Bose QC 45 vs 700: Which Noise Cancelling Headphone Reigns Supreme?

When it comes to top-of-the-line noise cancelling headphones, Bose emerges as an industry leader. With refined technology that hones in on silencing external distractions, Bose allows listeners to truly escape into their music. Two of their most advanced offerings, the Bose QuietComfort 45 (QC 45) released in 2021, and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 launched in 2019, deliver exceptional noise cancellation power. However, these premier wireless headphones differ in sound, comfort, features and overall performance.

As successors to the legendary Bose QC 35 II, both the QC 45 and 700 represent leaps forward. Excellence defined previous models, but obsessive audio engineers at Bose refused to settle. Through cutting-edge components and insistence on peerless sound, Bose yet again broke through to new realms with the QC 45 and 700.

But which reigns supreme? As Bose‘s former flagship (before the latest QC line arrived), the 700 enjoys widespread praise for sublime audio and modern aesthetics. Alternatively, early reviews laud the QC 45 headphones for improved noise cancelling abilities and extremely long battery life. Let‘s dive deeper to compare these advanced headsets across all major metrics – from noise cancelling tech to sound quality, design, features, battery performance, controls and beyond. Analyzing critical differences allows us to crown the best Bose headphone as your next sound companion.

Noise Cancellation: QC 45 Edges Out 700

In their quest to facilitate uninterrupted musical escape, both the 700 and QC 45 headphones deliver industry-leading noise cancellation. Powered by a proprietary chip, these Bose headsets analyze external noises then produce an opposite signal to effectively mute distractions. This active noise cancelling (ANC) proves significantly more advanced than passive isolation offered by sealed earcups.

Examining noise cancelling abilities up close, the 700 headphones provide 11 adjustable levels. Ranging from 0 (full transparency) to 10 (maximum isolation), a sliding scale allows you to fine-tune just how cut off you want to feel. Most reviewers praise the 700‘s noise cancelling as incredibly impressive, nearly eliminating the din of daily life.

However, Bose managed to improve their pinnacle of noise cancellation even further with the QC 45 model. Featuring a newly developed Custom ANC chip, the QC 45 headphones analyze surrounding sounds 48,000 times per second. That‘s a lightning-fast rate for seamless adaptation to changing noise environments. Rather than a range of levels, the QC 45 keeps things simple with Quiet and Aware modes. Quiet mode maximizes isolation for undisturbed listening while Aware lets in some external sound so you remain alert when needed.

In head-to-head testing, reviewers confirm the QC 45 headphones narrowly achieve better overall noise cancellation than the 700. Both perform spectacularly, silencing the majority of ambient and transient noises around you. But with 48,000 calibrations per second in Quiet mode, the QC 45 proves slightly more powerful for that in-the-zone, musical bubble feeling. For frequent travelers and commuters who value the very best isolation, the QC 45 ranks as the stronger choice here.

Winner: Bose QC 45

Sound Quality: 700 Delivers Lifelike Depth

Beyond external muting abilities, a headphone‘s internal audio reproduction remains paramount. Bose audiophiles carefully tune every component in their headphones to achieve balanced, lifelike sound across lows, mids and highs. Top-flight drivers, active equalization, volume-optimized EQ, and more allow both the 700 and QC 45 models to deliver open, detailed audio bliss.

However, nitpicking reveals the Bose 700 headphones as producing slightly superior overall sound quality. Their proprietary tri-port acoustic architecture featuring stainless steel headband and angled ear cups enables astonishing resonance. Eight integrated microphones also help these over-ear headphones reproduce clean mids and sparkling highs with incredible spaciousness. Finally, plush leather ear cushions provide a gentle seal for immersive musical escapes.

The QC 45 headphones also pump out excellent audio with impactful bass, clear vocals and shimmering instruments. Their newly added intake and exhaust vents allow for better volume and depth than previous QuietComfort models. The QC 45‘s six built-in mics even improve phone call clarity. But placed head-to-head, the 700 impresses reviewers most for open, spacious audio. Their angled drivers seem to reveal hidden shades and textures in your favorite tunes. So while the QC 45 packs musical punch, the 700 delivers next-level sublime sound.

For devoted audiophiles or buyers simply wanting the very best sound investment, the Bose 700 now claims the audio crown. Their rich, layered reproduction enhances musical enjoyment versus the QC 45‘s already great audio chops. However, frequent travelers may prefer the QC 45‘s exceptional 24 hour battery life over a small sound quality advantage.

