700||Microsoft Surface Headphones 2|
|Price and value (5)||4||5|
|Audio quality (20)||18||17|
|Active noise cancelation
|Special features and apps
|Call quality (5)||5||3|
|Battery life (10)||7||6|
|Total Score (100)||86||83|
That is not to imply that Microsoft’s cans are without merit. The more audiophiles adjust the adjustable noise cancellation, which the Bose 700 also boasts, the more they will value it as a cool feature. The sound quality is also excellent. However, its flawless wireless performance (the ability to connect to 10 devices at once is awesome) and productivity tools are its greatest selling factors (e.g., Microsoft 365, Play My Email).
The Bose 700 ultimately has the components and specifications to deliver a superior listening and noise-canceling experience.
- Bose QuietComfort 45 vs Sony WH-1000XM5
- Bose NCH 700 vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- Jabra Elite 85H vs Bose NCH 700
How do the Surface Headphones 2 sound?
For use in the office, the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 are adequate. They are cozy and offer an excellent active noise cancellation technology that helps muffle office noise. They don’t leak much audio, so even if you crank it high, your coworkers shouldn’t be able to hear you.
Worth purchasing the Surface headphones?
If you’re looking for a pair of Surface headphones, there’s really no need to get those. Because of the excellent multipoint connectivity and strong enough sound quality that is still somewhat superior to Sony’s, I’d say this holds its own even when compared to the Sony WH-1000XM4.
Is the Surface Headphones 2 iPhone compatible?
The original Surface Headphones also support the iPhone and iPad and are Bluetooth-enabled.
Can you play PC games with the Bose 700?
Although the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are Bluetooth compatible, their latency is probably too high for wireless gaming. For wired gaming, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 works well.
How good is the Bose 700?
The fantastic Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 provides excellent and highly customizable sound blocking in addition to excellent audio quality. However, they fall short of Sony’s equivalents in terms of pricing and battery life. Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong with this attractive and outstanding pair of headphones.
The Bose 700 and Microsoft Surface headphones are both great options for audio quality and features. The Bose 700 has a slightly better sound quality, while the Surface headphones have better noise cancellation. Both options are comfortable to wear and have excellent battery life. Ultimately, the decision between the two comes down to personal preference.