“AKG’s attractive N700NC headphones stand tall with the very best within the enterprise.”
Balanced, elegant sound
Strong battery life
No AptX or AptX HD
Controls take some getting used to
There are only a few corporations as able to coming into the aggressive world of wi-fi noise-canceling headphones as AKG. The audio model (now owned by Samsung) has an extended historical past of creating among the greatest audio merchandise on earth, so it stands to motive that its new N700NC headphones might stand with the very best available on the market.
After a couple of weeks of testing, we’re completely happy to report that they do. With nice appears, snug earpads, and punchy sound, the N700NC go toe to toe with Sony’s glorious WH-1000xM3 and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. That stated, a couple of quirks hold AKG’s premium noise-canceling cans from topping of our listing of the easiest wi-fi noise-canceling headphones on earth.
Out of the field
One of many N700NC’s greatest options is how implausible they give the impression of being. AKG has a observe file for making stunning merchandise, however the firm’s designers actually outdid themselves right here. Formed right into a glossy, silver-and-black chassis, they’re simply among the many most stunning wi-fi headphones we’ve laid eyes on. Massive, leather-lined earcups are accented with a cultured AKG brand on the outside, and the headscarf tapers away out of your ears to supply a stupendous, peanut-shaped line with a tender headband above it.
The headphones arrive inside a high-quality arduous case that’s coated with sturdy gray material, and a pocket inside gives loads of storage for the included micro USB charging cable, three.5 mm audio cable, and instruction booklet. One other function we like in regards to the case is the molded sections for the earcups, permitting the headphones to fold down completely — making certain they’re by no means bouncing round unnecessarily in your backpack or carry-on. These extras are very welcome on a pair of headphones designed explicitly for vacationers.
Any pair of headphones designed for lengthy journeys ought to at the beginning be snug, and we’re completely happy to report that the N700NC match that invoice. The reminiscence foam earpads are narrower than these of comparable fashions from Bose and Sony, however they really feel a bit deeper total, offering a fluffy barrier between your ears and the skin world. The scarf, too, is splendidly padded, and we had no downside sporting the headphones for a whole workday, even over varied baseball caps and winter hats throughout our commute.
Among the many most stunning wi-fi headphones we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Controls are situated on every earpiece, with three buttons on the left facet for quantity and enjoying/pausing music, and two on the correct — one for energy/pairing, and a Sensible Ambient button for mixing in sounds from the skin world. The latter button is assignable contained in the AKG app for Android and iOS, permitting you to choose between “Ambient Conscious” mode, which pipes in sound whilst you pay attention, or “TalkThru” mode, which helps you to press it to quickly mute what you’re listening to and pipe in exterior sound, excellent for fast conversations with flight attendants with out eradicating the headphones.
The one actual gripe we’ve got with the controls is that they’re skinny and small, and likewise situated in a considerably awkward place on the headphones. We received used to them after a while, however most headphones we check have buttons in additional convienient areas.
Riley Younger/Digital Developments
Whether or not you’re in a packed commuter prepare or meandering round downtown, the headphones create a whisper-quiet soundstage on your favourite music. AKG’s noise discount tech is among the greatest we’ve heard — narrowly lacking the near-alien silence provided by Bose and Sony — and is greater than satisfactory in all however the loudest environments. Frankly, should you want extra silence than these cans present, it is best to most likely get fitted for some customized in-ears.
Battery life can also be spectacular: The N700NC will final for 23 hours when used wirelessly, and a full 36 hours when utilized in wired mode. That falls in need of the 30 hours of wi-fi playback provided by Sony’s WH-1000xM3, nevertheless it stays spectacular for any set of wi-fi headphones not from Sony.
Authoritative bass, crystal clear highs, and dynamic mids coalesce into a stupendous soundstage within the N700NC, providing each ounce of the impeccable sound we anticipated from such a storied audio model. There are only a few wi-fi headphones that sound this good, not to mention these with nice noise-canceling.
Create a whisper-quiet soundstage on your favourite music.
They N700NC simply greatest the considerably flabby low finish provided by the Bose QuietComfort 35 II in relation to bringing energetic power to our favourite hip-hop and pop information of the yr. Every part from Anderson .Paak’s Oxnard to Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour sounds crisp and dynamic. When put head-to-head with the WH-1000xM3, we’ve got to offer a slight edge when it comes to high-end readability and total processing to the Sony mannequin, however the AKG have are a bit extra energetic down low.
Which sound signature you favor — whether or not barely sculpted or clear and flat — is extra private than you may count on, particularly contemplating the AKG N700NC lack the superior aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth codecs provided by Sony. We are inclined to go for extra medical, high-fidelity, headphones, however on this case, it actually relied on the music. When listening to high-energy information like Ty Segall’s Freedom’s Goblin, we had been on staff AKG. When listening to folks, jazz, or classical music, we had been staunch Sony Stans.
AKG covers the N700NC for one yr from the date of retail buy for defects in manufacturing, supplies, and workmanship.
With trendy appears and nice sound, the AKG N700NC are a stable entry on the planet of wi-fi noise-canceling headphones which are effectively price contemplating alongside extra established choices.
Is there a greater various?
Except we had been after the absolute best noise discount available on the market, we’d actually take the AKG N700NC over the Bose QC35 II, largely as a result of we desire their sleeker design and fewer bass-heavy sound signature. That stated, we nonetheless desire the Sony WH1000xM3 total, as a result of headphones’ higher battery life, cleaner audio processing, and improved noise discount for a similar listing value.
How lengthy will it final?
AKG has a historical past of creating very high-quality merchandise, and we haven’t seen that high quality diminish because the Samsung buy. These N700NC are constructed from high-quality supplies, and we count on they’d final by way of years of regular use.
Must you purchase it?
That relies upon. If you’d like a trendy pair of wi-fi noise-canceling headphones with nice sound that stand out from the boring, business-class crowd, the N700NC are price contemplating. However whereas we will simply suggest them as one of many prime choices to contemplate earlier than you spend your hard-earned cash, we’d nonetheless take a method hit and get a pair of the Sony WH1000xM3s if we had been available in the market — seeing as they’re our favourite pair of headphones, interval.