Wireless headphone technology has come a long way in terms of sound quality and noise-cancellation. But few brands have been able to offer both, exceptional sound and powerful ANC all in one package. Bose, for example, is the market leader in noise-cancellation, while Beyerdynamic has always been famous for its premium sound performance. Much has already been written about both models. So, this review is for those who are familiar with at least one of these brands but need a comparison to help them make the right decision. Which headphones will satisfy your ears and ANC requirements? Let’s find out in this Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs Beyerdynamic Lagoon Review.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs Beyerdynamic Lagoon Review
The 700 offers a more comfortable fit than the Lagoon; the earpads on the 700 are softer and more forgiving than the comparatively firm pads on the Lagoon. That being said, even during long listening sessions, the Lagoon’s earpads felt sufficiently comfortable. But for folks with larger ears, the 700 is a safer bet, as the earpads have a longer oval shape. With the active noise-cancellation switched off, the 700 provides better sound isolation as well.
Active Noise Cancellation
It’s unsurprising that the 700 will give you more effective noise-cancellation than the Lagoon. For example, with a radio playing in the background, the Lagoon only slightly reduced the sound of the music, while the 700 came closer to eliminating it. But here’s a sad disclaimer for city dwellers who fantasize about a headphone offering complete silence: it doesn’t exist.
The other thing you want to be aware of is the ear pressure caused by “noise-cancelling frequencies”. When I had the 700 ANC turned up to the maximum strength, I felt a slightly uncomfortable force in my ear canals. It approximates the feeling you get when you’re on a descending airplane, though not as severe. This is probably the reason that Bose offers 10 different levels of ANC, which can be adjusted using the accompanying app. And the headphones themselves have a button on the side of the earcup that allows you switch between level 5 and 10. (You can turn off the ANC altogether using the same button). The Lagoon also gives you control over ANC strength. But it only has two levels in addition to the off switch. However, given the fact that the ANC isn’t as powerful on the Lagoon, I didn’t find the need to adjust it at all.
Controls and Functionality
Both headphones employ a touchpad on the side of the earcup to control the usual functions, such as play/pause, track skipping, volume and call activation. And both models also give you the option of using a voice assistant. However, the Lagoon will give you more functionality than the 700, such a fast forwarding and rewinding through tracks. It even allows you to toggle between two callers. But I found the touchpads on both models equally responsive and easy to navigate.
Battery and Charging Time
The 700 will give you about 20 hours of battery life, while the Lagoon will last about 24.5 hours with the ANC switch on. And both headphones charge quite quickly. The 700 takes 2.5 hours to fully juice up and can yield 3.5 hours of usage after just 15 minutes of charging. Unfortunately, the Lagoon spec sheet doesn’t mention anything about quick charging, but my guess is that it comes close to the charging speed of the 700.
The 700 delivers better call clarity. I called my colleague, and not only did his voice sound cleaner than it did on the Lagoon, but he noticed more clarity on his end as well. So, the mic on the 700 is also superior.
Once the headphones are in their respective cases, they are similar in size. But outside of the case, the Lagoon gives you more folding flexibility. In contrast, he 700 only swivels flat.
Both headphones come with accompanying apps. As mentioned above, the Bose Music app allows you to adjust ANC levels. But there doesn’t seem to be an equalizer. So, you won’t get any creative control over the sound profile. Beyerdynamic doesn’t come with an equalizer either, but it does offer a hearing test. And based on the results, it adjusts the sound to make up for any hearing deficiencies.
Finally, Bose has introduced a new technology, called AR. It’s an interesting concept that allows you to use your headphones to interact with the surrounding environment. For example, there are AR compatible navigation apps. So, in theory, you can turn your head towards landmark, and the app will tell you what you’re looking at. There are gaming apps that also use AR technology. But in practice, this technology is still working out some kinks, and it doesn’t work reliably at all. However, if you can hold out for a year or two, it might be a fun capability to have.
Although both headphones display a similar level of low-end presence, the bass on the Lagoon has more depth and body; bass guitars just felt more absolute in their presentation. And listening to hip-hop, the Lagoon displayed more sub-bass response. The Lagoon will give you extra low-end warmth on rock tracks as well. But in terms of detail, these cans are very close in their level of performance. That being said, if you’re a nitpicking critical listener, you may notice that the Lagoon offers slightly more transparency. Listening to cellos in this range, for example, the Lagoon displayed just a bit more nuance and resolve. At the same time, jazz fans may prefer the 700; testing some double bass tracks, the Lagoon has quite a heavy feel, while the 700 dropped a bit of that weight and revealed more of instrument’s timbre.
In this range, you’ll hear a difference in balance between these two models. The upper mids have more emphasis on the Lagoon. And as a result, vocals tend to sit more forward in the mix than they do on the 700. And the Lagoon will give you a more dynamic sound overall, where the contrast between the low and high frequencies is more pronounced. So, it gives pop music a very colorful and energetic feel. In contrast, the Bose 700 has a flatter balance in the mids. So, listening to rock and pop-rock, the 700 will give you a more full-bodied sound.
But in terms of clarity, the Lagoon offers a cleaner sound. In fact, when comparing them back to back, the Bose 700 sounds relatively cloudy. Well, it’s more like an overcast. And to be fair, when I first reviewed the Bose 700 on it’s own, I didn’t even notice it. So, let me assure you that the Bose 700 is still a great headphone. But the Lagoon is so spotless in its presentation that the difference becomes quite discernible on some tracks. And while the level of separation is great on both models, the Lagoon offers just a touch more definition. Not a huge difference, but when listening to acoustic guitars for example, the individual strings in guitar strums sound more crystallized on the Lagoon.
The highs on the Lagoon are more extended than they are on the Bose 700. As a result, the lagoon will offer more sparkle and deliver a snappier pop track. That being said, folks with sensitivity to high frequencies may find the Bose 700 easier on the ears. The difference in transparency is also apparent in this range. Listening to female vocals, for example, you’ll hear more breath from the Lagoon, while the 700 presents a silkier but slightly less nuanced sound.
You can expect a more spacious soundstage from the Lagoon. It also feels a bit more multidimensional. For example, listening to instrument placement across the vertical axis, the Lagoon displayed more height. And in general, the Lagoon will give you more precise imaging, as gradations in depth, height and width are more discernible.
In terms of sound, the Lagoon is the clear winner. Ugh, that pun wasn’t intentional. Cleaner and slightly more detailed, the Lagoon is sure to please the uncompromising audiophiles who need top-notch sound in wireless form. However, in terms of ANC effectiveness and call clarity, the 700 beats the Lagoon hands down.
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