Bose 700 vs Bose QC45

Bose 700 vs QC45: A Comparative Review

The Bose Headphones 700 and the QuietComfort 45 headphones are two of the best noise cancellation headphones produced by Bose with an emphasis on comfort and sound attenuation. Compared to the QC45 headphones, the Bose 700 has a more premium look and feel, and feels much sleeker as compared to the QC45s with its lightweight stainless steel headband. The Bose headphones 700 also have much more levels of active noise cancellation (they have 11 levels of ANC) and provide much more noise cancellation customization options as compared to the QC45 headphones (which only has two – Quiet and Aware modes). Having said that, we did find the QC45 headphones to be slightly more portable and delivers better and crisper highs than the Bose Headphones 700, making vocals and podcasts sound really clean and smooth. The QC45 headphones also have better overall noise cancellation when using Quiet mode, and is able to block out ambient background sounds better than the Bose headphone 700 even though it lacks customizable levels for the ANC.

One of the standout features of the Bose headphones 700 is the call quality – it is still an unbeatable headphone if you need a headset for office calls and it has some of the clearest call quality that you can get with Alexa voice control. The Bose 700 is perfect for video conferencing or taking calls, and provides some of the clearest call quality that you can get.

The Bose 700 headphone comes with 11 levels of active noise cancellation and a sleek design, and offers more ANC customisation options than the Bose QC45

Comparing the Specs

SpecificationBose 700Bose QC45
Headphone FitAround Ear, CircumauralOver-the-Ear, Circumaural
Noise CancellingYes (Adjustable Noise Cancelling with 11 levels)Yes (Active Noise Cancelling)
Microphones8 Microphones (2 for Voice pickup, 6 for ANC)6 Microphones (including a fourth external microphone for improved voice pickup)
Audio cable includedYesYes
Charging InterfaceUSB-CUSB-C
Wireless ConnectivityAAC Bluetooth, SBC BluetoothBluetooth
Bluetooth Version5.05.1
Bluetooth RangeUp to 33 feet (10 meters)Up to 30 feet
Battery Life20 hours22 hours
Battery Charge Time2.5 hours2.5 hours
Weight0.56 lb (250 g)0.53 pounds
Additional FeaturesTouch controls, Voice assistant access, TriPort acoustic structure for audio enhancementTriPort acoustic architecture for audio enhancement, Adjustable EQ, Aware Mode for environmental awareness

The Bose 700 offers adjustable noise cancelling with more customization and includes touch controls for easy access. It also supports voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. The QC45, on the other hand, has a slightly longer battery life and a newer Bluetooth version. Both models use TriPort acoustic headphone structure for enhanced audio performance and offer similar noise cancelling capabilities, although the Bose 700 provides more levels of control than the QC45s.

Sound Comparison

The Bose Headphone 700 and the Bose QC45s have a rather similar sound signature with a good emphasis on the lows and the highs. Having said that, we did feel that the Bose QC45 delivers better and crisper highs with smooth timbre and treble ranges. The Bose QC45 are able to articulate the highs better with more clarity and detail especially while listening to live vocals; the Bose headphones 700 highs sound rather standard and less crisp than the QC45s.

We played a couple of music performances including JVKE’s “Golden Hour” and Shawn Mendes “Senorita” through both headphones. We really liked the bass response on both the Bose 700 and QC45 headphones, and they deliver almost equal bass notes with good depth and power, although both of them aren’t as good as the latest Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones that we have recently tested in terms of bass. That being said, the bass on the QC45 and the Bose 700 headphones have depth and do not sound too overpowering, making them suitable for a wide variety of music genres and generally those who prefer a good balance of bass and highs in their music.

When it comes to the midrange, both headphones also perform relatively well and you get nice details in the midrange frequencies with good response. These headphones can deliver a lot of detail even at higher volume levels without any distortion, and you can hear the subtle details in the midranges quite clearly.

Where the QC45 and Bose 700 headphones differ is in the highs. The treble ranges are much better on the QC45s and they deliver nicer vocals especially if you are listening to podcasts and EDM music. We felt that the highs on the Bose 700 sounded more tame and did not stand out like the QC45s especially at the higher frequency ranges. The QC45s also have pretty good timbre ranges and they handle instrumental music nicely with crystal clear details (especially for wind and string instruments).

Overall, we preferred the sound of the Bose QC45s as compared to the Bose 700 headphones as they deliver much better highs and vocals. Both headphones sound pretty much the same at the midrange and lower-end bass frequencies, so the only deciding factor here would be the highs and vocal ranges. We felt that the QC45s edges out the Bose 700 headphones in this respect with better highs and timbre ranges that sound smooth and more detailed.