Winner: Bose Headphones 700

Design & Comfort: QC 45 Is Travel-Ready

Traveling listeners need headphones they can live in for hours without pain or worry. With softprotein leather earpads that gently enclose ears, both Bose models rank among the most comfortable headphones available. However, differences emerge when assessing extended wearing comfort, weight, fit and portability.

Weighing only 8 oz, the QC 45 impresses as over 25% lighter than previous models. Their plastic yet durable build feels lighter on the head than the metal and glass-filled resin 700. For marathon listening sessions, that reduced heft matters. The QC 45‘s plush, protein leather cushions also surround ears in pillowy comfort. They avoid pinching while achieving a gentle yet complete seal for locking in music.

Furthermore, the QC 45 headphones fold flat at the hinges to shrink into a compact shape for tossing in bags. With battery stretching to 24 hours, you can don them and travel across time zones or continents with power leftover. Taken together, extreme lightness, soft cushions and total folding make the QC 45 the optimal travel companion. Frequent flyers should choose this durable workhorse.

Alternatively, style mavens adore the Bose Headphone 700‘s sleek aesthetics. Tinted tempered glass and polished stainless steel offer an ultra modern look in 4 refined colors. Angled earcups add artistic flair too, showcasing Bose‘s attention to aesthetics equaling sonics. However, rated at 9 oz, the 700 does feel noticeably heavier than the QC 45. For brief listening sessions around the office or home, that heft hardly matters. But globetrotters and long-session users should favor the lighter QC 45 build.

For a foldable, lighter weight design that stays comfy for truly extended periods, the new QC 45 proves the superior travel headphone. Their wider fit range and folds also make the QC 45 more bag-friendly. But style hounds desiring some luxury bling can revel in the Bose 700‘s striking metal and glass touches.

Winner: Bose QC 45

Features & Connectivity: Differing Strengths

Modern headphones boast intelligence extending way beyond great sound. Integrated voice assistants, transparency modes for environmental awareness, and multi device pairing all enhance real world functionality. Both Bose flagships support basic operations like volume adjustment, music/call management and active noise cancellation switching through buttons and touch surfaces. You‘re also able to rename paired devices for easy identification.

But start digging deeper and key features differences emerge that cater these headphones to varying needs:

Voice Assistant Access – With built-in Alexa and Google Assistant, the 700 headphones enable hands-free voice control. Bark commands to queue playlists, set reminders and more without reaching for your phone. The QC 45 lacks this direct voice support, requiring an extra button-press to summon phone-based assistants.

Transparency Mode – Letting external sound filter in while music plays, transparency modes keep you safely aware of surroundings when walking or commuting near traffic. The 700 headphones provide easy transparency mode activation through tapping or via the excellent Bose Connect app. Disappointingly, Bose omitted this awareness feature from the QC 45. Frequent urban commuters should take note.

Multi-Point Pairing – Both models enable seamless pairing with two devices at once, automatically switching audio sources as needed. However, only the 700 headphones allow pairing to and quick switching between two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. The QC 45 only supports simultaneous multi-point Bluetooth and wired connections. Devices must take turns when going wireless.

EQ Adjustment – While both deliver rich audio out of the box, the Bose 700 uniquely allows customized tuning of lows, mids and highs through the Bose Connect app. If you crave more bass kick or midrange warmth, EQ sliders enable sound shaping. Meanwhile, the QC 45 lacks any app or EQ adjustment capability.

Weighing strengths and weaknesses shows the 700 model offering smarter features for voice control lovers and frequent walkers needing transparency mode. But the QC 45 still enables distraction-free listening and multi device convenience for your most vital needs on the move. Unless advanced connectivity and vocal interaction rank as priorities, most buyers can forgive the QC 45‘s relatively basic features.

Winner: Tie

Battery & Charging: QC 45 Has Epic Endurance

Nothing interrupts musical escapes faster than sputtering headphones. Both Bose models deliver well above average battery life to keep your playlists pumping hour after hour. However, a substantial gap emerges favoring the QC 45‘s epic endurance.

The 700 headphones promise a healthy 20 hours of playback per charge. While not record-setting, that runtime suits most users‘ needs – including international flights. Support for quick charging via USB-C ports allows 15 minute top-offs to grant 3 more hours if ever running low. The 700 thereby balances solid battery capacity with modern convenience.

