We’re going to get right to the point: the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphone 700 isn’t sweat-proof.
It’s not water-proof, either.
The NC 700 wasn’t designed for the gym BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it gym-proof.
Add a pair of moisture-proof headphone covers to the NC 700’s cushions, and you’re good to go. In fact, you’re good to go on the treadmill, at the rack and on the rowing machine. Don’t settle for second-rate sports headphones or earbuds if you want to wear Bose for your workout.
What’s Good About the Bose NC 700 Headphone?
The NC 700 will replace the QuietComfort 35 II as Bose’s flagship headphone, and it’s easy to see why. The QC 35 II has been lagging behind some of its rivals. Released in 2017, the QC 35 II was an upgrade of the QC 35 with improved noise-cancellation, sound quality and comfort.
In 2019, the QuietComfort 35 II can no longer compete with the likes of Sony’s WH1000XM3 which Trusted Reviews (and a whole heap of other experts) called ‘The World’s Greatest Noise Cancelling Headphone’.
WhatHiFi? Said it was ‘as close to the perfect pair of noise-cancelling headphones as it’s currently possible to find.’ Bose had to do something. Company founder, Amar Bose, was, after all, the father of active noise-cancelling technology.
In June 2019, we wrote that Bose was taking pre-orders for the NC 700. We were intrigued at some of the hype the company had whipped up when it described the new release as ‘an entirely new breed of headphone’ as well as something that was ‘a defining moment in headphone evolution. Smarter and more capable than anything we’ve ever done before.’
But does it live up to these bold claims?
There are 11 levels of noise-cancellation for you to choose from depending on environment and preference. You can block out distractions in loud spaces or you can dial it down so that you hear the world normally. There’s a quick-interruption mode where you can cut-out the noise control for long enough to order a coffee or respond to a question.
What Bose is really pushing, however, with the NC 700 is its audio augmented reality. Using motion sensors inside the headphone it detects movement from both the head and body and then tailors that information and experience to whatever it is you’re doing. When Bose first announced the release of the 700, it gave a couple of examples as to what the AR would do. One was helping with location information. Instead of being told to turn left in 100 years, for example, the AR can instruct you to turn left at Caffe Nero. There’s also a secret agent game that puts you in control of a story that changes depending on your location. Bose has been a little vague on the AR but it’s safe to assume that as the product finds its feet and settles into the market that this interesting new tech could become a real game-changer.
There’s a 4-microphone system to isolate your voice from the surrounding ambient noise making it easy to talk through your device with clarity even in loud environments.
It’s optimised both to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant via a tap to the right earcup.
You can control noise-cancellation and settings via an app.
The design is different from the QC 35 II. Expect stainless steel with soft foam undersides.
It uses Bluetooth 5.0, and you’ll get wireless up to 33 feet.
There are 33-hours of playback from a 3.5-hour charge. In a hurry? 15-minutes of juice will give you 3.5 hours of listening.
There’s a hidden pivot system that allows you to twist the earcup and fold it down ready to be stored in the case. This is handy if you’re hitting the gym in your Bose NC 700s because with a recommended retail price of £349.95 ($399) it’s not something you want to be replacing anytime soon.
According to Tom’s Guide, the headband distributes weight evenly and so should make these a comfortable pair to wear for extended periods.
How to Protect Bose NC 700 Headphones from Sweat-Damage
If you work out in a public gym, then noise-cancelling headphones can be the stuff of dreams. Who wants to hear the guy grunting out his reps or the banal pop pumped out of the speaker system. Focus is important when we’re working out but so many headphones with active noise-cancelling technology aren’t sweat-proof. You take a pair of Beats or Bose into the gym and eventually they’re going to succumb to sweat damage.
The cushions will crack and peel. The earpads will smell like something died inside them. The audio will start cutting out. The moisture trapped between the pad and ear is uncomfortable and pretty gross, too. It’s why many people switch to in-earphones BUT by adding a pair of EarHugz to your Bose NC 700 headphones you can make them gym-ready. In fact, you can make almost any pair of on-ear or over-ear headphones gym-ready this way.
How Will EarHugz Protect my Bose NC 700 Headphones from Sweat Damage?
EarHugz are made from a very high absorbent lycra material that contains MAX-DRI. It works in the same way that wicking performance wear does: the fabric draws sweat to the surface of the material so it can be evaporated more easily. This leaves you feeling fresher and it stops sweat from being absorbed into the cushion of the headphone. EarHugz are machine washable, too, so they’re hygienic and durable. They come in a range of awesome designs but if you’re worried about them compromising the overall look of the stylish NC 700, then you can reverse each pair to black.
EarHugz aren’t just for the NC 700. They fit almost all brands of headphones from Bose, Beats, Sony, Skullcandy, Philips, Jabra and many many more. Check the sizing guide on the EarHugz website or drop us a message if you’d like to know more about the fit.