The Bose QC45 have a better overall sound signature and deliver crisper highs and detailed vocals than the Bose 700

Noise Cancelling Comparison

Both the Bose QC45 and the Bose 700 headphones have really good noise cancelling, although the Bose headphones 700 provides more customization options with 11 levels of active noise cancelling. We compared the Bose 700 and the QC45s using the highest noise cancelling setting (level 11 for the Bose 700 and Quiet for the QC45s) and we found that the QC45s actually have slightly better noise cancelling than the Bose 700. For example, the sound of a fan from a distance of 3m can be heard at 50% of its normal noise with the Bose 700 but around 30% with the Bose QC45s. We also found that the Bose 700 did not cancel the highs and speech as well as the Bose QC45s – the QC45s are definitely more effective at attenuating background sounds and conversational speech.

With that said, we felt that both the Bose 700 and the QC45s were equally good at reducing background noises particularly with the lower-end frequency bands – they can reduce humming noise quite well and we did not hear any appreciable difference between both headphones when it comes to lower frequency sounds.

On balance, the Bose QC45 headphones deliver much more all-rounded noise cancelling which can attenuate background sounds and reduce the noise level of conversation speech (or people talking around you). The Bose 700 delivers roughly the same level of noise cancellation and is effective at reducing background sounds, but not as effective as the QC45s when it comes to vocals and speech.

We did like the amount of customization that the Bose 700 headphones provide however; it provides up to 11 levels of active noise cancellation which can be really useful if you want to control the amount of background sounds that you hear without going on full noise cancelling mode. The Bose QC45s unfortunately do not have this ability and only allow you to switch between Aware and Quiet modes, which we found to be rather limiting. Ultimately, if you want to customize your noise cancelling levels the Bose 700 would be a better choice; otherwise the Bose QC 45s provide much better all-around noise cancelling.

Bose 700 Headphone
The Bose 700 headphones are very sleek and comfortable to wear, and have an excellent microphone for conference calls

Design and Comfort

In terms of design, the Bose 700 headphones feature a really sleek and premium looking design with a lightweight stainless steel headband and earcups which are tilted for a more comfortable fit. The Bose 700 headphones are very lightweight at 254g but are still slightly heavier than the Bose QC45 which weighs 238g (although you won’t really feel much of a difference in terms of weight when you wear them). The Bose 700 comes with a built-in battery that delivers up to 20 hours of playtime on a single charge. The Bose 700 uses Bluetooth 5.0 and the Bose QC45 headphones uses Bluetooth 5.1 which is slightly more advanced but makes no appreciable difference in sound performance. The Bose 700 allows you to use voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for music and comes with intuitive controls on the earcups. Furthermore, it also supports one touch to listen to Spotify where you can instantly listen to your Spotify soundtrack by tapping and holding the right earcup.

By comparison, the Bose QC45 headphones have a slightly longer battery life of up to 22 hours on a single charge and they support quick charging where a quick 15 minute charge will provide 3 hours of additional playtime. You can also use the Bose app to adjust the EQ settings and set the bass, midrange and treble to personalize your listening experience. The Bose QC45 headphones are extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear, and come with a well-padded headband and swivelling earcups. We found the Bose QC45s to be much more portable than the Bose 700 headphones simply because you can swivel the earcups and fold up the headphones, while the Bose 700 is not foldable.

Both the Bose 700 and QC45 come with a built-in microphone for you to take hands free calls. We felt that the Bose 700 headphones deliver much clearer and crystal clear call quality, making it perfect for conferencing or speaking on the phone. The QC45s also come with a built-in mic, but we felt that the level of noise cancellation offered in the microphone is not as good as the Bose 700 (in terms of blocking out ambient background sounds from the microphone). The Bose 700 headphones are still unbeatable when it comes to call quality.

Both the Bose 700 and Bose QC45 headphone support Bose SimpleSync technology which allows you to pair your headphone with a Bose smart soundbar for a personalized TV listening experience – this allows you to watch movies on your TV while listening to audio on your headphone. The Bsoe QC45s certainly shines in this regard, as it provides a much better cinematic sound performance and 3D rendering as compared to the Bose 700 headphones.

Bose QC45 foldable
The Bose QC45 headphones are much more portable than the Bose 700 with a foldable design

The Verdict?

We felt that the Bose QC45s are overall better than the Bose 700 because they deliver a more robust sound signature with crisper highs and superb noise cancellation. The sound performance on the QC45s is comparatively better than the Bose 700 when it comes to highs and vocal ranges with really good detail and timbre, although the Bose 700’s sound signature is roughly the same as the QC45s for the midrange and bass output. In terms of comfort, the Bose QC45 and the Bose 700 are virtually a tie as both are very lightweight and comfortable, although the Bose 700 has a sleeker design with a metallic headband.

That being said, we preferred the Bose QC45 as it can be folded (with swivelling earcups) and is a more practical option to carry around compared to the Bose 700. Where the Bose 700 shines is the call quality and conferencing – they are superb headphones to use in the office and you never have to worry about drop-offs or cutting out during phone calls. While the Bose 700 does have customizable active noise cancelling, the Bose QC45s offers a simpler “Quiet” mode which we found to be more effective at blocking conversational sounds and rumbling noise (from fans or air conditioners).

You won’t go wrong with either the Bose 700 or the QC45s, but we would go for the Bose QC45s just for the slight edge in sound performance and better portability.