But frequent travelers should truly celebrate the QC 45‘s sensational 24+ hour battery life. Surpassing the 700‘s longevity by over 20%, you can fly overseas or road trip multiple days between charges. Even demanding use cases like marathon office conference calls barely tax the QC 45‘s beefy battery. Like the 700, quick charging pumps 3 more hours into the QC 45 with just 15 minutes plugged in. But you‘ll rarely need that backup thanks to their incredible baseline capacity.

For those constantly on the move, the QC 45 rank as today‘s definitive wireless headphones. Their combination of collapsible design, pillowy cushions and over 24 hour battery life makes these ideal travel companions across the globe. Office and home-based listeners may tolerate the 700 headphones‘ shorter battery life for slight audio advantages. But anyone regularly away from outlets needs the QC 45‘s awesome stamina.

Winner: Bose QC 45

Controls: Buttons vs Touch On the Go

You shouldn‘t need an advanced degree to make headphones pause, swap tracks or adjust volume. Convenient controls remain crucial for real world use when exercising, commuting or otherwise occupying your hands. Bose wisely equips both flagships with easily accessed buttons and touch surfaces tailored to essential commands.

The classy Bose 700 utilizes touch controls on the outer earcups for central commands like pause/play, skipping tracks and volume. Taps, swipes and slides are intuitively associated with playback functions. You can even touch and hold to summon Siri or Google Assistant. To avoid accidental touches, raised ridges subtly divide the main control zones. Separate dedicated buttons still handle power, pairing and noise cancelling modes.

Alternatively, the QC 45 relies entirely on physical buttons. Large raised buttons on the right handle audio playback, tracks and call management. A single broad button on the left switches between Quiet and Aware noise cancellation modes. Additional buttons adjust volume up/down and power the headphones on/off. Reviewers compliment the buttons‘ clicky, responsive feel and handy ridges distinguishing each by touch.

Both control approaches work very well for casual and active usage. The 700‘s elegantly integrated touch surfaces enable seamless gestures without obscuring Bose‘s refined industrial design. But the QC 45‘s prominent buttons also allow easy adjustments without seeing the headphones. For cold weather users wearing gloves or the vision impaired, physical controls like the QC 45‘s may prove preferable to touch surfaces. But in fair weather, on-ear swiping offers unmatched convenience.

In practice, both control types function dependably on the move. So we declare another close split decision based on needs and personal comfort. Touch lovers who enjoy gesture convenience can embrace the Bose 700 headphones. And those preferring good old mechanical buttons get exemplary ones with the QC 45.

Winner: Tie

Verdict: QC 45 – The New Bose Headphone to Beat for Travelers

Weighing all factors from noise cancellation to controls reveals the Bose 700 as a superb headphone that still largely lives up to its "flagship" name for gorgeous design and lifelike sound. However, as a complete package combining stellar audio, peerless noise cancelling and extensive 24+ hour battery life, frequent travel listeners need to know about the QC 45. By matching and even exceeding the 700‘s performance in multiple areas, this newest QuietComfort entry now claims Bose‘s travelling audiophile crown.

From significantly improved isolation courtesy of a bespoke ANC chip to heavenly comfort that lasts through cross-continental treks, the QC 45 stand out as the ultimate headphones for life on the move. Sure they may lack the 700‘s integrated assistants and transparency mode. But when what matters most is durable distraction-free sound everywhere you roam, the QC 45 now reign supreme. Savvy buyers needing to vanish into music across days and time zones should tune into these new wireless marvels as their personal escape vehicles.

Still Trying To Decide? Consider These Key Differences:

||QC 45 |700|
|Noise Cancellation | Superior | Excellent|
|Sound Quality| Excellent|Slight edge|
|Comfort & Design|Excellent, foldable & lightweight|Very good, sleek/stylish|
|Features| Basic yet functional|Advanced integrated voice assistants & transparency|
|Battery Life|Sensational 24+ hour capacity|Up to 20 hours per charge|
|Controls|Excellent tactile buttons|Intuitive touch surfaces|

Want the best noise cancellation? Get the QC 45

Desire maximum audio performance? Choose the 700

Need long battery for travel? QC 45 is unbeatable

Prefer integrated voice access? 700 enables hands-free control

Use headphones outdoors a lot? 700‘s transparency shines

Either of these stellar Bose models enhance your listening enjoyment through category-leading sound and noise cancelling abilities. Review overall strengths in line with your budget to choose the better daily companion. Rest assured both the 700 and QC 45 headphones deliver outstanding wireless audio to savor and retreat into.

Happy listening!

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